The Phantasy Quintet was written at the request of Mr W. W. Cobbett, as one of his series for various combinations of instruments. Cobbett was an amateur violinist, and a patron and enthusiast of chamber music. He is credited with the concept of modeling a work on the Elizabethan form of “Phantasy” or “Fancy.” It is in four very short movements, which succeed each other without a break. There is one principal theme (given out by the viola at the start) that runs through every movement—Prelude, Scherzo (this is a quick movement—the longest of the four), “Alla sarabanda” (here the 'cello is silent and the other instruments are muted.), and Burlesca (this movement is, for the most part, in the form of a “basso ostinato”).
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