The Brilliant Classics Frescobaldi Edition is winning golden opinions across Europe, not least for the fact that this entreprising project is being undertaken at all. And yet the richness of the music thereby revealed, volume by volume, is so compelling that one can only be astonished that it has not been attempted before. The edition is the brainchild of Roberto Loreggian, who features here in the varied and virtuosic Second Book of Toccatas, playing them on the harpsichord and organ each according to their individual temperament. The Second Book was composed 12 years after the first, in 1627, when Frescobaldi was at the height of his creative powers and indeed his prestige: he was organist at the then-largest church in the world, the Roman Basilica of St Peter. It is a more eclectic collection than the first. It has eleven toccatas to start but continues with an intabulated madrigal, some canzonas and some stylised dance music, four sets of variations and a set of liturgical items appropriate for Vespers. It is these last pieces, especially, which mark out this volume as different. Reproducing the sort of music Frescobaldi played regularly in St. Peter's or in other Roman institutions, it consists of sets of versets for alternatim performance with a plainsong choir, of four hymns, and of Magnificats in three of the church tones or modes. The toccatas in Book Two seem even more assured than those in the earlier book, more structured but also more diverse, many of them including tripletime sections and more regular canzona-like segments.
- Recorded in 2008.
- Includes scholarly booklet notes by Frescobaldi authority Dr. Noel O'Regan.