This is a powerful and moving work, dramatic in its restraint. Research has also shown that it was probably written by Fetis, rather than Stradella. It's not completely unheard of for composers to write compositions themselves and then claim that it's the work of another composer--a kind of reverse plagiarism--Parisotti and Kreisler are among the list of composers who have done this. Some seem to do it as a prank, others to get attention work that they feel would be ignored otherwise, and there are probably still more reasons. In any case, this is not the first of such works, and doubtless won't be the last.
The heavy mood of the piece is set by a fairly lengthy instrumental introduction, and then the voice enters with short, subdued phrases, which eventually pick up momentum and intensity. The lines vary in length, but always contribute to the sense of a highly structured piece. When done with a high level of musicianship and artistic communication, this can be a deeply effective work, equal in intensity to even the most dramatic opera arias or lieder.