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Argentine composer brings Tango Mass to Pope Francis

2013-11-08

The harmonies and melodies filled the Basilica of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The songs are all in Latin. But the music has a Latin element, a bandoneon.

The traditional Argentine accordion transforms this classical music performance into a unique blend of faith and culture. It's called "Misa a Buenos Aires,” but it's unofficially known as the Tango Mass.

MARTIN PALMERI
Composer, Misa a Buenos Aires
"Obviously, I'm very proud. It's a piece I composed over 15 years ago. Ans slowly it's been growing and getting played at bigger venues. For me this is an incredible possibility. It's like a prize for the musical piece and a prize for me.”

Argentine Composer Martin Palmeri presented his piece at the inaugural concert for the International Festival of Sacred Music and Art in Rome. This year's edition was dedicated to Pope Francis.

A full orchestra, featuring three bandoneons, performed the 42 minute set. They were accompanied by the Cologne Dome Choir, as well as Argentine mezzo-soprano Bernanda Fink.

And even though the Pope did not attend, Parlmeri still hopes that he'll have the chance to meet his fellow Argentine face to face. 

MARTIN PALMERI
Composer, Misa a Buenos Aires
"My idea is to propose a new musical piece, with his support, an oratory on the Jesuits. So I hope that I'll be able to exchange a few words with him to propose this project.”

But for Palmeri, presenting his work at the world's most prestigious sacred music festival is a victory in itself. He hopes his Tango Mass will continue growing in popularity. Meanwhile, he's already begun working on his next piece: a set inspired by the poetry of Pablo Neruda.


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