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FARNABY: Harpsichord Fantasias (Complete)

Composer(s):AnonymousFarnaby, Giles
Artist(s) Wilson, Glen, harpsichord
Period(s) Renaissance (1400-1600)
Genre Classical Music
Category Instrumental
Catalogue 8.570025
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Album Price
 
MP3
USD 6.99
 

 


Giles Farnaby’s compositions comprise no less than one-sixth of the contents of the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, an immense anthology of keyboard works by the English virginalists. These pieces firmly establish Farnaby in the esteemed company of Byrd, Bull, Gibbons and Tomkins. The fantasias are notable for their richly ornamented counterpoint and for keyboard pyrotechnics without parallel in the music of continental European composers.


   




Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

Farnaby’s surviving keyboard works (53 of them) occupy one-sixth of the total content of the celebrated Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, compiled in the 1620s—in the company of music by Byrd, Bull, Gibbons and Tomkins. His Fantasias, to quote Glen Wilson, their impressive executant here, are ‘sober pieces I strict polyphony with no text and no fixed melody or cantus firmus’, but ending with a toccata of great virtuosity. But they are by no means dull. The initially slow tempo of their presentation is explained when the extraordinary keyboard pyrotechnics begin, clusters of notes thrown off with great panache by Wilson. This is music that you have to explore, to discover Farnaby’s ingenuity. The other items here are arrangements of

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Review By Derek Adlam ,Early Music America,February 2007

Glen Wilson presents this music with complete conviction, ranging from a monumental seriousness to graceful tunefulness. He is strikingly successful in incorporating elaborate flourishes and divisions into Farnaby's harmonic and melodic structures - embellishments that neither disturb nor distort. He also produces the most convincing realization of the enigmatic one- and two-stroke ornament signs that I have yet heard, based on Praetorius's table of ornaments in volume 3 of Syntagma musicum. Wilson's respect for this music is reflected in his choice of the complete fantasias for his recital. Following the composer's own occasional practice, he includes his own exemplary settings of Farnaby's canzonet Construe my meaning and the eight-part madrigal Witness ye heavens.

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