Fabio Antonio Falcone

The Art of Variation - Secular Cycles

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917292626
Catnr: CC 72926
Release date: 06 January 2023
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917292626
Catalogue number
CC 72926
Release date
06 January 2023
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN
DE

About the album

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, although considered an isolated phenomenon, transformed Amsterdam into the centre of interest for keyboard music. Today, Sweelinck is considered not only one of the most famous organists, but also one of the leading composers of his time and the last great master of Dutch and Flemish polyphony. His work is not conceivable without Venetian and, most importantly, English models. Even though he was not widely travelled, Sweelinck remained amazingly well informed throughout his life.

Despite his fame and importance, not a single work for keyboard instruments survives in an autograph source, not even in a copy authorised by the composer. His keyboard works have survived in some thirty scattered and not always reliable manuscripts. This body of work is far from complete, and the copies mostly date from after the composer’s death. It is thanks to Sweelinck’s pedagogical activity and his numerous students, that the compositions have survived at all.

Among Sweelinck’s pieces for keyboard instruments, the variations cycles form a significant group. They include variations on chorale melodies, melodies from the Genevan Psalter, Lutheran songs, as well as on secular models. The latter, however, are undoubtedly the most delightful pieces Sweelinck ever composed, for they reveal the composer’s lighter, sometimes humorous side. It seems that Sweelinck composed most of the keyboard works in the last two decades of his life. This is evidenced by a mature style, compositional perfection, and unity.
Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, obwohl er als Einzelerscheinung galt, machte Amsterdam zum Zentrum des Interesses für Tastenmusik. Heute gilt Sweelinck nicht nur als einer der berühmtesten Organisten, sondern auch als einer der führenden Komponisten seiner Zeit und als letzter großer Meister der niederländischen und flämischen Polyphonie. Sein Werk ist ohne venezianische und vor allem englische Vorbilder nicht denkbar. Obwohl er nicht weit gereist war, blieb Sweelinck zeitlebens erstaunlich gut informiert.
Trotz seines Ruhmes und seiner Bedeutung ist kein einziges Werk für Tasteninstrumente in einer autographen Quelle überliefert, nicht einmal in einer vom Komponisten autorisierten Abschrift. Seine Werke für Tasteninstrumente sind in etwa dreißig verstreuten und nicht immer zuverlässigen Manuskripten überliefert. Dieser Bestand ist bei weitem nicht vollständig, und die Abschriften stammen meist aus der Zeit nach dem Tod des Komponisten. Es ist der pädagogischen Tätigkeit Sweelincks und seiner zahlreichen Schüler zu verdanken, dass die Kompositionen überhaupt erhalten geblieben sind.
Unter Sweelincks Stücken für Tasteninstrumente bilden die Variationszyklen eine bedeutende Gruppe. Sie umfassen Variationen über Choralmelodien, Melodien aus dem Genfer Psalter, lutherische Lieder sowie über weltliche Vorlagen. Letztere sind jedoch zweifellos die reizvollsten Stücke, die Sweelinck je komponiert hat, denn sie offenbaren die leichtere, manchmal humorvolle Seite des Komponisten. Es scheint, dass Sweelinck den Großteil der Klavierwerke in den letzten beiden Jahrzehnten seines Lebens komponierte. Dies zeigt sich in einem reifen Stil, kompositorischer Perfektion und Einheitlichkeit.

Artist(s)

Fabio Antonio Falcone is a passionate performer who focuses on Renaissance and early Baroque repertoire. He is especially interested in sixteenth-century Italian keyboard music, as well as vocal and instrumental repertoire of the early Baroque period.

He performs at international venues and festivals as a soloist and continuo player with several ensembles, including Ensemble Elyma, Stile Galante, Genève Baroque, Ensemble Lucidarium and Ensemble Odissee Orchestra.

Together with mandolin player Anna Schivazappa, in 2012 he founded the ensemble Pizzicar Galante, of which he was co-director until 2019. In 2015 he also founded L’Amorosa Caccia, an ensemble with which he has been exploring instrumental and vocal repertoire from the Renaissance with a special focus on Italian frottolas and madrigals. His solo recordings are highly appreciated by international critics and broadcast by the most important European radio broadcast stations (BBC, Radio RAI, Radio France, BR-Klassik, WDR3, RTVE, Radio Classica, CKRL 89,1).

Apart from his activities as a concert performer, he devotes himself to research in music didactics, in particular to the reconstruction of teaching practices from the didactical analysis of historical sources. He is currently a member of the research group in didactics of the arts (DAM) at the University of Geneva.

He studied in the Netherlands with Bob van Asperen, as well as in Italy with Maria Luisa Baldassari and Jesper Bøje Christensen, and in Switzerland with Francis Biggi and Kenneth Weiss.

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