Concerts in the churches of Taormina

Every weekend of October 2013, 6.30/7.30pm – Free entrance

The concerts will be performed by the Taormina Plectrum Orchestra, Giovanni Famà, the Corelli Brass Group, Giuseppe Gianforte, the Duo Battaglia-D’Urso, Quintetto a Pizzico Nomos,  the Duo Palazzolo and the flute Orchestra “Afflatus”, the flute Orchestra “Afflatus”.

PROGRAMMEDownload the playbill  Download the detailed programme

Saturday, October 5th at 6.30pm  – CHURCH OF SANTA CATERINA
The flute Orchestra “Afflatus”
Musics by Schubert, Brahms, Faure, Verdi, Nascagni, Gullì, Rota, Joplin, Abreu

Sunday, October 6th at 6.30pm – CHURCH DEL VARO’
Duo Plazzolo – Harps
Musics by Thomas, Petrini, Tournier, Respighi, Saint-Saens, Satie, Franck

Saturday, October 12th at 6.30pm – CHURCH OF SAN GIUSEPPE
Giuseppe Gianforte – Accordion
Musics by Bach, Frescobaldi, Marcello, Pozzoli, Fancelli

Sunday, October 13th at 6.30pm – CHURCH OF SANTA CATERINA
Quintetto a pizzico Nomos
Musics by Schubert, Musorgskij, Bartok, Rossini, Gismonti, Joplin, Piazzolla

Saturday, October 19th at 6.30pm – CHURCH DEL VARO’
Duo Battaglia / D’Urso – Guitars
Musics by Piazzolla, Sor, Granados, Rossini, Giuliano, Gnattali, Gangi

Sunday, October 20th at 7.30pm – CATHEDRAL
Corelli Brass Group
Musics by Schubert, Williams, Cajkowskij, Vernhelst, Puccini, Strauss, Zimmer, Morricone

Saturday, October 26th at 6.30pm – CHURCH OF SAN PANCRAZIO
Domenico Giovanni Famà – Guitar
Musics by Piazzolla, De Falla, Tàrrega, Villa-Lobos, Berkeley, Castelnuovo Tedesco, Kaspar Mertz

Sunday, October 27h at 7.00pm – CATHEDRAL
Taormina Plectrum Orchestra
Musics by Mascagni, Calace, Shostakovich, Albin, Muner, Maciocchi, Sibelius, Bizet



A bit of history… What “Prima Vigilia Noctis” means?

In Roman times the street called Via Valeria climbed from the Spisone coast up to Taormina. Then it went through Taormina and returned towards the sea down the valley of the Sirina river. We would have found the Jupiter Serapis temple, the Baths, the Forum, and the Odeon, built on the ruins of the Aphrodite Greek temple, or the splendid Naumachie along this road. The noises, sounds, voices, and people of daily life during the day: the rich owner of the Domus (house) carrying out their business in the Forum among the amphoraes of many shapes, wine merchants shouting out the quality and good price of their goods in order to attract new customers while the sound of the potter’s wheel emphasized his ability to shape a new pitcher. With a deep blue sky and a few torches in the darkness, Via Valeria would have had a unique atmosphere during the sunset of the prima vigilia noctis (* 1) – which was spent working or talking. The ancient street of Via Valeria has witnessed many changes with the passage of time: the Jupiter Serapis temple became St. Pancras’ Church, and St. Catherine’s Church rose above the remains of the Odeon. Palaces and other beautiful churches arose and the historic core of the city developed around them. So today we walk along Corso Umberto discovering different ages at every step changing from Arabic style to Norman and from Gothic to Baroque. What is more, we can only be enchanted along the way by Taormina’s Churches. Built through the ages, some of them were unfortunately destroyed or integrated into other buildings, while others were demolished but many are still used for worship and are open to visitors. We are immediately struck by the Cathedral fortress, the Cathedral dedicated to St. Nicholas, while a glimpse of the medieval Varò Church is an impressive sight. Overlooking the sea, St. Joseph’s Church smiles and guides us along the road to St. Catherine’s Church. And before leaving Taormina, the S. Pancras Church greets us, the city’s patron saint.

* 1. The Romans divided the day into 12 daylight hours (from sunrise to sunset) and 12 hours of darkness. Consequently, the duration of each hour was not fixed but varied according to the seasons, daylight hours being longer in summer and shorter in winter, and vice versa at night. Both the day and night were then divided into four time periods: these hours of the day ended with the third, sixth, ninth, and twelfth hours while the night were called Vigiliae (Eves). Prima vigilia noctis was from 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm. From this division the early Christians introduced prayers to be recited at certain times of the day: the night office including Vespers, Compline, night, morning and praise, and the office during the day at the first, third, sixth and ninth hours.