Music for a While
Music for a While is a song for solo alto by the English Baroque composer Henry Purcell. It is the second of four movements from his incidental music (Z 583) to Oedipus, a version of Sophocles' play by John Dryden and Nathaniel Lee. It was composed for a revival of the work in 1692.
The piece exists in multiple arrangements, including for solo keyboard and violin and keyboard. Music for a While is the title of an album of Purcell arrangements released in 2014 by Christina Pluhar.
The text is
"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.
The piece was published posthumously in Orpheus Britannicus.
- The Ashgate Research Companion to Henry Purcell
- North, Nigel (1987). Continuo playing on the lute, archlute, and theorbo. Indiana University Press. p. 264. ISBN 0253314151.
- Kemp, L. "Music for a while: Improvisations on Henry Purcell". Gramophone. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
- Wigmore. "Icon: Alfred Deller". Gramophone. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
- Music for a While: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
- Music for a while from Oedipus. BBC. Extract from a performance by Alfred Deller (countertenor) and Walter Bergmann (harpsichord).
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