Henry Purcell

Fantasia in F major


About this work

The opening theme for Fantazia number six is very instrumental. Its range is only a seventh, but it begins on the high end of that seventh and twists and turns with leaps of a third, a sixth, and a fourth to get to the bottom of its line. The secondary theme also employs leaps of a fourth. Purcell creates tension in this section by compressing the space in which the theme makes its contrapuntal entrances, and then he relaxes the tension he has created by slowing the rhythmic activity back down.This piece is also far ranging harmonically. The slow movement uses elegant dotted rhythms and chordal suspensions in a seamless texture. The quick contrapuntal movement uses a scaler theme in its original form and in inversion. A slow coda of suspensions brings the piece back to f major and closes this "fancie", as the English called them.