Balli, battaglie e canzoni 16th Century Music for Organ and Percussion

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Composer: Giovanni Maria Trabaci, Giovanni Picchi, Marco Antonio Cavazzoni
Artists: Luca Scandali (organ), Mauro Occionero (renaissance and popular percussion)

Presenting a rare collection of pieces from the earliest days of the Italian Baroque keyboard school, this is an exciting and unusual release from Brilliant Classics. Featuring the period’s leading composers and virtuosi of the organ (Cristofano Malvezzi and Giovanni Maria Trabaci were both employed as organists by the Italian nobility) this release contains some significant early collections of works for keyboard – Intavolatura de cimbalo has some of the earliest offerings from the Naples school, and the Manoscritto di Castell’Arquato is one of the most important collections of Italian keyboard music from the first half of the 16th century. The selected works also contain numerous musical forms that would later evolve into the widespread popular dance forms of the Baroque period, such as the toccata and the fugue. These early forms include the elaborate and technically demanding Recercada and the stately Ballo, of which Marco Cavazzoni and Giovanni Picchi offer fine examples.

Experts in the musical heritage of their respective instruments, Luca Scandali and Mauro Occhionero bring their dedication to period performance to this distinctive blend of early instruments. Occhionero demonstrates his skills on an array of traditional percussion, including the Neapolitan tammorra, the darbuka and the djembe, all revealing Italy’s important position, at a cultural crossroads in the Mediterranean. Luca Scandali plays an original late-16th-century organ in the Church of Santo Stefano in Lucca, Italy, built by master organ maker Onofrio Zeffirini. With 30 years of research activity acting as the basis for this recording, the listener is guaranteed an exciting and historically-grounded musical experience.

A unique project: the combination of church organ and percussion instruments performing early Italian keyboard music!
The early keyboard music manuscripts not only included organ music for liturgical use, but also collections of dances, such as pavana, gagliarda, ricercada, saltarello, balletto and canzona. The strong rhythmical element in these works is enhanced on this new recording by the use of percussion instruments as were in use in popular music of that period: drums, rattles, sticks, castagnets, claves, sistrum and such exotic instruments as def, djembe, darbuka and tammorra.
The composers of these works include Giovanni Picchi, Marco Cavazzoni, Gioseffo Guami, Christofano Malvezzi and Giovanni Trabaci. The organ on this recording is an historical instrument built in 1551 by Onofrio Zeffirini.
A fascinating disc presenting some exciting and entertaining music performed in a way never heard before, by renowned organist Luca Scandali and percussionist Mauro Occhionero. The booklet provides the necessary background information on the music, the composers and the instruments used.

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