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   15 Fantasias For Viols. Chacony In G Minor



Год издания : 1978

Компания звукозаписи : Артель 'Восточный ветер', (ru)

Время звучания : 56:36

Код CD : AS-103-a

  Комментарий (рецензия) :

CD, стоящие на полке рядом : Classics (Symphony)      

Concentus Musicus Wien - Nikolaus Harnoncourt

The English Concert - Trever Pinnock

Henry Purcell - Fantasias (15) for viols

"A greater musical genius England never had," wrote a contemporary of Henry Purcell. Among the various genres which this versatile and prolific composer essayed during his short lifespan stands a remarkable series of Fantasias for viol consort - a Summa of contrapuntal experiment comparable to J. S. Bach's Art of the Fugue; however, Purcell was only twenty or twenty-one years old when he wrote them. A number of these pieces survive with precise composition dates (from the tenth of June to the thirty-first of August 1680), each found in one of the three great autograph manuscript collections, British Library MS. Additional 30930.

The composer seems to have selected the old-fashioned Fancy, or Fantasia, as a medium in which to challenge himself contrapuntally; even Purcell in his capacity of Assistant Keeper of the King's instrument collection, would have known fewer opportunities to play in a viol consort than musicians a generation before. The "new-fangled" violin was making headway in its popular appeal, and was greatly diminishing the fashionability of viol consort music, despite the musical conservatism of the Restoration Court. But Purcell set out to compose, and collect in manuscript, a large series of such pieces, grouped according to arrangement: three Fantasias for three voices (Z. 732-734), nine and the beginnings of a tenth in four parts (Z. 735-44; these are all dated), and one each in five, six and seven parts (Z. 745-747).

The last two of this collection exemplify a special English sub-genre, called In Nomines. One voice of each quotes a long-note cantus firmus borrowed from a sixteenth-century setting of the Mass by John Taverner. Purcell's contributions to a, by then lengthy, tradition of instrumental chamber music based on this tune are both fairly austere and monochromatic. Special scoring also appears in the single piece for five parts (Z. 745): its full title is "Fantasia Upon One Note," as one of the five voices sustains the pitch C throughout the entire composition, while the other four weave placid and beguiling harmonies about it.

Each of the other Fantasias proper unfolds (as do their nearest relations, the Consort of Four Parts by Matthew Locke, published in 1660) in two to five contrasting sections, most based upon imitation; among the technical feats present are a number of contrapuntal inversions, augmentations, and even motivic linkages between sections (as in the falling fourth motive which dominates Z. 739). The collected repertory of four-part Fantasias, gradually but clearly strives towards greater motivic compactness; the ninth (Z. 443, dated 31 August) culminates this tendency by its complete construction on two motives of but four notes each. And yet the affect of the music in performance transcends the merely pedantic, allowing for flights of virtuosity and moments of passionate and surprising chromaticism. Indeed, the venturesome harmonic content of the music dominates the surface details; the composer may present four or five different tonalities within the same measure, and travel briefly to keys his contemporaries would have found incomprehensibly distant.

- Timothy Dickey (All Music Guide)

Henry Purcell - Chacony In G Minor

All Music Guide

========= from the cover ==========

Поскольку в Англии множество людей самого разного социального положения - от ремесленников до королевской семьи - увлекались домашним музицированием, именно в Англии виола, задолго до Перселла, стала культивировалаться как сольный инструмент. С конца 16 до конца 17 века для этого инструмента было создано множество великолепных произведений стилизованных танцев и фантазий для ансамбля виол. Ансамблевая музыка для виол по своему совершенству сравнима разве что с высшими образцами струнного квартета венских классиков.

Фантазии Перселла для виол, написанные им в двадцатидвухлетнем возрасте, достойно венчают и завершают развитие этого жанра.

PURCELL: FANTASIAS

From the end of the 16th to the end of the 17 century England was one of the most important centres of European music. From the very beginning, the English had a special feeling for sound, rich harmony and sophisticated combinations of instruments. While Italy - the other important centre of music of that period - was the home of extroverted concertante music for stringed instruments from which the violin conquered the world, England dedicated itself more to the intimate sphere of chamber music. This was also a sociological phenomenon. Italy's musical culture was based on the royal need for representation and also reflected the splendour and glory of that period in the church and the opera.

The English attitude towards music was quite different at that time. Many people right across all social classes passionately and knowledgeably cultivated music in the home; a well-to-do household had to possess a chest of viols; each barber shop had to have a lute hanging on the wall to give customers the opportunity to pass the time. Many members of the royal family were enthusiastic viol or harpsichord players.

Since the major part of professional musical performance also took place in small circles, the "soft" instruments, i.e. viola da gamba, the lute and the flute, were preferred. It was in England that the viol was discovered as a solo instrument, and a host of the most delightful pieces of music - stylized dance forms and fantasies - were composed for viol consorts in the course of a century. The exceptional floating and translucent sound of these instruments, so excellently suited to outline clearly a complicated polyphonic movement but also to achieve a harmonious synthesis of rare beauty, inspired the English composers to the most magnificent compositions. Its homogenous sound and style makes this music comparable only to the string quartets at their height during the Viennese Classical period.

A particularly attractive form of the fantasy was the so-called "In Nomine". In these, one instrument played a cantus firmus based on the plainsong Cloria tibi Trinitas as it appeared in the Benedictus of John Taverner's mass with that title; Taverner was the first composer to take over the melody for use in a viol composition (perhaps as early as 1528). One of the reasons for this technique may have been that in this way the host or patron of a consort who wanted to actively participate in playing but was not up to major technical difficulties could be given a part which was easy to perform.

Purcell's viol fantasies - the last works to be composed for a viol consort - are the magnificent final contribution to this development. Purcell composed them within just a few months at the age of 22; they are his only works for this set of instruments. He uses the possibilities of viol technique and sound to the full. The cycle of fantasies, whose sequence can be determined by the exact dates of composition given in the autograph source, may have been planned to be even more extensive as can be seen from the note following the fantasy for five parts: "Here follow the fantasies for six, seven and eight parts"; however, the cycle ends after the fantasy for seven parts. It seems that Purcell's fantasies were not widely known at that period since they have survived only in the autograph of the composer. Perhaps they were not even meant for the public at large, as this type of instrumentation and style were already out of fashion at that time. They are an ingenious synthesis of a historicizing and revolutionary spirit. The conscious retrospection becomes particularly apparent from the thematic relation to a much earlier main work of this type: Dowland's Lachrimae of 1605. The final fantasies in particular include many quotations from it, making them a kind of apotheosis of Dowland.

CHACONNES

Purcell wrote two chaconnes in G minor apart from a third contained in his semi-opera The Fairy Queen. The present work is preserved in an autograph manuscript in the British Library and probably dates from about 1680. The composer would then have been only about 21 years old, but what is most striking about the Chacony is the effortless mastery of technique and the maturity of craftsmanship.


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   1 In D Minor. Z 732         0:02:48 Fantasia For 3 Viols
   2 In F Major. Z 733         0:03:10  
   3 In G Minor. Z 734         0:02:16  
   4 In D Minor. Z 739         0:03:48 Fantasia For 4 Viols
   5 In A Minor. 740         0:03:02  
   6 In G Minor. Z 735         0:03:33  
   7 In E Minor. Z 741         0:04:33  
   8 In B Flat Major. Z 736         0:04:12  
   9 In G Major. Z 742         0:03:35  
   10 In F Major. Z 737         0:04:14  
   11 In G Minor. Z 738         0:03:45  
   12 In D Minor. Z 743         0:03:42  
   13 Fantasia Upon One Note For 5 Viols. Z 745         0:02:49  
   14 In Nomine For 6 Viols. Z 746         0:02:14  
   15 In Nomine For 7 Viols. Z 747         0:03:37  
   16 Chacony In G Minor. Z 730         0:05:18  

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