September and October were (are) two very special months for me: I had the opportunity to perform in various concerts as basso continuo player (Ambronay Festival, Warsaw Opera, Valencia Hall of Arts, etc.), as a conductor (Haydn's Paukenmesse, Bach cantatas, etc.) and as a soloist on the organ.
Among the latter concerts, three were within the ECHO. In particular, in Fribourg (Manderscheidt organ in the Chapelle de l'Hôpital des Bourgeois) and in Treviso (on the splendid Callido in Sant'Ambrogio in Fiera), I had the opportunity to perform a particular programme conceived and inspired by the figure of W. Byrd, a composer for whom this year marks the 400th anniversary of his death. Byrd then becomes 'Bird' in the programme, meaning bird and inspiring various composers who have dedicated their own compositions to birds, as well as composers who have references to the world of birds in their very names.
Quite different, however, was the programme presented on the 13th of October in Toulouse, on the monumental 1864 Poirier/Lieberknecht organ housed in the Basilica Notre Dame de la Daurade. I played pieces by Bach and their connection with pieces by 19th-century composers of the German school (Mendelssohn, Brahms, Schumann, Reger).
The church was packed with an attentive and enthusiastic audience. Toulouse in particular is a very lively, vibrant, eventful and very 'young' city, where music (and in particular organ music) still plays an important role in society.
The organisation of these concerts was excellent, and I am grateful to the artistic directors for having been included in such prestigious schedules. I look forward to 2024 to continue with my journey through the ECHO organs (I will be guest in Leuven twice, in February and July).
A warm greeting to all readers, with the wish to meet and see you at future concerts!
Alberto Gaspardo, October 25th.
(ECHO Young Organist of the Year 2023)