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Ah! cruel nymph!, Z352

composer
mid-1693
author of text

 
Ah! cruel nymph! was probably copied into the Gresham Manuscript around May 1693. It was also later printed in the second edition of Orpheus Britannicus. A mini-cantata, it shows Purcell’s development of the Italian style, fusing arioso and recitative. The opening explores a running bass line, which is only finally established after an extravagantly florid roulade for the singer on ‘delight’. Despite this peacock-like display, the lover’s ‘nymph’ still refuses his entreaties to cease reproaching him for a previous flirtation with Sylvia. In a more serious section of recitative the singer complains that Sylvia sustained for too long ‘Her conquest when her love was feign’d’. In a dancing triple time the poet realizes that this new lady, ‘charming, airy, humorous and gay’, has finally enabled him to see true love.

from notes by Robert King © 2003

Recordings

Purcell: Music for a while & other songs
CDA66070Archive Service
Purcell: Secular solo songs, Vol. 2
CDA66720Last few CD copies remainingDownload currently discounted
Purcell: The complete secular solo songs
CDS44161/33CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Details

Track 14 on CDA66070 [3'07] Archive Service
Track 4 on CDA66720 [2'35] Last few CD copies remaining
Track 4 on CDS44161/3 CD2 [2'35] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

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