What is expected of this Perosian year? “First of all, a wide and widespread re-proposal of performances of the music of this extraordinary Priest who was contemporary both to the underlying dynamics of Catholic worship and to the demands and horizons of the great music of European culture”. Thus Msgr. Vincenzo Di Gregorio, dean of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, presented the year dedicated to Lorenzo Perosi, one hundred and fifty years after his birth.
It was not “a personality locked up in ecclesiastical horizons”, the speaker pointed out – during today’s press conference in the Vatican press room – about the “perpetual” director of the Sistine Chapel from 1898 to 1956: “it is not the priest who knows of music, he is not the priest who has completed important musical studies and acquired professional skills in important music.
He is a musician, he is a composer, he is an artist ”, and as such he goes beyond all canons and stereotypes. “In that priest, all music and singing, generations of choirs from seminaries and institutes for clerical and religious life were found”, the expert noted: “At the same time the countless choirs of important cathedrals as well as small centers that solemnized the great liturgical feasts of the Catholic rite, from the Alps to the large and small islands, drew primarily on Perosi’s music.
The merit of these liturgical feasts celebrated with music was to present the repertoires of Sundays and solemnities which, unfortunately, studded the musical life of the people in unique terms. Because, apart from the existence of musical bands, nothing else created music for the people “. “In Lorenzo Perosi – concluded Di Gregorio – we will not find the seduction of the music of the theater of his years but in particular the performance of his oratories will allow us to be enveloped by the beauty of the music that is exhibited in his Oratories with a very specific program , as in the symphonic poem.
We will find, above all, starting from his chamber music production, a surprising ability to captivate and fascinate, as happens only in the great artists who, at the same time, are great in knowledge and skill and just as generous as a river that suddenly it flows full of freshness and spontaneity “.
“Sacred music is an instrument of beauty and harmony, as well as of the highest spiritual stature”, noted Msgr. Guido Pozzo, superintendent of the economy of the Sistine Chapel: “In this particular historical moment, marked by an armed conflict and the difficulties in finding solutions for peace and reconciliation, it is at least auspicious to find paths of peace and healthy harmony in our hearts” .
On December 21, announced prof. Daniele Maggiore, organizer and editor of the “Perosian Week” (14-21 December 2022), there will be a concert by the Sistine Chapel Choir “with very little music performed by Lorenzo Perosi, which will then be the subject of a CD that in these days the Sistine Chapel is recording ”. “The secular world is also moving in an important way to promote Perosi’s music and culture”, announced Maggiore, revealing that a special Committee has been set up with the participation, among others, of Giuseppe De Rita, Gianni Letta and the economist Baratta and referring, for all the other initiatives planned in the Perosian year, to the specific site .