Philippe Jaroussky «Music for a while» by H. Purcell . For John Wilmot.



Philippe Jaroussky , live broadcast by the French TV- Show «La Boîte à Musique» , in July 2009.

«Music for a while» Z.583/2, song from Henry Purcell’s incidental music for John Dryden’s play «Œdipus» (1678-79), written in collaboration with Nathaniel Lee. Purcell composed four songs for this play, probably when it was restaged in 1692; «Musick for awhile» (original spelling) is the second one.

Music for a while
shall all your cares beguile:
wond’ring how your pains were eas’d;
and disdaining to be pleas’d;
till Alecto free the dead
from their eternal bands;
till the snakes drop from her head,
and the whip from out her hands.

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» As he was the both the delight and the wonder of men , the love and the dotage of women, so he was a continual curb to impertinence and the public censor of folly. Never did man stay in his company unentertained or leave it uninstructed; never was his understanding biased, or his pleasantness forced; never did he laugh in the wrong place, or prostitute his sense to serve his luxury; never did he stab into the wounds of fallen virtue with a base and cowardly insult, or smooth the face of prosperous villainy with the paint and washes of a mercenary wit; never did he spare a fop for being rich, or flatter a knave for being great. Never was his talk thought too much or his visit too long; enjoyment did but increase his appetite, and the more men had of his company, the less willing they were to part with it.» (c)

Robert Wolseley.

Portrait of John Wilmot by Mary Beale (1633 – 1699) from the Ransom Collection of Texas University.

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