Johann Jakob Froberger (May 19, 1616 – 7 May 7, 1667) was a well-regarded composer in his time, whose name was overshadowed in posterity by those of J.S. Bach and Handel, despite how prolific and original he was during a career that spanned over two decades in the service of the music-loving members of several royal families. Froberger travelled widely notwithstanding the Thirty-Year War raging over much of Northern Europe.

Born at a time in which the concept of copyright was unknown, Froberger published but two works in his lifetime, leaving the care of the authorship of most all of his compositions to his employers.

Froberger created the Baroque Suite for the harpsichord, in which he brought together gigues, courantes, allemandes, sarabandes – all popular dances of his time – infusing them with charm and elegant rubato, even occasionally affixing them or some of their components with programmatic titles, such as “Plainte faite a Londres pour passer la Melancholie, laquelle se joue lentement avec discretion” (Complaint composed in London to be played slowly and with discretion so as to dispel melancholy), or Das Nachtlager (The Night Camp) or Der Clavier Trompler (The Clavier Drummer.)


Suite in A minor, Suite in F major, Suite in A major, Suite in F sharp minor, Suite in E flat major, ‘Das Nachtlager‘ Suite in A minor, Suite in D major, Suite in G minor, Suite in B minor, Suite in E major, ‘Der Clavier Trompler.’


The highly respected English harpsichordist Gilbert Rowland recorded this double cd album in July of 2022 in the acoustically perfect Holy Trinity Church, in Weston, Hertfordshire. John Taylor produced and engineered it for Divine Art’s early music label, Athene.

Thanks to his protean technique, sensitive musicality, and profound musicianship, Gilbert Rowland succeeds in allowing each of the ten suites featured in this album to resonate with impeccable clarity, flawless articulation, and period perfect embellishments.

Both the impeccably noble performance of Gilbert Rowland and the first-class engineering of John Taylor have created an indispensable addition to the libraries of collectors of fine recordings of early music.

Rafael de Acha © 2023

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