Frescobaldi: Il Primo Libro di Capricci fatti sopra diversi Soggetti, et Arie (Roma, Soldi, 1624)

Edited by Christopher Stembridge. (Organ and Keyboard Works II).
Bärenreiter (BA 8413), 2015.xxviii + 90pp, £37.00.

I bought the five volumes edited by Pierre Pidoux and published by Bärenreiter as BA2202 in 1968. Christopher Stembrige is a meticulous editor, but the bolder print of the Pidoux/Bärenreiter does make it easier to read – and I don’t think that a sensible reader will assume that beaming quavers does not imply breaking of phrases. Stembridge’s notation of triple time, however, is worth trying. But neither edition observes the four-stave layout of the original edition. The new edition has useful introductory notes and critical commentary. For study, it is excellent, and I’m glad to have both editions. Academics and serious performers definitely need BA8413, as opposed to BA2202!

Clifford Bartlett