This Sunday the 26th of August sees the end of the 5th annual Organ Festival, organized by the “Amici dell’Organo della Pace.” In the five years the festival has become one of the most important musical events of the Versilia area. The final concert – this Sunday -will be preceded by a lecture on Italian-German relations by the diplomat Reinald Steck, which will take place at 5pm in the Museum of Sant’Anna.
Luca Scandali, organist caps the festival with a performance this Sunday, the 26th of August, 2012 at 6pm.
We link to the artist’s website here. And we link to a page on his site with additional live recordings of music by Telemann, Frescobaldi, Bach, Scarlatti, Mozart and others.
We’ve posted before on the festival in Sant’Anna – it commemorates the raid and massacre in the little town of Sant’Anna during the last days of WW II at the hands of the Nazi SS – with the help from local fascists. The wikipedia article on the massacre describes the events and the aftermath…
On the morning of August 12, 1944, the 2nd Battalion of SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 35 of 16th SS Panzergrenadier Division Reichsführer-SS, commanded by SS-Hauptsturmführer Anton Galler, entered Sant’Anna and rounded up hundreds of local villagers and refugees, locking them up in several barns and stables. The civilians (mostly women, children and older men, as the able-bodied men of the village fled into the woods) were then killed in groups with machine guns in the open air and with hand grenades in basements; the soldiers then set fire to the corpses. The victims included some 110 children (the youngest one, Anna Pardini, was only 20 days old). Also killed were eight pregnant women. The livestock were also killed and the whole village burned. All this took three hours.
The facts of who took part – and to which extent – are still disputed. The historian Paolo Paoletti, author of “Sant’Anna di Stazzema: 1944, la strage impunita” has announced the imminent publication of a second book that will detail the evidence – linking the local fascists and some of the Partigiani – to the massacre. We link to an article – in Italian – from Il Tirreno on Mr Paoletti’s announcement.
In popular culture, the massacre was the subject of a film by Spike Lee, “Miracle in Sant’Anna” which also generated a fair amount of controversy, with the survivors and the local historians, when it was released.
The yearly organ festival also celebrates the restoration of the organ, which was destroyed during the raid, with top-notch performances by world-class organists. We link to the Sant’Anna “portal page” here.
We post above a video of a performance of Scarlatti sonatas by Mr. Scandali, and we end with our usual exhortation: “PLAY LOUD.”