MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

 58,771 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount


Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Overtures arranged for Organ four hands
Overture to Giovanna d’Arco [8:42]
Prelude to Act 1 of La Traviata [3:21]
Overture to I Vespri Siciliani [9:49]
“Va pensiero” from Nabucco [4:30]
Overture to La Forza del Destino [8:26]
Prelude to Macbeth [3:10]
Overture to Nabucco [7:49]
Triumphal March from Aida [4:44]
Silvio Celeghin and Federica Iannella (organ)
rec. Basilica di Santa Maria di Campagna, Piacenza, July 2013
TACTUS TC812204 [50:47]

Although it was reasonable to hope for some unusual and interesting recordings emerging for the Verdi anniversary year, this is by some way the most unexpected and enjoyable that I have come across. The arrangements used are based on standard piano duet versions but adapted by the players to make full use of all the resources available to them to imitate the effect of the orchestral originals. Those resources are indeed much greater than the listener more used to the English Cathedral organ might expect. As well as stops whose primary colours have a cheerful vulgarity closer to fairground organs this splendid organ dating from 1825 by the Serassi brothers has two drum (Timballi) stops. As a result the two players manage to produce some extraordinary sounds, often, but by no means always, getting much closer to the character of the original music than one might have thought possible on the organ. They take turns as to who plays which part, but such is their ensemble that the listener is never uncomfortably aware that two players are involved. Both play with great rhythmic panache and phrase with real affection for the music.
Not everything is perfect or works well on the organ, even on this extraordinary example of the instrument. Curiously the March from Aida is particularly ineffectual, the trumpet stop producing at best a pale imitation of the effect of the original instruments. “Va pensiero” is another casualty, with the organ unable to imitate the kind of vocal fervour with which any decent chorus can make an immense effect. The Overtures on the other hand all work extremely well, and I have returned to them with great pleasure. Perhaps this pleasure does not always derive from the effect that the composer might have intended, and at times it does indeed seem almost a guilty pleasure. At the most noisy moments I was even reminded of descriptions by Revd. Haweis in the popular Victorian book “Music and Morals” of the evil effect of street organs, but the sound always had a real fascination.
The disc comes with a booklet with helpful notes and the full specification of the organ, and is recorded clearly, at times perhaps too much so for comfort. Obviously no one is likely to buy this disc as an alternative to the original versions. It is a wonderful if slightly weird supplement to the originals and is likely to appeal to all Verdians or organ lovers with a sense of adventure.  

John Sheppard