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Opera Arias and Organ Works

Artists
Laura Capretti,mezzosoprano
Daniele Rinero, organo
Compositors
Georg Friedrich Händel (1822 - 1890)
Venue
Chiesa parrocchiale di San Martino vescovo,
Mezzenile (TO)

About this album

«Alcuni si lamentano perchè le rose hanno le spine; io sono grato perchè le spine hanno le rose». Alphonse Karr «Perché registrare un disco su Händel?». Forse, per conoscere a fondo un musicista, l’unico modo è incontrarlo dentro la sua musica. Ci siamo così spogliati di ogni certezza interpretativa, affinché Händel potesse rivelarsi a noi. Dopo tutto lo studio filologico, solo quando si osserva un compositore con gli occhi di un bimbo, lo si scopre davvero. Togliere se stessi, per mettersi a servizio della musica. In un secondo momento, ci siamo chiesti cosa Händel potesse dire all’uomo contemporaneo, con coordinate storiche, geopolitiche e umane molto differenti dal ’700. La freschezza delle sue composizioni sembra svelarci un Händel molto contemporaneo. Ci parla, ci tocca ancora, ci interroga, ci scuote. Immediatezza e ricercatezza si intrecciano nelle sue partiture. Abbiamo dunque scelto di presentare delle trascrizioni per organo solo e delle pagine per voce e organo, facendoci guidare da una suggestione, insita nel titolo di un’aria di Handel: lascia la spina, cogli la rosa. Come si intrecciano la sofferenza e la pienezza nelle nostre esistenze e nella musica di questo compositore? Nella prima parte del cd, dunque, troviamo arie e brani solistici connessi alle spine e, nella seconda parte, alle rose. Il sipario si apre e si chiude sulla stessa melodia, ma con testo differente. Ci auguriamo che Händel possa toccare e parlare anche al vostro animo. Sentiamo di averlo incontrato almeno un po’. Ci ha trasformati. Forse, solo permettendoci di piangere la nostra crude sorte, di cantare le spine che la vita ogni tanto ci riserva, scopriremo che saremo in grado di cogliere la rosa. Le nostre esistenze sono chiamate non solo a vivere, bensì a fiorire. Sapremo allora essere grati perché le spine hanno le rose. Spine e rose, come parti della stessa pianta, le une indispensabili alle altre, affinché la nostra vita possa sbocciare sempre e in ogni circostanza. GUIDA ALL’ASCOLTO Lascia la spina Lascia che io pianga mia cruda sorte, è forse la più famosa aria di sempre. Narra del lamento di Almirena, rapita da Armida e messa in catene. Sospira la libertà per ricongiungersi al suo amato e promesso sposo Rinaldo, comandante dei crociati cristiani a Gerusalemme. In forma di sarabanda, quest’aria, caratterizzata da pause che mettono in risalto i sospiri della protagonista, è di una semplicità disarmante nell’espressione del desiderio di un’agognata libertà. La passacaglia in sol minore che chiude la suite n.7 per clavicembalo, viene qui presentata in una veste organistica. È caratterizzata dalla variazione continua di un tema presentato all’inizio del brano. Quindici variazioni ritmiche, melodiche e timbriche ci conducono a conoscere sotto vesti diversi lo stesso tema. Passacaglia (passa calle: passa per strada), ci invita a passare per le strade della vita, attraverso una radice che collega ogni diversità. Ah mio cor schernio sei, più che un’aria di vendetta della maga Alcina, quando scopre il tradimento dell’amato Ruggiero, sembra essere un lamento. L’esitante accompagnamento mette in luce il passaggio di Alcina da regina e maga seducente a innamorata disperata che, proprio a causa dell’amore, perderà i suoi poteri. Questo Andante conclude il primo dei sei concerti per organo e orchestra che l’autore scrisse. Ideati per intervallare gli oratori presentati al «Covent Garden» di Londra, hanno la caratteristica di avere l’organo solista, presentato come strumento più mondano. Fu Händel stesso a suonarlo, stupendo l’uditorio con la sua maestria, padronanza dell’armonia, fertilità di invenzione e grandezza di stile. Verdi parti, selve amene, narra l’addio di Ruggiero all’isola di Alcina. È probabilmente la pagina più famosa dell’opera, che ebbe talmente tanto successo da sortire ventitré repliche. Con l’aria Ombra mai fu e il suo recitativo iniziale si apre l’opera del Serse, dimenticata per duecento anni, dopo il fallimento iniziale. Qui Serse contempla le fronde del suo amato platano. Ricerchiamo anche noi il nostro posto sicuro, assaporandone il senso di protezione e soave pace che ci dona. Cogli la rosa Questa sinfonia decanta l’arrivo della Regina di Saba a Gerusalemme, durante il regno di Salomone. Brillantezza e vivacità aprono la seconda parte del programma dedicata alla pienezza di vita. Dopo notte atra e funesta è un’aria virtuosistica cantata dal valoroso principe Ariodante che ama Ginevra, la figlia del re di Scozia. Ci riporta al momento dopo le tempeste della vita, dove il sole ritorna a brillare e riempie la terra e il nostro animo di gioia. Hornpipe, tratta dalla seconda suite della «Water music» è musica eseguita da 50 musicisti su una barca per deliziare re Giorgio I e la sua corte sul Tamigi. Ci invita alla danza. Se in fiorito ameno prato ci porta in Egitto dove Cesare confessa con quest’aria il suo amore per Cleopatra, che si presenta nelle vesti di Lidia, una fanciulla del suo seguito. Manifesta la sua eccitazione nell’allegoria dell’ augellin che si nasconde tra fiori e fronde, consegnandoci l’ardore di un cuore innamorato. Zadok the Priest è un inno d’incoronazione scritto per re Giorgio II. Viene da allora eseguito ad ogni incoronazione di sovrano britannico. Zadok fu il sommo sacerdote che unse Salomone come re. Una scrittura omoritmica conferisce solennità al brano e invita alla celebrazione della vita. Si tratta di un’aria dell’Oratorio «Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno». A noi che cerchiamo il senso del nostro dolore, non resta che affidarci alla mano nascosta della vita. Solo fidandoci del nostro percorso saremo in grado di accogliere tutto ciò che essa ha da insegnarci e sbocciare, come un fiore, al momento giusto.

Organo Pacifico Inzoli

Compositor
Polibio Fumagalli (1830-1900)
Organ
Organo Pacifico Inzoli (1886)
Venue
Basilica Cattedrale Maria Ss. delle Vittorie,
Piazza Armerina, (EN) Italy

About this album

Polibio Fumagalli nacque a Inzago (Milano) il 26 ott. 1830, vi iniziò gli studi pianistici per proseguire successivamente presso il Conservatorio di Milano. Diplomatosi nel 1852 in flauto e composizione, svolse nel corso del 1853 attività di organista e maestro di cappella a Vimercate e il 12 marzo 1854 venne nominato maestro e organista della chiesa di S. Celso a Milano. Nel 1873 divenne professore di organo al Conservatorio di Milano, succedendo a Francesco Almasio: a quella data aveva già composto tantissima musica organistica, vocale e per vari organici ma la prima opera databile sicuramente post 1873 (riportante la dicitura «Professore d’Organo al R. Conservatorio di Milano») risulta la Scuola d’organo op. 223 a cui seguirà non molto tempo dopo l’Ascetica musicale op. 235. L’Ascetica Musicale è una raccolta di 15 brani divisi in tre libri da cinque, tra le più estese dell’autore, in cui riassume interamente il suo stile compositivo: il termine Ascetica non va interpretato in maniera letterale ma rimanda ad un’estetica musicale che si manifesta nel virtuosismo tecnico e timbrico, con temi musicali ora allegri, ora meditativi e uno spiccato gusto per l’effetto spettacolare. Il primo brano è un castigato Ripieno seguito dagli altri che passano in rassegna tutte le possibilità di un organo-orchestra (come quelli che aveva a disposizione a San Celso e in Conservatorio, entrambi strumenti di Bernasconi). I sottotitoli che Fumagalli stesso indica per ciascun brano sono indicativi del carattere del pezzo ma confermano l’idea che l’Ascetica Musicale sia un vero e proprio metodo tecnico e stilistico: a titolo esemplificativo, l’Imitazione è qualificata Studio per Flauto, la Meditazione è Obbligata al registro Violini nell’eco, il Pentimento è una Romanza per Clarone ed in mancanza Il Violoncello nei bassi coll’ottava bassa, l’Esultazione, è una Toccata con giuoco di terza mano, o pedali, la Danza degli astri è opportunamente sottolineata come Bizzarria, la Serenata è Per Corno Inglese, Con introduzione di Arpa e di Flauto e l’Alleluja finale è una Sonata brillante alla Marcia in Fa. Ogni gruppo di cinque brani chiude con sonorità forti e brillanti (Invocazione, Salve! e Alleluja,), suggerimento ai fini di un’esecuzione concertistica di eseguirli a blocchi di cinque alla maniera di una Suite. L’Ascetica Musicale è una raccolta esemplare in cui il compositore esplora tutte le possibilità espressive dell’organo ottocentesco ed indica una Piccola guida della registrazione per organo (qui ripordotta in calce ) ma l’opera, pur non rinnegando la tipica estetica ottocentesca, reca in sè tutti i germi della successiva ricerca compositiva che porteranno le più acute intelligenze organistiche italiane a rinnovare profondamente la musica organistica Italiana: ricordiamo che Marco Enrico Bossi e Pietro Alessandro Yon furono allievi di Polibio Fumagalli. Per ottenere tutti gli effetti richiesti in partitura, l’esecutore necessita di uno strumento con due tastiere, dovizia di registri solistici ad ancia e violeggianti ben caratterizzati oltre ad una cassa espressica efficiente per il secondo manuale. Il presente compact disc è stato registrato all’organo della Cattedrale di Piazza Armerina (EN) che risponde perfettamente a questi requisiti: costruito da Pacifico Inzoli nel 1886, suscitò una grande impressione presso i siciliani e venne inaugurato in grande stile: il collaudo durò ben tre mesi, venne affidato al bresciano Roberto Remondi il quale ne divenne anche organista titolare finché, nel 1892, iniziò la sua carriera didattica al Liceo Musicale di Torino come professore dell’appena nata classe di organo. Al Remondi successe un altro grande organista italiano dell’epoca, Giovanni Tebaldini, che si trasferì nel 1887 a Piazza Armerina e resterà organista della Cattedrale per nove mesi. L’organo Inzoli di Piazza Armerina è fortemente orientato timbricamente al futuro pur restando profondamente ancorato nello stile ottocentesco. L’Ascetica Musicale fu un chiaro punto di svolta stilistico per Polibio Fumagalli benchè, probabilmente, nacque come coronamento di un’idea e di uno stile musicale. Fumagalli continuò a cercare nuove vie e nuovi confronti: ottenne di farsi costruire una pedaliera di 24 note da Bernasconi sullo strumento del Conservatorio di Milano (dopo la «disastrosa» prova di Saint-Saens del 1879) ma che solo dopo il 1892 queste 24 note divennero reali e non ritornellate. Nel 1890 visitò Vienna, Praga, Dresda, Berlino, Lipsia Monaco di Baviera descrivendo i vari e differenti tipi di organi che incontrò durante il viaggio. Pur senza aderire del tutto alle istanze di riforma della musica sacra avanzate dal movimento ceciliano, Polibio Fumagalli sentì la necessità negli ultimi anni di un rinnovamento della propria produzione sacra; nel 1899, per motivi di salute, si dimise da S. Celso e lasciò l’insegnamento al Conservatorio. Morì a Milano il 21 giugno 1900. La riforma ceciliana comportò un rapido declino della fortuna musicale di Polibio Fumagalli ma oggi siamo perfettamente in grado di apprezzare il valore stilistico e formale della sua produzione organistica e di collocarla opportunamente in quel grande periodo di rinnovamento e di progresso che caratterizzò gli ultimi decenni del XIX secolo.

Additional info about this CD
Recording on 2-3 Dicember 2022, in Piazza Armerina (EN)(Italy)
Booklet 8 pages full colour booklet 
Musicology comment
Artist biography


Composizioni per Organo

Artist
Paolo Bottini, organo
Compositor
Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
Venue
Chiesa parrocchiale di Sant’Andrea apostolo,
Pavone Canavese (TO) Italy

About this album

La presente registrazione raccoglie quelle composizioni per organo di Giacomo Puccini che non sono state incise nella prima edizione discografica assoluta che il caro compianto collega Liuwe Tamminga aveva consacrato al pressoché misconosciuto repertorio organistico del compositore lucchese (c.d. Passacaille PAS1029, 2017), tutt’oggi assente dalle non poche manifestazioni concertistiche d’organo sparse per il «bel Paese là dove il sì suona». Si deve all’impegno musicologico del Centro Studi Giacomo Puccini di Lucca se tra il 2015 e il 2017 è tornata alla luce buona parte di queste composizioni per organo, nel frattempo sparpagliate in collezioni diverse. I complessivi 57 pezzi originali per organo composti tra il 1870 e il 1880 circa, all’epoca in cui il giovane studente di musica prestava servizio liturgico in qualità di organista a Lucca e in paesi limitrofi, sono stati infine pubblicati, a cura di Virgilio Bernardoni, nel volume II/2.1 della Edizione Nazionale delle Opere di Giacomo Puccini (Carus-Verlag 56.003). Se il ventiduenne Giacomo non si fosse trasferito a Milano per completare gli studi, probabilmente la sua fama non avrebbe travalicato i confini lucchesi, contribuendo ad incrementare la stirpe dei Puccini organisti e maestri di cappella in Lucca (il padre Michele fu organista del Duomo di San Martino fino alla prematura scomparsa nel gennaio del 1864, ma già il trisavolo Giacomo senior occupava il medesimo posto dal 1740), avendo egli studiato, tra l’altro, organo presso l’istituto musicale “Pacini” di Lucca dal 1873 al 1877 (ove si distinse pure con l’assegnazione di un primo premio nel settembre del 1875), ma sicuramente organista liturgico di mestiere se già all’inizio del 1873 era in grado di sostituire lo zio Fortunato Magi nella chiesa di San Girolamo, attività questa che svolse, regolarmente stipendiato, fino alla fine del 1882, non solo, ma fin dai primi anni Settanta l’adolescente Puccini suonava l’organo durante i mesi estivi a Mutigliano, piccola frazione a 6 chilometri a nord di Lucca. La madre stessa, Albina Magi, intervenne più volte presso la Fabbriceria della Cattedrale di Lucca affinché il promettente organista, ormai «abilissimo a disimpegnare l’ufficio» (così Carlo Marsili, direttore dell’Istituto Pacini), venisse finalmente assunto quale titolare... Ma in Duomo Puccini non svolse altro che incarichi occasionali in qualità di organista supplente, in quanto considerato non ancora maturo per ricoprire stabilmente un ruolo che presupponeva anche competenze in materia di composizione, fino a quando, dopo il 1883, veniva chiaro al giovane musicista stesso, ormai residente a Milano, che la carriera musicale poteva aprirgli migliori opportunità di lavoro grazie alla musica orchestrale ma soprattutto operistica, benché anche lassù non ritenne inutile prender altre lezioni d’organo private. Venendo alle composizioni comprese in questa produzione discografica, è fuor di dubbio che brani come i versetti abbiano esclusiva applicazione liturgica (concepiti per la pratica dell’alternanza tra coro e organo nelle parti dell’Ordinario della Messa e negli inni e Magnificat dei Vespri) assieme ad altri brani esplicitamente destinati ad accompagnare l’Offertorio, l’Elevazione e il Postcommunio, ma non vi sono testimonianze precise sulla destinazione effettiva di diverse composizioni (come quelle, senza titolo, nelle tracce 30 e 31) che, scritte per uso proprio o altrui, potrebbero essere semplici esercizi di stile o exempla didattici più che creazioni destinate al precipuo uso liturgico, dato anche il fatto che per il disbrigo degli uffici l’organista di chiesa, come da secolare tradizione, si affidava alla ben radicata pratica della creazione estemporanea. Dunque la genesi di questi pezzi scaturisce dal decennio di regolare attività di organista liturgico di Giacomo Puccini, nonché dalle lezioni da egli impartite tra il 1874 e il 1878 a tal Carlo Della Nina (1855-1918), di professione sarto, che svolgeva servizio d’organista presso la chiesa di San Giusto in Porcari, tutte attività nelle quali l’ormai famoso compositore d’opere liriche si giudicava non particolarmente eccellente: «Pensa cosa avrei potuto fare io se non indovinavo il Terno al Lotto delle mie opere! non ero buono a nulla altro. – insegnare? che cosa? – o se non so nulla, io – suonare l’organo? sì, con quella mano agile che mi rimpasto! maestro di banda? Avrebbero finito per suonarmi il tamburo sulla pancia, con quella autorità che ho». (Puccini a Carlo Paladini, 26/11/1920). Nella sua carriera di organista a Lucca e dintorni il giovane Puccini aveva a disposizione strumenti tipici di scuola toscana: basati su un Principale di 8 piedi, con unica tastiera di 45 tasti e prima ottava corta, piccola pedaliera a leggìo che comandava non più di dodici canne di Contrabassi di 16 piedi, con pochi registri “da concerto” (Cornetto, Trombe); le sue composizioni, brillanti e tutt’altro che castigate, per niente influenzate dalla «ricerca estetico-religiosa di uno stile liturgico acconcio, già in atto al tempo dei primissimi esordi pucciniani, e poi incentivata con intransigente esclusivismo religioso nell’ultimo quarto del secolo dal “movimento ceciliano”» (Bernardoni), recando vivide tracce del coevo gusto teatrale, si prestano ad essere “concertate” anche su organi di più ampia mole, come quello, veramente sontuoso, appartenente alla scuola organaria lombarda ottocentesca, che si può ascoltare nella presente incisione, edificato nel 1855 da Felice e Giacomo Vegezzi-Bossi» Ancora Virgilio Bernardoni ci fa notare che «a fronte della dispersione nelle mani di organisti di paese di un numero così elevato di manoscritti, è singolare – e per quel che se ne sa inspiegabile – il fatto che Puccini abbia conservato per sé il manoscritto dell’unica Pastorale attestata [quella dal curioso titolo di Pastorella gravida] e quelli di composizioni che opportunamente ordinate potrebbero formare una Messa per organo completa [come in questa edizione discografica si è pensato appunto di realizzare], con le serie di Versetti per il Kyrie (i numeri 48–51) e il Gloria (i numeri 52–55) e i brani liberi per Offertorio (n. 46), Elevazione (n. 56) e Postcommunio (n. 47). Non è neppure da escludere l’ipotesi che si tratti di lavori che egli scrisse durante il periodo di studio a Milano. […] Fra i brani della Messa, i Versetti [sono caratterizzati dal] gusto della varia combinazione di un numero limitato di caratteri musicali, però con l’incremento della retorica introduttiva nel n. 48, l’innovazione di una cantabilità austera nel Tempo di Fuga n. 49, la fresca miniatura in ritmo di polacca nel n. 54 e il florilegio di motivi sincopati nei numeri 50 e 51. Le Sonate libere, invece, sono fra i brani di maggiore impegno compositivo di tutto il repertorio pucciniano. Un impegno che nell’Offertorio si qualifica per l’estensione e che nell’Elevazione, invece, stupisce per l’intensità espressiva: sotto questo punto di vista, infatti, il quasi recitativo strumentale delle prime 29 misure dell’Elevazione segna un vertice della creatività del primo Puccini». Al lettore desideroso di conoscere approfonditamente il Puccini organista e il mondo organistico da egli frequentato con assiduità per un decennio del periodo della sua formazione musicale, suggeriamo di leggere il volume Giacomo Puccini organista / Il contesto e le musiche a cura di Fabrizio Guidotti uscito nel 2017 per i tipi di Olschki in cui, oltre ai saggi di Aldo Berti, Gabriella Biagi Ravenni e dello stesso Guidotti, è ospitato quello di Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini su Giacomo Puccini e l’organo.

Additional info about this CD
Recording on 29-31 July 2022, in Pavone Canavese Torino (Italy)
Booklet 8 pages full colour booklet 
Musicology comment
Artist biography


Messe Solennelle in La Maggiore

Artists
Coro Eufoné
Alessandro Ruo Rui,direttore
Gianfranco Luca, organo
Linda Veo, arpa
Valentina Fornero, violoncello
Federico Bagnasco, contrabbasso
solisti: Rossella Giacchero, Stefano Gambarino, Mauro Barra
Compositor
César Auguste Franck (1822 - 1890)
Venue
Chiesa di San Carlo Borromeo,
San Carlo Canavese (TO)

About this album

La Messe à trois voix» op.12 M.61 per soprano, tenore, basso, organo, arpa, violoncello e contrabbasso di César Franck, viene eseguita per la prima volta nel 1861 nell’Église Sainte-Clotilde di Parigi in una versione che utilizza l’orchestra. Ma la diffusione del lavoro passa attraverso la riduzione, operata dallo stesso autore nel 1865, dedicata all’organo con la conservazione delle caratteristiche presenze dell’arpa, del violoncello e del contrabbasso. Nel 1872 C. Franck opera l’ultima revisione del lavoro in vista dell’edizione Borneman e sostituisce il mottetto eucaristico O Salutaris Hostia, dedicato al solo di basso, con il Panis angelicus affidato alla voce acuta di soprano o tenore, semplicemente definita in partitura “chant”. La versione del 1872 raccoglie anche una ridefinizione delle parti affidate all’arpa, frutto evidentemente dell’esperienza compositiva del Nostro ed anche delle mutanti sperimentazioni costruttive che tale strumento vede applicate. La Messa è perciò definita in sei parti: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus e Bene- dictus, Panis angelicus, Agnus Dei. La collocazione di un brano eucaristico prima dell’Agnus che apre i riti di comunione sembra rispondere ad una consuetudine che colloca la litania al- l’Agnello di Dio come gesto conclusivo della composizione sacra nell’insieme (si veda l’analogia con la notissima Petite Messe di Rossini). Ogni brano sviluppa una propria identità tematica e tonale. Il Kyrie affida al timbro tenorile il tema principale che poi passerà ad una riesposizione corale. Il Christe, secondo tradizione, introduce elementi di più forte pathos appog- giandosi ad una ricerca armonica maggiormente densa. La terza invocazione Kyrie riprende il tema iniziale, lo porta ad un culmine e, richiamando dolcemente i profili della parte centrale, dona al brano una perfetta forma tripartita. Il Gloria, con una scelta timbrica inequivocabile, esordisce con il timbro dell’arpa, a richiamare i riferimenti lucani all’inno degli angeli nella Natività. Il coro ascende in arpeggi, le armonie si ampliano e l’organo entra a solennizzare la prima acclamazione. Appaiono poi varie formule melodiche (ora ampie come un’aria d’opera, ora guizzanti come inserti strumentali) nelle acclamazioni al Padre onnipotente. Con grande sapienza liturgica e ottima scelta formale l’invocazione a Cristo modera le dinamiche per aprire un tempo ternario ove la litania penitenziale affida i temi al timbro del violoncello e del tenore solista prima di passarli al tessuto corale. Con un tipico procedimento elaborativo proprio di C. Franck, le linee melodiche della parte centrale diventano il brillante tema conduttore del finale, dove il testo dossologico viene ampiamente ribadito da varie elaborazioni dei profili tematici, sempre variati e pure riconoscibili. Con acuta sintesi il termine “gloria”, presente nelle finali acclamazioni, viene legato al colore dell’incipit. Nel successivo Credo la tipica capacità franckiana di permutazione e ciclica riproposizione dei temi trova una applicazione sorprendente proprio perché lega sapientemente alcune espressioni chiave nella proclamazione di fede. In particolare si scorge un profilo melodico dapprima nascosto nelle maglie dell’accompagnamento strumentale, poi evidentissimo nella dolcezza e nei registri acuti dell’et incarnatus e subito sprofondato nei registri gravi durante l’attonita staticità del passus et sepultus est. Singolare poi è la sommessa staticità del proclama della resurrezione: non un improvviso cambio di colori,come nella più diffusa tradizione, ma una ascesa armonica, dinamica e timbrica che si prolunga fino alla forza con cui si acclama all’eternità del Regno di Cristo. A questo punto il tema prin- cipale, fattosi incisivamente e giocosamente binario, sosterrà le successive affermazioni di fede in strette combinazioni canoniche o in ripercussioni modulanti, alternando due cifre compositive tipiche del Nostro autore: l’elegiaca stasi tonale che afferma con candore una tonalità a sostegno di imitazioni tematiche e, d’altra parte, la fitta serie di risoluzioni armoniche eccezionali che modulano vertiginosamente. Il tema principale chiuderà anche il brano in una imponente sottolineatura delle verità escatologiche. Il Sanctus, con una sensibilità romantica che sarà comune a tante espressioni del successivo cecilianesimo, si apre su toni soffusi. Le sonorità deflagrano nelle espressioni Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua e nei successivi Hosanna. Senza soluzione di continuità giunge il Benedictus che è delicato ed essenziale, affidato alle voci femminili mentre, quasi da lontano si annunciano i potenti Hosanna con cui il brano si chiuderà maestosamente. Nel Panis angelicus, brano che gode di una notorietà immensa e che nel tempo ha visto innumerevoli trascrizioni ed elaborazioni, ritornano in evidenza il timbro del violoncello, a segnare introduzione e controcanto, e dell’arpa che tesse l’accompagnamento lasciando all’organo lo sfondo armonico. Si tratta dell’unico testo non facente parte dell’Ordinarium Missae e, trattandosi di un mottetto eucaristico, è probabile che accompagnasse la consacrazione recitata a bassa voce dal celebrante. L’Agnus Dei, triplice invocazione (due volte richiesta di perdono, poi invoca- zione al dono della pace) è affidato alle tre voci soliste con una sobria riproposizione in varie tonalità di un elegante melodia di sapore modale. Sulla terza invocazione giunge prima sommessamente, poi appassionatamente, l’intervento del coro ma qui il riapparire dell’arpa, che infine sosti- tuisce la presenza dell’organo, conduce ad una dolce e serena conclusione. Le scelte esecutive che guidano la realizzazione dell’opera da parte del Coro Eufoné si rifanno alla versione definitiva del lavoro. La scrittura delle parti vocali declinata su tre sezioni (talvolta divise) presenta delle importanti divaricazioni tra le due parti di tenore e soprano. Si sono a tale proposito confrontate altre edizioni – alcune assai datate, altre più recenti – dedicate ad un coro a 4 parti ma si è rispettata la trama polifonica originale, giusto evidenziando maggiormente il timbro delle voci di mezzosoprano in passaggi che ne valorizzassero il ruolo. Per alcuni passaggi strumentali è stato illuminante il confronto con la prima versione: la parte di contrabbasso è stata affidata in alcuni passaggi anche al violoncello, soprattutto quando si affranca dal ricalco delle parti gravi dell’organo. La parte organistica, somma delle intuizioni e delle sovrapposizioni originalmente distribuite all’orchestra, risulta alquanto densa e impegnativa. Al violoncello sono stati anche affidati brevi spunti imitativi nel dialogo con il soprano durante l’et incarnatus del Credo. La presenza dei solisti vocali è intesa come emersione delle prime parti in un contesto di insieme. Nondimeno alcuni passaggi della partitura lasciano intuire una condotta più trasparente dei temi e in tali casi sono stati affidati alle voci dei solisti. La registrazione giunge come culmine di alcuni concerti realizzati proprio nel 2022, doppio anniversario del 200° dalla nascita di César Franck e del 150° della versione definitiva della Messa. Tra gli organi presenti nel territorio del ciriacese, ove è nato il progetto, si è scelto lo strumento della chiesa par- rocchiale di San Carlo Canavese, rispondente timbricamente allo stile del compositore belga.

Opera Arias and Concertos

Artisti
Cristina Mosca, soprano
Ensemble Andromeda
Francesco Bergamini,violino di spalla
Joanna Crosetto, violino
Nina Przewozniak, violino
Gabriele Cervia, violino
Alessandro Curtoni, viola
Lamberto Curtoni, violoncello
Roberto Stilo, contrabbasso
Francesco Olivero, tiorba
Matteo Cotti, clavicembalo
Compositore
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Luogo
Chiesa Sant'Eligio Vescovo,
La Mandria di Chivasso (TO)

Informazioni sull'album

Il genere del concerto strumentale, nelle sue due declinazioni di concerto solistico e concerto grosso, caratterizzate rispettivamente dalla contrapposizione tra uno strumento solista o un gruppo di strumenti (detto concertino) e il resto della massa orchestrale, si sviluppa nella seconda metà del Seicento ed è una delle più importanti e storicamente rilevanti conquiste del Barocco strumentale italiano. Portato a un primo culmine del suo sviluppo da compositori quali Arcangelo Corelli, Giuseppe Torelli e Tomaso Albinoni, il genere si evolve fino a raggiungere il suo vertice assoluto nell’opera di Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (Venezia, 4 marzo 1678 – Vienna, 28 luglio 1741). Quest’ultimo codifica il genere del concerto solistico strutturandolo secondo un impianto costituito, nella maggior parte dei casi, da tre movimenti. I due movimenti esterni sono vivaci e sono caratterizzati dall’alternanza tra solo e tutti e dal notevole impegno virtuosistico richiesto al solista; tra di essi è incastonato un movimento lento improntato all’espansione melodica e alla cantabilità. I dodici concerti inclusi nella raccolta L’estro armonico, pubblicata nel 1711 ad Amsterdam dall’editore Estienne Roger, rappresentano la punta di diamante della produzione concertistica vivaldiana. Il titolo della raccolta è programmatico e allude al desiderio di conciliare due spinte opposte: da una parte quella impressa dalla fantasia creatrice, e dall’altra quella imposta dall’osservanza di severe regole strutturali in ambito formale e ar- monico. Il desiderio di dare un preciso ordine alla raccolta emerge anche nella sua organizzazione architettonica, che prevede una ripartizione dei dodici concerti in quattro gruppi di tre concerti ciascuno: uno per violino, uno per due violini (o per due violini e violoncello) e uno per quattro violini (o per quattro violini e violoncello), secondo un calcolato gioco di simmetrie e corrispondenze interne. In questo ambito, i concerti a più strumenti soli costituiscono un’estensione del concetto di concerto solistico e, in particolare, quelli per due violini e violoncello rappresentano un inedito innesto (o ibrido) tra questo genere e quello del concerto grosso, di cui il trio formato dai due violini e il violoncello costituisce il concertino. In questo senso L’estro armonico rappresenta il luogo in cui le precedenti esperienze in ambito strumentale convergono e vengono portate alla perfezione. Non è un caso che alcuni concerti di questa raccolta abbiano suscitato l’interesse di Johann Sebastian Bach, che ne realizzò ben tre trascrizioni (o meglio, elaborazioni) per clavicembalo, due per organo e una per quattro clavicembali, archi e basso continuo. Questo da una parte ci dà una misura della stima e dell’ammirazione di cui Vivaldi godeva presso i suoi contemporanei, e dall’altra rimarca quanto quest’opera rappresenti un ponte tra passato e futuro: il genere del concerto strumentale “all’italiana”, esportato al di fuori dei confini nazionali, si evolverà infatti successivamente fino a plasmare il linguaggio sinfonico classico portato al massimo splendore dai compositori della Prima Scuola di Vienna (segnatamente, da Haydn e da Mozart). Una porzione minoritaria dei concerti di Antonio Vivaldi è costituita da composizioni destinate alla sola orchestra d’archi (con basso continuo), senza il coinvolgimento di strumenti solisti. Uno degli esemplari più celebri è dato dal Concerto “alla rustica”, articolato secondo la classica scansione in tre movimenti: a un primo tempo caratterizzato da un andamento di danza, seguono un secondo tempo lento e maestoso realizzato con una impressionante economia di mezzi, e un movimento finale dal carattere festoso e popolaresco che sembra giustificare il titolo attribuito al concerto. Se una parte significativa della produzione vivaldiana è costituita dalle composizioni strumentali e concertistiche, non meno importante è il versante occupato dalle opere vocali: i melodrammi da lui composti occupano in quest’ambito un posto di rilievo, anche se, dei circa cinquanta titoli di cui si ha testimonianza, la metà è da considerare perduta in parte o in toto. Le trame di queste opere attingono spesso al vasto serbatoio di vicende tratte dalla mitologia e dalla storia antica (come nel caso del dramma per musica Arsilda, regina di Ponto) o dai romanzi medievali (Orlando finto pazzo e Orlando furioso); talvolta l’ambientazione è esotica: è il caso del dramma per musica La verità in cimento, la cui vicenda si svolge nell’oriente ottomano. L’impianto dei melodrammi vivaldiani è improntato all’alternanza tra recitativi e arie (o analoghi numeri chiusi destinati a un ensemble invece che alla voce sola): mentre lo scopo dei primi è quello di far scorrere velocemente la vicenda, le seconde forniscono l’istan- tanea di un dato snodo della trama e per questo congelano l’azione in quel parti- colare momento. Una caratteristica tipica dell’opera barocca riguarda l’autonomia nei rapporti tra compositori e librettisti: così, un dato libretto poteva essere (e di fatto era) messo in musica da diversi compositori (e si tratta di una pratica che è sopravvissuta almeno fino alla fine del Settecento); in maniera analoga, un compositore poteva disinvoltamente adat- tare la musica composta per l’aria di una data opera a un passo del libretto di un’opera diversa o, addirittura, utilizzare la stessa aria in opere diverse. È il caso, per esempio, dell’aria Amato ben, tu sei la mia speranza, che Vivaldi ha utilizzato nei due drammi per musica La verità in cimento ed Ercole su’l Termodonte. Le vi- cissitudini legate a questa aria, tuttavia, non si esauriscono qui, perché il materiale melodico che la costituisce è stato anche riutilizzato (o, meglio, trasfigurato, alla luce delle differenti esigenze imposte dal genere strumentale) nel Concerto in do minore per violino, archi e basso continuo RV761. Danilo Karim Kaddouri

Guitar Works of Robert W. Butts

Artist
Stanley Alexandrowicz guitar
Composer
Robert W. Butts
Venue
Cortland, NY, USA

About this album

The Early Morning Suite was my first composition for classical guitar. As I was an active musicologist with an interest in Baroque music, I took my inspiration from the music of Bach, Weiss, and others. This is clearest in the two middle movements, based on Baroque dances – the Bourree and Minuet. The Bourree is clearly modeled on one by Bach, but I tried to make the music be Baroque in both texture and structure, yet in many places more contemporary in sound. The Minuet is more like a ballad than a dance, conveying a feeling of sensual beauty within the meter and overall form of the old dance. The Prelude is similarly inspired by the Bach preludes, but with guitarlike rhythms and voicing from later Romantic-era composers. I have tried to add an energy and driving forward throughout. The Finale is related to the Prelude in texture and energetic forward thrust. Here, I also used as models later guitar composers whose music I have enjoyed playing. The suite was premiered by Stanley Alexandrowicz during the BONJ Summer Music Festival on 9 August 2015 at Grace Church, Madison, New Jersey, USA. Canti di Venezia consists of three movements inspired by my visits to Venice. The first is a song-like movement in three parts representing a day wandering around the city. The first part is a pretty, enjoyable morning. Suddenly, a heavy storm arises with rains and winds causing the canal waters to rise creating the effect known as Acqua alta. But the storm passes and we enjoy a pleasant evening. The second movement is a theme and variations inspired by typical rhythms of the romantic Gondoliers’ songs. The finale is marked Masquerade. Rather than being a representation of any particular event or party, I tried to capture the sense of excitement and sensuality. The music is exuberant and filled with guitar tremolos and arpeggios. The middle section recalls the challenges of a possible high-water interruption. The party, however, is always part of Venice as one can see from the many shops selling colorful masks. Dedicated to Stanley, the Canti di Venezia was premiered by him on 12 November 2021 at the 1867 Sanctuary Arts and Culture Center, Ewing, New Jersey. Tombeau in Memoriam Václav Kučera was commissioned by Stanley, to whom it is dedicated. I composed it in honor of Václav Kučera, the great Czech composer, having heard Stanley perform Kučera’s Concerto Imaginativo with my orchestra a few years earlier. I studied Kučera’s score and, without using any of the music, took inspiration from the style of the work. It is rhapsodic with several contrasting passages and segments coming together thematically to create a whole. The music breathes as it moves freely from segment to segment, sometimes with great energy and sometimes pausing for reflection. Musical motives develop by changing the voicings of arpeggios and melodies, moving from abstract idea to a new yet related idea. As in several of my works for guitar, I tried to create harmonies derived from the six strings – E-A-D-G-B-E transposed and altered chromatically so that a chord at one point might be those six notes, but in another spot might have a G# or a Bb and may be heard as an arpeggio or strummed. The Tombeau was premiered by Stanley on 29 March 2018 at the Haebler Memorial Chapel of Goucher College in Baltimore Impresiones inspiradas por las pinturas de Luis Martinez Piar is a set of four movements connected by a short motivic theme, as if visiting an artist’s gallery exhibit. It is similar to Mus￾sorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition in the use of the connecting motif. However, the four movements are meant to be impressions inspired by the group of paintings. They do not depict or illustrate specific paintings. They are more about moods and feelings developed by conversations with Luis and my enjoyment of his work as well as general impressions viewing his collective works. Some passages are marked “percussive” and are meant to be played with gentle rhythmic taps on the body of the guitar. In many places, I have notated chords. These are meant to be fingered while tapping, thereby producing gentle vibra￾tions of the strings. The composition is in four distinct movements, framed by themes from the opening movement that return and unite the work. There should be very minimal pauses between move￾ments; the impression should be of moving between an exhibit or perhaps view￾ing the painting in memory. Each movement is based upon a varied habanera rhythm. The piece is dedicated to Luis Martinez Piar and Stanley Alexandrowicz, and was premiered by Stanley on 8 December, 2019 at The Madison Community Arts Center, New Jersey – an event organised in collaboration with LatinX ConneXiones.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded: August 2021
Booklet 12 pages full colour (Ita and Eng)
Artist biography

A placar la mia bella & other Cantatas

Artists
Renato Criscuolo, violoncello solista e direzione,
Baltazar Zúñiga, tenore
Vincenzo Bianco e Giuseppe Grieco, violini barocchi
Dario Landi, tiorba e chitarra barocca
Alessandro Rispoli, clavicembalo
Composer
Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725)
Venue
Roma (RM) Italy

Informazioni sull'album

Tra i registri vocali destinatari di cantate, quello di tenore è sempre stato decisamente il più svantaggiato: se si contano, in tutta l’epoca barocca, un’infinità di cantate per soprano, molte cantate per contralto, nonché un discreto numero di cantate per basso, le cantate per tenore costituiscono davvero una rarità, anche all’interno della produzione di quei compositori che hanno fatto della cantata vocale da camera la propria palestra e/o il proprio laboratorio sperimentale per approcciarsi meglio ai generi più alti dell’opera e della musica sacra. Lo scarno repertorio cantatistico italiano (oltre all’autore da noi affrontato, vi sono pochi altri lavori di Giovanni Maria Bononcini, Maurizio Cazzati, Pirro Albergati Capacelli, Francesco Negri e altri) destinato alla più acuta tra le voci maschili è ascrivibile perlopiù agli anni a cavallo tra il XVII e XVIII secolo, periodo assai importante per l’evoluzione del genere, che stava trasformandosi dalle lunghe forme “aperte” del Seicento, costituiti da un susseguirsi di ariosi, recitativi e arie perlopiù strofiche, verso le forme chiuse di una serie di due o tre arie, inframmezzate da recitativi. Questo percorso evolutivo ben si evidenzia nella lunga produzione del grande compositore palermitano Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725), che si è svolta per l’appunto negli anni che vedono la lunga e frammentaria cantata secentesca evolversi nella più razionale, snella e coincisa versione del Settecento. Della non abbondante produzione scarlattiana si annoverano sette cantate per tenore (se ne contano circa 500 per soprano), l’unica nota è quella in dialetto napoletano Ammore brutto figlio di pottana (che può essere cantata anche da un soprano), non inclusa per questo nel presente album. Tutte le altre cantate provengono da un unico manoscritto, conservato Bibliothèque National de France di Parigi, e contenente anche altre cantate di autori coevi. Due di queste cantate – le più strutturate- presentano due parti di violino oltre alla voce solista e al continuo: Lagrime dolorose agli occhi miei e Mi contento così: entrambe narranti storie di amori infelici, ricalcano una struttura ancora fondamentalmente secentesca, anche se la suddivisione tra recitativi ed arie appare già abbastanza chiara, sebbene le arie riprendano ancora una struttura strofica. Molto simili tra loro come struttura sono le due cantate, invero più scherzose e di argomento frivolo Per destin d’ingrato amore e A placar la mia bella, in cui il tenore è accompagnato dal solo basso continuo: entrambe sono strutturate in una serie di arie seguite da un ternario finale, che conclude in maniera agile il pezzo. Diversi per natura sono i restanti due pezzi, la splendida canzonetta Due guance vezzose, ricca di arditezze armoniche, e Larve e fantasmi horribili, dal sapore decisamente operistico (non si esclude provenga dalla sterminata produzione teatrale del grande palermitano e si invocano studi musicologici più precisi a riguardo). Quanto alla vocalità di queste cantate, Scarlatti si ispira ai grandi maestri del secolo XVII, Monteverdi, Cavalli e Legrenzi, sfruttando al meglio la tessitura centrale del registro tenorile e riservando il registro acuto solamente per gli affetti di dolore e stupore. Quello che Scarlatti sembra cercare dalla voce di tenore è una certa aderenza alla realtà, che spesso fa il paio con lo scarso peso drammatico che il compositore, come tutti i suoi colleghi contemporanei, dà alla voce. In un contesto sonoro abituato all’artificiosità e alla brillantezza del mondo surreale dei castrati, il registro medio, usato prevalentemente nella zona centrale, dà un senso di quotidianità, sia nelle atmosfere dimesse delle cantate coi violini, sia in quelle più buffe e simpatiche di A placar la mia bella e Per destin di ingrato amore, rivelando anche un buon grado di lirismo nella canzonetta Due guance vezzose. A queste cantate per la voce di tenore ci è sembrato bene abbinare, quali intermezzi, le tre splendide sonate per violoncello e basso continuo, che riprendono in chiave strumentale il registro tenorile, alternandolo a quello di basso. Tra le migliori produzioni strumentali del compositore siciliano, rappresentano una delle prime raccolte destinate a uno strumento relativamente nuovo, evolutosi dal basso di violino negli ultimi anni del XVII secolo in area emiliana, grazie all’invenzione delle corde basse filate, che resero possibile la riduzione delle dimensioni dei grandi bassi del Seicento. Se fu tra Bologna e Modena che lo strumento nacque e si sviluppò, furono i grandi virtuosi napoletani a farlo conoscere in tutta Europa, primo fra tutti il Francisciello, soprannome di Francesco Alborea, eminente virtuoso di violoncello per il quale questi pezzi furono probabilmente scritti. Al contrario delle cantate, scritte probabilmente da uno Scarlatti giovane, o comunque ammiccante a forme più arcaiche, le sonate appartengono all’ultima parte della sua produzione, sia a causa della destinazione strumentale (il violoncello apparve a Napoli negli anni ’10 del XVIII secolo), sia per la forma, già divisa in quattro movimenti. Gli ultimi movimenti della prima e della terza sonata sono delle brevissime tarantelle, con le quali il compositore, famoso ormai in tutta Europa, sembra non rinunciare alle sue origini meridionali. Renato Criscuolo

Additional info about this CD
Oratorio dei padri Barnabiti, Roma (Italy)
Recorded: september 2021
Booklet 10 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Musicology comment
Artist biography

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Il Fulmine son io & other Cantatas

Artists
Mauro Borgionibaritono
Paolo Perrone, violino
Rebeca Ferri,violoncello
Francesco Tomasi, tiorba
Salvatore Carchiolo, clavicembalo
Composer
B. Pasquini (1637-1710)
Venue
Spello (PG) Italy

About album

For a long time, the genius of Bernardo Pasquini has been associated with his figure of “harpsichord virtuoso”, mostly upstaging his talent as a composer, which had already achieved undisputed fame in his time with a rich production of operas, oratorios and cantatas. It is only in recent times that, thanks to new studies on his biography, new attention has been given to Pasquini’s non-keyboard music. Great interest was aroused by the oratorios, all re-performed and recorded now, but the same cannot be said of the operas and cantatas, which are rarely included in the repertoires of early-music specialists. Such asymmetries in the reception of Pasquini’s music are probably explained by the great emphasis placed, for a long time, on his activity as organist and harpsichordist. Born on 7 December 1637 in Massa in Valdinievole (Pistoia), Pasquini together with a priest uncle, moved to Ferrara around 1650, where he completed his studies and became organist at the local Archconfraternity of Death. At the end of 1655, he moved to Rome, where he held the position of organist in some important churches: first in Santa Maria in Vallicella and then in Santa Maria Maggiore. However, the success of his career is mainly due to the relationships that tied him first to Cardinal Flavio Chigi, nephew of Pope Alexander VII, then to Prince Giovan Battista Borghese, in whose service he remained from 1667 to 1692, and finally to his son, Marcantonio Prince of Rossano, where he served from 1693 to his death, which occurred in Rome on 21 November 1710. Pasquini managed to establish himself as one of the major opera performers active in Roman theatres, but also to work for important figures of the aristocracy, including cardinals Benedetto Pamphilj, Flavio Chigi and Pietro Ottoboni, Queen Christina of Sweden and the Spanish ambassador Luís Francisco de la Cerda duke of Medinaceli. As part of its vast production, the cantatas represent still today a territory virtually unexplored by musicians. This corpus includes about seventy pieces - fifty of them are for solo voice - largely dating back approximately from 1672 to 1691. Many of the cantatas were conceived for the needs of the Borghese court and those of other noble patrons. Those directly related to sacred themes were performed for the Holy Week or the Christmas novena, on the other hand, those referring to moral or historical subjects were intended for academic meetings and mostly for the entertainment of the nobles in city palaces or villas around Rome during spring and autumn vacations, or for large hunting trips in winter. Six cantatas for bass and basso continuo have come down to us from Pasquini’s production and five of them are included in this recording. The cantata Era risorta invano is also known with the title L’ombra di Solimano, an element that allows us to date it to 1686 or shortly after. Its verses allude indeed to the capture of Buda by the imperial troops, which took place in that year, seen through the eyes of the ghost of Suleiman, the Ottoman sultan who had conquered the Hungarian city in 1541 and who is now dismayed to see it reconquered by the enemies. Even though the cantata Quei diroccati sassi cannot be dated with precision, it alludes to a specific context, as pointed out by the title: A bella donna sopra le ruine di Castro. The verses present a moral reflection on the transience of beauty, addressed to a “Filli superba”, which takes its cue from the ruins of Castro, the city seat of the homonymous duchy in northern Lazio, that was demolished in 1649-50 by order of Pope Innocent X in retaliation against the Farnese, who were the feudal lords. Il fulmine son io is part of the genre of the spiritual cantata instead: the subject alludes indeed to divine anger, symbolized by the lightning bolt, which is attracted by sin as a magnet and whose effects are avoidable thanks to the premonitory sign of thunder. The two cantatas Che volete da me and Misero cor fall into the most common amorous genre: in the first one, a betrayed lover tries to resist to a flashback of his feelings; in the second one, a lover complains of a double defeat: one inflicted on him by Mars at war, where he lost “homeland, relatives and freedom”, and the other one by the god of love, who subjugated his heart with the gaze of a woman. Arnaldo Morelli

Additional info about this CD
at Centro Studi Europeo di Musica Medioevale “Adolfo Broegg”, Spello (Italy)
Recorded: 7-10 January 2021
Booklet 14 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Musicology comment
Artist biography

Church Sonatas Complete

Artist
Diego Cannizzaro,organ & conductor
Composer
W. Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Organ
Organo Grande Donato Del Piano (1775)
Organo Piccolo Donato Del Piano (1782)
Venue
Chiesa di San Basilio, Regalbuto (EN) Italy

About this album

The seventeen church sonatas presented here all dated back to the Salzburg period, between 1772 and 1780. They are pieces designed to be performed during the Mass between the reading of the Epistle and of the Gospel and, therefore, the most correct word would be “ Sonatas all’Epistola ”: Mozart himself confirms this in a letter dated September 1776 and addressed to Father Giovanni Battista Martini. The young Mozart was at that time at the service of Archbishop Hieronimus de Colloredo who showed a certain openness on a political and religious level; he implemented, however, a policy of cuts and cost reductions in the context of the city’s musical institutions, among other things by closing the spaces reserved for musical theater. In truth the archbishop left a fair amount of freedom to Mozart as he believed that he was an excellent cultural ambassador of the Salzburg court but, Mozart’s discontent with the Salzburg environment grew more and more and the efforts for an alternative location increased. The sonatas are written in a single movement always in “Allegro” with the only exception of the “Andantino” of the first Sonata KV 67 - and stylistically they are similar to the characteristic eighteenth-century chamber style. It is interesting to observe the function of the organ in the arc of the compositional parable of the church sonatas: in the nine sonatas - from KV 67 to 225 - the organ performs the function of mere basso continuo in full compliance with eighteenth-century conventions, but already in KV 244, we can see Mozart’s attempt to give something more to the keyboard instrument by entrusting it with two short phrase conclusions with trill, while the strings accompany it with chords, and in KV 245, the organ has evident long and repeated notes that make it emerge from the flow of the basso continuo role. In the sonata KV 263 we see the enrichment of the sound palette with the addition of two trumpets in C: Mozart seeks new timbral solutions, conceives the church sonatas in a more orchestral than the chamber music one and in KV 278 he combines the traditional three-way writing with strings two oboes, two trumpets and timpani. The sonata KV 328 returns to the ensemble with only strings, but the organ’s writing is decidedly concertante and, in some cases, even preponderant over the strings themselves. Sonata KV 329 presents the largest ensemble of all: the strings are flanked by two oboes, two horns, two trumpets and timpani; Mozart plays a lot with the dialogue between oboes and violins but does not renounce to have the organ also intervene in some dialogue. It is worth noting that this sonata has the same orchestral structure as the Coronation Mass KV 317. The last sonata, KV 336, does not have winds and timpani, but needs two organs for its performance: one organ serves as a basso continuo, the other is a solo instrument. The sonata is presented as a concert piece of immediate communication that culminates with a cadence entrusted to the solo organ before the final closure. The sound was taken with all the musicians positioned in the large choir loft of the parish church of San Basilio in Regalbuto (EN); There are two valuable organ by Don Donato del Piano made after his masterpiece: the organ of the Abbey of San Nicola l ‘Arena in Catania. The organ was built in 1775 while the small one, also by Donato del Piano, and dates back to 1782 and it is currently located in a side of the large choir loft. The organs are contemporary to the composition of Mozart’s sonatas and the placement of all the musicians in the choir loft: if, on the one hand, it creates great complications that are merely practical for the execution, on the other hand, it restores the executive modality with which the sonatas were presented to archbishop of Salzburg.

Additional info about this CD
Recording 26-27 february 2021, San Basilio church, Regalbuto (EN) (Italy)
Booklet 16 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Musicology comment
Artist biography

Mauro Giuliani - Gold Edition

Artist
Dominika Zamarasoprano
Amedeo Carrocci, guitar
Composer
Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829)
Venue
Pontecorvo (FR), Italy

About this album

In 1806, when he moved to Vienna with his family, Mauro Giuliani found in the Habsburg capital an environment ready to appreciate his talent, which at home had not managed to make inroads as he deserved. As soon as he arrived in Vienna, Giuliani managed to fit into many aristocratic salons, where he stood out thanks to a brilliant technique and an intense melodic vein, which the Viennese public proved to really appreciate. In the ten years of his stay in Vienna, Giuliani got to know many of the most important composers of the time, including Beethoven, who, according to some witnesses of the time, was happy to listen to his concerts. In this way, Giuliani was able to make the guitar tradition grow in Vienna, which after him would find numerous highly talented performers, including Johann Kaspar Mertz. Unfortunately, the artistic success was accompanied by serious personal problems, which at the end of 1819 led the composer to return to Italy, where his concert activity dramatically dropped, aggravating his precarious economic situation. The desire to return to Vienna thus crept into Giuliani’s heart, and in a letter of 1828 he confirmed to the publisher Artaria his imminent arrival in the city, a project which, however, his health conditions prevented him, blocking him in Naples, where he died at the age of 47 on May 8, 1829. Among Giuliani’s vocal works, the six Cavatine op. 39 and the Ariette op. 95, based on a text by Pietro Metastasio; it should be emphasized that on the title page of both the words “with piano-forte or guitar accompaniment” appear, which reveals the intention to arouse the interest of the widest possible audience. As can be understood from the same title, the Cavatine op. 39 have their roots in the vocal tradition that belonged to Rossini, looking however already at Bellini’s bel canto styles, with the addition of some Donizetti echoes. Compared to Arcadian cantatas, Giuliani’s little gems decline the sentiment of love in a less abstract atmosphere, in which fleeting cues of greater emotional intensity are inserted, which contribute to conferring a tone of vivid realism. The more ambitious Ariette op. 95, which Giuliani dedicated to Maria Luigia of Austria, Duchess of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla. For this refined patron of the arts, Giuliani wrote six highly elaborate pieces of writing, capable of expressing Metastasio’s clear poetic images. From a stylistic point of view, in these works we can perceive an evident influence of the Italian operas such as Giovanni Paisiello and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, as can be seen, for example, in the caressing melody of Ombre amene and in the more pressing tones of Among all the penalties. Works that together reveal the happy inspiration of a composer who, on his death, was honored by a Neapolitan newspaper as one of the greatest guitar virtuosos who “was transformed in his hands into a harp that softened the hearts of men”.

Additional info about this CD
Recording Pontecorvo (FR) (Italy)
Booklet 16 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Musicology comment
Artist biography

Complete Organ Work

Artist
Cristiano Accardi  Organ
Composer
Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Venue
Madonna del Divino Amore, Roma (RM) Italy

About album

Robert Schumann and the rediscovery of counterpoint.
In 1845, after moving from Leipzig to Dresden, Schumann returned to compose for keyboard, in particular to the contrapuntal forms, which he considered to be the most “objective”. A first stimulus came from the studies on counterpoint which he did together with his wife Clara, and which led him to develop a new way of composing. A further impulse was given by the approach with the Pedal-Flügel, a Piano with pedals, which the Schumanns rented and played for a certain period, in order to practice the organ technique. The first work was born with the Studies for the Pedal Piano, subtitled as Six Pieces in canonical form, op. 56, published in Leipzig in September 1845 by Friedrich Wilhelm Whistling. In this compositions Schumann shows his art of combining the contrapuntal complexity of the canon with the melodic simplicity of the various musical phrases. In 1846 it happened to the Sketches for the Pedal Piano, op. 58, also printed in Leipzig by Carl Friedrich Kistner. These are characteristic pieces that highlight a certain poetic vein of the author, and which will inspire some organ compositions by Max Reger or Louis Vierne. Also in 1846 were published the Six Fugues on the name BACH for the Organ or the Pedal Piano, op. 60, also in this case by Whistling. These Fugues, having as the only subject the name of Bach obtained from the German notation (B flat, A, C, B natural), can be considered as independent pieces, or connected through the principle of variation. The style, while maintaining a romantic language, approaches with great respect to the Bachian counterpoint, in order to make the work worthy of the high name it ports.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded: at Madonna del Divino Amore, Roma (Italy)
November 2019
Booklet 12 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Musicology comment
Artist biography

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

Olimpia Abbandonata & Other Cantatas

Artists
Valeria La Grottasoprano
Ensemble Sonar d'affetto
Nicola Brovelli, violoncello 
Mauro Pinciaroli, arciliuto 
Luigi Accardo, clavicembalo
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

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.

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