Il pianto sospeso. Per un Metastaio ricondotto a se stesso
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The late eighteenth-century reworkings of Metastasio's libretti (particularly his "Giuseppe Riconosciuto" and his treatment of the theme of the Lament) are here analysed in order to show how later librettists tried to intensify the pathos of the original texts, re-reading Metastasio in a sentimental way. In reality his Azioni Sacre were rather restrained in their expression of "emotions:" the court poet worked on the baroque overabundance of metaphors to replace allegory with psychology, and outlined the lament within an exact "geometry of the passions" as depicted on stage. Various seventeenth-century sources - including the writings of his teacher Gregorio Caloprese - are discussed and also compared with "Didone Abbandonata", to show how the "fluctuations" of Aeneas are "thought through" to offer an exact representation of the "passions of reason."