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Organ music in early 19th-century Italy was dominated, as in many other places, by operatic idioms. The period in question also sees a parallel development in the traditional Italian organ with the addition of ‘Concert’ stops to the traditional ripieno, creating the so-called ‘organo instrumentato’. The 1792 Callido organ on this recording, replete with tromboncini and even a Pedal 16ftstop, seems just right for Morandi’s music, although issues regarding compass and especially the dividing point in the manual apparently create problems when performing his music. On the face of it Morandi is an interesting character, credited with launching Rossini’s operatic career. The duets preserved here belong to the archive of the Santa Cristina nunnery in Senigallia and are recorded on this CD for the first time. Cassin and Iannella have a fine feeling for the music and play excellently. Nevertheless, the vapid bombast of Morandi’s militaristic writing is an acquired taste and a little of this CD goes a very long way.

CHRIS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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