SEON - Philips
2 LPs - 6775 020 - (p) 1976
2 LPs - RL 30449 - (p) 1981
2 CDs - SB2K 60708 - (c) 1998

OBERITALIEN - Authentic Renaissance and Baroque Organs


Andrea GABRIELI (1510-1586) Canzon francese, detta Petit Jacquet (1605) *
2' 15" A1
Girolamo FRESCOBALDI (1583-1643) Toccata quarta, da sonarsi alla Levatione (Libro II di Toccate, 1627) *
7' 28" A2

Ricercar quarto, sopra mi, re, fa, mi (1615) *
5' 14" A3
Bernardo PASQUINI (1637-1710) Pastorale *
4' 39" A4


Giovanni Maria TRABACI (c.1575-1647) Canto fermo II del secondo tono (1603) *
4' 19" A5
Girolamo FRESCOBALDI Canzona quinta (Libro II di Toccate, 1627)
1' 57" A6

Capriccio sopra la spagnoletta (1624)
6' 52" B1
Michelangelo ROSSI (1600c.-1656) Toccata No. 13 in D minor *
4' 04" B2


Bernardo PASQUINI Sonata in C Major I, 11
2' 15" B3
Domenico ZIPOLI (1688-1726) Verso (III) in G Minor *
0' 52" B4

Verso (III) in E Minor *
0' 48" B5

All'Elevazione in C Major
4' 47" B6

Canzona in D Minor
1' 54" B7
Bernardo PASQUINI Sonata in D Minor I, 10 *
2' 01" B8

Ricercare in G Minor VII, 139 *
3' 09" B9


Giovanni Battista MARTINI (1706-1784) Toccata in C Minor
1' 27" C1

Sonata No. 2 in G Minor: Allegro (Sonate per l'organo e il cembalo, 1747)
3' 28" C2
Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Fuga in D minor K. 41
4' 54" C3
Domenico ZIPOLI Verso (II) in E Minor *
1' 21" C4

All'Offertorio in C Major
2' 21" C5

All'Elevazione in F Major *
4' 40" C6
Johann Georg ALBRECHTSBERGER (1735-1809) Fugue in C Major
2' 51" C7


Bernardo STORACE (1650c-.1700) Toccata No. 19 in G Major
2' 29" C8

Recercar No. 22 in E Minor
5' 45" C9

Aria sopra la spagnoletta (edit. 1664)
5' 11" D1
Bernardo PASQUINI Capriccio No. 2 in G Minor
6' 27" D2


Giovanni Battista MARTINI Sonata all'Offertorio in A Major
3' 30" D3

Trio in G Major
2' 11" D4
Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837) Praeludium in A-flat Major
3' 52" D5
Anonymous Sonata con il violoncello
0' 48" D6

Sonata con il tromboncino **
0' 33" D7

Sonata con il cornetto **
0' 40" D8

Gustav Leonhardt, organs

Luogo e data di registrazione
- Settembre 1970 *
- Agosto e Settembre 1974 **

Registrazione: live / studio

Producer / Recording Supervisor
Wolf Erichson

Recording Engineer

Dieter Thomsen

Prima Edizione LP
Seon (Philips) | 6775 020 | 2 LPs - durata 53' 00" - 52' 53" | (p) 1976 | ANA
Seon (RCA Red Seal) | RL 30449 | 2 LPs - durata 53' 00" - 52' 53" | (p) 1981 | ANA

Edizione CD
Sony | SB2K 60708 | 2 CDs - durata 53' 00" - 52' 53" | (c) 1998 | ADD

Original Cover

Carpi, Modena (Italy), the organ of San Bernardino da Siena


The organs selected here represent some of the most important examples of Renaissance and Baroque organbuilding in Northern Italy. The Italian organ illustrates the close relationship between instruments and the human voice.
The Principal stops, in spite of perceptibly narrow scaling, have a very particular sweet, singing quality. (Costanzo Antegnati in "L'arte organica" calls them "delicatissimo").
The Italian Ripieno, based on the Principal stops, is characterised by the division of all the ranks (formed in individual stops) on the basis of the succeeding harmony notes of the octave and the fifth, with the resulting breakback into the lower octave when the pitch limit is reached, This is set at c''''' for every rank.
Apart from limitations of pitch, the Italian Ripieno is also limited by the omission of the first fifth of the natural harmonic series, the Twelfth (Quint 2 2/3').
The old masters quite explicitly called the Ripieno stops "Registri d'organo" as opposed to the others which were the "Registri da concerto." The Ripieno needs this independence and (in contrast to classical organs) will not tolerate combinations with other families of stops because it "produces a more lively, sparkling. agreeable sound" (Antegnati).
Unlike fifteenth and sixteenth-century organ-builders. who liked to complete the Ripieno “at the fifth." scaling all the mixture ranks on the basis of the octave (thus making them narrower than the Principal). the seventeenth-century Venetians completed theirs "at the octave" and followed a single scaling system for all the stops in the family (from Principal to Ripieno). This produced the delicate tonal transparency of Antegnati's models as distinct from the broad. rounded fullness of the Venetian sound.
Although in the sixteenth century reed stops werefrequently encountered in Italy, they were not used according to any firm rule. The path from Antegnati's translucence to Callido's rounded sound illustrates the historical and cultural differences: these are revealed in the brilliance of the mixtures, the tonal richness of the flutes and in the typical reed stops "Tromboncini" and "Violoncello" and in an undisguised pleasure in a bright. rich luminosity of sound.
The development of this tonal ideal does not, however, depart from the foundations of the authentic Upper Italian organ tradition; the characteristics of the classical Ripieno are preserved with absolute fidelily.
The preponderant use of only one manual and the small pedal-boards with a short octave only give the illusion of limiting the practical possibilities. In reality they are the result of precise stylistic selection. striving to achieve a perfect balance by deliberate limitation of means.

BRESCIA - St. Joseph's
The organ ol St. Joseph's Church in Brescia was constructed in 1581 by Graziadio Antegnati and his son Costanzo.
It presents a masterpiece of Italian Renaissance organ-building, an extraordinary work with a magnificent case, divided into seven panels. above which there are four further groups of pipes with a purely ornamental function, the so-called "dummy pipes."
The instrument is based on the Principal 16': according to old Italian practice this means that the keyboard goes down to contra C su that the organist must play in an 8' tessitura.
Apart from the Principal the original disposition includes seven mixture stops (from the 8' Octave to the 2/3' Thirty-third), the 16' Fiffaro (from f) and three flutes: an Octave (8'), a Twelfth [5 1/3'). and a Fifteenth (4'). The manual compass is 53 notes (contra C/a"), as was customary in large Italian organs of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The first octave is “short” (lacking C sharp, E flat, F sharp. and G sharp, and the linal g sharp" is also missing). The pedal compass probably corresponded originally to that of the bass Principal (15 notes: contra C/f sharp). The pitch is about a semitone higher than is normal today. The organ possesses a spring chest.
Rebuilding at the beginning of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries brought about the following changes: A mixture rank (XXXVI) was added. combined with the Thirty-third; the Octave and Fifteenth flutes were replaced by an 8' oboe and an 8' gamba: the Twelfth flute was rebuilt as a 4' flute; a small wind chest supplying the missing chromatic notes was added. on which there was also one extra pipe (contra C) for each stop in order to lower the tuning by a semitone. The keyboard was extended accordingly, from contra C to a", i.e. from 53 to 58 keys. With a special wind chest a contrabass and bass (16' + 8') pedal stop of 12 notes and a 12-note chromatic pedal (contra C/F sharp) were similarly added.
In 1955 the organ was restored by Maccarinelli of Brescia. The gamba and oboe stops were replaced by the original flutes on the pattern and scaling of the earlier examples. The final spurious mixture rank was removed, together with the added low pipes, thus raising the tuning up a semitone again. The contrabasses and basses in the pedal and the added chromatic notes were retained.

BRESCIA - St. Charles's
The very line seventeenth-century organ in St. Charle's Church in Brescia is atlributed to Antegnati - on account of both the tonal disposition and the execution of the pipe-work.
From the meagre evidence the organ would appear to have been built in 1636. In its elegant, elaborate case its visible layout in five panels mainly displays the "organetti morti" (dummy pipes). The wind chest is in spring form, as was usual in Lombardy.
The tonal picture, on an 8' basis. imitates the models of classical organ-building: the mixture family. the "Fiffaro" (or "Vox humana") and the two flutes - an Octave (4') and a Twelfth [2 2/3'). There are no reed-stops, an Antegnati characteristic, which is why Costanzo also makes no reference to them in "Arte organica."
The contrabasses with the Octave (16' + 8') were added to the pedal in the eighteenth or nineteenth century; in 1958 the instrument underwent a historical restoration by A. Maccarinelli of Brescia. During the repairs it became clear that from time immemorial the organ had been tuned in equal temperament, and this tuning has been retained.

CASELLE D'ALTIVOLE - St. Michael the Archangel
The organ in the Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Caselle d'Altivole (Treviso) was erected in 1758 by Don Antonio Barbini of Murano.
This instrument, conceived in the Venetian organ-building tradition of the eighteenth century, is based on the 12'; the biggest pipe on the manual is, in fact, contra F. As always, the separation between bass and treble is rather large: this kind of separation came about through the division of the manual into two almost equal halves.
In 1880 the brothers Giacobbi undertook the following alterations to the instrument: the manual, pedals, and bellows were renewed; a "Terza mano" mechanism (super-
octave coupler in the treble) was added; the Twelfth flute (2 2/3') was exchanged for a 4' "Viola" in the bass and an 8' "Voce flebile" (tremulant) in the treble: the “Cornetta" (1 3/5') was replaced by a 2' "Ottavino" and the Octave flute (4') was shifted by a semitone, unusually in the bore rather than at the tip; "Trombe soprani" instead of "Tromboncini soprani"; "Fagotto bassi" instead of "Violoncello bassi"; the "Trombe reali" in the pedal was renewed.
In 1965 the organ-builder Alfredo Piccinelli of Padua restored the instrument. The following parts were repaired to give the original tonal picture: the Twelfth flute and the "Cornetta," and the Octave flute was returned to its original disposition. The reeds. on the other hand, although altered at that time, were left in such a way as to retain worthwhile features of the classical Venetian organ-building tradition.

VENICE - Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
The Callido organ in the basilica "Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari" represents together with the reconstructed Piaggia organ, the only surviving example of facing organs in Venice.
Both instruments - in identical casings but of differing dimensions - are placed on the gallery over the choir stalls, which are situated in the middle of the church. The larger instrument, on the right. constructed in 1795/96 by Gaetano Callido, is based on the 8'. Despite various restorations carried out in the last century by Bazzani, it has been preserved for us intact and in excellent condition. Minor renovations are to bo found only on the keyboard, pedals, the "Tromboni" pedal stop and the bellows.
The structural characteristics reflect the embodiment of traditional Venetian organ-building; the organ has a slider chest, the break-backs in the mixture ranks are on classical lines. i.e. beginning with the actual note c'''' sharp: the Thirty-third (Quint 1/3') ends after the note c' and the Thirty-sixth (Octave 1/4') after the note f. The "Vox humana" has a downward-fluctuating tremolo; the flutes are all pointed and the Octave (4') actually starts - as usual - from the note c. Finally the "Tromboni" a powerful "row of bass trombones" and a typical feature of the Venetian school, are sel up in the main face of the organ.
The restoration work was carried out in 1969-70 by the firm of Zanin & Figlio of Camino al Tagliamento (Udine), who also restored the facing organ, constructed by Piaggia in 1732.

CARPI - St. Bernard's
The instrument in St. Bernards Church in Carpi (Modena) is a typical example of seventeenth-century Italian organ-building, It was constructed in 1669-70 by the brothers Furtoni of Soragna. who were probably the sons of the organ-builder Gerolamo Tortona of Parma.
The organ is based on the 8' and reveals the visible pipes divided into the classical five panels. In the course of the last century it suffered much interference; thus in 1846 Cesare Zoboli of Modena transformed the "Vox humana" into a "Flutto." It was not until 1970 that Tamburini of Crema restored the organ, when in particular the "tasti spezzati" (double keys) were also repaired [D/F sharp and E/G sharp).
The tonal disposition reflects the classical norms; the mixture family (with separate ranks), the "Vox humana" and the existence of a flute stop, in this case a Twelfth (Quint 2 2/3').
The pedal follows the typical Italian classical pattern with very short keys arranged on a slant (called "a leggio"] with a short lower octave. It is firmly joined to the manual but separated from the "tasti spezzati."

LUGO Dl ROMAGNA - Carmelite Church
One of the most important organs and the greatest instrument in this area by the celebrated Venetian organ-builder Callido was constructed in 1797 for the Carmelite Church in Lugo di Romagna. All Callido's typical stops are to be found there, based on the 12'.
In addition to the mixture stops, the aliquots of the flutes and the "Violetta," the characteristic reeds of the regal, housed in the front of the casing, are worthy of note: the "Tromboncini" with huge tin cups and the "Violoncello," a kind of ranket with boxwood cups and throat.
In the nineteenth century the instrument underwent minor alterations to the stop mechanism. The drawstops were replaced in the usual Venetian manner by knobs engraved "in the Lombard manner," and the "terza mano" (super-octave coupler in the treble) was added. Later the organ was "normalised" by removing the lower keys up to F1 and by replacing the short "a leggio" pedalboard with a straight chromatic scale of 27 notes (C1 - d').
In 1967-68 B. Formentelli of Pedemonte (Verona) carried through a complete restoration which gave the organ back its structural and tonal identity. The manual was made up to its original compass.
Elsa Bolzonello Zoja
(English translation by Robert Jordan)