20 January 2014

Claudio Abbado RIP, Pope Benedict and Mozart's Requiem

Lacrimosa from Dies Irae, Mozart's Requiem

Lacrimosa dies illa
Qua resurget ex favilla
Judicandus homo reus.
Huic ergo parce, Deus:
Pie Jesu Domine,
Dona eis requiem. Amen.

Full of tears shall be that day
On which from ashes shall arise
The guilty man to be judged;
Therefore, O God, have mercy on him.
Gentle Lord Jesus,
grant them eternal rest. Amen.

Agnus Dei, Mozart's Requiem, Lucerne Festival 2012

Pope Benedict on Mozart's Requiem

Pope Benedict attended a performance in his honour of Mozart's Requiem in Castel Gandolfo in September 2010. He gave a short address afterwards. Here are some quotations from that.

Everything is in perfect harmony in Mozart, 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, 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, which recognizes the tragic character of human existence and which does not hide its dramatic aspects, and for this reason it is an appropriate expression of Christian faith, conscious that the whole of man's life is illuminated by the love of God.

Claudio Abbado expressed something of that very intensely at the conclusion of the Requiem in Lucerne.

At the conclusion of Mozart's Requiem, Lucerne Festival 2012

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10 NRSVCE).

May Claudio Abbado enjoy that fullness of life.

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