Modern Realization of Solo Partimenti by Bernardo Pasquini (1637-1720)

Jeong-Suk Bae

Tuesday, June 21, 9 AM

During recent years, a growing number of musicologists and theorists have been actively researching Partimenti, the long-time forgotten Neapolitan teaching methods of composition started in the seventeenth century. Based on improvisation, Partimenti denote exercises within figured bass as self-contained pieces. These exercises, based on oral tradition, became crucial practices for musicians during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Due to the difficulty found in preserving oral tradition, Partimenti seemed to disappear during the twentieth century. However, they are currently gaining renewed attention for their historical and artistic importance as solo keyboard works.

The aim of this paper is twofold: to provide an overview of style analysis, and to suggest methods for realizations of figured bass on one of the earliest Partimenti collections written by Bernardo Pasquini (1637-1720). Known as the first musicians to compose Partimenti in music history, Pasquini was a great keyboardist and enthusiastic in writing Partimenti, which resulted in several collections. Among them, the fourteen solo works from the London manuscript (1704), for which he took the name ‘Basso Continuo (Sonata),’ show evidence of various types of keyboard music such as minuet, gigue, ricercar, and two-part counterpoint (bicinium). Based upon stylistic analysis, the paper will discuss how to build the most ideal modern realizations of one or two selected works from the collection. In order to discuss specific ideas in realizing Partimenti, several writings by modern scholars will be presented, including Giorgio Sanguinetti, Robert Gjerdingen, Edorardo Bellotti, and William Renwick.

Jeong-Suk Bae recently earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance at the University of Houston. She presented her paper 'Seventeenth - and Eighteenth-century Italian Keyboard Continuo Improvisation and Its Application to the Slow Movements of Buxtehude's Trio Sonatas Op. 1 and 2' at the Westfield Conference(April 2013), and also featured as a solo organist at the Young Artist Organ Recital for the NPM (National Pastoral Musicians) convention at St. Louis, MO in June 2014. She serves St. Peter's United Methodist Church in Katy, TX, as an organist, and the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart as an assistant organist.