Fancy on Purcell's Five Reasons - (2011)
The theme is drawn from The Catch Club or Merry Companions being a Choice Collection of the most Diverting Catches for three and Four voices Compos'd by the late Mr. Henry Purcell, Dr. Blow & c. The text for this round [ 1 ] reads: "If all be true that I do think, there are Five Reasons we shou'd Drink: good Wine, a Friend, or being Dry, or lease we should be by and by, or any other Reason why."
One finds this text as well in a form from Purcell's contemporary, Henry Aldrich, whose catches also appear in these restoration era collections. It reads, "Si bene quid memini, causae sunt quinque bibendi; Hospitis adventus, praesens sitis atque futura, Aut vini bonitas, aut quaelibet altera causa."
The overall shape is of an arch made up of variations, moving from piano to fortissimo and back again to piano. The theme of the catch itself begins in the top voice as the pickup to measure five and then taken by the second voice ten measures later.
The end of this arch form includes unusual pauses as the effects of a good night's drinking might also include some stumbling. For this, one might imagine the "merry companions" who are of the title of the collections at the end of their evening's entertainments. For all the stumbling, the piece ends with the Tierce de Picardy as a reminder that such evenings might well be jolly.
The entire work is here, , an MP3 file [ circa 3' 00" ]
The score for Fancy on Purcell's Five Reasons is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this organ score.
Fancy on Purcell's Five Reasons
[ 1 ] This delightful round is as follows: