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G 11.002 CoverJohn Christopher Pepusch (1667–1752)
When Loves soft passion

Cantata for soprano voice, alto recorder and basso continuo
Edited by Franz Müller-Busch
Realization of the thorough bass by Eckhart Kuper

Girolamo G 11.002, score and 3 parts, € 18,00
ISMN 979-0-50084-002-2

sample page

G 11.001 G 11.003






The present edition is based on a print published by Walsh in London around 1720 with the title

Six / English Cantatas / ... / Compos’d by / J.C.Pepusch / Book ye Second

Four of the six cantatas in this volume are written for soprano, treble recorder and basso continuo. The use of the treble recorder can be explained on the one hand by the general popularity of the instrument in that period, on the other hand by the fact that James Duke of Chandos (to whom this volume was dedicated) himself played the recorder. The cantata When Loves soft passion is based on a text by James Blackley.

Obvious errors in the draft were corrected discreetly and the accidentals were adapted to modern practice. The original figuration as well as the joining beams over the quavers and semi-quavers were preserved. The few additions by the editor have been indicated. The recitatives should be performed with rhythmic freedom.

Johann Christoph Pepusch was born in 1667 in Berlin and died 1752 in London. He received his first tuition in Germany and already at the age of fourteen a post at the Prussian court. Later he witnessed there the execution of an officer without trial, an arbitrary act that led him at the age of thirty to seek his home in another country, in a land whose political system was built on better principles. In 1704 he arrived in England, his further country of residence, where he became known first as a viola-player, then very soon as a composer, director of music, teacher of theory and as an organist. In 1713 he received from Oxford the title of Doctor of Music. Already by 1710 he had founded the Academy of Ancient Music in London, a body that was dedicated to the performance of and research into music of earlier periods, right back to Ancient Greece and Rome. Pepusch became famous for his contribution to some of the pieces from the Beggars Opera. His most productive period was between 1710 and 1730, from which time a relatively large number of compositions have survived, particularly in printed form. He dedicated the last twenty years of his life increasingly to research in ancient music and to collecting old books and manuscripts.

Translation: R. Groocock, J. Whybrow

Calw, November 1993/95, Franz Müller-Busch


When Loves soft passion
had usurp’d my breast,
and Cælias haughty scorn
destroy’d my rest;
To silent groves
and murm’ring streams I fled,
to sooth my pain
and thus Complaining said.

O Love thou know’st my anguish,
come ease of my pain.
No longer let me languish,
no longer Sigh in vain.

The God of Love
who hear’d my pray’r
this answer gave:
Cease to be a Slave,
with bold disdain
try to regain
or quit the Cruel fair.

Why shou’d I Love
the fair that fly’s me
and deny’s me
what alone can cure my smart.
Her charms no longer
shall detain me
nor disdain me,
I’ll regain my wounded heart.