We've updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Oddities and Trifles: The Very Peculiar Instrumental Music of Giovanni Valentini


supported by
Thibaut Devigne
Thibaut Devigne thumbnail
Thibaut Devigne Beautiful classical music very well executed. It is light and bright. It is nothing out of the extraordinary for classical music but has the incredible advantage of not being of the kind that you'll hear everywhere. It is a nice forray into the old times "undeground" Favorite track: Sonata a5 in a.
dharmalogos thumbnail
dharmalogos Beautiful, energetic, bright, and even slightly heavy music with a late Renaissance/early Baroque sound that crosses genres and instrumentation. From string-based chamber works to concerti to keyboard works, this album has a striking variety of timbres and arrangements. But most of all Valentini wrote some incredible melodies. Favorite track: Sonata a3 in C.
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more


Aria a2 in g 04:20
Echo a3 in g 02:05


ACRONYM's latest release is the first recording devoted entirely to the instrumental music of Giovanni Valentini (1582/3-1649), who for more than twenty years was Hofkapellmeister of the Holy Roman Empire before fading into obscurity. Oddities & Trifles pairs selections from Valentini's published 1609 canzonas with nearly all of his extant manuscript sonatas (many of them containing strange chromaticism and metric eccentricities), and it consists almost entirely of premiere recordings.

Valentini was likely a pupil of Giovanni Gabrieli, but no records of Valentini are extant prior to 1604 when he was appointed organist of the Polish court chapel at Warsaw. His earliest collections of canzonas (1609) and motets (1611) were published in Venice during his years in Poland. In 1614 he joined the court of the Archduke Ferdinand–soon to be the Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand II–at Graz, and upon Ferdinand’s 1619 election Valentini moved to Vienna to serve as Imperial organist. He succeeded Giovanni Priuli as Hofkapellmeister in 1626, and he was ennobled in 1627. From the 1620s through 1640s Valentini oversaw much of the musical life of Vienna. He served as choirmaster at the Michaelerkirche, wrote and produced many of the city’s first operas, and was responsible for the expansion of the already-sizable roster of musicians employed at the Hapsburg court. Valentini also published several collections of poetry beginning in 1626. He was music tutor to the Imperial family and retained his position of Hofkapellmeister under Ferdinand III, who took the throne in 1637. Valentini died in Vienna on April 29/30, 1649 and was succeeded as Kapellmeister by Antonio Bertali (1605-1669), whose instrumental sonatas have also been recorded by ACRONYM on Olde Focus (FCR901).


released March 10, 2015

violin and viola:
Karina Schmitz
Adriane Post
Johanna Novom
Edwin Huizinga
Beth Wenstrom
Kyle Miller
viola da gamba:
Loren Ludwig
Kivie Cahn-Lipman
Paul Dwyer
Doug Balliett
theorbo and guitar:
Simon Martyn-Ellis
organ and harpsichord:
Elliot Figg

Engineered by Ryan Streber, Oktaven Audio
Recorded at the Old Meeting House, Francestown, NH
Design & Typography by Marc Wolf
Produced by Ryan Streber and members of ACRONYM
Edited by Kivie Cahn-Lipman and Ryan Streber
Ensemble photo by Alice Hixon Kirk
Etchings from Giovanni Battista Bracelli’s Bizarie di varie figure (1624)




New Focus Recordings New York, New York

New Focus Recordings is an artist led collective label featuring releases in contemporary music of many stripes, as well as new approaches to older repertoire. The label was founded by guitarist Daniel Lippel (who is the current director), composer engineer Ryan Streber, and composer Peter Gilbert in 2003-4, and features releases from many of new music's most active performers and composers. ... more

contact / help

Contact New Focus Recordings

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like Oddities and Trifles: The Very Peculiar Instrumental Music of Giovanni Valentini, you may also like: