Mozart's Requiem Expresses Faith, Says Pontiff

Recalls Boyhood Experiences of Sacred Music

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 8, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is highlighting the faith and hope in God's love expressed in the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, particularly in the composer's Requiem.



The Pope made this reflection Tuesday in an address after a performance of the Requiem in the courtyard of the papal residence of Castel Gandolfo.

The performance was given by the Symphony Orchestra of Padua and Veneto, and the "Accademia della voce" Choir of Turin, conducted by Claudio Desideri.

"Everything is in perfect harmony in Mozart," the Pontiff observed, "every note, every musical phrase is as it is and could not be otherwise; even those opposed are reconciled; it is called "Mozart'sche Heiterkeit" (Mozart's serenity), which envelops everything, every moment."

"It is a gift of the grace of God," the Holy Father affirmed, "but it is also the fruit of Mozart's lively faith that, especially in sacred music, is able to reflect the luminous response of divine love, which gives hope, even when human life is lacerated by suffering and death."

"Mozart's Requiem is a lofty expression of faith," Benedict XVI said, "which recognizes the tragic character of human existence and which does not hide its dramatic aspects."

For this reason, he added, "it is an appropriate expression of Christian faith, conscious that the whole of man's life is illuminated by the love of God."

The Pope underlined the "profound and simple faith" of the composer, "which also appears in the great prayer of the Requiem, and leads us at the same time to love intensely the ups and downs of earthly life as gifts of God and to rise above them, contemplating death serenely as a 'key' to go through the door to happiness."

Ray of beauty

The Pontiff expressed "particular affection that has united me, I could say, always, to this great musician."

He continued, "Every time I listen to his music I cannot help but return in memory to my parish church, where on feast days, when I was a boy, one of his 'Masses' resounded."

The Holy Father said, "I felt that a ray of beauty from heaven reached my heart, and I continue to experience this sensation also today every time I listen to this great, dramatic and serene meditation on death."

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