Talk:19 Fancies (Gibbons, Orlando)

This is an interesting 1920s edition, and doesn't tell us much about the original fancies (or fantasies, often written for viols). The part-writing suggests they may have been for 5-part consort, and have been reduced for piano. In any case, a keyboard edition makes the writing easily followed, and these are a virtual textbook of secular English instrumental music of the Jacobean era. They are not, however, typical of keyboard music of the time, which tends to be more florid, as in the virginal writings of William Byrd and Giles Farnaby. Only the first section of the Fancies is present here.

As examples of Gibbons, however, they are trivial. This is the author of "The Silver Swan", arguably the greatest English Madrigal, "The Cryes of London", a piece so popular he had to write a sequel, and "This Is The Record of John", an accompanied verse anthem which undertakes to set the entire first chapter of the Book of John. All these are in 5 parts (the latter employs vocal ensemble for the refrains, in addition to the viol parts).

More Gibbons would be welcome to this project.

One more thing of interest about the edition -- it has a page of introduction in which the editor advocates a metric system more logical than the 4/4, 6/8 anachronism we have been stuck with for centuries. This was slightly radical in the 1920s (Bartok, among others, was in favor of changing to some different format); ironically, it is even more radical today, when scholars have mostly given up, and composers go their own way regardless. --Josephbyrd 12:31, 26 August 2007 (EDT)