I finally hit the “Dove sei?” opening of the aria, and I think I discovered something. It’s so relentlessly vocal, and depends on the beauty of the voice so much, that there isn’t a good way to translate it to the piano unless the piano is doing accomp. Even then, it’s pretty thin. Haendel did his typical thing with this, where the emotional message was so powerful that he pulled the orchestra back and just let the voice do most of the heavy lifting.
I may have to either rethink this, or move the melody onto a viola again and just let the piano carry the accomp. Again. I need to think about this one, and just go over and over it on my head to see what my brain tosses out.
Update: I think it’s time to channel Billy Joel and do it right this time …