Free Recital by French Musician in Florence’s Cathedral

Maurice Clerc

Florence’s Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore continues its 23rd annual celebration of sacred music with a free concert on May 7 at 9:15 pm, starring the Duomo’s powerful Mascioni organ and internationally renowned organist Maurice Clerc.

As the titular organist of Dijon’s Cathedral of St. Benigne for nearly 50 years, Maurice Clerc is one of today’s most celebrated representatives of the French organ tradition, having presented thousands of recitals around the world, including 28 tours in the United States and Canada. Though he has recorded several CD’s of Baroque repertoire, he is best known for his interpretation of Romantic and contemporary French music, as well as his unparalleled improvisational skills.

For his first ever performance in Florence, Clerc will present a brilliant recital highlighting some of the best French works for organ from the Baroque to the contemporary eras. Included in the program will be music by Baroque composer François Couperin and Romantic organist Louis Vierne, as well as a dance suite by contemporary French composer Francis Chapelet and Pierre Cochereau’s Scherzo, a piece originally improvised in Notre Dame de Paris and later transcribed from a recording by Clerc. The concert will also feature a small tribute to Italy, as Clerc will perform his own arrangement of Alessandro Marcello’s Adagio from his Oboe Concerto, a piece which became famous for its appearance in the soundtrack for the 1970 Italian drama The Anonymous Venetian.

The Duomo’s monumental organ was first constructed in 1961 and has since undergone several updates and restorations under the Mascioni company, a sixth-generation family business responsible for building and restoring many of the world’s most acclaimed organs. Today, the Mascioni Opus 805 is Italy’s fifth largest organ and the largest instrument ever built by Mascioni, with its four consoles, six sound bodies, and nearly 8000 canes located at different points in the Cathedral.

This concert is part of the Cathedral’s O Flos Colende program, running from March 14 to September 12. Tickets for this event are free to the public and can be reserved at or by calling 055 2302885. (Lea Bourgade)