Discovering St. Cecilia

st. cecilia by Giuseppe Puglia 1630I’ve been getting to know St. Cecilia. We have this great painting of her at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. It is by Giuseppe Puglia and was painted in 1630.  St. Cecilia is the patron saint of music and in this painting she has turned from her violin to talk to the cherub beside her holding some sheet music. happy birthday ben love cecilia

Then on November 22 we went to hear the Winnipeg Singers in a concert called Happy Birthday Ben! Love Cecilia.  It featured four pieces of music written in honor of St. Cecilia by composer Benjamin Britten. Turns out Benjamin and the patron saint of music were both born on November 22 although Cecilia was born in the second century and Benjamin Britten in 1913. 

winnipeg singers ben and ceciliaLots of other composers besides Benjamin Britten have written music celebrating St. Cecilia and the Winnipeg Singers performed some of their pieces too including works by Purcell, Gounod and Victor Mio as well as a special Hymn to St. Cecilia composed by Michael McKay just for the Winnipeg Singers concert. 

The Ectasy of St. Cecilia by Raphael

St. Cecilia Altar Piece by Raphael

A verse in the Hymn to St. Cecilia composed by Benjamin Britten with words by W. H. Auden celebrates the role the venerated woman plays in musicians’ lives. 

Blessed Cecilia, appear in visions 
To all musicians, appear and inspire: 
Translated Daughter, come down and startle 
Composing mortals with immortal fire.

Other posts about art and music………

Landscapes for the End of Time

The Forty Part Motet

Other posts about the Winnipeg Singers

A Handel Meat Pie

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Categories: Culture, Winnipeg Art Gallery | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Discovering St. Cecilia

  1. Thanks for the wonderful presentation of your concert experience with us.
    R. Lambert, Winnipeg Singers.

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