Vincenzo Petrali (1830-1889)
Complete Organ Works
Vincenzo Antonio Petrali (Crema, 22 January 1830 – Bergamo, 24 November 1889) was indisputably the predominant figure in the world of Italian organists during the second half of the nineteenth century, and was also acknowledged as the greatest epigone of the felicitous history of the so-called risorgimentale organ, or nineteenth-century Italian organ, whose taste was embodied in the instruments of the Serassi organ makers and of the various schools that proceeded from them. It is safe to say that with Petrali the theatrical style, which was directly influenced by the invasive influence of the opera’s immense popularity, reached its climax. However, he was also one of the protagonists of the transition from that style to musical canons that referred to the models of the great polyphonic tradition (Palestrina and Bach, to mention the most frequently quoted), in keeping with the opinions of the upholders of the so-called Cecilian Reform.