However, between the first innovative period which saw the creation of recitativo semplice and the post-Gluck period, when simple or secco recitative began to become outmoded and therefore no longer written, several steps were taken along the path which connected the two, in particular those which concerned the achievement of the type of recitative which eventually replaced the simple kind with that written to be accompanied by instruments other than just the continuo.
As early as 1905 Edward Dent showed that there were accompanied recitatives in the music of Scarlatti and Hasse; in 1980 Jane Glover found them in Cavalli and in 1980 Dale Monson noted suck passages in Cesti. The present paper intends to show that, in the period between Cavalli and Cesti at one end and Scarlatti and Hasse at the other, Alessandro Stradella (1639–82) experimented continuously with recitative in general, inventing a multiplicity of types of treatment of recitative text, including accompanied recitative. His several kinds of experiments in expression heightened communication of the meaning of a text, but — on another level — also increased the variety of the music heard during the course of a performance.
The history of accompanied recitative is a fascinating one and Stradella
was, without doubt, a prime participant in the seventeenth-century chapter