Author Topic: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!  (Read 19547 times)

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Offline Que

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2013, 08:40:32 PM »
How could I have missed this?? The samples sound pretty good to my ears, anyone able to comment? :)



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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #41 on: August 25, 2013, 02:46:38 AM »
How could I have missed this?? The samples sound pretty good to my ears, anyone able to comment? :)



Q

Well, I own the set and have listened to it twice. Bonizzoni plays as expected in a very virtuoso way and in some of the harpsichord pieces sometimes too much so, that the pulse is pushed a bit too much forwards, and I would have preferred a bit more reflection. The organ pieces on the other hand are beautifully done without any rushing.

The existing more or less complete recordings of Frescobald´s keyboard music (Vartolo, Aymes, Loreggian, Bonizzoni) have so different virtues, that you will want to own them all.

Recently I relistened to Baiano´s  Frescobaldi harpsichord CD. He is more imaginative than Bonizzoni, and to be preferred to him I think. But the most imaginative and intense expressive Frescobaldi playing I have heard comes from Aapo Hakkinen on his single harpsichord CD (Alba).
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #42 on: March 17, 2015, 08:28:43 AM »
Has anyone read Frederick Hammond's book? Would they recommend it?
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Offline Purusha

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2015, 09:59:17 AM »
A promising set seems to be the one by Richard Lester:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qWyy-TQJyI

So far i only tried Loreggian (which i didn't really like, not sure why. I felt he was making the music to be more virtuosic than it is while glossing over some of the contrapuntal subtlety, or at least that's how i remember it) and the one by Vartolo (who's approach is... unique, to say the least). Richard Lester seems to be like a good compromise. Lively tempos, but with a good vertical sense, at least judging by that youtube clip. One of this days i'll have to buy the whole set.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #44 on: March 21, 2015, 01:45:56 AM »
Because I do not know very much about Frescobaldi's music I recently bought this box set....




I am quite conscious that it gets mixed reviews and reactions but I wanted to get an overall flavour of the composer's music and I intend to use it as a launching pad for further exploration in the future should I find the music to my taste.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #45 on: March 25, 2015, 09:12:03 AM »
Enjoy, and please post what you think!
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #46 on: July 26, 2016, 11:56:28 AM »
   

I can't find anything about the organ on the Bellotti recording, it sounds good, old, Italian and interestingly tuned. The organ on the recording by Franco Paturzo is extremely characterful - at Arezzo cathedral. Again it sounds interestingly tuned.

Both performers are flamboyant, to some extent my critical faculties have been disarmed by their energy, spirit.  And by the wonderful dissonances! Is Paturzo a bit crude? is Bellotti a bit stiff? I don't care, those questions were just swept aside by the brio of it all.

Both these CDs were for me really revealing, because I had know idea how well things like the cento partite sopra passacaglia  can sound on a suitable organ. I knew I liked Italian organs from my experience with the one in Naples conservatory. But these are both really special instruments.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 12:01:01 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #47 on: July 26, 2016, 08:53:04 PM »


This recording of music played on harpsichord by Richard Egarr in my opinion presents an entirely original vision of the meaning of Frescobaldi's music. As often conceived, the keyboard music is mystical and virtuosic. But Egarr completely eradicates all of that, and shows is a Frescobaldi which is small scale, domestic, lyrical, rather relaxing to listen to.

I think the approach sheds some new light on the relation between Froberger and Frescobaldi, not formally but emotionally. At least, I was surprised to find occasional intimations of the sort of melancholy which pervades Froberger's music, even his Italianate music, in these touching and intimate Frescobaldi performances by Egarr. 

It made me think of the small number of Froberger recordings on clavichord - Jaroslav Tuma and Thurston Dart - as far as I know no one has recorded Frescobaldi on a clavichord but I wish Egarr had chosen clavichord rather than harpsichord. His gentle approach would have benefited from the expressivity and colourfulness of the instrument.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 09:26:18 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Que

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #48 on: July 26, 2016, 09:11:44 PM »
I seriously doubt if Frescobaldi ever used a clavichord, but a spinet could have been an option. :)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #49 on: July 26, 2016, 10:41:25 PM »
I seriously doubt if Frescobaldi ever used a clavichord, but a spinet could have been an option. :)

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Didn't they have clavichords in Italy then?
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #50 on: July 27, 2016, 01:27:10 AM »
Maybe the range in Frescobaldi is  too big for a clavichord or a spinet.
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Offline Que

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #51 on: July 27, 2016, 08:27:52 PM »
Didn't they have clavichords in Italy then?

I'm sure there were... :) It's just that I haven't seen Frescobaldi on a clavichord before the youtube you posted.

I've done  some googling, and it appears that the clavichord largely disappeared in England, France and Italy quite early on, during the 16th century.
It remained relatively popular in Germanic countries.

From The Harpsichord and Clavichord: An Encyclopedia, edited by Igor Kipnis:

The inventories of Frecobaldi patron's collection list organs and graviorgans (combinations of harpsichord and organ), and harpsichords and spinets of various national building traditions; organs and harpsichords with enharmonic keyboards (on which Frescobaldi is known to have performed) are found, but clavichords do not occur.

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« Last Edit: July 27, 2016, 08:37:06 PM by Que »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #52 on: July 28, 2016, 09:42:46 PM »
I'm sure there were... :) It's just that I haven't seen Frescobaldi on a clavichord before the youtube you posted.

I've done  some googling, and it appears that the clavichord largely disappeared in England, France and Italy quite early on, during the 16th century.
It remained relatively popular in Germanic countries.

From The Harpsichord and Clavichord: An Encyclopedia, edited by Igor Kipnis:

The inventories of Frecobaldi patron's collection list organs and graviorgans (combinations of harpsichord and organ), and harpsichords and spinets of various national building traditions; organs and harpsichords with enharmonic keyboards (on which Frescobaldi is known to have performed) are found, but clavichords do not occur.

Q

Oh good find about his patrons' instruments.

One thing that may be relevant is that I believe in Germany organists used to practise on a pair of stacked clavichords, I wonder what they did in Italy.

I'm listening as I type this to Leonhardt playing AoF on DHM, and the thought crossed my mind that a good harpsichordist playing a good instrument can be every bit as colourful, every bit as soulful, as a clavichord player.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2016, 09:44:29 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #53 on: July 29, 2016, 02:08:49 AM »
A promising set seems to be the one by Richard Lester:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qWyy-TQJyI

So far i only tried Loreggian (which i didn't really like, not sure why. I felt he was making the music to be more virtuosic than it is while glossing over some of the contrapuntal subtlety, or at least that's how i remember it) and the one by Vartolo (who's approach is... unique, to say the least). Richard Lester seems to be like a good compromise. Lively tempos, but with a good vertical sense, at least judging by that youtube clip. One of this days i'll have to buy the whole set.

Hello! Are you still there, or am I talking to myself? Anyway I'm starting to try to get to grips with Lester right now so I thought I'd post my first, tentative, reactions.

Frescobaldi's music often has many sections, and often each section brings its own character. When Richard Lester plays Fresco on harpsichord, his tendency is not to underline this these dramatic changes by giving each section its own texture or its own timbre. What's more, the way he uses ornamentation and tempo rubato and rhythmic rubato seems to be designed to stop the music from sounding either spontaneous or heartfelt. The result is coherent and refined and flowing and mature. And like music which is often  an exploration of voices in counterpoint. Sometimes the Lester linearity seems really spot on - listen to his 7th Toccata and genuflect!

By the way, the organ parts of the set, CD 4, are some of my favourite Fresco recordings: spiritual, colourful, mature, rapt.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 08:56:36 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #54 on: July 30, 2016, 07:54:46 AM »




One thing that Blandine Verlet's Frescobaldi has in common with Richard Lester's is that neither are boisterous or flamboyant.

But Verlet uses colours and textures which just aren't part of Lester's vocabulary. And she's a real musician - you know she knows how to uses pauses and articulation to create an ebb and flow of tension, rather than create it by means of bravura.

I think that Verlet's Frescobaldi is more like madrigal than opera. That's to say there's all the expression of vocal music in there, but chamber size. There's something almost confiding and intimate about what she does. In the toccatas especially this is unusual.

Her instrument is beautiful, maybe a bit weak in the bass.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #55 on: August 01, 2016, 12:00:23 PM »


I've been focusing on a couple of things in this set, Bk 1 Toccata 9 and Toccata 11. Prior to hearing then I said to myself that his penchant for slow tempos would lead to increased introspectiveness at the expense of bravura - I had thought that the just because there are less notes per minute, as it were, the result would be less virtuosic sounding.

Not a bit of it! The virtuoso element of Frescobaldi's music is as strong as it is with Asperen or Baiano or Hakkinen. The elapsed time is longer because he finds the rhetorical ideas in the music and doesn't skate over them. His rhetorical depth is one of his greatest qualities.

Vartolo's  performances seem to me to be wonderfully paradoxical. Simultaneously sensuous and convoluted, complicated; simultaneously flamboyant and reflective; simultaneously as far removed from song as you can get and get contain all the emotion andl lyricism of a madrigal.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 12:04:36 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #56 on: August 02, 2016, 11:20:58 AM »



Asperen's Frescobaldi is frank. There's no irony, ambiguity or paradox. It's  mostly just fun, boisterous, playful, happy, perky music with occasional lyrical interludes.  But it would be unfair to dismiss it as superficial because the voicing is so lively - a real rapport among the voices. And the instrument sounds great, full of nice timbres and textures.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #57 on: August 02, 2016, 08:37:01 PM »


There's nothing superficial about the way Martha Folts treats Frescobaldi, she is very aware of the paradoxical nature of his music. Indeed she adds a new contradiction: the general feel of everything she plays here is both serene and heartfelt. It is also clearly virtuosic - there are a lot of notes - and it's introspective. And on the one hand it's extremely lyrical - flexible rhythms and full of feeling like a madrigal - while on the other  it is instrumental music par excellence - often arpeggiated and ornamented like a harp.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #58 on: August 03, 2016, 08:58:13 PM »


Tilney's way of playing Frescobaldi is literal, direct. He refuses to dress up the  the contrasts in the the music with changes in texture or timbre,  He  refuses to psychologise the music, to use it as a vehicle to expose his own personality. This is a simplified and purified Frescobaldi.

I remember once commenting here that I thought his Frescobaldi was disappointing. But  over time I've really begun to find the recording fascinating. Part of the reason is the brilliance of the harpsichord, I guess (I don't have the booklet) a Neapolitan instrument like the ones he prefers in Scarlatti. The clarity of the tone, together with Tilney's minimal articulation, serve to bring out the structure of each piece really clearly.

Another part of the reason is the intense and jubilatory quality of the interpretations, which is not without an uplifting and extrovert spirituality.

There's no irony or paradox in Tilney's Frescobaldi, and that is I'm sure a weakness. But nevertheless these simplified and radiant performances match the rich and clear sound of the instrument perfectly. It is, despite the above mentioned reservations, a hypnotic and irresistible experience.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Frescobaldi, Girolamo - Italian Keyboard Pioneer!
« Reply #59 on: August 10, 2016, 10:13:06 PM »



What do you listen to Frescobaldi for? If you listen because you find the music full of fantasy, full of emotions and mysticism, full of swagger and bravura, then Hogwood is possibly not for you. If you listen because it is elegant, unruffled and rather beautiful than he just may be. "Elegant and unruffled" sounds like a euphemism for "boring and earthbound" to me, but Hogwood is not that at all because he communicates his own intensity and commitment, and because the surface beauty is lively and  engaging and relaxing. More so, I would say, than in his recordings of English music.

The harpsichord he uses is timid sounding, and so along with Egarr's this recording provides a valuable contrast to Vartolo's approach (=mystical, virtuosic, harp-like) and Tilney's (= brilliant, hypnotic)
« Last Edit: August 10, 2016, 10:22:45 PM by Mandryka »
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