ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER
Sunday, 2 August 1998
I have listened with interest to the pieces of music by Felix Mendelssohn and Zoltán Kodály which have just been played by the Philharmonia Hungarica, during this interesting artistic evening organized by the Academia Musicae pro Mundo Uno of Rome.
I first thank Maestro Ervin Acél, resident conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Szeged, Stefan Milenkovich, the violinist, and all the musicians for their competent and excellent performance which has uplifted our spirits. My grateful thoughts then turn to Maestro Giuseppe Juhar and Dr Monika Ryba-Juhar, respectively President and Artistic Director of the Academia Musicae pro Mundo Uno.
I also cordially greet the guests gathered here and express gratitude to them for having wished to honour with their presence this musical event in the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo.
The interpretation of the pieces played for us seems to express the full force and pathos of the soul of the Hungarian nation, so rich in feeling yet so noble and distinguished and open to dialogue with other cultures.
Music, as a universal language, by its very nature can encourage meetings between different cultures, becoming the vehicle of a fruitful exchange of gifts which often enriches those who give more than those who receive. It raises the soul to noble and sincere sentiments and can lead, through the harmony of the notes and the dialogue of the instruments, to contemplation of God’s supreme and eternal beauty.
I hope with all my heart that every musical performance will be an opportunity for interior spiritual enrichment and a cause of fraternal understanding among persons and nations.
I accompany these sentiments with a special Blessing which I willingly impart to those present and to their respective families, in the hope of abundant heavenly graces.
The Holy Father then said in Hungarian to the members of the orchestra:
Thank you for this lovely concert.
Good evening to everyone.
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