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Toccata and Fantasia

Toccata and Fantasia

Valletta Baroque Festival 2024


Andrea Buccarella




from Claudio Merulo to Johann Sebastian Bach


Claudio Merulo (1533 - 1604)                       

Toccata I from  “Toccate d'intavolatura d'organo, II libro”


Andrea Gabrieli (1533 - 1585)

Fantasia allegra


Giovanni Picchi (1571/2 - 1643)                                

Toccata from  “Fitzwilliam Virginal Book”


William Byrd (1539 o 1540 - 1623)

Fantasia in A minor BK13 


Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583 - 1643)              

Toccata II from “Toccate e partite d'intavolatura di cimbalo et organo, II libro”

Fantasia II, Milan 1608


Michelangelo Rossi (1601/2 - 1656)              

Toccata VII from  “Toccate e correnti d'intavolatura d'organo e cembalo”


Johann Jakob Froberger (1616 - 1667)

Fantasia Ut, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La,Vienna 1649


Dietrich Buxtehude (1637 - 1707)

Toccata in G, BuxWV 165


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)           

Chromatische Fantasie und Fuge BWV 903

  Programme Notes


The Toccata and the Fantasia are among the oldest musical forms of the keyboard repertoire. Both were born in the Renaissance and arrive, with different characteristics, up to the present day. In the late Renaissance and Baroque period, the Toccata appears as a free composition with an improvisational character, in which virtuosic sections alternate with contrapuntal passages. On the other hand, it is not possible to provide a standard structure of the Fantasia, in fact each Fantasia follows a free flow of ideas. But it is possible to identify a characteristic common to all the Fantasias of the Renaissance-Baroque period: the predilection for an imitative and contrapuntal writing.


Great composers such as Merulo, Gabrieli, Picchi, Byrd, Frescobaldi, Rossi, Froberger and Buxtehude contributed to the development and refinement of these musical forms, which then reached their maximum splendour in the mature Baroque with Johann Sebastian Bach.

17 January 2024
Verdala Palace, Buskett
€20 - €30
Audience Level
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Valletta Baroque Festival 2024

Toccata and Fantasia

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