Andrea Antico: Frottole Intabulate per sonare organi Libro Primo, Roma 1517

Dark green flowers

Maria Luisa Baldassari spinet, clavichord, harpsichord, clavicymbalum, organ
Tactus TC 480101

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] have to say that the music on this disc did little for me, though I do think I’d have enjoyed it more had I known the vocal originals here elaborated by ‘scales, thrills [sic] and passing notes’. But historically this music is highly significant – the first keyboard music ever to be printed. Its presentation is also thoughtful with sensitive playing on five instruments: spinet (modern copy, 1571 original); fretted clavichord (ditto, 1475); clavicembalum (ditto, 1450); harpsichord (ditto, 1697); and organ (original, 1533). All use ¼ comma mean-tone tuning except the clavichord which is Pythagorean. So organologically it’s all fascinating. Though the English ‘translation’ is rather a trial, the essay is interesting on the composer/arranger, the techniques he uses and the arrangements’ general context and purpose.

David Hansell

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