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Monday, May 30, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 28 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, in the Paul VI Hall of the Vatican, Benedict XVI attended a concert offered in his honor by the President of the Republic of Hungary, Pal Schmitt on the occasion of Hungarian presidency of the Council of the European Union and the bicentenary of the birth of the Hungarian composer Franz Liszt.

  At the end of the concert the Holy Father thanked tenor Istvan Horvath, the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra and the State Choir, which performed several compositions by Liszt: Festmarsch zur Goethejubiläumsfeier, Vallee d'Overmann, and the Ave Maria: Die Glocken von Rom, inspired by a Psalm.

  Benedict XVI pointed out that the three pieces "have aroused a wide range of feelings: from the joy and festive tone of the march, to the meditation of the second piece with its insistent and aching melody, to the attitude of prayerfulness we are invited to by the Ave Mary ".

  Referring to the 13th Psalm, the Pope explained that this piece "has given us the idea of the quality and profundity of Liszt's faith. It is a Psalm in which the one praying encounters difficulty, the enemy surrounds him, besieges him, and God seems absent, seems to have forgotten him. His supplication becomes anguished in light of this abandonment: 'How long, O Lord?', the psalmist repeats four times".

  "It is the cry of a man and of humanity", the Pope continued, "feeling the weight of evil in the world. Liszt's music has conveyed this feeling of weight and anguish but God does not abandon him. The Psalmist knows this as does Liszt; as a man of faith, he knows it. Out of anguish is born an invocation full of trust that overflows into joy, 'My heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because he has dealt bountifully with me'. And here Liszt's music is transformed: tenor, choir, and orchestra raise a hymn of total entrustment to God who never betrays, never forgets, never leaves us alone".
BXVI-CONCERT/                                VIS 20110530 (330)

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