Monday, 11 November 2013

Unexpected news Mro. Bartolucci passes away

by Silvana Sultana

Card. Bartolucci Coat of Arms‘I will sing to my God’

This was your motto and you sang to God through the many compositions you have written. You will now sing to Him from very near.

Domenico Bartolucci passed away today, Monday 11th November 2013 at the venerable age of 96. Florentine blood ran through his veins and like his native grand masters he was a very determined person, truly engaged in musical studies throughout his lifetime. He was Director Emeritus of the Sistine Chapel choir from 1956, right after Perosi’s death till 1997. He was also a member of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Ceciilia. Critics consider him among the most authoritative interpreters of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.

On 20th November 2010, Pope Benedict XVI elevated him to the College of Cardinals though he was not eligible to vote in the last Papal Conclave.

His friendship with Schola Cantorum Jubilate started in 2007 when the Administration contacted him and asked to meet him during its music-culture tour in Rome. The Maestro, as he was mostly addressed, welcomed the choir and opened his residence for the whole group of around 30 people. He was impressed on seeing such young faces interpreting his music.

Meeting Card Meeting Card Meeting Card Meeting Card

CVC Media which was accompanying the choir during this tour managed to interview him and today the video-clip is one of the most viewed on youtube. He encouraged the choristers to study and keep learning sacred music which helps the listeners contemplate the mystery of salvation and the eternal love of God to all mankind.

Surprisingly enough, before leaving the house, Mgr. Bartolucci, asked his assistant, the Maltese Mgr. Maestro Renzo Cilia to give the collection of his compositions to the Gozitan choir because in them he saw the future of sacred music.  

From that moment onwards, the relationship got stronger and SCJ always included one or more of his compositions in its concerts. His pieces are always included in the sacred liturgy amongst which: ‘O Sacrum Convivium’, ‘O Salutaris Hostia’, ‘Puer Natus Est’, ‘Missa de Angelis a 5 voci’. On special occasions like Christmas, Easter or his Birthday, greetings were exchanged and whenever SCJ Administrators were in Rome, they always paid him a visit. He remembered the choir with enthusiasm and was always keen on learning about their commitments and progress.

Schola Cantorum Jubilate today lost a friend. Meetings will not be possible anymore but music will persist …the music survives whatever the circumstances.

May you rest in peace… maestro!

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