Silvio, amante disperato, WoO 99 nr. 12 (1795?)
Author: Mark S. Zimmer
This quartet for soprano, alto, tenor and bass was written as part of Beethoven's studies in Italian songwriting under Antonio Salieri. Unfortunately, most of the song is now lost, though A.W. Thayer saw a copy and included an incipit in his thematic catalog of Beethoven's works (as nr. 265, Song 31). The piece is in A minor and Thayer notes that it was 26 bars in length, though sadly only the first four remain today. The text is from Cantata XXVII by Metastasio. The lyrics to the full song are as follows:
Silvio, amante disperato, Sfortunato cacciatore, Infelice pastorello, Per un core senza amore Pur alfin cedendo il fato Qul per sempre riposo. Pastorelli, cacciatori, Che passate ov'egli giace, Gli augurate quella pace Che la perfida sua Clori Gli promise e gli manco. Silvio, lover deprived of hope, Unlucky hunter, Unhappy shepherd, Because of a heart without love he has surrendered to fate, and lies dead in that place. Shepherds, hunters, when you pass in that place, wish him his peace, the peace that his wicked Clori has promised to him and has not maintained.
trans. Armando Orlandi