09/28/2019, 08.00
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Holy Land Custody’s music festival in the footsteps of St. Francis

...In its sixth year it has become a traditional event for fans of the region, from Syria to Lebanon. The concerts inside the churches, free and open to the faithful of all religions. Special appointment for the 800 years since the pilgrimage of the saint of Assisi in the region.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - For the sixth consecutive year, the Custody of the Holy Land is organizing the "Terra Sancta Organ Festival - Music from the Churches of the Middle East and the Levant", an event that has become traditional for music lovers in the region.

The 2019/2020 event kicked off on September 26th in Jordan and will be marked by over 45 concerts spread across 20 different locations including Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine (for the full program click here).

The motto of the music festival, which has quickly become an event of great importance and participation, is "where there is an organ there is a church, and where there is a church there is a Christian community". In addition to the numerous shows on the calendar, the novelty of this year is the special event "St. Francis in Music & Images”, on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the pilgrimage of peace of the friar of Assisi to the Holy Land .

Those present will be able to attend two video-concerts with an organ improvisation, which will accompany films and scenes taken from the 1918 silent film "Brother Sun", made at the dawn of cinematography.

For the organizers it is an operation "of high cultural value", carried out thanks to the patronage of the Italian Embassy in Israel and the collaboration of the Institute of Italian Culture in Tel Aviv.

Among the peculiarities, there is also the fact that for the first time in the history of these countries a projection will be taking place inside a church, with the improvised musical accompaniment of an organ. Among the scheduled appointments we remember that of October 28 at the Latin parish of St. Joseph in Haifa and the day after the church of St. Peter in the old part of Jaffa.

The screening will also be an opportunity not only to watch the film, but also to deepen the spirituality of St. Francis. And to promote an understanding of an Italian film, the program has been written in multiple languages ​​- Arabic for Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese; Greek for Greek and Cypriots; Hebrew for Israelis, in addition to English available for all - and can be downloaded from the home of the site.

The organists are all international, such as Eugenio Maria Fagiani, Ferruccio Bartoletti, Mario Mariani, Fausto Caporali. The Hungarian Robert Kovács, the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra organist and the Spaniard Juan Paradell Solé, organist of the Sistine Chapel choir in the Vatican, deserve special mention. The musician of the Wiener Philarmoniker will also perform in Syria, for concerts scheduled in Damascus, Aleppo and Latakia.

The unique feature of the festival is that it is held in the churches and shrines of the Holy Land and in places where the Franciscan friars of the Custody have been active for centuries: Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. An event that is also an opportunity to witness the presence of Christian communities in the Middle East and in the Levant in the field of music and culture.

The concerts take place inside churches but everyone is welcome, regardless of their religious affiliation: the Terra Sancta Organ Festival represents one of the rare occasions for the region where it is possible to hear the sound of a pipe organ outside of its normal liturgical context and totally free.


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