Josh Moore Plays A Fancy by Dowland

Josh Moore performs A Fancy (Poulton No.73) by John Dowland (1563-1626). This comes via Guitar Salon International and their YouTube channel and performed on a Wolfgang Jellinghaus La Romantica guitar. Great performance here with lots on nice attention to the motivic exchanges in the work as well as the sprightly rhythm.

Here’s a nice little write-up by by Nigel North via this Naxos album.

The lute repertoire of Elizabethan England abounds with PavansGalliardsAlmains, and variations on popular ballad tunes, but in comparison with the rest of Europe we find very few Fantasies. In this respect Dowland is unusual. He left us seven wonderful Fantasies written in various forms. Although this may seem small in number, Dowland wrote many more fantasies than his English contemporaries.To an Elizabethan, a “Fantasie” or “Fancye” was a purely instrumental work in which the composer could literally follow his own Fancy and make an expressive and varied piece of music without any restrictions of form. In writing about the English consort Fantasy, Thomas Morley described it in 1599 as The most principal and chiefest kind of music which is made without a ditty…, that is when a musician taketh a point at his pleasure and wresteth and turneth it as he list… In this may more art be shown than in any other music because the composer is tied to nothing...

Fantasy, P73,is Dowland’s “eighth” Fantasie, often known today as the Tremolo Fantasie, the modern title describing the repeated figuration at the piece’s conclusion. The unique copy of this fantasie is found in the Cambridge University Library, Ms. Dd.9.33, preceded by a version of Dowland’s Fantasie No. 6, unattributed in this manuscript but confirmed as Dowland’s in several other sources. After some judicious editing this “tremolo” fantasie does yield a convincing fantasie worthy of a young Dowland.

Fancyes, Dreams and Spirits – John Dowland Lute Music Volume 1.

Ask a Question or Leave a Positive Comment