Fantasia upon a Ground in D major Z.731

Composer: Henry Purcell (b. 1659 - d. 1695)
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Composer: Henry Purcell (b. 1659 - d. 1695)

Performance date: 01/07/2014

Venue: St. Brendan’s Church

Composition Year: ca.1680

Duration: 00:05:05

Recording Engineer: Richard McCullough, RTE

Instrumentation Category:Small Mixed Ensemble

Instrumentation Other: S-solo, 3vn, va, vc, db, lu/gui

Artists: Concerto Copenhagen (Peter Spissky, Fredrik From, Antina Hugosson [violins], Torbjörn Köhl [viola], Kate Hearne [cello], Mattias Frostenson [bass], Fredrik Bock [archlute, guitar], Lars-Ulrik Mortensen [harpsichord, director]) - [baroque ensemble]
Maria Keohane - [soprano]

Purcell’s early
chamber music includes the famous and popular Fantasia upon a Ground in three parts, played this morning with
three violins and continuo. At this time, around 1680, Purcell was barely into
his twenties and finding his feet in the treacherous politics of the Court of
Charles II. To do the King justice, he was a serious music-lover and one of his
first acts at the Restoration was to make key appointments in restoring the
musical establishment to its former glory. The Fantasia upon a Ground is thought to be one of Purcell’s earliest
surviving ground bass. It is a lively piece with the three lines intermingling
and contrasting. The work becomes steadily more complicated as it progresses
without ever losing its uplifting nature.