From "My Way" to "Yesterday"
On Wednesday evening we went to a concert of the International Chamber Ensemble in the Courtyard of Sant' Ivo alla Sapienza. Under the direction of Francesco Carotenuto they performed "Frank Sinatra Orchestra Suite" and "The Beatles Orchestra Suite." It was fun to hear string arrangements of songs originally sung by Frank Sinatra and the Beatles.
The setting was magnificent. The two dozen instrumentalists performed in front of the facade of the Church of Sant' Ivo, designed by Borromini and built between 1642-1669. It is considered to be one of the great materpieces of Baroque architecture. The travertine of the facade created a great acoustic shell for the orchestra. The occasional gentle wind was a reminder that you were outside in a courtyard and not in a concert hall.
The church was built into the courtyard of the Palazzo della Sapienza, originally home to the University of Rome. The university was founded in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII and is the oldest of Rome's universities. This Renaissance courtyard, desiged by Giacomo della Porta, saw lectures by famous scientists such as Galileo and Copernicus. Today the Palazzo is just a small part of what is now the largest University in Europe.