Skip to comments.Musical Creativity Nourished by Christian Roots of Europe
Posted on 10/21/2005 6:31:01 AM PDT by ELS
VATICAN CITY, OCT 21, 2005 (VIS) - Following a concert given in his honor, which was held yesterday evening in the Vatican, Benedict XVI thanked the conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and members of the choir of Ratisbone Cathedral and of the Athestis Chorus.
The Holy Father said he felt proud that for thirty years the choir of Ratisbone Cathedral "was led with passion by my brother Georg," adding that "now, under Roland Buchner, it is still in excellent hands."
With reference to the music he had heard and to its composers - from Palestrina to Richard Wagner, from Mozart to Verdi and Hans Pfitzner - the Holy Father said: "You have brought us an experience of something of the vastness of musical creativity which has, indeed, always been nourished by the Christian roots of Europe. Even if Wagner, Pfitzner and Verdi transport us to new dimensions for experiencing reality, the shared foundation of a European spirit formed by Christianity still remains present and effective. In this concert have we been able, once again, to feel how sublime music purifies, uplifts and, in the final analysis, makes us feel the greatness and beauty of God."
Benedict XVI concluded by expressing the hope that "the harmony of music and song, which knows no religious or social barriers, may be a constant invitation for believers and all people of good will to seek together the universal language of love, which makes men capable of building a world of justice and solidarity, of hope and peace." BXVI-CONCERT/CHRISTIANITY/... VIS 051021 (270)
VATICAN CITY (AP) - He might not be well-known to music buffs, but composer Georg Ratzinger strikes a familiar chord with Pope Benedict XVI.
A piece by the pope's older brother was played at a concert Thursday evening in the pontiff's honor along compositions by Mozart, Liszt, Wagner and Mendelssohn. The music was performed by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and directed by Christian Thielemann.
Benedict thanked the musicians at the end of the concert, saying "you have let us experience some of the vastness of the musical creativity that ... has always been fed by Europe's Christian roots."
Ratzinger, also a priest, composed his "Sanctus" piece for a Mass for the Holy Year. It was sung by the Regensburger Domspatzen, the boy's choir of the Regensburg Cathedral that Ratzinger oversaw when he was music director of the cathedral from 1964 until his retirement in 1994.
The choir, which is more than 1,000 years old, has performed in countries including the United States, Japan and Korea under Ratzinger's direction.
Ratzinger attended the Thursday night concert at the Vatican one of several times the two brothers have been seen in public since Joseph was elected pope in April.
In May, Georg Ratzinger received an award from Austria at a Vatican ceremony in honor of his contributions to music and long links to Austria. In August, he visited his brother but was hospitalized in Rome's Policlinico Gemelli because of an irregular heartbeat and had a pacemaker implanted and the pope came to visit him in the hospital.
Pope Benedict XVI attends a concert, with Christian Thielemann conducting the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, in Paul VI hall at the Vatican October 20, 2005. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
Boys of the Regensburger Domspatzen choir sing during a concert in Paul VI hall at the Vatican October 20, 2005. Pope Benedict attended the concert with Christian Thielemann conducting the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
Classical Music Ping List ping!
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Uh....how come the greatest of 'em all, JS Bach did not make his list?
He was Lutheran?
Not to worry, Pope Benedict XVI is a fan of J.S. Bach. After his inauguration ceremony he had Bach's great fugue playing on the PA system as he was riding around St. Peter's Square greeting and blessing the people.
Umnnh...Bach apparently was not on the program.
I've read lots of R's commentary on sacred music. It's my opinion that R would have a LOT of great things to say about JSB--not in the least because JSB used a lot of RC chant in his music (as well as RC hymns stolen by the Lut'rans...)
Trust me, R/B-16 'gets it' on music. He's openly stated that rock-n-roll is diabolic at best...
Thank you for the ping and the post.
The Holy Father's favorite composer is Mozart, another indication of his true insight into the sublimely logical and beautiful. Mozart, I believe, more than Bach, reflects how Benedict's own mind works, in a exquisitely intricate way that leads to the light, but without pretentiousness or drama.
I did a quick search to see if there might be any recordings of music by Georg Ratzinger. Unfortunately, I did not find any. I did, however, locate several recordings where he conducts the Regensburger choir.
The choice of pieces is decidedly conservative.
"Conservative" is not a term I would usually think of applying to music, very interesting. But I certainly hope they would not present Phillip Glass or a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical!
With the other composers on the list, he wouldn't have fit. Zzzzz....
In church music, Verdi is conservative? Okay. How? Mozart wasn't quite as adventurous.
Mozart was far more complete a composer. He's also a lot more fun to sing - I would imagine play, too.
And not all of Mozart is exquisitely intricate. Some of it is really mood setting and there are whole parts of the operas that are downright racy.
How long before the Holy Father is accused of being racist by the rag-heads?
Compared to what has passed for Church music sinice V-2, yes, Verdi is conservative.
After mulling this over, I agree...he was waaaay too good for this group.
Says Music Represents Unity and Harmony
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 21, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI celebrated 60 days in the papacy with 60 minutes of music performed by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.
A deeply moved Pope, who had been archbishop of Munich from 1977-1981, said: "May the harmony of singing and music, which is not hampered by social and religious barriers, represent a constant invitation for believers and all persons of good will to seek together the universal language of love that makes men capable of building a world of justice and solidarity, of hope and peace."
The Holy Father continued, speaking in German and Italian: "You have made us experience something of the grandeur of musical creativity that, in a word, has always been nourished by the Christian roots of Europe.
"Also in this concert, once again, we have been able to experience how music of high level purifies and uplifts us, in a word, it makes us feel the grandeur and beauty of God."
The orchestra, directed by Christian Thielman, performed seven pieces of sacred music, as well as a final homage.
Two choirs also performed: the Ratisbone Cathedral Choir, and the Athestis Chorus, the oldest in the world.
Some 6,000 people attended the concert, held in Paul VI Hall, including many bishops participating in the Synod on the Eucharist.
Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, 81, the Pope's brother, who was director of the Ratisbone Cathedral Choir for 30 years, was also present.
The priest composed the second piece of the concert, the "Sanctus" of the Holy Year Mass.
Other works performed included Mozart's "Ave Verum Corpus" and Verdi's "Te Deum da Quatro Pezzi Sacri."
Pope Benedict XVI (L) greets members of the Regensburger Domspatzen boys choir after their concert at the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican October 22, 2005. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano-Arturo Mari/Pool
Pope Benedict XVI attends a concert by the Regensburger Domspatzen boys choir at the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican October 22, 2005. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano-Arturo Mari/Pool
A transcript of the greetings made by Pope Benedict XVI after the concert (which is what the third photo above appears to be a picture of) is in Italian and German.
Unfortunately, most Christian music today is a bad imitation of whatever is popular in the secular world.
In his remarks afterward, the Pope told the boys of this famous choir that they were blessed to be able to sing the praises of God in the awesome scenery of the Sistine Chapel. Ain't that the truth? ;-)
You might be interested in this thread.
Look at that beautiful, perfect "oo" sound!
If the average musical artist (and I use the word "artist" very loosely) in Europe is like the average musical artist in the US, then they are probably not even aware of the Christian musical heritage of Europe/Western Civilization. Plus the distinction between the sacred and the profane has been minimized to the point of being nonexistent for all practical purposes.