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From Marche to the Holy Land

Jerusalem, February 25, 2015

The Franciscan Armando Pierucci has left a deep mark in the Holy Land, and this was seen in the warmth with which the public greeted him at the end of his concert in St. Saviour Church on Tuesday 24 February.
Organist at the Holy Sepulchre, founder of the Magnificat Institute (the music school of the Custody of the Holy Land), renowned performer and composer, Father Armando returned to Jerusalem and Bethlehem to be shown in concert.
The two musical and authentic events, were entitled “From Marche to the Holy Land,” an expression that sums up the artistic and spiritual journey of Father Armando, native of Marche and a Jerusalem resident for over 25 years.
He was accompanied on this return trip by the Choir Gaspare Spontini Moie di Maiolati (AN), the Magnificat Choir of Jerusalem and two exceptional musicians: the baritone Gabriele Ruggero and the horn player Marco Lorenzetti.
Decorated with the Italian Baroque style, the church of St. Saviour was the ideal place to host the concert: the interpretation of the compositions of Gaspare Spontini, Lino Liviabella, Cesar Franck and Armando Pierucci stirred the hearts of the audience sitting in the majestic central nave.
After an instrumental prelude played with the impressive Rieger organ, Father Armando (along with the choir conducted by Maestro Hani Kreitem) interpreted Gethsemane. Composed by Father Armando, this work is inspired by the story of the night when Jesus, after the last supper with his apostles, retires to pray in the small orchard of olive trees of Gethsemane. It is a solemn composition that evokes with intense simplicity the time when Jesus accepted passion.
Another work of Father Armando (characterized by a strong expressivity) was the Blessing of St. Francis, sung by the choir along with baritone Ruggero Giampiero under the direction of Maestro Michele Quagliarello.
The text of the blessing of the saint of Assisi given to his companion (Brother Leo) says: “The Lord blesses you and protects you.” On this phrase, Father Armando built a musical architecture supported by the organ, embellished by the brilliant horn of Marco Lorenzetti and the burnished voice of Giampiero Ruggero. Ruggero’s powerful voice, which was heard in the theaters of Vienna, Tokyo and Berlin, has resonated again in the Panis Angelicus of Cesar Franck.
Maestro Michele Quagliarello, founder and director of the Chorus Gaspare Spontini, has directed the choirs with energy and passion. Under his direction, the singers managed to convey to the public a wide range of emotions. The other director in the afternoon, Maestro Hani Kreteim, has managed to exploit the different voices of the choir creating with his elegant gestures a combination of sounds of an austere beauty.
The last piece of the program, responded with a resounding applause, was Mother of Mercy, composed by Father Armando in honor of the patron saint of the parish of Moie, his hometown.
When the concert finished the audience stood up to pay tribute to Father Armando. Former pupils, teachers, colleagues, religious of all faiths and music lovers have long applauded the friar of Marche who came to the Holy Land to serve the Church with his music.
The next day, Wednesday, February 25, the same concert was held in the church of St. Catherine in Bethlehem. This time, the audience listened to the organ and the choir was composed of pilgrims from Asia. The music and prayer do not know barriers.


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