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Colin and Phoebe 'A Pastoral'

First line:
Be still O ye winds and attentive ye Swains
author of text

Colin and Phoebe ‘A Pastoral’ (‘Be still O ye winds and attentive ye Swains’) was written by Thomas Augustine Arne (1710-1778) and was printed by William Smith in London in 1745 in a collection of his works entitled Lyric Harmony Consisting of Eighteen Entire New Ballads…As perform’d at VauxHall Gardens…Opera Quarta with text by Edward Moore. This first Vauxhall songbook, Lyric Harmony was announced and publicised in advance in the General Advertiser and offered by subscription which was unusual for Garden songs. Subscribers benefitted by getting the book at 5 shillings instead of the sale price of 6 shillings and were to receive the very first ‘impression’.

Colin and Phoebe was such a popular pastoral love song that it really helped to establish Arne’s reputation at Vauxhall Gardens. Music historian Charles Burney reported about its popularity and the inclusion of vocal music in the summer programme of 1745:

‘On this occasion the orchestra was enlarged, and Mr Arne’s ballads, dialogues, duets and trios, were performed here with great applause, and circulated all over the kingdom. During this first summer, his little dialogue of Colin and Phoebe, written by the late Mr. Moore, author of Fables for the Female Sex, was constantly encored every night for more than three months, successively’.

This was performed at Vauxhall by soprano Mrs Cecilia Arne (née Young), tenor Mr Thomas Lowe and very possibly the bass Mr Henry Theodore Reinhold. All three sung regularly at Vauxhall and were highly esteemed performers; according to Burney, Cecilia Arne had a ‘good natural voice and fine shake’ and ‘her style of singing was infinitely superior to that of any other English woman of her time’ and Thomas Lowe had ‘the finest tenor voice’.

from notes by Bridget Cunningham © 2015


Handel: Handel at Vauxhall, Vol. 1
Studio Master: SIGCD428Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 9 on SIGCD428 [3'34] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD428 track 9

Recording date
9 May 2012
Recording venue
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Christopher Alder
Recording engineer
Neil Hutchinson
Hyperion usage
  1. Handel: Handel at Vauxhall, Vol. 1 (SIGCD428)
    Disc 1 Track 9
    Release date: March 2016
    Download only
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