Froberger may no longer be considered the progenitor of the piano suite, but his suites for keyboard instruments have, without a doubt, had a considerable influence on the development of this genre. His programmatic suites, of which some bear autobiographic features, attained particular fame. Others are marked “Lamentation” or “Méditation” in view of his own imminent death. For the first time, all his suites are now being published in one volume as the Urtext – an unparalleled compendium of Froberger’s art, edited by harpsichordist Pieter Dirksen. A must, not just for fans of Froberger, but also for pianists wishing to explore this repertoire on the piano.
- Suites for Keyboard
About the composer
Johann Jakob Froberger
Along with Frescobaldi, he is regarded as the most important composer for the development of music for keyboard instruments. He studied with Frescobaldi and cultivated further the genres of keyboard music he inherited from him: toccatas, fantasias, canzonas, ricercari, capriccios, partitas. He was not the inventor of the keyboard suite (as was long assumed); rather, his partitas looked to French and English lute music for their models. His music influenced his contemporaries and subsequent generations, including Louis Couperin, Weckmann, Kerll, Buxtehude, Johann Krieger, Pachelbel, Johann Kuhnau; his music was widely distributed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. During his lifetime, only two of his compositions were published; others survive in copies, and much is lost. Very little survives of his vocal works and his compositions for instrumental ensembles.
|1616||Born in Stuttgart on May 28, the son of a singer and Kapellmeister.|
|1637–18||Organist at the Viennese court (with some breaks in service). After 1641, his position there – which is to say, his remuneration – improves dramatically.|
|1637–41||Stay in Rome to study with Frescobaldi, made possible by Emperor Ferdinand III.|
|1650||Publication of the “Fantasia sopra Ut Re Mi Fa Sol La” in C major (FbWV 201) in Kircher’s “Musurgia universalis.”|
|1650/52||In the entourage of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, youngest brother of Ferdinand III.|
|around 1648/49||Journey to Italy.|
|1649/50–53||(Concert) tour through Central and Western Europe, including to the court in Dresden, Brussels (belated wedding celebration for King Philip IV of Spain), the Spanish and United Netherlands, Paris (large-scale concerts attended by the royal family, contact with Louis Couperin), London.|
|1660||Publication of the five-voice Fugue in D minor (FbWV 407a).|
|1667||Death at Château d’Héricourt near Montbéliard on May 16 or 17.|