Zipoli: complete keyboard music
Carlo Guandalino, organ, Laura Farabollini, harpsichord
Brilliant Classics. 95212. 2 CDs. 76’10 + 72’20
Domenico Zipoli is often seen as a rather insubstantial composer compared to his contemporaries, his surviving organ pieces being generally short and sometimes rather light pieces intended for use in the Catholic service. Although his harpsichord suites were not constrained by such circumstances, they are also attractive, rather than emotionally intense, works. This double CD, one each devoted to organ and harpsichord, present his complete keyboard works and might help to put Zipoli in a better light. They were published in two volumes of Zipoli’s 1716 Sonata d’intavolatura per organo e cimbalo while he was organist of the Jesuit church in Rome. Shortly afterwards, he moved to Seville en route to Paraguary but, after an eventful voyage, ended up in what is now Argentina. He was one of the best known of the Italian musicians engaged by the Jesuits as musical missionaries in South America.
The organ pieces on CD1 are played by Carlo Guandalino on the historic organ of Castelnuovo Scrivia. It is a substantial one, originating in 1612, with late 18th century revisions, giving it a rather wider range of colours than Zipoli might have experienced. Some of the most attractive pieces are those intended for the Elevation part of the Mass, gentle pieces played on the characteristic gently undulating combination of stops, Vox Umana and Principale. As well as the service pieces, the organ is also used for Zipoli’s transcription of Corelli’s Op 5/7 Sonata, only recently found. Laura Farabollini plays a copy of a 17th century French Taskin harpsichord, again slightly outside of Ziploi’s sound world. She plays with a great deal more rhythmic flexibility than Carlo Guandalino, her style working well for the harpsichord pieces, as does her articulation of notes.