Henry Purcell: The Cares of Lovers

Henry Purcell: The Cares of Lovers

by Rowan Pierce


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The debut release of talked-about young British soprano Rowan Pierce is not the safe collection of arias, Baroque or otherwise, that one might expect. Instead, she performs a group of pieces that, although hardly unknown, isn't standard concert material, and she does them in an unusual way. These pieces by Henry Purcell, although some of them come from operas or from the vexed genre known as semi-opera, are true songs, straightforward and vocally simple. They are masterful little pieces of text-setting, hovering between declamatory treatments and short airs, and they are by turns humorous and sexy. (Sample "Hears not my Phillis.") You can get bigger, more operatic, more emotionally lowdown treatments from any number of sopranos in this repertory, but Pierce's rather pure tone works well because it's suited to the intimate treatment the songs receive here. Listeners may be confused by the "Academy of Ancient Music" text in the graphics, for there is no ensemble here, only Pierce, veteran harpsichordist Richard Egarr, and theorbist/lutenist William Carter. There were no fixed forces for these songs, and larger groups are certainly conceivable, but a performance like this would be easy enough to imagine in a noble household of Purcell's time. Quiet and highly enjoyable.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/01/2019
Label: Linn Records
UPC: 0691062059220
catalogNumber: 592
Rank: 77208


  1. Now that the sun hath veiled his light, sacred song for soprano & continuo ("An Evening Hymn"), Z. 193
  2. Thou wakeful shepherd ("Morning Hymn"), for soprano & continuo, Z. 198
  3. The fatal hour comes on apace, song, Z. 421
  4. Oedipus, incidental music, Z. 583: Music for a while
  5. Tell me, some pitying angel, (The Blessed Virgin's Expostulation), sacred song, for soprano & continuo, Z. 196
  6. Ground for harpsichord in D minor, (from "Celebrate This Festival" Z. 321/2a), ZD 222 (doubtful)
  7. She loves and she confesses too, song, Z. 413
  8. Jack thou art a toper (from "Bonduca"), catch for 3 voices, Z. 574/10: O lead me to some peaceful gloom
  9. Hears not my Phyllis (The Knotting Song), song, Z. 371
  10. O solitude, my sweetest choice, song, Z. 406
  11. If music be the food of love, song, Z. 379 (3 settings)
  12. Ground in Gamut for harpsichord in G major, Z. 645
  13. The Tempest, or, The Enchanted Island, semi-opera, Z. 631: Dear pretty youth
  14. The Rival Sisters, or, the Violence of Love, incidental music, Z. 609: Celia has a thousand charms
  15. The History of King Richard II, or, The Sicilian Usurper, incidental music, Z. 581: Retir'd from mortal's sight
  16. From silent shades and the Elysian groves (Bess of Bedlam), song, Z. 370
  17. Pausanias, the Betrayer of his Country, incidental music, Z. 585: Sweeter than roses
  18. Timon of Athens, semi-opera, Z. 632: The cares of lovers

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