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 20051021 (270)