Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011: University of South Carolina Concert Choir performs in Florence

This morning, the choir travels to the city of Florence, where upon arrival they will enjoy a guided city tour. The tour includes entrance to the Accademia Museum where Michelangelo's famous statue "David" is displayed. Following the tour, the group has some free time to explore at leisure and grab lunch before preparing for this evening's performances. 
The University of South Carolina Concert Choir sings mass at 6:00 this evening at la Chiesa di San Lorenzo. 
La Chiesa di San Lorenzo stands as one of Florence, Italy’s largest churches, situated in the center of the city’s main market district. It is one of several churches claiming to be Florence’s oldest, having been consecrated in the year 393. The Basilica di San Lorenzo served as the city’s cathedral for 300 years until the Bishop’s official seat was moved to Santa Reparata.
In 1419 parishioner Giovanni di Bicci de Medici offered to finance a new church to replace the Romanesque building. Filippo Brunelleschi, the leading Renaissance architect of the first half of the fifteenth century, was commissioned to design the new structure, although the new building did not reach completion until after the architect’s death. The church is part of a larger monastic complex that boasts numerous additional important architectural works including the Laurentian Library by Michelangelo and the New Sacristy based on Michelangelo’s original designs. The sanctuary’s left aisle displays a large fresco by Bronzino depicting the Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence, and the marble choir loft was designed by Donatello, as were the two bronze pulpits. 
Following their mass participation, the choir then presents their first feature Italian performance at 8:15PM at Santa Maria Maggiore. 
Florence’s Santa Maria Maggiore was originally built as early as the eighth century, with documentation tracing back to the year 931. Popular legend suggests that it may have been constructed in A.D. 580 under the commission of Pope Pelagius, although this theory is not widely supported. The church obtained status of collegiate church and Priory of Florence in 1176 before subsequently expanding its property in 1186. The structure, with the exception of the original external walls and the vaults, was completely renovated in the 13th century to reflect the Gothic style architecture popular of that period. Italian architect and painter Giorgio Vasari is quoted as crediting “Master Buono” as the designer of the new façade and also recorded that following the renovation the high altar then boasted Agnolo Gaddi’s Coronation of the Virgin as well as frescoes by Spinello Aretino. Only fragments of these works survive today.
The exterior of the current structure appears rather simple and undecorated, with stone walls and portals adorned by tympana. The bell tower, which survives from the original Romanesque building, displays an embedded stone head popularly known as Berta. Although the interior appears quite simple, with just a nave and two aisles, the walls flaunt various intricate works of art. Artworks include frescoes by Bernardino Poccetti, a nativity scene constructed by Matteo Rosselli, and a wooden polychrome bas-relief attributed to Coppo di Marcovaldo.

1 comment:

  1. Accademia gallery museum è uno dei musei di Firenze più importanti per l'importanza dei capolavori artistici che ospita, in questo museo ci sono le opere di artisti come Michelangelo. This museum is one of the florence tours most requested by tourists visiting the Tuscan town