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Sonate per l'Organo e il Cembalo

Artist
Daniele Proni Organo e Clavicembalo
Composer
Giovanni Battista Martini (1706-1784)
Venue
Cascina Giardino, Crema (CR) Italy

About this album

Giovanni Battista Martini was born on April 24, 1796 and began the study of music in his childhood under the guidance of his father, a bowed instrument player, as well as his older brother Giuseppe. Within the context of the home school of Dom Giuseppe Auregli and of the Church of Our Lady of Galliera, he learned reading, writing, arithmetics and received religious training. He immediately showed a bright intellect and manyfold interests in the field of music, so much to be sent to study with some of the best teachers in Bologna: Angelo Predieri, who taught him singing and composition, and Giovanni Antonio Riccieri, who perfected his knowledge of counterpoint. Francesco Antonio Pistocchi taught him the techniques of singing in depth, while Giacomo Antonio Perti gave him the final precious advice. He was admitted into the family of Saint Francis, a sort of religious apprenticeship, and there he was ordained as Friar Minor in 1725. At the time, he had recently become the assistant of Ferdinando Gridi, choirmaster and organist, who was in poor health: indeed, after just six months, Gridi died and Martini replaced him in his duties, and in a couple of years he became his successor. In 1729, he was consecrated as priest and concluded his own canonic education rapidly: at barely 23 years of age, Giambattista was already what he remained until August 3, 1784, day of his death. It is difficult to describe Martini in a few paragraphs, but we can begin from the compositions that he left us: over 1.000 catalog entries of manuscript and printed musical compositions of several genres, sacred and profane, vocal and instrumental, and 3 volumes of a History of Music, plus 2 more drafts, in addition to an essay on counterpoint and hundreds of annotations on the practice and theory of music. To this, we must add almost 6.000 letters, among those sent and received, which constitute an epistolary with an incredible historical value. This, not counting his legacy of over 17.000 musical volumes and the gallery of paintings: one of the most important collections in the world in this field. When asked to become the assistant of the choirmaster in Saint Peter’s Chapel, he answered with a laconic “Nonetheless, I pass over this matter, and thank the Good Lord that Rome is 300 miles away from Bologna; and here, a more sincere air breaths”, and decided to refuse any proposal that would take him away from his small cell in the convent of Saint Francis, that was his safe haven where he could retire to investigate, study, compose, and transcribe music. He asked the Pope, Cardinal Lambertini of Bologna who was then elected to the pontificate under the name of Benedict XIV, to be exonerated from the obligation to celebrate Mass in church because of his poor health. We will never know how much of a truth was behind this motivation, but he obtained what he wished, that is the freedom to dispose of his time for his research. The Pope, who knew him well, was generous in allowing freedom to a person whom he judged as capable to leave a profound legacy in the history of music: “By the Apostolic authority of the Pontiff Benedict XIV, on this day, September 9 of 1750, it is decreed that 1) the codex, books, parchments, single sheets, both manuscript and printed, collected from everywhere by Friar Giovanni Battista Marini choirmaster at his own expense, 2) after his death, be promptly placed in the Library of this convent, from which they will never be removed, 3) under the punishment of excommunication”. Martini also found time to devote to dozens of students who came to him to receive precious advice on counterpoint, of which art he is an unrivaled master. Among these, young Mozart, who in a letter of 1776 wrote: “…I never cease to be afflicted in seeing myself far from the person that I love, venerate and appraise most in the world, and of which I inviolably claim to be the humblest and most devoted servant of His Very Reverend Paternity”.With regard to his style of composition, he was halfway between Baroque and Gallant styles in instrumental music, while his vocal music is inspired by Palestrina, showing great care in treating the choral masses, dense with counterpoint but at the same time imbued with a sense of melody that the Gallant spirit, in its imminent onset, tends to shape. The keyboard music comprises about one hundred sonatas for organ and harpsichord of which only 18 were printed: 12 Sonate d’Intavolatura per l’organo, e’l cembalo printed in Amsterdam by Le Céne in 1742 (op. 2) and 6 Sonate per l’organo e il cembalo printed in Bologna by Lelio Dalla Volpe in 1747 (op. 3). This, in addition to 6 manuscripts of harpsichord concertos that are now in the process of being published. The Sonatas op. 2 describe the utmost genius of the keyboard compositions by Martini. If this were possible, his artistry is even overflowing when he proposes in pieces where the counterpoint becomes decisively thicker, passages at the limit of the ability to be performed, because the ideas tend to surpass the form. These sonatas are difficult to play and listen. Movements in an almost Gallant style alternate with composite and refined pated that sometimes force the listener to be extremely focused. In contrast, the six sonatas of op.3 shine for the lightness, simplicity and clarity, both formal and of the melody. The project for this recording finds its origin in these sonatas and their genesis. The Sonatas op.3 were six in number, while the new editor Lelio dalla Volpe in the catalog distributed in the course of 1747 spoke about a second collection of Sonatas, that were never composed. The project existed, but evidently something made it so that this was never completed. In my long, in depth work on the manuscripts of the friar, I tried to imagine what other pieces he could have wanted to include in a second collection and I deduced that most likely he would have utilized something that he had already written. His keyboard music was collected in an effective manner and many “detached papers” are collated in the folder denominated HH.35 in the International Museum and Music Library of Bologna. This miscellanea contains very pleasant music, pieces useful for entertainment and daily practice. They are not related to each other, with small exception which led me to compose an epithetical op.4, for which I even imagined a programmatic evolution. The sonatas of op. 2 are all very schematic, that is, all formed by five movements, and at the same time, those of op.3 appear to be more concise, for the motivations explained earlier. They follow a rule: three movements, almost all with ritornello for variations, for the harpsichord sonatas, and two movements with no ritornello for the organ sonatas. The formal scheme that characterizes the new sonatas, instead, aims at collecting all of the ideas by Martini, though with more freedom, and with a reference to the number of five, for the first sonata, and a increase to three movements for the last organ sonata. This is almost a will to consolidate the form that was consolidated in the second half of the 1700s. An alternation between the two instruments remains, but I hope that the greater variety of the form will contribute to delineate a picture if possible more complete of the model of composition of the author.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded: at Cascina Giardino, Crema (CR), July 2nd & 3rd 2018 (Italy)
Booklet 15 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Musicology comment
Artist biography

Esule dalle sfere - Chi resiste al Dio bendato

Artists
Accademia del Ricercare,
Pietro Busca, conductor
Massimo Altieri,tenor
Gianluigi Ghiringhelli, countertenor
Enrico Bava,
Mauro Borgioni, baritone
Lucia Cortese, Paola Valentina Molinari, sopranos
Composer
Alessandro Stradella (1644-1682)
Venue
Cappella del Seminario di Vercelli (VC), Italy

About this album

Together with Caravaggio, Alessandro Stradella is one of the most fascinating figures of the Italian Baroque era, not just in virtue of an outstanding talent, but also for a tormented life spent in constant fleeting, that contributed to make him very much alike to a protagonist of a modern day novels. Like the famous painter, Stradella died still young at age 38, killed by a knife wound inflicted to him from the hired assassins sent by Giovan Battista Lomellini, a nobleman from Genoa that thus intended to avenge the honor of his sister who – according to his views – the composer had seduced while giving her music lessons. This tragic epilogue brusquely ended a vast musical production that included at the time eight dramas and comedies in music, six sacred Oratorios – that many consider to be among the greatest works of the composer from Nepi – and a large collection of cantatas, both of spiritual and profane character. One of the most emblematic aspects of the style of Stradella is his spirited and vibrant sense of theater that finds full expression in the works conceived for theater representation as well as in works written for performance in private spaces like the cantatas. In the context of sacred music, these often reach intense and brilliant tones that underline with impressive effectiveness the affetti in the text. A work of Stradella maturity, Esule dalle sfere was written in 1680 for the festivity of All Saints Day on a noteworthy text by Pompeo Figari, a priest originally from Rapallo who showed to possess a good literary talent. This quality allowed him to be in among the founders of the Academy of Arcadia in Rome in 1690 and to be admitted to the restricted circles of Pope Clement XI. Written in a purely didactic context, this cantata opens with Lucifer (bass), who expresses all of his rage for having been relegated to the shady atmosphere of Hell and states his will to make the punishment for the souls of Purgatory (chorus) as bitter as possible. After a long and painful path of purification, the souls are destined to reach Heaven. The desperate Purgatory souls ask for mercy, and in the end the Archangel Gabriel (soprano) grants it to them and opens wide the doors of Paradise, that will instead always remain forbidden to Lucifer and his acolytes, who are guilty of daring to place themselves on the same level as God. After a short section in which the importance of the prayers of the living for the eternal salvation of the deceased is explained, the Oratorio ends with jubilant themes underlined by the verse «After a brief sorrow, eternal is the bliss». From the musical standpoint, Esule dalle sfere presents an excellent characterization of the “negative” protagonist, without the bombastic excesses that can be noticed in many works of the last part of the 17th Century. It is supported by brilliant and often virtuosic writing and by an intense dramatic atmosphere that lightens up only in the final chorus with the jubilant souls that are finally saved. Altogether different, the cantata Chi resiste al dio bendato was also composed in the last phase of the creative production of Stadella, and it is centered on the ever-present amorous theme that in this work is declined in happy and luminous tones. In this instance, we do not find ourselves in front of a scene of theatrical nature, but in front of a “love discourse”. This finds its full expression in the final soprano aria «He who lives with love, lives blissfully», preceded by a lively tarantella. From the standpoint of musicology, this cantata is of great importance since in the autograph manuscript the division of the instrumental ensemble between concertino and concerto grosso is clearly indicated, and these were the elements that two decades later were brought to perfection by Arcangelo Corelli in his Opus 6. The scarcity of theatrical aspects of the poetic text translates into a distended, melodious and expressive writing, without excessively virtuosic passages, almost as if Stradella feared that music that was too lively could disturb the serenity of a love fable.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded: on 27th, 28th, 29th February 2020, in Cappella del Seminario di Vercelli (Italy)
18 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Artist biography
Musicology comment

Sonate a due flauti

Artists
Ensamble A'L'Antica
Luigi Lupo,   transverse flute1
Pietro Berlanda, transverse flute2 
Compositor
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)

About this album

Until 1999 Telemann was thought to have written four collections of duets for two flutes, three of which were published in Paris: Sonates sans Basse (1727), XIIX Canons mélodieux (1738) and Second Livre de Duo (1752). The fourth collection remained manuscript and the only copy is kept in Berlin in the Staatsbibliothek (D-B, Mus. Ms. 21787). In 1999, however, all the scores of the Sing Akademie in Berlin stolen during the Second World War were found in the Kiev Library and thus nine other duets came to light and now they have the catalog number TWV 40: 141-149. The manuscript, the work of an unidentified Berlin copyist, has the signature SA 3903 (ZD 1742 g) and consists of two separate parts, each of 22 folios. These are duets of good quality even if a little heterogeneous and in fact the musicologist Steve Zohn has raised doubts about the authenticity of the last three. In reality, the doubts also concern some of the others and it is quite evident that they were not composed in the same period and with the idea of forming a homogeneous collection. Telemann was very systematic in his publications starting from the choice of the tonalities which here are randomly and repeatedly distributed: 3 Duets in G major, 2 in E minor and B minor, one in D major and A minor. It is possible that it is material prepared while writing the various collections and then unpublished but it is likely that the copyist has inserted other contemporary pieces to replenish the manuscript that had been commissioned to him. At the time there was in fact a thriving market that revolved around publishers and addressed to amateurs who wanted pieces for domestic use and for educational purposes. And in fact the main value of much of Telemann’s music is the formative one, indicated at times in the same titles: Sonate Metodiche ed Essercizii Musici. As for a possible dating of the duets, I think a distinction should be made between the date of composition of the pieces and that of making the copy. In the Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM) the second half of the eighteenth century is very generally indicated. The fact that the manuscript was part of the personal collection of Sara Levy (1761-1854), a favorite pupil of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and whose father Daniel Itzig was a Jewish banker inserted in the court of Frederick the Great, does not help since she collected scores of authors of the whole eighteenth century, primarily JS Bach, and then left them all to the Sing Akademie. Probably the score was copied after the middle of the eighteenth century but, as mentioned, it is almost certain that the pieces were composed before and in different periods. Based on the stylistic analysis of the pieces, Steve Zohn hypothesizes a time interval between 1730 and 1740 but the variety of shapes in the collection allows it to be able to reach the middle of the century. Inside the collection, a curiosity immediately catches the eye: the Sonata n. 5 in G major ends with an Allegro in 3/8 in D major and this would be unique in the panorama of the time. It can therefore be assumed that the sonata is incomplete (but already has five movements) or that the Allegro is a kind of Trio of the previous Menuet in 3/8 which therefore should be performed again to finish in the tonic. Finally I underline the happy choice of the interpreters to use both flutes copy of an original instrument by Joannes Hyacynthus Rottenburgh (1672-1765) whose sonic characteristics of fullness in the low register, good agility and richness of tone perfectly adapt to the variety of atmospheres present in general in the music of Telemann.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded in Palazzo Venturi, Avio (Trento) Italy, from 23th to 25 th August 2011
11 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Artist biography
Musicology comment

Organ Works

Artist
Paolo Bottini, organ
Composer
Amilcare Ponchielli (1834-1886)

About this album

In March 1855, Amilcare Ponchielli (Paderno Fasolaro, August 31, 1834 – Milan, January 16, 1886), became the official organist at the parish church of Sant’Imerio in Cremona. He had just finished his studies at the Royal Conservatoire in Milan when he was given this prestigious and profitable position, which he held until 1860. If he took up the office, it was possibly thanks to Ruggero Manna and don Cesare Palischi’s endorsements. Both of them knew and appreciated the young musician: the former, who was maestro di cappella at the Cremona Cathedral, had already chosen Ponchielli the year before as his substitute in conducting vocal and instrumental consorts at the local theatre; the latter, who had been the organist at the Cremona Cathedral from 1824 to 1849, was also a native of the Cremonese village Paderno Fasolaro. It was the instrument newly created by Angelo Bossi from Bergamo that the gifted musician had the chance to play in Sant’Imerio. Bossi’s organ wasn’t very big, but it was very rich in sounds: following the rules of the coeval organ-making, it was provided with organ stops imitating orchestras and bands instruments, such as the flute, the trumpet, the piccolo, the bassoon, the viola and the cello. Compositions recorded on this disk – whose scores, edited by Marco Ruggeri, had been published in 1999 by the Cremonese publisher “Turris” – belong precisely to this five-years period (1855-1860). Everybody may easily grasp the Opera-like character of these pieces, sounding as they were composition exercises inspired from operatic scenes. In those days, organists actually used to transcribe the most praised Opera arias in order to make them playable on their instruments during the Mass: it was absolute routine to take inspiration from Operas in composing original pieces for the pipe organ. The compositions proposed by this recording show how, despite his young age, Ponchielli masterfully handled a great variety of forms and owned a great armoury of very fresh ideas. Amongst these compositions stands out the “Symphony half for the organ and half for the piano”. The peculiar title hints to the habit, widespread during the 19th century, of writing compositions for the pipe organ without scores for the pedalboard, so that they were easily playable in a church as well as in a private living room. Paolo Bottini has completed two of the compositions of this recording which Ponchielli left unfinished (track 14: “Versetto n. 2 in primo tono”; track 20: “Andantino in sol”). To record this disk, Bottini has chosen the instrument made by the organ-maker Pacifico Inzoli from Crema for the Archpriest church of San Dalmazio Vescovo in Paderno Fasolaro: it was actually Ponchielli, teaming with the renowned performer Vincenzo Petrali from Crema, who inaugurated it on 25 September 1873. Inzoli’s organ set in Paderno Fasolaro has been newly and masterly restored in 2019 by the organ-makers “Fratelli Bonizzi” from Ombriano di Crema.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded on May and June 2019, Chiesa di San Dalmazio Vescovo, Paderno Ponchielli (CR), Italy,
Booklet 11 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Musicology comment
Artist biography

Quartetto Kv 370 - Sonata Kv 311 - Terzetti dai Divertimenti Kv 439/b

Artist
Ensemble à L'Antica
Luigi Lupo, flauto traversiere
Rossella Croce, violino
Luigi Azzolini, viola
Rebecca Ferri, violoncello
Composer
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791

About this album

Around the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries numerous chamber, orchestral and even operatic works were transcribed for small chamber groups. This fairly widespread practice enabled a wide range of instrumental combinations to perform the successful compositions of the day. We have examples of operatic overtures transcribed for solo guitar, of operatic arias transcribed for a solo instrument and, subsequently, “variations on a theme”. The instrumental ensembles used for such arrangements were numerous and varied. The importance of this 19th century phenomenon is its opening up of two pathways. In the first place, it led to a spreading of musical culture. Secondly, it encouraged and increased the pool of enthusiastic amateurs who experienced directly the study of musical instruments. Lastly, the economic angle should not be underestimated: the 19th century European musical salon offered a genuine financial opportunity for both publishers and musicians. The music of Mozart, too, lent itself well to this practice and was revamped and transcribed for instrumental ensembles of every possible kind. The programme offered here provides good examples. In some cases these transcriptions were made by high-ranking, celebrated musicians of the day, while others were made by anonymous transcribers paid by the publishers. An anonymous hand, in fact, made the transcription of the three Trios extracted from the five Divertimentos K.439b, an illustration of the amateur groups catered for by the Viennese publisher Artaria in 1804. The two quartets, on the other hand, are the work of Antoine Hugot (1761-1803), for K.370, and Franz Anton Hoffmeister (1754-1812) for K.311. Antoine Hugot, flautist and composer, was among the first teachers of the flute after the foundation of the Paris Conservatoire. He is the author of a famous method, written jointly with his colleague J.G. Wunderlich (1756-1819) and published posthumously in 1804. Franz Anton Hoffmeister was himself the founder of a Viennese publishing house in 1784 and issued works by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. Hoffmeister was a prolific musician and composer. His transcription for flute of works by Mozart may have been partly inspired by his friendship and collaboration with the flautist F. Thurner. Luigi Lupo

Tra le sollecitudini - Autori Ceciliani

Composers
Angelo Burbatti (1868-1946)
Giovanni Pagella (1872-1944)
Carlo Calegari (1863-1952)
Giovanni Bolzoni (1841-1919)
Michele Mondo (1883-1965)
Dino Sincero (1872-1923)
Costante Adolfo Bossi (1876-1953)
Marco Enrico Bossi (1861-1925)
Federico Caudana (1878-1963)
Giovanni Battista Polleri (1855-1923)
Organ
Carlo Vegezzi Bossi (1897)
Luogo
Duomo di San Giovanni Battista, Ciriè Turin

About this album

THE CECILIAN REFORM
Towards the end of the 19th century the Cecilian Movement was found in Italy: the title belonged to a musical movement that reformed the sacred music inside the Catholic church. So called in honour of Saint Cecily, patroness of music, was the answer to the centenary and almost total absence of the Gregorian chant and of the renaissance polyphony from the liturgical catholic celebrations in favour of more similar styles of the opera music. The main aim of the new compositions had to be a major moderation and pursuit in order to let the assembly participate to the liturgy through chant. In this period were born in almost all the parishes the Scholae Cantorum, choral groups that vivified the liturgy and the learning of music art, and Istituti Diocesani di Musica Sacra. Consequently the organ art was influenced by this movement with the deletion of all those registers called da concerto, typical of Italian organs of the nineteenth century, in favour of less thunderous sounds. Therefore, reeds and mutations were replaced or cancelled, with funds, mainly of 8 ‘ and violeggianti registers. In this period, in fact, the organ is renewed from a technical point of view: deleted the eighth scavezza (also called short octave or octave in sixth) and the broken registers between basses and sopranos, a new transmission system has been designed to replace the traditional mechanical one, the pneumatic-tubular transmission. Among the musicians who gave birth to the Cecilian Movement were Giovanni Tebaldini (Brescia, 7 September 1864 - San Benedetto del Tronto, 11 May 1952), predecessor of Lorenzo Perosi (Tortona, 21 December 1872 - Rome, 12 October 1956) in the position of kappelmeister in the Basilica of San Marco in Venice, even if all sources agree in identifying the guide and the main exponent of the Cecilian Movement in Perosi. Tebaldini himself admitted that what he had dreamed and hoped for had become reality thanks to the Tortonian priest and composer. The Cecilian Movement found maximum support in the person of Pope Pius X (born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto; Riese, June 2, 1835 - Rome, August 20, 1914) who on November 22, 1903 (not surprisingly on the day of Saint Cecily), issued what it is considered the manifesto of the movement, i.e. the Motu Proprio Inter pastoralis officii sollicitudines, in which he reaffirmed all the concepts dear to the Cecilianists and urged the whole Catholic Church to conform to them. Edgardo Pocorobba

Additional info about this CD
Recorded: Duomo di Ciriè, Turin, Italy, Ottobre 2019
8 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Artist biography
Musicology comment
Full organ specs card included

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

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

Mottetti-Inni-Antifone

Composers
Marco Antonio Centorio (1597/98 - 1638)
Pietro Heredia (1570-1648)

About this album

During Middle Ages the bishopric of Vercelli was one of the most important episcopal venue in northern Italy, also thanks to its position: along Via Francigena, one of the most important European communication routes of the time, crossed both by pilgrims and rich merchants. This strategic position allows Vercelli to get richness, bringing a huge art spread. Beside the architectural masterpieces of the city, the visitors can rediscover the brilliant musical works that were composed here. This CD presents a series of motets by Marco Antonio Centorio and Pietro Heredia. This latter wrote pieces of great interest and he was until today unknown: thanks to Don Denis Silano, director of Cappella Musicale del Duomo, we can listen to this musical beauty. It is an evocative CD, which is added to the first-half of the seventeenth century repertoire, that many identify almost exclusively with Claudio Monteverdi.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded in Cappella del Seminario Arcivescovile Vercelli, Italy, on 17-21 January 2019
20 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Artist biography
Musicology comment.

La musica sacra ai tempi di Leonardo

Artists
Accademia del Ricercare
Pietro Busca, direttore
Composer
Franchino Gaffurio (1451-1522)

About this album

In order to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, the Italian genius who in his Trattato della pittura wrote “Music is nothing but depiction’s sister”, Elegia Classics is proud to present an entirely CD dedicated to Franchinus Gaffurius, composer from Lodi, nowadays almost forgotten, but who had the extraordinary honour to be painted by Leonardo. The programme is focused on Missa da Carnaval, one of his most significant works, composed for the last Sunday before the Lent, to which he added some motets of striking beauty, that underline a fascinating view of the musical panorama during the last years of the XV century. Of these works Accademia del Ricercare ensemble, directed by Pietro Busca, gives us an inspired performance both expressive and instrumental, with the four masculine voices facing krummhorns, flutes, Renaissance traverse, vielle and basso continuo.


Additional info about this CD
Recorded: in Cappella del Seminario Arcivescovile Vercelli, Italy, on 23-25 February 2019
12 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Artist biography
Musicology comment, 

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

Organ Concertos Op. 4

Composer
George Friedrich Händel (1685-1759)
Organ
Mascioni Op. 570 (1942)
Venue
Chiesa di San Francesco, Moncalvo (AT) Italy

About this album

«“We can say that Hӓndel, in particular, cannot be easily overcome by anyone in his cleverness on the organ, if not maybe by Bach from Lipsia”. With this very flattering judgment of 1739 Johann Mattheson, famous German composer and theorist of the XVIII century, allows us to discover an almost unfamiliar characteristic of the composer of Halle’s production, nowadays known most of all for his works and oratorios. It was really for his oratorios that Hӓndel wrote between 1735 and 1736 the six concerts for organ, strings and basso continuo op.4, that he performed himself in-between his monumental sacred works. In any case, it is not at all about simple occasional works, conceived to pleasantly entertain the public waiting for the restarting of the “real performing”, but pieces of remarkable artistic depth, in which the composer used virtuosic passages and singing movements. These six beautiful works are performed in this CD by Massimo Gabba, as seen before in Elegia Classics.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded: in chiesa di San Francesco d’Assisi, Moncalvo (AT), Italy, on November 2018

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

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.

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