Farina, Carlo: Consort Music, Dresden 1627/1628 - Accademia del Ricercare

Farina, Carlo: Consort Music, Dresden 1627/1628 - Accademia del Ricercare

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Dances and Sonatas by Carlo Farina

Some musicologists simply continue to regard Carlo Farina as music history's first composer of program music because of the Capriccio stravagante, his most famous work. However, the great expressive variety and the sumptuous, finely constructed textures of other works enlarge our picture of this composer, who was much more multifaceted than the (certainly very remarkable) Capriccio stravagante might lead us to believe. Here we need only consider the boldness with which Farina endeavored to employ all the technical and expressive resources of the violin, which made him one of the most important and enduring models for the leading representatives of the German school from Johannes Schop to Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber and Johann Jakob Walther. Our second CD featuring the Accademia Ricercare ensemble presents three-part and four-part dances (pavans, galliards, branles, courantes, balletti, and mascherate) as well as ten two-part and three-part sonatas with titles. While these sonatas were clearly composed for stringed instruments, the dances offer many performance possibilities for consorts consisting of gambas, wind-cap reed instruments, and recorders like the ones very similarly enjoying great popularity in Elizabethan England. A comparative look at Farina's dances demonstrates that Farina took a decisive step toward modernity in his ten sonatas – as we see in their