Enríquez de Valderrábano

Fantasía 13 de contrapunto


Silva de sirenas (1547), fol. 70


Previous Next
Source title Esta fantasia sea de tañer co[n]forme al tiempo, porque es de contrapunto. Segundo grado. Quinto tono.
Title in contents   Fantasia suelta en el segundo grado de contra punto.
Text incipit


Category abstract

Genre fantasia

Fantasia type Par ImP

Mode 5

Voices 3

Length (compases) 79


Tuning G

Courses 6

Final IV/0

Highest I/5

Lowest VI/2

Difficulty medium

Tempo fast

Song Text


Vocal notation


Rubric: “This fantasia has to be played according the tempo, because it is contrrapuntal. Second level [of difficulty]. Mode 5.” This is another polythematic imitative fantasia of a brief short 79 compases, with characteristic lack of polyphonic rigour. It is charming and vivacious, but rather facile, beginning with 2 voice canon of theme 1, then somewhat freer counterpoint with several statements of theme 2 interwoven with varying degree of rigour in the way that Valderrábano makes his melodious free textured style. From c. 42 various motives are introduced that emphasise upward motion in seminima values, particularly in lower part. At c. 63 theme 2 is reintroduced, canonically treated until c. 70, where a classic example of the “Valderrabano long arch” forms the cadence. The recurrence of theme 2, and similarity throughout shows total unity of concept.

Valderrábano makes no declaration that this fantasia is based on another by Francesco da Milano. This discovery was made by American lutenist Dick Hoban and communicated to me in an email (19/09/1996): He indicates that a “close comparison of Francesco's fantasia #65 and Valderrabano's fantasia #13 will demonstrate that the former was a significant source for musical material parodied in the latter. Valderrabano quotes Francesco's work no less than six times and uses the quoted musical material in the exact sequence in which it is found in the model. In one instance, the quote runs for 8 bars with the average being 4 bars. Frequently, the quotes run note for note. The effect of his extensive and sequential use of the source musical material gives the impression that Valderrabano was tightening the development of Francesco's fantasia structure. The quoted material is all found in the first half of Francesco's fantasia”
The quoted musical relationships are outlined below:
Francesco #65 Valderrabano #13
total bars: 149 total bars: 79
bar 11-18 8 bar 32-39 8
bar 20-24 5 bar 41-45 5
bar 35-39 4 bar 48-53 6
bar 41-45 5 bar 55-58 4
bar 52-56 5 bar 63-66 4
bar 60-62 3 bar 68-70 3

The total quoted: 30 bars 38% of the work