In 1624 he applied for the position of second organist at St. Mark's, but Giovanni Pietro Berti was chosen instead. He was a close contemporary of Monteverdi, being born four years later and dying six months earlier than the more renowned composer. Music and influence Of Picchi's music, mostly instrumental music survives. One harpsichord toccata is included in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (how it got there is not known – very little Italian music is included in that English collection); three passamezzos survive in a manuscript from Turin; and in 1619 he published a collection of harpsichord dances, Intavolatura di balli d'arpicordo. In addition, he published a collection of 19 ensemble canzonas in 1625, Canzoni da sonar. His harpsichord dances are of three types: dances in triple meter, dances in triple meter paired with saltarellos, and pieces which use a ground bass.
Most of the works with ground bass use some type of romanesca pattern, consisting of a line descending by fourth, rising by step, then descending again by fourth or fifth, rising by step, and so forth (the Pachelbel Canon, probably written several decades after Picchi's death, is probably the most famous example of variations over a romanesca bass). Within his ensemble canzonas, Picchi worked to differentiate several types of instrumental writing which were critically important to later forms such as the concerto. In particular, he used well-defined concertino, ritornello, and cadenzas in his ensemble music, following and further developing a practice initiated in the music of Giovanni Gabrieli and the other composers of his generation. His writing for concertino groups was probably the most innovative aspect of his style, and foreshadowed the work of composers in the middle Baroque such as Corelli. Picchi used both sequential variation and echo effects, and scored for a variety of instruments including violins, bassoons, recorders and trombones, often in the same piece. Picchi seems to have used the terms canzona and sonata interchangeably, sometimes calling a piece "canzona" in the score and "sonata" in the part book; the differentiation of these forms was only just beginning in the early 17th century.
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