From ancient to modern, hail music’s breadth

I find myself writing this on the feast of Saint Cecilia, November 22, just as I prepare to sign off the issue. A Roman martyr from the third century AD, she is of course celebrated today as the patron saint of musicians, an inspirer of verse by the likes of Dryden, Pope and Auden, and of musical tributes, setting such verse, by Purcell, Handel and Britten. The subject of sumptuous paintings from the Renaissance to the pre-Raphaelites, she is generally playing either a ...


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