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Francesco Pagani


davidh
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I have just come across Francesco Pagani's "Polka per dopo la Messa" (Polka for the end of Mass) at

http://icking-music-archive.org/ByComposer/Pagani.php

The attached comment reads:

 

We do not know much about Francesco Pagani. He was very likely active in Milan

in the second half of 19th C. He appears in the publisher Martinenghi’s catalogue

from late 1850’s till 1884. He composed 24 organ masses and other small pieces,

but no profane or variety pieces.

 

According to the publisher’s plate number this Polka was published at the beginning

of his activity i.e. between 1856 and 1859.

 

His masses generally end with a polka or a march (marziale) as was usual at this

time, despite the Cecilian reformers’ attempts to keep liturgical music away from

secular tunes.

 

This seems to be wonderfully bad music, and, according to modern tastes, entirely unsuitable for an organ mass, but it could be great fun. Has anyone heard any of his other music, and does anyone know if any of it or anything similar is still in print or obtainable otherwise?

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This seems to be wonderfully bad music, and, according to modern tastes, entirely unsuitable for an organ mass, but it could be great fun. Has anyone heard any of his other music, and does anyone know if any of it or anything similar is still in print or obtainable otherwise?

Well, have a look at the organ works of Padre Davide da Bergamo, Vincenzo Petrali and Antonio Diana, for instance.

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How stupendously tasteless! I know that in nineteenth-century France, until Franmck improved things, tastes in church music were dire and that Boëly was sacked because his organ playing was too religious and not entertaining enough. Did Italy share these tastes then?

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How stupendously tasteless! I know that in nineteenth-century France, until Franmck improved things, tastes in church music were dire and that Boëly was sacked because his organ playing was too religious and not entertaining enough. Did Italy share these tastes then?

Actually I think this taste came from Italy to France!

Opera was the musical language in 19th century Italy, even for the musica sacra. Incredible - but true...

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
Actually I think this taste came from Italy to France!

Opera was the musical language in 19th century Italy, even for the musica sacra. Incredible - but true...

 

I played in Bergamo on a wonderful Serassi church organ not so long ago.

The organ was seen in the 19th cent as a great orchestra; it perfectly interpreted the new musical sensibility for opera, the Italian glory: great operas aroused enthusiasm, shaped the popular taste and spread all over the world. The organ got rich in timbres which emphasized in a magnificent way the melody, the bel canto, harmonic, compositive style and the "orchestration". Its music followed contemporary great musicians, Rossini, Donizetti (from Bergamo), Bellini, Verdi; on the other hand, which different or better music could it have followed? Italy had a parallel in England with the Town Hall machines for bringing all genres of music to a large and appreciative audience. The organ in Italia was an efficacious carrier of patriotic, Renaissance feelings, wonderfully expressed in the music drama; organists interpreted them with an endless imagination, helped and stimulated by the involving timbres of organs. The harmonic language was popular, of immediate communication, in reaction to the eighteenth century academism and classicism: the matter was the feeling. A different respect to the past was the way with which builders and organists wanted to portray art, and the way with which audiences/congregations received their message. It was designed expressly for playing transcriptions of operatic music. The stop list from the 19th century allowed this completely - Drums included as well as a chamade Flute above the player's head that was amazing. The fixed combination pedals also completed the ease in which this music could be performed but produced nighmares for any other literature. Much head scratching in that department. Fun for improvisation though.

Nigel with all best wishes.

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Actually I think this taste came from Italy to France!

Opera was the musical language in 19th century Italy, even for the musica sacra. Incredible - but true...

...and what wonderul music has come from this - Verdi's Requiem, Rossini's Stabat Mater and Petit Messe Solenelle(excuse spelling!?!), the Italian opera-inspired saced music of Berlioz and Gounod...

 

A thought for the musicologists/historians to ponder...how does the Prix de Rome figure in this?

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
A thought for the musicologists/historians to ponder...how does the Prix de Rome figure in this?

As I fit neither of these categories, may I still proffer a view?

Like most French inspired competitions it was often heavily weighted by political or personal considerations. When Ravel was not given the prize - he tried numerous times I believe, the Conservatoire was in disarray because of the factions and back-biting. Jealousy runs heavily in French veins. However a few organists won - such as Dupre's successor - Jean-Jacques Grunenwald and Rolande Falcinelli. Xavier Darasse - the wonderful man who sadly died all too young, won it as well I think he said to me. I think the whole thing was abandoned soon after. Anyway, I always thought it was for Artists and Architects since Baroque times. Music featured sometime early in the 19th century after there were no more kings to finance the prize.

Nadia Boulanger's amazing sister (Lili?) got it I think. Along with J Alain (who didn't) - France lost two very young genius musicians at an early age.

Like most things in France in the past for competitions, anything so partisan amongst supporters was the kiss of death. Better to try but never get.

When I lived/studied n Rome, I daily walked past the Villa Medici (where the recipient was supposed to reside for the year or so) and pondered the Prix de Rome.

Nigel

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