Pope Benedict XVI expressed gratitude for the concert performed in his honor at the Swiss Hall of the Apostolic Palace in Castel Gandolfo this weekend, and in his remarks at the conclusion of the concert he emphasized the importance of music in transmitting the profound experiences of the soul.
After thanking Ivonne Timoianu, who played the violoncello and the former Austrian ambassador to the Holy See, Christoph Cornaro, who played piano, for the “magisterial performance” of Franz Schubert’s “Winter Journey,” Benedict XVI noted that the piece describes “the intense atmosphere of sad loneliness caused by his [Schubert’s] delicate state of health and his sentimental and professional disappointments.”
“It is an interior journey that the celebrated Austrian composer wrote in 1827, just one year before his premature death at the age of 31,” the Pope added.
“When Schubert brings a poetic text into his universe of sound, he performs it through a melodic link that penetrates the soul with sweetness, bringing the listener to feel his same nostalgic consummation, the same call of that truth of the heart that goes beyond all rationality. In this way a picture is born that speaks of genuine everyday life, of nostalgia, of introspection and of the future,” the Holy Father continued.
“The spontaneous and exuberant young Schubert was successful in communicating—to us here tonight as well—what he lived and experienced. He is worthy therefore of the universal acclaim that is given to this illustrious genius of music, who honors European civilization and the great culture and spirituality of Christian and Catholic Austria.”
“Comforted interiorly by the splendid musical experience of tonight, we renew our gratitude to those who have promoted this concert and those who have magnificently performed it,” the Pontiff said in conclusion.