Shall all your cares beguile

rotorua gardens_1Not only music, but gardens, for a while shall all my cares beguile. Image: Su Leslie 2019

The human voice is the first and sometimes the best musical instrument. I love the music of Henry Purcell (1659-1695), and really like the simplicity of this song:

Music, music for a while
Shall all your cares beguile.
Shall all, all, etc…
Shall all your cares beguile
Wond’ring, wond’ring
how your pains were eased, eased, eased
And disdaining to be pleased
‘Til Alecto free the dead
‘Til Alecto free the dead
From their eternal bands
‘Til the snakes drop, drop, drop
Drop, drop, drop, drop, drop from her head
And the whip,
And the whip from out her hand
Music, music for a while
Shall all your cares beguile.
Shall all, all, etc…
Shall all your cares beguile
Shall all your cares beguile

I’ve heard it sung by a number of different people, and this, by countertenor Philippe Jaroussky is my favourite.

My dear friend Sarah at Art Expedition is hosting 30 Days, 30 Songs for the month of June. You can see her latest post here.


28 thoughts on “Shall all your cares beguile

  1. I have prepared a rather elaborate comment with a number of links to the song, the artist and others, of my likings….. Do you want me to post it w/o the first bit of the links so that you must complete them, or the full monthy, or a private mail with all of it within the mail? (you then can click on the links instead of having them online)…. Pls advise. I keep my horses in the stable until then. Spent far too long to look some up and searching through my 2000 disc collection….. am still VERY tired!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love Purcell, and I’m especially fond of this piece. I’ve sung many of the renaissance composers, but sadly, not as much Purcell as I would like. Like Tish, Dido’s Lament looms large in my category of “loves.”

    Kiki, please, please post in the comments section. I would love to hear your treasury of songs!

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    • Hannah, it’s done – I thought that our friend had her ‘auto-correct’ on but waited for her OK….
      I have a deep love for Purcell and I have sung many, many of his works. For choral music, I can’t think of a better country to live in (albeit temporarily, but then I’ve always taken the best of every place I lived in). The UK offered us an abondance of beautiful, glorious music, incredibly talented conductors, musicians and beautiful choirs. I also had the privilege of finally getting my dream instrument, the cello and I had the best teacher I could have imagined for a while. Purcell is one of the jewels of my crown of baroque music.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hang on there Hannah; it says, on top of my comment I posted before writing to you:
      “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”
      It was / is probably a bit too long and link-filled than the usual stuff, so we’ve got to give Su a bit more time…. 😉


  3. Purcell is amongst the (many) adored composers of mine. And I’ve heard this song sung by so many, men and women, all with excellent and beguiling voices.
    MY personal all-time favourite is the German alto Andreas Scholl. I heard him as a relative ‘inconnu’ in a church in Switzerland, when I went for a concert of a fine choir. Upon hearing Andreas sing, my life changed and when returning home, I uttered my most prophetic sentence: We will hear a LOT more of this guy. He is on his way up to music heaven. And he was and is a star of great light at the firmament. What makes him truly special for me (contrary to Jaroussky) is that he is always himself. No fancy manners, he is dedicating his life to his music, he is not a show guy but the servant of his interpretations.
    Sadly, there is no perfect video of Scholl’s interpretation on YTube. (a studio recording). I’ve heard him sing this song live. I also attended 2 concerts with Jaroussky live. What moves me is A.S.’s humanity, not P.J.’s operatic circus. I like both, and I have CDs of both – I know too that they have sung frequently together, so there’s no war between them.
    Speaking of tenors, countertenors, alto(i), male voices, I am also terribly fond of Max Emanuel Cencic – a young, enthusiastic singer with a great sense for demystifying ‘classical’ music! (Jazz concert in Montreux, CH (Switzerland) where he stood there barefoot and, in a T-shirt, in the heat of the evening – for the public to love or loathe him – They ADORED him)
    Do you know two of my favourite Canadian singers: Matthew White
    And this magnificent rendition of Purcell’s song by Daniel Taylor:
    I also own the ‘joie de vivre’ – filled CD with impros of Henry Purcell’s music: Arrangements by Christina Pluhar – such fun, such life, she made Purcell a modern hero! I love, love, love these interpretations (and yes, your darling Philippe is singing this piece!).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a beautiful voice. My stepdaughter studied opera for many years and did many performances and even participated in one album. She was very good but she decided to change field and she is now doing a master in… Economics! She is good at that too. Keep well Su.

    Liked by 1 person

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