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Roma 1635 – 1716

Roma 1635 – 1716

Valletta Baroque Festival 2024


John Aquilina 

at the 1790 Santucci Organ in the Church of Our Lady of Victory, Valletta


Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643)

From “Fiori Musicali”, Op. 12 (1635)

Toccata avanti la Messa della Domenica

Kyrie della Domenica (5 versets)

Canzon dopo l’Epistola

Toccata cromatica per l'Elevatione 

Canzon post il Comune


Domenico Zipoli (1688-1726)

From “Sonate d'Intavolatura per Organo e Cimbalo”, Op.1 (1716)

Quattro versi in Fa

Canzona in Fa

All'Elevazione in Do

Pastorale in Do

Canzona in Sol minore

Programme Notes

This organ recital brings to life the music of Italian Baroque masters, Girolamo Frescobaldi and Domenico Zipoli, played on a beautifully preserved 1790 Santucci Organ.

Frescobaldi's pieces from "Fiori Musicali," Op. 12, (1635) introduce us to the dawn of the Italian Baroque style. This profound collection served as a precursor to J.S. Bach's "Orgelbüchlein" and “The Art of Fugue” and showcases Frescobaldi's skill in a range of forms, including the Toccata, Kyrie, Canzon, and Bergamasca.

The collection is one of his most famous and influential collections of keyboard music. It is a set of liturgical organ music, providing a range of pieces suitable for different parts of the Catholic Mass including versets to be sung in alternatim with the Gregorian Chant of the Kyrie. The collection is notable for its role in the development of the keyboard toccata, the freedom it allows for interpretation, and for its influence on later composers. It remains a cornerstone of the organ repertoire, a source of inspiration and a model for keyboard composition in the Baroque period and beyond. 

Eighty-one years later, Domenico Zipoli transports us to the maturity of the Baroque period with his “Sonate d'Intavolatura per Organo e Cimbalo,” Op. 1, (1716). His work showcases his lyrical skill, profound meditations, filigree counterpoint, and dramatic flair in pieces like the "All’Elevazione in Do" and "Canzona in Sol minore."

Frescobaldi and Zipoli illustrate the development and maturation of Italian Baroque organ music. Girolamo Frescobaldi was a widely admired and influential figure during his time, attracting substantial audiences. He served as the organist at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Zipoli's career took an unusual turn when in 1716 he decided to become a Jesuit and moved to the Jesuit Reductions in Paraguay, which were missions in remote areas.  His music for the Catholic liturgy was widely used there and has survived to this day. Sadly, Zipoli died in 1726, before he could be ordained as a priest.

Let’s journey through time and the evolution of Baroque music itself. Close your eyes and let the music transport you back to the opulent courts and solemn churches of Baroque Rome.

21 January 2024
Our Lady of Victory Church, Valletta
€20 - €30
Audience Level
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Valletta Baroque Festival 2024

Roma 1635 – 1716

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