Harmonia Early Music

Harmonia Time Capsule: 1652 Rome

Let’s take a quick look back in time, to the city of Rome in the year 1652.

Ecstasy of Saint Theresa

Photo: Jiuguang Wang (flickr)

Ecstasy of Saint Theresa by Gian Lorenzo Bernini at Cornaro Chapel of Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, one of the leading figures in Roman Baroque architecture, put the finishing touches on his sculpture The Ecstasy of St. Teresa. The sculpture was commissioned by Cardinal Federico Cornaro for his burial chapel, located at Santa Maria della Vittoria, a minor basilica located in Rome.

The Ecstasy of St. Teresa is a sensuous depiction of the Spanish mystic and Carmelite nun St. Teresa of Avila and her painful and euphoric encounter with an angel whose arrow pierced her heart, a phenomenon known as transverberation. Saint Teresa described her experience in graphic detail, saying that the experience left her in excessive pain but “on fire with a great love of God.”

Also in 1652, Gregorio Allegri, composer and singer for the Sistine Chapel, died.  Despite the fact that he left behind volumes of vocal concerti, masses, motets, instrumental music, and two settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah, he is most remembered for his “Miserere,” a setting of Psalm 51 sung annually during the Sistine Chapel’s celebration of Holy Week.

Music excerpt

Cantate Domino
A Sei Voci / Bernard Fabre-Garrus — Allegri: Miserere (Naïve / Astreé , 1994)
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album cover

Additional information about people, music, and events mentioned in this time capsule

Bernini (Penguin Art and Architecture)
Howard Hibbard
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album cover

The Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila: The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus
St Teresa of Avila
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album cover

Teresa of Avila: The Progress of a Soul
Cathleen Medwick
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album cover

Miserere
Gregorio Allegri
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

Cantate Domino
A Sei Voci / Bernard Fabre-Garrus — Allegri: Miserere (Naïve / Astreé , 1994)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Bernini (Penguin Art and Architecture)
Howard Hibbard
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
The Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila: The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus
St Teresa of Avila
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Teresa of Avila: The Progress of a Soul
Cathleen Medwick
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Miserere
Gregorio Allegri
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Harmonia Early Music

Harmonia Early Music is a nationally syndicated weekly early music radio program, podcast and blog produced by WFIU Public Radio.

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