Frescobaldi: Toccate & Partite, Libro Primo

Frescobaldi: Toccate e Partite d'Intavolatura di cimbalo et organo, Libro Primo
Sergio Vartolo
Tactus 580680 (3 CDs)


  1. Toccata Prima
  2. Toccata Seconda
  3. Toccata Terza
  4. Toccata Quarta
  5. Toccata Quinta
  6. Toccata Sesta
  7. Toccata Settima
  8. Toccata Ottava
  1. Toccata Nona
  2. Toccata Decima
  3. Toccata Undecima
  4. Toccata Duodecima
  5. Partite sopra l'Aria della Romanesca
  6. Partite sopra la Monicha
  1. Partite sopra Ruggiero
  2. Partite sopra Folia
  3. 4 Correnti
  4. Capriccio sopra la Battaglia
  5. Aggiunta

  6. Balletto I, II, III
  7. Partite Cento sopra il Passacagli
  8. Capriccio fra' Jacopino sopra l'Aria di Ruggiero
  9. Balletto e Ciaccone
  10. Capriccio fatto sopra la Pastorale

Reissued in Tactus 580670

Performers: Sergio Vartolo (harpsichord CD1, CD2, CD3#1-8; organ, CD3#9), ? Gloria Moretti (un-named soprano, sung arias opening tracks CD2#5-6, CD3#1,6-7)

Instruments: Harpsichord (Barthêlêmy Formentelli; copy of contemporary instrument, Rezzonico Venezia); Organ (Evangeli di Baldassarre Malamini, 1598 - Basilica di S. Petronio, Bologna)

Playing time: 197'

Recording date: March 1987

This is Frescobaldi's third keyboard publication, and his most famous, it was revised and printed several times, first in 1615 and most recently in 1637 with the inclusion of a great deal of new material in the Agguinta. The previous publications were more old-fashioned in conception, namely Il primo libro delle fantasie a quattro (1608) & Recercari et canzoni franzese fatte sopra diversi oblighi in partitura (1615). Thus the present book first shows Frescobaldi's ground-breaking style, in which he would combine the techniques of the various keyboard schools around Italy with a new sense of rhetorical freedom to write the great toccatas & partitas.

The style of playing here is usually relaxed, with aria variations worked through quite leisurely, but with more punch to the few dances.

Other recordings in this series, each of which consists of a complete publication:

Frescobaldi: Toccate e Partite d'Intavolatura, Libro Secundo
Sergio Vartolo
Tactus 580681 (3 CDs)
Frescobaldi: Fiori Musicali
Sergio Vartolo
Tactus 580690 (2 CDs)
Frescobaldi: Capricci fatti sopra diversi Soggetti, et Arie
Sergio Vartolo
Tactus 580691 (2 CDs)

And another recording by the present performer:

Frescobaldi: Keyboard Music
Fantasie Book I, Ricercari, Canzona Francesi
Sergio Vartolo
Naxos 8.553547-48 (2 CDs)

Finally, a significant survey devoted to Frescobaldi's Neapolitan contempoary, Giovanni Maria Trabaci (c.1575-1647), by the present performer:

Trabaci: Keyboard Music - Book I
Sergio Vartolo
Naxos 8.553550-2 (3 CDs)

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Todd M. McComb