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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66730
Recording details: March 1994
Orford Church, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: September 1994
Total duration: 2 minutes 23 seconds

'Those who need all of Purcell's songs at their fingertips should invest in Hyperion's three-disk survey of secular songs, with outstanding performances by Barbara Bonney, Rogers Covey-Crump and James Bowman' (The New York Times)

She loves and she confesses too, Z413
author of text

This is the earliest of Purcell’s three settings of poems from Abraham Cowley’s The Mistress (1656) composed, according to the Chichester Manuscript (MS Cap. VI/1/1), in 1680. It was a popular setting that appears in at least four principal manuscript sources, as well as being published in the fourth book of Choice Ayres (1683) and in Orpheus Britannicus. To those familiar with Purcell’s sacred devotional songs (all recorded on Hyperion in The Complete Anthems and Services), Cowley’s graphically descriptive poetry will be familiar. Cowley (1618–1667) was the leading English poet of his time whose writing was much admired.

Over Purcell’s hypnotically repeating ground bass the author joyfully and triumphantly celebrates his conquest in love. But suddenly an unexpected foe is spotted: ‘Bold Honour’. The composer’s musical depiction of this invisible enemy – ‘Noisy nothing, stalking shade’ – is particularly imaginative, as is the slinky harmony of ‘By what witchcraft wert thou made’. But our lover is not to be defeated, and vows to ‘find out counter charms’ to remove his new, invisible opponent. Scheming to ‘rid myself of thee’ Purcell’s harmony is deliciously blue. The poet will defeat Honour, and capture this lady, at night.

from notes by Robert King 2003

Other albums featuring this work
'Essential Purcell' (KING2)
Essential Purcell
Buy by post £4.50 This album is not yet available for download KING2  Super-budget price sampler  
'Purcell: The complete secular solo songs' (CDS44161/3)
Purcell: The complete secular solo songs
MP3 £15.00FLAC £15.00ALAC £15.00Buy by post £16.50 CDS44161/3  3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
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