Baroque guitar Corbetta

Izhar Elias – solo baroque guitar
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La Guitarre Royalle
Works by Francesco Corbetta (c.1615-1681)
Izhar Elias – solo baroque guitar
Photography – Paul and Menno de Nooijer

Francesco Corbetta: the JS Bach of the guitar? A bold claim, but one made with passion by the guitarist Izhar Elias in his own booklet essay for this ground-breaking new album.

On this album Elias has made his own selection from two of Corbetta’s published volumes which were written for King Charles II (1671) and King Louis XIV (1674) respectively. According to him, Corbetta’s music is rooted in the popular songs and dances of his day, making him more like a modern pop songwriter. Using the genres of chaconne and passacaglia, several of which are included here, he transformed the guitar into a polyphonic instrument and a genuinely soloistic one compared to its previous, humble role as an accompaniment to song and strings. There are also two substantial dance suites, in A minor and G minor. The high range, frequent resolution of dissonance, virtuosic techniques, and coloristic effects, such as overlapping tones of campanelas or flashy repicco strumming, converged in his guitar music to make it the most brilliant if challenging of the era.

About the artwork

The remarkable photographs by Paul and Menno de Nooijer reflect the beauty and the mystery of Corbetta’s world, giving it a modern touch at the same time. In the work of Paul and Menno human bodies may look like statues from the past in which the movement of the dance is made visible.

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