Back Top Print Search

Vatican Radio presents the world radio premiere of


Meditation on Joseph Haydn's Septem verba Christi in Cruce for percussion, baritone and electronics by Marcello Filotei

Wednesday 29 March at 12:00, Sala Marconi - Vatican Radio, Piazza Pia 3, Rome

Reflecting on the present with an original vision embedded in tradition, Vatican Radio presents the world radio premiere of "7", a meditation on Joseph Haydn's Septem verba Christi in Cruce, for percussion, electronics and baritone, by Marcello Filotei. The work is realised in collaboration with the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir and the Ars Ludi Ensemble, an internationally renowned group of percussionists, winner of the Silver Lion at the 2022 Venice Music Biennale.

"The radio of the Popes has been broadcasting music since its establishment, in 1931 when the father of radio, Guglielmo Marconi, commissioned by Pope Pius XI, founded our radio station” the Head of Vatican Radio - Vatican News, Massimiliano Menichetti emphasized. "Today, our musical offer constitutes one of the backbones (together with the liturgy, the broadcasting of the Pope's message, information, in-depth, cultural and religious programmes) of the daily Italian language schedule and that of the schedules of the 30 web radios in other languages. Our editorial line-up offers practically every musical genre, favouring classical and sacred music. The recording and broadcasting of concerts belongs to our history. For Holy Week we entrusted Maestro Filotei, of the 'Musical' editorial staff, with a work that, based on The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross by Joseph Haydn, aims to interpret the current time with a perspective imbued by hope, without ignoring the difficulties and tragedies the world is experiencing. The piece, entitled ‘7’ was born. Its title is a number so that everyone can pronounce it in their own language, in order to reaffirm the inclusive spirit of music in diversity, as Pope Francis often emphasises”.

"7", recorded in the Vatican’s Sala Assunta, will be broadcast by Vatican Media in its world radio premiere on 2 April at 00.01 Rome time (on the 30 web radios of Vatican Radio’s information system - Vatican News, via Satellite; in DAB+ for Italy and the Rome area), before being offered to the Euroradio circuit that will broadcast it from Sunday 2 April, as part of the Concert Season and on the occasion of the Holy Week project. On 2 April at 10pm, the Italian channel of Vatican Radio will propose a special dedicated to "7". From 3 April the performance will be available in a podcast version on the Vatican Radio - Vatican News platform. The video version of the piece, filmed in the Paul VI Hall for its particular consonance with the architectural structure, embellished by Pericle Fazzini's sculpture "Resurrection", will be available from mid-April.

For the realisation of “7”, an unusual ensemble was chosen, with a score that includes a large percussion set. The duration of the piece is about 40 minutes. Thanks to the collaboration with the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir, Patrizio La Placa, a baritone of the Choir, also features in the project, and sings the Sacred Latin texts to the music composed by Haydn.

The electronics intervene in the moment in which the phrase "My God, my God why have you forsaken me?" are repeated in over 20 languages. The languages of a sorrowful humanity that the radio gives voice to every day, broadcasting the voice of the Pope and his words of hope to every corner of the world, offering the key of faith to interpret current events in the light of the Gospel of hope.

The press conference will be attended by: Paolo Ruffini, Prefect of the Dicastery for Communication; Massimiliano Menichetti, Head of Vatican Radio Vatican News; Marcos Pavan, Director of the Pontifical Sistine Chapel; Marco Di Battista, creator and producer of the project; the composer Marcello Filotei; Ars Ludi (Gianluca Ruggeri, Antonio Caggiano, Rodolfo Rossi, Marco Di Gasbarro, Davide Fabrizio, Nathan Scibiwolk, Davide Soro); Patrizio La Placa, cantor of the Cappella Musicale Pontificia Sistina.


Journalists and media operators wishing to participate must send a request, within 24 hours of the event, through the online accreditation system of the Holy See Press Office at: press.vatican.va/accreditamenti


"7" - meditation on Septem verba Christi in cruce for percussions, electronics and baritone by Marcello FIlotei
Ars Ludi
Gianluca Ruggeri (conductor)

Antonio Caggiano, Rodolfo Rossi, Marco Di Gasbarro, Davide Fabrizio, Nathan Scibiwolk, Davide Soro, percussions
Patrizio La Placa, cantor of the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir

Marcello FIlotei

Marcello Filotei (1966-) has received commissions from Festivals and groups active in contemporary

music: Venice Biennale Music, Accademia Filarmonica Romana, IUC- Istituzione Universitaria dei Concerti, La Fenice Theater in Venice, Montepulciano Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte, Orchestra della Toscana, Haydn Orchestra di Trento e Bolzano, Sagra Musicale Umbra, Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain, Ars Ludi Ensemble, Tiroler Festspiele Erl, PlayIt Festival in Florence, Festival Evenings of Actual Music in Yekaterinburg, Milano Musica, Festival Puccini Torre del Lago, Cantus Ansambl.

He graduated in piano, composition and electronic music at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome.

He is active as an essayist and music critic.

Ars Ludi Ensemble

Ars Ludi works to create content that expands the traditional dimension of music arrangement, opening up a horizon capable of including and integrating the language of music with that of cinema, theatre and the figurative arts.
It was founded in 1987 by Antonio Caggiano and Gianluca Ruggeri, who were joined in 1989 by Rodolfo Rossi.

The ensemble's performing experience is rooted in the contemporary repertoire for percussions and has developed through an international concert activity - USA, Mexico, Germany, China, Sweden, France, Spain, Malta, Greece, Turkey, Algeria, Kenya, Scotland and Switzerland - that has led to the interpretation of composers such as J. Cage, K. Stockhausen, B. Bartok, G. Battistelli, L. Andriessen, E. Varese, S. Reich, W. Duckworth, A. Curran, G. Scelsi, L. Berio,V. Heyn, C. Ambrosini. Ars Ludi has collaborated with composers such as Giorgio Battistelli, Louis Andriessen, Jacob TV, Alvin Curran and Francesco Filidei, including many permieres. Since its foundation, it has commissioned compositions from many Italian and foreign composers such as Volker Heyn, Lorenzo Pagliei, Carlo Galante, Mauro Cardi, Lucio Gregoretti and Marcello Filotei.

The group has performed in many concert seasons such as: Istituzione Universitaria dei Concerti di Roma, Ravenna Festival, Accademia Filarmonica Romana, Musica per Roma, I Concerti della Normale, Bonaventura Barattelli, Nuova Consonanza and i Concerti del Quirinale. The ensemble has taken part in major international festivals such as RomaEuropa, Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles, Fyilkingen in Stockholm, Aterforum in Ferrara, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Milanesiana, Malta International Arts Festival, REC Festival in Reggio Emilia, FastForward Festival, Sagra Musicale Malatestiana in Rimini and Miti di Musica in Naples.

Ars Ludi boasts a discography consisting of 6 CDs, three of which are dedicated to John Cage and one to Giorgio Battistelli.
In 2022, Ars Ludi received the Silver Lion award at the 66th Venice International Festival.

Patrizio La Placa, Baritone

He is currently a stable cantor of the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir and collaborates with the Choir of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
After his musical training first as puer cantor of the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir and then at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Patrizio La Placa graduated with honours from the S.Cecilia Conservatory of Rome, first at the Three-year Superior Course in Lyrical Singing, then at the Two- year Course in Baroque Singing under the guidance of Sara Mingardo. In 2018, he was a student at the Accademia del Belcanto "Rodolfo Celletti" (Martina Franca) and later attended the advanced training course for opera singers at the Accademia del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, where he perfected his skills with musicians and professionals of international level such as F. Luisi, R. Bonynge, B. De Simone, S. Ganassi, J. Pratt, C. Merrit, G. Prestia, I. D'Arcangelo. As a soloist, he made his debut in Il Barbiere di Siviglia by G. Paisiello under the direction of F. Biondi, at the Flavio Vespasiano Theatre in Rieti. At the Festival della Valle d'Itria in 2018 he took the role of Capitan Rodimarte in A. Scarlatti's opera buffa Il Trionfo dell'Onore, which repeated at the Teatro del Giglio SHOWA (Kanagawa) for the Belcanto Opera Festival in Japan. At the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza he took on the role of Darete in its world premiere performance in modern times of A. Lotti's opera Polidoro.

At the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, he made his debut in various roles, including Moralès in Carmen (conducted by M. Beltrami, directed by L. Muscato), H. Martel in Offenbach's Un marì a la porte (conducted by V. Galli, directed by U. Giacomazzi/L. Di Gangi), Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia (conducted by M. Gamba, directed by D. Michieletto), and Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro (conducted by K. Poska, directed by S. Bergamasco). In the 2019 Festival della Valle d'Itria sung the role of Frangipani in the first Italian version of Offenbach's opera Coscoletto conducted by S. Quatrini. In September 2020 he returned to the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, playing the role of Clistene in L'Olimpiade by A. Vivaldi and in August 2021 he performed the role of Achior in the Oratorio La Betulia Liberata by W.A. Mozart (dir. M. Comin). In November 2021 he debuted in the role of Leporello in Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Duse Theatre in Bologna. In January 2022 he was Lo Schiavo in L.Refice's Cecilia at the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari (dir. G. Grazioli, direction L.Muscato), while in February he sang at the Teatro Verdi di Pisa in G.F. Händel's Giulio Cesare (dir. C. Ipata, direction M. Mazzoni). In March 2022, he again sang the role of Leporello at the Teatro Comunale di Carpi, under the baton of A. Gabrielli. In September he played the role of Strabone in G.Sellitti's comic intermezzo "La Vedova Ingegnosa" at the Teatro Verdi in Gorizia, with the ensemble Cenacolo Musicale.