Giuseppe Giordani (1751-1798)
Offertorios for Voice and Organ
Giuseppe Giordani was a central figure on the scene of Italian Classicism: he was a fellow student of Domenico Cimarosa's, had his operas performed in the most important European theatres, and was mentioned by Goethe in his Italienische Reise. He was active alternatively as an opera composer and choirmaster, and combined the two vocal styles into a felicitous blend. His writing often joins melodic singing with acrobatic virtuosity, putting a great strain on the singer by constantly alternating between legato and coloratura passages. Giordani's pieces were performed quite often – this is confirmed by the worn-out condition of his scores – and were later used also for liturgical purposes that were different from the original ones. The ten Offertori presented here are a selection of the 83 Offertori composed by Giordani for different vocal registers. They are exquisite for their creative freshness, formal precision and brilliant virtuosity: these are constant characteristics of Giordani's style. The organ part is not a mere accompaniment, but is transformed into an instrumental unit that holds a dialogue with the voice, on an equal footing of virtuosity. The colours, register timbres and classical beauty of Giordani's style reconcile the sacred with the profane, in an aura of serene, intense spirituality.