Lucie Skeaping traces the history and development of the dance-based form, from its origins in Iberian street music to the great organ works by Bach.
The word passacaglia derives from the Spanish 'pasar' and 'calle' - meaning 'to walk' and 'street'. The musical form probably originated as music performed whilst promenading, most likely with a guitar. With the rise in popularity of the 5 string Spanish guitar, the passacaglia quickly crossed Europe and was readily adopted into song, instrumental music and even into the theatre. Repertoire in the programme includes music from an opera by Lully, Monteverdi's lament par excellence "Lamento della Ninfa" and one of Bach's greatest works for organ.