Free Download: Improvisations on 17th-century English tavern music

This Week's Free Download

Free Download: Improvisations on 17th-century English tavern music

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This week's free download is Henry Purcell's Curtain Tune from Timon of Athens, performed by Norweigan violinist Bjarte Eike with his period-performance group Barokksolistene. The disc it appears on, The Alehouse Sessions, features improvisations on music from the English 17th-century tavern, and received four stars for performance and five for recording in the January issue of BBC Music Magazine.

Timon of Athens was originally a play by William Shakespeare, and follows the story of Timon who generously spends his wealth helping people in need, and is ultimately left bankrupt as a result, and none of the people he has helped come to his rescue. 

In 1674, Thomas Shadwell produced an adaptation of the play, The History of Timon of Athens, to which Purcell later composed the music. 

'For the past decade the enterprising period instrument ensemble, directed by Bjarte Eike, has been moonlighting with 'alehouse sessions' raising a glass or three to the boozy world of msuic-making to be found in the taverns where Henry Purcell and his contemporaries liked to unwind', writes Paul Riley. 'A no holds barred hooley of riotous improvisatory give and take.'

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