Video: Chaconne and Ciaccona



There are few things I enjoy listening to more than a good chaconne, whether it be written by a famous composer or one less so.

What’s a chaconne, you might ask?

Traditionally, it’s a dance with with a bass line that repeats over and over again. On top of that are found variations. Simple in concept, yes, but difficult to compose with any sophistication. From the early 17th Century onward, chaconnes were written in France, Italy, Spain, England, Germany, and anywhere else fashionable music was in style.

Chaconnes are hypnotic and alluring if nothing else.

The videos below represent some of the more typical French and Italian chaconnes heard today. Take a look to see what I mean.

Chaconne: Marin Marais – Josh Cheatham and Julien Léonard, viola da gamba, and Skip Sempé, harpsichord

Ciaccona: Cazzati/Storace/Pluhar – Ensemble L’Arpeggiata – Christina Pluhar, dir.

[UPDATE—5/17/10: Video has been removed from Youtube.]

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