Fusco: On Solid Ground
The tradition of improvising on repeated bass lines extends back to the Renaissance and continues today in Jazz and Blues music.
On Solid Ground (2013) is a set of original ground bass lines which provide the harmonic foundation for variations and improvisations rooted in traditions of the past but with a contemporary flair.
I began work on this suite by recording improvisations and transcribing them for different combinations of instruments: first lute duo, then two clavichords, piano solo, and finally the present version for solo organ.
The first movement A Link to the Past fuses early music gestures with contemporary harmonies and modal mixtures and draws inspiration from the 1992 Nintendo video game The Legend of Zelda.
The second movement Daydream lures the listener into a trance with sweet harmonies and hypnotic figurations.
To conclude the suite Simone Vebber returns to the chord progression of the first movement as a starting point his own improvisations which display a wonderful array of tone colors, organ registrations, articulations and gestures. R.F.
Geminiani: Vortex speculorum
The piece freely rewrites a short musical fragment extracted from the IV Sonata by Benedetto Marcello which returns several times during the composition in always different elaborations and variations through passages and transitions that, passing from tonal to tonal, from consonance to dissonance, they move away and get closer to the musical text proposed in a swirling reference of mirrors, as the title of the composition itself suggests. P.G.
The two pieces belong to two separate collection (1st and 2nd series). All the six Invenzioni composing them were thought for the Italian ancient organ (only manual) with the consequent restrictions at the expense of harmony and instrumental technique (the others four Invenzioni you can find into another cd by Da Vinci Classics: Marco Nodari Vertigo). The first piece presented in this cd is built on the Aeolian and Dorian mode with a overall polyphonic texture, it has a strict and sometimes stony character. The second piece is very different: it’s built on Ionian mode, it has a more homophonic texture, with a ABA structure underlined by organ’s registers, and it is moved, brilliant, playful. M.N.
Commentaria in vitam S. Claræ Virginis
The four Commentaria in vitam S. Claræ Virginis (for early organ) have been written and performed on the occasion of the solemnity of St. Clare of Assisi (August 11th). These pieces were imagined as a commentary to readings excerpted from the Legend of St. Clare (Legenda S. Claræ Virginis). The premiere took place in Cortona, in the church of the Monastery of the Poor Clares on August 11th, 2003; Lorenzo Cherubini, aka Jovanotti, participated as a reader. The score has been published by the Casa Musicale Edizioni Carrara of Bergamo in 2015 (in the series «organistica. Rivista bimestrale di Musica per organo di Autori classici e contemporanei», xxv, 2, March/April 2015). The organ found in the monastery church is a Positive instrument built in 1832 by Giuseppe Paoli (1786-1855) with the collaboration of his son Serafino (1809-?). Its manual has 45 notes (C1-C5) with a first short octave, and a pedalboard with short octave (8 pedals, C1-B1). All pieces are built on the Kyrie of the XI Gregorian Mass, In Dominicis infra annum (Orbis factor). F.T.
Antonio Galanti: Messa per organo antico
As concerns the heritage of early organ building, Italy is the richest nation. Almost all of the historical instruments are found in the churches, where they were built for the liturgy preceding the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council. The Messa per organo antico was not conceived in order to demonstrate the capability of the “old” organs to play the role required by the new Conciliar needs: this was unnecessary – just as, for example, it is unnecessary to demonstrate a similar capability for the “very old” Romanic churches. During the worship, the organist should ordinarily improvise, with correspondence to the time and rite. The performance of written music, indeed, should correspond to the moments of greatest officialness and solemnity.
The Messa per organo, therefore, aims at becoming a modest contribution to the liturgical repertoire for early instruments, and could be employed on particular occasions, replacing singing or improvisation. The four movements, naturally, can also be employed as Preludes or Postludes to the songs, and for concert performance.
The Mass is composed of the four principal parts which can today be possibly played by the organ alone: “Ingresso”, “Offertorio”, “Comunione” and “Finale”.
The pieces are conceived for a basic instrument, with a manual of 45 keys (C1-C5), with a short first octave and a pedalboard with eight pedals (C1-B1), with short octave and constantly united to the manual. The performance is positively possible on instrument with mesotonic tuning. A.G.
La Licata: L’orologio nero di Cézanne
Even so time exists not by itself,
but from actual things comes a feeling,
what was brought to a close in time past,
then what is present now,
and further what is going to be hereafter.
And it must be avowed that no man feels time by itself
apart from the motion or quiet rest of things.
(Lucretius, On the Nature of Things, I, 459)
A still life, a series of objects on the border of the fireplace mantelpiece, carefully disposed with a rhythm of horizontal and vertical lines. In the background, an imposing clock in black marble, without hands.
Time stopped. The vase is empty, everything seems inert, forgotten. Nature morte à la pendule noire by Cézanne is therefore a concept on time, or rather, on the illusion of time. From this powerful and slightly surreal image was born a short, contracted aural idea, almost a distorted frame in the shape of an hourglass. The same ghost shrinks at first, than dilates itself. The luminosity of the organ’s colors emphasizes the menacing atmosphere and the effect of absence of time. F.L.L.
Composed in the first months of 2021, this piece was born from the intention of employing the structural features of the Italian organ with a short octave – in particular of the Damiano Damiani organ in the church of St. Christopher in Pomarolo – turning the instrument’s limits into opportunities. This is particularly evident in the first of its three movements, Toccata per l’ottava corta: the musical figurations of the left hand arise from hand gestures which are comfortable and spontaneous on the short octave, but which can be reproduced also on instruments with a complete octave – both as “real sounds” and as pure hand actions independent of the aural result. In this way, the material’s proliferation is determined by the instrument’s technical features.
The second movement, (Refeain), is a series of variations on a theme created by Federico, the composer’s son, in 2010; a diatonic theme on the “white keys”, without the F (which would also be tonally uncertain) is inserted within a non-tonal context, frequently emphasizing the tritone relationship – missing in the theme – and the hexatonic sonorities (both explicit and implicit).
The third movement (Scherzo) employs, among its varied technical solutions, the possibility of obtaining immediate dynamic juxtapositions through the use of the so-called “free combination”, a tool allowing to insert, mechanically, with a foot, all the stops that have been previously selected. The Scherzo has a symmetrical structure and realizes, at the same time, the cyclical concept of the entire work, through the reprise of motivic-thematic elements from the first and second movements.
MARCO CORTINOVIS: Born in Bergamo, 1983, he had studied organ with Andrea Macinanti and he has graduated in Organ and Organ Composition at the Conservatory “G. Frescobaldi” of Ferrara (Italy). He won the First Prize at the organ class of Frédéric Désenclos in the Conservatory of Orléans (France). He participated in interpretation masterclasses with Marie-Claire Alain, Eric Lebrun, Joris Verdin. As soloist, he performed concerts in several organ festivals all around Europe. Programs are often dedicated to Italian organ music of the XXth century and to contemporary organ music. 2018 and 2019 he had performed the 10 Organ Symphonies of Charles-Marie Widor in several concerts in Croatia, France, Italy and Swisse in a project shared with the organist Simone Vebber. In 2011 he founded in Paris the ensemble Voix Cèlestes, to discover and to spread French Sacred Music of the XIXth and XXth centuries, performing concerts around Paris and in French Sacred Music Festivals. In 2011 Abbaye de Royaumont (France) commissioned to him the composition of an organ work for a choreography of Erica Di Crescenzo, Etude pour la Sainteté, performed in various theaters in France and in Italy. From 2014 he takes part with the trumpet player Alessandro Stella in the project Playing so Munch, where musical and visual arts interact and develop together the themes that the Norwegian painter, with original pieces and improvisation. In 2014 he founded with the pianist Matteo Corio the ensemble Affinità Divergenti, performing the original organ and piano repertory in several Italian festivals. He has played in several productions with the Cappella Musicale of the the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilique of Bergamo (I) under the direction of F.M. Bressan and with the Choir of the Donizetti Foundation (I) under the direction of Corrado Rovaris. He has recorded some of these projects for the Italian labels Bottega Discantica and Classica dal Vivo. From 2009 he’s organist in the Cathedral of Bergamo (Italy) and organ teacher in Accademia Santa Cecilia in the same city.
Simone Vebber, was born in Trento, 1983. He has studied Ancient Organ with L. Ghielmi and in the Accademia Internazionale di Musica in Milan.
He graduated in Organ, Piano (cum laude) at the Conservatory “F. A. Bonporti” of Trento (Italy), and he received the “Diplome de Concert” at the Schola Cantorum of Paris, studying with J. P. Imbert and he had the First Prize with P. Pincemaille at the class “Organ Improvisation” at the CNR of Saint-Maur (Paris).
He participated in the Interpretation Masterclasses with L.Lohmann, J. C. Zehnder, Bine Bryndorf, Brett Leighton, and P. D. Peretti.
He won 1st Prize in Alessandria - Italy, in Pistoia – Italy, 1st Grand Prize and Public Prize at the “J. S. Bach Organ Competition” in Saint Pierre lès Nemour – France in 2005, 1st Prize at the “J.J.Fux” international organ competition in Graz 2010 (A), and the “J.S. Bach Prize” at the St. Albans Competition 2011.
He has recorded for Suonare Records, Radio Vaticana, Diapason Edition, Mascioni, ORF and Discantica.
He played concert in many Organ Festival (Wien,Tokyo, Riga, Paris, Milan, Rome, Warsaw, Rio de Janerio, etc.)
He played as soloist with important orchestras like the Mozart Orchestra condacted by Claudio Abbado.
Born in 1969, Marco Nodari started his studies of Composition at the Conservatory of music of Brescia with the professors G. Facchinetti, E. Brusa and P. Ugoletti, and graduated in Milan with the Professor A. Corghi. He also studied piano with the professors U. B. Michelangeli, R. Pinelli and R. Bettini, and graduated from the Conservatory of Mantova. Being interested also in non-musical subjects, in 1999 he graduated in Architecture at the Polytechnic of Milan. In 2009 he specialised with honours in Composition at the Conservatory of Brescia. He attended specialised courses (“Livorno Music Festival”/M°P. Maxwell Davies, Fondazione “ A. Toscanini” of Parma, Civic School of music of Milan/M°A. Guarnieri, “ Seminario di tecnica e riflessione compositiva”/M°A. Giacometti, Music for movies/Accademia Chigiana/M°E. Morricone) and he was awarded prize in many national and international competitions (1st prize at the “First Young composers selection” organized by Radio France in collaboration with Suvini Zerboni Editors, 1st prize at the International competition “ Val Tidone”, 1st prize at the National competition A.Gi.Mus, 1st prize at the National competition “ R. Toscano” of Pescara, Finalist at the International competition City of Nizza, 2nd e 3rd prize at the National competition City of Pavia, recognized at “ Bacchelli” of Livorno, 3rd prize at “ F. Margola” of Brescia etc.). His music has been performed by eminent musicians (including M. Zoni, L. Prandina, G. Tampalini, S. Vebber, M. Marzi, G. Baldocci, F. Lama, N. Bogdanov, M. Scilironi, S. Pisciali, G. Artunghi, A. Pianelli, G. Pirollo, M. Grisanti, S. Marrini, Dedalo Ensemble etc.) and has been played in important classical events and seasons (Concerts season/ Metropolitan Theatre/Tokyo,“ Altre mete”-OFT Torino, “ Armonia e incanto”- Orchestra Haydn di Trento e B., Festival pianistico internazionale “ A. B. Michelangeli”, Stagione della Societa Filarmonica di Trento, Saison musical de Radio France, “ Sulle ali del novecento”, “ Alfeo Gigli”, Stagione A.Gi.mus, “ Sardegna Isolafestival”, “ Scintille di musica”, “ Bresciachitarra”, “ Musica in Abbazia”, Stagione di Concerti Cortina d’Ampezzo, 20° Ciclo de Organo J. De Sesma etc.) in many places both in Italy and abroad (including Tokyo, Parigi, Berlino, Roma, Firenze, Bologna, Basilea, Kiel, Mainz, Nizza, Perugia, Todi, Pescara, Gorizia, Bologna etc. as well as in the Italian Institutes of Culture of Brussels, Stuttgart, Grenoble, Cologne, Wolfsburg, Hamburg, Beirut, Tripoli). He has published works with editors such as Suvini Zerboni, Fone, Rugginenti, Ludo, Berben, Armelin, Eufonia and Concertoclassics/Musicmedia. In 2006 the 43° International Piano Festival “ A. B. Michelangeli” has commissioned him a piece for ensemble dedicated to the Victims of Piazza della Loggia of Brescia. In 2013 he recorded a Cd completely dedicated to his piano music compositions in collaboration with Eufonia Editions (“ Appunti di viaggio”/N. Bogdanov, M. Nodari, piano) and in the same year the piece for guitar named “ Tiliguerta” it’s been included in “ Strong Emotions on classics Contemporary music”, a Cd by the “ Concerto/Musicmedia” Editions (G. Tampalini, guitar). In 2014 the Conservatory of city of Potenza has commissioned him a piece performed in a live recording at the RAI studios of Rome. In 2015 a monographic Cd dedicated to his chamber music its been made for the “ Concerto/Musicmedia” Editions of Milan. He has taught Harmony and Analysis at the “ G. Martucci” Conservatory of music of Salerno, “ G. da Venosa” of Potenza, “ N. Piccinni” Conservatory in the city of Bari. Currently he is teaching Theory of Harmony and Analysis at “A. Buzzolla” Conservatory of Adria and he is director of the editorial series “Analisi&riflessioni” (www.aldebaraneditions.com); he also has been for seven years the artistic director of the classical music season “ Sundays in music” in Brescia.
Simone Vebber was born in Trento, 1983. He has studied Ancient Organ with L. Ghielmi and in the Accademia Internazionale di Musica in Milan.
He graduated in Organ, Piano (cum laude) at the Conservatory “F. A. Bonporti” of Trento (Italy), and he received the “Diplome de Concert” at the Schola Cantorum of Paris, studying with J. P. Imbert and he had the First Prize with P. Pincemaille at the class “Organ Improvisation” at the CNR of Saint-Maur (Paris). He participated in the Interpretation Masterclasses with L. Lohmann, J. C. Zehnder, Bine Bryndorf, Brett Leighton, and P. D. Peretti.
He won 1st Prize in Alessandria – Italy, in Pistoia – Italy, 1st Grand Prize and Public Prize at the “J. S. Bach Organ Competition” in Saint Pierre lès Nemour – France in 2005, 1st Prize at the “J.J.Fux” international organ competition in Graz 2010 (A), and the “J.S. Bach Prize” at the St. Albans Competition 2011.
He has recorded for “Suonare Records”, “Radio Vaticana”, Diapason Edition, Mascioni, ORF and Discantica.
He played concerts in many Organ Festival (Wien, Riga, Paris, Milan, Rome, Warsaw, Rio de Janeiro, etc.) I
played as a soloist with important orchestras like the Mozart Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado. He is Organ Professor in Bergamo Conservatory “G.Donizetti” and Improvisation Professor in Milano Academy of Old Music “C.Abbado”.