This performance by Phantasm is one among many that I have on my iTunes' frequently played list. At last count, I've listened to this fantasy eighty-seven times. There are a few reasons why I am moved by this music.
Each instrument is playing its own melody. Not one of the melodies is boring.
The Fantasy starts in a long, low, slow arc of six notes upwards to the first discernible melody. I like to move my arms in tandem with these slow arcs...and then soon, I am slowly waving them over my head as if they are branches of a stately birch tree moved by a gentle breeze; then I find myself moving around the room in an Allemande, then a Pavane, a Galliard and then back to a birch tree sunning itself in the risen sun. And thus, I move and am moved.
Lawes' music was forgotten -- because it was jarringly dissonant and/or antique to the next generation, because he was a Catholic and a Royalist and fought on the losing side during a horrifying religious civil war, and because his greatest works were caught in that transition from modal to tonal musical language - a revolution of style and substance. William was loyal to Charles the First during the Civil War (1642-1651) and was killed by an errant bullet in the Battle of Rowton Heath. His body was lost and there is no burial spot.
The music moves in spine-tingling ways; but it is abrupt change sometimes and then settles in great repose within a minute. Quicksilver, it is sensual and vicious like a Gesualdo madrigal and intellectually rigorous like Bach counterpoint. His music's charms require patience and concentrated attention to time, gesture, and affect.
Composer Randall Davidson creates music, and performs, produces, and promotes music of others. This blog is an annotated, virtual playlist of the music that he loves and that he calls "sticky" (aka memorable).