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Track(s) taken from CDA66710

Whilst Cynthia sung, all angry winds lay still, Z438

The Theatre of Music III, 1686
author of text

Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor), The King's Consort
Recording details: March 1994
Orford Church, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: March 1994
Total duration: 1 minutes 56 seconds


'An auspicious launch to a project that will probably have no real competiton for years to come; I recommend it heartily' (Fanfare, USA)

'An exceptional recording with consummate singing and playing which is worthy of pride of place in any vocal collection' (CDReview)
This glorious miniature appeared in the third book of The Theatre of Music in 1686. Cynthia was the name of the beloved in the poetry of Propertius (c50–c10 BC) in which rivers and the sea are also prominent. But this poem is really an exercise on a theme often found in seventeenth-century verse: the lady singing. The poem compares Cynthia to a host of classical images – winds, waves, the ‘Attic Philomel’ (Athenian nightingale) and silver swans (recalling Orlando Gibbons’s enchanting madrigal), all of which she exceeds ‘In sweetness, and in fairness too’.

Purcell’s two strophic verses show his marvellously individual melodic lines and are full of imaginative word-painting; the voice drops in tessitura as the angry winds fall silent, the ‘trembling sail’ rises chromatically as it ‘Did softly swell’, the angular line of ‘the magic of her tongue’ catches the ear with just the right degree of melodic intrigue and the ‘Precedent waves’ rise up the scale until they ‘all together blame the tide’.

from notes by Robert King © 2003

Other albums featuring this work

Purcell: The complete secular solo songs
CDS44161/33CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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