Saint Cecilia's Day - Our New National Holiday?
Welcome to all the PleasuresIf the powers that be are said to be looking for a new national holiday, I propose Saint Cecilia's Day on the 22nd of November. No one should be opposed to a pleasurable day of musical celebration for the feast day of Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music.
As luck would have it, we have an anthem for the day by Purcell — well anthems, as Bach, Britten and Handel and others celebrated Saint Cecilia in music too. Henry Purcell composed his first celebration of Saint Cecilia in 1683 with Welcome to all the Pleasures —and built on the success of this with his Ode to Saint Cecilia in 1692 (his best known Cecilia work).
The Deities ApproveFor the 1683 composition, the 24-year-old Purcell composed the magical and strange Here the Deities Approve — performed below by the Henry Purcell Society of Boston (Massachusetts not Lincolnshire) and counter-tenor Reginald Mobley.
I propose a live breakfast performance of Here the Deities Approve from Westminster Abbey to welcome our new national day of celebration...
Here the Deities approve
The God of Music and of Love;
All the talents they have lent you,
All the blessings they have sent you,
Pleas'd to see what they bestow,
Live and thrive so well below.