Storace: Harpsichord Music (1664) (Naoko Akutagawa) (Naxos: 8.572209)
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Bernardo Storace's Selva di varie compositioni, published in Venice in 1664, is one of the greatest outpourings of sheer inventiveness in music history. The two passacaglias on this fascinating disc contain no fewer than 320 variations, which are crowned - as are the Ciaccona and the two Passamezzi - with dashing dances, correnti and gagliarde, pointing towards the later development of the Baroque suite. These fine 17th-century pieces in which Frescobaldi's powerful influence is evident, are played on a modern copy of a beautiful 1697 Italian harpsichord whose clear, rich sound is ideal for this music.
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