Giacomo Puccini is best known for his many operas, including Madama Butterfly, La boheme, Tosca and Turandot. Classical IPR’s Featured New Release shows a previously unknown musical side of Puccini: his work as an organist. The album is called Giacomo Puccini: Organ Works.
Puccini came from a line of organists that extended back many generations. Puccini’s first teacher was his father Michele. Following his father’s untimely death when Puccini was just six years old, he then studied with an uncle. He served as the organist of the church of San Girolamo in the Italian city of Lucca for almost a decade, from 1873 to 1882.
The manuscripts of Puccini’s compositions for the organ date from approximately 1878, when Puccini was 20 years old. The pieces include a mixture of short sonatas, marches, and versettos. This album features the world premiere recordings of many of these pieces. Also included are other composers’ fantasies on themes from Puccini’s operas that are performed on the organ.
Dutch organist Liuwe Tamminga performs on three different organs from the city of Lucca in this album. Detailed information about each organ appears in the album’s liner notes.