This site uses cookies. You can read how we use them in our Privacy Policy.

Domenica 13 FEBBRAIO 2022 ore 18,30
Concerto in onore di S. Barbara
The refound organ

The roll call of Chapel Masters includes the Flemish de Wert, Benedetto Pallavicino, Gian Giacomo Gastoldi, Amante Franzoni, but even more impressive is the list of composers who worked for the Palatine Chapel in Mantova: Contino, Gabrieli, di Lasso, de Monte, da Victoria, Asola, Baccusi, Massaini, Agazzari, Rovigo and, of course, Palestrina, with his nine Mantovan Masses.
The organ, built in 1565 to the instructions of one of the most famous organists of the time, Girolamo Cavazzoni, had an extremely rare feature: 14 keys in all the octaves obtained by "splitting" two keys (d#/eb - g#/ab). This enables the usual meantone temperament of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to be exceeded, providing precious notes for perfect harmony in all tonalities; but above all it enabled the transposition of all vocal music one tone above or below for the ease of the choristers, without losing the good tuning.
Over four centuries of use have left their mark on the instrument although it is substantially intact: the pipes and spring-chest have miraculously survived to this day. It was therefore possible to restore the organ to its original condition, recovering the 16-foot order, the pitch (a good approximation), the temperament and the “split” keys.
The restoration work was carried out by the Giorgio Carli organ workshop and was exhibited, still in its early stages, at Palazzo Te in 1997.
Following the rediscovery of an organ thought to have been lost, work also began on the renovation of the Basilica itself. Light is the most important element in the church architecture, entering through two skylights, reflecting off the white walls and enhancing the overall effect of the interior structure and ribbing. The architectural harmony is used to great acoustic effect: the entire church “sings”, from the lower apse for Gregorian chants to the magnificent choir above the main entrance, the building is polyphonic; whether it is organ music, singing or chanting, the acoustics of the church give an excellent quality of sound.
A large-scale project now aims to return the site to its original musical splendour.


tastiera Antegnati
mv creation
credits | legals
Stemma Gonzaga
Basilica Palatina di Santa Barbara - Mantova
Piazza Santa Barbara, 4 - I - 46100 - Mantova - ITALY - -