Purcell: Songs

Purcell: Songs
Composer Henry Purcell
Artist Michael Chance countertenor
Richard Boothby viola da gamba
Maggie Cole harpsichord
Nigel North archlute and theorbo
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 93937
EAN code 5028421939377
Release August 2009

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About this release

Spanning his short creative life, Purcell’s Songs are a constant feature in his output. In between official Odes, the semi-operas and instrumental music is a profusion of wonderfully intimate, sometimes bawdy and explicit songs. Written for his circle of friends the texts are from a variety of sources – Shakespeare and Dryden understandably loom large among the poets whose words were set by Purcell. In 1698 his songs were published complete in Orpheus Britannicus.

Purcell composed only one true opera, and the form known as ‘semi opera’ was the most popular in England at the time. In these works the actors did not sing. Musical interludes either of vocal numbers or instrumental music punctuated the action. The second half of this release contains examples of the instrumental music Purcell provided for Dioclesan and Timon of Athens.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Songs: Strike the Viol
  2. Songs: The Queen’s Epicedium
  3. Songs: Here the Deities approve
  4. Songs: O Solitude
  5. Songs: Sweeter than roses
  6. Songs: Music for a while
  7. Songs: If music be the food of love
  8. Songs: In the black dismal dungeon of despair
  9. Songs: An Evening Hymn
  10. Instrumental Music: Chaconne in G Minor
  11. From ‘Dioclesian’: First Music
  12. From ‘Dioclesian’: Overture
  13. From ‘Dioclesian’: First Act Tune
  14. From ‘Dioclesian’: Dance of the Furies
  15. From ‘Dioclesian’: Second Act Tune
  16. From ‘Dioclesian’: Two in once upon a ground
  17. From ‘Dioclesian’: The Chair Dance
  18. From ‘Dioclesian’: Third Act Tune
  19. From ‘Dioclesian’: Butterfly Dance
  20. From ‘Dioclesian’: Country Dance in Act V
  21. From ‘Dioclesian’: Dance of the Bacchanals
  22. From ‘Dioclesian’: Still I’m wishing
  23. From ‘Dioclesian’: Canaries
  24. From ‘Dioclesian’: Dance
  25. From ‘Dioclesian’: Dance
  26. From ‘Timon of Athens’: Curtain Tune