Simone Baiocchi (1971), Valentino Miserachs Grau (1943), Domenico Bartolucci (1917-2013), Mauro Visconti (1973), Valentino Donella (1937), Michele Manganelli (1969), Charles Marie Widor (1844-1937)
Sacred Music in Saint Peter’s Basilica
What paths did the composition of sacred music take at the beginning of this millennium? What is its relationship with liturgy? What prospects does it have? On the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Domenico Bartolucci (1917-2013), historic conductor of the choir of the Sistine Chapel and prolific composer, the Second National Conference of Composers of Sacred Music, promoted by the Associazione Italiana Santa Cecilia, was held in Rome from 1 to 3 September 2017. The conclusive Mass that was celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica, in the Cappella del Coro, offered the chance to observe how today’s composers deal with the holy texts, ideally proceeding along the paths that since the first centuries of the Christian era, with time, branched out from the papal seat to the ends of the earth. Contrary to what happens at present in a widespread practice, the texts that are set to music in this celebration are not juxtaposed to the rite but spring from it, and the lexicon used by the composers – albeit with differences between the individual composers – aims to express the deep meaning of the celebration without misleading the listeners or shocking them with avant-garde languages and shifting their attention to matters that are foreign to the liturgical prayer.