When Handel arrived in Rome at the end of 1706, opera was no longer authorized there, deemed profane and scandalous for the Vatican. The secular nobility then turned to other genres, notably the cantata and the concerto grosso. It was in 1708, on the occasion of the annual feast of the "Accademia degli Arcadi", that Handel was asked to compose a cantata. It would become the first of his famous so-called “Roman” cantatas.
Poetry set to music was always about love and the feelings it aroused. Thus, these works are for the most part passionate or melancholic… true miniature operas!
As for the Arcadian duets for soprano and alto, they reflect the birth of a unique melodic and harmonic knowledge, which paradoxically opens the doors to the revival of forbidden opera. And so the cult of emotion, virtuosity and even personality was born.
We offer a union between these lyrical pages with the concerti grossi of Georg Muffat, Savoyard composer and musician, who, like Handel, crossed Europe, from Paris to Salzburg and from Lully to Biber via Italy to the end of the 17th century, realizing in the most natural way possible in his compositions a synthesis of the identities and musical practices of all the great capitals, called "the united tastes".