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The Music of Carlo Giorgio Garofalo

“Signor Carlo Giorgio Garofalo, who has acquired eminence in Italy,
has been selected to bring music to a higher state of perfection …”

Boston Sunday Post, June 15, 1910

Carlo Giorgio Garofalo


Selected Critiques


Carlo Giorgio Garofalo was born on 5th August 1886 in Rome, where he studied composition, organ, and other disciplines with Stanislao Falchi, Cesare de Sanctis, Remigio Renzi, and Salvatore Saija, with the last of whom he shared a position as organist in the main synagogue in Rome for 22 years.  Immediately after his graduation from the conservatory, he spent two years in the United States as the music director of one of Boston’s cathedrals.

Like many of his Italian contemporaries, Garofalo directed his efforts mainly to composing sacred music for both choir and organ. His Masses were performed in the principal cathedrals of Rome, Milan, Bergamo, Monza and other Italian cities, but apart from that he left a considerable body of work composed in all secular musical genres.  The circumstances of his life, however, did not permit him to reach either a wide audience, or the attention of the critics, although he was highly respected by colleagues and other artists:

Artur Nikisch Pietro Mascagni
Beniamino Gigli Arturo Toscanini



Selected Critiques:  Romantic Symphony


Romantic Symphony Released on CD!
For more information, follow this link to the Naxos/Marco Polo web site:

Garofalo Romantic Symphony

Performance of the Romantic Symphony
(Moscow, 1994)

A Surprise after the Curtain Fell …
Review from Musical Life (Moscow, Russia)

“A really exceptional premiere took place (on June 6, 1994) at the Bolshoi Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.  The American composer and conductor, Joel Spiegelman, who has regularly appeared in Moscow over the last several years, introduced us to the Romantic Symphony of a completely forgotten composer, Carlo Giorgio Garofalo.  His case is truly unique.  The shadow of oblivion hung over him so tightly that even the name of this musician could not be found in any of the better known music dictionaries or encyclopedias.  Did he deserve it?  Occasionally things like this do happen, and many musical forgeries by the world’s amateurs have found a permanent haven in the archives.  I dare say that this is not the case with Garofalo.  His name fully deserves attention, and the music to be performed.”


The Romantic Symphony made its debut in Saint Louis, MO ...

The Gateway Arch, St. Louis, MO

Carlo Giorgio Garofalo (center)


Garofalo’s Symphony Great Music …
St. Louis Globe Democrat

“It must be freely acknowledged that the Romantic Symphony is big; it is great music.  It is rich in permanent forms, poetic and inspiring.  There are sentences in the Scherzo which would take place among the most effective movements of this class.  The Finale is of powerful appeal, grandiose, almost stately, with a cathedral-like inclusiveness.  The work’s philosophy is religious throughout.”

Big House Pleased with Repetition of Garofalo Symphony …
St. Louis Globe Democrat

“Is Garofalo’s symphony a great work?  The answer, unequivocally, is yes.  The next time the young, poetic, earnest, striving maestro gives us a symphony, he may do for symphonic writing what his illustrious compatriot Mascagni accomplished for the short opera, create a masterpiece.”

Great Applause Follows

“Last night, Mr. Zach and the orchestra accorded an ovation at the conclusion of the Garofalo.  After three recalls, the diligent conductor returned to the podium, and bade his men arise, in acknowledgement of the applause.  It was an inspiring moment.  The audience was large, and representative of the best music culture of the city.”

Orchestra Gives Garofalo a Trial …
St. Louis Times

“Friday was a lucky day for young Carlo G. Garofalo from Rome.  Still in his 20’s, the Italian organist and composer had his first symphony given most careful interpretation by Mr. Zach and the St. Louis Symphony.  Moreover, the select matinee subscribers seemed hugely to enjoy the grand manner in which the composer delivered his message.”

Premiere of New Symphony Made Notable Occasion …
St. Louis Post Dispatch

“There are some genuine big strokes in Carlo Giorgio Garofalo’s work.  They are encountered in his Romantic Symphony in the more aspiring symphonic utterances, such as the Largo, the splendid climax of the second movement, and the deep solemnity of the orchestral utterance, immediately preceding the fanfare of brasses with which the composition closes.  The chaste gaiety of the third movement is also peculiarly memorable.”

“Garofalo is not timid in his employment of orchestral resources.  The boldness of his use of the organ commands attention.  At one point, he brings in the celesta with exquisite results.  Even the bassoon chants quietly a sweet, though fleeting, strain at one point of the Andante, and his enlistment of the strings, the woodwinds, and the horns, more than once reveals genuine mastery.”

“The completed impression which his symphony leaves on our mind is that of loftiness of musical thought, not common to this generation.”

Zach Wins Ovation Playing New Work …
St. Louis Republic

The Conductor and Orchestra Entitled to the Applause Elicited by Beauties of Romantic Symphony

“Things happened quite out of the ordinary at the Odeon.  For one thing, Zach received a fully-fledged ovation after the Garofalo Romantic Symphony.  It was offered as a proof of respect for the masterful manner in which the director steered his course through the dangerous waters of an extraordinarily ambitious piece of music.”

“The Romantic Symphony is so full of a number of things that the untrained ear fails to catch half of it.  It may be called a three-ring circus of the musical world. The composer is a several-sided man.  He has been an organist, and he is a trained musician on other instruments, so his work supplies opportunity for outstanding work for sections of the entire orchestra.”

“The work is more sentimental than the symphonies from the German composers.  Much of it is in the romantic, rather than the classic style, which means that it is, essentially, Italian.”

“It is over-weighted with merit and music.  Mr. Zach brought it forth as a fine, integral thing, with a beautiful body and a soaring spirit.”

Symphony by Garofalo Pleases St. Louis Audience …
Musical America

“Garofalo’s Romantic Symphony is extremely melodious.  The score calls for organ, besides a large orchestra.  The first movement is broadly melodious.  The Andante was especially pleasing.  The work as a whole is very ambitious and well done.”

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For more information regarding Carlo Giorgio Garofalo
and his music, contact:

MMB Music, Inc.
3526 Washington Avenue
St. Louis, MO  63103-1019

Fax: 314-531-8384