We have just added two Purcell violin and cello duets to our online shop: Fairest Isle and Rondeau. Although these pieces both come from operas they could not be more different in mood.
About the operas
The song Fairest Isle is from King Arthur and comes immediately after drunken dancing by peasants. The sudden change of character is a delightful surprise and the words praise the goddess Venus and her birthplace – Cyprus – with warmth and affection.
Rondeau is played near the start of the opera Abdelazer. The story here is based on a tragic revenge play and the dark character is apparent immediately in the music. Benjamin Britten’s superb Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra uses this tune as the main theme and many people – myself included – will have first come across it there.
What a wonderful composer Purcell was! The more experienced I get the more I am aware of the extreme beauty of his music and its sense of congruence with the world.
Our duet arrangements
We have aimed to reflect the different characters of the music on our arrangements, which we will be recording in March, and you can buy the music here: