Music by J.S.Bach, Liszt, Reger, Somma, Pasquini & Galanti
Johann Sebastian Bach
Passacaglia in C minor BWV 582
Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen (1863)
Introduction and Passacaglia in D minor (1899)
Suite francescana (1954)
- Il mattutino di S. Chiara
- S. Damiano
- Cantico del sole
- La Porziuncola
Toccata con lo scherzo del cuccù. Transcription by Ferruccio Vignanelli
Sonata (2000, 2015 premiere)
The fact that the third organist this season was the first to visit us from foreign parts and a Professor to boot, created a certain frisson at the prospect of hearing something special on the evening of the 5th June. We were aware that it is not unusual for "ordinary" teachers in Italy to sometimes be called "professor" as I experienced myself many years ago when teaching two young Italians to drive who always addressed me by this flattering soubriquet !!
However, Antonio Galanti was no "ordinary " teacher and soon proved to have an extensive and learned knowledge about each piece in his repertoire as well as being a fine organist and highly sensitive musician.
The Passacaglia in C minor BWV 582 by J.S. Bach provided a lengthy and weighty start to the programme and confirmed this artist`s serious and scholarly approach.
Lizst's epic organ work "Weinen, Klagen,Sorgen, Zagen" vividly describing his overwhelming grief on the death of his daughter continued the serious vane of the evening and was played most sensitively in portraying the powerful emotions of each section.
Max Reger`s "Introduction and Passacaglio" in D Minor brought the first half of this serious recital to a virtuosic conclusion.
After the interval the Italian composer Bonaventura Somma`s "Suite Francescana" written in 1954 depicting the travels of St. Francis, provided a somewhat lighter touch and admirably portrayed the characteristics of the places which he visited.
A delightful and delicate piece originally written for harpsichord in the 17th century by Bernado Pasquini and transcribed for organ by Ferruccio Vignanelli called "Toccata con lo scherzo del cuccu"-- the cuckoo being the favourite and most suitable bird to imitate-- was beautifully played with clear and sensitive articulation and with the cuckoo popping up in all registers to great effect !
Finally, Professor Galanti played his own" Sonata"--an extensive work combining classical form and modern harmonic thinking and with its fair share of dissonance. As with many contemporary works a second hearing, at least, would undoubtedly be an advantage to appreciate fully the complexities of what is a very involved composition.
Throughout the evening we were fortunate to have Dr. Maureen Galea with us, who apart from being a fine musician, proved to have a fluent command of Italian and so was able with the help of our sound system, to interpret the Professor`s scholarly dissertations on the music and thus contribute greatly to the success of the evening.
Antonio Galanti hails from Florence. He is an acclaimed musician who pursued his studies in pianoforte and organ performance, orchestration, choral music and composition at the Conservatorio di Firenze. He furthered more advanced studies at the Fondazione Accademia di Musica Italiana per Organo in Pistoia. He is also the first-prize winner of prestigious Competitions, and is both a Professor and holds the chair of Harmony and Counterpoint at the Conservatorio di Alessandria. Antonio is passionate about the interface of sacred music and the contemporary world and is an expert on historical organs. He performs widely all over Europe and has written numerous scholarly monographs apart from having recorded a considerable amount of CDs. An added interest is transcription, orchestration and composition, apart from critical editions of rare works. His works have been published by Bèrben, Dullaudot, and Rugginenti, amongst others. He is a member of the Commission for Sacred Music in the Archdiocese of Pisa. Since 2005 he has also occupied the prestigious position of honorary advisor responsible for overseeing the maintenance of historical organs in the provinces of Pisa and Livorno.