Manchester, 14th-18th July 2004


Pieter Dirksen (Netherlands)

Froberger’s early style and the French clavecinistes

From a letter of 1649 by the English diplomat William Swann to Constantijn Huygens there comes a remarkable passage from which it appears that Johann Jacob Froberger was at that time still unfamiliar with, or perhaps even unaware of, the music of Jacques Champion de Chambonnières.  From that same year stems the oldest preserved autograph of Froberger, the Libro Secondo, which includes harpsichord suites demonstrating an already advanced assimilation of the French style luthé.  Moreover, several of the suites transmitted in non-autograph sources must predate even those from the Libro Secondo.  The question naturally arises when and how Froberger came into contact with the new lute style, and what his specific role was not only in the rise of the early harpsichord suite, but also in the development of the peculiarly French classical harpsichord tradition.

Last updated on 09 May 2004