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Purcell, Henry Henry Purcell
United Kingdom United Kingdom
(1659 - 1695)
278 sheet music
251 MP3
71 MIDI







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Purcell, Henry: "Fairest Isle" from King Arthur for String Quartet

"Fairest Isle" from King Arthur for String Quartet
Z.628 Act V No. 38
Henry Purcell




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Composer :Henry PurcellPurcell, Henry (1659 - 1695)
Instrumentation :

String Quartet

Style :

Baroque

Arranger :
Publisher :
Henry PurcellMagatagan, Mike (1960 - )
Date :1691
Copyright :Public Domain
Henry Purcell (1659 - 1695), was an English composer. Although incorporating Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, Purcell's legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music. He is generally considered to be one of the greatest English composers; no other native-born English composer approached his fame until Edward Elgar.

The "operatic" hit of the last decade of the seventeenth century in London was the work of a composer already being acknowledged England's best ever and the poet (John Dryden) who then and now is considered the best of his century. Technically, the work is called a "semi-opera," as it was a mixture of spoken passages and musical ones. The English were not ready to embrace full-length grand operas in the French or Italian styles in their own language.

It is set in the time of King Arthur's battles against the Saxon King Oswald (and his Wizard Merlin against Oswald's wizard Osmond). Each scene is full of action, be it ritual, pageantry, battle, or scenes of magic, and all the music flows directly from the action in a convincing manner. The dramatic crux of the story is Arthur's wooing of the blind Queen Emmeline. (It is a peculiar convention of semi-operas of the time that the two leading characters do not sing, but this was not a disadvantage as then many of the leading singers were not convincing actors.)

The production was by the Theatre Royal company at Dorset Garden on the Thames at Blackfriars, which had the stage machinery needed for the fast and elaborate special effects and scene changes.

"Fairest Isle" is one of the best-known airs from Purcell's theatrical works. Its placement in the opera is a choice of genius. It flows straight out of a drunken, dancing revel by peasants. The sudden change of mood is a thing of beauty, and the song "Fairest Isle" praises the goddess Venus in dignified and elegant phrases.

The "fairest isle" of the title is not, by the way, Britain, but Venus' birthplace, Cyprus and although originally written for Opera, I Arranged this piece for String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).
Source / Web :MuseScore
Sheet central :King Arthur (11 sheet music)
Added by magataganm the 2014-08-12


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Equipment & Sheet music
Making The Grade - Violin
Carefully arranged and graded pieces for young violinists.


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This sheet music is part of the collection of magataganm :
Viola Arrangements

Viola Arrangements
Sheet music list :
› "Joy to the World" for String Quartet
› 'Élégie' for Viola & Harp - Viola and Harp
› "3 Chants Sacrés" for Viola & Piano
› "Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ" for Viola
› "Albinoni's Adagio" for Viola & Harp - Viola and Harp
› "All They That See Him Laugh Him to Scorn" for Horn & Strings
› "All Through the Night" for Violin, Viola & Harp
› "Allemanda" from the Partita for Violin No. 2 for Viola - Viola
› "Alma Redemptoris Mater" for String Quartet
› "Am Tage Aller Seelen" for Viola & Harp