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Historical Organ Techniques and Repertoire, Volume 6, Italy, 1550–1660 (ed. Calvert Johnson)

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Historical Organ Techniques and Repertoire, Volume 6, Italy, 1550–1660 - (ed. Calvert Johnson)

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Almost all that I could wish to know is there Review by David
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This is the second in the Historical Organ Techniques and Repertoire series that I have bought. The first was , Volume 11, The Netherlands, 1575–1700 which I have taken with me on organ tours in the Netherlands, and it has been much admired by other participants. I therefore had no hesitation about ordering this book about early Italian organs and their repertoire.
Both books give extremely full accounts of the relevant history of the countries, the development and specifications of the instruments, the liturgical and other uses of the music, playing style, fingering, notation, and ornamentation, followed by a series of pieces, roughly in order of difficulty and with good tutorial commentaries. The bibliographies will age, and that is even more true of lists of recordings. I have many books on these topics, and I can’t think of any other ten of them which contain so much information useful for appropriate performance.

On the negative side these are very expensive and the paper quality could have been better. The major disadvantage of the Netherlands version is that the binding does not allow it to stay open easily on the playing desk. The Italian volume is thinner, and stays open as it should.
(Posted on 3/13/2016)

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