Some Wonderful and Random Duets from the Time of Purcell-2OB or OB/EH or OB/BSN or 2BSN
These settings from the time of Purcell (1659-1695) were typical of the writing of that time. Quite often a melodic line was simply harmonized without regard to any particular instrument. Although the music is authentic, some of the titles are fanciful and have been appended by the publisher. After all, Georg Friedrich Handel (1685-1759) and Francois Cramer (1772-1848) were hardly part of the 17th century musical scene! Similarly, tempo indications are only a suggestion as none were included with the original music. The style is often dictated by tempo. Articulations and dynamics were also added by the performers at that time and, except for the last Gigue, none appear in this edition. The musicians (if performed as duets) or the conductor (if performed by a larger ensemble of double reeds) may wish to insert additional markings.
These are duets, and parts have been provided allowing for various combinations, including:
1. Two Oboes
2. Oboe and English Horn
3. Oboe and Bassoon
4. 2 Bassoons
5. "Just a lot of Double Reeds"
Even when performed as an ensemble, which works quite well, they remain duets, with the voices doubling in various octaves. A contrabassoon could even play the 2nd bassoon part, re-enforcing the bass line while applying thoughtful and judicious edits. Because contra players are noted for their extreme sensitivity, nuance, and subtlety . . .