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John Holloway Ensemble's New Album, "Henry Purcell: Fantazias"

Released on ECM New Series, the album presents Purcell’s fantazias No.1 through 12, sharing the emotional nuance and technical complexity of the works

John Holloway and his ensemble — violinists/violists Monika Baer and Renate Steinmann, and cellist Martin Zeller — released their new album, "Henry Purcell: Fantazias" on ECM New Series.

The album presents Baroque composer Henry Purcell's "fantazias" No. 1 through 12, sharing the emotional nuance and contrapuntal idiosyncrasies within each piece.

Composed in the summer of 1680 — a time when the fantasia was already considered old-fashioned and had been replaced by the sonata — Purcell’s “fantazias” turned out to be the very last ensemble fantasia to be published in England. Each piece expresses the juxtaposition between joy and sorrow during a time of strict self-imposed disciplines on complex counterpoint.

Holloway remarks how “it is tempting to see their brilliant distillation of the very best of Byrd, Lawes, Jenkins, and Locke as a personal farewell to a kind of music, which in Purcell’s own chamber music would soon be superseded by sonatas.”


Listen to Henry Purcell's The Double Dealer, Z. 592: No. 1, Overture below


To purchase and listen to the new album, click here.


John Holloway has specialized in Renaissance and Baroque music for over five decades, with many distinguished recordings. He is the founder of the baroque ensemble L’Ecole d’Orphée and became Musical Director of the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra in 2001. Holloway made his ECM debut in 1999 with a recording of the Sonatae unarum fidium by J.H. Schmelzer and has recorded eight further albums — including this release — for the label since.

Holloway has given conference speeches to the European String Teachers’ Association in Germany and England. Since retiring from the concert platform and recording studio, he has continued to teach, conduct, and develop a website devoted to the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin by J.S. Bach.

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