Alessandro Piccinini is best known for his two volumes of lute music: Intavolatura di Liuto et di Chitarrone, libro primo (Bologna, 1623) and Intavolaturo di Liuto (Bologna, 1639), the latter published posthumusly by his son Leonardo Maria Piccinini. The 1623 collection is of particular importance because of Piccinini's lengthy preface, which includes a detailed manual on performance, as well as claims to have invented the archlute (Piccinini also made important modifications to the chitarrone). Piccinini concentrated on toccatas, courantes and galliards, as well as different kinds of variations.
On this release, both instruments are alternated, demonstrating their difference especially in sonority. The music is from the first and second books of intabulations by Piccinini. The first one also contains some 30 ‘notes’ or instructions about how to play the lute, which have become more famous than the music itself.
Most of the works recorded here are in an improvisatory style, including some slow introductory chords. The fact that they were written down gives some insight into performance practices of the 17th century.
An unusual complete recording of music by one of the pillars of Italian lute music played by two dedicated renaissance and baroque specialists.