Ludovico Roncalli – Works for Guitar, NPM-M, is a Baroque Guitar CD release distributed from Portland Oregon through North Pacific Music. Find Ludovico Roncalli composition information on AllMusic. Count Ludovico Roncalli (), or simply Count Ludovico, was an Italian nobleman who published a collection of suites for five-course baroque guitar.

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Category:Roncalli, Lodovico – IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music

Capricci armonici sopra la chitarra spagnola by Ludovico Roncalli is the last in a long line of books for the Baroque guitar or chitarra spagnola as it was called back then published in Italy, spanning nearly one hundred years. These publications run the gamut from rudimentary instruction books with simple pieces intended for beginners to collections of highly sophisticated music.

The latter elevated the status of the guitar from an accompaniment instrument used in popular music to a solo instrument with a serious and respectable repertoire. Capricci armonici contains arguably some of the best music written for the guitar and thus is one of the most important sources for the instrument. Very little is known regarding the life of Ludovico Roncalli. According to the ludovvico page of his book and bits roncallli information from historical records, we roncaalli that he was a nobleman-the Count of Montorio-and an amateur musician.

Although he was a dilettante on the guitar, his compositions convey a picture of a highly accomplished guitarist.

His music demonstrates an intimate knowledge and understanding of the instrument, a sense for form and balance, and a restrained lyricism. The fact that the music of Roncalli is not completely foreign to modern audiences is due to the efforts of two individuals.

Ludovico Roncalli

One is Oscar Chilesottithe Italian musicologist who first rediscovered and transcribed Capricci armonici into standard notation and making it available to modern musicians. Roncalli’s music has subsequently found its way into concert programs of many modern guitarists.

Italian composer Ottorino Respighi is the other: Capricci armonici was published in in Bergamo, Roncalli’s home town.

It was dedicated to Cardinal Benedetto Panfiliothe patron to some of the most celebrated composers of the day, including Arcangelo CorelliGeorg Friedrich Handeland Alessandro Scarlatti The book’s meticulous engraving-work by Sebastiano Casetti combines visual appeal with considerable accuracy, at least as compared to other publications of the time.


The music in Capricci armonici is organized into nine sonate in eight common tuoni keys and one mono trasportato transposed key. Of these, all but the last, Sonata IX, are included in this recording. Each sonata comprises between five and seven movements taken from the classic French suite, always beginning with apreludio and an alemanda. Any ludovicoo of correnti, gigue, sarabande, gavotte, minuetti, and passacagli make up the rest of the sonata.

All the sonate in the recording are presented in their entirety except for Sonata VII, in which the second of the two alemande and the corrente are omitted.

Ludovico Roncalli | Compositions | AllMusic

Throughout the book, there appears to be a conscientious effort to tie lydovico the movements within each sonata. Clearly, Roncalli conceives a sonata as being more than a mere sequence of individual pieces that happen to be in the same key: In Capricci armonici, Roncalli achieves a very high level of sophistication and technical complexity.

He uses all the expressive tools available to him on the instrument, including arpeggi, battuti strumsvibrati, campanelle harp-like effects achieved by playing each note of a melodic passage on a different rincalliand all manners of graces. His musical style could be described as a confluence of French and Italian aesthetics-he fuses French formal organization and sensibilities for dance rhythms with Ronalli lyricism and intuition for harmony.

In any discussion of Baroque guitar performance, the subject of stringing cannot be avoided, and it is an ludovicco that does not elicit consensus among today’s players and scholars of the instrument. The fact that most sources do not specify a stringing Capricci armonici being among them does nothing to help clarify the confusion.

Like the lute, the Baroque guitar has double strings called courses. The crux of the argument is whether to string the third, fourth, and fifth courses in unisons or octaves, and if unisons, whether rncalli string them as bourdons basses or in the upper octave. The advantage to the bourdon stringing is an increased bass range, and the advantage to the upper-octave stringing is the facility of playing campanelle.

I have decided to use a stringing without bourdons on both fourth and fifth courses, and where the third course is strung in an octave. However, the strongest argument for this stringing lies in the music itself. There are many instances in Capricci armonici where awkward leaps of sevenths and ninths roncali if the third course is strung in a unison. This could only be avoided by stringing the third course as an octave, allowing it to be used more effectively as a melody string.


Curiously, this stringing gives the third course both the highest and lowest open string on the instrument. While this stringing ludovixo some musical problems, it does create some practical ones, the most significant being that of string tension and gauge. This circumvents this stringing issue, with the added benefit of a richer sound resulting from a lower overall pitch.

Though no new book for Baroque guitar was published in Italy after Capricci armonici, the instrument continued to be played throughout the eighteenth-century, and music kept being published roncslli it in other countries, particularly France and Spain.

However, it was in Italy that the guitar first achieved its status as an instrument capable of art music, and where the bulk of its music was written and published in the seventeenth-century, when the orncalli of the instrument was at its peak. These pieces by Ludovico Roncalli make roncallii befitting last testament to the popularity and importance of the guitar in Italy in its heyday, as they are some of the greatest music that was written for it.

Hideki Yamaya is a guitarist and lutenist who has been active as a performer and teacher in California and Oregon for over 15 years. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon, and is roncalki performing all over the Lusovico Coast. He has a B. He is an internationally acclaimed musician and has performed in Canada, Japan, Great Britain, and Italy.

Hideki Yamaya Hideki Yamaya is a guitarist and lutenist who has been active as a performer and teacher in California and Oregon for over 15 years.