Best recordings as introduction
Praetorius, Lisedore (harpsichord), Kussmaul, Rainer (violin), Wolf, Jurgen (viola da gamba and cello)
released c. 1950 (mono)
total duration 43'37"
Praetorius, Lisedore (harpsichord), Kussmaul, Rainer (violin), Wolf, Jurgen (viola da gamba and cello)
re-released 1967 (mono)
total duration 43'37"
Der Titel "La Folia" wird heute wie
selbstverständlich mit der "berühmtesten aller
Sarabandenmelodien" identifiziert, doch gilt es einen kleinen Exkurs in
die Musikwissenschaft: wir wollen einmal der Entstehung des Namens, zum
anderen den Ursprüngen und der Entwicklung der Musik nachgehen,
die wir mit "La Folia" bezeichnen. Hiermit ist bereits angedeutet, dass
es sich um zwei verschiedene Dinge handelt. Zunächts zum Namen:
Seit dem frühen 15. Jh ist ein portugiesischer Tanz belegbar, der
anlässlich von Fruchtbarkeitszeremonien getanzt wurde. Nach heute
hat er seine Parallelen im Ritual des "Wilden Mannes" zu Basel, im
englischen "Morrisdance", auf den Balearen usf. In die höfische
Kultur des 14.-17. Jh. ging er als "Moresca" ein - eine sich u.a. in
Galliarden- und Giguenform bewegende Musik. Der alte portugiesische
Tanz der Morrisdance, und die Moresca hatten gemeinsam, dass
Männer in weiblicher Verkleidung, dass der "Morris" (Mohr), der
"fool" (Narr) oft hoch zu Ross, das will heissen auf den Schultern
ihrer Mittänzer, umhergetragen wurden. In Deutschland tanzte man
ihn nach den bekannten Melodien "Der schwarze Knab" (morris) und
"Narrenweis" (fool). Da sich jedoch die höfische Kultur inzwischen
von den Ursprüngen des Tanzes entfernt hatte, kam es zu
sonderbaren Missdeutungen. So ritt gelegentlich von Turnieren
("folla"), während die Banketthülle ("follia") mit
grünen Zweigen ("feuilles") geschmückt wurde, ein "morris"
auf einem Einhorn daher, das Rotwein ausschenkte. - Die mehr oder
weniger improvisierten Gesänge, die einen Teil dieser
Fruchtbarkeitszeremonien in Spanien und Portugal darstellten, drangen
in dramatische Schöpfungen des 15.-17. Jh. ein, so wie ja auch
eine Moresca am Schluss von Monteverdis "Orfeo" zu finden ist. Um 1500
taucht für diese Gesänge in Spanien der Name "folias" auf.
Was allerdings der Anlass zu dieser Namensgebung ist, ob die
"Narrheit", die "folla", die "follia" oder die "feuilles" (s.o.),
So wie dieser Tanz hat auch die Musik, die später den Namen "Folia" übernahm, ihren Ursprung auf der Iberischen Halbinsel. Zuerst lässt sie sich in einigen Stücken des "Cancionero de Palacia" von Juan del Encina (1494) im Zusammenhang mit dramatischen Werken, wenn auch zunächst in rudimentärer Form, nachweisen. Wesentlich ist, dass weniger die "Melodie" als der Bass bzw. die Harmoniefolge den Vorrang hat. Im Gegensatz zu der vollentwickelten "klassischen" Form, die als Doppelzeile 16 Töne aufweist, bauen fast alle dieser frühen Stücke auf einer 8-tönigen, meist mit der Dominante endenden Bassstimme auf. Völlig fehlt noch die rhythmische Bindung, es werden oftmals Mittelteile und Wiederholungen einzelner Töne eingeschoben, wie es der text, zu dem diese Musik geschrieben wurde, erforderte.
Auch in Italien lassen sie zu der Zeit ähnliche Formen nachweisen. Der "Folia"-Bass hat enge Verwandtschaft mit Vertonungen von " terza rima" - Texten der italienischen Gesellschaftsmusik und den ostinaten Bassbildungen der Tänze "Romanesca" und "Passamezzo Antico", doch sind diese, vielleicht in Anlehnung an die "Bassadanza" des 15.Jh., rhythmisch straff gebunden. Erst im frühen 17. Jh., nachdem sich die Folia-Formel dem "Folia"-Tanz angepasst und dessen Namen übernommen hatte, wird auch sie rhythmisiert. Wo sich "Romanesca" und "Passamezzo" mit Vokalformen verbinden, wie in den englischen "Ballad-tunes" oder etwa im "blues", sind auch sie zwar elastischer, doch die "Folia" war seit eh und je der Gefahr des "Zersingens" mehr ausgesetzt. Anlass dafür gaben wahrscheinlich die stereotyp sich wie im Kreise drehende Musik, die förmlich nach Veränderung schrie und die Assoziation Narrheit ("folie") - freies Spiel der Phantasie.
Frescobaldi, der mit den "Riprese" seiner 6 Variationen noch dem frühen Typus angehört, verwendet die Töne 9-16 des Basses, variiert jedoch zwei von ihnen. Alessandro Scarlatti benutzt nur die erste Zeile, die mit der Dominante endigt und baut auf ihnen 21 Variationen auf. Die endgültige "klassische" Form, doppelzeilig und metrisch genau festgelegt, bildet sich allmählich bei den grossen spanischen Gitarristen, wie Colonna, Sanseverino uns. im ersten Viertel des 17. Jh. heraus. So kann Cervantes 1613 die "Folia" in einem Atem mit der Ciaconna und der Sarabanda nennen.
In dieser Gitarrenliteratur kommt es weniger auf die genaue Fixierung der "Melodie" an, da diese dem Spieler zur improvisation überlassen wurde, als auf die Harmoniefolge, wabei der Bass oft aus spieltechnischen Gründen variiert wurde.
Ihren Höhepunkt erreichten die "Folia"-Bearbeitungen Stücken des Cancionero de Palacio" von Juan del Encina (1494) im Zusammenhang schufen damals brillante Variationenketten für Tasten- und Streichinstrumente. Couperin führte diese grosse Tradition fort, indem er in seinem "Les Folies Françaises ou les Dominos" getreu seiner brillanten Kleinkunst, die zwölf Couplets, die auf dem 16-tönigen Bass aufbauen, menschliche Eigenschaften, wie "La Pudeur" oder "L'Ardeur" zeichnen lässt. Ph. E. Bachs Variationenwerk beschliesst den Reigen der barocken "Folia"-Bearbeitungen, doch bus zu Liszt (Spanische Rhapsodie, 1863) und Rachmaninoff (1932) regt die unscheinbare Melodie die Komponisten zu immer neuer Ausseinandersetzung mit ihrer zwingenden Magie an.
LA FOLIA: Variations on a popular melody by Frescobaldi—Couperin—Corelli—Marais—C.P.E.Bach.
The basis of traditional jazz is a traditional folk melody, upon which the musicians elaborate as the mood takes them. In the negro jazz days of the nineteen-twenties, most of what are now known to have been the best jazz improvisators could not read music anyway, and the folk tunes used as their basic melodies were passed on by ear rather than by pen or print. Later on the jazz variations began to be written down, though they were still based on well known folk melodies.
During the 17th and 18th Centuries, numerous compositions took the form of variations or sets of variations on well known traditional melodies. The chorale variation was basically the same too, except that a hymn tune rather than a popular melody served as the basis.
Perhaps the most well known Barock composition in the form of a popular tune, or Air & Variations, is the set by J. S. Bach for the keyboard known as the Goldberg Variations (named after the dedicatee). The Air is played 'straight' at the outset, and is then followed by 30 variations on the Air, using every possible rhythmic and contrapuntal device.
This record presents the Air and Variations idea in another form. LA FOLIA is a tune popular before and right through the Barock age, it is supposed to have originated in Portugal in the 15th Century. Such was the continued popularity, and such were the interesting harmonic possibilities of this tune, that a considerable number of musicians wrote Variations using LA FOLIA as a basis. We have selected a number of these compositions for this record, thus we present sets of Variations by five different composers from the early 1600's to the mid-1700's, each using the tune LA FOLIA as the basis.
Not only does this afford a useful introduction to the art of Variation on a popular tune, the Barock counterpart of traditional jazz, it is also interesting to follow the change in style from the early Barock through to the early Classical of C.P.E.Bach. Nationally, Italy, France and Germany, with their own individual styles, are represented.
Duration: 1'02", 989 kB. (128kB/s, 44100 Hz mono)
'La Folia de la Spagna'
reissue released unknown year
ATR put out an earlier non-180 gram
total duration 44'20"
total duration 44'20"
total duration 44'20"
series Musique d'Abord
total duration 44'20"
Japanese Vinyl Paniagua
Fragment of this famous recording
LA FOLIA DE LA SPAGNA side A recorded 1980
|Title of the Follias by Paniagua||Sources used as inspiration|
|01||FOLLIAS:||FONS VITAE||Atrium Musicae de Madrid. "Sunt lacrimae rerum et follias Hispanorum"|
|DEMENTIA PRAECOX ANGELORUM||Follias de Españia. Mss. Bibl. Nac. Madrid M 2810 (once variaciones). Anónimos. Musica para Salterio, Clave y Orquesta. folios 11, 12,13 y 14|
|SUPRA SOLFAMIREVT||Atrium Musicae de Madrid et Leçon de solfège hindou, Benares. India|
|02||FOLLIAS||EXTRAVAGANS||Cuatro Folias anónimas. "Ramillete de flores" Bibl. Nac. Madrid Mss. 6001 folios 272, 273. Anno, 1593|
|LAUREA MINIMA||Aquarelle de très petite dimension, exécutée avec une délicatesse particulière|
|FOLLIAS: IN VITRO||Rêverie fluorescente. Notre Dame des Anges. Lurs. Basses-Alpes|
|03||FOLLIAS||ORATIO PRO-FOLIA||Adorámoste Senor Iesuxristo. Fco. de la Torre. XVe sièc. Canc. Mus. de Palacio. Bibl. Real. Madrid|
|FAMA VOLAT||Indianapollis. Eau de source, chose qui se produit naturellement, du pétrole|
|CITRUS - HESPERIDES||Hermita de Nuestra Señiora del Pelotazo. Mar Caribe. Anc. fr. 99 la Valière|
|04||FOLLIAS:||PRINCIPALIS - FERMESCENS (Nihil ad me attinet)||"Huerto Ameno de varias flores de mússica" anno 1709. Obras recopiladas por Fray Antonio Martin Coll, Organista de S. Diego de Alcalá y de S. Francisco en Madrid. Bibl. Nac. Madrid Mss. 1360. "Las Folias" folios 212-215|
|INDICA EXACTA||Raga : Yaman (Alap) Musique Classique traditionnelle hindoue|
|ADVERSO FLUMINE||Petite angoisse et anxiété antimusicologue. Oxygène & Ozone. 1980 Cercedilla|
|05||FOLLIAS:||PARSIMONIA ARISTOCRACIAE||Libro de Musica de Clavicimbalo del Sr. Dn. Francisco de Tejada. Sevilla 1721 Mss. 815. fols. 72-73. Madrid Bibl. Nac. "Folias graves"|
|Ministère des travaux publics. Ramassage de coquelicots. France|
LA FOLIA DE LA SPAGNA side B recorded 1981
|Title of the Follias by Paniagua||Sources used as inspiration|
|01||FOLLIAS:||SUBTILIS||Jean-Francois Pontefract. harmonia mundi, 04870 Saint-Michel de Provence|
|DE PROFUNDIS - EXTRA MUROS||Cancionero Sephardita "Judeo-Espaflol traditional : El rey por muntha madruga"|
|02||FOLLIAS:||VULGARIS - SINE POPULI NOTIONE||Folias de España. Gaspar Sanz. Instruccion de Musica. Caesaraugusta 1674|
|VAGULA ET BLANDULA||Nuit d'Espagne pendant laquelle on ne dort pas. Toledo XVe siècle|
|03||FOLLIAS:||NORDICA ET DESOLATA||Variations "d'après la Folia : Doen Daphne d'Over schoone maeght" Jr. Jacob van Eyck. "Der fluyten lust hoff" Amsterdam 1646|
|AUREA MEDIOCRITAS||Improvisatione ad mente : Country dance XVIIIe siècle d'après John Playford. London "The englishdancing master" anno 1651|
|04||FOLLIAS:||NOBILISSIMA||Bernardo Pasquini (1637-1710), Partite sopra la aria della Folia da Espagna|
|DEGRADANS ET CORRUPTAE||Cajita de Musica desafinada. El Rastro. Madrid vers 1850|
|05||FOLLIAS:||DE PASTORIBUS||Folia "Rodrigo Martines" Anónimo. XVe s. Canc. Mus. de Palacio no 12. Bibl. Real. Madrid|
|MATHEMATICA DIES IRAE||Sequentia "Missa pro defunctis" atrib. Tomas de Celano. Liber usualis|
|CREPUSCULARIS||"Muchos van de amor heridos" Anónimo. Canc. Mus. de Palacio no 92. Bibl. Real. Madrid|
|SINE NOMINE||Improvisatio ad libitum. "Notre Dame des Angles immortelles"|
|TRISTIS EST ANIMA MEA||"Dime triste coracon" folia. Francisco de la Torre. Can. Bibl. Colombina Sevilla XVe s.|
|EQUITES FORTIS ARMATURAE||"Sefiora de fermosura" folia. Juan dell Enzina. Canc. Mus. Palacio no 81 Bibl. Real.|
|AUDACES FORTUNA JUVAT||"Pues que ya nunca os veis" Juan dell Enzina. Canc. Mus. Placio no 271 Bibl. Real.|
|SINE PRAEPUTIUM||Improvisation sur un thème de Jazz : La Boussole et rose des vents|
|ECCLESIASTICA||Fabordon "Arte de taner Fantasia" Fray Thomas de Sta. Maria Madrid 1565|
|06||FOLLIAS:||THEATRALIS ET HIPOCRITAE||Folies d'Espagne. Bethune le Cadet. M. Monien. Pièces en tablature d'angélique. Paris 1681|
|RURALIS||Country dance "La nouveauté a toujours un charme particulier"|
|ALTER INDICA PERFECTA||Raga : Yaman. Musique classique traditionnelle hindove. Benares 1979|
|07||FOLLIAS||DE TOLERENTIA AETHEREA||Adagio "La Follia" Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) op. 5 no 12. PubI. pour flûte douce : John Walsh. London 1702|
|FUGA FICTA ET CARRUS TRIUMPHALIS||Sonata "Carrioches" dedicada al Exemo. Alcalde de S. Ildefonso de la Granja : Sr. Dr. Erik Claveria. Agosto de 1979. Rosalia's Follia's . Archivo particular de Gregorio Paniagua & Beatriz Amo|
SOURCES NON UTILISEES
"Honce Diferencias de Folias" Mendoza. Mss. 6001 Bibl. Nac. Madrid. Ramillete de Flores, 1593 - Choreografie, M. Feuillet, Paris 1700. Folie d'Espagne pour femme. Bibl. Nac. Madrid M 1146/2 - Folias de España. Bibl. Nac. Madrid. M 1884 - Folias no 22 Arte de Danzar. Pablo Minguet e Yrol (1758). Bibl. Nac. Madrid. R. 14649 - A. Corelli. Sonata La Follia. Violin y Clave. Opus 5 no 12 - Folias "Poema Harmonico". Francisco Guerau, Madrid 1694. Fol. 51 - Folias "Pensil deleitoso de suabes flores de Musica" Fray A. Martin Coll. Alcalá de Henares 1707, Mss. B. Nac. no 1358 - Folias "Flores de Música" Fray A. M. Coll, Alcalá 1708. B.N. Mss. 1359 - Otras Folias. "Huerto ameno" Fray A.M. Coll, Alcalá 1709. B.N. Madrid Mss. 1360. Fols 215 v - 217 - "Libro de Cifra Nueva para tecla, harpa y vihuela" Luys Venegas de Henestrosa, Alcalá de Henares, 1557. Duo "Pues no me quereis hablar" Anon. & "Para quien crie yo cabellos ?" Antonio de Cabezon - Cancionero Musical de Palacio, Siglos XV-XVI, Madrid Bibl. Real. sign. 2-1-5 : no 310 : "Meu naranjedo no ten fruta" Anón. & no 361 : "No puedo apartarme" Anón. & no 179 : "Si abrá en este baldres" Juan dell Enzina (1469-1529?) - Ensalada "La Trulla" Cáceres. Bibl. Central Barcelona M. 588 - "Goigs de Sant Cristófol" Folia a 4. Mss. siglo XVI. Ayunt. Valencia, texto en catalan anno 1449 - "Tonos Humanos" B. Nac. Madrid Mss. 1261. Chacona, Folia & Xacara - Folia. Jácara, para clave. B.N. Madrid, Mss. 1357 - Del grupo de Folias vocales derivan : Pavanas 1 y II. A. Mudarra "Musica para Vihuela" Sevilla 1546. Folia-sPavanas de E. Valderrábano "Silva de Sirenas" Valladolid 1547. Pavana, Diego Pisador, Salamanca 1552. (Folia). "Pavana con su glosa" A. de Cabezón "Libro de Cifra Nueva" Alcalá de Henares, 1557 - Follias en "Las Ensaladas" Mateo Flecha (1481-1553). Praha 1581. "Para mi lo querria madre mia" (EI Jubilate). "Venid presto pecadores" y "Alegria Cavalleros" (El Fuego) - Otras "Follias d'Espagne" en Bibl. Nac. Madrid M. 811, M. 815, M. 1358, M. 2262, M. 2801 - Follias, Arpa y Guit. "Luz y Norte para caminar por las cifras de la guitarra españiola" Lucas Ruiz de Ribayas. Añio 1677 - Follias di Spagna "Sonate di Chitarra Spagnola" A. Carbonchi Fiorentino. B.N. Madrid M. 3785, Anno 1640 - "La guitarre Royale" de Francisque Corbett. "Folias d'Espagne". Paris 1671 - Folia di Spagna. L'accademico Coliginoso. "II Foscarino" "I quatro Libri della Chitarra Spañola" S. XVII - "Folias mui despacio al estilo de Francia" Santiago de Murcia, "Resumen de acompañar la parte" Madrid 1714, B. Nac. R. 5048 - Recercadas VII y VIII sobre La Follia. Diego Ortiz Tolledano. "Tratado de Glosas sobre Clausulas" Roma 1553 - Diferencias de Folias. Iohannis Cabanilles. Mss, de fines del Siglo XVII, B2. Barcelona. Bibl. de Cataluñia M. 387 (888). B3. Barna, B. de C. M. 729 (980) - "Folias con 20 diferencias" Jose Ximenez, S. XVII. Corpus of Early Keyboard Musik. W. Apel & "Antología de Org. Espanoles" H. Anglés - Tema de Folias, Folias de Santander, etc. en "Canc. Mus. Pop. Español" Felipe Pedrell. Barcelona Ed. Boileau 1958 - Folia : "En la cumbre, Madre" Juan Pujol & Folia : "Cervatilla que corres" Juan Arañes, Canc. Bibl. Canatense. Siglo XVII - "Les Folies d'Espagne". Tablature pour le Luth (a due Liuti) Köln 18 Jahrhundert - Folia-Romanesca "Guardame las vacas" M. Flecha. "La Viuda" S. XVI-XVII - Folia "Si una volta" Canc. de Olot. Popular-Catalonya, vers 1650 - A. Moser : "Zur Genesis de Folies d'Espagne", in Af. M. w.I, 1918-19 - O. Gombosi. "Zur Frühgesels des Folies", in A.M.I. VIII, 1936 - O. Gombosi. "The Cultural and Folkloristic Background of the Folia" in Papers of the "American Musicological Society". IV. 194 et. - Works sopra "La Folie d'Espagne" de P. Nettl "Die Musikgeschichte des Tanzes" 1945 & Opus, J. Ward - "La Folia historica y la Folia popular canaria" Rev. EI Museo Canario, Las Palmas 1965 - "La tradicion coral hispánica de la '`Folie d'Espagne" y sus derivaciones instrumentales" M. Querol. Anuario Mus. Vol. XXI, Barcelona 1968 - "De Musica Libri Septem" Fco. Salinas. Salamanca 1577 - Canc. de la Sablonara S. XVII - Folia, Jakuba Duran Loriga. Madrid 1980 - "Folias de España" par: G. Stefani (1622), C. Milanuzzi, Marin Marais, A. Corelli, d'Anglebert, J.B. Lully, G. Frescobaldi, F. Farinelli, Manetti, A. Vivaldi, Keiser, Pergolesi, C.P.E. Bach, J.S. Bach, Gétry, Cherubini (L'Hôtellerie portugaise), Liszt (Rapsodia Española 1863), G. Fauré, C. Nielsen (Mascarade, 1906), Rachmaninov... et cetera.
At the beginning of the 17th century the dance was
fashionable throughout Europe and, perhaps by being transformed into a
kind of passacaglia or 'ground' which gave it a quiet and even a severe
style, it lost its rapid tempo and its original orgaistic vitality.
This mutation served as the pretext for certain pedants and sages to
attribute to the Folia a different origin than its Hispanic one and to
use it as a basis for their theories on the basso continuo and its
Nonetheless, all European musicians designated these dances as 'Folies
d'Espagne'. It should be borne in mind that all the time the term
'España' referred to all the countries in the Iberian Peninsula.
Thus we have 'Folies d'Espagne' by G. Stefani (1622), C. Milanuzii, Corelli, d'Anglebert, Lully, Frescobaldi, Michel Farinel (Farinelli or Faronel) - who introduced them into England -, Manetti, Vivaldi, Keiser, Pergolesi, Johann Sebastian and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Gréty. Cherubini quoted Corelli's piece in the ouverture to his L'Hôtellerie Portuggaise' (1798), and the Danish composer, Carl Nielsen used the theme in his opera 'Maskerade' (1905). Liszt included it in his 'Rhapsodie Espagnole' (1863).
All the composers in the world who write their own Folia don't keep a close account of what they are doing. They mature patiently like the tree that does not haste his sap; They soak up everything and remain confident in the torments of spring, without anxiety that they might not know another spring. And spring comes and and a quiet weariness overcomes them, even if all eternity lay before them. They can then love their Folia and their solitude; they endure the pain it causes them and succeed in investing the sound of their complaint with beauty.
This recording follows the use of the folia, a famous melody of the 17th century, by four composers from four different centuries:
Bernardo Pasquini (1637-1716), C.P.E. Bach (1714-1788), Franz Liszt (1811-1886), and Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873?1943). The folia (follia, follia di Spagna, folies
d'Espagne) was originally an ancient Portuguese dance. Melodies titled folia are on record as early as 1577, and it is upon the bass of one of these
tunes that most folia variations are constructed. Paul Nettl, in his article "Zwei spanische Ostinato?themen", Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft, I
(1918-1919), 694-698, shows the appearance of the folia theme still earlier in the lute books of the middle 16th century, but these themes were not specifically
named folies. Some folias, like Alessandro Scarlatti's Variazioni sulla follia di Spagna, utilize only the first half of the bass.
That work includes twenty-nine variations and often involves very noteworthy and original formulae. Other sets are built upon the melody,
as well as the bass, of this ancient dance, but such sets, examples of melodic-harmonic treatment, cannot be regarded as true basso ostinato variations.
The twelfth violin sonata of Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) is one of the most celebrated of all folias and is of this type.
Rachmaninoff used this folia in his op.42 "Corelli" Variations.
The Variations sur les folies d'Espagne by Jean Henri d'Anglebert (1628-1691) is the earliest example of the song variation in France, perhaps the only one except for 18th-century noels. Most of its twenty-two variations remain within the limits of the French style, but a few are composed according to the formula variation recipe, which d'Anglebert probably received from Italy.
Partite di Follia by James Bonn
Die Folia ist ein alter, ursprünglich
portugiesischer Tanz, der durch eine feststehende, in einer einfachen
Bassformel repräsentierte Harmoniefolge charakterisiert wird. Die
darüberliegende Melodie folgte ursprünglich zwar einer
gewissen Grundstruktur, war aber im einzelnen frei, bis Arcangelo
Corelli eine besonders einsprägsame melodische Formuliering der
Folia zum Thema seiner Violinvariationen machte. Der Erfolg seines
Werkes bewirkte, dass vom 18.Jahrhundert an unter Folia normalerweise
diese (ursprünglich nicht von Corelli stammende) Melodie
verstanden wird. Sie representiert bereits den Typus der
'Themenmelodie' im klassisch-romantischen Sinne und kann in ihrer
zweizeiligen Gestalt mit offenem Dominantklang am Ende der ersten,
abschliessender Tonika am Ende der zweiten Zeife
als inbegriff eines Themas schlechthin gelten.
Diese Eigenart hat ihr zu einem überraschenden Nachleben verholfen, denn im gleichen Masse, wie die Folia durch ihre melodische Erstarrung fur den alten, auf der Wiederholung von Bass und Harmoniefolge beruhenden Variationstypus ausser Betracht fiel, bot sie sich dem neunen, am thematischen Denken orientierten Komponieren als ideale Variationsgrundlage an. Die jüngeren drei der vier aud dieser Schallplatte vereinigten Werke sind die gewichtigsten Beispiele dieser posthumen Karriere der Folia. Ist es ein Zufall, dass sie alle in den letzten Lebensjahren ihrer Verfasser enstanden sind?
Robert Woolley plays all variations by C.P.E. Bach
The Purcell Quartet plays all variations by Arcangelo Corelli
The Purcell Quartet plays all variations by Francesco Geminiani
The Purcell Quartet plays all variations by Marin Marais
Robert Woolley plays A. Scarlatti
's Folia as part of the Ottava stesa
The Purcell Quartet plays all variations by Antonio Vivaldi
If you are fond of the harpsichord as an instrument and of Folïas this disc is a must have! The only thing lacking is good references of the sources but there are absolutely no weaknesses on this fabulous disc to be found. If you think that so many folías will be monotomous and boring,which might be hard to avoid, I can assure you that Laganá is no metronomic automat but he has all the skills and knowledge about the pieces to paint a full indepth landscape.
This is not the first Folía-encounter for Ruggero who has corporated with the Amadeus-project and recorded previously the Alessandro Scarlatti's Folías variations, he also played at live recitals. For this disc he recorded the full Ottava Stesa including the wonderful parts which preceed the Folía-piece. Other compositions he previously recorded are the manuscript published by Martín Y Coll and the Pasquini Folías. So Laganà is in familiar territorium.
With the Follia di Spagna by Johann Baptist Cramer he had a première on the Amadeus disc, and there is another Folía premiere on this disc with "The Spanish Follye" I only heard once played on the organ by the late Ewald Kooyman although the piece is rather prominent mentioned in the study by Richard Hudson.
Not all pieces on this recording represents Folías. The central theme of the recording is Folías and the similar music from the region of Naples and Rome. Frescobaldi, Majone and Trabaci are represented with closely related Fidele as an arch type of music.
Pinuccia Carrer wrote for the slipcase:
More about the disc at Concertoclassics http://www.concertoclassics.it/catalogo_dettagli.php?codice=31&pagina=2&dove=catalogo.php
.In music, the form foolia refers to a melodic pattern derived from a very old Carnevale dance - one of those restless, frenetic, impetuous dances in which everyone loses his head and every body loses its composure. Perhaps as Francisco de Salinas, the magister of the the University of Salamanca said in the 16th century, it originated in Portugal and, spreading quickly throughout the Iberian Peninsula, it immediateley became established in Europe. It appeared in the court music of the great 16th century virtuosos - as solo dances or in pairs.
Take for example the fascinating variations elaborated by Marin Marais for the viola da gamba. Later in the 17th century, it surfaced among the Arcadians, contributing to the definition of Arcangelo Corelli's violin style. It continued spreading throughout Germany among the pianists of the 18th century ... and we could carry on right up until today.
Leaving its Lusitanian origins, the so called Follia di Spagna became particulary successful thanks to its melody and the native simplicity of its harmony, as can be clearly heard in the many anonymous folía taken from collections dating to the early 1700's by the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid. Organists and harpsichordists of various nationalities have been inspired by the Folia, but this CD focuses on its use in Italian music, in particular, from the Rome and Naples.
Modern guitar music has the academical imago that it is artificial and therefore hardly accessible for ordinary listeners interested in serious tonal music. I guess that Anders Borbye had this prejudice in mind when he started this project to give it a fresh yet modern approach. Fascinated by the Folia theme he tried to extend the oeuvre into the 21st century by highlighting accessible yet startling modern guitar-Folias. Best of all he persuaded three Danish composers to write new Folia-compositions for his project which resulted in a well varied compact disc entirely devoted to the Folia-theme as a starting point. The demanding journey not only demonstrates a wide variety of guitar techniques ranging from tapping on the body of the guitar to bottleneck technique and an electric performance with flanger but also it shows the inventiveness of composers and the performer to handle such a small theme as the Folia because the theme is actually never far away.
Although the Folia-theme itself is exposed several times (for instance in the ending of Izarra's en Gunge's compositions) perhaps it would have been appropriate to play the bare theme as opening track just once as a statement for people not familiar with the theme.
Personally I consider the performance of Izarra's 'Lenta' (5'08") as the absolute highlight of the cd. Not only because it is played with flair very 'slowly' and vulnerable as an open nerve but probably these moments of reflections are even emphasized by the squeezed up-tempo pieces of the suite.
Although the pieces are all demanding the sound of all tracks is clear and there is never a moment where muffling of strings is to be heard in any way. The documentation of the disc is excellent. A project that gives new and fresh impulses to a very old idea.
More about Anders Borbye at http://www.andersborbye.dk
The idea with this CD is to present a programme of new music, which is uncomplicated and rewarding to listen to, even for people not familiar with such music. This is achieved by basing the music on a well known and quite simple melody, namely the Folia theme.
This theme has gone with me ever since the music school. It has in its basic form an inner cohesion which strongly appeals to my need for logic, purity and stringency. The guitar literture has some great works based on the folias, Sor, Giuliani and in the 20th century Ponce and Ohana. So I decided that the pieces on the CD should not be older than 30 years, which is just true with Malipiero. I wanted to have one world premier on the CD, but to my surprise 3 out of 4 composers I asked immediately said yes, and there I was with 3 world premiers!
Given the simplicity of the theme I am genuinely impressed with the creativity and fantasy shown by the composers, when theywork within this strict frame!
Judging from the history of music I am not the only one who has been fascinated by la Folia. There are hundreds of compositions based on the Folia theme, a lot of them for the guitar.
Three well known Danish composers, John Frandsen, Peter Bruun and Bo Gunge have written especially for this project. The other works on this CD were selected from a large number collected from all over the world. All composers involved have been very obliging, and have kindly contributed the notes for their works
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Nowadays the word insanity brings with it a meaning
which doesn’t leave any room to doubt, even though there may be several
meanings concealed in it. Between the two opposite poles of insanity
conceived as a disease, and insanity conceived as enthusiasm, each
artist is constantly looking for their particular characteristic, and
secret hiding places. The Iberian theme -the Folias - (a fast moving
dance) doesn’t have much to do with all this.
Such a path has its origin in Sanz, and ends up with the enigmatic Ohana, touching pieces which are divided by different styles and poetics, and it finally finds its center in Angelo Gilardino’s Variazioni sulla Follia. It is not only by chance that they have been conceived by their author as studies of Francisco Goya. Every time a guitarist is looking into the guitar sound to be able to find the meaning of human perceptions, and a way to give them back to their audience, there is a reference to that particular poetic path.
Angelo Gilardino’s work rides Follía through hallucination. It is only through hallucination that the world can be revealed in its true sense. Without giving up the traditional way of composing with its counterpoint, its interrupted and repeated themes, and its opposite dynamics, Gilardino works out Follía again, and dives into it, as an ancient alchemist, to develop diverse and unknown sounds. This process transforms Follía into something that does not belong to the author, into something that can be, at the same time, both alienated and alienator. It is impossible to accomplish completely such a kind of alchemistic process, and this is the reason why it ends up with the quotation of Sor, another great guitarist who has chosen to render and preserve the deepness and the torture of his thoughts by means of a specific sound.
As far as this direction is concerned, Giuliani and Sor might seem completely alien, yet their solidity is tinged with sadness which marches side by side, for instance, with the fandango lively and rhythmic reminiscence, which underlines the Iberian origin of the main theme.
Gaspar Sanz compositions sound distant and almost impossible to listen to, to our twentieth century ears. On the other side, the Tiento of Maurice Ohana breaks through the Follía theme, and completely tears it apart, enriching it with the mutation of a non-guitarist composer.
Ponce is another non-guitarist composer connected to Andrés Segovia’s figure, whose compositions are of great relevance. He is surrounded by a traditional musical language, and this makes harmony the real core of his expression. He makes the effort to compose a monumental work, that is inspired by piano compositions, and that ends - not by chance - with a fugue. He re-composes the theme again and again in several different ways, broadening its shape. The result of this process is a synthesis of his musical know how melded with some kind of poetry of Segovian origin, which can be considered a milestone in the way guitar sound has been conceived.
Preparing a collection containing these cycles of change can carry two main purposes: walking through guitar history in a linear way, showing at the same time that the artistic expression we are looking for can appear in different ways, each one of them under constant mutation, and both true and false at the same time. This can appear alien to our perception, nevertheless it is part of that divine madness which is the only component that can make the modern bard strong enough to bear the impact with lack of meaning, which can be considered the cause and the consequence of our insanity.
Hesperion XXI plays Altre Follie (complete)
In the seventeenth century several influential Italian composers
left us sets of Folia variations: the lutenist Alessandro Piccinini (1566-1638)
in his Intavolatura di Liuto (Bologna, 1623), for chitarrone; yet another lutenist,
Andrea Falconieri (1585/6-1656), in his Il Primo Libro di Canzone (Naples, 1650)
for two violins and continuo; the organist Bernardo Storace in his Selva di
Varie compositioni (Venice., 1664), for keyboard; the guitarist Francesco Corbetta
(d.1681), in his La Guitarre Royale (Paris, 1671), for his own instrument.
Corbetta seems to be one of the first authors to superimpose to the traditional bass of the Folia the characteristic treble melody in triple meter, with a dotted second beat in each measure, that was to become associated with the genre from the late seventeenth century on. In fact, Gaspar Sanz' 1674 version was basically an adaptation of Corbetta's setting., which the Spanish master must have acquired shortly after its publication in Paris. This same combination of upper melody and harmonic bass circulated widely all over Europe and became a favourite object for variations, first in France itself, where it was employed by Lully and Marais, then in Germany, the Netherlands and England, where the publisher John Playford (16231687/88) included a set of Folia variations for the violin in his instrumental collection The Division Viol (London, 1685), under the title "Faronell's Division", which seems to have been traditionally associated with the Folia in that country. At the same time, the most commercially successful French and Italian dance treatises of the period, such as those by Feuillet (1700) and by Lambranzi (1716), spread the tune and the basic steps of this "Folie d'Espagne" through all the European market.
With the development of the virtuosic repertoire for the violin at the turn of the century it was only natural that the Folia should be included in it. In 1700 the great Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) used it as the basis for a series of exceedingly virtuosic variations with which he concluded his most influential collection of solo sonatas for violin and continuo, the famous Op. 5, the contents of which are known to have circulated in manuscript for more than a decade prior to this printing. 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. And it was not by accident that a year later, in 1705, the young Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) also chose to conclude a decisive publication in which he placed the highest hopes for the future of his artistic career, his Op. 1 collection of trio-sonatas, with yet another magnificent set of Folia variations.
The old Portuguese peasant dance had come a long way. To the very end of the Baroque period it would remain one of the strongest unifying traits of European instrumental music, a well-known basis upon which musicians from all nations could improvise together without any barrier of language or of musical tradition, and a successful source of inspiration for any composer who wished to impress the European music community at large with his skills. On the contrary, Classicism, in its search for larger formal structures in music, was not so interested in ostinato basses, but still the Folia was yet to be occasionally rediscovered by the Romantics, at the hands of such masters as Liszt or Rachmaninov.
Hesperion XXI plays Albicastro
Hesperion XXI plays Falconieri
Maestro Laganà plays 12 Variations auf die Folie d'Espagne (Wotq 118/9 H. 263)
Maestro Laganà plays Sarabande by Händel
Maestro Laganà plays Partite diversi sopra Follia
Der Name 'Folia' taucht schon um 1500 in der
portugiesische Dichtung und in Hofchroniken als Bezeichnung eines Tanz
auf. Einer Schilderung aus dem Jahr 1610 können wir entnehmen,
daß es sich um einen sehr lauten und lebhaften Tanz verkleideter
Tänzer gehandelt hat:
'Es handelt sich um einen gewissen portugiesischen, sehr lauten Tanz, denn viele Figuren werden mit Trommeln und anderen Instrumenten ausgeführt. Verkleidete Lassträger tragen auf ihren Schultern junge Männer in Frauenkleidung, die mit erhobenen Armen umherziehen, tanzen und Trommeln spielen, und der Krach ist derartig laut und der Rhythmus so schnell, daß es scheint, als haben die einer oder die anderen den Verstand verloren. Daher gaben sie dem Tanz den Namen 'Folia', nach dem toskanischen Wort 'folle', das nichtig, verrückt, sinnlos, den Verstand verloren haben, bedeutet'
Bereits 1553 schildert Diego Ortiz ein Satzmodell für die Folia:
Diese Harmonienfolge läßt sich an der Einspielung dieser Folge durch die auf alte Musik spezialisierte Gruppe 'Hesperion XX 91) verfolgen (g-Moll: D / D / g / F / B / F / g / D ://). Verwendet man hier statt D-Dur im ersten Akkord (im Notenbild A-Dur) g-Moll (imNotenbild den in Klammern gesetzten Akkord d-Moll), so ist das bereits die Grundlage des späteren stereotyp verwendeten Schemas.
Das früheste Beispiel für das hier in Beispielen zusammengestellte beliebte harmonische und melodische Modell der späteren Folia (in Frankreich auch 'Folies d'Espagne' genannt) ist 1672 eine Air von Lully.
1674 wurde die Folia von G. Sanz (u.a. Kapellmeister am spanischen Hof) in seiner Gitarren-Instruktion veröffentlicht (3).
1685 erschien in der Sammlung 'The division Violin' des Londoner Musikverlegers John Playford (bekannt vor allem durch seine Sammlung von Country-Dances, die von der Jugendmusikbewegung wieder entdeckt wurden) eine Melodie des franzosischen Komponisten John Farinel (getauft 1649, Todesjahr unbekannt). Diese sarabandenartige Melodie wurde in Engeland äußerst populär und 'Farinels Ground' (2) genannt. Michel Farinel war zeitweise Musikdirektor am Hof von Spanien, 1688 Violonist bei Ludwig dem XIV, in Versailles.
Auf dem Kontinent wurde diese, in der Folge mit der Folia verbundene Melodie und Harmonienfolge vor allem durch die Variationen für Klavier und Violine (op.5, Sonate 12) von A. Corelli (1700) (4) und die Folia-Variationen für Klavier und Viola da Gamba von Marin Marais (1701) (5) bekannt. Interessant ist dabei daß durchweg die Tonart d-Moll verwendet wird. Bei der vorliegenden Einspielung (4) werden die zur Zeit Corellis üblichen improvisierten Verzierungstechniken verwendet.
Gottlieb Taubert bezeichnete 1717 in seiner Tanzschule diese Melodie als die 'berümteste aller Sarabandenmelodien' und gebrauchte sie dementsprechend zur Übung der Sarabande. In der Lauten- und Gitarrenliteratur des 17. Jahrhunderts finden sich zahllose weitere Sarabanden mit dieser Harmonienfolge.
Auch G.F. Händels berümte Sarabande aus der Suite für Cembalo in d-moll (6) ähnelt sehr stark dem Folia-Schema: d-Moll / A-Dur / F-Dur / C-Dur / g-Moll / d-Moll / B-Dur / A-Dur //.
Welch große Popularität die 'Folie d'Espagne' hatte, zeigt sich auch daran, daß viele Komponisten bis ins 20. Jh. hinein sich mit ihr beschäftigten.
Hier sollen nur die bekanntesten Beispiele aufgelistet werden:
- 1722 verwendet J.S. Bach in einer Arie der 'Bauern-Kantate' (7) das Folia-Thema
- 1728 wird das Folia-thema in der 'Beggars Opera' verwendet
- 1863 komponiert Liszt die 'Rhapsodie Espagnole' über dieses Schema (8)
- 1932 'Variationen über ein Thema von Corelli' von Rachmaninov (9)
- 1994 wird die Filmmusik 'Conquest Of Paradise (10) von Vangelis, die im 1. Teil die Folia-Harmonik verwendet, ein Nr.1-Hit in Deutschland
Otto Gombosi geht übrigens in seinem 'Folia'-Beitrag in der 'Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart' soweit, die Folia mit dem Blues und Boogie-Woogie zu vergleichen.
Unterrichtsmaterialien zur Folia finden sich in der 'Zeitschrift für die Praxis des Musikunterrichts', Heft 42 und 43.
Hesperion XXI plays La Folia (complete)
The Folia is one of the several dances and dance
songs of popular origin which developed in the Iberian Peninsula in
late Middle Ages and may have been used in their original context for
quite some time before they were later assimilated by the courtly
polyphonic repertoire, both vocal and instrumental, in the late 15th
and in the early 16th century.
By the last quarter of the 17th century, however, the Folia undergoes a process of further standardisation, with the above-given version of the bass line (quoted from above: usually in two segments, A-E-A-G-C-G-A-E and A-E-G-C-G-A-E-A, or slightly altered versions thereof) becoming the norm (each of the piches being assigned a measure-long durational value, in triple meter), as well as with a standard discant tune associated to the harmonic sequence thus obtained. All over Europe, and throughout the 18th century, it now becomes one of the best loved grounds for highly virtuosic instrumental variations, at the hands of such important composers as Corelli, Alessandro Scarlatti, Vivaldi and Buononcini, in Italy, Marais and D'Anglebert in France, or Johann Sebastian and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, in Germany. Corelli's 'La Follia', included in his famous 1700 Op. 5 collection of solo Sonatas for violin and continuo, was especially influential in shaping a wide gamut of variation patterns on this theme, which were then widely imitated by countless minor composers.
Needless to say, even in its new standardized Baroque version, it remains a staple of the Iberian 17th and 18th century instrumental repertoire, a particularly charming example being the setting in Antonio Martín y Coll's manuscript collection 'Flores de Música (ca. 1690), for instance. Cherubini will later pay homage to its Portuguese origin by using it as the main theme for the ouverture of his 1798 opera 'L'hôtellerie portugaise', and even some of the Romantic piano virtuosos, as late as 1867 (Liszt, Rhapsodie espagnole) and 1931 (Rachmaninov, Variations on a theme by Corelli), will use it as a symbol of continuity with a grand tradition of almost three centuries of brilliant variation writing for the keyboard.
Jordi Savall and friends
The Folia was a dance, and a chord pattern, that became extremely popular at the end of the 16th century. It came from
Spain, and was known later in France as the "folie d'espagne". The word seems always to have carried
the double-meaning mad and empty-headed, as in the modern French fou and the modern English fool and folly. It served
as the improvisational basis for a dance that whipped the dancers into a state of ecstasy or madness. Empty-headedness,
the mind cleared of irrelevant thoughts, might refer both to the dancers - as they lose themselves to the syncopations
of the dance, and the musicians - as they give in to the intoxication of improvised variations.
The Folia, both in Spain and in Italy, was a prime opportunity for the guitarist to display his virtuosity. The earliest professional guitarists, such as Foscarini, commited to paper a number of variations on this theme; Foscarini's own academic nickname was "il furioso". In the course of the 17th century many other versions were written down for harp, keyboard, and viola da gamba, with the mantle passing finally to the violin; as in the famous versions by Corelli and Vivaldi. Looking through these examples it is possible to see an evolution of pattern and style, but all of them reveal the attempt to write down ideas that arose through improvisation.
This kind of repertoire is often arranged for an ensemble
including flutes which tends to be very dominant in my perception
breaking the delicate intimate spell of the plucked and bowed
instruments. Perhaps that flutes are inclined to drive up the tempo too.
I like this approach without flutes a lot and there is plenty of virtuosity and depth to be heard. Another unorthodox attitude is to build up almost every tune to a climax somehow. Not a continuous repetition from the start till the end but sparing nuances in dynamics, rhythm and instrumentation all contribute to add something magical to the performances best illustrated with the Folia by Falconiero (often referred to as Falconieri).
The Folia by Reali, hardly recorded so far, is the concluded piece and a finale where the listener can hear the young skillful enthusiasm of Reali in a brilliant performance with a humorous wink to the flair for dramatical effects in the pizzicato section, the very slow interlude with the lute to build up the tempo and virtuosity towards the end.
Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca at You Tube in a live performance
Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca at You Tube
Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca at You Tube
Incidentally, at this point in our anthology [Sanz] we make our first encounter with the 'Folia', which runs through our programme like a silver thread. The Folia (also Follia) is an eight-bar (in later forms also sixteen-bar) bass, which was first used in Spain in 1494 by Juan del Encina. The 'Follia di Spagna' subsequently developed into one of the most popular bases for variations (the most famous example is probably the sonata 'La Follia' by Arcangelo Corelli).
The oeuvre by Sanz is normally played on the rizzio guitar, but
Brembeck knows how to play these
jewels on a delicate clavichord. The sustain of the basses sounds
exceptionally well and the Folia by Sanz gets a new dimension this way.
High quality performances of the Folia-variations by Alessandro Scarlatti and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. The only small omission is that the documentation does not mention which instrument is used for which track. I guess the performer assumes that we are all familiar with early keyboard instruments and that the C.P.E. Bach Folia can only performed on a copy by Hemsch like Picci's Ballet is made for the copy by Ferrini.
It is of no importance considering the mid-price of this disc and the deal that the famous Fandango by Soler and fantastic transcriptions of Milan and de Falla are included to make it a bargain.
More about the oeuvre of Christian Brembeck at the website: http://www.christian-brembeck.de
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La Cetra d'Orfeo had definitely madness, the literal meaning of Folia, in mind when producing this disc
Of course the main theme is the musical Folia and there are almost half a dozen presented, but there is more to
desorient the listener. The variations by François Couperin of his 'Les Folies
françaises ou les Dominos'
for solo harpsichord are scattered separately as moments of refuge in between the up tempo tracks. Lots of functional percussion
quite similar built-in as Paniagua with his Folia disc, emphasizes the chaotic and energetic character of most tracks, even
in Vivaldi's Folia! And as a minor detail there is the information in the slipcase which is hardly readable with the small letters and coloured
backgrounds. There is no distinction made between the 'early' and 'later' Folia, as mentioned in the literature by
Richard Hudson but a new term the 'primitive' Folia is introduced to indicate the bass line of the 'later' Folia in Paggington's Pound.
Ok enough ingredients for a pleasant journey into madness to experience for more than an hour.
The Falconieri Folia, a piece for three, got a fresh arrangement where the voices are not distributed to the instruments from the start to the very end. In the opening the violins tumble over each other while the recorders take over both parts while in the end in unison 2 recorders and the violin sign the peace treaty. It makes the piece a bit restless but it seems common practice in these Falconieri-performances not to stick to the three initial instruments.
The Bach-piece is well sung indeed and the tempo is perfect to let the piece breath naturally. The distraction however comes from the recorder which substitutes the violin part and you can hear that it take all efforts to get the low pitches on this instrument especially at the ending.
The combination of Vivaldi's Folia and the recorder as lead instrument is quite naturalized nowadays but in my imagination Vivaldi should be always associated with the violin. The percussion gives a nice 'folky' touch to the music A first highlight of this disc is 'Paggington's Pound' (how many different spellings are there for indicating this melody?). It will be my shortcoming that I only have heard instrumental versions of this piece, but as the Aria from J.S. Bach it is extremely well sung.
However the overall highlight of the disc out of Folia-perspective is 'Poule Noire', a Wallon instrumental traditional which got a nice arrangement, starting with the accordion solo in a virtuoso way and resulting in a real folk cracker with recorder and drums, where the Folia melody is accompanied by a 16 bars 'answer' which makes the tune very original both from a musical as instrumental perspective.
More about La Cetra d'Orfeo you can read at their homepage http://www.lacetra.com
Michel Keustermans wrote for the slipcase (translation by Rachel Stacchini-Betton-Foster):
With some daring we have taken the liberty of associating two stylistically different concepts
which in fact evoke the same idea: the Folia and the melodies of the Folia. Indeed, it is this concept that we
have used on the numerous occasions in concert much to the enjoyment of our audiences (so it seems) which has encouraged us to
present this disc, for the Folia is not only a dance, it is sometimes also sung
All sources agree that this form goes back to the Middle Ages, coming from popular tradition in the Iberian peninsular. Its merry character was particularly suited to festive celebrations where there was dancing, sometimes to the point of madness. In 1611 Covarruvias Horozco (Tesoro de la lengua castellana o española) explains that the dancing was so wild and noisy that the dancers appeared to go into a trance (The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 6) Mention is made in the literature of the time that it was sometimes even forbidden.
It was one of the 'standards' on which any musician worthy of the name could improvise an infinite number of variations, just as our jazzmen do today with their standards from 'Real Book'. One finds a large number of outlines of this type in the Renaissance built on a bass line of a few chords, repeated incessantly. Let us take, for example, the Passamezzo antico (Stingo), the Passamento modern (Pagginton's Pound), the Romanesca (Greensleeves), the Bergamasca (cfr. our 'Kaleidoscope CD), the Galliarda Napolitana (Valente), the Ciaconna (Falconieri) and the profusion of English grounds of which Purcell became a phenomenal practitioner. To improvise on these bass lines was therefore common practice in the 16th Century, and from a simple improvisation it was quite natural to progress to some masterpieces where musicians such as Diego Ortiz or Antonio Valente are concerned. Many composers thus seized upon this form and more or less standardised it for writing variations. Every period had, in some way, its own rules and style, and the diferencias ('diminutions' in Spanish) on a Folia from the 15th Century (for example Ortiz) are far removed from the variations on a Folia by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach, going to the opposite extreme. Of course, the harmonic and structural developments follow the same historical route. Between the two one finds composers such as Encina, Martin Y Coll, Falconieri, Corelli, Vivaldi, Marais, and even Johann Sebastian Bach. In the 18th Century dance came to the court in the form of the Sarabande, considerably slower in France (although we still find the expression 'a wild Sarabande' because the English Sarabande seems to have kept its rapid tempo). Far from dying out, the form continued to be used in the 19th Century by Cherubini, Liszt, Rachmaninov, and our compatriot Piet Swerts.
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This disc is especially a treat for the listeners of virtuose recorder music.
Although 10 variations of Marais' Folies d'Espagne have been left out, as considered
not really suitable for the recorder (the missing variations are 6, 8, 11-14,
23, 25, 27, and 29) it definitely is the highlight of this recording.
Next to the Folies d'Espagne by Marais (originally for viola da gamba and b.c.) the Follia by Corelli Op. 5 no. 12 is also arranged for recorder instead of the usual violin as the leading part. The only disadvantage I always encouter as a non-recorder-expert with these Corelli-recorder arrangements is that the pitch of the instrument seems artificially too high to appreciate the Follia to the full extend. I guess this is due to be able to get the range of all tones required to play the piece with the original violin-melody.
Andrea Lausi wrote about recorder-music in general and in perspective of especially this compact disc (used with permission, 2005):
I have always considered the anthologies issued by the Brüggen-Bylsma-Leonhard
trio for Telefunken (Italian Recorder Sonatas, Blockflötenmusik auf Originalinstrumenten...)
among the key recordings of the ‘70s. Veritable chamber music lesson,
these recordings shaped the perception of the recorder as a musical instrument
for many years to come. What I find central to this is the quality, so-to-say
the real magic, of Brüggen’s sound. The recorder is an instrument with
a particular limited amount of overtones – it is actually a good approximation
to a sonic laser with all the energy concentrated in the fundamental –
and Brüggen’s playing puts this quality at the center of his constant
focus. A playing where the center of the tone is never missed, the sound being
always direct and full. These qualities blend with the play of other two musicians
in interpretations of a simple nobility, where the 'abstract' timbre of the
recorder – the quality Brüggen once defined as its 'dangerous innocence'
– appears perfectly functional in putting in evidence all of the curves
and shapes of the compositional architecture.
The Brüggen-Bylsma-Leonhard series included also a very impressive rendition of the Follia and, given such an overwhelming example to confront with, I have been always surprised that in the past years so many recorder players recorded the piece, which after all is definitely not a piece composed originally for the recorder.
Coming to the present recording, Corelli’s set of variation is actually perfectly fitting the programmatic frame of ‘The Mirror Recomposed’ recital, and I find the Cavasanti-Guerrero-Erdas reading to be perhaps the first to cope with the mastery of BBL example. Paola Erdas and Jorge Alberto Guerrero support very effectively the soloist, carving the bass line with a present and dedicated play which follows closely Cavasanti’s interpretation. At the other side of this French-Italian mirror, Marais’ Couplets de Folies d'Espagne, the center of gravity is shifted towards the two bass instruments: the harpsichord – veritable driving force - and the cello’s necessary bow presence, which actually seem to give the momentum. I find quite interesting the clarity of the timbre separation allowed by the use of the recorder for the top line. In my personal view this is the best piece of the CD, together with Couperin’s La Tenebreuse and the Sonata by Vivaldi.
Gilles Cantagrel wrote for the slipcase (translation by Christopher Cartwright and Godwin Stewart):
So, to the very famous variations in trio on la Follia by Corelli, which open
the concert, the response in false symmetry at the very end will be the trio
of the Folies d'Espagne by Marin Marais, his exact contemporary the other side
of the Alps - two admirable pieces of equal length on the same motif, that Portuguese
dance of the folia which passed through Spain (whence the name 'Folies d'Espagne'
given to it by the French) and whose popularity soon swept throughout Europe
in the 17th century. Lully adopted the famous theme and d'Anglebert won fame
with his variations for harpsichord on the same subject. This is before one
finds it in Italy with the 23 variations from Corelli, and then again in France
from Marin Marais. Would extravagance itself not be a symbol of the Baroque,
a precious asset of the imaginary and a pretext for everything daring, for all
Always variations in fact. For, used as an ostinato bass, such a motif, insistent, obsessional, lends itself admirably to this universe of multiplicity drawn from the unique, which, since Sweelinck and Frescobaldi, was cultivated by the Baroque in partitas, chaconnes and passacaglias. As support for extended developments, displaying the imagination of the composer and the vivacity of the performer, the variation is par excellence the technique of composition for this era, common to Italy and France as to the whole of Europe. But the very concept of the variation has its roots much further away than in the art of pleasing. Everything points to how, as in the buildings of Borromini, it imposes the fantasy of ornamentation on the rigour of the structure. And above all in what it proposes as a vision of the world and the position of mankind therein. Comparing itself to the movements of the planets, it cultivated the notion of the cycle at a time when modern astronomy was emerging with Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo, when Harvey discovered the circulation, that is to say the circle, of blood. And when, theorising about Baroque thought, the philosopher Leibnitz could declare: 'My basic meditations revolve around two things, to know about unity and about infinity. [...] Above all, in fact, we are pleased by variety, but reduced to unity.' One could not ask for a better definition of the variation.
Duration: 0'54", 848 kB. (128kB/s, 44100 Hz)
Duration: 0'52", 820 kB. (128kB/s, 44100 Hz)
Ten Thousend lakes' cd without ordernr.
barcode 6 0197199032 3 released 1999
(not indicated in the slipcase or disc)
total duration 63'35"
compact disc 93228
released May 1, 2001
Re-release of barcode 6 0197199032 3
total duration 63'35"
From the boisterous streetfestivals of fiftheenth-century Portugal to the refined entertainments of royal European courts, folias carried the spontaneous energy of popular music into the world of art music. These irresistible dance pieces, which were transmitted via the high-spirited strumming of the Spanish guitar, emboldened seventheenth-century composers to create exuberant and playful compositions of their own. The selections on this recording include folias from Spain, Italy and France, along with pieces built upon other ground-bass dances and those that incorporate dance rhythms in their structures. The first references to the folias in Spanish and Portuguese writings assume that the reader already knew what a folia was. Consequently, while we don't have the information to visualize a specific folia, we do know the word folias was associated with a poetic form, absurd lyrics, manic dance steps, a type of gathering, student entertainments, and the costumes and choreographies of cross-dressers. By the time the folia was defined as a particular chord progression in the seventheent century, it no longer encompassed the lyrics, dance steps and social situations of the earliest folia. Folias might have remained a local custom were it not for the rising popularity of the Spanish five-course guitar. Originally used for accompanying popular dances and songs and associated with barbers and other 'agents of idleness' this instrument captivated Europe in the 1600s and 1700s. It attracted 'the busiest of talented people' who 'put aside loftier occupations all for the guitar' which sounded well even if 'badly strung or played'. After beguiling (contemporaneous writers called it 'corrupting') the courts and chapels of Spain, the guitar found fertile ground in Spanish dominions in Italy and the New World. Italian influence was responsible, in turn, for broadcasting the guitar's popularity to French and English courts. Guitar music was published in Spain, Italy, France, England, the Netherlands and Germany until the mid-eighteenth century. Where the guitar went, so went its repertoire: folias and other dance-songs from public festivities in Spain, such as the chacona, jacara, and passacalles. Musicians throughout Europe exploited the improvisatory potential of these repeating basses; they ofered vehicles for personal expression and idiomatic displayes of virtuosity. Italian composers were among the first to use these harmonic and metric schemes as the basis for extended variation sets (Storace, Falconiero, Merula). Composers also integrated th rhythmic drive and phrase structures of popular dance in their tientos, sonatas, canzoni, recercadas, and fantasias (Ortiz, Tafalla, Castello, de Selma, Merula). Many of the composers represented on this recording were as mobile as the guitar. They further disseminated the repertoire and the approaches to composition the repertoire inspired. Ortiz worked in Naples, Cabanilles in France, Falconieri in Spain, Bertali and de Selma in Vienna, and Merula in Poland. In each locale, in every generation, these dance pieces were transformed by the musical needs and environment of musicians, never losing the vitality of their origins.
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