The manuscript of Purcell’s thirteenth fantasia, composed 24th February 1683, breaks off in the thirty-first bar. Colin Matthews has arranged this extant portion without making any alterations beyond prolonging selected notes to produce a bell-like effect, but in composing a further sixty bars to achieve a length comparable to that of the other fantasias he has not been bound by seventeenth century idiom. Purcell’s theme is still present – initially, in a continuation of the slow opening, only as the rhythm of its first three notes, then in its entirety in the quick section which follows – but that does not prevent the music reaching fortissimo climax. As if to apologise for the outburst, the piece ends soberly in the A minor of the opening.
The arrangement for clarinet, violin, cello & piano was first performed at Spadesbourne Hall, Bromsgrove, in October 1995 by the Composers Ensemble. It is dedicated to Barrie Gavin.
There is also an arrangement for string quartet.