Pope's Address at Conclusion of Concert

"Music is the Expression of the Spirit, of The Interior Place of the Person"

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, AUG. 11, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave on Saturday at the conclusion of a concert held in his honor.

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Venerable Brothers,
Dear Friends!

At the end of this beautiful “panorama” of vocal and instrumental music, it remains for me to say from my heart to the musicians a “Vergelt’s Gott” [the Lord reward you]. With this evening’s program you have given us an idea of the multiplicity of the musical creativity and of the breadth of harmony. Music is not a succession of sounds; it is a rhythm and, at the same time, it is cohesion and harmony; it has its structure and its depth. We were able to enjoy all this in a wonderful way not only in the choral music with the vocal ensemble, performed with expressive force by the Cantico vocal group directed by Mrs. Edeltraud Appl, but also in the stupendous instrumental passages which we were able to hear in the performance of Mr. Thomas Beckmann, of his consort Kayoko and of Mr. Kasahara. We all listened enraptured, to say the least, to the warm sound and the great breadth of the timbres of the cello. Music is the expression of the spirit, of the interior place of the person, created for all that is true, good and beautiful. It is no accident that music often accompanies our prayer. It makes our senses and spirit resound when, in prayer, we encounter God.

Today, in the liturgy, we remember Saint Clare. In a hymn to the Saint one reads: “From the clarity of God you have received light. You gave it space, it grew in you, and spread in the world; it lightens our hearts.

This is the underlying attitude that fills man and woman with peace: openness to divine claritas, the splendid beauty and vital strength of the Creator, which encourages us and makes us overcome ourselves. Today we found this claritas in a wonderful way, and it illuminated us! Thus it is only a consequence that the artists, beginning from their profound experience of beauty, commit themselves to the good and offer in turn help and support to the needy. They transmit the good they have received as a gift, and this spreads in the world. And thus the human being grows, becomes transparent and aware of the presence and action of his Creator, something which certainly Mr. Beckmann and all those who together with him are involved in the charitable work “Gemeinsam gegen die Kalte” [“Together against the Cold”] will be able to confirm. We have understood that this “Gemeinsam gegen die Kalte” does not respond to an objective that is imposed from outside, but comes from the depth of this music which overcomes the cold that is within us and opens the heart. A wish you all from my heart success in your musical commitment for many years, together with the abundant Blessing of God for your charitable endeavor. To all the performers again a heartfelt thank you for this beautiful evening. Let us put everything under the Blessing of God! I impart to you all my Apostolic Blessing.

My heartfelt thank you. Good night.

[Original text: German]

[Translation by ZENIT]