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Our broadest program in scope, Music for a While traces the course of the solo continuo song from its origins in Italy at the beginning of the seventeenth century to the works of Henry Purcell at the end of the century. Stops along the way include the early Italian monody of Florence, the mature style of mid-century Rome, the first English monody at the court of Charles I, and perhaps even a brief lay-over in France if time permits. Though musical styles changed dramatically over the course of the century, thematic elements hold the program together, particularly two settings of Dido’s lament: an Italian version by Sigismondo d’India and the very well-known setting by Henry Purcell.


Agnes Coakley Cox, soprano

Nathaniel Cox, theorbo

Works drawn from:

Giulio Caccini: Le Nuove Musiche (1601)
Sigismondo d’India: Le musiche del cavalier Sigismondo d’India, Libro quinto (1623)
British Library Add. MS. 31432 (William Lawes autograph)
John Playford: Select Ayres and Dialogues (1659)
Henry Purcell: Orpheus Britannicus (1698)

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