array(1) { [0]=> int(174) } Purcell Variants – Prima Vista Musikk

Purcell Variants

Purcell Variants is based on Purcell’s Queen Mary’s Funeral Music, which consists of four canzonas (for brass), two elegies and an anthem.

The first movement begins by sounding some of Purcell's original music in the trombones and horns, underpinned by a timpani roll with the woodwind articulating the beginnings and endings of the phrases.  This leads into a cadenza for trumpet and alto saxophone before the movement heads in different directions, leading us to its mysterious end, where the original music is sounded this time in the 'stabs' of the clarinets and alto saxophone.

Originally composed for the funeral of Queen Mary in 1695, Purcell's original funeral music was used later that same year for Purcell's own funeral – he died aged only 34.  The second movement is an elegy, inspired by this story.  After an introduction (a disjointed last post), the main melody of the movement is introduced by the solo euphonium, with other solo roles for flute, oboe and alto saxophone.  This is then taken over by the trumpets who lead us into the middle section of the movement.  This is a quasi-funeral march, inspired by the image of Purcell's coffin being taken to its final resting point.  The main melody returns in the flute, oboe and alto saxophone, this time more elaborated.  The movement ends with a snare drum fading away – perhaps a metaphor.

The Finale is a fast and furious movement combining thematic material from the two previous movements with new rhythmical ideas.  This takes us through to the final passage - the triumphant return of Purcell's original theme.


Product information

Peter Meechan
Concert Band
Difficulty Level
Download Full Set, Download Score Only, Printed Full Set, Printed Score Only

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Composer Peter Meechan Instrumentation Brass Band