Tuesday, 27 November 2007

A Visit to Saint Cecilia

Although I was absent for the feast of St Cecila last week, I am delighted to publish these pictures, taken earlier in the year at her shrine in Rome. Visiting the eternal city with Matthew Martin, the Assistant Master of Music, I took him into Trastevere, to the shrine of the patron saint of music.

Matthew tried the organ in the basilica, which he played with usual dexterity - although, sadly, the instrument was not in great condition.

The basilica of Saint Cecilia is of considerable interest, as it is built over the bath-house of a roman dwelling (which many be visited in the crypt) where, by tradition, the saint met her end. Her body was placed in a tomb in the catacombs which was opened a few hundred years ago. Sketches were made of the saint's incorrupt body, and from these the beautiful sculpture which adorns her shrine. Londoners will know it well from the good copy at the London Oratory in Brompton.

1 comment:

John the organist said...

Been there and heard the nuns singing! Lovely sculpture. The festival of St Cecilia at the Abbey was memorable with wonderful Purcell, Gabriel Jackson and Elgar. We visited Sydney Nicholson's grave 60 years since he died.