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The Rondeau from the incidental music (Z570) that Henry Purcell composed for the play Abdelazer, or the Moor’s Revenge.
HD Video from the Voices of Music Brandenburg Concerto project, 2013.
One of Purcell’s last works, the Abdelazer was staged in 1695, the year of Purcell’s death, and the text of the play was written Aphra Behn. The Rondeau’s place in history was assured when the composer Benjamin Britten chose it for his Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell (1946). After Purcell’s death, his wife Frances gathered much of his unpublished works, and these were printed as “A collection of ayres, compos’d for the theatre and upon other occasions.”