Born in Ferrera, he was educated by Luzzasco Luzzaschi and by 14 was organist at the Accademia della Morte there. In 1607 he was made part of the papal retinue and accompanied them to Brussels. The following year he issued his first publication, a collection of madrigals for five voices. Returning to Rome, he was appointed organist at St Peter’s, and apart from the years 1628-1634 when he played at the Florentine court, he kept this post until his death.
Frescobaldi was highly regarded; so much so that the Viennese court organist, Froberger, travelled to Rome to study with him. His keyboard works were extremely influential; they led the way in terms of harmonic progressions and tonality, and made much of the Baroque style possible. The term ‘Fiori Musicali’ (musical flowers) is often used to describe his compositions, especially variations on chorale themes, but it was not used in the titles of his collections before his death.
- MIDI FILE - Ricercare for organ (1’50’’)