Alessandro Piccinini (1566-c1638), a Bolognese lutenist, composer and writer on music, claimed to have invented the archlute—a lute with an extended neck—in the 1590s. The claim was made in the preface to the first of his two published volumes of music, Intavolatura di liuto, et di chitarrone, libro primo
(Bologna, 1623), which includes the Ciaccona in partite variate
. Made up of a tuneful bass line that accompanies a set of attractive variations, this is an animated work that refines the chaconne’s festive character to create a genial and spirited dance, full of teasing energy, that was presumably performed at aristocratic assemblies in Ferrara and Bologna, where Piccinini was employed.
from notes by Paul Williamson © 2019