Improvisation in Frescobaldi’s Canzonas for bass instrument and basso continuo

Thérèse de Goede

Frescobaldi’s seven canzonas for string bass and basso continuo (Rome, 1628 and Venice, 1634) pose a real challenge to the continuo player. Since the solo bass line is frequently in unison with the continuo bass line, or at times plays an ornamented version of it, these canzonas may be considered almost as partimento basses, i.e. basses without solo parts, which have to be realized into self-contained keyboard compositions by the performer.

The focus of this workshop will be on the performance practice of continuo and solo parts. Research into early seventeenth-century bass-bowed instruments has not yet resulted in much pertinent information. Therefore the approach to instrumentation will be flexible and practical. The solo parts will be played by students of Viola de Hoog (Amsterdam, Utrecht) and Lucia Swarts (The Hague).

Thérèse de Goede

Thérèse de Goede teaches basso continuo (Ma and Ba) at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Since 1996 she has developed and taught the courses ‘Historical Harmony in Performance Practice’ as well as ‘Playing With Treatises’ (a course in which students read and apply all aspects of performance practice described in historical treatises from c1550-c1800). Her primary research interest is in the seventeenth-century repertoire of vocal and instrumental chamber music.