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Wojciech Długoraj (ca. 1557 - ca. 1619)

    Długoraj Wojciech was born either 1557 or 1558, called 'Gostinensis', which can point to many places in Poland, lutenist and composer. He was in service at Samuel Zborowski's court who also had him educated as a courtly lutenist. But because of his brutality Zborowski was detested by Dlugoraj all the same, the lutenist fled the court in 1579 and became part of a monastic community of which he was expelled again in 1581 due to his unfitting lifestyle.

As he was indirectly responsible for the execution of Zborowski (through his revelation of politically compromising letters), he feared the revenge of Zborowski's family. Therefore he moved to Germany; the big compilation of the 'Leipzig Lutebook' of 1619 is being attributed to him. His preserved works show a high interest in folkdances (especially Polish and Italian, amongst these mainly villanelle); according to literary sources he must have been an exceptionally vituosic player on the instrument and a brilliant improviser as well.

His place and date of death are unknown - but maybe he died shortly after 1619 in Germany.

Modern transcriptions from lute tablatures by Piotr Poźniak:

Information supplied by Monika Fahrnberger

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