Musical Fairy Tales

Salish Sea Early Music Festival
Sharing and Caring from Home in 2021

  Giovanni Bassano: Solos, Diminutions and Trios 

Giovanni Bassano (c. 1560-1617) was alongside his mentor Girolamo Dalla Casa one of the most prominent wind instrument players at the Basilica of St. Mark in Venice at the turn of the 17th century. He began playing with the Basilica’s instrumental ensemble already in 1576 and was director from 1601 through his death, where he worked with Giovanni Gabrieli. The Fantasie a tre voci “for performance on all sorts of instruments” from which these examples are taken was his first publication, appearing in Venice in 1585. Such three-part writing was previously published only by Tiburtino (1549), Willaert (1551) and Ruffo (1654), all in Italy. The term “fantasia” referred to creativity and imagination.

“”I’m particularly moved by this Fantasia 11 which has transverse flute written all over it, although Bassano did not specify the instrumentation. The range and key are perfect and my feeling is that this and others of the set of 20 were written with the warm and bright sonority of transverse flutes in mind. Let’s just say that it is so! ”  – Jeffrey

Jeffrey Cohan

The Salish Sea Early Music Festival is proud to be an affiliate organization of Early Music America, which develops, strengthens, and celebrates early music and historically informed performance in North America.