Purcell's Ground With Variations
Last updated: 18.07.18
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Length: approx. 3 ¼ mins.
Those who enjoy playing Johann Pachelbel
bel's famous Canon
will undoubtedly find very much pleasure in performing this similar but equally challenging work which is an 8-bar ground followed by 15 variations thereon. For those not yet in the know, Percy Scholes describes a Ground (or Bass Ground) as a variant of the Variation form, or, rather, it is perhaps, the first state of that form, for it came into use in the very early in the history of music. It was much used in Purcell-Bach-Handel period. The ground itself in this case is a gentle 6-bar descent from A to C followed by a little flourish ending on a sustained F. The 15 variations that follow are, as one would expect, of increasing complexity and technical difficulty.
This adaptation for recorder duet is for the very brave is both challenging and rewarding. No let up or bar-counting here!
The final variation in particular demands the most meticulous tonguing.
This recorder adaptation has been made from an undated piece of piano music printed sometime in the early part of the nineteenth century by Dubois & Stodart, New York.
A tempo of 120 crotchets/min. is suggested.
There is also a quintet
version of this item.