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Lament for Mr Henry Purcell (trios: flute, harp, viola)

by Jennifer Fowler (1995)

Score Sample

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This sample is from the Quartets: Flute, cor anglais, clarinet, viola version of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Geoffrey Collins, Patricia Pollett, Marshall McGuire from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 96.

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Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 96.


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Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 96.

Library shelf no. CD 2961 [Available for loan]

Lament for Mr Henry Purcell


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Lament for Mr Henry Purcell : for alto flute, viola and harp / Jennifer Fowler.

Library shelf no. Q 785.4413/FOW 1 [Available for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (4 more)  

Work Overview

As a rememberance of Purcell's early death in 1695 at the age of 36, I have chosen to weave a piece around some fragments taken from Dido's Lament. In the first section, which explores the first 3 notes of Dido's Lament (a rising minor 3rd), the instruments wind together within a restricted range, and with a restricted order of notes. The flute and viola are in canon. Not until the end of this section is the 3rd note of Dido's Lament heard to repeat and then drop a semitone, to conclude Dido's first phrase.

The music then expands into a free-er, less restricted range of notes and within this are references to the rhythm of Dido's words: "Remember me". This reference becomes clearer and ends the piece, after a slower section which relates to the chorus following Dido's death.

There is a very long tradition of composers doing homage to other composers by quoting fragments of existing works and making something new out of it. I find it particularly interesting to cross the centuries and try to find a stylistic language with which to reconcile quite different musical traditions.

Work Details

Year: 1995

Instrumentation: Alto flute, viola, harp.

Duration: 8 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

First performance: by Sabeth Trio Basel — 5 Oct 98. Aula de l'Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland

Revised 1999.

Performances of this work

20 Jun 99: National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave, Washington DC, USA. Featuring Roosevelt Ensemble.

20 Jun 99: National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, USA. Featuring Roosevelt Ensemble.

14 Apr 99: Seymour Centre, Sydney, NSW. Featuring Marshall McGuire, Geoffrey Collins, Patricia Pollett.

5 Oct 98: Aula de l'Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland. Featuring Sabeth Trio Basel.

8 Mar 95: St John's Church, Smith Square, London, UK. Featuring Sounds Positive ensemble, David Sutton-Anderson.

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