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Frescobaldi: Vol 4 - Organ & Harpsichord / Richard Lester

Frescobaldi / Lester
Release Date: 01/10/2011 
Label:  Nimbus   Catalog #: 5874  
Composer:  Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Richard Lester
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is volume 4 of Richard Lester's recording for Nimbus of the complete keyboard works of Girolamo Frescobaldi. Volume 3 was released in early 2011, and reviewed here, with a second opinion here, the latter also providing other links of relevance.

Half of the pieces in Lester's programme are drawn from the Second Book of Toccate, Canzone (Rome, 1627/1637), the rest from other publications during Frescobaldi's lifetime, except track 4, which comes straight from manuscript. All works are played on the 1588 organ in San Salvatore, Italy, apart from the final two, which - somewhat incongruously - revert to harpsichord, though again an authentic instrument from 1619. More information about the instruments played by Lester during
Read more this series is available on the official series site here.

Lester has received considerable acclaim for his recent mammoth seven-volume Complete Scarlatti Sonatas, also on Nimbus. With this series Lester, with his consummate musicianship and carefully considered interpretations, adduces further evidence to the thesis that Frescobaldi is a key figure in the history of music, not only for the fact that he was one of the very first to focus his talents on instrumental music, but also as one of the greatest keyboard composers of the early 1600s, beginning with his watershed First Book of Toccatas of 1616, and expatiated in the Second Book, as he broke with tradition to create a new quasi-improvisatory, expressive style of playing, full of harmonic extravagances, rhythmic flexibility, experimental techniques and technical challenges.

This CD offers a first chance in Lester's series to hear Frescobaldi the "miraculous organist." The instrument used for this recording was built by Costanzo Antegnati in the late 16th century at the church of St Nicola near Almenno in northern Italy, and very likely played by Frescobaldi himself. Though the organ itself is a little rough around the edges, Frescobaldi's music for it is riveting, often astoundingly modern in its harmonics. Though these works are still clearly devotional in the main, audiences must have been startled by some of the chords and sequences; yet his amazing popularity as an organist indicates that this new style and sound was quickly accepted by contemporaries and benefactors alike.

The accompanying booklet contains fascinating notes of a different kind by Lester, with sections on historical context, the pieces themselves, the instrument and period technique. Again, recording details - other than that Raymond Fenton did the business - have disappointingly been left out. The booklet describes this disc in fact as a 'compilation', with the recordings being licensed from Privilège Accord. Sound quality is fairly good, although there is still just a little background hiss in evidence at the beginnings and ends of tracks, and the organ recordings have a slight 'underwater' quality to them.

-- Byzantion, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Toccate d'intavolatura di cimbalo et organo: Toccata Quinta by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Richard Lester (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
2. Toccate d'intavolatura ... No.5, Partita No.6. sopra l'Aria di Follia by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Richard Lester (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Italy 
3. Toccata per la Levatione by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Richard Lester (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Italy 
4. Il secondo libro di toccate: Toccata no 3 alla elevatione by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Richard Lester (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1627; Italy 
5. Il secondo libro de toccate, canzone...di cimbalo et organo, No.9, Toccata Nona. Non senza fitiga si by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Richard Lester (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
6. Il secondo libro de toccate, canzone...di cimbalo et organo, No. 8, VII Toccata di durezze, e Ligatu by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Richard Lester (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
7. Il secondo libro de toccate, canzone...di cimbalo et organo, No.6, Toccata Sesta, per l'organo sopra by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Richard Lester (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
8. Il secondo libro de toccate, canzone...di cimbalo et organo, No.4, Toccata Quarta, per l'organo da s by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Richard Lester (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
9. Il secondo libro de toccate, canzone...di cimbalo et organo, No.3, Toccata Terza. Per l'organo da so by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Richard Lester (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
10. Il secondo libro de toccate, canzone...di cimbalo et organo, No.18, Canzona Sesta in C major by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Richard Lester (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
11. Il secondo libro di toccate: Canzona no 3 in G minor by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Richard Lester (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1627; Rome, Italy 
12. Il secondo libro di toccate: Canzona no 2 by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Richard Lester (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
13. Fiori musicali di diverse compositioni: no 16, Messa della Domenica - Toccata cromaticha per l'elevatione by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Richard Lester (Organ)
14. Canzoni alla francese in partitura...libro quarto, a 4: no 9, detta la Querina by Girolamo Frescobaldi
Performer:  Richard Lester (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1645; Italy 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Terug naar oude tijden September 20, 2012 By J Blokhuis (Zutphen, Netherlands) See All My Reviews "Richard Lester speelt de sterren van de hemel op deze historische instrumenten uit de tijd van Frescobaldi. Goed van klank en ruimte." Report Abuse
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