Around 1700, in the course of a cultural exchange from Italy to France, composers began to unite the "Italian style" with the "French gout". The resulting French cantatas and ariettes impress with these style mixtures, on which ancient love stories sound expressively in a wide spectrum of emotions. Today, the versatile pieces have largely been forgotten. Here is a Cantata by Brunet de Moland:
Le Destin de Narcisse - The Fate of Narcissus
Content: The shepherd Tircis, who is unhappily in love with the shepherdess Silvie, and the satyr and forest spirit Faune meet. Faune asks Tircis why he is alone and sad. Tircis tells of Silvie, who does not return his love. Faune sees love as a weakness. Tircis envies those who only care about themselves and have no lovesickness to fear. As an example, he cites the fate of Narcisse, who could not love but hurt many and was therefore punished. Faune mocks the "tragic love scene" and swears by the fulfilling effects of alcohol (dithyramb). Both want to convince the other of their side (Amour vs. Bacchus). Tircis goes on to tell of Narcisse: Echo confessed her love to him, but he spurned her. Other nymphs also suffered heartbreaks from him, which is why Amour finally punished him: Narcisse fell in love with his own reflection. But he realized his mistake and took his own life. His last words were echoed; Echo herself saw her dying lover once more and lamented from then on. After Tircis ends the story, Faune again advises him to give up love and indulge in wine instead. But the two cannot agree on this: Tircis would like to continue hoping for love, but Faune sees more suffering in it.