Passacaglia

for solo harpsichord

--- Brian Inglis

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Composer Brian Inglis
Year of Composition 1992
Duration ca.4'
Composer

Instrumentation

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Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-bi1p1

Notes

This piece was originally written as part of incidental music for a production of Christopher Hampton’s play Dangerous Liaisons (based on the epistolatory novel Les Liaison Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos) in Durham in 1992. The production updated the scenario from 1780s Paris to 1980s London, and the music was conceived similarly as a modernisation of 18th-century keyboard models. The Passacaglia is a fusion of a series of ground bass structures written to accompany the Vicomte de Valmont’s seduction of the young, innocent Cecile de Volanges and the tortured Madame de Tourvel, who discovers through Valmont the bliss of consummated love.

The music was first heard in recorded form in Durham Assembly Rooms, 26-29 February 1992. The concert premiere followed on 8 June 1992, Durham University Music School, Palace Green (Brian Inglis, harpsichord). The piece has been adapted for piano, and is published in this format—also by Composers Edition—as part of Four Piano Pieces (ce-bi1-fpp1). A recording of the piano version is available on the album Living Stones released by Sargasso Records (www.sargasso.com) SCD28081.