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Rome Vatican City 12-16 November 1997

Organized by the International Association of Friends of the Pro Musica e Arte Sacra Foundation, the 5th International Sacred Music Competition was held in the Vatican City in Rome 12-16 November 1997. Choirs from all over the world will be able to perform in the setting of the splendid Italian churches, in particular that of the Eternal City, to bring the public closer to choral music and naturally perform the most famous pieces of international choral literature.  

Rome, city of history, art and Christianity.


Central nave of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican


with Mons. Pablo Colino

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: the greatest representative of the European polyphonic school of the sixteenth century. Together with Orlando di Lasso and William Byrd among the greatest creators of religious music. The date of birth, with sufficient apporssimation, can be established between the end of 1525 and the beginning of '26. From the name of his birthplace - the ancient Praeneste - comes the nickname with which he will be known to his contemporaries and to posterity: Joannes-Petrus-Aloysius Praenestinus calls himself the author of the books of masses and motets; but in the collections of madrigals, in the registers of Roman basilicas, in letters, in notarial deeds, he is indicated, in different, less solemn forms, as Giannetto da P. Pallestrino or del Pelestino, Giovanno Pietro Luigi da Panestrina, etc.

Only in recent years has he almost constantly signed himself Giovanni Pietraloysio.  

A document - discovered, like many others, by Casimiri - dated 25-X-1537 gives us news of the presence of Giannetto da P. among the pueri choriales of the basilica of S. Maria Maggiore; probably, it was due to the cardinal-bishop of Palestrina, Andrea Della Valle, who was also archpriest of S. Maria Maggiore to have it accepted. Rubino Mallapert was choirmaster here, who was succeeded in 1539 by Firmin Lebel of Noyon. From them Palestrina received those singing and counterpoint teachings that were given in the scholae of the Roman basilicas.

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