Tune of the Day: Air à l'Italien
In the Ouverture-Suite in A minor, TWV 55:a2 Telemann is revealed once more as a master of the “mixed taste”: the suite contains a pair of French minuets, two passepieds from Brittany, a Polish polonaise, and this “Air in the Italian style”, thus enhancing Telemann's pan-European reputation for inventive use of the orchestra in a form to which he was particularly attached.
The fourth movement from the suite is titled “Air à l’Italien”, although a more correct French spelling would be “Air à l'Italienne”. (Also, this is sometimes referred to as the third movement, because the two “Les Plaisirs” preceding it may be considered as a single movement.) This “Air” is a baroque operatic aria in Italian da capo form, as found in Handel: a cantabile first part followed by a contrasting virtuoso middle section.