Instrument: Harpsichord, Ugo Casiglia (Palermo, 1993) after Giusti (1693)
Playing time: 75'
Recording date: March 1998 (Pugnano, Pisa)
Antonio de Cabezón (1510-1566), blind almost since birth, was one of the dominant instrumental composers of the 16th century. His work is all of the highest quality, even though it had to wait for his son Hernando (d.1602) to publish posthumously. The primary printed collection dates from 1578, and supposedly represents only "a few crumbs" from Cabezón's table. The instrumental variation technique is certainly impressive, and basically unprecedented at this level.
Composers given above are those who wrote the original themes which Cabezón used.
Prior to Cabezón, there were of course numerous organ manuscripts written throughout Europe. These were largely anonymous, or consisted primarily of transcriptions, and so Cabezón is known as the first solid historical keyboard composer of definite stature.
This all-harpsichord performance of a range of Cabezón's masterworks is especially welcome. It highlights the three major genres in which Cabezón was an important pioneer: the tiento (or toccata née ricercar), the diferencias or variations, and the vocal glosado or intabulation and diminutions of pre-existing polyphonic sequences.
There is also a very fine recording of Cabezón's music performed on a wider variety of instruments:
The first volume in a series devoted to Cabezón's complete works, played primarily on organ:
Later volumes in this series also make use of instrumental ensembles.
Other recordings on harpsichord:
Other recordings featuring organ:
Finally, other recordings by the present performer:
To purchasing information for this disc.
To FAQ references to this recording.
To FAQ CD index page.Todd M. McComb