array(1) { [0]=> int(364) } 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, underpinned by a timpani roll with the cornets articulating the beginnings and endings of the phrases.  This leads into a cadenza for cornet and horn 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 muted cornets.

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 (started by cornets sounding a last post), the main melody of the movement is introduced by the solo euphonium, with other solo roles for an off-stage soprano cornet, and trombone.  This is then taken over by the cornets 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 euphonium, flugel horn and soprano cornet, 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
Brass Band
Difficulty Level
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Composer Peter Meechan Instrumentation Concert Band