Composer: Girolamo Kapsberger (b. 1580 - d. 1651)
Performance date: 01/07/2012
Venue: St. Brendan’s Church
Composition Year: 1604 / 1640
Recording Engineer: Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category:Small Mixed Ensemble
Instrumentation Other: Mez-solo, rec vc, lu, hpd
Joanna Boślak-Górniok -
Cristina Zavalloni - [mezzo-soprano]
Kate Hearne - [recorder/cello]
Dohyo Sol - [theorbo/archlute]
his Austrian name, Kapsberger was born and educated in Venice. During
his lifetime he gained the reputation as being a brilliant virtuoso
of the lute, and after settling in Rome in 1605 he began to write and
publish multiple collections for the instrument. Although the lute
was in favour at the time as being the instrument of choice to
accompany the new genre of the monodic song, Kapsberger was the one
responsible for ensuring that the lute, theorbo and chitarrone all
had bright futures as solo instruments in their own right. He worked
alongside Frescobaldi for some years in the service of Cardinal
Francesco Barberini, and it’s clear that Kapsberger’s music,
especially his toccatas, influenced the compositions of Frescobaldi.
As with the two short works in today’s concert, Kapsberger’s
music displays the innovative view of harmonic contrasts and rhythmic
ingenuity which earned him much respect in his lifetime. These pieces
are from volumes of solo music that Kapsberger wrote for the
chitarrone, a large lute instrument with 7 or 8 open bass strings and
6 fretted strings on the fingerboard, using the same tuning as the
Renaissance guitar or chitarra.
From about 1600 onward, the word tiorba
started appearing alongside chitarrone to mean the same instrument.
This was confirmed by Agostino Agazzari in his treatise on continuo
published in 1607, and finally by Kapsberger himself in 1640.
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