GREGORIO STROZZI (1615-1687)
Capricci da sonar Op. IV
Gregorio Strozzi is described as one of the most relevant personalities within the Renaissance music scene. Originary from San Severino Lucano in Italy, he was a brilliant composer even though we still have many obscure parts in his biography. Born around 1615, Strozzi started his musical studies with Girolamo Frescobaldi and then moved to Naples where he perfectioned his art with Giovanni Maria Sabino, chapelmeister at the Santa Casa dell’Annunziata. After becoming a priest, in 1634 Strozzi became second organist at the Annunziata, where he remaind until 1645, when he was nominated chaplain of Amalfi. In the final three decades of his life - it is believed he died in 1687 in Naples - Strozzi alternated his musical activity to many important civil and religious assignments, becoming abbot and doctor in utroque iure at the University in Naples. Under the stylistic point of view, Strozzi demonstrated a versatility not inferior to the one that characterized his life, creating an extremely original style where the solid frescobaldian base is injected with apparently incompatible elements, going from some Stylus phantasticus suggestions developed by northern Germany composers in the early decades of XVII century, to the taqsim arab technique, going from chromatic dissonance evoking Gesualdo da Venosa, that, same as Strozzi, was from Lucania. This CD features a rich selection of the 29 pieces included in the Capricci da sonare cembali et organi op. 4, performed with great fantasy and absolute stylistic accuracy by Elena Sartori that you can also enjoy on Tactus on two titles dedicated to the sacred music of Padre Giovanni Battista Martini (TC.701306) and Domenico Scarlatti (TC.681906). To allow a more enjoyable and variable listening, Sartori alternates the harpsichord with the organ of the Basilica of San Bernardino in L’Aquila, in this way obeing the indication found on the front page of the Strozzi collection.