Love and virtue in Cavalli's L'Erismena

Title: Love and virtue in Cavalli's L'Erismena
Source document: Musicologica Brunensia. 2023, vol. 58, iss. 2, pp. 5-12
  • ISSN
    1212-0391 (print)
    2336-436X (online)
Type: Article
Rights access
open access

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

This study looks at three performances of "Vaghe Stelle" from Cavalli's L'erismena to explore different ways of configuring questions of love and virtue. The focus is on three types of relationship: one couched in the language of the pastoral and the idyllic, suppressing the erotic impulse; the second, where that impulse is carefully controlled in the manner of what has been called "courtly love," and a third, where the erotic impulse has been given free reign. The question of what an "ideal" relationship between love and virtue might be is left unanswered by the composer.
[1] Francesco Cavalli (1602 - 1676): Erismena [online]. YouTube. 6. 3. 2023. Time: 1:03:56-. URL:

[2] CAVALLI, Pier Francesco. L'Erismena: A Venetian Baroque Opera (In English) [3 LP]. VOX, SVBX 5213, USA, November 1969.

[3] Ruth Ann Swenson, Warren Jones. I Carry Your Heart [CD]. EMI Classics CDC 724355615824. Track No. 2. USA, 1996.

[4] CAVALLI, Francesco. L'Erismena : Dramma per musica by Aurelio Aureli (Venice 1655/56). Score with introduction. Kassel Basel – London - New York – Praha: Bärenreiter, 2018.

[5] ROSAND, Ellen. Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice: The Creation of a Genre. Berkeley: University of California Press, c1991, p. 317.