English Baroque Songs

A brand new series of song anthologies featuring works for voice and basso continuo from the time of Purcell through to the Rococo.

Edited by Timothy Roberts, whose scholarly editions of English vocal music have previously appeared from Stainer & Bell, Oxford University Press, and Fretwork Editions.

Each volume will be available in high and medium voice versions, and, as is usual for Green Man Press editions, will consist of a main score with a simple continuo realisation, and a pull-out part giving the voice and bass parts.


EBS 1 H

English Baroque Songs - I

Edited by Timothy Roberts

Ten English songs for high voice (c'-a'') and continuo

Price: £ 7.90

Daniel Purcell (c.1674-1717): Alas! When charming Sylvia’s gone

John Eccles (c.1668-1735): Cease of Cupid to complain 

Jeremiah Clarke (c.1674-1707): Jocky was as brisk and blithe

John Barrett (c.1676-1719): A Song call’d The Pilgrim

Henry Carey (1687-1743): Happy the youthful swain

Anon (c.1728): The Siren of the Stage

John Frederick Lampe (1702/3-1751): The Declaring Lover

Renatus Harris (1678-1735): Could I the lovely Celia move

Richard Leveridge (1670-1758): Who is Silvia?

William Boyce (1711-1779): O Nightingale

In this new series of English Baroque Songs is presented a selection of solo songs from the late seventeenth century through to the end of the continuo era about a century later. Henry Purcell had dominated English vocal music during his lifetime, but in the decades after his death, a large number of lyric composers were at work, many of them capable of writing excellent songs. The emphasis in the items presented here is not on historical importance, but rather on previously unpublished pieces that we are confident present-day performers and audiences can enjoy. We trust that these songs will find their way into the repertoire of both Baroque specialists and all-round recitalists.

Cover image: download
Sample page: download
EBS 1 M

English Baroque Songs - I

Ten English songs for medium voice (a-f'') and continuo

Edited by Timothy Roberts

Price: £ 7.90

See above for the list of songs

Cover image: download
Sample page: download
EBS 2 H

English Baroque Songs - II

Eleven English Songs for High voice(c-a'') and continuo

Edited by Timothy Roberts

Price: £ 7.90

Blow: Thou flask once fill'd with glorious red
Eccles: Still I'm grieving, still lamenting
Finger: I promis'd Sylvia to be true
Leveridge: Good Advice
Weldon: Insulting rival do not boast
Daniel Purcell: Who knocks at my heart?
Clarke: Twelve hundred years at least
Carey: Happy Myrtillo
Greene: How long shall this like dying life endure
Festing: Reason for Loving
Boyce: Venus, to soothe my heart to love

Cover image: download
Sample page: download
EBS 2 M

English Baroque Songs - II

Eleven English Songs for Medium voice(a'-f'') and continuo

Edited by Timothy Roberts

Price: £ 7.90

See above for the songlist.

A second selection of songs from the 1690s through to the middle of the eighteenth century, the emphasis being on those songs with lyrics that in their day would have been considered most suitable for a male singer.

Cover image: download
Sample page: download
EBS 3 H

English Baroque Songs - III

Ten English songs for High (c'#-a'') voice and continuo

Edited by Timothy Roberts

Price: £ 7.90

John Blow: The world was hush'd
Robert King: Whilst on Melanissa gazing
John Barrett: You say I am in love, 'tis true
William Croft: Such moving sounds from such a careless touch
Daniel Purcell: Why should Aurelia sleep secure?
John Eccles: Restless in thought, disturb'd in mind
John Weldon: The appointed hour of promis'd bliss
Henry Carey: Young Philoret and Celia met
Maurice Greene: The Fly
William Boyce: The Modest Petition

English Baroque Songs Book III consists almost entirely of love songs, and Cupid himself makes an appearance in several of them, under the guise of "Love"(Greek Eros, Latin Amor). Indeed the editor of Baroque songs is often faced with a dilemma: in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries most English nouns were capitalised, as in German today;should "Love" then have a capital L or not? In songs 1 and 3 it is clear that Cupid himself is referred to, while in No.5 he makes a pretty explicit appearance, since the lover hopes that the god will "wound" his beloved (i.e. shoot her with his love-creating arrow). Less clear is the last section of No. 6, though here it is really an academic point whether the singer is enslaved to love in the abstract or to Cupid himself: no-one in Christian Europe believed that the Greek gods actually existed, and their exploits were generally understood as allegorical.

It was considered normal for men to be "wounded" by Cupid's dart: in our own age an object of Freudian symbolism, especially as the dart could "cure"; as well as bring affliction (song No. 3). The idea that from time to time Cupid might also shoot his arrow at a woman was generally male wishful thinking (Nos. 1 and 5), and if he did so the woman was landed with emotions that society would not consider it permissible for her to express (No. 10). Only occasionally do we find a song that expresses equal desire on each side, and then the composer is given licence for a rare emotional directness (No. 7). But sometimes understanding between the sexes can be hidden beneath the conventional surface of the indifferent woman: the singer of No. 8 is given plenty of opportunity (for example the little silence at bar 7) to show that Celia is actually getting her satisfaction too, if at young Philoret's expense.

Cover image: download
Sample page: download
EBS 3 M

English Baroque Songs - III

Ten English songs for Medium (a-g'') voice and continuo

Edited by Timothy Roberts

Price: £ 7.90

See above for the songlist

All the songs in this anthology were published in the treble clef, but given England's enduring legacy of cross-dressing, all may be considered fair game for singers of either sex, and of any vocal range. The convention was to publish in a high-voice key, though in the absence of the relevant manuscripts we cannot know if that was the composer's original intention. Sometimes works were transposed up a perfect fourth for publication, Purcell's "Sound the trumpet" and "Ye twice ten hundred deities" being two well-known examples; song No. 2 likewise may originally have been an alto or baritone song, considering its very high tessitura as published. Each volume of the present anthology is available in High and Medium Voice versions, and performers should transpose further as may seem necessary in finding a comfortable key. With piano accompaniment any of the 24 keys can be used, but with period instruments in an unequal temperament, extreme keys should be avoided. Composers of the time rarely used keys with more than three or four sharps or flats.

Cover image: download
Sample page: download