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German Romantic Composers. Organ pieces

Artist
Marco Limone, organo
Composers
Felix Mendelsshon-Bartoldy (1809-1847)
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Robert Schuman (1810-1856),
Joseph Gabriel Rheinberger (1839-1901) 
Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1903)
Max Reger (1873-1916)
Organ
Carlo Vegezzi Bossi (1914)
Venue
Basilica del Corpus Domini, Turin, Italy

Information Album

This CD opens with Mendelessohn's (1809-1847) prelude and fuga in C minor Op. 37. The severity in the fuga reveals the solid counterpoints skills owned who managed to bring back to apogee J.S. Bach's music. This is forerun by emphasised violins hints within the moving prelude. The fervent farewell to J. Brahms's (1833-1897) life and music is here portrayed from well-known 'preludio al corale' 'Herzlich tut mich verlangen' N.10, from choral preludes 122, written in the very last years of Hamburg composer's life. Shuman's “Symphony Sketches” (1810-1856) draw inspiration from the “piano with foot pedals” instrument used to practice by pipeorgans players at thath time. The pleasant results of these preconditions descend clearly from piano frameworks, which find complete fulfilment in the "king of musical instruments", great variety of tones and textures. Liechtenstein born Josef Gabriel Rheinberger (1839-1901) was a highly prolific composer. Nowadays he is remembered mostly for his remarkable pipe-organ works and in particular for his twenty “Sonate”. From the 11th sonata is drawn the mellow Cantilène, sweet melody entrusted to oboe tones. Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933) was active both as performer and teacher and he developed a well pronounced impressionist musical style. His appellative “pipe-organ Debussy” hail from his music seductive shades and courageous modulations. The powerful and triumphal march “Nun danket alle Gott” op. 65 is one of his most famous and well achieved compositions. The conclusion of this collection, consecrated to German Romanticism, couldn't miss to homage the great Max Reger (1873-1916) here represented from the sinuous and stunning Melodia op.59 N. 11 and from the powerful Improvisation from Sonata opera 60 in D minor.

The best organ works

Artists
Giovanna Franzoni, organ
Elena Gentiletti Drago, organ
Composers
Giovanni Morandi (1777-1856)
Organs
G. Callido (1776); G. Callido (1784)
N. Morettini (1898)
Venues
Chiesa di San Lorenzo Martire,
Cerasa, San Costanzo (PU)
Chiesa di Sant’Agostino (PU)
Chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo, Rosora, (AN)

About this album

Giovanni Morandi è forse il compositore italiano per organo più significativo nel periodo tra Frescobaldi e Marco Enrico Bossi. L’immagine tramandata di lui è quella di un musicista influenzato dall’opera: ciò è vero solo in parte, e del resto nell’Ottocento qualunque musica strumentale risentiva degli influssi dell’opera. Partendo da questa visione ormai superata si è dato avvio ad un progetto che ha visto associati ricerca musicologica e performance, che ha riscoperto i lavori giovanili e quelli meno noti e più originali della maturità in modo da offrire un’immagine più ricca e veritiera di questo compositore. I collegamenti con la musica operistica del tempo sono evidenti, come si era accennato, ma rischiano di diventare un topos che impedisce una conoscenza più approfondita del suo catalogo. All’opera rimandano citazioni vere e proprie, una sorta di omaggio realizzato attraverso motivi cui viene poi dato sviluppo autonomo: nella Pastorale a quattro mani si noterà come il tema d’apertura richiami il Quintetto dal primo atto della Semiramide di Rossini. Numerosi pezzi riprendono lo schema costruttivo della Sinfonia rossiniana: si aprono con una introduzione lenta (caratterizzata da incisi contrastanti dall’effetto teatrale) alla quale succede una sezione veloce.

Debussy à l’orgue, aux allures doucement effacées

Artist
Paolo Bottini, organo
Composer
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Organ
Anneessens Ruyssers (1908)
Venue
Chiesa di San Gioacchino ai Prati, Roma, Italy

About this album

Debussy non scrisse mai opere per organo, eppure non è questa la prima volta che sorge l’idea di rivisitare sue creature su questo “re degli strumenti”, dalla sonorità piena e sostenuta, ma versatile nei coloriti e capace di delicate trasparenze. In questo compito si erano già cimentati i suoi contemporanei Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911), Léon Roques (18391923) e Gaston Choisnel (1857-1921). Ora Paolo Bottini attinge ad alcune delle loro trascrizioni, ma aggiunge di suo trasposizioni sull’organo di pagine pianistiche lette direttamente dagli originali: nuove preziose perle per questa sorprendente collana. Nel caso dei Deux Arabesques che aprono la serie, è appunto Paolo Bottini a dare una propria veste organistica agli originali per pianoforte, destinati a un esecutore singolo. Questi vennero scritti separatamente uno dall’altro nel 1888 e nel 1891, per poi venire organizzati in suite nell’edizione Durand del 1891. Children’s corner (Angolo dei bimbi) è una raccolta di sei pezzi per pianoforte composta fra il 1906 e il 1908, che sottolinea un momento particolare della vita di Debussy: l’affacciarsi alla vita della piccola Claude-Emma, nata il 30 ottobre 1905 dalla sua relazione con Emma Bardac, più tardi divenuta la sua seconda moglie. 

Additional info about this CD 
Recorded in Rome, Italia, nel 2017 
20 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng) 
Musicology comment, 
Full organ specs card included

L'office divin-Pièces pour harmonium ou orgue

Composer
Filippo Capocci (1840-1911)
Organs
G. Mola (1894) Chiesa di San Pietro in Vincoli, Lanzo Torinese, Turin, Italy
Harmonium, Rodolphe Fils & Debain(1900), Chiesa di Santa Anastasia, Monastero di Lanzo, Turin, Italy

About this album

Filippo Capocci was born in Rome the 11th of may 1840, son of a pipe-organ player employed at the Arcibasilica of Giovanni di Laterano in Rome. He was soon encouraged by his father to study music and in 1861 he gained a diploma in pipe-organ at Santa Cecilia's academy in Rome. His career as a performer brought him to travel around all Italy and Europe, meeting everywhere the great approval of his audience. After a triumphal concert at Santa Cecilia's academy in Rome he was selected from Queen Margherita of Savoia as her personal organ tutor. Office Divin draws inspiration explicitly from the compositions of the French tradition, devised both for pipe-organ and harmonium but more frequently with an eye of regard for this last one.

Organ works

Artist
Walter Gatti, organo
Composer
Dieterich Buxtehude  (1637-1707)
Organ
Dell’Orto & Lanzini (2011)
Venue
Chiesa della Madonna di Fatima 
Pinerolo, Turin, Italy

About this album

Denmark composer and organist Dietreich Buxtehude (1637-1707) was a man of broad culture (his hometown Latin school was one of the most prestigious of his times and he came from an highly educated family). Generous and beloved from acquaintances both in his homeland and abroad, Buxtehude lived in several cities in Germany before settle down permanently in Lubecca, where he became extremely popular. His astonishing musical style is mixing bravery and consistency in an alternation between sharp architectures and oasis of peacefulness. Today his style might be seen as tragic, elusive almost barbaric. This is particularly true for his pipe-organ productions, also thanks to his direct experience in crafting organs. In truth Buxtehude’s music is a clear portrait of his times, connecting Sweelinck’s Dutch style with Weckmann’s Italian taste. Buxtehude made use of these different languages with a smart and independent attitude, is the so called ‘Stylus Phantasticus’ or in other words a way of composing well theorised at the time that prescribes not to stick to any particular rule with the only intention of raising emotional participation in the listeners. What makes great Buxtehude’s productions is the extraordinary control on such a wide diversity of sonic materials. The illusory impression of ‘disorder’ and magmatic extroversion in his music is nothing else than a pradoxical but conscious way of expression. 

Additional info about this CD
Recorded in Pinerolo, Italy, 2013
16 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Musicology comment
Artist biography
Full organ specs card included.

Christmas music for children choir

Artists
Corrado Cavalli, organo
Federica Mancini, arpa
Artemusica, coro voci bianche
Debora Bria, direttore
Composers
Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), 
John Rutter (1945), 
David Willcocks (1919-2015)
Organs
Angelo Nava (1902); Italo Marzi (1996)
Venue
Chiesa della Natività di Maria Vergine
Piobesi Torinese, Torino, Italy
Chiesa di San Pietro in Vincoli,
Castagnole Piemonte, Turin, Italy

About this album

Born within the early middle-age liturgical environment, the white vocals choir will remain for a long time in the most important European musical centres. His peculiarity had always been not to distinguish between the pedagogical and the musical aspects. It’s well known that often was choir director’s responsibility to provide education and sustenance to his pupils. The great tradition of the cantor child within England’s cathedrals formed few of the greatest composers of their times as they begin their apprenticeship as singers in white vocals choirs. Names like W. Byrd, member of royal chapel for 5 years, O. Gibbons, C. Tye, P. Phillips, cantors of St. Paul’s cathedral in London. After Puritans decline cathedrals choirs re--‐flourished in 1660 with Charles the 2nd restoration and peaked with Purcell and Handel. This tradition is still alive nowadays and as happened at the time lots of great composer now still move their first steps into music trough white vocals choirs, following the example of Orlando di Lasso, J. S. Bach, J. Haydn. The unique timbre of white vocals has surely seduced the imagination of lots of 20th century composers. It’s not anymore a mere substitution of female vocals but the use of an instrument with different timbre and dynamics. Musicians as the eclectic Benjamin Britten consecrated to them well-know pages as the Ceremony of Carols, another homage to the English culture, till the majestic War Requiem, witnessing a tradition that trough the centuries never lost prestige and cultural value.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded in Piobesi Torinese and in Castagnole Piemonte, Italy, 2013
40 pages full colour booklet
Musicology comment
Artist biography

Organ music in the time of Padre Davide

Artist
Marco Ruggeri, organ
Composers
Wolfang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Franz Jpseph Haydn (1732-1809) 
Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840) 
Johann George Albrechtsberger (1736-1809) 
Giuseppe Nicolini (1762-1842)
Giovanni Pacini (1796-1867) 
Nicola Vaccaj (1790-1840) 
Johann Simon Mayr (1763-1845) 
Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864) 
Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)
Organ
Fratelli Serassi (1825-1838)
Venue
Basilica di Santa Maria di Campagna, Piacenza - Italy

About this album

The programme chosen for this recording is completely taken from printed edition and manuscripts kept in Music Archives of Santa Maria di Campagna, Piacenza. That Fondo was almost totally created by Padre Davide that did his priesthood and, at the same time, was organ player and kappelmeister in Piacenza from 1818 to 1863. So the pieces recorded here were well known to the friar from Bergamo and indeed were a brief but significant part of his music culture and his keyboard repertoire. We do not know exactly what models – manuscripts and printed – were really acquired by the friar for his music library. In fact there was also one of his brother and pupil – friar Leone from Codogno (1809-1894) – who was very active, not in the compositional activity, but most of all in the transcription of music works. Thanks to friar Leone, for example, many works by Padre Davide, that otherwise would be lost, reached us.Many autographs by Padre Davide were taken from the Archives or lost without control. However a great quantity of material contained nowadays in the Fondo was certainly known – if not directly acquired – by Padre Davide himself, in particular the most ancient models dated back to the first nineteenth century.

Organ works

Artists
Gianluca Cagnani, organo
Giulia Musuruane, cantus
Composer
Jan Pieterzoon Sweelinck (1562-1621)
Organ
Dell’Orto & Lanzini (2011)
Venue
Chiesa di Nostra Signora di Fatima,
Pinerolo, Torino, Italy

Information ALBUM

VenueChiesa di Nostra Signora di Fatima, Pinerolo, Torino, Italy Was a Dutch composer, organist and pedagogue who produced in between the end of renaissance and beginning of Baroque era. He was among the greatest European keyboard composers and his work as music teacher helped to spread German organ tradition all over the continent. Sweelinck probably spent all his life in Amsterdam and left his city just occasionally for work duties. His fame as composer grew constantly over all his life. Was called “Amsterdam’s Orpheus” by his contemporaries and even local authorities brought important visitors to his improvisations. This CD is meant to offer the widest panoramic possible on Sweelnick’s works. His works can be divided in three macro groups: 1. Free compositions (Toccate, Preambula, Fantasie); 2. Works on holy Leider (mainly choirs and psalms); 3. Variations on secular Leider. Composition of groups 1 and 3 are playable both on organ and harpsichord apart few cases where is explicitly required to use the pedal. While choirs and psalms are consecrated exclusively to the organ for obvious liturgical matters but also to enhance the ‘cantus firmus’ with the help of the pedal. This track--‐list allows the experience of many musical forms and to enjoy the richness of timbres required for these compositions.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded in Pinerolo, Italy, 2012
28 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Musicology comment
Artist biography
Full organ specs card included

Fiori Musicali

Artist
Luca Guglielmi, organo
Composer
Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643)
Organs
C.Catarinozzi (1695?); F.M. e G.B. Concone (1752?);
G.F. Landesio (metà XVIII sec.)
Venue
Chiesa Abbaziale dei Santi Pietro e Andrea,
Novalesa, Torino, Italia
Chiesa di San Genesio Martire,
Corio, Torino, Italy
Chiesa di San Verano,
Pinerolo, Torino, Italy

Information Album

One of the most relevant collections on Frescobaldi’s works, with Sunday mass, Apostles’ mass and Virgin Mary’s mass recorded on three historical pipe-organs among the oldest within Turin’s region. The musical flowers are nowadays considered as the best work of Frescobaldi, in a certain way the successful completion to his career as a composer. In truth their release in 1635 is surrounded by several other masterpieces appeared almost in the same period. In the same year a fully renewed version of instrumental songs of 1628 and in 1637 the last reissue of the most famous two books of Toccate (1615 and 1627), with the addiction in the first book of ‘le cento partite sopra Passacagli’ a monument for harpsichord music. By this time Frescobaldi must have started working on his posthumous play, eleven songs for keyboard (1645), remained uncompleted and published after his death from Alessandro Vincenti. The Flowers are the only composition by Frescobaldi explicitly conceived for pipe‐organ and the only one that present pieces strictly bounded to his function of liturgical organist. This is clearly the occasion for Frescobaldi to compose the most inspired composition of his career and so to raise the Flowers to the level of most paradigmatic composition on European scale.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded in Novalesa, Abbadia Alpina, Corio, Italy, 2011
40 pages full colour booklet (Ita, Eng, Fr)
Musicology comment
Artist biography
Full organ specs card included

Luca Guglielmi. Cinquecentina d’organo

Artist
Luca Guglielmi, organ
Composers
Pierre Attaignant (1494-1551/52) 
Girolamo Cavazzoni (ca.1525-1577) 
Heinrich Isaac (1450/55-1517) 
Paul Hofhaimer (1459-1537) 
Giulio Segni (1495-1561)
Andrea Antico (ca.1480-1538)
Janz Lublina (sec XVI)
John Redford (sec.XVI) 
Thomas Tallis (ca.1505-1585) 
Jacopo Fogliano (1468-1548) 
Antonio De Cabezòn (1510-1566)
Luìs Venegas de Henestrosa (1510-1570) 
Francisco De la Torre (1483-1504) 
Girolamo Parabosco (ca.1524-1557) 
Andrea Gabrieli (1532/33-1585)
Organ
C. Catarinozzi (1695?)
Venue
Chiesa abbaziale dei Santi Pietro e Andrea,
Novalesa, Turin - Italy

Information Album

The beginning of 16th century is one of the most flourishing moment for arts and culture in European’s history. Italy peaked then with geniuses like Pico della Mirandola, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raffaello. Those were great times for organ music too, rich of innovations and ideas that reverberated for many years ahead. Gregorian chants are still the benchmark and main reference for composition, however new elements started appearing as free compositions, processing of sacred and profane pieces for vocal music. All seeds that will became favourite themes for future composers. This CD was conceived to present and compare those new tendencies on a magnificent organ built from the well known Cesare Catarinozzi (1660-1743) around 1695 for Subiaco’s Abbey and now situated in Novalesa’s Abbey (Turin), it was recently restored from Glauci Ghilardi in 2006.

Olimpia Abbandonata & Other Cantatas

Artist
Valeria La Grotta soprano
Ensemble Sonar d'affetto
Composer
Leonardo Vinci (1696-1730)
Venue
Sant'Eligio Vescovo Churc,
La Mandria di Chivasso (To) (Italy)

About this album

«I entered this city, impressed with the highest ideas of the perfect state in which I should find practical music. It was at Naples only that I expected to have my ears gratified with every musical luxury and refinement which Italy could afford. [...] And what lover of music could be in the place which had produced the two Scarlattis, Vinci, Leo, Pergolesi, Porpora, Farinelli, Jommelli, Piccini, Traetta, Sacchini, and innumerable others of the first eminence among composers and performers, both vocal and instrumental, without the most sanguine expectation?». With these words, Charles Burney, the author of one of the most famous and ancient “histories of music” of the modern age, in October 1770 noted in his travel diary his expectations – certainly not unfulfilled – when visiting Naples, a European capital for music. Among the composers mentioned, the name of Leonardo Vinci stands out, whose fame as an opera author, despite the fact that his death occurred four decades before Burney’s stay in Italy, was still known to the English scholar. After having studied his music better, he dedicated to him some flattering words in his General History of Music of 1776, where he wrote that “without degrading his art, rendered it the friend, though not the slave to poetry, by simplifying and polishing melody, and calling the attention of the audience chiefly to the voice-part, by disintangling it from fugue, complication, and laboured contrivance”. Born around 1690 in Strongoli, in the province of Crotone, Vinci moved to Naples at a young age, where he studied with Gaetano Greco at the Conservatorio dei Poveri di Gesù Cristo. Later he was “maestro di cappella” of the court of the Prince of San Severo and in 1725 he took over from Alessandro Scarlatti as “pro-vicemaestro della Real Cappella”, a position he held until his death in 1730. During his career, Vinci devoted himself almost exclusively to the musical theater, at the beginning composing comic operas in Neapolitan language (he made his debut at the Teatro dei Fiorentini in 1719), then “drammi per musica” on librettos by the most famous poets of the time, such as Silvio Stampiglia and Pietro Metastasio, which were mainly performed in Naples, Rome and Venice. Esteemed by contemporaries and by the intellectuals of the following generations (Giuseppe Sigismondo still defines him in 1820 as “one of the most renowned composers of his time”), Vinci is now considered by scholars to be one of the greatest members of a large group of musicians trained in Naples in the post-Scarlatti era, as well as one of the first to have proposed, with a musical composition of greater simplicity in the harmonic structure and a better melodic line, an overcoming of the late-Baroque musical style, which was felt in that epoque increasingly artificial and less appreciated. These stylistic characteristics, typical of Vinci’s mature phase, are evident not only in the operatic repertoire, but also in the chamber cantatas, a vocal genre that followed the same musical and poetic developments of the contemporary melodrama. Vinci’s currently known cantatas production consists of just over a dozen compositions, almost all for solo voice and continuo, a very small number if compared with the composers of the previous generation, primarily Alessandro Scarlatti. Nevertheless, as the seven cantatas proposed here demonstrate, the composer’s stylistic code and the formal structure of the compositions, strictly fixed in the alternation of two recitatives and two arias or closed pieces which are distinct from each other in terms of musical, textual and dramaturgical features, these pieces are emblematic examples of the last season of this kind of vocal music. On the textual level, the cantatas are all dedicated to the typical love themes of the pastoral tradition, with characters drawn from the Arcadian and mythological world (Filli, Nice, Clori, Irene, Cupido) or from chivalric literature (Olimpia, Bireno). The metric structure of the arias reflects that of the contemporary librettos by Pietro Metastasio and consists of two twin stanzas, symmetrical and homomorphic, i. e. consisting of the same number of verses with the same meter. This formal organization of the text leads to the musical structure of the so-called “aria con da capo”, where each of the two stanzas corresponds to a different and contrasting section of the music (A-B), the first of which is repeated at the end of the second, leaving the possibility to the performer of showing off his singing virtuosity through unwritten embellishments. However, compared to the late 17th-century cantatas tradition, Vinci seems to draw once again from the operatic repertoire, writing some arias in which the first section is more articulated (AA’-B-AA’), so much so that it forms what some scholars recall an embryonic structure of the sonata-form. The vein of a musical playwright is also outlined in some recitatives, where Vinci shows a marked adherence to the semantic value of certain words through sudden and unexpected agogic changes (as a tempo), rhythmic patterns that return in the arias (as if to anticipate the “affection” to which the listener will be moved), or real melodic cells that in some ways recall the visual madrigalisms of the 16th-century tradition. What follows, on the dramatic level even more than on the strictly musical one, is that the cantatas proposed here increasingly take on the shape of small opera scenes, which have nothing to envy to the most famous masterpieces for musical theater composed by Vinci. The apex in this sense is constituted by the cantata Dove sei che non ti sento, a typical lament-scene of Olympia abandoned by Bireno built with all the poetic-musical “topoi” of the well-known Lamento di Arianna, set to music in 1608 by Claudio Monteverdi on text by Ottavio Rinuccini: Vinci’s poem, the only one in the present collection to be devoid of an initial narrative recitative, opens directly with Olimpia despairing over Bireno’s abandonment, in a rhetorical climax that finds its dramatic fulfilment in the Presto of the second aria – which can be defined “of fury” – in which, in full respect of Rinuccini’s canon, the protagonist alternates imprecatio towards the beloved (“Horrid whirlwinds / let them arise / the most murky waves / in order to submerge / the traitor ») to his refutatio (“Ah no! Let them return / also the placid waves / ’cause he doesn’t want / so much this soul / who still loves him!”).

Giacomo Sciommeri Study Center on Italian Cantata University of Rome “Tor Vergata”

Additional info about this CD
Recording il 4-6th August 2020, Sant'Eligio Vescovo Church, La Mandria di Chivasso (To) (Italy)
Booklet 22 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Musicology comment
Artist biography

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