Performers: David Staff, Jeremy West, Adrian Woodward (cornetts), Susan Addison, Patrick Jackman, Tom Lees, Abigail Newman, Stephen Saunders, Adam Woolf (trombones), Pavlo Besnosiak, Julia Bishop (violins), William Lyons (dulcian), Paula Chateauneuf (chitarrone), Frances Kelly (harp), Timothy Roberts, Richard Egarr (harpsichord / organ)
Playing time: 75'
Recording date: September 1997
Giovanni Picchi was an organist and composer active in Venice in the early seventeenth century. Biographical details of his life are sketchy, but the surviving evidence indicates a fairly active musical career, centered principally around two institutions, Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari and the Scuola di San Rocco.
Picchi appears to have been born around 1572. He may have been appointed organist at the Frari as early as 1593, but the earliest specific mention of Picchi dates from the year 1600, when he appears to have been portrayed on the title page of Fabritio Caroso´s Nobiltà di Dame. In this dance tutor, Picchi appears holding a lute, with the name "Picchi" below the portrait.
In February of 1607, Picchi unsuccessfully applied for the position of organist at the Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista.
In 1612, Picchi was investigated by the Provveditori sopra monasteri on charges that he had been teaching organ, voice, violin, and viol at the convent of Spirito Santo without a license. In April of the same year, he auditioned for the position of organist at San Rocco, losing to Giovanni Grillo.
In March of 1623, after the death of Grillo, Picchi finally won the post of organist at San Rocco, for which he had unsuccessfully applied in 1612.
In 1624, Picchi unsuccessfully applied for the position of second organist at San Marco.
Picchi continued to work as organist at San Rocco and the Frari until late in his life. In 1641, he began sending a substitute to San Rocco, probably due to illness, and he died at the age of seventy-one years on 19 May 1643.
Picchi's extant works can be divided into three categories: keyboard works, instrumental canzonas, and a single vocal composition.
A recording featuring Picchi's music for keyboard:
And another recording which includes Picchi's ensemble works:
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