Purcell – Rondo in D Minor Sequence

This sequence is based on the first melody from Henry Purcell‘s Rondeau in D minor, from his Abdelazer suite. Unless you are a baroque music buff, you are more likely to know this melody as the theme from Benjamin Britten‘s Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra.

This music makes me imagine a time when Kings and Queens lived in castles and wore powdered wigs and fancy clothes. This is the music that would ring through the halls and color the day. It is noble and refined, and dances forward like a majestic horse carrying a noble knight.  

When I listen to the video below, I am immediately drawn in by the richness and vibrancy of the sound, which comes from a combination of fine playing and the unique qualities of each handmade instrument. Have a quick listen, and notice the dancing pulse and the shapes of the notes. 

To my ear, this style is slightly different from modern orchestral playing (which you can hear in the video below). I hear a slight blossom into each note from the period ensemble, and you can even see the bows start each note carefully then speed up to add meat to the sound. 

Modern orchestral playing, and especially American brass playing typically features notes that start immediately. Have fun experimenting with your note shapes on this sequence. 

Strive for a noble, refined sound, with a majestic, dancing pulse that slightly emphasizes each downbeat. 

Happy Practicing!!

Excerpt begins at 2:00

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