The later Folia better known as 'Folies d'Espagne' for dancing was traditionally a dance for a single person with its origins in Spain as stated by Johann Gottfried Walther (1732) and Heinrich Christoph Koch (1802). Furthermore Koch mentions that around 1800 the dance was no longer practiced.
The melody of the later Folia was so well-known that even famous writers as de la Fontaine and Voltaire used it to give birth to some thoughs.
Anonymous for voice(s and continuo)
Le Cid (from poésies diverses) to Air des Folies d'Espagne
Text: François-René de Chateaubriand (1768–1848), published in 1828 page 558
The King's Health: set to Farrinel's Ground in six strains
Text: Thomas D'Urfey (1653-1723), created in 1682 published 1719
A Royal Ode by Mr. D'Urfey: Congratulating the Happy Accession to the Crown, and Coronation of our most Gracious Sovereign Lady Queen Anne. The Words in Imitation of the foregoing Song, and fitted to some Strains of the same Ground
Text: Thomas D'Urfey (1653-1723), created 1702 (Coronation of Queen Anne was on the 8th of March 1702) published 1719
Couplets pour Mme d'Hervart sur l'air des Folies d'Espagne
Text: Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695), created 1687, published after his death
A Madame de Boufflers, qui s'appelait Madeleine, Poésies mêlées no. 149
Text: Voltaire (1694-1778)
Corelli, Arcangelo (1653-1713)
La Follia, op. 5 no. 12
Fourteen of the twenty-three Follia-variations were performed live as an integrated part of a program where the Dutch author Lou Vleugelhof ( read some poems out of his collection 'De navel van de Aarde' (The navel of the Earth).

Marjan de Beer van Randeraat, Axel Wenstedt, Rob Meeusen
     and Lou Vleugelhof - 15kB
The program:

01- Introduction by Wim Simons, Publisher 'De Beuk', Amsterdam
02- Aria and variation no. 1 fromt Corelli's sonata op.5-12 “La Follia “ duration: 1’27’’
03- Poem: Mijn kleine drenkplaats
04- Corelli's variations 12 and 13, duration: 0’42’’
05- Poem: Magnolia
06- Corelli's variations 19, 20 and 21, duration: 1’48’’
07- Poem: Cactussen
08- Corelli's variations 9 and 10, duration: 0’30’’
09- Poem: Herdenken (watersnood 1953)
10- Corelli's variations 14, 15 and aria, duration: 2’26’’
11- J.S.Bach: Adagio from sonata for violin solo nr. 1 BWV 1014, duration: 2’58’’
12- Poem: Je wintert niet over
13- J.S.Bach: Sarabande sonata for violoncello solo nr. 5 BWV 1011 duration: 1’44’’
14- Poem: Herbegraving
15- J.S.Bach: Andante from sonata for violin solo nr. 1 BWV 1014 duration: 3’03’’
16-22 Intermezzo : 3 quatrains alternated with Corelli's variatons 6, 7, 8 and 4 duration: 4'03"
23- Poem: Rioolbuizen
24- J.S.Bach: part one sonata in F BWV 1021 duration: 3’02’’ ( viola d’amore , organ and violoncello)
25- Poem: Massage
26- J.S.Bach: part two sonata in F BWV 1021 duration: 1’47’’
27- Poem: Gulzigheid duration: 1’11’’
28- J.S.Bach: deel IV sonata in F BWV 1021 1’47’’
29- J. Nozeman (1693-1745): Allegro from first sonata for violin in E (violin, harpsichord and violoncello) duration: 2’19’’
30- Poem: Laatste schooldag 1
31- Nozeman: Adagio from sonata for violin duration: 0’25’’
32- Poem: Laatste schooldag 2
33- Nozeman: Vivace from sonata for violin duration: 1’32’’
34- Epilogue by Wim Simons

  1. Meeusen, Rob (violin and viola d'amore); Wenstedt, Axel (harpsichord and organ); Beer-van Randeraat, Marjan de (violoncello)
    • Performed October 20, 2003 at het oude kerkje van Waalre, Netherlands (the old church of Waalre)
    • Duration of the program: c. 60'00"
    • Released 2003 by uitgeverij De Beuk compact disc without ordernumber from the session of October 20, 2003
Dall'Osto, Diego (1961- )
See FOLLIA for ballet, chamber orchestra and electronics (2004) .
Feuillet, Raoul-Auger (c.1660-c.1720)
Recueil de Dances contenant un très grand nombres des meillieurs Entrées de Ballet de Mr. Pecour (1704), Folies d'Espagnes pour un homme
  1. The choreography of Folie(s) d'Espagne pour une femme
    fragments of the wmv-file choreography of Folie(s) d'Espagne pour une femme- 15kB
    Duration: 1'56", 4896 kB in wmv-format, at the Dance-site
    © 1995 Tönnheims Förlag, used with permission
    Thanks to Mario Herger ( & for making this clip available

    Dancer: Anna Karin Ståhle-Varney from the group "I Saltarelli" video part of the series "The Joy of Dance through the Ages"
    • Eva Nordenfeldt (harpsichord) based upon the Folies d'Espagne by Lully (1672)
    • Released by Tönnheims Förlag, 1995 Sweden
    • Regina Beck-Friis, choreographer and researcher of the dance. (She was a student in Royal Ballet School of the Royal Opera House, Stockholm 1949-1957. Dancer of the Royal Swedish Ballet 1957-1983)
    • Duration: 1'56"
    • Recording date: the video was recorded and filmed at Concerten, Midsummer 1995.

  2. The use of castanets in Folie(s) d'Espagne
    fragments of the wmv-file use of castanets for Folie(s) d'Espagne pour une femme- 15kB
    Duration: 0'40", 1829 kB in wmv-format, at the Dance-site
    © 1995 Tönnheims Förlag, used with permission
    Thanks to Mario Herger ( & for making this clip available

    Dancer: Anna Karin Ståhle-Varney from the group "I Saltarelli" video part of the series "The Joy of Dance through the Ages"
    • Eva Nordenfeldt (harpsichord) based upon the Folies d'Espagne by Lully (1672)
    • Released by Tönnheims Förlag, 1995 Sweden
    • Regina Beck-Friis, choreographer and researcher of the dance. (She was a student in Royal Ballet School of the Royal Opera House, Stockholm 1949-1957. Dancer of the Royal Swedish Ballet 1957-1983)
    • Duration: 0'40"
    • Recording date: the video was recorded and filmed at Concerten, Midsummer 1995.
Fittante, Carlos (choreography and dance) and Gilbert, Robin (dance)
La Follia (La Folia) RV 63, by Antonio Vivaldi (1705)
  1. Voices of Music:
    Carla Moore, baroque violin by Johann Georg Thir, Vienna, Austria, 1754
    Katherine Kyme, baroque violin by Johann Gottlob Pfretzichner, Mittenwald, 1791
    William Skeen, five string baroque cello, Anonymous, Italy, c1680
    David Tayler, baroque guitar by John Rollins, after Jean Voboam, Paris, 1687
    Hanneke van Proosdij, harpsichord by Joop Klinkhamer, Amsterdam (1996), after Ruckers-Goujon, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
    the dancers Carlos Fittante and Robin Gilbert  - 15kB

    Follía by Voices of Music and in a choreography by Carlos Fittante
    Duration: 11'14" direct link to YouTube
    © 2013 by Voices of Music, used with permission

    Voices of Music wrote about this performance at the YouTube page:

    In 1705, eager to make his mark as a composer of both opera and instrumental music, the young Vivaldi published his first set of twelve trio sonatas as Opus 1. The last sonata, which is a highly virtuosic set of variations on the "La Follia" dance pattern (titled only "Follia" in the print), is one of his most famous works; Vivaldi takes Corelli's variations on the same theme-and-bass pattern from Corelli's Opus 5 (1700), which was already a famous work, and adds figuration of even greater complexity.

    • Title: La Follia (La Folia)
    • Choreography Carlos Fittante
    • Dancers Robin Gilbert, Carlos Fittante
    • Costumes Carlos Fittante, Stephen Campos
    • Masks: Jane Stein based on baroque originals carved by Renu of Singapadu, Bali, Indonesia
    • Released at YouTube March 26, 2013 by Voices of Music
    • Duration: 11'14"
    • Recording date: unknown date
    • the website of Voices of Music

Kulp, Jonathan (1970- )
rosetree follies (2000)
A composition based upon the early Folia as a chamber work with the text of a poem by e.e. cummings.

Levanto, Lauri(1936- )
'Vivaldi: la Follia variations', a creation in glass (2007)
Vivaldi: La Follia variations, creation in glass with an embedded magnified photo, © Lauri Levanto, used with permission 15kB

Vivaldi: la Follia variations, 2007
© Lauri Levanto, used with permission

The Folia has not only entered the world of performance and literature, but of visual art as well.
Quite remarkable is the abstract creation in glass by Lauri Levanto. Who would ever imagine that the warm and passionate sound of the Folia could ever end up in such cold shiny material as glass?
The nice thing about abstract art is that everyone can give its own interpretation to the presentation. For me it is no coincidence that most cells are binary (including two items) as the Folia variation can be analyzed into two lines of eight bars each where the second line ending in the tonica is the response to the first one.
Thinking that way it seems only natural to start at the bottom in the red squares where the shape is not 'fully grown' as if the listener has to explore the shape of the structure of the variations which will soon become clear although some fabulous variations distract the attention of the listener/viewer from the basic structure. But I guess this is only one interpretation and most likely not intended by the artist.

Lauri Levanto wrote about his creation in June 2007:

Abstract art has been difficult to me to do. So i decided to take an abstract subject, music. la Folia is one of my favourites, especially the one by Vivaldi. It was a natural starting point. Variations was something I could depict. I tried to get something of the rhytm and intense. The colors are maybe not Mediterrian enough, I am Scandinavian after all. Working in glass determined much of the solution. Much of the curly and layered baroque texture was not applicable.

  1. Levanto, Lauri

Monaldi & Sorti
the dutch ocover of the book 'Secretum' 15kB The only reason this book is mentioned here is that the 'later' Folia theme is mentioned at 30 different pages in the Dutch edition (all references are made by the Dutch fourth edition February 2005). If you like a mixture of fiction and non-fiction in a quasi scientific context, if you like intrigues at the court, if you care for very unlikely events or when you are looking for hopeless love-relations I guess this book might be worth reading. Otherwise, take my advice and skip it.
The setting is Rome in 1700. At this time the theme of La Folia was in its prime, especially in Rome with the publication of Corelli's famous set. Actually Corelli himself hits the scene (page 225) when he gives a concert as director of an orchestra during a wedding party. And yes the orchestra starts with the folia theme as composed by the Maestro. Only the number of musicians, more than a hundred, is highly unlikely for the Baroque period. Pages 226 and 227 give some poetical reflections about the Folia as performed by the large orchestra conducted by Corelli.
Even the Folia-variations of Marin Marais are mentioned as the main personage thought these were the most beautiful but at page 130 he hears some magical Italian variations (like there were already cd's to compare these variations for an Italian gardener and wasn't he the same person who heard the theme for the first time at page 129?).
Another non-fictional character which is introduced in relation to the Folia is the composer/musician Giovanni Henrico Albicastro. He plays a very unrealistic role as part of the inventory of a particular house and every time the main personages go to that place the violinist is playing his Folia at the background, without mentioning anything about his way of living.
More Folia-performances are mentioned at page 129, 134, 137, 254, 255, 259, 261, 262, 344, 345, 358, 359 (Albicastro introduces himself as violinist and composer of Folia-variations), 362, 363, 457, 496, 497, 503, 578, 579, 722, 723, 725, 726, 727, 728 and 731.
  1. Monaldi & Sorti
    • translation in Dutch by Jan van der Haar
    • First published by De Bezige Bij, Amsterdam, The Netherlands in October 2004
    • 768 pages including a few drawings
    • ISBN 90 234 1579 5
the dutch cover of the book 'Veritas' 15kB Veritas is the follow-up of Secretum in a series of seven books and in this volume too the Folia by Albicastro is mentioned at several occasions: pages 87, 224, 328, 334, 610, 626 and 645 in the Dutch edition 2006 to be exact.The piece serves as a decorum of memories and a dream of one of the main figures and hard to avoid, during a mental breakdown to pay respect to the literal meaning of the word Folia, madness.
Thanks to Mrs. Resida who lifted the burden to read the book all the way.
  1. Monaldi & Sorti
    • translation in Dutch by Jan van der Haar
    • First published by De Bezige Bij, Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 2006
    • 728 pages including a few drawings
    • ISBN 90 234 2046 2

Nielsen, Carl (1865-1931)
'Se her, Folie d'Espagne' from the Opera 'Maskarade' (1905)
Although Carl Nielsen is often mentioned as one of the composers who wrote variations on the theme of La Folia, actually he did not. He wrote an ode to La Folia with 'Se her, Folie d'Espagne' in the comic opera in three acts 'Maskarade' but the melody and chord progression are not derived from the Folia-theme.

The ode is part of the opera Maskarade Act One. The setting is Copenhagen in the spring of 1723. Leander has attended a masquerade the night before and he intends to go again that evening because he has fallen in love with a girl he met there. He speaks out his intentions to his servant Hendrik when Magdelone, Leander's mother appears, and she confesses that she too would like to go to the masquerade. She demonstrates to her son that her dancing days are by no means over by singing the ode to the Folies d'Espagne. The ode comes abruptly to an end when Jeronimus her hushband appears and forbids anyone to attend the masquerade.

Danish original text English translation

Kan jeg endnu Folie d'Espagne!

Se Her, Folie d'Espagne

Folie d'Espagnemed din Fod
skal spilles, som du triner
til Skriftestol at gjore Bod
med graviteske Miner

Ha, ha! Ha, ha Den spas er god
hun tripper og hun triner
Hun slaar paa Tromme med sin Fod
mens vi staar her og hviner

Men skont den dolger stolt sit Mod
bag Aerbarheds Gardiner
den rober dog et heftigt Blod
og Kjaerlighedens Piner

Ak, gode Frue, nok en Folie
Nok en Folie, nok en Folie!

Folie d’Espagne med din Fod
skall spilles, som du triner

Ak, du dejlige Folie!
Tra-la-la-la, tra-la!

La-la-la-la - la-la-la-la!
Folie d’Espagne! La-la-la-la!

Tra-la-la-la - la!
Folie, folie d’Espagne

I'm able to do Folie d'Espagne!

Regard, Folie d'Espagne

Folie d'Espagne you must stalk
to give the right impression
in sombre mood, as if you walk
to church to make confession

Ha, ha! Ha, ha The best has come
this tripping and cavorting
she taps her feet and beats a drum
while we stand here supporting

Behind a veil we hide our mood
all sentiment conceiling
yet such a dance can heat the blood
and stir love’s pain and feeling

Ah dear mistress, yet a Folie
Yet a Folie, yet a Folie!

Folie d’Espagne you must stalk
to give the right impression

Ah, thou wonderful Folie!
Tra-la-la-la, tra-la!

La-la-la-la - la-la-la-la!
Folie d’Espagne! La-la-la-la!

Tra-la-la-la-la - la!
Folie, folie d’Espagne

as recorded by The Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and chorus conducted by Frandsen, John.

Act 1, 'Er der nogen hjemme?'
  1. The Danish National Radio Choir and the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conductor John Frandsen 'Maskarade' Magdelone: Gurli Plesner, Leander: Tonny Landy, Jeronimus: Ib Hansen cover 3 lp-set Maskarade, Nielsen 15kB
    • Released 1978 by Unicorn Records 3 lp-set RHS 350/2 (Dansk-Musik-Antologi D.M.A. 032/4) and as 2 compact discs released 1988 by Unicorn-Kanchana DKP compact disc 9074
    • Duration: 4'03"
    • Recording date: June 1-21, 1977 in the Concet Hall of Danmarks Radio, Copenhagen Denmark

Act 1, track 5: 'Er der nogen hjemme?' cover 2cd Maskarade, Nielsen - 29kB cover 2cd Maskarade cheap series, Nielsen - 29kB
  1. The Danish National Radio Choir and the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, conductor Ulf Schirmer
    • Released 1998 by Decca 2 compact discs ordernr. 460 227-2 and 2004 by Decca in cheap series
    • Duration: 4'41"
    • Recording date: June 15-22, 1996 in the Danish Radio Concert Hall Copenhagen Denmark
    • Recording made in cooperation with Danmarks Radio (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) DR

Act 1 'Se Her, Folie d'Espagne'
  1. Wiener Symphoniker conducted by Ulf Schirmer, Magdelone: Julia Juon, Leander: Daniel Kirch, Jeronimus: Günter Missenhardt
    • Maskarade in the English version an integral broadcasting of all the tree acts
    • Broadcasted by Radio and published in the newsgroup Alt.sounds.mp3.classical-music (July 24, 2005 by Zeus)
    • Duration: 2'18" (act 1: 23'42" till 26'00")
    • Recording date: July 20, 2005 in the Festspielhaus in Bregenz

Parys, Nathalie van
The art of Baroque dance: Folies d’Espagne from Page to Stage
cover of the DVD Parys 20kB This release explores the elements that enable us to better understand the historical preservation of dance, from the academic page to its transformation into a vibrant performance.
  1. Parys, Nathalie van
    • Written and directed by Natalie van Parys, dancers Nathalie van Parys and Gilles Poirier, Viola da gamba Emmanuella Guiges,
    • Released 2006 by Dancetime publications as DVD and Video( DVD in English and French Video VHS in English only)
    • Duration: 45'00"
    • More about this release at

Puefken, Evelyn J.L. (?- )
Folies d’Espagne, reconstruction, choreography and castanet-partition
Photo by Bernd Schumacher, showing Jasmin Seifried in the "Folies 
      d'Espagne" 24 April 2005, used with permission 25kB

Jasmin Seifried , a student of
Evelyn JL Puefken, performing
the Folies d'Espagne
© Bernd Schumacher
used with permission

A "danced castanet-concert" for three dancers with castanets, a percussionist with riq, tar, baton, snare-drum, and castanets and a harpsichordist on 4 compositions:

The choreography, a ballet in 9 parts, is mainly based on the reconstruction of three original Folie-solo-choreographies by R.-A. Feuillet: 1) "Folie d'Espagne pour une femme" (theme and 5 variations; in: "Recueil de Dances", 1700); 2) "Folie d'espagne" ( "couplet de Folie d'Espagne avec les bras et la batterie des Castagnettes" in: "Chorégraphie...", 1701) and 3) "Couplet de danse sur une air à trois temps" (in: "Traité de la cadence", 1704). With a solo-menuet and the mimed intermezzi (choreography by Puefken)

Evelyn wrote as a detailed description of the program:

Explanation of the abbreviations in the program:
FA = Music of Farinelli's Folie with variations
FE = Choreographie of Feuillet's "Folie d'Espagne pour une femme" with variations
FE*= Feuillet's folie demo-couplet in "Chorégraphie...", 1700

1) "Folia-theme" (FA)-Part I: Choreographie (FE - theme) and castanets: Solo, + baton; Part II: Duo Choreographie in mirror (axis-symmetrie) and castanets in counterpoint + riq - Intermezzo
2) "Canon" - Var. No 3 (FA) - Choreographie (FE var. I) and castanets: Part I: canon à 3 voce; Part II: Duo reflected in axis-symmetrie with solo-chor. from "Couplet de danse sur une air...", see above) + snare drum - Intermezzo
3) "Spanish" - Var. No 2 (FA) - Choreographie (FE var. II): Trio reflected in point symmetrie, Part I: facing inside, P 2: outside of circle; Castanets Trio-concert - Intermezzo
4) "Menuet" - Choreographie: solo; Solo-castanet-part (and music) in Feuillet (1700): solo with castanet-ostinato by the duo + riq - Intermezzo
5) " Musical clock" - Var. No 4 (FA) - castanets tacet - Choreographie (FE var. III) Part I: "baroque" arm movements; P II: soli/duo/trio - Intermezzo
6) "A-capella" - Variation of the folia-theme only for 4 castanet players, à 8 voce
7) "Irish" - Var. No 6 (FA) - castanets tacet - Choreographie (FE var. IV) Part I: solo; Part II: solo with duo in reflected axis-symmetrie - Intermezzo
8) "Breaks" - Var. No 7 (FA) - Choreographie (FE var. 5) : Trio unisono; castanet-accents in musical breaks
9) "Pomposo" - Var. No 9 (FA) - Choreographie and castanets (FE*): Trio unisono; + solo counterpoint of the tar.

Evelyn wrote about the performance practice of the work:

Choreography and castanets: The castanet-partitions are based on the very special castanet-technique of that time (which Feuillet demonstrates in a short folie, menuet and chaconne in "Chorégraphie...", 1701) and their complexity is encouraged by Marin Mersenne's proposition, that ballet-masters should compose real "concerts" with castanets for their dancers (in "Harmonie universelle", 1636). Therefore Grenadillo castanets of different sizes ( No 2, 5, 7 and 9 - the smaller the castanets, the higher usually the sound) and pitches (each double-pair in the distance of about a minor third) were used for this ballet. And this is, why not only the arranging of the solo dances for three dancers, but also the castanet-partitions follow the musical composing techniques of that time like contest of solo/tutti, counterpoint, canon- and mirror-technique

  1. dancers/castanets: Anna-Maria Beck, Nicole Döbele, Jasmin Seifried, tar (frame drum): Lee Forrest Ferguson, harpsichord: Mami Kurumada
    • Duration: 7'13"
    • Premiered on stage December 21st, 2004, in Freiburg, Germany

See for the publication of the sheet music and video of Evelyn J.L. Puefken and Helmut Timpelan: Faronell’s Division on a Ground Für Clavier-Instrumente und Castagnetten (for keyboard instruments and castanets) html5t.html#puefken

Resida, Wanita (?- )  - 20kB
Folias, 16 drawings inspired on the musical theme La Folia
I know Mrs. Resida in digital space since 2000. It was no accident as she wrote her first encounter with the Folia theme: 'On a fateful summer morning in the year 2000 just before 6 a.m I heard on my radio a piece of music that to my ears alternated between wildly exciting and extremely sad. I associated this piece with a woman gone insane with grief.
. The tune was bound to stay. She did a lot of research into this dark side of musical history which is hardly mentioned in any educational book on music. Collected numerous performances and published an article about Folia manuscripts from an obscure family archive dated back to the 17th century ''La Folia' of de 'Gekte van Spanje' in het Gelders Archief' which was not undetected because the most elaborate Folia of the mansucript has been recorded twice by well-known harpsichord players.
Best of all she shared her knowledge and discoveries of Folias, so much of her labour can be found in these Folia pages as in her own pages dedicated to the Early Folias as Richard Hudson call the Folias before the year 1672 with another structure.
The literal word of Folia is madness and for some composers the theme can turn into an obession or a rich source of inspiration. I guess that Mrs. Resida was somehow infected with the Folia virus because in the year 2001 and 2002 she made some nice drawings inspired by Folias composed by famous musicians as Corelli, Lully and Rachmaninov. Sometimes it is only an impression of an image but it can be very detailed and materialized as well when the notes are part of the drawings. You better check it out yearself. .
Mrs Resida wrote about her passion for the Folia:

My personal story of how I met La Folia and my reaction to this wonderful musical theme, which I expressed in 16 drawings. I present these drawings in a digitale exposition. But my quest for La Folia brought me into the realm of the Early Folia, a fascinating story of the evolution of as succesfull musical form

  1. Resida, Wanita
    • Material: chalk and paper
    • Created in 2001 and 2002, Arnhem, the Netherlands
    • The gallery of all 16 drawings including the background information (in the Dutch language) of each piece you can find at Every drawing is accompanied by a fragment of the specific Folia which was the inspiration for the art.

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