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Music for the Royal Fireworks

Artist
Pietro Tagliaferri, soprano saxophone 
Stefano Pellini, organ
Composer
Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759)

About this album

After the recording dedicated to Johann Sebastian Bach (CD Elegia, Eleorg037, 2016), Riverberi continues his journey into the world of baroque repertoire featuring Georg Friedrich Handel’s music, exploring many musical genres addressed by the composer, from the Suite for orchestra to the opera aria, from the organ concert to the trio sonata. The intent is to offer a glimpse, as narrow as you want but still significant, that can intrigue the listener’s ear with a new sound experience, through the particular combination of two instruments so far apart - the organ and the soprano saxophone - to look incompatible. The arrangement for violin or flute (or other soprano instrument) and basso continuo of the famous Suite “Music for the Royal Fireworks” , which an anonymous composer wrote in the same year of its composition (1749) - yet another proof of the exceptional fame enjoyed by Händel when he was still alive – was a safe base of work: the various movements, from the solemn Ouverture to the graceful final minuets, exploit the rich sound combinations of the Ruffatti organ to display the different affections that this music offers. The Organ Concerto in F, transcription by Händel himself of the Sonata for flute HWV 369, is particularly suitable for combining the sound the two instruments: in slow movements, the sax keeps for itself the soprano part, in the second and fourth ones, the alternation of solo stops of the organ and the voice of the sax creates a particularly impressive tonal effect. The “Lascia ch’io pianga” Air, which Almirena addresses to the jailer Argante in the Rinaldo (but already used by Handel in “Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno”), is so well known - but also so beautiful! - to appear almost obvious in this anthology; the performance alternates between two different perspectives: the one of the organ which, inspired by author’s transcriptions such as that by William Babell (1717), imbues the motif with long and sometimes complex embellishments, and the other of the sax, which, leaving the baroque paths for a moment, returns to its usual way of expression and gives jazz improvisations on the air. In this recording, for the first time a third instrument is added to propose a chamber music composition: it is the oboe, played by Camillo Mozzoni, professor at the Conservatory in Piacenza. For just this piece the use of a small positive organ, more suitable for basso continuo, was chosen as well as a less generous acoustics than the one of the vast hall of the Parish Church in Portomaggiore - more suitable for grandiloquent and sumptuous compositions - exploiting the “chamber” acoustics of the sixteenth-century sacristy of the church of San Sisto in Piacenza. Who among us knows Händel’s “Clock Music”? Around 1720, the clockmaker Charles Clay, from Yorkshire, presented himself to George I of England, offering his clock with sound pipes, and not without effort in 1723 he became the official supplier of His Majesty. Who could he turn to, if not to Händel, to have short motifs composed for his clocks to reproduce? Händel wrote both original and rearranged motifs for Clay. The four proposed here offer examples of different writing: from the fluttering of the angelic wings (to Flight of Angels), made admirably by the sounds of the 4 foot flutes of the Ruffatti organ, to the soft dance steps of the Minuet (all the 8 foot foundation stops of the organ), from the brilliant arabesques of the Gavotte (the small pipes of the Vigesimaseconda 1’ sound like chimes) to the grandiose notes of the Gigue (the Tutti of the organ), where you can listen to the power of the Ruffatti organ. The Andante from the Organ Concerto in G minor, a real “andante with variations”, soon reached such degrees of appreciation to be circulated autonomously and to have been the subject of countless transcriptions, including that of Marco Enrico Bossi: each variation is entrusted first to one then to the other instrument. None other than Francesco Geminiani in 1743 adapted for keyboard instrument another very famous Suite from Water Music (1717): according to the example of the anonymous transcriber of the Royal Fireworks – which opens this recording - he entrusted the saxophone to the most acute part, often alternating it with the solo organ stops (pay attention, for example, to the alternation of sax and the two Trumpets 8’ and the Chiarina 4’ in the Hornpipe, or the very particular tonal effect created by the Corno Inglese 16’ in the Lentement), with the intention of maintaining grateful fidelity to the language of that “Jupiter of Music” whose greatness continues to orbit, luminous, on our skies. Stefano Pellini

Complete Italian Organ Concertos- Vol.2

Artist
Luca Scandali, organ
Composer
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

About this album

In the case of Johan Sebastian Bach, the practice of musical transcription can be considered, an audacious act or an act of will, depending on the perspective from which it is observed. It is an audacity in relation to the level of boldness necessary to confront such a challenge, and an act of will in relation to an aspiration that risks to be unsustainable, because of the high level of difficulty of the task. The musical form of instrumental concerto occupied a role of primary importance in the evolution and the definition of the style and language of the German musician. Such form encountered extreme fortune and growing importance starting from the end of the XVII century until the end of the XVIII century. He was certainly not the first musician to confront himself with this genre; indeed, it is possible to state that the activity of musical transcription characterized the first productions of keyboard music, and accompanied it constantly from its origins to our day, As it is well known, the transcriptions of concertos composed by Italian musicians were made by Bach in 1713/14 on a prompting by young Prince Johann Ernst of Saxony–Weimar (1696-1715), the nephew of Duke Wilhelm Ernst. Moreover, during that period Bach had occasions to work in close contact with his second cousin Johann Gottfried Walther (organist of the Stadtkirche St. Peter und Paul of Weimar). Likewise, Johann Gottfried Walther devoted himself to various organ transcriptions of concertos composed by Italian musicians such as Tomaso Albinoni, Giorgio Gentili, Giovanni Lorenzo Gregori, Luigi Mancia, Giulio Taglietti e Giuseppe Torelli, naturally in addition to Antonio Vivaldi. Furthermore, Walther wrote a series of variations on a basso continuo taken from the Prelude of the Sonata op. V n. 11 by Arcangelo Corelli. Bach instead concentrated on Alessandro and Benedetto Marcello and, most of all, on Antonio Vivaldi: 10 out of his 12 concertos transcribed from Italian masters were those that had come out of the pen of the "The Red Priest". It was around 1713 that Prince John Ernst had the occasion to listen to blind organist Jan Jacob de Graaf (1672-1738) playing his own transcriptions of concertos by Italian authors on the occasions of the concerts that he performed at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. Johan Ernst often went from Utrecht, where he studied at the local university, to Amsterdam to listen to concerts and to purchase the scores as soon as these came out of the printing presses of the publishers of the Netherlands. The path that characterized the diffusion of the Vivaldi concertos from Italy to Gemany therefore appears to be unique: from Venice to Weimar through Amsterdam… The attitude of Bach and Walther with respect to transcription work appear to be different from this, as different are the elements that characterize the modus operandi of Bach in relation to the history and practices of this genre. If for many of his contemporary musicians we can speak about a simple reduction or an adaptation to the possibilities and the idiom of the keyboard instrument, for Bach instead it is a matter of authentic appropriation, or better, of elaboration of the orchestral score. In the concertos by Bach in object, we do not find any trace of the intent of fidelity to the original that characterizes many other transcriptions of that era, and that very often reveals to be rather far from the intrinsic effect of the original score, whence the spirit for an excess of fidelity can be derived… Evidently, manifold aesthetics and ideological reasons reside at the root of this choice. Definitely, it is a sort of second reading, of reinterpretation conduced in the light of experimentation that characterized those years, both in the field of composition and of performance, starting from the possibilities offered by the keyboard technique, contributing even to widen their horizons, and from the characteristics of the keyboard instruments of the time. There are numerous examples that corroborate this thesis: Bach did not hesitate to operate significant changes in all parameters of the musical language, which is in the melodic substance and in the original key mostly for necessities of musical texture and of the extension of manuals and pedals, and in values, rhythm and harmony for aesthetical reasons. He rewrote entire passages and sometimes omitted bars or repetitions of phrases, filled chordal structures and general pauses, and realized and added many implicit counterpoint lines and imitation cells, besides writing the diminutions of the original melodic line and adding a rich ornamentation. In some cases, these are minor interventions, while in many other instances they are rather radical modifications, in an overloaded writing style distinguished by a greater harmonic complexity that actually sacrifices the simplicity and sometimes the transparency that characterized the original score. In other instances, especially in the expressive movements, the analysis of the diminutions and of the ornamentation added offers many ideas of great musical interest. However, this profound work of rewriting allowed him to assimilate the form and geometry of the Italian style of concerto to later elaborate it anew in many other works; consider, for example, the Concerto nach italienischen Gusto BWV 971, published in 1735. Therefore, this is a very precise choice, operated in the direction of a strong virtuoso aspect, and not only with regard to composition. The organist is called to imitate dynamics and agogic of the orchestra. Under this aspect, the indications of registers, both explicit and implied, contained in the scores of the organ works (concertos BWV 593, 594, and 596) appear to be conceived on the guidelines of ad evident imitation of the orchestra in general, and of the violin idiom in particular. Moreover, many sources testify the vivacity of tempi and the extreme dynamic contrasts that characterized the performances of Italian musician and orchestras of the era. Also in the light of the brief considerations exposed here, the transcriptions by Bach carry the evident taste of challenge, an element that recurs in the corpus of keyboard music and other works of the German musician. The organist must use all the means at his disposal to compete with the orchestra in a convincing manner: the imitation of the idiom of violin, the variety in articulation, the possible changes of stops in the light of orchestral imitation, changes of keyboards, a show of virtuoso resources both for the manuals and pedals, a complexity and spectacular writing style very rich and elaborate… Therefore, is this audacity, or a vain quest? To each, its answer.

Additional info about this CD
16 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Artist biography
Musicology comment

Psalmi vespertini a 8 voci (1648)

Artists
Ensemble “Festina Lente”
Michele Gasbarro, conductor
Composer
Virgilio Mazzocchi (1597-1646)

About this album

Virgilio Mazzocchi was born in Civita Castellana, a small town in the province of Viterbo, in 1597. He received his first musical education from his older brother Domenico and, in parallel, he attended the local seminary for his studies in humanities. After receiving the tonsure in 1622, he was appointed maestro di cappella at Civita Castellana’s Cathedral and soon moved to Rome, where in 1623 he became maestro di cappella, first at Chiesa del Gesù, then at the Roman Seminary and finally, in 1629, at the prestigious Cappella Giulia of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Here he succeeded Paolo Agostini, ‘one of the most witty and lively geniuses of the music of our times in every kind of harmonic composition’, from whom Virgilio learned the art of composing in the most varied and fashionable genres of the time, and above all in the polychoral style. It was in this genre that Virgilio Mazzocchi distinguished himself among contemporaries, giving to the ‘sbattimento dei cori’ (the dynamic dialogue of the choirs) a liveliness unknown before, so much so that years later Della Valle expressed his opinion on the Maestro as a ‘gran musicone’ (great ‘big musician,) due to his compositions with ‘twelve or sixteen choirs, with an echo choir in the dome’. The spectacular dimension of the polychoral compositions, so much appreciated by contemporaries, derived from the ability to perfectly integrate the ‘full’ style of the choirs with ‘very well concerted’ solo sections. This was a very personal style that Giuseppe Ottavio Pitoni acknowledged as the work of an ‘outstanding composer of ecclesiastical harmonies’ who ‘introduced a more vague style into the churches; and rendered the hymns, which had been sung to that time, especially joyous and airy’. Thus the ‘worldly’ music ended up contaminating the sacred music, radically transforming the canons of the ‘observed’ counterpoint and generating, in a true Baroque spirit, the aesthetic change that Baini noted many years later as ‘the last blow to the ‘observed, style in music’ in favor of a ‘more openly rhythmic’ style. The Psalmi Vespertini for 8 voices and organ, printed posthumously in 1648 by his brother Domenico, are the mirror of this reality. The choice of 8 voices is in itself a way to ensure a greater ‘variety’ to the psalmodic texts, which are strongly evocative and rich in images. The Dixit Dominus, the best known among the Salmi Regali, while respecting the vigorous character that tradition assigns to it, is conceived by Virgilio in the solidity of the ‘cori battenti’, the dynamic dialogue of the choirs. No interference of ‘concerted’ solos is allowed in the interpretation of the text which, on the contrary, is entirely based on the dialogue of the choirs and on the solidity and richness of the rhythm, even when the musical beat risks losing its pulse in the excitement of some passages (suffice to mention the passages in some parts of the text, such as the Conquassabit capita, Dispersit superbos, Exaltabit). The four following psalms and the final Magnificat alternate sections that are extremely varied, from the ‘full’ style to the double choir, to the ‘concertato’ style and, as in the case of Laudate Dominum, two sopranos who dialogue with a 4-voice choir. It is difficult to establish which sections to prefer, in terms of effectiveness and musicality in the various psalms. Each of them has its own originality and its distinctive element. Only the temporal sequence provides an actual structure and enhances the originality of each part in the ‘variety’ of the whole. In the overall picture, however, some interesting compositional devices should be noted, like the one built on the text phrase Sanctum et terribile nomen eius included in the Confitebor: literally an ‘earthquake’ of sounds that recalls some solutions typical of Monteverdi’s style; or the ternary sections that enliven the flow of binary tempos, such as in the Esurientes of the Magnificat , where everything is played on the use of syncopated rhythm. In the ordinariness of binary tempos, on the other hand, it is important to highlight the musical passage built on the words Fecit potentiam in brachio suo. Dispersit superbos, in which the composer, to express the power of the text, chooses to use the rhetorical device of the mule (a musical formula that recalls the tirelessness of the animal, here rendered vividly by the musical expedient of the two soprano voices singing in wide and martial values, thus ‘harnessing’, in a figurative sense, the rhythmic and pressing vortices of the other voices). In the execution the sequence of the five psalms and Magnificat is presented alternating with antiphons in Gregorian chant belonging to the festivities of Saint Peter and Paul, and organ pieces taken from an anonymous collection of the Roman school of the early 17th century. The performance closes with a tribute to the purest late-Renaissance counterpoint, an extraordinary page by the great Spanish polyphonist Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611), the Salve Regina for 8 voices. It is a music fresco embellished here with the addition of ‘filling’ instruments. The execution is in line with the Baroque liturgical canons and, above all, the majestic splendor of the seventeenth-century celebrations. The ritual of the music and of the celebration absorbs the profane rhythms of life, where transcendence meets immanence, by maintaining a contact with the human condition of language and thought.

Additional info about this CD
20 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Artist biography
Musicology comment

Arie per una “voce d’angelo”

Artists
Trigono Armonico
Lucia Cortese, soprano
Maurizio Cadossi, conductor
Composers
F.M. Veracini (1690-1768), M. D’Alay (1687-1757)
G.B. Bononcini (1670-17479, L. Leo (1694-1744)
N. Fiorenza (?-1764), G. Giacomelli, (1692-1740)

About this album

Alongside with composers, in the beginning of the XVIII century the first great singers began to come to the front scene of music. In some instances - mostly in the case of Senesino and Farinelli, the castrati – they ascended to the role of international stars. Among these, Francesca Cuzzoni deserves mention. A soprano born in Parma in 1696, she had an adventurous life and Georg Friedrich Händel composed 13 operas for her. Besides that for her extraordinary virtuoso voice, the Parmigiana - as she was known – stood out for her temperamental excesses as well, that caused fierce reproaches from Händel and brought her to a true physical fight on stage with her rival Faustina Bordoni. On the occasion of the nomination of Parma as Italian Capital of Culture in 2020, Elegia Classics celebrates this great interpreter with an attractive record that covers the important steps of her inimitable career, with a beautiful anthology of arias from the works of some of the most famous composers of the time, from Giovanni Bononcini, the fierce rival of Händel in London, to Geminiano Giacomelli, an author almost neglected today and composer of arias of an unbridled virtuosic character, Francesco Veracini from Florence and Leonardo Leo from Puglia. The role of Francesca Cuzzoni is worthily covered by Lucia Cortese, the recent protagonist of a CD dedicated to the cantatas of Benedetto Marcello, that for the occasion is accompanied by the period instrument ensemble Trigono Armonico directed by Maurizio Cadossi.

Additional info about this CD
Recording on october 2019, in Castello della Musica, Noceto, Parma, Italy
20 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Arias lyrics
Artist biography
Musicology commen.

Arianna abbandonata & other Cantatas

Artists
Camerata Accademica
Lucia Cortese, soprano
Paolo Faldi, conductor
Composers
Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739) 
Alessandro Marcello (1684-1747)

About this album

When one thinks of the Venetian Baroque repertory, the thought spontaneously runs to Antonio Vivaldi and his famous Four Seasons, forgetting that for a long time this context was identified with authors such as Benedetto Marcello – after whom the Conservatory of the lagoon city is named. For this reason, Elegia Classics decided to dedicate the second volume of its series on the Glories of the Italian Cantatas to Marcello, a Venetian nobleman with manifold interests. Besides being a musician, he devoted himself with appraisable results to the literary field and wrote Il teatro alla moda, a merciless satire on the protagonists of the musical scene in Venice during the first years of the XVIII century. In the musical field, Marcello left us over 300 cantatas of remarkable value for voice and basso continuo, both with or without obbligato instruments. This record features three very beautiful pieces, among which we mention Arianna abbandonata, a long cantata in which Marcello revisits in a very original manner the myth of Theseus and Arianna. The program is competed by Irene sdegnata, These little known works are proposed in the interpretation of Lucia Cortese, one of the most interesting Baroque sopranos of the latest generation, accompanied by the Padua Baroque orchestra Camerata Accademica, under the very tasteful and witty direction of an inspired Paolo Faldi.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded: 24bit/88.2kHz original recording made at Auditorium Pollini, Padova, on July, 4, 5, 6, 2019
20 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Lyrics of the Cantatas
Musicology comment
Artist biography..

Correa nel seno amato & other Cantatas

Artists
Trigono Armonico,
Maria Caruso, soprano
Maurizio Cadossi, conductor
Composer
Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725)

About this album

Elegia Classics launches a new series dedicated to the Italian cantata that will see it engaged alongside with the Italian Musicological Society and some of the singers and period instrument ensembles that are today most interesting in the Italian musical landscape. The first volume of the collection is centered on the figure of Alessandro Scarlatti – we could say a must as a choice – who in the course of his long career composed over 700 cantatas. His production spans the gamut of delicate Arcadian atmospheres, from woks based on mythology themes, to pieces of a decidedly dramatic character. The works presented in this CD reveal the two main characteristics of the style of the great composer from Palermo, which are an inexhaustible talent in writing melodies and a complex and very elaborate counterpoint that still looks on to precedent models. The program begins with Correa nel seno amato, a very well known page that many consider to be amongst the most emblematic masterpieces of Scarlatti’s production, to arrive to the world premiere recording of two cantatas, Benchè o Sirena bella and Dove fuggo, a che penso. This record marks the debut of soprano Maria Caruso and of the ensemble Trigono Armonico directed by violinist Maurizio Cadossi in the catalog of Elegia Classics.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded in chiesa di Sant’Anastasia, Villasanta (MB), Italy, on January 2019.
24 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Lyrics of the cantatas
Artist biography
Musicology comment.

Opere per Organo

Artist
Diego Cannizzaro, organ
Composer
Lorenzo Perosi (1872-1956)
Organ
Vincenzo Mascioni (1966) Op. 884
Venue
Basilica Cattedrale della Trasfigurazione, Cefalù (PA), Italy

About this album

With this double CD set that follows the presentation of two very beautiful Missae pontificales, Elegia Classics continues its exploration of the production of Lorenzo Perosi, a priest and composer from the region of Piedmont. The program includes his little known organ works, a series of compositions that Perosi wrote for the most part at the beginning of his career. Through these, he began to develop his own original style, freeing himself from the theatrical tones that were close to the Lyric Opera genre and that were adopted by many Italian composers towards the end of the XIX century. These liturgical pieces – often short in time length –feature an intimate atmosphere through which the themes are developed through the resourceful use of the glorious heritage of the past, as can be seen in the fugue passages and in the brilliant improvisation passages. Alongside with these works, the transcriptions made by Marco Enrico Bossi of some excerpts from the Passion of Christ according to Saint Mark’s Gospel and of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ by Perosi are featured. Diego Cannizzaro, who for this recording plays the splendid Vincenzo Mascioni organ of the Cathedral Basilica of the Transfiguration in Cefalù (Palermo), performs these works with brilliant solidity.

Additional info about this CD
in Cattedrale di Cefalù, Palermo, Italy, on may 2019.
16 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Artist biography
Musicology comment
Full organ specs card included.

Organ works

Artist
Alessandro Bianchi,organo
Composer
Gordon Young (1919-1998)
Organs
Grande organo Diego Bonato (2013)
Balbiani Vegezzi-Bossi
Venue
Parrocchia Sant'Anastasia, Villasanta (MB), Italy

About this album

Though he is almost unknown outside the world of organ music, Gordon Young has been among the most authoritative exponents of the American music landscape of the mid XX century and can boast a vast production of remarkable quality on his behalf, which comprises over 800 works. These works, mostly for organ and choir, made it possible for Young to be awarded the ASCAP prize, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers of the United States, for 18 consecutive years, an accomplishment never equaled by any other composer. To celebrate the first centenary of the birth of Young, Elegia Calssics presents this surprisingly beautiful CD that makes it possible to discover the composer’s brilliant and very personal style. In it, style elements from the great masters of Baroque and of Romantic composers as well can be recognized as these are reinvented in a very personal key. This can be noticed in the Cathedral Suite that opens the program. Young has found a valid paladin in Alessandro Bianchi, an organist of great talent, who performs these works on the great Diego Bonati Balbiani Vegezzi-Bossi organ of the Parish Church of Saint Anastasia of Villasanta.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded in chiesa di Sant’Anastasia, Villasanta (MB), Italy, on January 2019.
16 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Artist biography
Musicology comment.
Full organ specs card included.

Sonate d’intavolatura per organo e cimbalo

Artists
Gabriele Giacomelli, organo
Andrea Banaudi, cembalo
Composer
Domenico Zipoli (1688-1726)
Organs
Cesare Romani (1588) e Michelangelo Crudeli (1773)
Organo di Michelangelo Crudeli (1777)
e Michelangelo Paoli (prima metà del sec. XIX)
Venue
Cattedrale di S. Stefano,
Cappella del Sacro Cingolo, Pieve di San Giusto in Piazzanese, Italy

About this album

One of the most fascinating and paradoxically least known figures of the Baroque is undoubtedly Domenico Zipoli, whose posthumous fame is almost completely linked to his organ production. Actually his work - numerically rather small, if compared to the eighteenth-century standards, but of very high quality - embraces other genres, from the oratorios (unfortunately lost) to the liturgical music and the cantatas, in whose brilliant and very original writing we can see some stylistic element of the most famous composers of those years, starting from Alessandro Scarlatti, who was for a short time one of Zipoli’s teachers. In 1716, Zipoli moved to Seville, where he entered the Jesuit order and decided to leave for missions in Latin America. Arriving in Argentina, the composer of Prato devoted himself intensely to music, helping the local people of the Guaranì to develop their innate musical talent. Unfortunately, in 1725 Zipoli contracted tuberculosis, which the following year led him to death at the age of only 37 years. To honor this highly suggestive author, Elegia launches the complete series of his works with this double box set, starting from the complete works for organ and harpsichord, performed respectively by Gabriele Giacometti - one of the greatest specialists in Zipoli’s work - and Andrea Banaudi, also artistic director of the Accademia del Santo Spirito in Turin. A wide-ranging project destined to discover works of rare beauty.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded: CD1: in Cattedrale di Santo Stefano (Cappella del Sacro Cingolo), Prato, Italy, on 5 July 2013; Pieve di San Giusto in Piazzanese, Prato, on 8 October 2013. .
CD2: in Sacrestia della Chiesa dello Spirito Santo, Torino, Italy, November-December 2018
Booklet di 28 pag iBooklet 28 pages full colour (It, En)
Artists biographies
Musicological comment
Full organ specs card included and photographye

Missa Pontificalis I-II - Confitebor Tibi Domine - Magnificat

Artisti
Coro dell’Accademia Stefano Tempia
Michele Frezza, direttore
Corale Polifonica di Sommariva Bosco
Adriano Popolani, direttore
Massimo Nosetti - Marco Limone, organo
Composers
Lorenzo Perosi (1872-1956)
Organs
Organo Tamburini (1933/4) - Organo Pinchi, Opus 419,III/48 (2000)
Venues
Conservatorio G. Verdi, Torino Italia -  Basilica Pontificia di Castelnuovo Don Bosco (AT) Italia

About this album

Son of Giuseppe Perosi, kappelmeister of Tortona and protagonist of the Italian sacred music reform, he was born in Tortona on December 21th 1872 and died in Rome on December 12th 1956. Started by the father to musical studies at Santa Cecilia Conservatoire and, later, at “Giuseppe Verdi” Conservatoire with M. Saladino, in 1890 he became organ player and singing teacher in Montecassino Abbey. In 1892 he studied again in Milan, where he got the diploma. He perfected himself in Regensburg with F.X. Haberl and M. Haller in 1893. Towards the end of that year, he became singing teacher in the Imola Seminary, directing the Cappella del Duomo, then that of San Marco in Venice. As a priest, he was known as a director of his own compositions and in 1898 he became director of Cappella Sistina and since 1903 with the title of perpetual master: this task was interrupted between 1915 and 1923 because of health problems. On October 22nd 1930 he was nominated Accademico d’Italia.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded at Conservatorio “G. Verdi” of Turin, on February 13, 14, 15 2010 (Missa Pontificalis, Confitebor tibi Domine, Magnificat). At Basilica Pontificia di Castelnuovo Don Bosco (AT), on March 18, 19 2019 (Missa Secunda Pontificalis)
20 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng).
Musicology comment.
Artist biography.

Complete Organ Works Vol.1 - Six Organ Sonatas Op. 65

Artist
Luca Benedicti, organ
Composer
Felix  Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Organ
Vincenzo Mascioni (1910)
Venue
Cattedrale di Sant'Eusebio, Vercelli, Italy

About this album

The Six Sonatas for organ op.65 by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, commissioned by the editors Coventry and Hollier in London, represent the synthesis of the full artistic and creative maturity of the composer. The passion for this instrument revealed very early in the musician’s life, as witnessed by the fact that he wrote his first composition, “Sei piccoli pezzi”, when he was only 12. His incredible talent in composing for organ was due not only to his constant interest, but also to the many years of attendance with prestigious teachers (he studied harmony and counterpoint with Friederich Zelter while he gained a solid mastery of the instrument with August Wilhelm Bach, who was then the titular organist of the Marienkirche in Berlin) and to the focused knowledge of Bach’s masterpieces. It is indeed important to remark that, as is well known, Mendelssohn played a fundamental role in their rediscovery. He was renowned and appreciated for his interpretation virtuosity as well as for his mastery in improvisation. He was invited, not yet an adolescent, to play in Germany in different concerts, among which we remember those in Weimar in 1821 and in the Bern cathedral the year after. The experience gained in this period was decisive when, between the summer of 1844 and January 1845, Mendelssohn started to compose the Six Sonatas. We can recognize therein different genres like the theme with variations or the aria with “da capo” and the use of several composition techniques in the treatment of single movements. If the fourth Sonata played a pioneering role towards the organ symphony of the 19th century, with the sixth Sonata Mendelssohn composed what we could consider the first “Sonata ciclica”. The theme of the choral “Vater unser im Himmelreich” became the starting point and the pretext not only for the elaboration of the first four variations, but also of the last two movements (the subject of the fuga and of the conclusive Andante are built essentially on the same choral), transforming them into the fifth and the sixth variations. An amazing counterpoint technique appears also in the “Allegro moderato e serioso” of the first Sonata in F minor, where the subject of the “Fugato” is masterfully developed, interrupted in some points by the harmonization of the Choral “Was mein Gott will, das g’sche hall zeit”. The same magnificent counterpoint technique reappears to remark the outstanding qualities of the German composer in the elaboration of the double fuga of the third Sonata in which the Choral “Aus tiefer Not schrei’ ich zu dir” appears, sustained by the pedal. The idea of an organ with more tonal and expressive resources can be identified in the use of violent sound contrasts, like in the “Andante recitativo” of the third movement of the first Sonata or in the great opening of the third Sonata, where a simple theme, declaimed through the second keyboard, is alternated to the powerful chord masses of the first one. In the same way the drawing of the dotted quavers design that characterises the pedal of the “Andante con moto” of the fifth Sonata expresses effectively the usual method of “pizzicato” in the strings. The technique entrusted to the pedal notes reveals to be innovative for the time. Mendelssohn resorts to it confidently in his Sonatas assigning to the pedal difficult passages. In this way he provided a significant boost to the building of new organs with a bigger pedal and a larger number of corresponding stops with respect to the typical early 19th century English instruments. 

Additional info about this CD
Recorded in Cattedrale di Sant'Eusebio, Vercelli, Italy, in February, 26th, 27th 2019

Booklet di 12 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Musicology comment,
Artist biography,

Full organ specs card included

Seicento - Italian Early baroque music

Artists
Accademia del Ricercare Pietro Busca, conductor
Lorenzo Cavasanti, Manuel Staropoli,flauti,
Antonio Fantinuoli, violoncello Ugo Nastrucci, tiorba e chitarra 
Claudia Ferrero, clavicembalo
Composers
Francesco Turini (1589 circa–1656)
Giovanni P. Cima (1570 circa–1622)
Dario Castello (1602–1631) 
Antonio Caldara (1670–1736)
Venue
Basilica di Sant’Apollinare (Roma), Italy

About this album

During the seventeenth century in Italy the genre of instrumental sonata developed and it was an artistic route that involved a great number of cities and of composers, starting from Sonate concertate in stil moderno by the venetian Dario Castello – a composer that nowadays is wrapped in a fascinating mystery – up to the smooth style and technically unexceptionable of Arcangelo Corelli, who was an example all over Europe. This CD sketches a pleasant fresco of this glorious tradition with a sort of circular path, that starts from Castello, Francesco Turini – a composer born in Praha and active in Brescia for many years – and the Milanese Francesco Paolo Cima, up to Antonio Caldara, coming back finally to the three forerunners: a choice that underlines the coherence with which the sonata spread. A new CD of great interest by Accademia del Ricercare, that, after the beautiful record dedicated to Georg Philipp Teleman’s production, celebrates the Italian 17th century in music. Looking forward to the release of a new CD dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci’s time, stay tuned for an incredible offer by Elegia Classics.


Additional info about this CD
Booklet 12 pages full colour (It, En)
Recorded: in chiesa di San Raffaele Arcangelo, San Raffaele Cimena (TO), Italy, on 9th-10th March 2018.
Artists biography
Musicology comment

Toccate e variazioni sulla follia

Artist
Diego Cannizzaro, organ
Composer
Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725)
Organ
Antonino La Valle (1630 ca.)
Venue
Chiusa Sclafani (PA), Italy

About this album

Inside the huge production of Alessandro Scarlatti, the keyboard instruments works are a very restricted part under the quantity profile, but under the stylistic one they have many reasons of interest. As we can see even in the most famous pieces, as oratorios and cantatas, the great Neapolitan master was able to create in fact an extraordinary writing, that genially blend some elements of the seventeenth century tradition with a series of modern ideas: as a whole, they bring to a listening of extraordinary pleasantness, as we can see for example in the famous Toccata e Partite sulla Follia di Spagna, theme that was put in music, among the others, by Arcangelo Corelli and Antonio Vivaldi. Beside this work, the programme of this CD also includes unreleased pages taken from the manuscripts preserved in Santa Pietro a Majella (Naples) at Biblioteca del Conservatorio and in Fondo Foà- Giordano (Torino). Realized inside the celebrations for Palermo Capitale Italiana della Cultura, this CD has an inspired protagonist in Diego Cannizzaro, at the keyboard of the splendid organ of San Sebastiano di Sclafani (PA), built around 1630 by Antonio La Valle.

Additional info about this CD
16 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Artist biography
Musicology comment
Full organ specs card included

Giuseppe Tartini & amici, maestri, rivali

Artists
L'Arte dell'Arco 
Federico Guglielmo, violino
Francesco Galligioni, violoncello
Diego Cantalupi, tiorba
Roberto Loreggian, cembalo
Composers
Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770) 
Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) 
Antonio Vandini (1690-1778) 
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Francesco M.Veracini (1690-1768) 
Venue
Basilica di Sant’Apollinare (Roma), Italy

About this album

This CD represents the first title of the collaboration between Elegia Records and Roma Baroque Festival, one of the most prestigious Italian shows dedicated to the pre romantic repertoire, come to the eleventh edition in 2018. Lovers of around the world will be able to live the emotion of a great concert in one of the main historical churches of the Eternal City: the same in which ages ago played authors like Palestrina, Corelli and Scarlatti. Recorded on December 15th 2017 in Sant’Apollinare, this CD have Federico Guglielmo and L’Arte dell’Arco, his ensemble of original instruments, as protagonists with a programme about Giuseppe Tartini: the great virtuoso of which Guglielmo is considered among the greatest specialists worldwide. In particular, this recording underlines the fascinating background of Tartini through his friends, masters and rivals such as Corelli, Vivaldi and Veracini up to Antonio Vandini. An overwhelming virtuosity and a great vitality are characteristics of this CD.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded in Roma, Basilica di Sant’Apollinare on 15 december 2017, Italy
full colour booklet (Italian, English, French e Spanish)
L'Arte dell'Arco's biography
Musicology comment.

Complete Italian Organ Concertos

Artist
Luca Scandali, organ
Composer
Johann Sebastian Bach
Organ
Dell’Orto e Lanzini (2007)
Venue
Chiesa di M. Assunta, Vigliano Biellese, Italy

About this album

During his youth, Johann Sebastian Bach studied with passion the great Italian composers’ works, Editor sì/no that were at that time style models both for their perfection about their harmonic architecture both for the brilliant vitality about their melodic vein. In order to capture the secrets of the Italian style, the young composer realized a series of transcriptions for organ from orchestra pieces, in which it is possible to see the future genius. The programme of this CD includes five works based on famous concerts by Vivaldi (four from Estro Armonico op. 3 and one from Stravaganza op. 4) and a transcription from a piece by Alessandro Marcello, who is today almost forgotten but very appreciated at Bach’s time, as his younger brother Benedetto. Those works were proposed thanks to the great performance by Luca Scandali, organ player of magnificent talent, who for Elegia has already recorded many CDs of great interest, among which stand out the two volumes of the symphonies by Padre Davide da Bergamo. A Cd that deserves to be considered even for Dell’Orto & Lanzini’s beautiful sounding palette inside the church of Santa Maria Assunta in Vigliano Biellese and for the excellent quality of the recording.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded in 17-18 maggio 2018, chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta, Vigliano (Biella) 
16 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Musicology comment,
Artist biography
Full organ specs card included

Antonio Caldara - Vespro della Beata Vergine. Missa in Sol

Artists
Collegio Musicale Italiano
Adriano Gaglianello, conductor
Composer
Antonio Caldara (1670-ca.1736)
Venue
Chiesa confraternitale dei Santi Giovanni Battista e Marta - Chivasso - Turin- Italy

About this album

Among many Italian baroque composers, set aside in spite of them in the background, stands out the name of Antonio Caldara, who had the misfortune to be overshadowed by the bright star of his contemporary and fellow citizen Vivaldi. Left Venetia at 29, Caldara moved first to Mantua and then to Rome, where he was offered the prestigious position of kappelmeister of prince Ruspoli, set free by Georg Friedrich Händel, in order to dock in the end to the Austrian court of Karl VI Hasburg, where he remained until his death. This CD presents as a first worldwide recording two of the most significant liturgical works of the venetian composer, Messa in sol maggiore and Vespro della Beata Vergine: this last one composed after 1716 and transcribed by Adriano Gaglianello from the manuscripts kept at the Staatsbibliothek of Munich. They are works with great suggestion, varied and original style, also appreciated by Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, that got inspiration for some of their sacred pages. An absolute first time not to be missed, even thanks to the magnificent performance of Collegio Musicale italiano directed by Adriano Gaglianello. 

Additional info about this CD
Recorded in Chiesa confraternitale dei Santi G. Battista e Marta, Chivasso, Turin, Italy, in March 2012
12 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Musicology comment,
Artists biography

Organ transcriptions

Artist
Roberto Cognazzo, organ
Composer
Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945)
Organ
Carlo Vegezzi Bossi (1884)
Venue
Chiesa Parrocchiale di San Massimo, Turin, Italy

About this album

After the two beautiful CDs dedicated to the transcriptions of the most known works by Giuseppe Verdi, the organ player Roberto Cognazzo pays attention to the production by Pietro Mascagni, composer which posthumously fame continues to be based almost exclusively on Cavalleria Rusticana, considered with Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo the maximum manifesto of the musical Verismo flourished in Italy between XIX and XX centuries. The programme proposes the transcriptions of ten pieces, realized by the same Cognazzo: not only from Cavalleria (il Preludio con la Siciliana, la Preghiera and the unequalled Intermezzo), but also from L’amico Fritz, Guglielmo Ratcliff, Silvano, Iris and Le maschere, works that had great reputation and that deserve today to be rediscovered. As it already happened in the previous CDs, the performance is characterized by theatricality, that widens from singing sections with brilliant inspiration to passages of more dramatic tones and it can count on the Carlo Vegezzi Bossi’s rich sounding palette: the organ was built in 1884 and it is placed in San Massimo in Turin.

Additional info about this CD
Registrazioni: Recorded in Organ Carlo Vegezzi Bossi (1884), February 2016, Turin, ltaly
12 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Musicology comment,
Artist biography

Musicalisches Opfer BWV 1079

Artists
Solisti della Turin Baroque Orchestra
Ensemble Sol Invictus
Francesca Odling, traversiere
Svetlana Fomina, violino e viola 
Paola Nervi, violino Nicola Brovelli, violoncello 
Gianluca Cagnani, organo e clavicembalo
Composer
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Organ
Pinchi (1996) op. 412
Venue
Chiesa Madonna del Rosario, Chivasso, Turin, Itally

About this album

In 1747 Johann Sebastian Bach went to Potsdam visiting his second son Carl Philipp Emanuel, who was at the court of Frederik the Great. In that occasion the elderly musician was welcomed with all the honors by the king of Prussia, great music lover, who asked him to improvise at the harpsichord a fugue for three voices on a deeply chromatic theme proposed by him. After happily completing this task, the king asked Bach to create a fugue for six voices on the same theme. The achievement however was too difficult to be improvised and for this reason Bach answered the king that he would send him a copy of this work after his return to Lipsia. From this memorable evening arose the Offerta Musicale, one of the huge masterpieces by the genius of Bach, a speculative work that continues nowadays to arouse regard and astonishment in the public. This piece is proposed by Elegia thanks to the Turin Baroque Orchestra soloists’ masterful reading, that already in 2017 has emerged with the splendid CD dedicated to the organ concerts by Vivaldi and that came up to the music of Bach with the same musicality and the same high interpretation.

Instruments
Nicola Brovelli: violoncello barocco, Maurizio Vella, Cremona 2016, modello Maggini
Francesca Odling: traversiere, Carlo Palanca, 1750ca. Copia di Martin Wenner 
Paola Nervi: violino barocco, Federico Lowemberger, Genova 2004. Copia di Maggini 
Svetlana Fomina: violino barocco, Johannes Fichtl, Mittenwald, 1767; viola barocca: anonimo del 18 sec. 
Gianluca Cagnani: organo Guido Pinchi op. 412, 1996; clavicembalo Bizzi, costruito secondo il modello italiano Giusti.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded in Madonna del Rosario (paris church), Chivasso, Torino Italy, in January 2018
16 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Musicology comment,
Artists biography

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