Aug 10, 2011 / 14:53 pm
The Catholic Church is blessed to have a Pope who shows such a deep appreciation of classical music, says composer James MacMillan.
“We are lucky that we have a pontiff who values the true pinnacles of human civilization and creative achievement,” MacMillan remarked to CNA, Aug. 10.
His comments followed a gala concert in honor of Pope Benedict’s 60th anniversary of being ordained a priest. It was held on the evening of Aug. 9 at his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo.
Performing before the pope and his brother Georg - who is also marking his 60th year as a priest – were the German oboist, Albrecht Mayer, and Arabella Steinbacher, a young German-Japanese violinist. They were joined by an ensemble composed of six musicians from different international orchestras.
The evening’s repertoire was drawn exclusively from the 18th century, with works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivaldi being performed. In his words of thanks, the Pope highlighted the Christian faith permeating both composers’ work.
He said the works of Vivaldi, an Italian priest, were “an example of brightness and beauty that conveys serenity and joy,” revealing “his deeply religious spirit.”