The quartet was commissioned by a wealthy musical patron named Mary Behrend to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the death of the English composer Henry Purcell. Movement three is the crowing glory of the quartet: a magisterial, nineteen minute-long movement in which Britten pays homage to Henry Purcell. The title of the movement � �Chacony� � is an Anglicization of the word �Chaconne�. A Chaconne is a Baroque era musical procedure in which a theme consisting of a bass line and/or a harmonic progression is repeated over and over again beneath ever changing stuff in the other voices. Britten donated his commission fee to support famine relief in India.
This edition contains parts for two violins, viola, and cello. Published by Boosey & Hawkes.
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