After attending a concert performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to celebrate the birth of St. Paul, the Holy Father offered his praise saying that the symphony "translates the faith of its author, who with his compositions was capable of transmitting a religious vision of life and history."
The orchestra conducted by Christopher Eschenbach, played the sixth symphony of Anton Bruckner. The concert was offered to the Pope and the Synod Fathers by the "Fondazione pro Musica e Arte Sacra" (Foundation for Music and Sacred Art) in order to commemorate the bi-millennium birth of St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles.
In brief remarks delivered at the basilica of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls, Benedict XVI expressed his delight at attending the Vienna Philharmonic's "masterly" interpretation of Bruckner's symphony.
"We could say that Anton Bruckner, drawing from the Austrian Baroque and the Schubertian tradition of popular song, brought the romantic process of interiorization to its extreme consequences." The Pontiff also commented that "listening to this famous composition in the basilica dedicated to St. Paul, we are spontaneously drawn to a passage from the First Letter to the Corinthians in which the Apostle, having spoken of the diversity and unity of charisms, compares the Church to the human body, made up of members very different one from the other but all indispensable to its correct functioning. In the same way, this orchestra and choir are formed of various instruments and voices which, in harmony together, produce a melody sweet to the ear and to the spirit."
The Pope also expressed his hope that the basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, "may truly become a fulcrum for liturgical, spiritual and artistic initiatives that aim to rediscover his missionary work and theological ideas."