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G 11.001 CoverGeorge Frideric Handel (1685–1759)
Pensieri notturni di Filli (Nel dolce dell’oblio)
HWV 134

Cantata for soprano voice, alto recorder and basso continuo
Edited by Franz Müller-Busch
Realization of the thorough bass by Eckhart Kuper

Girolamo G 11.001, score and 3 parts, € 18,00
ISMN 979-0-50084-001-5

sample page

G 22.002 G 11.002





Handel’s autograph of the cantata Pensieri notturni di Filli, meaning Phyllis’ nightly thoughts, is kept in the British Library under the shelf mark RM. 20. e. 2. The cantata was probably composed around 1706, when Handel was spending a period of extended studies in Italy. A whole series of corrections and deletions in the music suggests this might actually be the very first version of the piece. The cantata is registered under the number 134 in the record of Handel’s works (HWV) and is his only cantata existing for the instrumentation soprano, treble recorder and B.c.

The present edition keeps very close to the autograph. Additions by the editor have been marked as such. The text has been carefully adapted to modern prose and the translation is intended solely to improve the understanding of the contents.

I am grateful to Mr. Prof. Mario Sicca for helping to decipher and translate the Italian text.

Translation: J. Whybrow

Calw, November 1995, Franz Müller-Busch


Nel dolce dell’oblio
benché riposi
la mia Filli adorata veglia
coi pensier suoi
e in quella quiete
Amor non cessa mai
con varie forme
la sua pace turbar
mentr’ella dorme.

Giacché il sonno a lei dipinge
la sembianza del suo bene,
nella quiete ne pur finge
d’abbracciar le sue catene.

Così fida ella vive
al cuor che adora
e nell’ombre respira
la luce di quel sol
per cui sospira.

Ha l’inganno il suo diletto
se i pensier mossi d’affetto
stiman ver ciò che non sanno.
Ma se poi si risveglia un tal errore
il pensier ridice a noi
ha l’inganno il suo dolore.


In the sweetness of slumber,
although she is sleeping,
my beloved Phyllis’
thoughts are waking
and in the stillness
Cupid never ceases
to disturb her peace
in many different ways
while she sleeps.

Since sleep deceives her
with the illusion of her lover’s image,
she imagines, in the stillness,
that she is embracing his chains.

Thus she remains faithful
to the beloved heart
and in the shade she breathes
the sunlight
that she loves so dearly.

The deceiption enjoys it
when thoughts are overwhealmed by feelings
and believe the dream to be true.
But when thoughts, on waking,
reveal the error
then the deceiption feels its pain.

Translation: J. Whybrow