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Ground in G minor

British Library, Add.MS33236

The date of composition of the Ground in G minor is unknown but, intriguingly, it shares both its scoring and key with a Purcell trio sonata constructed over a ground bass, a work which dates probably from the early 1680s, and which follows a similar trajectory: as with the G major Chaconne, both grounds gradually increase in animation until busy rhythmic activity subsides into a more reflective conclusion. Another version survives of Blow’s piece, scored for a single violin and bass; it is probably the original, the hand of the arranger of the present two-violin version being betrayed at the beginning of the ninth variation, where the ground is passed, abruptly and for only a couple of bars, to the second violin part, and there decorated.

from notes by Bruce Wood © 2017


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