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How delightful's the life of an innocent swain, Z373

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This appears in a manuscript collection (British Museum Add. 29397), not in Purcell’s hand, collated from around 1682 to 1690. The text was by Abraham Cowley (1618–1667), the leading English poet of his time who had been responsible for introducing the irregular Pindaric Ode form which was later taken up by Dryden and others. Unlike the two sacred devotional songs of Cowley’s that Purcell set, whose texts were full of destruction and bloodthirsty sentiments, this poem could hardly be more innocent, outlining the carefree existence of a young rustic lover. Purcell’s setting gives the two tuneful verses to a solo soprano, who is joined in the chorus by a bass.

from notes by Robert King © 2003

Recordings

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 21 on CDA66720 [2'19] Last few CD copies remaining
Track 21 on CDS44161/3 CD2 [2'19] 3CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

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