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Purcell: The Complete Secular Songs Box set

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Audio CD, Box set, January 13, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Draw near, you lovers, song for soprano & bass, Z. 462
  2. While Thirsis, wrapt in downy sleep, song, Z. 437
  3. Love, thou canst hear, tho' thou art blind, song, Z. 396
  4. I lov'd fair Celia, song, Z. 381
  5. What hope for us remains now he is gone? (On the death of Matthew Locke), song for soprano, chorus & continuo, Z. 472
  6. Pastora's beauties when unblown, song, Z. 407
  7. A thousand sev'ral ways I tried, song, Z. 359
  8. Urge me no more, song, Z. 426
  9. Farewell, all joys, song, Z. 368
  10. If music be the food of love, song, Z. 379 (3 settings)
  11. Amidst the shades and cool and refreshing streams, for soprano & continuo, Z. 355
  12. They say you're angry ('The Rich Rival'), song, Z. 422
  13. Let each gallant heart, song, Z. 390
  14. Anacreon's defeat ('This poet sings the Trojan Wars'), song, Z. 423
  15. Ah! how pleasant 'tis to love, for soprano & continuo, Z. 353
  16. My heart, whenever you appear, song, Z. 399
  17. On the brow of Richmond Hill, song, Z. 405
  18. Rashly I swore I would disown, song, Z. 411
  19. Since the pox or the plague, song, Z. 471
  20. Beneath a dark and melancholy grove, song, Z. 461
  21. Musing on cares of human fate, song, Z. 467
  22. Whilst Cynthia sung, all angry winds lay still, song, Z. 438
  23. How I sigh when I think of the charms, song for soprano & continuo, Z. 374
  24. Ye happy swains, whose nymphs are kind, song, Z. 443
  25. Beware, poor Shepherds, song, Z. 361
  26. See how the fading glories of the year, song, Z. 470
  27. Cease, anxious world, your fruitless pain, song for soprano & continuo, Z. 362
  28. O! fair Cedaria, hide those eyes, song, Z. 402

Disc: 2

  1. I love and I must, song, Z. 382
  2. When her languishing eyes said 'love', song, Z. 432
  3. Not all my torments can your pity move, song, Z. 400
  4. Ah! cruel nymph! you give despair for soprano & continuo, Z. 352
  5. Sylvia, now your scorn give over, song, Z. 420
  6. Since one poor view has drawn my heart, song, Z. 416
  7. I resolve against cringing, song, Z. 386
  8. Gentle shepherds, you that know, song, Z. 464
  9. If grief has any pow'r to kill, song, Z. 378
  10. She that would gain a faithful lover, song, Z. 414
  11. Fly swift, ye hours, song, Z. 369
  12. Hears not my Phyllis (The Knotting Song), song, Z. 371
  13. Phyllis, talk no more of passion, song, Z. 409
  14. Celia's fond, too long I've loved her, song for soprano & continuo, Z. 364
  15. In vain we dissemble, song, Z. 385
  16. When my Aemelia smiles, song, Z. 434
  17. Farewell, ye rocks, song, Z. 463
  18. What a sad fate is mine, song, Z. 428 (2 versions)
  19. I take no pleasure in the sun's bright beams, song, Z. 388
  20. Love's pow'r in my heart shall find no compliance, song, Z. 395
  21. How delightful's the life of an innocent swain, song, Z. 373
  22. She who my poor heart possesses, song, Z. 415
  23. Love arms himself in Celia's eyes, song, Z. 392
  24. When first my shepherdess and I, song, Z. 431
  25. Through mournful shades and solitary groves, song, Z. 424
  26. If music be the food of love, song, Z. 379 (3 settings)
  27. Scarce had the rising sun appear'd, song, Z. 469
  28. Who but a slave can well express, song, Z. 440
  29. High on a throne of glitt'ring ore (Ode to the Queen), song, Z. 465
  30. Incassum, Lesbia, incassum rogas (The Queen Epicedium), song, Z. 383

Disc: 3

  1. She loves and she confesses too, song, Z. 413
  2. Amintas, to my grief I see, for soprano & continuo, Z. 356
  3. Corinna is divinely fair, song, Z. 365
  4. Amintor, heedless of his flocks, for soprano & continuo, Z. 357
  5. He himself courts his own ruin, song, Z. 372
  6. No, to what purpose should I speak, song, Z. 468
  7. Sylvia, 'tis true you're fair, song, Z. 512
  8. Lovely Albina's come ashore, song, Z. 394
  9. Spite of the godhead, pow'rful love, song, Z. 417
  10. If music be the food of love, song, Z. 379 (3 settings)
  11. Phyllis, I can ne'er forgive it, song, Z. 408
  12. Bacchus is a power divine, song, Z. 360
  13. From silent shades and the Elysian groves (Bess of Bedlam), song, Z. 370
  14. Let formal lovers still pursue, song, Z. 391
  15. I came, I saw, and was undone, song, Z. 375
  16. Who can behold Florella's charms?, song, Z. 441
  17. Cupid, the slyest rogue alive, song, Z. 367
  18. If prayers and tears, song, Z. 380
  19. In Cloris all soft charms, song, Z. 384
  20. Let us, kind Lesbia, give away, song, Z. 466
  21. Love is now become a trade, song, Z. 393
  22. Ask me to love no more, song, for soprano & continuo, Z. 358
  23. O solitude, my sweetest choice, song, Z. 406
  24. Olinda in the shades unseen, song, Z. 404
  25. Pious Celinda goes to prayers, song, Z. 410
  26. When Strephon found his passion vain, song, Z. 435
  27. The fatal hour comes on apace, song, Z. 421
  28. Sawney is a bonny lad, song, Z. 412
  29. Young Thyrsis' fate, ye hills and groves, deplore (On the death of Thomas Farmer), song for soprano, bass & continuo, Z. 473

Product Details

  • Performer: Michael George, James Bowman, Barbara Bonney, Susan Gritton, Charles Daniels
  • Orchestra: King's Consort
  • Conductor: Robert King
  • Composer: Henry Purcell
  • Audio CD (January 13, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Hyperion UK
  • ASIN: B0000DJENT
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,600 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Steven Guy on January 29, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I am surprised that this superb product, released in 2004, hasn't attracted any reviews yet. So I will offer a brief one.
This CD contains all of Henry Purcell's secular solo songs, although it does include some works for more than one voice. The CD contains highly informative notes on each the songs and the texts of all 87 songs. The songs are spread amongst the six singers - Barbara Bonney and Susan Gritton, sopranos; James Bowman, alto; Rogers Covey-Crump and Charles Daniels, tenors; Michael George, bass. The accompaniment, from Robert King's The King's Consort, consists of Mark Caudle and Susanna Pell on bass viols, David Miller playing the theorbo and archlute and maestro Robert King on the chamber organ and harpsichord.

The sound of the recording is very fresh, clear and vivid, as they say. It is exemplary of Hyperion's very high standards in that department. The presentation of the CD is very beautiful and tasteful. All in all, a great achievement and a very fine collection.

Purcell's songs range from the introspective ("Music for a while"), to the melancholy ("O Solitude, my sweetest choice!"), to the hedonistic ("Ah, how pleasant 'tis to love"), to the frankly bawdy ("Since the pox, or the plague") and comical ("Love is now become a trade"), to straight out love songs ("Oh, fair Cedaria, hide those eyes"). Purcell was the master of setting the English language to music and I'd say that his only serious rivals are John Dowland and Benjamin Britten.

This recording is one I treasure and it is one of the best Purcell recordings available. I bought it a couple of years after buying Purcell's complete Welcome Songs & Odes by Robert King and The King's Consort, also on Hyperion. Any serious lover of Purcell's music should have both.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. Eastham on May 5, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
So I got this today, and I was astounded.

King's Consort produces another brilliant interpretation and performance of works by Henry Purcell. This collection of Purcell's solo secular songs (though some, as the previous review mentions, have short duets within them) is superbly sung all around. A note on the vocals, they aren't the most "early music" vocals you'll find. The singers all certainly demand attention, but for me, I think that's perfectly fine. The very subdued singing that some take to Baroque music seems to detract from the emotion of these pieces--emotion that is clearly intended from the text painting. However, they also aren't sung in an unnecessarily grandiose way or with too much drive. Frankly, it's just right.

If you enjoy Purcell's music, this collection is absolutely necessary.
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