Duration: 10'00", 30 kB
|Theme of Folie d'Espagne by Abel||© Synofzik and Concerto, used with permission|
Folías by Accademia del Piacere live broadcasting
Duration: 0'32", 773 kB. (128KB/s, 44100 Hz)
Duration: 0'56", 890 kB. (128KB/s, 44100 Hz)
I gave Lee Santana (the author of the CD notes of "Aguirre" by Los Otros) all the info that I had about the MS, but it was several years before the making of this CD and I'm sure he had forgotten it, and I think his interests were somewhere else (hence the connection made by Lee between Sebastian de Aguirre -the supposed author of the MS- and Lope de Aguirre -the Spanish conquistador portrayed by Werner Herzog). Anyway, as long as I started this little Aguirre thing, I'd like to share with you some things I've learned of this MS; please don't take this as a criticism to Lee or anybody else, it's just my two-pence contribution for your wonderful page.
The Saldivar Codex 2 is a mexican manuscript for four-course cittern, or "cítara", discovered somewhere in Mexico by Dr Gabriel Saldivar y Silva (the same one who discovered the famous Saldivar Codex 4, the Santiago de Murcia baroque guitar ms), but both mss are not related to each other.
The Saldivar Codex 2 is undated, but was dated by Robert Stevenson as ca. 1650; in my opinion, because of its early repertoire (including Pavanas, Gallardas, Bacas and so on) and the lack of "modern" french pieces and menuets (always present in 18th century mexican mss), I think the Saldivar Codex 2 can be dated in the first half of the 17th century. Stevenson also says that the ms was written in the city of Puebla, in central Mexico, but he gives no reasons for this statement.
There are 2 names in the ms: Anttonio Marttin de Villegas and Sebastian de Aguirre, and I have found not one single piece of information about who these men were. There's no evidence that any of these 2 persons is the compiler or composer of the music, but then, apparently Dr Saldivar considered that the author was Aguirre and labeled the ms "Metodo de citara de Sebastian de Aguirre" and ever since Aguirre has been credited as the composer, and the MS considered a "method", which it is not. In fact, I think Anttonio Marttin de Villegas could be the author or compiler of the MS because his name is at the beginning of the ms. Aguirre's name appears only at the end in an acrostic (a very bad one) praising his nobility and making him some kind of a warrior or soldier, so I think Aguirre was the patron or boss of some guy who could or could not be a musician, called Anttonio Marttin de Villegas, but it's only guesswork.
I don't have the xerox copy of the MS with me, but according to my index,
there are only 2 folias in it, in f. 16v., headed: "folias por 6 y 7 rasgas" and "folias por elami rasgas." rasgas (last 2 letters in superscript) is an abbreviation for "rasgadas", strummed. This would mean
that only the basic folia chords are in the original, and all the rest of the music was composed by Lee Santana. As I tell you,
I don't have the xerox with me, I'll check it.
I use to say that Lee "reconstructed" the music of the MS, but in this case he probably composed it. This folia was first recorded by Lee on the cittern and myself on baroque guitar at the CD "Laberinto en la guitarra. El espíritu barroco del son jarocho".
This is a very simple version, the one in the Los Otros Aguirre CD could be very different (I've never heard this CD), because as Lee says, they all were improvising.
I locked myself in with a copy of the Manuscript, which is a very chaotic (typical cittern!) collection of chord charts and 'licks' for what must have been some of the hits of that era, a kind of 17th century fake book. There are no rhythmic indications whatsoever, and lots of mistakes all over (cittern!)., so I had a heyday making sense and nonsense out of these fragments. [...] The pieces are sketches; some bits of tunes, bass lines, chords, forms, sometimes germinal ideas for solos.
La pieza que vamos a tocar ahora es de las pocas que estan... mas bien quiero decir que es un par de piezas: es una Folia que procede de un libro mexicano del siglo XVII que le dicen el Metodo de Citara de Sebastian de Aguirre, porque era para un instrumento que ya no se utiliza en absoluto que se llama citara y Leopoldo va a tocar la parte de la citara con este tiple ColombianoTranslation in English by Carlos E. Osuna:
The piece that we are going to play now is one a the very few that...I really want to say that it is a pair of pieces: one is a Folia that comes from a 17th-century Mexican book named "Method for the Cittern (Citar) by Sebastian de Aguirre", because it was for an instrument that is now obsolete that was name Cittern, and Leopoldo is going to play the Cittern part on a Colombian tiple.Eloy Cruz wrote about this concert 16 January 2010:
The version we played at the Festival Cervantino is basically the same as in
the Laberinto CD, but played on a 4-course, triple-strung colombian guitar
called "tiple", and blended with a Colombian piece called "La Guaneña".
This version has been very recently recorded in the CD: "Diferencias e
Invenciones. Nuestro son barroco", Tembembe-M Sonido (Mexico).
This last version is somewhat of a divertimento and I had forgotten all of the Aguirre-Santana thing; sorry, I'll never again say that this piece comes from Saldivar Codex 2.
Incidentally, in the Festival, after this folia, we played the Follia by A. Corelli in a "Huasteco" versiona. Our fiddler, Ulises Martinez, is very well acquainted with the music of the Huasteca region by the Gulf Coast of Mexico (always played by one violin and 2 guitars, all tuned at A=415) and he said that this Follia could very well be a traditional piece from this region in Mexico.
Each of the variations is written in the style of an important mandolin composer: No.1 Gabriele Leone, No.2 Carlo Munier, No.3 Heinrich Konietzny.
Duration: 3'05" direct link to YouTube
The complete sheet music
Ensemble 415 with Sonate pour violon et basse continue Opus 9, nr. 12
His output consists of four opuses of trio sonatas for violin and continuo, one of Concerti grossi and a motet entitled 'Coelestes angelici chori' for tenor or soprano which has remained in manuscript form. The style is Italian and the fact that at the end of Opus V there is, like in Corelli, a 'Folia', is a wink that speaks volumes! Albicastro thus ranks among those southern German composers who drew much of their substance from the Italian style, such as Froberger, Walther or Sebastian Scherer
Hesperion XXI at You Tube
Hesperion XXI at You Tube
In 1704 one of the most representative composers of violin music of the German and Dutch school, Henricus Albicastro, an artistic pseudonym of Johann Heinrich von Weissenburg (ca. 1660-ca.1730), published a sonata "La Follia", which displays a clear Corellian influence in its virtuosic writing.
His Sonata op. 5, no. 6 is a 'Folia', not unlike Corelli's famous Sonata op. 5, no. 12. Albicastro's version is equally, if not more, virtuosic than his Corellian predecessor, and just as expansive and moving. One of its most curious and compelling features is the surprising series of reiterations of the final cadence. Biber-like effects also emerge occasionally in both the no. 6 and no. 4 sonatas. For example, the second movement of no. 4 and the final variation of no. 6 are both saturated with an effect Jaap Schroeder has observed in German music of the 17th century: the "perfidia pattern" or rhythmic ostinato (in both cases, distinctive dotted rhythms)
Victor Alcántara , October 13, 2013
Many composers over the centuries have written sets of variations, suited to different instruments, based on the popular old Portuguese folk tune, La Folia. As far as I know, this is the first set written for dulcimer as it is tuned and played today.She verified that she used the theme of the Barcelona Manuscript (1764) for salterio solo as the introduction of 'La Folia in OZ':
I actually performed all the Barcelona variations in 1996. It was while practising for that concert that I made up my own variations for dulcimer. The different tuning layout makes a difference in the ease of playing ... the Barcelona set is easier on a salterio, mine are easier on a dulcimer tuned the way modern dulcimers are tuned.All activities of this composer, builder, teacher and performer can be found at http://www.netspeed.com.au/gillian.alcock
Duration: 1'47", 264 kB. (20kB/s, 16KHz)
Duration: 4'50", 13 kB.
|The Folia progression in A minor by Alkan in 5/4 meter|
Years of composition: 2013-17 (I'm still working on it, 'cause every time I'm going to play it I change something...the order of the variations, some technical passages and other things).
|Opening of Dodici Variazioni||© Matteo Andri, used with permission|
The Folias performed by Chatham Baroque attempt to recreate an improvisatory feeling over a repeating ground bass pattern. Using sources from both the Old and New World, Julie Andrijeski has created a unique version of this well-known dance.
9 pages in pdf with all 22 couplets, 129 kB
D'Anglebert follows the form of the later (as opposed to the early diverse one) folia
closely, but varies the final cadence by using submediant
or subdominant harmonies. His 22 variations constitute an
early instance of keyboard melodic variations. The form
is defined as having a generally fixed harmonic scheme and
constant formal proportions; the main notes of the melody
are retained but may be embellished in any number of ways by
addition of nonharmonic tones and rhythmic variation. The
melody of d'Anglebert's Variations undergoes continual alteration
in the soprano voice, supported by the harmonic structure and
fluent movement of the lower voices. Since D'Anglebert adheres
to the constraints of the form, the harmonies are simple. Occasionally
the rhythmic interest shifts to a lower voice or voices, or a
distinctive rhythmic pattern may be tossed between the hands,
as in Variation 16. In Variation 21 the melodic notes are trilled
with alternating upper and lower auxiliaries, almost producing the
effect of a continuous trill. The scale and arpeggio pattern in the
bass of the last variation resemble the Italianate violin style.
Although numerous settings of the folia melody occur in French manuscripts of the period, D'Anglebert's Variations are possibly the first published keyboard melodic variations on the folia, preceding those of Pasquini (in manuscript from the 1690s), Alessandro Scarlatti (1715) and C.P.E. Bach (1778). D'Anglebert's Variations had great popularity and longevity, for they are also found in a late eighteenth-century German manuscript. They reflect characteristics of the Italian school-notably those of Bernardo Pasquini.
D'Anglebert's Variations also fall into this classification of melodic variations, with a homophonic texture and fixed harmonies, and they appear to antedate those of Pasquini. Whatever the case, D'Anglebert was probably influenced by the Italians, for traits such as violinistic gestures occur. His Variations, however, do not reflect the virtuoso style, sharp contrasts , and vivid imagination of those by Marais. One senses that Marais's variations were for the pleasure of a seated audience, while D'Anglebert's could have accompanied dancers and may have been included in his edition for their populair appeal. Although simply constructed, these variations succeed admirably within their strict harmonic and formal framework.
Duration: 0'34", 02 kB.
|First 8 bars of the opening-variation by d'Anglebert||by unknown source|
The Suite in D minor is a large suite that opens with a
prelude non mesure twice as long as those of the previous
suites, moving forward with excitement and anticipation.
The suite is capped by a set of22 variations on the Folies d'Espagne. The word folia, a popular ground that originated in fifteenth-century Iberia, literally means "insanity" in Portuguese. A wild, churning dance song, it was used as the basis of improvisations and virtuoso compositions. Its influence can be felt throughout this suite, in which the key of0 minor carries affects ofdevotion and grandeur, melancholy and phantoms
The triumph of the Folies d'Espagne started probably around 1656 after the appearance of the guitarist Francecsco Corbetta in Paris. The name is derived from, the Portuguese "folias", meaning lunacy. It originated from a noisy, very fast carnival dance of fertility and slowed down in the course of time. The wonderful melody enhanced its popularity throughout all of Europe. d'Anglebert's variations, maybe the first published version for keyboard, are not so much on the virtuoso order as the ones by Marais, Corelli or Vivaldi, but can be well imagined to have served for real dance occasions. Yet, in this form it survived its creator and even still is found in a German manuscript from the late 18th century.
Duration: 9'12" direct link to YouTube
Duration: 8'33" direct link to YouTube
The suite in d-minor ends with the set of variations on 'La Folia de Espana'. These are the only variations on this popular theme composed for a keyboard instrument in France during the 17th century*. 'Folia' meant 'madness' in Castilian [the standard literary form of Spanish], and it was originally used to refer to a very fast dance, 'out of control' ['alocada' means literally with madness but it really implies 'beyond the standards or beyond the reasonable framework']. Little by little, the dance becomes slower (being assimilated as a courtly dance). D'Anglebert variations are 22 pieces of notable 'richness'. Within their scope we discover different styles: Italian, French... The [contemporary] baroque choreographies (cf. Feuillet) justify the use of changes in tempo and character.* In 1998 there was another long forgotten manuscript of the Folies d'Espagne for harpsichord published of minor importance and which was originally collected by Marc Roger Normand (1663-1734) in 1695.
From among the pieces in the appendix, which encompasses all those movements not included in Part 1 of my complete recording, I
would like to single out one that in terms of size and form is unique among d'Anglebert's original works for harpsichor: the variations on the famous Follia bass.
As a mosaic of many dissimilar parts, the twenty-two couplets represent a great challange to the player.
In my opinion, the Follia variations are d'Anglebert's most 'Italian' work. Besides French style cantabile sections dominated by the upper voice, elements of the Italian style can also be found: variations with rhythmici ornamental figures and a clear alternation of regular motion between the bass and the soprano. The long series of small character sketches finally leads into a flashy solo in the left hand, which is accompanied in the right hand by chords enriched with acciaccaturas. The master arranger, the great protagonist of beautiful gaillardes, and creator of weighty sarabandes thus shows himself also to be a master of inventiveness and instrumental diversity. Let us hope that also from this recording he may be recognized as such.
It had not occurred to me that my 'Song Without Words no. 2' was a variation
on 'La Folia' . You are right that it is, in the sense that it has the Folia
chord structure as it's basic idea, though the main difference between it
and all the Folias I see on your site is that it is in 4/4 time.
None of the people who have heard the piece before, including musicians, have notice the resemblance to La Folia. This piece was described as 'Gypsy-sounding' by one listener, and 'resembling Fauré' by another - quite a range.
I think the universality of the Folia chord-progression lies in the way it is rooted in the minor but makes a central aspiration to the relative major before dying back again. It is a kind of musical equivalent of a cycle of life in its most simplified form.
I took this chord-progression from the general background of our musical culture rather than in any deliberate attempt to write a variation on La Folia, for one number in a set of romantic, short piano pieces that use the title that Mendelssohn invented, and which re-interpret some techniques of the cantabile piano style.
Duration: 2'05", 12 kB.
You're missing one or more?
Please e-mail your contribution to
and it will be added to the inventory
best viewed at 800 x 600