Performers: Danilo Lorenzini (harpsichord), Antonio Eros Negri (organo tamburini, organ XVII secolo), Riccardo Villani (harpsichord, organs), Giuseppe Azzarelli (organ XVI secolo)
Playing time: 77'
Recording date: November 1993
Instruments: Harpsichord (Flemish by Martin Sassmann, Hamburg); Organ XVII secolo; Organ XVI secolo; Organo Tamburini della Chiesa di Santa Bernardetta in Milano
The Musica Nova of 1540 consists of 21 ricercares written out in four separate part-books and intended "for the organ or other instruments" and this performance chooses the common practice of pairing keyboard instruments in many of them. This is one of the earliest published examples of fully imitative instrumental music (also appearing intabulated on the lute), and was quickly copied in other publications and even reprinted in France in Musicque de Ioye (in which the last two "appendix" selections survive).
Willaert's influence here cannot be underestimated. He was the one who was principally responsible for integrating the imitative contrapuntal writing of the Franco-Flemish school with the instrumental technology & sonority of Italy. These early works revolved around him and his school.
Besides Willaert, composers represented are Giulio Segni (1498-1561), Girolamo Cavazzoni (c.1510-c.1565), Girolamo Parabosco (c.1520-1557), Nicolò Benoist (b.c.1510), Guillelmo Golin (b.c.1510), and Gabriel Coste (fl. 1538-1543). The two ricercari (Nos. 2 & 5) left off of the present recording are also by Segni.
Another recording taken from this publication, performed only on the organ:
And a recording on diverse instruments:
The first publication of intabulations strictly for organ was subsequently done by Cavazzoni in 1543. Cavazzoni was a student of Willaert as were Parabosco, Zarlino, and probably the others represented here. A recording of his second volume:
Of course, organ music continued in prominence in Italy long after Musica Nova. A nice anthology of later music:
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