Concert Review: A classical instrument interrupted by politics

The Ratisbonne Institute's organ, built in 1894, has at last been restored to its former glory by the Italian instrument builder Michel Formentelli after many years of languishing in total disrepair.

By URY EPPSTEIN
April 12, 2007 09:32
1 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Organ Inauguration Ratisbonne Institute April 9 The Ratisbonne Institute's organ, built in 1894, has at last been restored to its former glory by the Italian instrument builder Michel Formentelli after many years of languishing in total disrepair. The restored instrument was presented Monday in a concert by the Italian organist Sauro Argalia, who, accompanied by soprano Maria Cecilia Marinelli and violist Laura Pennesi, performed in the presence of dignitaries from Italy who had come for the occasion. The program featured works from the Italian and French Romantic repertoire of the 19th and early 20th centuries - pieces best suited for this instrument. In Formentelli's solo pieces, the organ swept the space powerfully with a rich, colorful sound, especially in Caesar Franck's "Grand Choeur." Yet it also retained a discreet balance with the rather small hall's acoustics. Delicate toned colors of flutes and voix celeste in the high and medium registers were highlighted in pieces by Bossi and Dubois. Pennesi's viola blended harmoniously with the organ in pieces by Guidi, Liviabella, Guilmant and Boelmann, proving that this organ can function well also in chamber music. The bright, radiant soprano of Marinelli was most enjoyable in Puccini's Requiem. Here she apparently felt free to relieve herself of the dramatic constraints she unnecessarily imposed on her voice in the more operatic "Ave Maria" and "Salve Regina" by Mascagni and Puccini. The organ works were preceded by choral pieces, performed by the Ratisbonne Choir and conducted by Aurelio Mule. The choir, mostly in unison, sounded well-trained, and identified with the sacred music and texts. The Olive Branches Choir from Bethlehem, also scheduled to take part in the performance, was prevented from crossing the Green Line, despite having applied for permission well ahead of time. The international audience reacted with civilly restrained disappointment. Now that Jerusalem has an organ right in its city center, we can look forward to its playing a significant part in the capital's musical life.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Sarah Silverman
August 26, 2014
Jewish women take home gold at 2014 Emmys

By JTA