Carlo Saraceni, Santa Cecilia e l'angelo, GNAA-Barberini Roma
Whoever makes a voyage, a walk, a pilgrimage brings along a special music. In the heart of Rome, the splendid Palazzo Mattei is transformed into a singular resting place, in which the traveller can pause, contemplating the beauty of the art contained within, as well as listening to extraordinary music.
Antique sacred music, classical or popular, which composed the soundtrack of the lives of these people from the past: pilgrimage chants, hymns, liturgical music, polyphonies, moods which bring to mind a world full of religion in all of its aspects. A world in which the travellers were nearly always pilgrims who carried in their baggage these suggestive melodies.
Every month you can listen to a different group of “sacred harmonies” in Palazzo Mattei; you can also find here a selection, in order to foretaste or remember that timeless musical atmosphere. Here, in stead, you can listen to the voice of Leo XIII, the first Pope who recorded it using a phonograph.

If you want to listen to the music while you navigate, select “all the tracks” and go on browsing the website by opening a new window.
Happy listening!


The practice of songs of pilgrimage in late Medieval Europe is proven by an importance codex, the Llibre Vermell de Monserrat, a manuscript thus named because of the red colour of its cover and its current location: the Monastery of Monserrat in Catalonia is also where the codex was probably written in the late 14th century.
Of the 172 pages currently comprising the codex, only seven (about twelve pages of music) preserve, in beautiful mensural annotation, ten songs including three canons, two polyphonic compositions and five dances. Despite the limited number of sources, the compositions contained in the Llibre Vermell are of rare beauty and fundamental historical importance in terms of reconstructing a process, that of songs of pilgrimage, which is recognised forever in this precious codex, dating back to a tradition which surely precedes the writing of the manuscript.
The songs are all anonymous and in Catalan, Occitan and Latin.


1. Fanfara (instrumental version) – O Virgo splendens
2. Improvisation on Stella splendens
3. Imperaytritz de la ciutat joyosa (instrumental version)
4. Laudemus Virginem
5. Mariam Matrem Virginem (instrumental version)
6. Splendens ceptigera
7. Danse en ronde (instrumental version), contrafactum of Polorum regina
8. Los set goyts
9. Cuncti sumus concanentes
10. Improvisation of Los set goyts (instrumental version) – Polorum regina
11. Splendens ceptigera (instrumental version) – Mariam Matrem Virginem
12. Laudemus Virginem (instrumental version) – Imperaytritz
13. Stella splendens (instrumental version) – Ad mortem festinamus – Danza macabra (instrumental version), contrafactum of O Virgo splendens
14. O Virgo splendens – Fanfara (instrumental version), contrafactum of O Virgo splendens