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Annibale Padovano 1527-1575 - Libro de Ricercari a quattro voci - transcribed here for keyboard-players



Probably the most important ricercars published in the middle of the sixteenth century, and the most relevant to the contrapuntal music that Girolamo Frescobaldi was composing more than half a century later, are those by the then organist of St. Mark's in Venice, Annibale Padovano. The neglect of this music during recent decades, which have seen the discovery and revival of so much early music, is quite astonishing. The praise lavished on him by his great contemporary, Vincenzo Galilei, and the importance attached to him by Adriano Banchieri for the education and enlightenment of serious organists, should have attracted the attention of the present generation.  The fact that these ricercars were published in part-books in 1556 has led to the misguided notion that they were intended only for ensemble playing. There is evidence that organists of the period had no problem learning music published only in part-books. These pieces fit the hands well, and the presence of liturgical subjects—Kyrie, Salve Regina, Iste Confessor, the 1st psalm-tone—leaves little doubt of their relevance to organ-playing. I have therefore transcribed these thirteen ricercars in two-stave keyboard score, taking care to make the part-writing completely clear. They may be consulted and downloaded here, where they are accompanied by an explanatory preface.