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Passacaglia del Signor Luigi

Luigi Rossi (b. 1598 - d. 1653)

Ruby Hughes

Ruby Hughes

Composer
Luigi Rossi (b. 1598 - d. 1653)
Composition Year
1646-1649
Artists
Elbipolis Barockorchester Hamburg (Albrecht Kühner [violin], David Maria Gramse [violin], Kate Hearne [cello], Andreas Arend [theorbo], Veronika Brass [harpsichord]) [baroque ensemble]

Programme Note Writer:
© Kate Hearne

Luigi Rossi is considered to be one of the most influential Italian composers of the early Baroque period, especially with regard to secular vocal music. Very little is known of Rossi’s early life, but at some stage in 1620 he joined the service of Marc'Antonio Borghese in Rome and in 1627 he married Costanza de Ponte, one of the best harp players of the age, who was also employed by the Borgheses The pair formed a formidable musical duo which led to invitations to many of the major courts in Italy and abroad.

The passacaglia form was very popular in the 17th century, originating as a dance in Spain, but used widely as an ostinato or recurring bass line, over which divisions of the top lines were written out or improvised. The passacaglia is nearly always in the minor key, consisting of four descending notes from the tonic to the dominant. Rossi’s passacaglia bearing all the traits of it’s name, is not found extant in any Italian source, and may have been written during one of the composer’s many stays at the French court in Fontainebleau and Paris during 1646 and 1649. It appears in two different manuscript anthologies of French keyboard music dating from the late 18th century. This suggests that the piece held a secure place in French harpsichord repertory and may even have influenced French composers such as Louis Couperin, whose famous passacaille dates from around 1650. 

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Passacaglia del Signor Luigi

Composer: Luigi Rossi (b. 1598 - d. 1653)
Performance date: Monday 1st July 2013
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Luigi Rossi (b. 1598 - d. 1653)
Work Title Passacaglia del Signor Luigi
Composition Year 1646-1649
Artist(s) Elbipolis Barockorchester Hamburg (Albrecht Kühner [violin], David Maria Gramse [violin], Kate Hearne [cello], Andreas Arend [theorbo], Veronika Brass [harpsichord]) [baroque ensemble]
Performance Date Monday 1st July 2013
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Coffee Concert
Duration 00:04:39
Recording Engineer Damian Chennells, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Solo
Instrumentation hpd
Programme Note Writer © Kate Hearne

Luigi Rossi is considered to be one of the most influential Italian composers of the early Baroque period, especially with regard to secular vocal music. Very little is known of Rossi’s early life, but at some stage in 1620 he joined the service of Marc'Antonio Borghese in Rome and in 1627 he married Costanza de Ponte, one of the best harp players of the age, who was also employed by the Borgheses The pair formed a formidable musical duo which led to invitations to many of the major courts in Italy and abroad.

The passacaglia form was very popular in the 17th century, originating as a dance in Spain, but used widely as an ostinato or recurring bass line, over which divisions of the top lines were written out or improvised. The passacaglia is nearly always in the minor key, consisting of four descending notes from the tonic to the dominant. Rossi’s passacaglia bearing all the traits of it’s name, is not found extant in any Italian source, and may have been written during one of the composer’s many stays at the French court in Fontainebleau and Paris during 1646 and 1649. It appears in two different manuscript anthologies of French keyboard music dating from the late 18th century. This suggests that the piece held a secure place in French harpsichord repertory and may even have influenced French composers such as Louis Couperin, whose famous passacaille dates from around 1650.