Anssi Mattila - Fischer: Suite Uranie (CD)

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Release Date: 01/01/00

The dance in triple time best known by its French name chaconne, spread from Spain to the rest of Europe. Its roots, how

The dance in triple time best known by its French name chaconne, spread from Spain to the rest of Europe. Its roots, however, are in South America. The earliest recorded mention of the cbacona is in a poem by Mateo Rosas de Oquendo describing events in Peru in 1598. Latin-American background can be found in the works of numerous Spanish writers, among them Cervantes and Lope de Vega. Based on a short repeated chord progression the chacona was among the most popular dances in seventeenth century Spain. Humorous and bawdy dances were accompanied by guitar, percussion and singing. The Italian composers made theciaccona chord progression into a melody in the bass. At the same time the form parted company from its mother, the dance and grew into a cultured form of instrumental and vocal music. In place of the primitive mechanical repetition variations on the basic theme and modulations of key were used as a means of pursuing a more skillful form of compositional techniques. In the Commedia del Arte the chaconne persisted far into the eighteenth century, danced specifically by Harlequin. In France, however, the chaconne developed into slower, more dignified instrumental music, first played on the lute and later on the harpsichord. It reachedits zenith in the French opera. This dance, mostly played (but also sung), which put to the test the skills and ingenuity of composers of variations, developed into what was frequently the most important crowd scene in an opera. Such extensive and dramatic climaxes might also be referred to as passacaglie. Despite their disparate origins the distinction between the chaconne and the passacaglia became so blurred in eighteenth century France that François Couperin gave one movement in his suite Les Nations the title Cbaconne ou Passacaille, i. e. chaconne or passacaglia. However, the earliest French commentators have it that the passacaglia was slightly slower than the chaconne. The roots of the passacaglia are also in Spain. It is essentially not a dance but the ritornello played between the verses of a song. Both Spanish and Italian composers published series of variations, passacaglies, with chord symbols for the guitar in their collections of songs. In the Italian operas, including Monteverdi 's L'incoronazione di Poppea there are references to improvised intermezzi called passacagli although no music for these was actually written down. Nevertheless, the passacaglia was based on the simple harmonic progression or melody in the bass just like the chaconne. Throughout the seventeenth century this form was cherished by the Italian guitar composers. Initially the technique in variationsrelied more on harmonic means, but in the latter half of the century melodic variation gained ascendancy. Whereas the chaconne was predominantly in the major, the passacaglia was more commonly in the minor. This distinction persisted as lateas the publication in London of the Academic Sonatas written for violin and continuo by Francesco Maria Veracini in 1744.

Label: Alba Records
Genre: Classical
Run Time: 60 mins

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