Wojciech Dlugoraj

(b 1557 or 1558; d probably after c1619)

Polish lutenist and composer.

'Gostinensis', indicating his birthplace, can refer to many places in different parts of Poland. He was in the service of the Polish nobleman Samuel Zborowski, an important political figure, who had him educated for the position of lutenist at his court but alienated him by his notorious brutality.
In 1579 Dlugoraj fled from his master and entered the Observants' monastery at Krakow, but he was expelled in 1581 because of his improper mode of life. He then became lutenist to an unknown master, but Zborowski sought him out and compelled him to return to his service. In 1583 Dlugoraj revealed politically compromising letters to King Stefan Batory, thereby contributing to the execution of Zborowski and the banishment of his brother Krzysztof.
From 15 September 1583 to December 1586 he was a lutenist at the royal court. He then apparently left Poland after the king's death for fear of the Zborowski family's vengeance and went to Germany, possibly to Stuttgart or Leipzig. The compilation of the great Leipzig lutebook of about 1619 (D-LEm II.6.15) is attributed to him. Literary sources refer to him as an eminent virtuoso. His art most probably lay in skilful improvisation, as may be inferred from the comparatively small number of extant pieces by him and from the improvisational nature of his three most 'personal' compositions, two fantasias and a fugue.
His surviving pieces indicate a marked interest in folkdances, both Polish and Italian (as in the villanellas); one of his fantasias also includes certain dance elements. The 'finale' is a series of three variations on a cantus firmus.


all for lute

Fantasia, finale, 6 villanellas, 160315; ed. in WDMP, xxiii (1953, rev. 2/1964); 5 pieces ed. in MAP, ii/5 (1994)

Fantasia, prelude, villanella, I-Gu (after 1603)

Pol. dance, D-W (dated 1603--4); ed. in ZHMP, ii (1962)

2 villanellas, 2 Pol. dances, fantasia, fugue, volta, LEm (dated 1619, works attrib. 'A.D.', probably by Dlugoraj);
2 Pol. dances ed. in ZHMP, ii (1962);
fantasia and 2 villanellas ed. Z. Steszewska in H. Feicht: Muzyka staropolska (Krakow, 1966)

Other anon. works probably by Dlugoraj, LEm II.6.15


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