Touringkitty’s Playlist: Three St. Cecilia pieces from three musical periods

November 22 is the Feast Day of St. Cecilia, Patroness of Musicians!

A couple of weeks ago, my daughter discovered more about this saint, along with other Catholic homeschooled children in an All Saints Party of our support group called, ROCKERS (Roman Catholics Keeping Education Real).

Little saints! Two St. Elizabeths of Hungary, St. Cecilia, and St. Gianna all garbed up for the ROCKERS All Saints Party held last November 7.
Little saints! Two St. Elizabeths of Hungary, St. Cecilia, and St. Gianna all garbed up for the ROCKERS All Saints Party held last November 7.

 

More about the party in this post by CBCP.

This was supposedly our peg for the costume, unfortunately, Aria didn’t want the turban (it was a sunny day that day), and we didn’t have sackcloth. I made a “lute,” though, with a shoe box, tissue box, and rubber bands.

St. Cecilia as rendered by Guido Reni. Photo from Wikipedia.
St. Cecilia as rendered by Guido Reni. Photo from Wikipedia.

St. Cecilia was known for “singing her heart to the Lord” during her wedding day, that’s why she was attributed as such.

And  since it was her Feast Day, here are just three of so many music attributed to her, from three musical periods:

Baroque: Handel’s Ode for St. Cecilia
Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day (HWV 76) is a cantata composed by George Frideric Handel in 1739, his setting of the poem by the English poet John Dryden. The main theme of the text is the Pythagorean theory of harmonia mundi, that music was a central force in the Earth’s creation. The premiere was on 22 November 1739 at the Theatre in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London. (Wikipedia)

Romantic: Gounod’s St. Cecilia’s Mass
Composed in 1864, in memoriam of J. Zimmermann.

20th Century: Hymn to St. Cecilia
Hymn to St Cecilia, Op. 27 is a choral piece by Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), a setting of a poem by W. H. Auden written between 1940 and 1942. Auden’s original title was “Three Songs for St. Cecilia’s Day”, and he later published the poem as “Anthem for St. Cecilia’s Day (for Benjamin Britten)”. Incidentally, Britten is born on St. Cecilia’s Feast Day, in 1913.

Add more to the list. Comment below.

Happy Feast Day, St. Cecilia! We pray that you will bless all musicians in the world.

~ Touringkitty

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