Folies d’Espagne (et d’ailleurs)

The folia: in Spain and beyond

If you are a fan of the 'Folia' and other types of ostinato (chaconne, passacaglia, ground bass), this section is for you. Baroque music is replete with example of this technique, which eventually gave way to its own genre—that of variation. Referred to as the 'Folies d'Espagne,' what made this harmonic progression such a success in Italy, France, and Flanders? Could it be its utter simplicity? A call-and-response formula built on two phrases of eight chords each provides the framework for highly virtuoso variations beloved by performers to this day... as much as by listeners!

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