Cappella Sistina

Great Renaissance Polyphony at the Sistine Chapel

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Gregorio Allegri,
Cristóbal de Morales, Felice Anerio


CAPPELLA MARIANA (Czech Republic) – vocal ensemble
Hana Blažíková, Tereza Havlíková, Barbora Sojková – soprano
Daniela Čermáková, Jan Mikušek – alto
Tomáš Lajtkep – tenor
Tomáš Král – baritone
Jaromír Nosek – bass
Vojtěch Semerád – tenor, artistic director


Tuesday 23. 7. 2013, 8.00 pm
Former Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia, Anežská 12, Prague 1

In collaboration with the National Gallery in Prague.


In the old times, the Sistine Chapel did not emit just smoke that would fill the world with expectation: the Vatican air was permeated by celestial music above all. On 24 July, the St. Saviour Church of St. Agnes Cloister in Prague experienced a magic transformation into Cappella Sistina, brought about by the vocal ensemble Cappella Mariana conducted by Vojtěch Semerád. Through their sung contemplation they revived some of the renaissance masters who dedicated their compositional mastery and their own voices to the Sistine: Felice Anerio, Jean Mouton, and Cristóbal de Morales who drew inspiration from the  murals by Michelangelo, then just originating.


The programme included Pierluigi da Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli, to which relates the myth of prohibition of polyphonic music in the church by the Council of Trent (1545–1563). Even though polyphony was never abandoned and Palestrina did not have to “save” polyphonic music in the Roman Catholic Church, the pure style of his Missa contributes to the lasting appeal of the genre. The next piece on the programme, the famous (and by the Vatican jealously protected) Miserere mei, Deus by Gregorio Allegri, so fascinated young Mozart that he memorized it on one hearing and secretly wrote it down later, risking excommunication.


Concert programme

Giovanni Battista Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525–1594)
Missa Papae Marcelli


Felice Anerio (1560–1614)
Ave Regina coelorum à 8


Cristóbal de Morales (1500–1553)
Parce mihi, Domine


Jean Mouton (1459–1522)
Nesciens mater virgo


Gregorio Allegri (1582–1652)
Miserere mei Deus


Summer Festivities of Early Music – 3 times so far
Opera PLUS, 26. 7. 2013, Helena Havlíková
The intricate spinning of the voices […] was rendered with perfect intonation, as well as with sensitively conducted phrasing and unusual ornamentation.   


This ensemble, comprising young singers counts among the foremost performers of this demanding, purely vocal style […]


Capella Sistina i Mariana – bravo!
Lidové noviny, 26. 7. 2013, Helena Havlíková
The performance of this young ensemble unites professional approach to historically informed performance with deep feeling for and concentration on the character of the music […], together with “contagious” enthusiasm for music-making.  


It was an outstanding musical and spiritual experience, and although the programme of the Summer Festivities of Early Music is to be continued, it is clear that Cappella Mariana aspires to become one of the festival highlights. Bravo!