It is now over 500 years since the publication (on the last day of December 1508) of Dalza’s Intabulatura de lauto. It was the fourth lute book published by Petrucci, the first two being the two volumes of Spinacino and the third the (lost) book of Giovanni Maria Alemani. Unlike Spinacino’s books, which consisted mostly of intabulations, Dalza’s book is mostly original lute music. We know nothing about Dalza’s life, only that he is described in his book as “lo excelente musico e sonator de lauto, Ioanambrosio dalza milanese”. Tantalisingly, he also promises a further book of more difficult pieces for those more accomplished in the art of lute playing, which as far as we know never appeared.
The tastar de corde forms a kind of prelude to its following recercar, while this calata is the earliest piece I know of based on the romanesca ground.
Tastar de corde and recercar: