VIRTÙ e NOBILTÀ Kapsperger Theorbo Music
Theorbo Music in Baroque Rome.
Fred Jacobs, doyen of theorbo players, that outlandish scale lute that became the rage at court and also in the opera in 17th century Europe continues his solo recital series of theorbo music for Metronome with an album devoted to the music of Kapsperger
The theorbo’s most notable exponent in Italy in the early 17th century was the remarkable gentleman composer-performer Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger who though known as L’Alemana – “The German Lutenist” was born in Venice of German noble family and spent his life composing and performing in Italy and serving the papal court in Rome. His extra-ordinary music, notable for its somewhat sometimes wayward and experimental tonality, has been compared to that other noble Italian experimentalist - Gesualdo.
Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger is one of the first and most important virtuosi of the theorbo, that newly invented large type of lute developed during his youth in his native country Italy. An instrument which had a big effect in the world of early opera. Kapsperger’s theorbo music is a striking example of the explosion of new artistic ideas originating in Rome between 1600 and 1650. This recording concentrates on his Roman works, written for a noble audience and for the private entertainment of the court of pope Urban VIII Barberini. It demonstrates that behind the novelty of style of Kapsperger’s music there lies a great and serious composer who knew the rules but also how to bend them.