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G 12.010 CoverAnonymous (after 1700)
Partite di Follia

for alto recorder and basso continuo
Edited by Martin Nitz
Realization of the thorough bass by Martin Nitz

Girolamo G 12.010, score and 2 parts, € 18,00
ISMN 979-0-50084-020-6

sample page

G 12.009 G 12.011






Ever since the anonymous arrangement of A. Corelli’s Follia for treble recorder (London, 1702)1) was newly published, this division upon a ground bass has enjoyed steady popularity amongst recorder players.

Perhaps it is not so well known that apart from Corelli other composers such as A. Scarlatti and C. Ph. E. Bach – both for harpsichord –, F. Liszt and S. Rachmaninoff – for piano – also used this ground bass pattern as a basis for their compositions.

Follia-compositions for the treble recorder were written by the composers J. Chr. Schickhardt (2 treble recorders and b.c., Amsterdam, 1710) and P. B. Bellinzani (Venice, 1720) as well as Faronells Ground, an anonymous work from the collection The Division Flute (London, 1706) – the last two designed for treble recorder and b.c.2)

The manuscript3) in which the Partite di Follia are to be found consists mainly of violin works that have been arranged for treble recorder. (Therefore it is quite possible that there existed an original violin version of these variations.) Considering the numerous writing errors and other inconsistencies in the draft, the various copyists here at work and editors of this manuscript were evidently working under pressure of time.

This first edition was shortened to 15 out of the 26 original variations in order to avoid the risk of tiresome repetitiveness. (Many of the omitted variations simply link up on preceding rhythmic patterns, merely to repeat them in a mechanical fashion with only few alterations.) The editor has added nine bars to the last variation to increase the final effect.

Because of the vast amount of corrections (see above), it was impossible to write a commentary for this edition, which is primarily intended for practical use. Needless to say, interested performers should take a look at the available facsimile (also on account of the unpublished variations).

The realisation of the unfigured bass has been kept very simple in order to put any restrictions than necessary on the challenging possibilities the accompaniment to a ground bass provides. The accidentals have been adapted to modern use. Although there are no tempo indications in the draft, it seems to make sense musically to allow some room for differentiation. See the recommendations of the editor (indicated in brackets above the variations).

Translation: J. Whybrow

Hamburg, September 1996, Martin Nitz


1) New editions: Hargail Music Press, New York; Schott, Mainz; Noetzel, Wilhelmshaven.

2) New editions: Schickhardt and Bellinzani: both at Nova Music, London; Faronells Ground: Schott, Mainz (title: Divisions); Amadeus, Winterthur (title: The Division Flute).

3) Sinfonie di varii Autori, Ms., ca. 1720/30, kept in the Biblioteca Palatina in Parma, can be obtained as a facsimile from Studio Per Edizioni Scelte, Florence.