Nine Fantasias for two Viols (or other Instruments)

Morley, Thomas

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Morley Nine Fantasias for two Viols (or other Instruments)

Thomas Morley was born in 1557 and died in 1604.  He was, for a time, organist of St. Paul’s Cathedral, and in 1588, obtained a degree of Bachelor of Music at Oxford.  In July 1592 he became a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, a position only accorded to musicians of high standing.

Thomas Morley was a pupil of William Byrd and studied under him not only music but also mathematics.  In 1593 appeared Morley’s first publication, Canzonets or Little Short Songs to Three Voyces.  This was followed, in 1594, by Madrigals to Foure Voyces and, in 1595, The First Booke of Ballets to Five Voyces.  In 1595 also appeared The First Booke of Canzonets to Two Voyces.  This volume contains the nine fantasies in two parts here presented; each canzonet being followed by one of these fantasies in the original edition.

A study of the fantasies in this book will show their near relationship to the English madrigals of the period.  They are as perfect examples of contrapunctal composition as can be found at any period, and Morley has succeeded in accomplishing, with two parts, a completeness to which nothing can be added.

- Playing score

Dolmetsch, Nathalie
Baerenreiter Germany

Additional Information

Renaissance Period
Viol, Viola Da Gamba