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Track(s) taken from CDA66070

Fly swift, ye hours, Z369

The Banquet of Musick VI, 1692
author of text

Paul Esswood (countertenor), Johann Sonnleitner (harpsichord), Charles Medlam (viola da gamba)
Recording details: October 1981
Unknown, Unknown
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: September 1987
Total duration: 5 minutes 52 seconds

Cover artwork: The Fountain of Love by Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806)
Reproduced by permission of The Wallace Collection, London

Other recordings available for download

Charles Daniels (tenor), The King's Consort
Fly swift, ye hours was published in early 1692 in the sixth book of The Banquet of Musick, suggesting that it may have been written during the second half of 1691. The song is also contained in a number of other contemporary sources, including a manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library into which it appears to have been copied between September 1690 and July 1692. Purcell sets the text as an Italianate mini-cantata with a splendidly busy opening, scales scurrying in voice and continuo. The ardent ‘Bring back my Belvidera’ totally changes mood and tempo and leads into a lilting triple-time arioso section, ‘Swifter than Time’. The extraordinary recitative ‘Soft peace is banish’d’ recalls parts of Dido and Aeneas in its despairing chromaticism and languid melismas. The poet is trapped in his love: in the closing triple-time aria he is resigned to ‘court my ruin’ and, with a delicious, bittersweet melisma, to bless the ‘pleasing pain’.

from notes by Robert King © 2003

Other albums featuring this work

Purcell: Secular solo songs, Vol. 2
CDA66720Archive Service; also available on CDS44161/3
Purcell: The complete secular solo songs
CDS44161/33CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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