Padre Davide da Bergamo (1791-1863)
Il repertorio da concerto
Padre Davide was undoubtedly the greatest and most celebrated Italian organist of the Risorgimento. He shared this place of honor only after mid-century with the rising star Vincenzo Petrali. But by then, the career of the Bergamascan monk was in decline, as was the musical world marked by opera of which he was the undisputed champion. Untied by time limits dictated by the liturgy, Padre Davide unleashes his compositional creativity in his non-liturgical works. In certain cases, they even exceed the not-insignificant size of sonatas and the genre of organ program music–the only such example in the 19th century. Two of these works are included in this unusual repertoire: the fantasies based on the Sanguinose giornate di marzo ossia la Rivoluzione di Milano and L’Incendio ideale con campane a martello. The first piece contains unmistakable historical references and is a musical description of the uprisings, battles and victory of the people during the “Cinque Giornate” in Milan in 1848. In the case of the second piece, however, it has not been possible up to this time to establish a precise connection to historical events. We know only that the composition, which calls for the obbligato use of the Campane stop, was certainly written after 1838.