Johann Sebastian Bach

Cantata No. 203, "Amore Traditore," BWV 203 (BC G51) (doubtful)

    Description by James Leonard

    When or why Bach composed his Cantata No. 203 "Amore traditore" (Cupid, traitor) (BWV 203) is unknown. Who wrote the text and when the work was to have been performed is likewise unknown. The autograph is missing and the oldest original copy of the score no longer exists. All that is known for certain is that the oldest copy bore the words Cantata a Voce solo e Cembelo obbligato di Giov. Seb. Bach. The use of Italian is wholly appropriate. The work is not only in the style of an Italian solo cantata, but the language Bach sets is Italian. So is the spirit of the work: scored for dramatic bass soloists and fully written out in harpsichord obbligato, "Amore traditore" is a reflection on love gone bad in three movements. The opening movement is a sprightly and spiteful minor-keyed da capo aria in 6/8. The central movement is a histrionic secco recitative. The closing movement is a sprightly piece of advice to the lovelorn: "He who is thwarted in love is foolish not to abandon it."


    1. Amore traditore
    2. Voglio provar, se posso sanar
    3. Chi in amore ha nemica la sorte

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 BIS BIS 2191
    2013 Passacaille PASS 997
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94050
    2008 Berlin Classics 0184202
    2008 Corona Classics 0002352CCC
    2008 Challenge Classics 72283
    2008 Corona Classic Collection 0001312CCC
    2007 Challenge Records 72280
    2006 Brilliant Classics 93102
    2006 Brilliant Classics 99697
    2006 Brilliant 93038
    2005 EMI Classics 68509
    2003 Nuova Era 7099
    2003 EMI Classics
    2003 Challenge Records 72202
    2000 Angel Records 67202B
    1999 Teldec 25705
    1999 Teldec 25704
    1999 Teldec 3984-25710-2
    1999 Haenssler 92062
    1996 Erato 12598
    1996 Berlin Classics 0092202
    Brilliant Classics 99705
    Brilliant Classics 93102-VOL5
    EMI Music Distribution 65729
    Brilliant 99705/9
    Brilliant 93038/1
    Brilliant 93102/115