VIAF 2012

Unique Concert on the 1681 Santucci Organ at St George’s Basilica

Antonio Galanti, a renowned organist from Florence, gave a unique recital of works by Tuscan composers on the 1681 Santucci Organ housed at Saint George’s Basilica, Victoria. This was a recital that exposed the full nuance, delicacy and refined tones of the historic organ apart from bringing to the public wonderful works that are rarely performed in Malta.

Galanti is an expert on historic organs. Suffice it to say that he is consultant for the region of Tuscany on such a rarefied discipline and he also oversees restoration works on such precious instruments all over Italy. Apart from being a formidable performer he is also a composer and has had his works recorded on the historic organ Willem Hermans at the Chiesa dello Santo Spirito, Pistoia. Yesterday’s recital consisted of works eclectically selected from a wide range of composers who were either born or were active in Tuscany during the Baroque period. The result was an exciting array of works that spanned from the early Baroque in the figure of Bernardo Pasquini, to the High Baroque in the works of Zipoli and Feroci, to the late Baroque/prae-Classical, manifested in the work of Anfossi. Galanti also performed Toccata Terza which he himself composed.

Throughout, Galanti showcased his technical and interpretative prowess. It was a recital characterised by precise articulation, attention to dynamics and understanding of the score. The environs of the Basilica were a perfect backdrop to the mellow sweetness emanating from the organ and, acoustically, it filled every nook and cranny of the gorgeous church. Such concerts are a rarity and the audience always feels privileged to witness such occurrences – and all for free!!