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In vain we dissemble, Z385

The Theatre of Music I, 1685
author of text

This song first appeared in Henry Playford’s first book of The Theatre of Music in 1685. In the two verses the poet comments on the hopelessness of man’s trying to conceal his natural impulse to fall in love: whatever our attempts ‘To stifle our flame and check our desire’, there is no ‘concealing of fire’. Purcell’s melody is, as ever, beautifully crafted, combining tuneful elegance with melodic inventiveness, and the bass line is also well worth attention, rising inexorably for the first eight bars and falling even further during the next phrase. Those two elements are neatly combined in contrary motion between the voice and continuo at ‘When frowning the courtship we seem to despise’.

from notes by Robert King © 2003


Purcell: Secular solo songs, Vol. 2
CDA66720Last few CD copies remaining
Purcell: The complete secular solo songs
CDS44161/33CDs Boxed set (at a special price)


Track 15 on CDA66720 [2'14] Last few CD copies remaining
Track 15 on CDS44161/3 CD2 [2'14] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Track-specific metadata for CDS44161/3 disc 2 track 15

Recording date
23 March 1994
Recording venue
Orford Church, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Ben Turner
Recording engineer
Philip Hobbs
Hyperion usage
  1. Purcell: Secular solo songs, Vol. 2 (CDA66720)
    Disc 1 Track 15
    Release date: May 1994
    Last few CD copies remaining
  2. Purcell: The complete secular solo songs (CDS44161/3)
    Disc 2 Track 15
    Release date: November 2003
    3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

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