Ricercar

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ricercar

 

in Western European music of the 16th and 17th centuries, a type of polyphonic, imitative composition. It is akin to the fantasia and is a forerunner of the fugue. The term (from Italian ricercare[“to seek out”]) is connected with the interpretation of the imitation as the “finding” of one and the same theme by various voices. The ricercar arose in Italy in lute music; later, ricercars for organ became popular (C. Merulo, A. Willaert, A. Gabrieli, and G. Frescobaldi). In the 17th and 18th centuries, the ricercar was developed mainly by German composers (J. Froberger, D. Buxtehude, and J. S. Bach).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The present volume 1 contains twenty-five short preludial and contrapuntal compositions (toccatas, canzonas, and ricercars).
In his works, he also deepened the difference between the vocal and instrumental styles, as is evident in his organ ricercars, canzonas, toccatas and dance compositions.
Certainly a lesson in the formal rules of composition, its labyrinthine ricercars (a type of baroque composition), canons and fugues were made clearer by Manze's outline explanations ( a sort of musicology-lite.
suspensions.) In terms of numbers Tamminga is even more generous than Stembridge, since he includes 12 pieces by De Macque; but more significant is his choice of Palestrina's cycle of eight ricercars to offset De Macque.
The fourteen madrigals in this collection are accompanied by seven instrumental ricercars. The presence of instrumental works in a collection otherwise devoted to madrigals only adds to the general sense that the volume really is a miscellany, one in which Giovanni was trying to make sense of the four-part works left unpublished at the end of his uncle's life.
The preserved Froberger compositions apply the common forms of keyboard music of the era: toccatas, ricercars, suites, capriccios, fantasias.
Francesco Canova da Milano: Lute music (Naxos 8.550774, rec 1993), by Christopher Wilson with Shirley Rumsey as the lute duettist, is devoted to Milano's fantasias, ricercars and duets.
2) the conception of the ricercar as an exordium that, in its two primary species (one free, the other strict, as defined respectively in rhetorical writings by Aristotle and Cicero), correlate--it is argued--with the improvisatory ricercars of Joan Ambrosio Dalza (1507-1511) and the imitative ones of Marco Antonio Cavazzoni (1523).
Toccatas, fugal forms (such as canzonas, ricercars, and capriccios), as well as ostinato pieces are all fair game.
On the other hand, Quagliati's tendency to animate a rather simple harmonic background appears more personal, showing up in his ensemble ricercars and in the five-voice madrigal "Amorose fiamelle Amor fuggea," his single contribution to the anthology Le gioie (Venice: Ricciardo Amadino, 1589; edited by Giuliana Gualdroni in I musici di Roma e il madrigale: "Dolce affetti" (1582) e "Le gioie" (1589), L'arte armonica, ser.
Six toccatas, six ricercars, six capriccios, and six partitas comprise the Libro quarto of 1656, while an additional six capriccios and six ricercars constitute the Libro di capricci e ricercate of ca.