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A prolific and highly original composer, Kapsberger is chiefly remembered today for his lute and theorbo chitarrone music, which was seminal in the development of these as solo instruments.
Nothing is known about Kapsberger's date and place of birth. His father Colonel Wilhelm Guglielmo von Kapsperger was a military official of the Imperial House of Austria, and may have settled in Venice , the city which may have been Kapsberger's birthplace.
After Kapsberger moved to Rome , where he quickly attained a reputation as a brilliant virtuoso.
Johann Kapsberger: Toccata Arpeggiata; David Tayler, theorbo
He cultivated connections with various powerful individuals and organizations; and himself organized "academies" in his house, which were counted among the "wonders of Rome". Around Kapsberger married Gerolima di Rossi, with whom he had at least three children. He started publishing his music at around the same time, with more than a dozen collections of music appearing during the next ten years.
These included the celebrated Libro I d'intavolatura di lauto , Kapsberger's only surviving collection of music for lute. Kapsberger worked in Francesco's household until He died in Kapsberger is best remembered as a composer for lute and theorbo.
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At least six collections were published during his lifetime, two of which are currently lost. Kapsberger's writing is characterized, especially in toccatas , by spontaneous changes, sharp contrasts, unusual rhythmic groupings and, sometimes, passages that do not conform to the rules of counterpoint that were in use at the time.
Among them was Athanasius Kircher , who described Kapsberger as a "superb genius" and attested that he has "successfully penetrated the secrets of music. Some contemporaries, such as Stefano Landi , mentioned that Kapsberger was not as meticulous a composer as he was as a performer.
Prominent among these critics is lutenist Rolf Lislevand : in his words, "Kapsberger was as bad a composer as he was a fine instrumentalist [ Regardless of how one regards his compositional prowess, Kapsberger was one of the principal composers of lute and theorbo music during the early Baroque era together with Alessandro Piccinini and greatly contributed towards advancing European plucked string instruments of the time.
Kapsberger's other music includes two collections of instrumental ensemble dances, rare for the period, and a wealth of vocal music, which was widely performed during his lifetime, but which is now critically less acclaimed. Kapsberger also wrote stage music, almost all currently lost.
This list only includes works published during the composer's lifetime; the few pieces that survive in manuscripts, as well as pieces of questionable attribution, are not included. Also, a compositional treatise by Kapsberger, Il Kapsperger della musica , was announced in in the preface to Libro quarto d'intavolatura di chitarrone , but is now lost. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Preface to Johann Hieronymus Kapsberger: Libro primo de balli, gagliarde et correnti, a quattro voci Rome, and Libro primo di sinfonie a quattro Rome, , p.
New York and London: Garland, Durham: Duke University Press, Categories : s births deaths People from Venice Italian male classical composers Renaissance composers Italian Baroque composers Composers for lute Lutenists Italian people of German descent Seicento composers.
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