Francesco Rognoni’s variations on Palestrina’s Vestiva I Colli, performed by Rotem Gilbert, recorder, with Adaiha MacAdam-Somer, viola da gamba, and Katherine heater, baroque organ. HD video from the San Francisco Early Music Society Recorder workshop, July, 2015. For more information about SFEMS, please visit their website at http://sfems.org/
Francesco Rognoni is principally known for his extensive treatise on early 17th century ornamentation, but a small number of compositions survive. His variations follow the traditional renaissance plan of using the polyphonic framework of Palestrina’s madrigal reduced to a sort of basso continuo in colla parte style, and he adds extensive divisions, or fast ornaments, to the soprano part. Ornamentation treatises in the renaissance and early baroque usually consist of a catalog of riffs that the player could adapt to slower moving notes; the best players could alter or recombine the stock formulas to create seamless compositions that maintain a feeling of improvisation.