ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
Paul VI Audience Hall
At the end of this concert, I would like to offer a cordial greeting to all the people who arranged and performed it, as well as those who have honoured this interesting event of art and music with their presence. I would like to express my deep gratitude to those who have offered us this gift, appreciated by all.
I first thank Mr Christian Thielemann, General Music Director, and all the members of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Munich, Bavaria. Their musical skill is ever a cause of new enthusiasm. I likewise express my thanks to the Athestis Chorus that consists of professional singers constantly chosen on the basis of the repertory to be performed, so as always to correspond to the most demanding expectations of musical quality. Lastly, I warmly thank the Regensburger Domspatzen and their Director, the Choirmaster of the Cathedral, Roland Büchner.
I am proud and grateful that this magnificent choir, which can boast an uninterrupted 1,000-years-old tradition, was for 30 years directed with passion by my brother Georg, and now, under Roland Büchner, is once again in excellent hands. I extend my gratitude to those who helped organize this important musical event, recorded by the Bavarian and Saarland Broadcasting Networks, in collaboration with Columbia Artists and Unitel.
Covering a broad span from Palestrina to Richard Wagner, from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to Giuseppe Verdi and Hans Pfitzner, you have enabled us to experience something of the magnitude of musical creativity which, in brief, has always been nourished by Europe's Christian roots. Even if Wagner, Pfitz-ner and Verdi introduce us into new areas in the experience of reality, the common foundation of the European spirit, formed by Christianity, is ever present.
At this concert we have once again been able to experience how music at a high level purifies and relieves us; in short, it enables us to feel God's greatness and beauty.
And precisely for having helped to raise our spirits to God, on behalf of those present I renew my cordial thanks to the capable musicians and singers and those who conceived of and organized the evening. I hope that the harmony of music and song, which knows no social or religious barriers, will be a constant invitation to believers and all people of good will to seek together the universal language of love that enables people to build a world of justice and solidarity, hope and peace.
With these hopes, I invoke divine assistance upon each one, as I warmly bless you here present and those following the concert on radio and television.
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