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Monday, October 18, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 16 OCT 2010 (VIS) - This evening in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, Benedict XVI and the Synod Fathers attended a concert given in the Pope's honour by the composer Enoch zu Guttenberg. He conducted the Klang Verwaltung orchestra and the Neubeuern choir in Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem Mass.

  At the end of the concert the Holy Father arose to address some remarks to those present.

  "Giuseppe Verdi", he said, "spent his life scrutinising the heart of man, and in his works he highlighted the drama of the human condition. ... His theatre is full of unhappy souls, of the persecuted, of victims. This tragic vision of human destiny is echoed in many parts of his Requiem Mass, where we touch the inescapable reality of death and the fundamental question of the transcendent world".

  Verdi, "who in a famous letter to the publisher Ricordi, defined himself as being 'a bit atheist', wrote this Mass which seems to like a great appeal to the Eternal Father, an attempt to overcome the cry of desperation in the face of death, to rediscover the breath of life which becomes the silent and heartfelt prayer: 'Libera me, Domine'".

  "This 'musical cathedral'", the Pope concluded, "thus appears as a description of the spiritual drama of man before Almighty God, of man who cannot escape the eternal question concerning his own existence".
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