Girolamo Alessandro Frescobaldi (1583 - 1643)
Frescobaldi must be accounted one of the most important keyboard composers of the first half of the 17th century. He was born in Ferrara, where the musical tastes of the ruling duke, Alfonso II d’Este, attracted musicians of great distinction. Moving to Rome at the beginning of the new century, he was under the patronage of Guido Bentivoglio, who took him in 1607 to Brussels, an important centre of keyboard music in the northern European tradition. In 1608 he became organist at St Peter’s in Rome, where he remained until his death (with a brief absence for promised employment in Mantua in 1615 and a subsequent period of six years spent serving the Medici in Florence).
As an important composer for the organ and other keyboard instruments, Frescobaldi published a number of collections of keyboard pieces, as well as compositions for varied groups of instruments. The keyboard works include toccatas, caprices, ricercari and dance movements.