Karlheinz Essl

Portrait KHE


Puzzle of Purcell

for mezzo soprano and electric guitar
2017

Commissioned by Adrian Pereyra



Basics | Score | Performances


Puzzle of Purcell is a piece for mezzo soprano and electric guitar based on two songs of Henry Purcell (1659-1695): Music for a while (from the theater play „Oedipus”) and the famous Cold Song from his semi-opera „King Arthur”. Selected fragments of those songs form the material of my composition, where they are shuffled and re-combined in a highly intuitive manner.

The electric guitar adds a new dimension to this music, which was originally rooted in the early English baroque by introducing sounds and playing techniques from rock music and heavy metal. By this, a new image has been rendered which bridges a time span of more than 300 years, telling a tale about grief and solace.

music-for-a-while

Requirements

An electric guitar with a humbucker pickup. The setting on the amplifier should create a warm, distorted sound with a long sustain. Playing techniques like hammer-on, pull-off, bending and right-hand tapping are used in this piece and are not explained in detail here. It is recommended to pluck with fingers instead of a plectron.

At some points, the mezzo soprano has to sing "shivering" repetitions of a note in order to evoke the impression of a freezing creature, as in ms. 21 etc.


Score

The score of Puzzle of Purcell can be downloaded for free. Please note that the music is protected by copyright.


Karlheinz Essl: Puzzle of Purcell, p.1

Excerpt from Karlheinz Essl's Puzzle of Purcell (2017)
© 2017 by Karlheinz Essl


Karlheinz Essl: Puzzle of Purcell, p.5

Excerpt from Karlheinz Essl's Puzzle of Purcell (2017)
© 2017 by Karlheinz Essl




Home Works Sounds Bibliography Concerts


Updated: 21 Mar 2017