Guido Donati (1949)
Donati plays Donati - Organ Works
This CD, entirely dedicated to the compositions of Guido Donati and interpreted by the composer himself, is truly unique. For Donati is not simply an organist (albeit a fine one) who composes on the side, cultivating a sort of private hobby in his own personal hortus conclusus. On the contrary, he is a D.O.C. composer who fearlessly takes on the grand genres and loves challenges. Donati possesses a solid training, a perfectly respectable palmarès, and a catalogue of compositions ranging from chamber to orchestral and theatrical works, among others. Of course, the organ is awarded pride of place, and it is in fact here that Donati skillfully succeeds in stepping ìoutside the boxî, taking even the most flexible listener by surprise. He adds his love for jazz (which he frequents with a passion) and his omnivorous enthusiasm for ìalternativeî cultures; to define his musical language as ìeclecticî is both misleading and even banal. Today it is fashionable to speak of ìcontaminationî or ìcrossoverî: the labels are unimportant. Other things are what really count: showing, for example, that at the origin of the pieces recorded here there is first and foremost a man who is di-verted by composing, in the etymological sense of the word. It comes from the Latin divertere, which means to turn oneís glance elsewhere, to alter oneís objective, to challenge oneself (and challenge the history of music with its traditional forms), consciously playing a game of cum-ponere or com-posing, of juxtaposing elements which are at times visibly heterogeneous, applying a calibrated sense of proportions and attaining almost invariably captivating effects. (Incidentally, the Italian word divertimento is a very musical term, as in Mozartís Divertimenti; the French word divertissement implies ìplayî, joie de vivre. The concept of to play which in Italian is expressed with two words (suonare in the musical sense, giocare in the literal one) is expressed in other languages by a single word: jouer, spielen.) Moreover, in the poetica of Donati and his music (ποιειν), there is a great deal of humor and subtle self-irony, albeit concealed behind a veil of serious aplomb and solid discipline in the areas of harmony, counterpoint and other aspects of musicianship.