According to Ferdinando Tagliavini:. The contents of the Fiori provide substitutions for all the items of the proper, but of the ordinary Frescobaldi sets only the Kyrie. On solemn feasts in St. One scholar has speculated that the Fiori were not so much alternatim masses as a collection of music for a large church where the ordinary was customarily performed in polyphony and instrumental pieces were substituted for items of the proper. Owing in part to the firm control of the bass line, these epigrammatic miniatures compress an astonishing variety of figuration and affect into their small compass, e. The indication Adasio in m.
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According to Ferdinando Tagliavini:. The contents of the Fiori provide substitutions for all the items of the proper, but of the ordinary Frescobaldi sets only the Kyrie. On solemn feasts in St. One scholar has speculated that the Fiori were not so much alternatim masses as a collection of music for a large church where the ordinary was customarily performed in polyphony and instrumental pieces were substituted for items of the proper. Owing in part to the firm control of the bass line, these epigrammatic miniatures compress an astonishing variety of figuration and affect into their small compass, e.
The indication Adasio in m. The texture develops into expressive figuration consistent with an initial slow temp.
The first verset of the Sunday Kyrie, for example, employs the chant as a soprano cantus firmus accompanied by short imitations in duple meter, in the third Christe the cantus firmus, again in long notes, is framed as a tripla of almost dancelike character. The last two Kyrie versets of the Marian mass employ their respective chants to provide imitative material, but one creates a ricercar-like rhythmic surface while the other is permeated by syncopations, suspensions, and incisive rhythmic patterns.
If the toccatas of the Fiori can be said to show the influence of contrapuntal and motivic economy on a figural and discursive genre, the canzonas of the collection demonstrate how keyboard figuration could soften the somewhat rigid outlines of the canzona. The simplest instance is the Gradual canzona from the mass of the Madonna, which is nothing more than two presentations of the subject the Bassa Fiammengha , in duple and triple meter, separated by a free adagio. The Gradual canzona of the mass of the Apostles varies the usual procedure by presenting the subject first in a chordal introduction before its appearance in imitation.
The remaining two canzonas, the Gradual from the Sunday mass and the Post-Communion from the mass of the Apostles, transform rather than merely vary their original material.
The Post-Communion, somewhat more varied in structure owing to the employment of three adagio sections, not only alters the rhythmic shape and melodic contour of the original material but also introduces it in long notes against its own transformation Messa delli Apostoli , Canzon quarti toni dopo il Postcommunio, mm. The ricercars are organized in from two to four large sections set off by coronas where the organist could end the work if convenient. As we would expect, the ricercars are relatively unadorned in figural character, clear in overall tonal organization, and steady in rhythmic pulse.
The ricercar after the Creed in the Lady-mass has no designated ostinato, but its two sections are dominated by a single subject. In the first section, some portion of the subject appears in all but one of the twenty-four measures except for the cadence; in the second section the subject appears in augmentation in all four voices in the order T, S, B, A , unmistakable in its poignant opening leap and chromatic ascent.
The subject—a five-note-motto—is employed motivically in the upper parts, but its appearances in the bass chart the tonal course of the work. As in the Capriccio, here the quinta parte serves not only as ostinato but also generates the motivic material of the four written voices. As Tagliavini has pointed out , xxiii , the notation of the subject in triple-time breves and semibreves must be taken into account in the solution of the enigma.
The ricercars for the Offertory, the beginning of the sacrificial portion of the liturgy, are more solemn in character. With the toccatas for the Elevation of the Host, we reach the center of gravity of the mass both liturgically and musically. The Elevations of the Fiori are shorter than the two elevation toccatas of the volume and thus lack their almost hallucinatory timelessness, but they still display the chromaticism, expressive figuration and vocal inflection, and the dramatic and declamatory rhythmic character of their predecessors.
The Elevations from the masses of the Apostles and of the Madonna show this derivation most clearly, including the extent to which they too resist description and analysis. As in the earlier Elevations, a steady half-note pulse anchors the nervous and irregular rhythmic surface of the works to the basic rate of harmonic change. Internal cadences are generally avoided, and sequence is also employed as a unifying factor, sometimes unsystematically as in the way the Lombard rhythm spreads through the texture in the closing section of the Madonna Elevation mm.
Like its predecessor, the present work is based on a chromatic subject and eschews internal cadences and figural fraction of the basic half-note pulse.
Formally, the work consists of a chordal introduction mm. From the mid-sixteenth century the Bergamasca was set by a variety of composers for lute, keyboard, and instrumental ensemble.
Like the capriccios, these works comprise a number of sections all treating the original subject but contrasting in meter, texture, figuration, and occasionally cadence. Although Bach owned a professionally-copied manuscript of the Fiori , the deepest relations between the two collections, however, are those of analogy rather than those of imitation. Francis, or in Rome, where at Christmas pifferari and zampognari still come down from the Abruzzo to serenade the Madonna and Child. At least from the time of Chaucer, mendicant friars had a louche reputation.
Familiar figures in Italy, they were described in The same bass underlies both passacagli sections, stated in minor on e in the first and in the second both in the major, on B-flat, and in the minor, on g.
The other combinations of dance and ostinato do not shed much additional light on the distinction between passacagli and ciaccona since the bass of the first ciaccona, in major, is closely related to the passacagli, and the second is little more than a modulating cadential progression. The ostinato movements, especially the passacaglias of the balletti, have a new quicksilver variety of constantly changing register, chromatic inflection, and a play with symmetry and asymmetry so idiomatic to the keyboard that they seem written-out improvisations.
And indeed there is a whole manuscript repertory occupying a shadowy middle ground between unwritten improvised and final printed versions: see below. The Ciaccona and Passacagli variations from the Toccate are surprisingly limited in comparison with the rich variety of their companion toccatas.
In both sets of variations the two-measure module of the original is rigidly maintained. Since both patterns begin on I and end on V, each new variation starts with a monotonously predictable tonic cadence on the downbeat. The texture of the Ciaccona in particular accentuates this since almost invariably figuration in one hand is accompanied by chords in the other and the variations tend to be paired, one hand picking up the figural material of the other from the previous variation—both distinctly retrogressive procedures.
Among the other devices retained in later treatments of the same material are the pedal-point trill and an alio modo section, here a change of meter rather than of tonal center. Here Frescobaldi avoids the rigid sectionalization of the keyboard variations by alternating sections in free recitative style and duple meter with triple-meter sections based on the ostinati, and the ostinati themselves are treated with greater freedom.
The Passacaglia outlines a descending tetrachord and can be realized in a variety of figurations, sometimes with extensive chord-substitutions. The Ciaccona is again a cadential figure. Most important, both patterns are now permitted to modulate, and this combines with the overlapping of bass phrases with the vocal lines to break the regularity of the earlier keyboard settings.
Both tonally and texturally the result is a new freedom and flexibility. The problems posed by this work begin with the title.
These modulations are accomplished by two cadential relations: a rise of a minor third, from minor to relative major, or the reverse; and a rise of a fifth by what we would describe as a V of V progression. Darbellay finds an underlying cycle of ciaccone, passacagli, and corrente in F, modulating to C, a, and d, recoverable from the print by altering the order of the pages, as well as a Passacagli e Corrente cycle moving from d to g.
The Ciaccona of the Toccate is notated throughout in. The Passacagli set is similar until the alio modo, where. The intervening recitatives are all in C. Here again, a proportional relationship between triple and duple sections makes musical sense. The sign. But there is a certain amount of evidence for considering the signatures as appropriate groupings and subdivisions of a constant semiminim beat and therefore a flexible tactus—in effect, no tactus at all.
The Ciaccona, var. Since the following variations were conceived as a unit, this tempo can be maintained through var.
There is no proportional relationship between var. I cannot agree with Darbellay that var. Performing the notation as written by observing the integrity of the eighth-note is all that is necessary. The contrasts of texture, chromatic decoration, internal trills, sudden bursts of rhythmic activity and moments of repose, and chains of brilliant figuration produce a constantly varied surface.
But these do not occur at random, as in the sets which are perhaps closer to the sometimes chunky character of actual improvisation. Rather, they are placed so as to define the larger structures of the work and to create its moments of greatest intensity, the last of which traverses a space of three and a half octaves in as many measures.
The Cento partite concludes in a manner that recalls the last variations of the revised Romanesca set. The range gradually telescopes, the saraband rhythms of the passacaglia dissolve into even quarters under a series of languorous descending pedal-points, and like a slowly rotating crystal the work circles to a halt.
The manuscript is undated but was copied about the same time as the dated volumes of the collection, Since these toccatas were copied while Frescobaldi was still alive, their authenticity has a special claim to attention. FTCO registers them without comment among the authentic works. They display many of the features mentioned in the prefaces: passages of eighths against sixteenths: I, mm. Toccata VII opens with a chordal passage. The rhythmic texture is generally fluid and small imitative figures are pervasive.
Figuration in one hand has a tendency to be repeated in the other e. Passaggi are sometimes unusually extended see VI, especially mm. The opposition of chord in one hand versus figuration in the other is sometimes a bit blunt I, , II, , The toccatas employ a normal meantime tuning with Eb and G. The authenticity of its contents was originally questioned on several grounds. First, as Alexander Silbiger pointed out, such blanket attributions are inherently suspicious.
Second, the format is absolutely untypical of seventeenth-century Italian keyboard intavolatura. Clearly some kind of improvised prelude is intended.
By finding a similar bass passage in which the upper parts are written out, we may get a possible model for realizing the Fioretti openings. Above them, however, the cantus provides a new melodic part. Its numerous uncorrected errors and sometimes tentative passages undermine the suggestion that it was a fair copy prepared for publication. He cites the concluding toccata as an especially clear example of this. Several of them, such as the third, fourth, and sixth, employ countersubjects or compound subjects.
As well as the usual tripla sections, the Fioretti display procedures recalling the keyboard toccatas: chromatic adagio transitions in long notes, sometimes marked arpeggiate ; florid cadences, sometimes with sixteenth-note figuration in contrary motion; continuous trills in one hand against passaggi in the other—all these absent from the keyboard canzonas.
The canzonas of the book of toccatas contain no adagio sections with the exception of mm. They do display florid cadences and passaggi in contrary motion. The published canzonas have a few adagio sections, no arpeggiations, no combined continuous trills and passaggi ; florid cadences and passaggi in contrary motion are employed.
In addition to the long-note opening of three breves, Canzona Seconda of the Fioretti prefaces the canzona proper, with its characteristic repeated-note theme, by a nineteen-measure passage in 3 concluding with an [adagio] cadence.
The dedication to Giovanni Pozzo, Abbot of San Salvatore in Venice, dated 15 December , and the subtitles given to the canzonas are obviously the work of the publisher rather than of Frescobaldi himself. Two canzonas are dedicated to Venetian publishers, Angelo Gardano and Vincenti himself. Another canzona is inscribed to a noble of the Venetian Querini family, probably Francesco Querini Stampalia, whose colorful career was ended in when he was murdered by one of the Grimani family.
Like the Fioretti , all the canzoni except the third are variation canzoni. All the canzonas have tripla sections, and most of them have figural passages. Its rhythmic motion is continuous, and there are no passaggi and no note-values smaller than passing eighths. The un-canzona-like theme incorporates a chromatic inflection, and the work seems to exceed the chromatic resources of the mean-tone keyboard: B- and E-flats, F-, C-, and D-sharps.
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18. Last Works: The Fiori Musicali of 1635 and the Aggiunta to Toccate I of 1637
Fiori musicali " Musical Flowers " is a collection of liturgical organ music by Girolamo Frescobaldi , first published in It contains three organ masses and two secular capriccios. Generally acknowledged as one of Frescobaldi's best works, Fiori musicali influenced composers during at least two centuries. Johann Sebastian Bach was among its admirers, and parts of it were included in the celebrated Gradus ad parnassum , a highly influential treatise by Johann Joseph Fux which was in use even in the 19th century. Fiori musicali was first published in Venice in , when Frescobaldi was working as organist of St.