Scarce had the rising sun appear’d
was one of Purcell’s first songs to be published, appearing in John Playford’s second book of Choice Ayres and Songs
of 1679. The poem was on a common enough theme: a ‘sweet nymph’, minding her own business in a quiet grove, was propositioned by a ‘murm’ring voice’ whose ‘prevalent charms’ were as attractive as the girl’s face. Purcell’s setting is delightful in its tuneful simplicity, bringing in a bass voice to join the solo soprano as beauty yields to ‘pleasing flatteries’.
from notes by Robert King © 2003