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Claudio Merulo: Opera Omnia Per Organo, Vol. 2

Stefano Molardi
Release Date: 07/01/2006 
Label:  Divox   Catalog #: 70311/12   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 26 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

We are pleased to present volume 2 of the world premiere recording of the complete organ works of Merulo. These works represent the complete range of musical development of compositions for keyboard instruments in the 16th century. Since their quality had no equal at that time, Merulo's opus is of immense importance for the history of music. Tapping the full potential of the then usual forms of expression and structure, Merulo a contemporary of Gabrieli and his colleague as 'maestro di cappella' at the Marcus Cathedral in Venice was an important pathfinder in a highly creative era. And he opened up a new one: the Baroque period. The use of two instruments with a very different underlying sound concept made it possible to offer a larger Read more variety of timbres and thus to give the listeners a richer palette of tone colors to illustrate the organs of the Italian Renaissance. On CD 1, Stefano Molardi plays on an organ built in 1533 (Merulo's year of birth), located at the church of S.S. Corpo di Cristo in Valvasone (province of Pordenone, Friaul), that is not only in good condition but also under a monuments protection order issued by the Ministry of Culture and the patronage of the Italian president. It is one of the three oldest and best-preserved instruments still extant in Europe. This organ had met the Venetian taste in music and aesthetics of the Renaissance offering bright and shimmering as well as deep and warm timbres. The organ of CD 2 was built in 1588 by the famous organ builder Costanzo Antegnati. It was expanded probably in the mid 18th century by an unidentified craftsman and restored by Marco Fratti between 1994 and 1996 - an instrument of ethereal and crystalline beauty, of sweet and gentle timbres.


Track Listings
Disc: 1
1. Toccate d'intavolatura d organo, Book 2: Toccata nona
2. Ricercari d'intavolatura d'organo, Book 1: Ricercar dell'undecimo tuno
3. Canzoni d'intavolatura d'organo fatte alla francese, Book 3: Onques amour
4. Canzoni d'intavolatura d'organo fatte alla francese, Book 1: La Rolanda
5. Canzoni d'intavolatura d'organo fatte alla francese, Book 2: La Ironica
6. Toccate d'intavolatura d organo, Book 2: Toccata quinta
7. Toccate d'intavolatura d'organo, Book 1: Toccata quarta
8. Canzoni d'intavolatura d'organo fatte alla francese, Book 2: La Jolette
9. Canzoni d'intavolatura d'organo fatte alla francese, Book 1: La Zambeccara
10. Toccata del terzo tuono
11. Canzoni d'intavolatura d'organo fatte alla francese, Book 1: La Benvenuta
12. Ricercari d'intavolatura d'organo, Book 1: Ricercar dell duodecimo tuono
13. Toccate d'intavolatura d organo, Book 2: Toccata decima
14. Toccate d'intavolatura d organo, Book 2: Toccata sesta
15. Canzoni d'intavolatura d'organo fatte alla francese, Book 1: L'Alberagata
16. Ricercari d'intavolatura d'organo, Book 1: Ricercar del primo tuono
17. Toccate d'intavolatura d'organo, Book 1: Toccata seconda
18. Canzoni d'intavolatura d'organo fatte alla francese, Book 2: La Rosa

Disc: 2
1. Toccate d'intavolatura d organo, Book 2 (excerpts)
2. Toccata seconda
3. Toccata ottava
4. Canzoni d'intavolatura d'organo fatte alla francese, Book 1: La Bovia
5. Ricercari d'intavolatura d'organo, Book 1: Ricercar del quarto tuono
6. Toccate d'intavolatura d'organo, Book 1: Toccata sesta
7. Canzoni d'intavolatura d'organo fatte alla francese, Book 2: Petite Camusette
8. Canzoni d'intavolatura d'organo fatte alla francese, Book 3: Susanne un jour
9. Toccate d'intavolatura d'organo, Book 1: Toccata settima


Review:
This two-CD set continues Molardi's survey of the organ music of Claudio Merulo (1533-1604) who worked variously in Brescia, Venice and Parma. Molardi offers a programme of toccatas, ricerars and canzonas; the order of the pieces has been planned to provide maximum variety in style, key and registration. He plays two fine instruments of the period: the Colombi organ in Valvassone (1532-3, restored 1999) and the Antegnati organ in San Nicola, Almenno (1588, restored 1994-6). Both builders documented contemporary registrational practices, and Molardi incorporates this information into his carefully-researched performances. As so often, music which can look a little unpromising on the page comes vividly to life on the correct instruments; an essential factor is again the meantone temperament. Molardi aptly describes the Antegnati organ as an instrument of etheral and crystalline beauty, of sweet and gentle timbre.
John Kitchen --Early Music Today

Review:
Born in Correggio in Italy's Emilia region, Claudio Merulo (1533 - 1604) worked in a number of of italian cities, including Brescia and Venice. It was in Venice that Merulo held one of his most significant posts, a 1577 appointment at San Marco as assistant organist to Annibale Padovano. In addition to playing and composing, Merulo was also interested in organ building and is credited with making additions to the organ at San Marco. Merulo's works encompass the entire range of keyboard music that flourished in the 16th century, notably toccate, ricercari, and canzoni. This recording (the second volume in a series of Merulo's complete organ works) performed by the organist Stefano Molardi, features music played on two 16th-century Italian organs. These are colorful instruments, and Molardi is a fluid, thoughtful player who gets the most out of them. Merulo's toccate are big affairs with lots of imitative writing, and Molardi plays with grand nobility. This is especially true of the 1604 'Toccata nona', which sings splendidly on the 1533 Vincenzo Colombi organ, one of the last surviving instruments of the Venetian organ-building school of the Renaissance. For contrast, we have the deliciously sweetoned 1588 Antegnati organ (the flute stops are like honey), which is ideal for some of the delightful canzoni heard on the second disc, such as the gentle 'La Jolette'. This is as perfect as a disc of this repertoire as you will find. The liner notes are detailed and well written, the sound quality is lifelike, and Molardi's playing is impeccable.
Craig Zeichner --Early Music America Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Toccata for organ No. 9 in tone 9 (Toccate d'intavolatura d'organo, Book 2) by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1604 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 7 Minutes 33 Secs. 
2.
Ricercar dell'undecimo tuono, for organ by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 7 Minutes 39 Secs. 
3.
Onques amour, chanson setting for keyboard by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 4 Minutes 28 Secs. 
4.
La Rolanda, chanson setting for keyboard by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
5.
La Ironica, chanson setting for keyboard by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
6.
Toccata for organ No. 5 in tone 7 (Toccate d'intavolatura d'organo, Book 2) by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 6 Minutes 7 Secs. 
7.
Toccata for organ No. 4 in tone 2 (Toccate d'intavolatura d'organo, Book 1) by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
8.
La Jolette, chanson setting for keyboard by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 4 Minutes 6 Secs. 
9.
La Zambeccara by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 4 Minutes 9 Secs. 
10.
Toccata del Terzo Tuono, for keyboard (from Il Transilvano) by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 4 Minutes 6 Secs. 
11.
La Benvenuta, chanson setting for keyboard by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
12.
Ricercar del duodecimo tuono, for organ by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 8 Minutes 38 Secs. 
13.
Toccata for organ No. 10 in tone 10 (Toccate d'intavolatura d'organo, Book 2) by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1604 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 8 Minutes 39 Secs. 
14.
Toccata for organ No. 6 in tone 7 (Toccate d'intavolatura d'organo, Book 2) by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1604 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 6 Minutes 17 Secs. 
15.
L'Albergata, chanson setting for keyboard by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 3 Minutes 56 Secs. 
16.
Ricercar del primo tuono, for organ by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 10 Minutes 4 Secs. 
17.
Toccata for organ No. 2 in tone 1 (Toccate d'intavolatura d'organo, Book 1) by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 7 Minutes 42 Secs. 
18.
La Rosa, chanson setting for keyboard by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
19.
Toccata for organ, No 2 on the second tone by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 7 Minutes 27 Secs. 
20.
Toccata for organ No. 8 in tone 8 (Toccate d'intavolatura d'organo, Book 2) by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1604 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 6 Minutes 33 Secs. 
21.
La Bovia, chanson setting for keyboard by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
22.
Ricercar del quarto tuono, for organ by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 6 Minutes 15 Secs. 
23.
Toccata for organ No. 6 in tone 3 (Toccate d'intavolatura d'organo, Book 1) by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 5 Minutes 20 Secs. 
24.
Petit Camusette, chanson setting for keyboard by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 4 Minutes 28 Secs. 
25.
Susanne Un Jour, for harpsichord by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 6 Minutes 9 Secs. 
26.
Toccata for organ No. 7 in tone 3 (Toccate d'intavolatura d'organo, Book 1) by Claudio Merulo
Performer:  Stefano Molardi (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Chiesa SS. di Cristo, Valvasone (PN) Ita 
Length: 6 Minutes 34 Secs. 

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