Given his immense fame and popularity during his lifetime, it seems astonishing that Padre Davide da Bergamo, Italian organist and priest, seems to have been so quickly forgotten. One of the greatest organists of the Risorgimento, Da Bergamo was a pioneer of organ music, and his output was immense: he is thought to have composed over 2,000 organ works and more than 500 sacred choral pieces. His compositions came at a time of great change, just when organ music was beginning to detach from the Church and explore a more secular side. This recording features a selection of his works, all of which demonstrate Da Bergamo’s predilection for the colourful timbre and lyricism of the organ. The organ was going through a time of immense change, leading the composer to explore new genres for the instrument, such as the sinfonia, which had previously only been heard in a complex orchestral form. This release includes first recordings of Da Bergamo’s six sonatas and sinfonias, which were published as part of his ’12 Sonatas’ manuscript of 1845–6.
Marco Ruggeri has specially chosen two organs constructed during Da Bergamo’s lifetime to perform these pieces, allowing the listener to enjoy the music just as it would have sounded in the composer’s day. A renowned musician and scholar, Ruggeri has dedicated himself to Italian organ music and period organ restoration. Whilst his performance remains deeply rooted in research, Ruggeri is an expert at bringing Da Bergamo’s works to life, allowing the vivacity and breathtaking virtuosity of his music to come through. This recording is a rare treat for organ music lovers, documenting as it does an important stage in the organ’s development that took place during a fascinating period of history.
Padre Davide da Bergamo was one of Italy’s most famous and prolific organists and organ composers (besides being a monk). His lifespan, 1791-1863, encompassed the Romantic Era, in which organ music detached itself from purely liturgical use. He introduced the symphonic form in his organ works, especially in his “Sinfonias”, which are substantial structures in classical/romantic style and form. This CD features the first recording of his “6 Sonatas & Sinfonias”.
Organist Marco Ruggeri chose two organs from Da Bergamo’s time, magnificent instruments which do full justice to the colours and virtuosity of Da Bergamo’s works.
Booklet contains liner notes, biography and information on the instruments.
Notes on the composer and works
Biography of the performer
Extensive notes on the organs used in the performance
Images of the organs