Thursday, 7 February 2008

50. Henry Purcell - Chacony In G Minor (c. 1678)


Title: Ayres For The Theatre
Performer: The Parley Of Instruments
Director: Peter Holman
Year: 1987
Length: 4 minutes 22 seconds


I find it quite hard to review these very short pieces of music, because no matter how familiar I get with the piece, it is only 4 minutes of it, it takes me longer to write this review than listen to it. Actually I can listen to it 4 times while writing this.

Now that I have written some filler so this review doesn't look as pathetically short as it is going to be let's get on with talking about the music. Let's? Why not, maybe we should... what about now?

Ok this is a Chaconne, or Chacony or however you want to spell it, here because Brits don't understand "foreign" it's a Chacony, which is a form of music noted for its repetitive figures, where Purcell excels here is in making this constant repetition interesting, the ornamentation of the simple base line is actually quite a beautiful thing, nothing mind-blowing, but very nice.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

In music, a chaconne (IPA: [ʃaˈkɔn]; Italian: ciaccona) is a musical form whose primary formal feature involves variation on a repeated short harmonic progression.

Originally a quick dance-song which emerged during the late 16th century in Spanish culture, possibly from the New World, the chaconne was characterized by suggestive movements and mocking texts. By the early eighteenth century the chaconne had evolved into a slow triple meter musical form. The chaconne is understood today—in a rather arbitrary way—to be a set of variations on a harmonic progression, as opposed to a set of variations on a melodic bass pattern (to which is likewise artificially assigned the term passacaglia). In actual usage in music history, the term "chaconne" has not been so clearly distinguished from passacaglia as regards the way the given piece of music is constructed.

Here is the thing, this is a longer version than the recording and it is with a full orchestra it seems... the above version is better:

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