Introduction and Rondeau (1695)
Henry Purcell (1659 — 1695)
Saxophone Sextet with optional timpani
Introduction and Rondeau from Abdelazer by Henry Purcell arranged for Saxophone Sextet with optional timpani.
Abdelazer or “The Moor’s Revenge” is a 1676 play by English playwright Aphra Behn. The play was revived in 1695 and Henry Purcell was commissioned to provide incidental music for the performance. He wrote ten selections to accompany the play. The 1695 revival of Abdelazer was a failure, but Purcell’s music remained popular and influential.
The Introduction in this arrangement is taken from the first section of the overture to the play. Rondeau is the first number that occurs during the play. It is one of the most popular pieces composed by Purcell. It was used in1946 by Benjamin Britten as the theme for his orchestral work The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. the Rondeau from Abdelazer has frequently been used in film and TV soundtracks.
All dynamics and articulations in this arrangement are editorial. None were included in the original composition. If you wish to follow historically informed performance practices, please do so.
A virtual performance video of this arrangement is available on the “Video Tab” above or you can see it on YouTube.
A few specifics about this arrangement:
- The arrangement may be played without timpani. Simply begin playing at measure 3 of the Introduction. No other changes are required.
- In all cases, trill from the upper auxiliary.
- In the first movement, consider the 16th note triplets as pick-up notes to the dotted quarters. Drive the triplets into the following dotted quarter. However, the triplets are played on time, at the second half of the beat.
- From measure 1 of the Introduction through measure 14, allow a slight space at the end of the dotted quarter note. From measure 15 through the end of the Introduction everything should be played legato and full value.
- “Rondeau” may be played as a stand-alone piece without the “Introduction’.
This saxophone sextet arrangement includes the following parts: Soprano Sax, Alto Sax 1, Alto Sax 2, Tenor Sax 1, Tenor Sax 2, Bari Sax, Timpani (optional)
- Saxophone part ranges are shown below
- Audio and score excerpts are available above.
- Registered users can download a complete sample score and full length audio file of Introduction and Rondeau from Abdelazer on the ‘Samples’ tab.
About the Composer
Henry Purcell (10 September 1659 – 21 November 1695)
Henry Purcell is regarded by many today as the greatest English composer of all time. Even more than 300 after years of his death, he is one of the great British composers. Although his life was brief (he died at age 36), he left a large body of work. His genius is apparent in his magnificent compositions including stage works, church music, instrumental music, keyboard music, operas and plays with incidental music and songs.
Although he incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements, Purcell’s was a uniquely English form of Baroque music. Purcell appealed to the audience and was in great demand to compose music for the stage productions from 1695 to 1707. Britain suffered a huge loss when Purcell passed away at the tender age of 36.
Ralph Vaughan Williams, Benjamin Britten, Michael Tippett, and Gustav Holst were among his greatest admirers in the 20th century.