Harmonia Early Music

Froberger Suites And Toccatas

Harpsichord music of Johann Jacob Froberger played by the Romanian harpsichordist Alina Rotaru.

Alina Rotaru

Photo: Carpe Diem Records

Harpsichordist and teacher Alina Rotaru, from the CD cover for Froberger: Suites & Toccatas.

Good taste has always been important to cultured people, but never was it more vociferously espoused than in the baroque period.  Johann Jacob Froberger was a wanderer, visiting the important musical capitals of his day – Rome, Dresden, Amsterdam, Paris and more – to absorb current ideas of good taste. His music reflects his experience of performances of virtuosi such as Girolamo Frescobaldi, Giacomo Carissimi, Denis Gaultier and Louis Couperin, all of whom he heard on his travels.

The most important composer of keyboard music in mid-17th century Germany, Froberger’s music contains elements of the German, French and Italian styles, and is also programmatic, dwelling on personal distress, dangerous situations, and his own awareness of mortality, though always, of course, in a very tasteful way.

In 2012, Carpe Diem Records issued a CD of suites and toccatas of Froberger performed by the Romanian harpsichordist Alina Rotaru.  She plays on a Ruckers harpsichord built in 1623 and reconstructed in 1745 that may have once belonged to Marie Antoinette.  Here is an excerpt from the Gigue of Suite XIX in c minor. The attentive listener will notice how the tuning of the harpsichord strongly affects the flavor of the music.

Froberger Suites and Toccatas
Alina Rotaru (Carpe Diem Records, 2012)
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album cover

Froberger Suites and Toccatas
Alina Rotaru (Carpe Diem Records, 2012)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Wendy Gillespie

Wendy Gillespie is Professor of Music, teaching early bowed strings and performance studies, at the Early Music Institute of the Jacobs School of Music, Bloomington, IN and President of the VdGSA. As a viola da gamba player, she has made more than 80 CDs and performed on five continents.

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