The Fiori Musicali of Girolamo Frescobaldi, published in 1635, contains an anthology of organ compositions for liturgical use. With the Council of Trent, the presence of the organ within liturgy had become obligatory: in particular, the practice of the alternatim for the parts of the Ordinarium Missae (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus and Agnus Dei) – brief organ interventions (versets) alternating with the “Gregorian” chant – and the use of free pieces to replace some parts of the Proprium Missae (in the place of the Introito, after the Epistola, at the Offertorio, for the Communio).
The Fiori is published in a rather innovative vesture. As in other important antholo- gies of versets for the Ordinarium Missae, this collection finds room for a repertory conceived to accompany the three masses most employed in the era. However, Fre- scobaldi only gives the versets of the Kyrie. Along with these, we find toccate, canzoni, ricercari and capricci: musical genres that in that era were generally published in indivi- dual monothematic collections.
The Fiori represents an “exemplary” collection. The dedication to Pope Urban VIII appears to be much more than required homage: it is symptomatic of the support of the liturgical policy promoted by the Pope. The main aim of the Frescobaldi col- lection is in fact to supply a “high” model of style and form for the organ repertory used in liturgy. The success achieved was rapid and lasting: both in Italy and in France, it represents one of the most used didactic repertoires, still in use down to our times.
at the Marco Fratti Organ (2008) of the Holy-Trinity Basilica in Bern
Ensemble Stirps Jesse
“(…) Croci has Frescobaldi in his blood and the colours he creates from the 15-stop 1-manual organ are beautiful.” David Ponsford, Choir&Organ 2011 (5 stars Choir & Organ)
“Croci’s performance is all about clarification of complex detail. He plays a marvelous small modern organ in Bern, Switzerland, modeled on Italian Renaissance instruments.” James Manheim, Allmusic.com
“Trasparente e quasi arcangiolesca, questa interpretazione del varesino Croci (…). Il suo gusto straordinario, la sua percezione della misura (umana) e la capacità di lasciarsi affascinare e, di contro, trasmettere la fascinazione a coloro che tendono l’orecchio.” Davide Ielmini, Varese7Press 2011