Saturday baroque

I haven’t posted any music videos in a while, so here’s an entire baroque concert. It’s the baroque portion of a program presented by Jordi Savall (viola da gamba) and members of his ensemble Hespèrion XXI.

The stock tune “La follia” (also called “las folias,” “les folies d’Espagne,” etc.) is a theme of this concert. Countless musicians improvised on this simple Iberian melody, which evoked a mood of passionate longing. There’s an entire website devoted to this “most lasting and famous tune in western music.” This MIDI file plays the Follia theme by itself.

Antonio Martín y Coll: Diferencias sobre las folias
Jordi Savall performs variations on the Follia theme for viola da gamba. This Spanish piece dates from the early 1700s. Note the rhythmic back-and-forth between the viol and castanets in the last diferencia.

Jordi Savall, viola da gamba; Arianna Savall, harp; Rolf Lislevand, baroque guitar; Pedro Estevan, tambourine; Adela Gonzales, castanets.

Diego Ortiz: Recercada segunda sobre La Spagna
Here we leap back about two centuries. Diego Ortiz (1510-1570) was a Spanish composer who also worked in Italy. This time the theme is a dance called “La Spagna.”

Jordi Savall, viola da gamba; Arianna Savall, harp; Rolf Lislevand, theorbo; Pedro Estevan, percussion.

Diego Ortiz: Recercada primera sobre el passamezzo antico
Another Ortiz piece, based on an old bass figure called passamezzo antico. One of my favorite pieces by Ortiz.

Jordi Savall, viola da gamba; Arianna Savall, harp; Rolf Lislevand, theorbo.

Diego Ortiz: Recercada quarta sobre la folia
Ortiz improvises on the Follia theme.

Jordi Savall, viola da gamba; Arianna Savall, harp; Rolf Lislevand, theorbo.

Diego Ortiz: Ruggiero (Quinta pars IX)
“Ruggiero” is another old stock tune used as a basis for improvisations and variations. (In England it was corrupted to “Roger-o.”)

Jordi Savall, viola da gamba; Rolf Lislevand, theorbo; Pedro Estevan, percussion.

Three pieces for harp and percussion

  1. Diego Ortiz: Romanesca VII.
  2. Diego Ortiz: Passamezzo moderno II.
  3. Anonymous: Tarantela.

Arianna Savall, harp; Pedro Estevan, percussion.

Hear the first half of the concert.

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