Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Guiseppi Verdi's Requiem Performed by UC Davis Symphony Orchestra and University Chorus, Directed by Jeffrey Thomas

Above, in its entirety, a composition that expresses, in the words of music critic and Vicar of Christ Pope Benedict XVI, "the gamut of human sentiments in face of the end of life, man's anguish before his natural frailty, the feeling of rebellion in face of death, disconcert on the threshold of eternity" — Verdi's Requiem Seen as "Cry to the Father".

The article informs us that "Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) wrote the Requiem Mass in 1873 as a tribute to Italian writer and humanist Alessandro Manzoni," and that Pope Ratzinger, hailing it as the composer's "apex, the final moment of his musical production," called it "not only a tribute to a great writer, but also the response to an interior and spiritual artistic need that confrontation with the human and Christian stature of Manzoni aroused in him." The Supreme Pontiff, acknowledging that the composer called himself "somewhat of an atheist," further praised the work as "a great cry to the Father, in an attempt to overcome the cry of despair in face of death, to rediscover the aspiration to life which becomes a silent, heartfelt prayer: Libera me Domine."

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Blogger Stephen said...

Incidentally, if you've never read Manzoni, you should. His short novel I Promessi Sposi (English title: The Betrothed definitely belongs in the top tier of Catholic literature.

8:06 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

I never have, and I shall hope to. Thanks for the recommendation.

8:17 PM  

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.