Covid has deprived the asssisani of their beloved May medieval festival, Calendimaggio, for two years now….….but on a mid-June evening, the superb Assisi choir, i Cantori di Assisi, filled the vaulted 11th-century Romanesque Church of San Pietro, with the Calendimaggio May songs…
…and to the ebullient joy of the locals, although masked (the choir, too) and distanced.
The flags of the two districts or sections of Assisi competing in the Calendimaggio flanked the choir: to the left, the blue flag of la Nobilissima Parte de Sopra (“the Most Noble Part of Upper Assisi”) and to the right, the red red flag of la Magnifica Parte de Sotto (“the Magnificent Part of Lower Assisi”). The captains of both parti sat next to each other in one of the first pews, not in competition for this event but in united harmony.
This was my first concert since COVID lockdown restrictions – and I confess: the first song, the inno di Assisi (“the Assisi hymn”i.e, our anthem), had me teary.
You can hear the choir sing that anthem but alas, not the best audio: https://www.facebook.com/cantoridiassisi/
Here’s another presentation of our Assisi “anthem”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RcDZLQvFfU
The audience joined in thunderous applause – which also seemed to me to be transmitting a message: inspite of the past two years, we remain united in our love for Assisi and its traditions. Now more than ever.
The songs selected for the concert were all musical pieces sung during the four-day Calendimaggio festival, many of them familiar to the audience and sung with grande passione inspite of those masks:
Many were on their feet as the concert ended and choir director, Gabriella Rossi, lead the choir in a heartfelt reciprocal round of applause for the audience’s enthusiasm:
The choir’s applause continued as the mayor – in red and white – came out to congratulate all and to present the directo with a special edition of a new volume on Assisi:
Before leaving the church, I had to head up towards the altar and touch “our” banner, that is, that of la Nobilissima Parte de Sopra
Outside, the choir members were offering wine (or mineral water) and porchetta sandwiches to all:
For this year, Calendimaggio songs united all in an Assisi church.
May we hear those songs together again next spring during those euphoric days of Calendimaggio:
See here my talk on Calendimaggio
Read more here about Calendimaggio
…and for many more notes, simply put “Calendimaggio” into the SEARCH bar of my blog