Giovanni Geronimo Kapsberger’s birth place and date of birth remain a mystery.
However, we know that on his arrival in Rome in 1605, he, the son of a German gentleman, quickly established his reputation as a Theorbo virtuoso.
He remained successful throughout his career and worked all his life for powerful Roman families. Doing so, he met some of the best musicians and poets of his time.
Despite Athanasius Kircher’s descprition of Kapsberger as a “superb genius” and the “worthy successor of Monteverdi”, Kapsberger unfortunately his legacy did not survive.
The swift decline of his instrument undoubtedly played a role in this. However, some argue that his insolence and haughty personality might have cost him his reputation as he was accused of seeking to replace Palestrina’s music at the Sistine Chapel with his own.
The Flying Squad of the Queen will take you on a voyage to Rome for you to discover Kapsberger’s d’il Tesdesco della Tiorba.
Kapsberger’s only book of madrigals from 1608 is a wonder of counterpoint, harmony and expressiveness. It is accompanied by Guarini, Tasso and Giambattista Marino’s sensual and pastoral poetry.
Some villanellas and other dances taken from Kapsberger’s immense repertoire will complete the program.