Two Songs with Flutes

from Orpheus Britannicus

Henry Purcell (1659-1695)

for soprano (d'-a''flat), bass (Bflat-f'), two recorders and bc

Ref. no Pur 06 (in 'cantatas')           sample page      cover page      To order:     

  • Soft Notes, and gently rais'd (Z.510)
  • How pleasant is this flow'ry Plain and Grove (Z.543)

The first of these 'Symphony Songs' is a soprano air with an overture and ritornello for two recorders and continuo, and the second has airs for both soprano and baritone with an overture and ritornello for recorders. Both finish with a chorus for instruments with voices.'Soft Notes' is, as it is called, a serenading song; that is a song of seduction. 'How pleasant' presents the ideal of the pastoral life far from the stresses of city and court life. The charm of the melodies is matched by the superb writing for the recorders.