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Aapo Hakkinen|The Medici Harpsichord Book

The Medici Harpsichord Book

Aapo Hakkinen

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The centerpiece of this collection of rather obscure Baroque harpsichord music is a group of unpublished and hitherto unrecorded pieces found in a manuscript at the Florence Conservatory of Music. It may be guessed that the author was Ferdinando de' Medici of the famed Florentine merchant family -- he was a musician -- but that conclusion isn't the done deal that the track list would imply. The Medici pieces are a mixture of quasi-improvisatory pieces that might have been intended as exercises of some kind (consider the title "Preludio di botte, acciachature, e ligature") and binary dances that are all given the title "Aria alla francese" (Air in the French Style). They are pleasant but largely unremarkable harpsichord pieces that, now discovered, perhaps provide an Italian counterpart for the output of Frederick the Great of Prussia. Here they are placed in the middle of a temporal sequence of harpsichord music going back to the late Renaissance polyphony or Giovanni de Macque, a contemporary of Frescobaldi's, and forward to a pair of fiery Spanish pieces from the end of the eighteenth century. Perhaps the highlight is a sonata by Giovanni Battista Martini, known in the history books as the Padre Martini who gave Mozart composition lessons. It is a dense, dark work, full of contrapuntal artifice and entirely out of step with the light naturalism that was flourishing in Italy at the time -- just what one would expect, in short, from a teacher of counterpoint. Finnish harpsichordist Aapo Häkkinen has a hard-edged, dramatic, edgy sound that works well in the Martini, the Macque, and in the flashy perpetual-motion Fandango of Antonio Soler that closes the program. In the lighter dance-inflected movements of the Medici group he seems too tense; the dance rhythms get lost. The Deux-Elles label captures the distinctive sound of the seventeenth century Italian harpsichord Häkkinen plays, and he even adjusts the tunings of the intervals as the program proceeds through time. This is a somewhat specialized disc of keyboard music, but one that is certainly of interest for libraries or for anyone bitten by the Medici bug.
© TiVo

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The Medici Harpsichord Book

Aapo Hakkinen

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1
Passacaille
00:02:15

Luigi Rossi, Composer - Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

2
Gagliarda prima
00:00:57

Giovanni de Macque, Composer - Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

3
Gagliarda seconda
00:00:59

Giovanni de Macque, Composer - Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

4
Ricercare del sesto tono con tre fughe e suoi riverse
00:03:15

Giovanni de Macque, Composer - Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

5
Toccata
00:02:14

Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist - Francesco Lambardi, Composer

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

6
Preludio cantabile con ligature
00:01:34

Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist - Ferdinando de' Medici, Composer

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

7
Passagagli pastorali
00:03:24

Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist - Ferdinando de' Medici, Composer

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

8
Aria alla francese
00:01:15

Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist - Ferdinando de' Medici, Composer

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

9
Aria alla francese
00:01:44

Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist - Ferdinando de' Medici, Composer

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

10
Preludio di botte, acciachature, e ligature
00:02:34

Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist - Ferdinando de' Medici, Composer

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

11
Aria alla francese
00:01:35

Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist - Ferdinando de' Medici, Composer

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

12
Tochata
00:01:33

Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist - Ferdinando de' Medici, Composer

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

13
Aria alla francese
00:02:05

Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist - Ferdinando de' Medici, Composer

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

14
Preludio
00:00:33

Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist - Ferdinando de' Medici, Composer

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

15
Aria alla francese
00:01:29

Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist - Ferdinando de' Medici, Composer

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

16
Tochata
00:00:49

Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist - Ferdinando de' Medici, Composer

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

17
Passagagli
00:03:43

Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist - Ferdinando de' Medici, Composer

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

18
Alemanda
00:03:44

Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist - Ferdinando de' Medici, Composer

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

19
Preludio cantabile con ligature
00:01:10

Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist - Ferdinando de' Medici, Composer

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

20
Aria alla francese
00:01:54

Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist - Ferdinando de' Medici, Composer

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

21
Sonata III: Preludio
00:01:56

Giovanni Battista Martini, Composer - Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

22
Sonata III: Allegro
00:03:02

Giovanni Battista Martini, Composer - Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

23
Sonata III: Adagio
00:03:50

Giovanni Battista Martini, Composer - Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

24
Sonata III: Gavotta
00:02:31

Giovanni Battista Martini, Composer - Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

25
Sonata III: Corrente - Canon ad diapason intensum
00:02:39

Giovanni Battista Martini, Composer - Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

26
Pastorela IV: Adagio
00:02:50

Manuel Blasco de Nebra, Composer - Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

27
Pastorela IV: Pastorela
00:07:09

Manuel Blasco de Nebra, Composer - Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

28
Pastorela IV: Minuet
00:01:38

Manuel Blasco de Nebra, Composer - Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

29
Fandango
00:11:14

Aapo Hakkinen, MainArtist - Antonio Soler Ramos, Composer

(C) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited (P) 2005 Deux-Elles Limited

Album Description

The centerpiece of this collection of rather obscure Baroque harpsichord music is a group of unpublished and hitherto unrecorded pieces found in a manuscript at the Florence Conservatory of Music. It may be guessed that the author was Ferdinando de' Medici of the famed Florentine merchant family -- he was a musician -- but that conclusion isn't the done deal that the track list would imply. The Medici pieces are a mixture of quasi-improvisatory pieces that might have been intended as exercises of some kind (consider the title "Preludio di botte, acciachature, e ligature") and binary dances that are all given the title "Aria alla francese" (Air in the French Style). They are pleasant but largely unremarkable harpsichord pieces that, now discovered, perhaps provide an Italian counterpart for the output of Frederick the Great of Prussia. Here they are placed in the middle of a temporal sequence of harpsichord music going back to the late Renaissance polyphony or Giovanni de Macque, a contemporary of Frescobaldi's, and forward to a pair of fiery Spanish pieces from the end of the eighteenth century. Perhaps the highlight is a sonata by Giovanni Battista Martini, known in the history books as the Padre Martini who gave Mozart composition lessons. It is a dense, dark work, full of contrapuntal artifice and entirely out of step with the light naturalism that was flourishing in Italy at the time -- just what one would expect, in short, from a teacher of counterpoint. Finnish harpsichordist Aapo Häkkinen has a hard-edged, dramatic, edgy sound that works well in the Martini, the Macque, and in the flashy perpetual-motion Fandango of Antonio Soler that closes the program. In the lighter dance-inflected movements of the Medici group he seems too tense; the dance rhythms get lost. The Deux-Elles label captures the distinctive sound of the seventeenth century Italian harpsichord Häkkinen plays, and he even adjusts the tunings of the intervals as the program proceeds through time. This is a somewhat specialized disc of keyboard music, but one that is certainly of interest for libraries or for anyone bitten by the Medici bug.
© TiVo

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