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Summer 2020 Virtual

SMIA Conference

Lorenzo Perosi, Forgotten Cecilian


Ms. Emily Lapisardi

Sacred Music History & Chant

Italian priest and composer Lorenzo Perosi was one of the pivotal figures in Catholic sacred music in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and directed the Sistine Chapel choir from 1898 until his death in 1956.  However, he has since been almost completely forgotten, a result of changing tastes in liturgical music, extra-musical controversies, and efforts to negate his legacy.  While the institution of the Church formed and fostered Perosi, Perosi also reformed the institution through his advocacy of the restoration of Gregorian chant as exemplified by his influence on the pivotal papal moto proprio “Tra le sollecitudini.”  This presentation discusses Perosi’s legacy both historically and practically, including recommendations of approachable repertoire from his extensive body of work.

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