Festival of Sacred Music

08.11.2019 - 24.11.2019

9 festival di musica sacra nelle basiliche del celio is not to be missed!

The Festival of Sacred Music in the Basilicas of the Celio, now in its ninth edition, continues its intention to offer an opportunity to listen to the sacred, vocal and instrumental music production, mostly from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, performed with instruments historical in the sacred places for which this music had been composed.

The festival, under the artistic direction of Maestro Mario Bassani and under the patronage of Roma Capitale and the Municipality of Rome I Center, will include 7 concerts this year, all with free admission, and a solemn Mass that will take place in Roman churches and churches of great historical and artistic interest. In addition to some of the most beautiful basilicas and churches located near the Celio, hence the name of the initiative, (Basilica of San Clemente al Laterano, Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo al Celio, Basilica of the Santi Quattro Coronati, Basilica of Santo Stefano Rotondo, Church of San Gregorio al Celio), this year the festival also includes other important Roman churches such as the Church of Santa Maria dell’Anima and the Church of San Giorgio in Velabro.

The festival intends to continue the path, undertaken already in the last edition, around the theme of the relationship between word, emotions and music and the way in which this has been faced and developed through the times.

The opening is entrusted to the Schola Cantorum and String Ensemble of the Musical Chapel of the Basilica of San Clemente which in the concert of 8 November proposes a program that already contains some stages of this journey. The concert in fact opens with a piece by Monteverdi, a composer who discovers in the word the new fundamental element to be highlighted and, therefore, composes respecting the verbal meter and the syllabic scan, thus departing from a polyphony based exclusively on harmonic relationships; from here we pass to Charpentier, which traces the idea that Monteverdi had, increasing, however, the beauty of the melodic line. The subject of the affections that we will find even more developed in the song by Durante, a refined composer of the Neapolitan school, begins to take shape with these authors while in Benedetti’s passage which was the Chapel Master of the Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi, the mixture of music and affections is based only on a sort of hunting that generates a competition of imitation between the instruments and the voices. The concert concludes with pieces by Mozart with which instrumental music reaches an independent expressive level, similar to that of the word itself.

In the concert of November 9th, the Chordis Ensemble presents an instrumental program that can be understood as a journey through time, intercepting the various ways that distinguished musicians, over the centuries, have employed to bring music to the highest emotional levels. A sort of polyphonic tale of the variety of styles and voices that contribute to the ultimate goal: to create the harmony that is a gift from God.

The concert of 10 November is entrusted to the Diletto Barocco Orchestra, a specialized training in the research and performance of pieces from the period between the end of the 17th century and the middle of the 18th century, which here proposes a program of baroque instrumental music in which the instruments, now autonomous with respect to the voices, they are equally invested by a strong expressive charge that aims, in this case, to entertain and please the listener’s ear. However, it is music based more on counterpoint than on affect. German, French and Italian authors will be proposed and the differences will be appreciated.

On November 16th the vocal and instrumental ensemble Il Diletto proposes a program entirely dedicated to G. Fauré. We are in the 1800s and instrumental music has its own life, independent of the word. However, in the passages, long instrumental passages do nothing but anticipate the affections brought by the word in the vocal parts, so the melodic line is used to express what the word will declaim and make clear to the listeners.

For the concert on November 17th, the Roman Extravaganza Ensemble, composed by counter-tenor Mario Bassani, cellist Ulrike Pranter and harpsichordist Federico Del Sordo, proposes a program that revolves around the sacred cantatas of Giovanni Battista Brevi, composer who, through music vocal and instrumental, it creates a unicum to arrive at suggesting affects in a prepared and defined way, without leaving the public the possibility of misunderstanding. We are in the presence of “rational music”, where affections are expressed by the word thanks also to the support of music that actively participates in the communication process, not only by imitation of the voice itself.

November 22 is the turn of the young string ensemble Le Furie, led by the violinist Lorenzo Marquez, who proposes a concert in which it will be possible to observe the passage from the first forms of music closely linked to the vocal part, to the autonomous forms such as the concerto grosso or the solo concert for one or two instruments.
This year we are pleased to include in the Festival also the celebration of the Solemnity of San Clemente, which will be held on November 23rd at the homonymous historic Basilica. The liturgy will be animated by the singers of the Schola Trajectina of Utrecht and by the resident Schola cantorum.

The festival ends on November 24 with the Musica Reservata choir offering a concert in which the affections are entrusted exclusively to the voice, with particular forms that survive through the centuries from Despretz and Palestrina, passing through Poulenc up to the contemporary Gjeilo, composer Scandinavian that, with a style characterized by minimal melodic inventions and timbric research, reaches a strong expressive immediacy.

These are the dates and venues of the concerts, all with free admission:

Friday 8 November, 8.30 pm
Church of Santa Maria dell’Anima
Via di Santa Maria dell’Anima, 64, Rome
Concert for choir and orchestra
Schola Cantorum and String Ensemble of the Musical Chapel of the Basilica of San Clemente
Music by T. Merula, C. Monteverdi, A. Corelli, MA Charpentier, F. Benedetti, WA Mozart, F. During

Saturday 9 November, 8.30 pm
Chiesa di S. Gregorio al Celio
Piazza di San Gregorio al Celio, 1, Rome
Concert for violin-leg ensemble and flutes
Chordis Ensemble
Music by H. Isaac, J. Ciconia, F. Landini, V. Ruffo, G. Giamberti, Solage, T. Lupo, LA Dornel, JM Hotteterre, JS Bach, JM Nicolai

Sunday 10 November, 5.30 pm
Basilica of Saints John and Paul
Piazza dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, 13, Rome
Concert for baroque orchestra
Orchestra Diletto Barocco
Music by GP Telemann, EF by Abaco, JB de Boismortier, A. Corelli

Saturday 16 November, 8.30 pm
Basilica of San Clemente at the Lateran
Street of San Giovanni in Laterano, 45, Rome
Concert for choir and orchestra
Vocal and instrumental ensemble The Diletto
Music by G. Faurè

Sunday 17 November, 8.30 pm
Basilica of the Saints Quattro Coronati
Via dei Santi Quattro, 20, Rome
Concerto for organ and cello voice
Roman Extravaganza Ensemble / Mario Bassani, Ulrike Pranter, Federico Del Sordo
Music by GB Brevi, D. Gabrielli, A. Scarlatti, N. Corradini, A. Bonelli, P. Cornet

Friday 22 November, 8.30 pm
Church of San Giorgio in Velabro,
Via del Velabro, 19, Rome
Concerto for string orchestra
The Furies Ensemble
Music by B. Marini, GM Trabaci, A. Corelli, A.Vivaldi

Saturday 23 November, 6.30pm
Basilica of San Clemente at the Lateran
Street of San Giovanni in Laterano, 45, Rome
Solemn Mass for the Feast of St. Clement
Schola Cantorum of the Musical Chapel of the Basilica of San Clemente
in collaboration with Schola Trajectina (Utrecht, Holland)
Gregorian chant and music by L. Perosi, R. Giovannelli, GP da Palestrina, TL De Victoria, C. Gounod

Sunday 24 November, 17.30
Basilica of Santo Stefano Rotondo
Via di Santo Stefano Rotondo, 7, Rome
Sacred polyphony concert
Coro Musica Reservata
Music by J. Desperz, GP by Palestrina, TL De Victoria, D. Massenzio, O. Jaeggy, F. Poulenc, O. Gjeilo

Artistic director: Mario Bassani +39.339.4181555

Location: Various Basilicas and Churches in Rome
Date: November 8-24


Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy



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