Composer: Lorenzo Viviani (1879-1961), s.a.
|Recording: not available
|Lyrics: not available, see score.
|Score: free download available on
|My thanks and appreciation to
Marco Motta, great-grandson of the composer
for making these scores available on
|Posted on YouTube: Not available at
|You could be
If you (or your choir) perform this Ave Maria, make a video recording.
Post your video on YouTube, email me the page URL and I'll embed the video
in this page.
You can also email me an MP3 for audio only.
references, biography information.
||also available in Italian
|BIOGRAPHY OF LORENZO VIVIANI
(kindly supplied by Master Lillo di Cesare)
Lorenzo Viviani was born in Menfi on 12/21/1879. He married Marietta Barrile
on 12/19/1908, and, from her, he had five sons: Ludovico, Lorenzo, Renato,
Ettore and Chiara.
When he was a young man he entered in the Episcopal Seminary of Girgenti for
being ordained priest; he was one of the best seminarist, excelling both in
study and in music. On the occasion of the visit of a Cardinal sended from
Rome, all the priests of the Diocese had a meeting in the seminary; all the
seminarists and a large delegation of the Agrigento’s nobility participated
to the event. The Cardinal give a lecture, in the presence of the clergy,
during which he praised the actions of local riches and nobles, provoking in
the seminarist Lorenzo Viviani such a disappointment to make he to take part
directly: “Eminence, I’m amazed that you are been chosen as Cardinal! You
don’t know the Gospel; the friends of the Lord were the poor, the humble
ones, the destitute. He himself was born in a cave; your words, I am sure,
have not been appreciate by those present, but nobody dares to contradict
you for regarding to the position that you hold; I can, because I am
protected from the Holy Spirit”, and so finished: “This means that I could
not be priest, because from this moment I resign my commission for not to be
persecuted like our Lord Jesus Christ”.
After having finished his secondary school studies, he registered at
University of Palermo graduating with merits in law. Then he embarked on
career of captain (“commissario”) of police, reaching the level of vice
commissioner (“vicequestore”). He worked in Sicily beside to “iron prefect”
Cesare Mori for fighting against mafia. Viviani, man of great courage and
highly bound to his land, violently contested the head of police, prefect
Arturo Bocchini, who come in the island in order to meeting all the
delegated prefects, captain and the four commissioners of the provinces of
Agrigento, Trapani, Caltanissetta, Palermo. Bocchini showed arrogance and
contempt towards Sicily and Sicilians, and above all towards poor country
people, erroneously convinced that Mafia was hidden among them, and so that,
against them, police must act harshly. In that occasion that’s what Viviani
said: “Sicily is the beautifulst region of Italy, Sicilians are gems of
gentleman; Mafia is infiltrated into people of upper standing, then we must
leave poor people alone; the prefect doesn’t know neither Sicily nor
Sicilians, he doesn’t know who are really member of the Mafia and ignores
the Gospel”. Offended and irritated, Bocchini answered: “You were wrong in
contradicting me, you will never become commissioner”.
“I was not a priest, let alone I wish to be a commissioner on the conditions
that you impose”. So, with these words Viviani gave a further proof of
intellectual honesty and moral correctness. Often Cesare Mori and his wife
Lina went to Menfi at their friend Lorenzo Viviani.
During the police service he often faced difficult situations. One tells
that his journalistic article, not still published, in which he denounced
methods and abuses of fascist police, had ended in the hands of the
commissioner. Reported to disciplinary board, he was, from the prefect,
threatened to be laid off. Captain Viviani firmly defense himself from false
accusations, even though he confirmed brutal methods of fascist police. His
indomitable attitude irritateed the prefect: “Rather than to repent for what
you made, you dare to pile it on”. Imperturbable Viviani answered: “I am not
frightened to tell the truth; if you don’t believe my words, you will at
least believe the facts”. He taked off the shirt and, remaining bare chested,
showed the wounds that he received in several conflicts. In front of such
reality, not only the President rejected the accusation, but he praised
captain Viviani for his professional ability and the courage that he
demonstrated during the accomplishment of service.
Man of many interests, Viviani: look after the art of music: he loved to
play in the churches, especially in Menfi’s Mother Church, and wrote musical
compositions still today believed of great value. Endowed with a great
melodic talent, he composed wonderful lyric arias, and he had also the
ability to discover in Menfi relief important voices; he made and guided a
vocal chorus from which standed out several talented persons, free looked
after them from Viviani himself; between these we remember the young man
Piero Mistretta, brilliant tenor, and the young Master Lillo Di Cesare,
professor to Music Conservatory of Palermo and collaborator to the piano in
The most beautiful songs of Viviani have been performed by tenor Piero
Mistretta in several concerts that he gave in some European countries and
recorded also by Dutch radio. More representative compositions are:
- The Ave Maria
- Serenata d’amore
- Ritornello e marichiare
- Nica mia.
He loved and composed also church music pieces: we remember “Vanitas”,
performed from bass Paolo Silveri. To him we still owe further works
- your Royal Highnesses princesses Mafalda and Giovanna of Savoia
- head of state Benito Mussolini
- prefect Cesare Mori and his wife Lina.
He died in Menfi 12/24/1961.
In memory of Viviani, april 27 1990, in the presence of mayor, the engineer
Saverio Vetrano, of councillor to Cultural Heritage Lorenzo Di Giovanna and
of a large delegation of Menfi’s people, tenor Piero Mistretta presented
a vinyl record
recently recorded by him, dedicated to the most beautiful compositions
of the Maestro.
Please notify us of any
Page last modified:
April 05, 2013
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