Organist Cosimo Prontera (courtesy of the Italian Cultural Institute)
This year mark’s the 50th anniversary of a Sister City relationship between San Francisco and the city in Italy where St. Francis was born, Assisi. It also happens to be the 800th anniversary of that saint’s visit to the Holy Land. Both of these anniversaries will be honored with a recital that will be given by Italian organist Cosimo Prontera.
Only one of the composers on Prontera’s program will be Italian, Giovanni Morandi, who is best known as an early mentor of Gioachino Rossini. As might be expected, most of Prontera’s program will be devoted to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The selection will include the BWV 543 prelude and fugue in A minor, the BWV 645 chorale prelude on “Wachet auf, ruft uns die stimme” (wake, awake for night is passing), and the transcription of Antonio Vivaldi’s RV 522 concerto for two violins from his Opus 3 L’estro armonico (the harmonic inspiration) collection.
The program will begin with Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck’s “The Grand Duke’s Ball.” The Bach selections will be followed by the sixth (in D minor) of the six organ sonatas by Felix Mendelssohn collected in his Opus 65. This will be followed by a selection from Sigfrid Karg-Elert’s collection of 66 chorale improvisations, number 59, which interprets “Nun danket alle Gott” (now thank we all our God) as a “Marche triomphale.”
This recital will take place at the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi, which is located in North Beach at 610 Vallejo Street. The concert will be held with the support of both the Consulate General of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco. It will begin at 6 p.m on Tuesday, October 29. There will be no charge for admission, but it is reasonable to assume that donations will be accepted.