The recording Significant Meaninglessnesses contains pieces from Girolamo Frescobaldi's first and second books of Toccatas and other pieces (Toccate e partite d'intavolatura, Libro 1 & 2) published in Rome.
Most of the programme is chosen from the second book published by Girolamo Frescobaldi in 1637. The collection of dance movements is not among the most known or used when it comes to music recordings. That notion basically was the motivation to letting the galliards and correntes frame other pieces like toccatas and canzonas. The whole programme contains one piece from Frescobaldi's first book, the "Cento partite sopra passacagli", literarily meaning "100 variations on the passacaglia" (probably meant as a metaphor for "many variations"?).
Along with his compositions, Frescobaldi offers in his preface to the books, some descriptional advises on how to approach and perform the pieces.
This is an interesting thing.
Did he he or his publisher feel that such instructions was needed?
Was it the musical style which was considered to be new to players, were the books intended for less experienced players, or was it the reception of Frescobaldi's musicianship that gave reason for a certain politically motivated or an artistic statement?
Anyhow, by studying the pieces we notice a line between how verbal instructions and musical graphic notation works on our considerations and choices. There is furthermore differences in time, practice, place, aesthetics and human values that eliminates much of the idea of place or time based universality in any music practice. This, concurrently with our acknowledgement of us being able to enjoy any music from other times or places. We could then ask what we are actually enjoying if not our own perception of all that, alternatively that we also recognise what we do not enjoy.
Since Frescobaldi chose to publish these pieces, did he regard them as more important than other pieces he did not publish, and did he consider some pieces in these collections to be more meaningful than others since some of them are treated more thoroughly in his preface and they are set in the beginning of the books? If those pieces not given so much attention are less meaningful, what made them significant enough to be considered valid for being included in the collection?
The piece "Cento partite..." mentioned above is certainly a significant piece, at least we tend to think so when performing or listening to it (besides it has been quite much performed and recorded), its length and character calls for the listeners attention and focus and for the performer it is hard, or even impossible, to think of following Frescobaldi's opening for leaving out parts of it if wished for. It simply isn't wished for. That piece is nevertheless almost hidden among a series of other "meaningless" pieces, further back in the book and with no big title initiating it.
Thus, as indicated above, we are dealing with something that might be considered placed in a certain meaninglessness, however significant character which it may show. Such meaninglessnesses might be spaces for our minds to ponder about. Such meaninglessnesses might give us reasons to consider whether /meaning/ (as in carrying meaning or in being important) actually is valid property at all when discussing music. It is we who project such meaning eventually through music, - music is not capable of being meaningful or important in itself, even how significantly characteristic it might be.