Britten and Purcell

Saturday 20 Oct 2018 11am

Part of Britten Weekend: The String Quartets

Britten’s tribute to a musical hero

Doric Quartet
Olivier Stankiewicz oboe

Purcell Fantasias (transcribed for string quartet) 22′
Britten Phantasy Quartet 15′; String Quartet No.2 31′

Britten was bewitched by Purcell, his debt to his fellow Englishman most often traced through his vocal writing. But it is easy to imagine his delight at Purcell’s instrumental Fantasias, masterpieces for viol consort each a polished jewel of transparent precision and radiant beauty. Britten’s expansive second quartet is suffused with these qualities, written in explicit homage to Purcell 250 years after his death. Hot on the heels of Britten’s return from the USA, and the triumph of Peter Grimes, it cemented his musical homecoming.