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Castel Gandolfo, Courtyard of the Apostolic Palace
Saturday, 11 August 2012



Reverend Confrères,
Dear Friends,

At the end of this lovely “panorama” of vocal and instrumental music, it only remains for me to wish the musicians a really heartfelt “Vergelt’s Gott” [may God reward you]. With this evening’s programme you have given us an idea of the multiplicity of musical creativity and the breadth of harmony. Music is not a succession of sounds; it has a rhythm and at the same time is coherent and harmonious; it has a structure and depth of its own. We have been able to enjoy all this in a marvellous way not only in the part songs for several voices, sung with powerful expression by the vocal group Cantico, conducted by Ms Edeltraut Appl, but also in the wonderful instrumental passages we have heard in the performance of Mr Thomas Beckmann, with his wife Kayoko and Ms Kasahara. We were all spellbound — as you will have noticed — in listening to the cello’s warm tones and its vibrant, full timbre. Music is an expression of the spirit, of an inner place of the person, created for all that is true, good and beautiful. It is not by chance that music often accompanies our prayers. It makes our senses and soul resonate when we encounter God in prayer.

Today in the liturgy we are commemorating St Clare. In a hymn to the Saint one reads: “From the radiance of God you received light. You have made room for it, it has grown within you and has been diffused in the world; it brightens our hearts”. This is the basic attitude that fills human beings and gives them peace: openness to the divine claritas, the shining beauty and vital force of the Creator which enlivens us and brings us to get the better of ourselves. Today we have found this great claritas, in a wonderful way, and it has illuminated us. Thus it is only a consequence that artists, starting from their profound experience of beauty, strive for goodness and in turn offer their help and support to the needy. They communicate the good that they have received as a gift, and it spreads through the world. And in this way human beings grow, become transparent and aware of their Creator’s presence and action.

This can certainly be confirmed by Mr Beckmann and all those who are involved with him in the charitable work: “Gemeinsam gegen die Kälte” [together against the cold]. We have understood that this Gemeinsam gegen die Kälte does not respond to an aim imposed from the outside, but comes from the inner depths, from this music that overpowers the cold within us and opens hearts.

I warmly wish you every success in your musical work for many years to come, together with God’s abundant blessings on your charitable commitment. To all the musicians and singers, once again my heartfelt thanks for this beautiful evening. Let us put everything under God’s blessing! I impart my Apostolic Blessing to you all: thank you with all my heart! Good night.


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