500™ CENTENARY OF THE CAPPELLA GIULIA

500™ CENTENARY OF THE CAPPELLA GIULIA  

 

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Cappella Giulia, named after its founder, Pope Julius II. On 19 February 1513 he signed the papal bull, “In altissimo militantis Ecclesiae”, by order of which the Cappella Giulia was constituted. Mirroring the most important chapel choirs of Europe, the Cappella was created as a choral organization composed of expert musicians to accompany the sacred rites of Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Like the great patrons of the arts and Renaissance culture, Pope Julius II della Rovere made sure the Cappella had a significant patrimony to help it maintain its existence up to our day. The interest in the Cappella Giulia shown by the popes following Julius II and by the Vatican canons made it possible to maintain the great musical prestige of the choir, thanks to their selection by competition of famous composers, such as the first Maestro, Gianluigi da Palestrina, Giovannelli, Zingaretti, Meluzzi, and Boezi. The Philatelic Office has chosen to dedicate this year’s  postcard series to all of them. They are composers who, with respect to the papal decrees in areas concerning liturgical music, have left an immense patrimony of Masses, psalms, magnificat, hymns, and offertories which the world of sacred music still looks to always with great interest.