Carlo Gesualdo

Canzon francese for keyboard, W. 10/16

    Description by Brian Robins

    Although the authorship of this short but extraordinary work had never been firmly attributed to Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa, it is generally programmed as one of his works. If it is, it is the only keyboard work of a composer principally known for his highly expressive Mannerist madrigals and darkly hued sacred works. The canzon has one of the most rigorous forms of late Renaissance keyboard works, a piece in strict contrapuntal style and structured in several sections. The Canzon del Principe conforms to such a description, but is especially remarkable for its extreme dissonance, chromaticism, and unexpected harmonic progressions, effects that it has been suggested could only have been associated in Gesualdo's mind with the archicembalo, a keyboard instrument with six manuals and 31 keys to each octave, and capable of playing all the diatonic, chromatic, and enharmonic notes known to ancient Greek theory.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2019 Alpha 450
    2017 Brilliant Classics 94972
    2015 Brilliant Classics 94998BR
    2015 Sony Classical 88875026162
    2009 Harmonia Mundi 501268
    2009 Naïve OP 30486
    2008 Brilliant Classics 93652
    2007 Zig Zag Territoires 301
    2006 Glossa 920934
    2006 ZYX Music 81841
    2001 VAI Audio 1196
    2000 Opus 111 30238
    2000 Glossa 921501
    2000 Virgin 61311
    1997 Chandos CHAN0601
    1992 Harmonia Mundi 901268