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The Pope & Bach

The late Pope John Paul II & Bach

Teddy Kaufman wrote (April 7, 2005):
In 1983, Menuhin gave a private concert for the Pope John Paul II in his summer residence with the Polish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jerzy Maksymiuk.

The program included JSB "Erbarme Dich, mein Got" aria, as well as Vivaldi's violine concerto "La Caccia" and, Mozart's Adagio for violin and orchestra.

Does anyone know about other performances?

Aryeh Oron wrote (April 7, 2005):
[To Teddy Kaufman] I am not aware of any others, but this one was taped on video, and the singer was the Israeli contralto Mira Zakai. Are you sure that Menuhin was not the conductor of the "Erbarme Dich"?

Eric Bergerud wrote (April 7, 2005):
[To Teddy Kaufman] Not for the Pope specifically. However, the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) which a voice of the very active conservative wing of the US Catholic Church has taken to shown some very high quality programs of Bach's music. During Holy Week they televised the SJP with Cleobury, Kings and Roy Goodman. (I like this combination very much.)

Anyone who has watched religious politics in the USA over the past generation might conclude that the Reformation never took place.

Teddy Kaufman wrote (April 8, 2005):
[To Aryeh Oron] To my knowledge, it was not Menuhin. Enclosed please find the details of the Video :

CAST AND CREW INFORMATIONStarring
Yehudi Menuhin

"...Yehudi Menuhin performs in a private concert for pope John Paul II. Jerzy Maksymiuk conducts the Polish Chamber Orchestra. Included in the program are Concertos for Violin & Orchestra: op 8 No. 10, in B-Flat, rv.210; and op 8 No. 11, in D, rv.210 (Vivaldi); Rondo for Violin & Orchestra in C, k.373 and Adagio for Violin & Orchestra in E, k.261 (Mozart); and a chorale by Bach."

Teddy Kaufman wrote (April 9, 2005):
The late Pope John Paul II , Lorenzo Perosi, Stabat Mater & Bach

In a concert dedicated to Pope John Paul II on July 24th, 1988, at the Courtyard of the Palazzo Pontificio, Castel Gandolfo, as a part of the Festa Musica Pro Mundo Uno of Assisi, the Pope expressed his personal understanding and approach to music, which reminds me that of Bach :

"The mysterious and fascinating language of music has been combined with the language of faith, touching the very core of the inner being of Man, who is conscious of his own fragility before God, and yet is able to engage in dialogue with Him and to call on Him in a filial way through prayer. And when great, true music becomes prayer. It touches on the inexpressible."

The concert included Lorenzo Perosi' STABAT MATER, DIES ISTE and, L'INNO DELLA PACE.

This concert was recorded by the Vatican Radio and is available on a CD #061-005 (Budapest Choir- Antal Matyas, Maestro del Coro, The Budapest "Mav" Symphony Orchestra- Arturo Sacchetti- Dirretore).

The list members can listen to the Stabat Mater on Studio A - RadioVaticanaMusica, today April 9th (00.10 - 03.20).

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 9, 2005):
Teddy Kaufman wrote:
>>"The mysterious and fascinating language of music has been combined with the language of faith, touching the very core of the inner being of Man, who is conscious of his own fragility before God, and yet is able to engage in dialogue with Him and to call on Him in a filial way through prayer. And when great, true music becomes prayer. It touches on the inexpressible."
Many similar thoughts were expressed by musicians/composers in the Baroque. Johann Mattheson, for example, quotes and concurs with St. Augustine (with a similar thought expressed by Luther): "Bis orat, qui cord canit" ["Whoever sings from the heart, prays twice as much."]

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (April 9, 2005):
[To Thomas Braatz] The cord seems odd. Perhaps corde vel sim?

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 9, 2005):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] Yes, thanks for catching this error. It should, of course, read as Mattheson correctly quoted St. Augustine: "Bis orat, qui corde canit."

 

Pope Benedetto XVI and Bach

Teddy Kaufman wrote (May 2, 2005):
Pope Benedetto XVI , who recently replaced the late Pope John Paul II , is known as a classical music lover, playing the piano, mainly Bach and Beethoven.

At the central ceremony in the Vatican, the Pope climbed into his Popemobile Jeep to go around the square blessings the masses, while the organ opened with JSB's "Toccata and Fugue in D minor."

His love and appreciation to Bach, have well been highlighted already in the past :

At the CL Meeting held in Rimini, Italy , August 24 - 30, 2002, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger gave a talk called "THE BEAUTY AND THE TRUTH OF CHRIST".

Among various theological issues, Ratzinger expressed his exciting feelings when listening to Bach, as follows:

"... For me an unforgettable experience was the Bach concert that Leonard Bernstein conducted in Munich after the sudden death of Karl Richter.

I was sitting next to the Lutheran Bishop Hanselmann. When the last note of one of the great Thomas-Kantor-Cantatas triumphantly faded away, we looked at each other spontaneously and right then we said: "Anyone who has heard this, knows that the faith is true". The music had such an extraordinary force of reality that we realized, no longer by deduction, but by the impact on our hearts, that it could not have originated from nothingness, but could only have come to be through the power of the Truth that became real in the composer's inspiration. "

Olle Hedström wrote (May 2, 2005):
[To Teddy Kaufman] Which cantata was played by Bernstein on that occasion ? Do you have a clue ?

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (May 4, 2005):
[To Teddy Kaufman] Perhaps Lenny was not a believer, ha? The Cardinal's, now Pope's, views only state what one would expect him to state, to wit that great Christian music proves the truth of faith. Of course Pius XII remonstrated with great passion in an audience with Maria Callas about his belief that the singing of Wagner in Italian (as was often done at that time, not only with Wagner of course) was totally an awful thing and this is what he deemed awful while not deeming some other things awful. Pius XII was a great Wagner-phile and Germanophile. And obviously the present pope is a Christian man of his faith. I am not sure what it proves that he believes that Christian music proves his theological doctrinal beliefs. I am not sure that Lenny would have agreed at all. Lenny certainly liked the limelight.

Teddy Kaufman wrote (May 5, 2005):
[To Olle Hedström] Unfortunately, all my attempts to find the cantata played by Lenny were unsuccessful.

 

Pope and Bach

Douglas Cowling wrote (September 15, 2006):
The pope, whose brother is a musician, just dedicated a new organ in Regensburg which was inaugurated with the Bach D Minor Toccata. Interesting that the organ is called "The Queen of Instruments" in German.

Der Heilige Vater segnet in der Basilika zur Alten Kapelle die „Papst-Benedikt-Orgel“

(pdr) Papst Benedikt hat die neue Orgel in der Basilika zur Alten Kapelle in Regensburg gesegnet. Der Heilige Vater wurde am Portal durch Stiftsdekan Prälat Hubert Schöner und das Stiftskapitel empfangen. Der Papst segnete die erste „Papst-Benedikt-Orgel“ überhaupt, besprengte sie mit Weihwasser und beräucherte sie mit Weihrauch. Daraufhin wurde auf der „Königin der Instrumente“ als erstes Stück die Toccata und Fuge d-Moll von Johann Sebastian Bach gespielt (BWV 565).

In einer Ansprache würdigte Benedikt XVI. Regensburgs Bedeutung in der Vergangenheit als Zentrum der kirchenmusikalischen Reformbewegung, „deren Auswirkung bis in die Gegenwart reicht“. Der Heilige Vater betonte, dass Musik und Gesang zum Vollzug der Liturgie gehören. Feierliche Kirchenmusik mit Chor, Orgel, Orchester und Volksgesang seien eine „wichtige Weise tätiger Teilnahme am gottesdienstlichen Geschehen“.

Die Pfeifen dieser neuen Orgel seien Temperaturschwankungen und Ermüdungseinflüssen ausgesetzt. Dies sei gleichzeitig ein Bild für die Gemeinschaft der Kirche: „Wie in der Orgel eine berufene Hand immer wieder die Disharmonien zum rechten Klang vereinen muss, so müssen wir auch in der Kirche in der Vielfalt der Gaben und der Charismen ineu durch die Gemeinschaft des Glaubens den Einklang im Lob Gottes und in der geschwisterlichen Liebe finden.“ Vor wie auch nach der Feier in der Alten Kapelle ging der Heilige Vater auf die Menschen zu, die sich auf dem Alten Kornmarkt versammelt hatten, und wandte sich an viele von ihnen persönlich. (ven)

Thomas Braatz wrote (September 15, 2006):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
>>Interesting that the organ is called "The Queen of Instruments" in German.<<
This is due to its feminine gender in German: 'die Orgel'. The word for organ in German is not either masculine: 'der Orgel' nor is it neuter: 'das Orgel'. The etymology of 'Orgel' (and also 'organ' in English) goes back to Greek and Latin: 'organon' and 'organum' with a plural form 'organa'. It is the latter form which Old High German picks up, but by a process called dissimilation the 'n' in 'organa' becomes an 'l': OHG 'organa' in the plural becomes 'orgenen' which dissimilates to 'orgelen' which in turn needs a new singular form: 'orgela' which in Middle High German drops the final 'a' and simply becomes 'orgel', a singular, feminine noun. It is difficult for those who grew up speaking only English as a native language to imagine looking at the moon and saying essentially (Mark Twain had a lot of fun with this): 'Just look how big he is." Likewise a native German hears a great organ playing and says: "She is truly magnificent. I wonder what she sounded like when Bach played on her?!"

Raymond Joly wrote (September 15, 2006):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
>>Interesting that the organ is called "The Queen of Instruments" in German.<<
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< This is due to its feminine gender in German: 'die Orgel'. >
"Le roi des instruments", the king of instruments, is or was quite a usual designation for the organ in French. "Amour, délice et orgue" are or were known by every French schoolboy and girl as the three nouns which are masculine in the singular ("un très bel orgue", "vivre un grand amour") and feminine in the plural ("les grandes orgues de Notre-Dame", "le souvenir de nos belles amours").

Eric Bergerud wrote (September 19, 2005):
[To Thomas Braatz] That's a really interesting comment. Literally speaking you are, of course, correct. But I discussed the matter of genders with the head of the Goethe Institut in Berlin when I was there in the 70's: the gent, as one might think, was a linguist by trade. His take was a little different. He said that for most nouns gender was not "mentally" interpreted in terms of gender - if that makes sense. In other words, der, die or das (or associated pronouns etc) were usually processed as "the" or "a." Some words however, were not. Rather like the referring to a ship or boat in English as "she" or a "her" - I've heard vets talk about battleships in these terms. (Doesn't seem to fit somehow.) So perhaps Orgel fits into that category. (I wouldn't dismiss the possibility that I didn't quite appreciate precisely what the gent was getting at. But it was a long chat and the fellow found the subject very interesting. Still glad we English speakers don't have to deal with the matter - except concerning ships. Oh yea, don't call a submarine a "ship" to a sailor - it's a "boat" even if it's the size of a WWII heavy cruiser.) Still haven't figured out why Mädchen is neuter. Should have asked while I had the chance.

Rick Canyon wrote (September 19, 2006):
Eric Bergerud wrote:
< He said that for most nouns gender was not "mentally" interpreted in terms of gender - if that makes sense. In other words, der, die or das (or associated pronouns etc) were usually processed as "the" or "a." Some words however, were not. >
Or, you can do what I do when speaking German: just say "duh".

 

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Last update: ýSeptember 19, 2006 ý18:14:53