The “Santa Lucia di Magras” is a polyphonic male choir born in 1990 in Magras, a small hamlet of the Municipality of Malé (Trento, Italy). The choir’s repertoire consists almost exclusively of Cecilian music, polyphonic pieces in Latin language for male voices, often accompanied by the organ or harmonium, which span the entire liturgical year. The choir has to its credit several concert performances in Italy (Ravenna, Trento, Milan, Venice, Capri, Rome, Camerino, Poggio Rusco etc.) and abroad (Šumperk – Czech Republic, Brussels – Belgium, Regensburg – Germany, Timișoara – Romania, Warsaw – Poland), collaborating with various ensembles and musicians, including organists Simone Vebber, Tiziano Rossi and Mauro Brusaferri. In 2003 it published the audio book entitled “The sacred voices of Cecilianism”, while in 2014 the cd “In the churches of Cecilianism”. In September 2010, for its twentieth anniversary, the choir organized the important study conference “Between Regensburg and Rome: Cecilianism in the Alpine valleys”, whose acts were published in the homonymous volume edited by Antonio Carlini and published by publishing house Edizioni 31. In 2017 it took part in the important rediscovery project of the composer Francesco Antonio Berera (1737-1813), native of Monclassico (Trento, Italy), through the creation of musical events, round tables and a record publication in collaboration with the Choir “In dulci Jubilo” (Tarcisio Battisti, choir leading) and the Ensemble “Labirinti Armonici” (Stefano Chicco, choir leading) and under the direction of the Festival of Sacred Music of Trento and Bolzano.
Over the years it has launched an important project of research, cataloging and archiving of the musical heritage forgotten in the sacristies of the churches of the Val di Sole and the nearby Val di Non, after the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council. The archive collects scores of pieces composed between the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, when the spread of Cecilianism – especially in Germany, France and Italy – produced a radical transformation and homologation of the liturgical repertoire. Named in honor of Santa Cecilia, patron saint of music, Cecilianism was a response to the almost centennial absence of Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony from liturgical celebrations in favor of styles more similar to operatic music. In Trentino the reform began on November 21, 1890, with the foundation of the “Società Ceciliana Trentina“, which managed to build an unprecedented and effective teaching network that reached all the parishes of the diocese, including the most distant and disadvantaged ones. In our region, Cecilianism became a fundamental trait of identity and local tradition, intensely popular. In fact, as affirmed by the Trentino musicologist Giuseppe Calliari: “Listening to the choral repertoire proposed with skill and competence by the Santa Lucia choir, illuminates the history of the subsequent chorality, the developments of the alpine and profane virile choir, its vocal and harmonic structures, its syntax and its elocution”: the singing and expressive potential of the church was at some point poured out, following the model promoted by the Pedrotti brothers in the 1920s, in the form of chorality called “of the mountain”.
Don Giovanni Zanini