The sounds of harpsichord of St. Alphonsus is brought to life again after restoration for a historical concert


Basilica St. Alphonsus – March 28th, 2018 H. 20:30

(Pagani, Italy) Of the more than 10,000 visitors accompanied by our young volunteers to the Alphonsian museum in the last two years, few have resisted the temptation, or at least try to do so, to press a few keys of the harpsichord of St. Alphonsus to hear the sound. This ancient instrument is one of the historical artefacts that most attracts attention and arouses the imagination of pilgrims who have often asked for its efficiency.

March 28, 2018, will be a very special day for the community of Pagani and for all the devotees of St. Alphonsus: the harpsichord of the saint preserved in the Alphonsian museum will be able to offer those unique sounds and harmonies as they were born through the hands, the mind and the heart of St. Alphonsus.

The Harpsichord was built in 1711, according to what Fr. Oreste Gregorio reports (“Notitiae chronicales: Museo Storico Alfonsiano”, Spicilegium Historicum C.SS.R. year IV (1956), II, p.499), and is mentioned by all the biographers of the saint, from the Tannoia, contemporary of St. Alphonsus.

Mr. Romain Legros of Bologna, who underlined its high-quality sound, did a real restoration in 1997. At the same time he made an important recommendation that the instrument be kept in a suitable place, but above all that it should be periodically maintained in efficiency and played by expert hands and this is one of the reasons for which we have advocated this event.

All this was made possible by Mr. Tiberio Giuseppe, a descendant of the family of St. Alphonsus, through the branch of Ercole de ‘Liguori, who financed the tuning of the instrument entrusted to Francois Paul Ciocca, an expert in the harpsichord art, of Riccia (CB). The same will provide for his transfer from the museum to the Basilica and vice versa.

The program of the event, finding ourselves in the imminence of the sacred Easter Triduum, provides, the Songs of the Passion composed by St. Alphonsus and among these stands out the beautiful lyric of the “Song of the Passion or Duet between the Soul and Jesus Christ”.

Other tracks that will be performed:
– “My Jesus, with hard ropes, – O fierce scourges, – Son, come back, O son, – Offended you, my God, – O my beautiful hope – O bread of heaven”The performance will be entrusted to the Alphonsian polyphonic choir conducted by the Redemptorist Master Fr. Paolo Saturno. The Master Nicola Salvati will be playing the harpsichord.

Fr. Luciano Panella
Superior C.Ss.R Community of Pagani