Catapulting into Classical

A headlong leap into music, history, and composing

Haiku Wednesday – Girolamo Frescobaldi

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Frescobaldi wrote
Ricercari, toccatas,
And influenced Bach,
Purcell, Pachelbel.
A master of counterpoint.
Happy Birthday, sir!

September 9 has traditionally been cited as the birthday of Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643).  A native of Ferrara, he spent a great deal of his adult life in Rome in highly placed music positions.  He is perhaps best known for his publication Fiori musicali in 1635, although he published other volumes of ricercari, toccatas, and arias.  He was a master of counterpoint and specialized in compositions for the keyboard.

Bach owned a copy of Fiori musicali (and a number of other of Frescobaldi’s works) and is known to have performed it.  Frescobaldi is also cited as an influence upon Pachelbel and Purcell.

If you are deeply interested in Frescobaldi, Duke University has compiled a thematic catalog and database of his works.

Here is an aria with variations by Frescobaldi performed on the guitar.

Here is a Frescobaldi organ toccata.


Image attribution:  Girolamo Frescobaldi, engraving by Claude Mellan, 1619.  Claude Mellan, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.


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