Selected Compositions

For a full list, please see his biography.

The Rosary in Music: A Colossal Work

The Master throughout his life had a dream: to compose a colossal work dedicated to the Virgin Mary. For years he considered such an ambitious plan impossible to realize. He spent the last five years of his life working on this Work incessantly day and night. A month before dying he wrote "The Last Chant" and achieved his goal. The Master linked this tribute to his heavenly mother to the desire to offer a concert to the Pope. This thought was constantly present in him, but he did not realize this dream in life.

The Rosary in Music is a truly huge Work, for choir, soloists, organ and, besides interspersed parts, choral-symphonic instrumental structures, according to the tradition:

  • 5 Joyful Mysteries (the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, the Finding of Jesus in the Temple);
  • 5 Sorrowful Mysteries (the Agony in the Garden, the Scourging at the Pillar, Crowning with Thorns, and Carrying of the Cross, Crucifixion and Death of our Lord);
  • 5 Glorious Mysteries (the Resurrection, The Ascension, the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Assumption of Mary, and the Coronation of the Virgin). 

The orchestral-choral-vocal cycle is inspired by the Christian word, which is guided, for research and participation, by the knowledge of the prayer of the "Rosary", which for centuries has indicated the opportunity of translating the life of every human being into eternal value.

A piece of instrumental music for solo organ precedes each mystery as an introduction to the literary texts that follow. Thereafter, for each mystery, the songs of the prayer of the AVE MARIA are repeated in Latin ten times in line with the tradition of the prayer, however each time in ever-changing combinations and musical procedures in relation to the different moments in which the "prayer" is located within its mystery, for the participation of praying. At the most intense points for human and theological meanings, there are citations of literary references that are particularly fit for an intense and intimate spiritual consent to the text that is sung or recited. This avoids inexpressive repetitions which may divert mind and heart from the Transcendent Truth that is the subject of the prayer itself.

The Master explains that he conceived this music in a way to be played in two manners of execution. The first is for choir and organ to make the execution possible and trouble-free in venues that, although prearranged for religious happenings (such as churches, parish halls, or other institutions for evangelization, catechesis, conferences, etc.) and for an audience that is already inclined to meditation on these topics, are generally not equipped to support the inevitably cumbersome organizational and economic burden of a symphonic-choral complex. The second type is execution is thought to occur in other environments (symphonic concert halls, theaters, television, and so on) aimed at a diverse audience, where the incentive given by the variety of sounds of a symphony orchestra becomes necessary for a proper understanding of the Work. As a result, each cycle of "Mysteries" ends with a symphonic orchestra piece which represents the ideal and technical-musical culmination of what solos and the organ have previously done. Thus, the symphonic orchestra execution on the text of St Francesco’s Canticle of the Creatures follows soon after the execution of the five mysteries of the Nativity. The execution of the orchestral score on the text of the Lauda "The Lament of the Madonna" by Jacopone da Todi follows immediately after the execution of the group of five mysteries of the "Passion and Death". The execution of the orchestral score of the "Eucharistic Symphony” with the final text of the "Pange lingua" in the form of polyphonic canon variation follows the five mysteries of the "Resurrection" for solo Choir and Organ. Finally, the execution of the orchestral score of "Ecumenical Symphony", which is elaborated on Catholic-Protestant sources including literary and musical texts of Luther's writings in relation to musical meditation on the prayer "Our Father", concludes the whole Work.

The general introduction to the Work includes music for soprano and organ with verses taken from the XXXIII Canto of "Paradise" by Dante Alighieri's "Virgin mother daughter of thy son". This makes the audience incline to listening to the music then following in the "Mysteries" of this "Rosary," which is a Work that is set to music without any biased limitation that may be posed by music or the science of music of all ancient and modern times.

The Ecumenical Symphony

The "Ecumenical Symphony" is set for chorus and organ and is constructed around the Latin literary text and music of the Introit of the Mass of the first Advent and of the Antiphony ad Laude of the Ascension Domini, as well as the German text and music of the Chorale "Our Father" by Luther.

The symphony is called Ecumenical because it expresses elements of a musical language which are borrowed from ancient and modern sources and which surge to a new expressive synthesis. Here, the distinctions and individual features and techniques merge into a whole musical concept. By using the Latin and German texts, it symbolically illustrates the going beyond time and the temporal, historical, ideological, and practical aspects of human life for the purpose of the transcendent reality and unity of the revelation of the "Our Father" by Jesus Christ. This symphony suggests an image where contrasts and idiosyncrasies of life are overcome into the unity of the Being and Love, and where art, based on the same principle, finds its vital significance.

The first movement, on the text of the Gregorian Advent, is in the classic form of "first movement of sonata" and the organ and the choir are of equal importance in the execution of the music. The matching and merging of the two musical worlds, among the Gregorian and the Lutheran choral themes, are performed through traditional and non-traditional harmonic procedures, such as non-tonal, modal, polytonal, twelve-tone serial ones, and so on. The musical language aims at achieving a synthesis in which the technical data, ancient and modern, are amalgamated into a new unitary and indissoluble expression.

The second movement (Adagio), entirely performed by solo organ, starts with the Antiphony of the Ascension, and culminates in a melodic-recitative meditation of the variations on the chorale of the Our Father. The musical themes are on twelve-tone series and are intended to express the contemplation of Christ's dialogue with the Trinitarian mystery.

The third movement (Vivace) is also performed by solo organ without choir. It expresses a word of contrast: the human disaccord that in the Gospel and in life is indicated as a barrier to unity and Love. It is an extraneous voice that causes a painful but redemptive reaction of prayer expressed by the fourth movement: "Father forgive."

This fourth movement (Final) is in the form of an organ Fugue. The theme is a twelve-tone series, although absorbed in the context of a tonal-polytonal harmonic framework, while the chorus intervenes from time to time by interposing with the German text of the Our Father, in a mono-rhythmic harmonic form.

The  Eucharistic Symphony

Since its first movement (Fugue for organ), the " Eucharistic Symphony" articulates musical themes that adopt various techniques to emphasize the drama of human life, which tries to overcome them, although threatened and oppressed by distressing and painful events, by affirming the faith and hope in a transcendent reality and freedom where to find the fullness and richness of life and peace to which every human being is called in his existential aspiration.

The ideal route is marked musically in a gradual process, starting from the exaggerated and dark (even atonal) chromatism which expresses the torment of the first two dramatic movements, then resolved in lyrical simplicity and clarity in the third movement. It leads to a triumphant and bright fourth movement, which sees the choral meditation and joyful mystery of a renewed humanity in peace through participating in the matchless gift of Christ at the Last Supper. Hence the definition of " Eucharist Symphony ". This symphony ends with a finale on the medieval text of the "Pange Lingua" in 45 variations.

The Three Sonatas for Organ

The First Sonata, based on technical procedures devised by the author based on the "Canonical Tables", under the absolute rationality of such a mechanism shows the maximum unity of expression and the formal architectural structure of a powerful, imaginative, and poetic lyricism. After the chorale, variations follow, such as canon on the eighth, canon on the seventh, canon on the second, canon on the sixth, canon on the fourth, canon on the fifth, canon on the third, a prelude to the fugue, and finally a fugue.

The Second Sonata, also using modal as well as tonal procedures, combines different elements together, at times blending an undoubtedly romantic mood with the mathematical rationality of the genesis of its themes.

The Third Sonata uses techniques that differ from those of the second Sonata and again affirms the freedom in which the author moves, who in this case adopts the twelve-tone serial technique with bold critical rethinking, solving the alleged hypothetical atonality of such a system in a tonal pan-chromatism that goes well beyond the current usual limits of the concept and practice of tonality and of the twelve-tone systems.

The fugue for Organ on the Name of B-A-C-H

The Fugue for organ on the name of Bach, based on the scheme B-A-C-H, has been described as “an interesting contrapuntal study in a modern idiom … austere in style, idiomatic to the instrument and full of colorful chromatic harmony. Moreover, there is great contrapuntal skill in the part writing and treatment of the theme, which is inverted, used in closed stretto and combined with a chromatic counter-subject which is also inverted”1.

1 Phillips G., ed. Anthology of Organ Music, Volume Five, Hinrichsen, Page 3.

Some Works for Orchestra

-Canticle of the Creatures: piccolo, flutes, oboes, clarinets in C, bassoons, horns in F, trumpets in C, trombones, choir I and II of sopranos, altos, tenors, basses, timpani and triangle, soprano soloist, Violins I and II, violas, cellos, double basses, solo strings (violin I and II, viola, cello and double bass).

-The Lament of the Madonna: piccolo, flutes, oboes, clarinets in Bb, bassoons, horns in F, trumpets in C, trombones, timpani, violins I and II, violas, cellos, double basses, tenors I and II , basses I and II, tenor, soprano and baritone soloists.

-“Metamorphosis”: piccolo, flutes, oboes, clarinets in Bb, bassoons, horns, trumpets, timpani, violins I and II, violas, cellos, double bass.

-Adagio and Scherzo for Small Orchestra (Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann).