Henry Purcell (1659-1695): Chacony in G minor Z730

The Chacony in G minor is one of Purcell’s best known pieces. It dates from sometime around 1680 – which means he’d have been all of  21 when he composed it. It’s based on a freely varied descending tetrachord which technically makes it a passacaglia rather than a chaconne (‘chacony’ is just an anglicisation of the French word) and was written to accompany dancing, either at the court or in the theatre. Its ground is a song tune (Scocca Pur) by Giovanni Battista Dragi  after whom Purcell named his first son. That fact and the fact that he also set it for harpsichord implies to me that it had a particular personal significance for Purcell. Enjoy  :-)

markfromireland