St Cecilia's Day Gala Concert: Palestrina Missa Cantantibus organis
Saturday 18 November 2017 at 7.30pm
National Centre for Early Music
Tickets: £15, £12 (concessions), £5 (students on the door)
This year our popular annual celebration of the patron saint of music focusses on the music of Giovanni Pieruluigi da Palestrina, as we recreate a mass in honour of St Cecilia at the Church of St Cecilia in Trastevere. Its not surprising that Roman musicians embraced the cult of St Cecilia, as she lived and died in Rome, but Cardinal Carlo Emilio Sfondrati enhanced the prestige of St Cecilia by hiring Papal singers to perform in his church in Trasteveree on Cecilia’s Day. And imagine the excitement in 1599 when her uncorrupted body was discovered under the church! Perhaps it was for such a celebration that Palestrina collaborated with his contemporaries on a mass in honour of St Cecilia. All the contributors to the Missa Cantantibus organis were members of the Compagnia dei Musici di Roma, the first Italian musical society which was, of course, under the protection of St Cecilia.