In our program “De Profundis” (9 minutes and 5 seconds), Ars Antigua celebrates its lower range with performances of:
- The “Passamezzo Antico” by Diego Ortiz (1510-1570) performed by Jerry Fuller, violone; Neal Richardson, virginal and Jeff Noonan, theorbo; and
- “Balleto et Corrento per il violoncello agionta la spinetta” performed by Marina Nielsen, violoncino; Jim Lambert, violone; Jim Oxyer, virginal and David Dolata, harpsichord
Spanish composer Diego Ortiz worked form 1555 to 1570 at the vice-regal court of the Duke of Alba in Naples. His treatise on viol playing is an astounding source of Renaissance ornamentation and improvisational practice. His techniques led to the English ‘divisions on a ground’ and the improvisatory viola bastarda style.
The cello in 17th century Venice came in two sizes–the violoncello, was rather larger than today’s standard cello and was used to play the more static bass lines of polyphonic music while the violoncino, being smaller was given to rapid virtuosic solo music. Marieta Prioli’s Balletto et Corrento is for this smaller instrument, and contains a rather acrobatic Corrento.