The manuscript SA 4450 resurfaced in Kiev in 1999 and was returned to the archives of the Sing-Akademie in Berlin in 2001. It offers performers and scholars alike a major source of the music of Johann Jacob Froberger (1616–1667). The lavish manuscript was probably prepared from autograph originals by the Hamburg organist Johann Kortkamp some time between 1665 and 1670 and contains a total of 21 authentic Froberger compositions (six toccatas, thirteen suites and two lamenti). Besides providing the first reliable readings for most of the works, it is also the only source to contain titles, explanations and dedications that shed valuable light on Froberger’s life.
Especially significant are two programmatic compositions which were previously known only from a passing reference by Johann Mattheson but can now be firmly identified: the Allemande faite en passant le Rhin, with its detailed account of the events depicted in the music, and the Plaincte faite â Londres pour passer la Melancolie, with its revealing autobiographical note on the composer’s journey to England.
This lavish manuscript, a musical monument of major importance to performers and scholars alike, is now made available to a larger readership in a sumptuous facsimile edition. It is accompanied by a transcript in modern staff notation, making the volume indispensable to keyboard players.
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