Some Foolias

Some references in the title

Some composers were so much inspired by the continuous repetition and variation techniques that they made a reference to La Folia in the title of their somewhat different compositions. So there are at least four 'local' Folias: from France, Holland and the cities of Paris and Liège (Belgium).
Other reasons for mentioning the name Folia or Folies could be ignorance of the musical Folia-theme or an effort to express madness in the literal sense of the word.


Agobet, J.L. (? - )
Folia (2002) pour orchestre effectif : 2.(pte fl.) 2.(c.a.) 2.(bass.) 2.(ctbn) - 2.2.1.0. percussion (2) pno. 6.6.4.4.2
J.L. Agobet wrote in an e-mail March 6, 2006:

This piece is note based upon the Folia-Theme (used by Corelli). For futhers information contact my publisher : Editions Jobert, Paris.

  1. Orchestre des Jeunes de la Méditerranée directed by Roland Hayrabedian
    • Title: Folia
    • Released by Actes Sud AT 34115
    • Duration: 15'00"


Aitken, Robert (? - )
cd Folia, Aitken 15 kB lp Folia, Aitken 15 kB
Folia for wind quintet (bass., cl. fl. horn, oboe)(1981)
David G.H. Parson wrote in 'The Wholenote Magazine' November 1999:

It was performed regularly by the York Winds for whom it was commissioned and later appeared on a Centrediscs vinyl recording (now out of print). Aitken said about the title: 'It was written in the fall of the year at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, and intentionally reflects the random order and rich colors of nature as exhibited by trees and 'foliage'. The music follows an idea of all things relating and flowing into each other and, while there are random aspects, it is not at all a 'free piece'.

  1. The York Winds "Folia , Canadian woodwind quintets"
    • Title: Folia
    • Released 1982 by Centrediscs vinyl LP Can. Press. CMC 0482 Gatefold and compact disc CMC-CD 7301
    • Duration: 10'33"
    • Recording date: place and date unknown


Anonymous from Musical Archive of Moxos
cd Florilegium 15 kB
La Folia AMMoxos: Allegro, Largo, Allegro
Although La Folia as a musical scheme is commonplace there is no word ex[plained about the name of this quite different tune in the documentation. In the slipcase it written abou La Folia:

The instrumental repertoire of the Musical Archive of Moxos is limited and consists only of about 12 pieces. The works come from two periods of the life at the missions. The oldest ones became part of the collection during the first half of the XVIII Century. According to reports from that time, this repertoire was large and consisted of music for small instrumental groups, for specific string and wind instruments (sonatas and concertos) and for keyboard. It would seem that, at least in some instances, the Indians also used select indigenous instruments in the playing of this repertoire. Nonetheless, it has not been possible to establish until now how they did it.
This work was found in the Archive only in 2003 and the present interpretation is the first one in over a century, possibly longer

  1. Florilegium and Bolivian soloists "Bolivian Baroque"
    • Title: La Folia: AMMoxos: Allegro, Largo, Allegro
    • Released 2004 by Channel Classics Records compat disc
    • Duration: 3'12", 4'02", 3'09"
    • Recording date: April 2004 in Cathedral de Concepción, Bolivia


cover sheet music Cipollone 1883 - 09 kB
Cipollone, Alfonso (? - ?)
Follia, polka galop (1883)
An early example of ragtime piano playing with changing of keys and repeats, however the chord progression of a Folia is not the ground material for this piece, neither is the melody.
Duration: 4'19", 17 kB.
The complete polka, including all repeats
  1. Cipollone, Alfonso
    • Title: Follia. Polka galop
    • Released 1883 by Pond, Wm A., New York
    • Source: Library of Congress. Music Division. Part of 'Music for a nation: American sheet music, 1870-1885', call number M2.3.U6A44
    • Digital ID: sm 1883 19445 urn:hdl:loc.music/sm1883.19445 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.music/sm1883.19445
    • Duration: approx. 4'20"
    • 5 pages, including the title page, 195 bars


Couperin, Francois (1668-1733)
Les Folies françoises (troisième livre de clavecin, 1722)

Kenneth Gilbert plays Les Folies françoises
Duration: 7'22" direct link to YouTube
© by Kenneth Gilbert

Imbi Tarum plays Les Folies françoises during a live recital
Palazzo Annibaldeschi in Monte Compatri (Rome-Italy) on April 2nd 2011
Duration: 7'23" direct link to YouTube
© 2011 by Imbi Tarum

Are we dealing with a real Folia? In most literature Couperin is mentioned along with Corelli, Marais and Vivaldi as a composer who has written variations upon the Folia-theme. When you listen to the theme you can recognize the same musical form but I do think it's a quite different melody- and chord progression. There will be no doubt that Couperin responded to the popularity of the Folies d'Espagne in his own way. For the most simple explanation, that he was trying to rival the popular folies d'Espagne with his very own Folies françoises I did not find any evidence in literature so far. Wasn't he, full of selfconfidence, challenging one of the most popular tunes at that moment? So I better quote the more nuanced vision of two authors to be on the safe side.

Opening of Couperin's Les Folies françoises
Opening score 
Couperin Les Folies françoises - 20kB


George Beck wrote as introduction to the recording of Kenneth Gilbert's interpretation of the Troisième Livre de clavecin:

Les Folies françoises ou Les Dominos are among Couperin's most famous pieces, and justly so. La Follia is a Portuguese dance; by way of reaction to the Folies d'Espagne (Spanish Folies), then the rage, Couperin also composed Folies. In his hands they adopt French nationality. The composer clearly had Corelli's Follia in mind, as he borrows it form. Couperin's 'international' suite consisting of a theme and eleven variations, is a vast Chaconne, or rather, a Passacaglia. The work is a tightly-knit, which has to be performed as such. Like a carnival procession, each virtue or sentiment tendre is disquised as a folie beneath the mask of a suitable domino.

Philippe Beaussant wrote about Les Folies françoises:

Here the title is intelligible only if one understands the implications of the word folies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as wel as well as the fact that it had nothing to do with la furia france- se. The folia was a dance with a destiny strangely similar to that of the passacaglia, the chaconne, and the sarabande. This dance, or, more accurately, this masquerade, was performed in Portugal on certain feast-days. Folia (madness) was an appropriate name: the dancers, in fancy dress and accompanied by the guitar, performed all manner of sung and mimed improvisations. Like the passacaglia and the sarabande, the folia crossed the Pyrenees and made its way into Baroque Europe - and, like those dancers, as it spread, it became tamer, calmer, more formal, until its only madness was that retained in its title.
In its moderate form, the theme of the Folies d'Espagne (The Spanish Follies) became extremely popular during the European Baroque, and it is this point in its history that concerns us here. Lully wrote some lovely variations which Philidor preserved. Corelli ended his Opus V with a folia so tame and restrained that it served as the perfect vehicle for his violinistic expertise and ideal testimony to his own artistry. Marin Marais's Second Livre of the Pieces de viole used the form as the occasion for a miracle of lyricism and virtuosity. Thus, through a curious process of evolution, the folia became, to the public, the most popular and yet the most hackneyed type of air, and to the musician, the symbol of a work in which a master composer set forth a precis or a proclamation of what he believed to be his most unique and valuable contribution.
At precise this moment, Couperin entered the fray with that halfsmile of his, pretending he had not changed the folia in the slightest and saying, " After all these Folies d'Espagne, here are the Folies francoises (The French Follies). This had several different meanings. First, it meant that the music expressed a total commitment - it was music engage. It took its place at a precise point in the history of music, alongside and in opposition to other works. Couperin was wholly aware of its position, for he was the pmost perceptive composer of his day. Even before Rameau, his works took a well-defined, almost polemic direction within the unfolding history of music. L'Apotheose de Lully, L'Apotheose de Corelli , and Les Fastes de la Grande et Ancienne Mxnxstrxndxsx. In these pieces, Couperin was playing a well-defined intellectual game, which was independent of their musical worth. To a lesser degree, Les Folies francoises, too, must be understood within this context.
Moreover the fact that this music belongs to the genre of folies reveals something else about its nature. It is not, at least initially or essentially, a series of colorfull, charming little pictures. The anecdotal aspect of Les Folies francoises is not secondary, but it does come second. The work is primarily a series of variations similar in form to a passacaglia, but one quite different from the variations of Corelli and more like the passacaglia in B minor of the Huitieme Ordre. Ignoring the titles and subtitles, let us look at the work:
1) A graceful theme in triple time. Couperin was obviously thinking of Corelli here; the first two measures are taken verbatim from the Concerto per la notte di Natale. But the theme itself is French, as simple as a song, saying everything it has to say in only a few measures. Its striking features are its grace and charm.
2) [technical description of every variation]
These are the Folies of Couperin as they might have appeared if Couperin had been other than he was, or if they had not been pointedly French.
For this is the aspect of the work that reveals its explicit purpose. Couperin ostentatiously naturalized the Folies, taking the position that they were resolutely French. It is interesting to note those qualities which to Couperin's mind, made them so unquestionably and conspicuously French.
In the proces of naturalization, they became images; thus they clearly indicate the link between the life of the imagination and music as Couperin, together with so many other French musicians, conceived it. [...]

  1. Bussotti, Sylvano (1931- ) cover cd Bussotti - 15 kB
    • Title: 12 Folies d'après François Couperin le Grand per violino e pianoforte (2--7)
    • Recording: 'Four Pianos' by Aldo Ovieto (pianoforte) and Carlo Lazari (violin)
    • Released 2013 by Stradivarius ordernumber STR 330952
    • Duration: 11'48"
    • Recording date: unknown in Conservatorio Cesare Pollini, Padova, Italy


cover LP Het Nieuwe Hollands Speel-Huys - 16 kB
Croebelis, Domingo S. del (18th Century)
De Folies van Holland, Suite No. V (the Folia from the Lowlands of Holland, year of publication unknown): 7 variations (couplets)
This piece of music is written with the later Folia in mind, although the chord progression is different. The 'dutch Folia' so to speak, like Couperin composed the french one.
Originally published in 'Het Nieuwe Hollands Speelhuys, waar in alle Soorten van Dans en Speel-stukjes, na de hedendaagse Gusto, voor de Viool, Fluit, Hobois en Cimbalo, die geapproprieerd zijn tot Ligte Solo's om tot Zwaarder op te Leiden, en die men met Bas of Clavecimbaal kan speelen, Libro I, Suite V.' (translation from dutch language: The new dutch 'house of fun' to dance and play, according to the modern fashion for the violin, flute, oboe and harpsichord, ranging from easy to play solos to intermediate, with b.c. by bass or harpsichord).
Duration: 7'25", 27 kB.
All seven couplets for flute (original violin) and b.c. (harpsichord)
Opening of De Folies van Holland by J.A.H. Wagenaar 1957
De Folies van Holland, opening score - 13kB
  1. Wagenaar, Jan (b.c) & Hesselink, Sander (violin) edited the music
    J.A.H. Wagenaar wrote about this piece as an introduction to the sheet music (translated from the dutch language):

    According to the title page the work has been written for either violin, flute or oboe. It can be played with or without basso continuo (e.g. viola da gamba, viola or bassoon. The addition of a keyboard is optional. The two parts of the score can also be played on a single harpsichord, clavichord or piano with an occasional filling out of the harmonies. And the composer does not promise too much. For, the 42 rather easy and succinct pieces (organised in 6 suites) may be originally written for the violin - this can be deduced from the occasional double-touch and the low setting of some of the pieces - but sound just as rewarding when executed on another instrument.
    Who Domingo S. del Croebelis was, I have not been able to trace. It is very probable though, that behind this very Spanish name a common Dutchman hid himself. The titles as well as the character most of the tunes points in that direction. A few pieces have a slight French or Italian intonation, but are essentially a direct continuation of the typically Dutch "plugge" dances, that were very popular in Holland at the end of the 17th century.
    The book itself bears no dates. But from the typography and the style of the pieces it can be rather accurately dated around the year 1745.
    The 'Folies van Holland' are seven variations on a simple melody in 3/4 time. Del Croebelis here gives a Dutch version of the Follia-variations (Corelli!) that were very popular in the 17th and 18th century. The basic melody, however, differs from the usual Folia melody in that it is more some kind of menuet with variations. Del Croebelis probably had the violin in mind when writing these variations.

    • Published in 1957 by J.A.H. Wagenaar, Utrecht, the Netherlands
    • Score 5 p. and 1 part (solo-instrument 4 p.) size 33cm x 24cm
    • No Publisher No. indicated
  2. Oost, Gert (organ) and Spigt, Jaap (harpsichord) 'Het Nieuwe Hollands Speel-Huys, waar in Gert Oost en Jaap Spigt op vijf historische Nederlandsche Huys orgels en cimbalo speelen met Dans en Speel-stukjes van Vaderlandsche Bodem'
    • Released without indication of the year (but it must be after 1973 when the harpsichord was built used in this recording) by Produktie Intersound Haarlem LP 6812 376
    • Duration: xx"
    • Recording date: not mentioned, nor the location of the recording
    • Instruments: small organ (house-organ) built by Hendrik Hermanus Hess (1735-1794) harpsichord a copy of Taskin built by David Rubio 1973

cover cd Dalakopa - size 15 kB
Dalakopa (Norwegian ensemble)
La folia (polska traditional)
  1. Dalakopa (ensemble) 'E' vi alle i hopa'
    • Released 1995 by Heilo compact disc HCD7109
    • Duration: 2'18"
    • Recording date: unknown


Dandrieu, Jean-François (1682-1738) cover cd Dandrieu - size 15 kB
Les Folies amusantes, as part of the 'Première Suite', Premier Livre (1724).
  1. Pappas, Iakovos (harpsichord) 'Dandrieu, Premier Livre de Clavecin, Vol I'
    • Released 2002 by Ogam compact disc 488014-2 AG 50
    • Duration: 2'27"
    • Recording date: December 2001 in Espace de Projection Ircam, Paris, France
    • Harpsichord built by Bruce Kennedy, Chateau d'Oex, 1985


Dianov, Dmitri (1963- ) cover cd Dmitri Dianov - size 15 kB
Folia (1996, for organ solo).
Ok, the title refers to the Fol ía theme and there are 16 bars involved in the variation technique but the Folía theme is never quoted. The variations are more derived from a major setting.
In the slipcase is written:

Continuing Dmitri Dianov's expertimentations in earlier styles, the Folia (1996) leads us to an even more abstract, spiritual world, which is at the same time more human, psychological, and where the language and forms of the past intertwine with the richness of contemporary discourse

  1. Tchebourkina, Marina 'L'Îlot, Dmitri Dianov, oeuvres pour orgue'
    • Released 2010 by Natives compact disc CDNAT12
    • Duration: 17'56"
    • Recording date: not mentioned in the documention at the organ of the Abbey-church of St Ettienne, Caen, France


Dodge, Charles (1942- )
Folia Extensions for trumpet and tape
From the liner notes:

Folia begins its evolution from a unified texture of sustained tones into extended solo and ensemble passages. [...] The title, meaning layers, refers to the resulting texture.

  1. Anderson, Ronald (trumpet) with a tape computed at the Columbia University Computer Center
    • Published 1974
    • Composers Recordings CRI SD 300

Goldschmidt, Berthold (1903- )
Folia (Elegy) molto allegro quasi presto, as third part of the '2. Streichquartett' (1936)
The theme of La Folia is not used in this composition, which was written to express the feeling of madness in the literal sense of the word
cover cd of Goldschmidt's Letzte Kapitel - 07 kB
  1. Mandelring Quartett 'Berthold Goldschmidt, Letzte Kapitel
    Michael Struck wrote for the slipcase about Folia:

    The third movement arises from this tragic background: a chaconne whose title, Folia, may recall the ancient dance of that name but is more directly related to the consequences of quite another kind of human folia, or madness. The movement's elegiac character is sustained by an unbroken 6/8 rhythm and an uninterrupted sequence of three notes (E, A and G sharp) which appears 71 times, first in the viola, then in the cello part, and finally (a last farewell) in the first violin.

    • Title: Folia
    • Part of the composition '2. Streichquartett'
    • Released 1990 by Rias Berlin compact disc LC 8943
    • Duration: 7'04"
    • Recording date: June 26, 27 and 28, 1990

Heinz Geisser - Guerino Mazzola Duo (duo)
cover cd Heinz Geisser - Guerino Mazzola Duo 15 kB
"Folía" / The Unam Concert
This is absolutely a weird case. In the documentation of the Folía / UNAM Concert there are many references to the 'later' Folia-theme (even the old URL of this website is mentioned!) as the source of inspiration but in the free-style improvisation of more than an hour I could not detect a single effort to quote the theme only once.
In the documentation is written:

As Puebla drove them to the concert, Mazzola recalls, "he played a CD of Rachmaninoff's Corelli Variations for us. It was a revelation to me. I didn't know it, and I promised Emilio that I was going to make my own variation on the Corelli theme."

As it turned out, the theme became a crucial agent in the performance. Mazzola continues, "you can in fact hear the short theme (something like c...d...b.....a...b...a-flat) all over the concert. It turned out that the theme fits incredibly well in my own harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic strategies."

The theme that Rachmaninoff worked with, from Corelli's 12th Violin Sonata in D minor, first published in 1700, was already a found theme. It had its source in the "Folía", madness, dance that originated in the late fifteenth century as a fertility dance, with each dancer carrying another, dressed as a woman, on his shoulders (the levity of the burdens of history). The dance, its participants "literally driven mad by the noise and the stirring rhythm", was eventually refined into a court dance far from its origins, but it has had an extraordinary history as a musical theme that is traced in detail in the web-site La Folia: A Musical Cathedral. (See http://people.a2000.nl/pgabler).

Geisser and Mazzola decided to call this CD Folía for its spontaneous mixture of madness and control. Just as germane as that central inspiration are the individual titles here, setting the performance in the Aztec world, both mythic and historical, of Mexico City.

  1. Guerino Mazzola (Boesendorfer grand piano), Heinz Geisser (Percussion)
    • Released 2001 by Silkheart Records compact disc SHCD 153
    • Duration: 62'06"
    • Recording date: October 16, 2000 during a concert at the Sala Xochipilli of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) , Mexico City, Mexico

Hoek, Theo (1952- )
Folia vento moventur for choir a cappella
The theme of La Folia is not used in this composition. It was dedicated to the loss of the composers mother and a good friend.
  1. Ad Parnassum (mixed choir), director Moergastel, Pieter van
    • Part of the composition in 14 parts 'Dedicatio'
    • Released 1988 by Hoek nr. 6819130
    • Recording date: march 5, 1988

Jacobs, Walter (19th century)
Spanish Follies, Opus 118 No. 2 (1895), arrangement for guitar solo
Despite the association with Folies d'Espagne, this music has nothing to do with the 'Folia'-theme.
  1. Jacobs, Walter

Magnapasta (ensemble)
La follia (2003)
Despite the title this music has nothing to do with the 'Folia'-theme.
  1. Magnapasta
    • Released 2003 by Ethnoworld compact disc

Malipiero, Riccardo (1914- )
Giber folia: per clarineto e pianoforte (1973) cover LP of Malipiero's Giber Folia size 12 kB
  1. Gerbi, Alfio (clarinet) & Leonardini, Leonardo (piano) 'Chamber music'
    In the slipcase was written (thanks for the translation from Italian to English by a vistor of this website):

    Giber Folia, composed in 1973, was first premiered at "Piccola Scala" on the 30th of April 1974, during the celebration of Malipiero’s 60th birthday. The title is the anagram of the name of clarinet player Gerbi Alfio, to whom the composition is dedicated. "Folia" is the english degeneration of "Follia", a musical structure from 17th century which eventually would became an air with variations on a "basso" not always "ostinato". In English 'Giber' means mocker, sneerer, but ­ as the composer states in the preface ­ "has no reference at all with people involved". The work has an airy and fluency feeling of his own, along with Malipiero’s typical sudden and unexpected changes, from pseudo-elegiac of the beginning to fast hammer-style of piano solo, from soft pastel of "Tempo I" to "con rabbia" (with anger) that reveal intensely marked spirals, and so on during the whole composition: a gemmation developing conversation, like a growing weed, that takes shiny and refracting faces of a prism, but with rounded off edges thanks to a hearty and fluent talk, rapidly complying to the spirit and technique of the chosen wind instrument. Particularly remarkable the episode in 15/8 tempo (nearly a variation) that became a 12/8, a very rare if not unique tempo in Malipiero’s compositions, who has a sort of idiosyncrasy to x/8 tempos used as standard fixed background rhythm. Even remarkable the short and aleatory finale, not to be intended as a coquetry but, as presented and controlled, rather as a calm down before the end, coherently with general trend of a composition made by sonic chemistry whose elements spontaneously interact and melt into distilled and clear solutions.

    • Released 1978 by Italia ITL 70040
    • Duration: 15'30"

cover cd Thierry De Mey 08 kB
Mey, Thierry De (?- )
Folia
The musical theme of La Folia is not used in this composition.
  1. Ictus Ensemble, conductor Georges-Elie Octors 'Kinok'
    • Title: Folia
    • Released 1995 by Megadisc Classics, Ictus collectie compact disc MDC 7859
    • Duration: 1'14" (on the cover is an error, only 4 seconds are given for the duration)
    • Recording date: February/March, 1995


cover cd of Montsalvatge - 20 kB
Montsalvatge, Xavier (1912- )
Folia Daliniana, Sinfonietta for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, string orchestra and percussion (1996)
The theme of La Folia is not used in this composition imho, although in the slipcase is mentioned that the composition was based on the Folia de España
  1. Orchesta Filarmonica de Gran Canaria/Adrian Leaper conductor
    Douglas Riva wrote for the slipcase about Folia Daliniana:

    Folia daliniana, Montsalvatge's most recent symphonic work, was premiered during the Festival Internacional de Cadaqués in July 1997. In Folia daliniana Montsalvatge was inspired by the life and work of the painter Salvador Dalí. Dalí, widely recognised as one of the greatest painters in the 20th century, was closely associated with the town of Cadaqués, situated on the 'Costa Brava', the rocky Mediterranean coastline north of Barcelona. Montsalvatge wanted to evoke Dali's deep identification with the special atmosphere of Cadaqués and the countryside which surrounds the town which were always a source of inspiration for Dalí. Montsalvatge based 'Folia daliniana' on the Folia de España, a dance based on a simple minor-key chord progression that was popular in Renaissance Spain and Portugal. The Folia became the basis for countless Baroque Sarabandes as well as innumerable 18th and 19th century sets of variations
    Folia daliniana is scored for four soloists - flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon - with string orchestra and percussion. It was written as a concertino, in which the orchestra and soloists join together in the intrada or ripieno, which, in turn, alternates with a virtuosic intermezzo for each soloist.

    • Title: Folia daliniana
    • Released 1999 by ASV, London compact disc CD DCA 1060
    • Duration: 14'49"
    • Recording date: July 1-4, 1988 in Auditorio Alfredo Kraus, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Piatti, Alfredo (1822-1901)
Follia su un'aria di Geminiani per violoncello e pianoforte (for cello and piano)
Duration: 0'39", 2 kB.
The 27 opening bars of the piece
  1. Bellisarto, Christian editor of the sheet music
    • Published 2003 by Pizicato Verlag Helvetia
    • Publishers No. 103932
    • Score 10 p. + 1 part 28 cm

Renotte, Hubert (1704-1745) cover cd of Renotte/Raick size 16 kB
Les bagatelles ou les Folies de Liège - Menuet en suite des bagatelles (c. 1740)
Another local variation from the city of Liège in Belgium, without using the Folia-structure except for some reference in the title.
  1. Immerseel, Jos van (harpsichord) 'Renotte - Raick, Pièces & Suites pour le clavecin, Jos van Immerseel, Blandine Verlet'
    On the backsite of the container the word 'Folles' is mentioned while in the slipcase several times the word 'Folies' is used.
    From the slipcase after J. Quintin and Ph. Mercier:

    Then there are the delightful 'Bagatelles ou Folies de Liège' where a basso ostinato recur in twelve variations in the manner of a passacaglia and with mounting virtuosity; a minuet rounds the 'folies de Liège' off like a kind of final variation. But it should be noted that the theme is quite unlike the ubiquitous 'Folies d'Espagne' associated with Corelli. Whether Renotte based based it on a local tune is hard to say since progressions in thirds over a ground bass were a commonplace of early 18th-century music. The 17th-century fashion for the follia was declining during his lifetime, though Grétry for instance was later to revive it. José Quintin has pointed out that knowledge of it was still taken for granted in the opera 'Les Hypocontes'by Renotte's Walloon compatriot Jean Noël Hamal.

    • Released 1994 (this compilation) by Koch Schwann, Musique en Wallonie compact disc 3-1560-2 H1
    • Duration: 6'55"
    • Recording date: 1974 (the production year 1974 is mentioned)

Ridout, Alan (1934- )
Folies de Paris (for contrabassoon and piano)
  1. Ridout, Alan
    • Published 1997 by Ampleforth, North Yorkshire, England
    • Emerson Edition
    • Score 12 p. + 1 part (7 p.) 28 cm

Rudzinski, Witold (with an accent acute on the n) (1913-2004)
Concerto Grosso per Batteria e due Orchestre d'Archi (for a percussionist and two string orchestras), second movement "La Follia" (1970)
cover sheet music Witold Rudzinski size 16 kB Despite the title of the movement, the theme of La Folia is not used in this composition.
For some years the title of this composition was found in a catalogue but it remained unclear if there was a connection with the 'later' Folia-theme. The piece remained an omission in any collection both the published music as any acoustic performance.
Fortunately Witold Bartczak in Poland has undertaken great effort to track down the sheet music and succeeded in doing so. But there was still a problem. The music looked extremely difficult to make a sequence in a midi-program like Cakewalk. Sometimes the meter of the Batteria was quite different from the meter of the orchestra at the same time! And many symbols in the sheet music for percussion instruments I had never seen before. So if it was derived from the Folia-theme was still misty. I could not find any ground bass pattern which is so charasteristic for the Folia. There seems to be one acoustical performance of the piece recorded by Polskie Radio, Warszawa but it can't be traced.
So I had sent the two opening pages of the second movement (the exposition of the Folia-theme emerges almost always in the opening) to Helmut Timpelan, a modern composer who brings many unique qualities from the Baroque period into modern composition, and asked for his impression.
Helmut Timpelan wrote about the opening of the second movement (La Follia) July 8, 2006:

Die von den Violinen und dem Vibraphon in Engführung vorgetragenen Themen in dem mit "LA FOLLIA" bezeichneten Satz II aus dem "CONCERTO GROSSO PER BATTERIA* E DUE ORCHESTRE D'ARCHI von Witold Rudzinski sind nicht identisch mit der durch Corelli berühmt gewordenen "Folies d'Espagne". Sie erscheinen auch nicht in der Bassgruppe (Contrabässe pizzicato).
Womöglich steht Rudzinskis "Concerto grosso", welches stilistisch der sogenannten Avantgarde** des 20.Jahrhunderts zuzuordnen ist, im Kontext zu Arnold Schönbergs Umarbeitung von Händels "Concerto grosso" op.6 Nr.7 zum "Konzert für Streichquartett und Streichorchester".
Denn Schönberg hielt Händel für radikal verbesserungsbedürftig. Deshalb "verbesserte" Schönberg auf seine Art Händels (an Corelli orientiertes) "Concerto grosso", womit er es aber in Wahrheit zerstörte wie die Musik selbst.
Theodor W(iesengrund) Adorno ("Frankfurter Schule") konnte es zu allem Übel nicht lassen, noch eins draufzusetzen, indem er um 1956 nachtrat und sinngemäß verkündete: Wer sich heutzutage noch an einem "provokant gesunden Concerto grosso" von Händel labe, der gehöre zu den "Schmetterlingssammlern".
Vielleicht wollte Rudzinski sich der "Frankfurter Schule" andienen?  Und demonstriert mit seinem "Concerto grosso", dass nicht nur Händels, sondern auch Corellis und Geminianis Concerti grossi - incl. Geminianis Streichorchesterfassung von Corellis "Follia" -  "radikal verbessert" werden müssten?
Kurzum: dies meine Assoziationen beim Betrachten von Rudzinskis Partiturauszug.

*1. "Batterie(frz.) [Batteria,ital.]: Bez[eichnung] für die Gruppe der Schlaginstr[umente], in Gegenüberstellung zu den Streichern und Bläsern eines gr[oßen] Orch[esters] oder Jazzorch[esters]; 2. aus dem 18.Jh. stammende Bez[eichnung] der KiM [Kirchenmusik] für staccato gespielte Figuren (z.B. gebrochene Akkorde, Albertibauml;sse usw.) Quelle: Horst Seeger, Musiklexikon in zwei Bänden. 1966 Leipzig.

**Schönberg, Stockhausen, Penderecki etc.

  1. Filharmonii Poznanskiej directed by Renard Czajkowski
    • Recorded by Polskie Radio, Warszawa, Poland
    • Duration ca. 16' (3 parts: Canone, La Follia, Scherzo -Finale)
    • Recording date: March 29, 1973
  2. Rudzin'ski, Witold
    • Partitura published by Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne PWM Edition, Krakow 1975 The Batteria solo is for 4 timpani, 3 bongo 5 tom-tom, gran cassa, 2 crotali, 4 piatti sospesi, hi-hat, gong, xilofoon, vibrafoon and marimbafoon.
    • Publisher No. PWM 7623
    • Duration ca. 16' (3 parts: Canone, La Follia, Scherzo -Finale)
    • 28 pages for the complete sheet music (without cover) 7 pages for the second movement. Size 29 x 21 cm
  3. Rudzin'ski, Witold
    • Facsimile of the music as written down by Rudzin'ski published by Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne PWM Edition, Krakow 1975
    • Publisher No. PWM 7623
    • Duration ca. 16' (3 parts: Canone, La Follia, Scherzo -Finale)
    • 41 pages for the complete sheet music, 11 pages for the second movement. Size 29 x 21 cm

Trojahn, Manfred (1949- )
La Folia : Musik für zwei Klaviere (1982)
I have not heard this piece played once, so I don't know if the musical Folia-theme is hidden somewhere in the score of the 43 pages. However looking at the opening of the sheet music and listening to the midi-file of the opening, it seems a reasonable assumption that the name of the composition is derived from the literal meaning of the word Folia: madness. Rhythm and harmony are extremely complex and obviously deliberately out of the order of 'logical' or 'natural' behaviour.
Duration: 0'39", 2 kB.
The 4 opening bars of which three are indicated below

The 3 opening bars of
La Folia by Trojahn
Reproduced with permission
of Bärenreiter, Kassel
Trojahn, opening score - 25kB
  1. Trojahn, Manfred
    • Published by Bärenreiter 1982, Kassel
    • Score 43 p., 29.9 x 22.8 cm
    • Publisher No. BA 7086

Vries, Klaas de (1944- )
Follia for brass players, percussion, electric instruments and five solo string instruments (1972-1973)
Despite the title of the piece, the theme of La Folia is not used in this composition. It focuses on the meaning of the word 'Follia' and not on the famous bass progression or melody.
Klaas de Vries tried to express the association of the word follia with blind madness, by introducing an ostinato bass, the unequal battle between 16 winds and 5 string instruments, and finally the violent repetition and transposition of identical musical fragments. Thinking about the reflection of the light in the sea.
  1. Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Otto Ketting
    • Released by Donemus compact disc series: 'Composers' Voice Highlights', CV 25 previously issued on Donemus LP CV 8004
    • Duration: 11'20"
    • Commissioned by the Rotterdam Art Foundation
    • Dedicated to Otto Ketting

Zelenka, Jan Dismas (1679-1745)
Folia, last dance from the Ouverture a 7 concertanti in F major (c. 1723)
The original manuscript: Sächsischen Landesbibliothek in Dresden, Germany. This folia is not in three-four time and the chord progression has nothing to do with the later folia. It's a quick dance-tune in two-four time.
  1. Camerata Bern, conductor Alexander van Wijnkoop 'Die Orchesterwerke' (3 cd-set)
    • Released 1978 by Polydor International GmbH, Hamburg, compact disc Archiv 423 703-2
    • Duration: 1'40"
    • Recording date: September 1977 in DRS-Radio-Studio, Bern

Zhurbin, Lev 'Ljova'(?- )
Improv. No. 3 'Un - folia' (2000)
  1. Zhurbin, Lev 'Ljova' 'Improvisations (1999-2000)'

Same name, different tune

Since La Folia is known under many different names it can't be avoided that very general indications like 'Theme by Corelli' were used by composers to refer to completely different compositions.

Tartini, Giuseppe (1692-1770)
Variations on a theme of Corelli (for violin and continuo)
  1. Forrest, Sidney: arrangement for clarinet and piano
    • Published 1989 by Southern Music Co. San Antonio, Texas
    • Score: 7 p. & 1 part 4 p., 28 cm
  2. Perlman, Itzhak (violin) & Sanders, Samuel (piano) 'Encores'
    • Released by EMI production 1974, remastered 1988 compact disc cdc7 49514 2
    • arrangement: Kreisler
    • Duration: 3'14"

Tippett, Michael (1905- )
Fantasia concertante on a theme of Corelli, based on opus 6, nr. 2

top of page for navigation


best viewed at 800 x 600