Please wait...

Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CDA66707
Recording details: April 1994
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: October 1994
Total duration: 3 minutes 50 seconds

'This is an altogether exceptional undertaking, deserving of congratulations all round' (Choir & Organ)

'An excellent addition to a very fine series of discs' X (Cross Rhythms)

How have I stray'd, Z188
1688; Harmonia Sacra
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
How have I strayed dates from around 1688, when it was published, along with three other of Purcell’s settings of poems by William Fuller, in Harmonia Sacra. Like most of the devotional songs, this seems to have been written for private, penitential use. As ever, Purcell’s unerringly sympathetic setting is full of subtle textual illustrations. The poet despairs at his aimless wanderings in the maze of sin, brought about by his youthful ‘follies’, but he knows that even a single glance from ‘most sweet, dear Jesu’, ravishingly harmonised, will bring him back to the fold. His Shepherd does indeed call, with his Saviour’s ‘doleful’ voice suitably coloured by the harmony, but the lost soul realises with alarm that he cannot find his own way back: indeed, if he goes further astray he fears he will be beyond redemption. The moral is stated in a touching duet: whilst there are ‘thousand ways’ to leave the track of life, there is only one route to salvation.

from notes by Robert King ©

Other albums featuring this work
'Purcell: The Complete Sacred Music' (CDS44141/51)
Purcell: The Complete Sacred Music
MP3 £35.00FLAC £35.00ALAC £35.00Buy by post £40.00 CDS44141/51  11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
   English   Français   Deutsch