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Girolamo Frescobaldi

born: 1583
died: 1 March 1643
country: Italy

Girolamo Frescobaldi was born in Ferrara in September 1583 (the exact date has not yet been established) and died in Rome on 1 March 1643. He is counted, along with Sweelinck, as one of the most influential keyboard composers of the early seventeenth century. He received youthful acclaim as an organist. His early career was in Ferrara, where the Duke Alphonso d’Este had created an impressive musical establishment, but by 1604 it is recorded that Frescobaldi had been elected to the Accademia di S Cecilia (a brotherhood of musicians in Rome) and in 1607 he became organist of S Maria in Trastevere. In 1608 he was elected organist of St Peter’s in Rome, and thereafter his fame and professional standing increased steadily both on account of his universally admired organ and harpsichord playing and, as time went on, thanks to the musical quality and style of his keyboard works. It it is now thought that his late works begin to foreshadow the style of the early Baroque period. From 1608 onwards Frescobaldi regularly published collections of his works. The publication which has attracted most attention and renown from subsequent generations is a set published in Venice in 1635, entitled Fiori musicale di diverse compositioni, tocatte, kyrie, canzone, capprici, e recercare, a 4, in partiture …. This includes three organ Masses.

from notes by Jon Dixon © 2009

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