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Italian president becomes emotional during concert with Pope

GIORGIO NAPOLITANO ;

President, Republic of Italy

“Your Holiness, our common appreciation for music, which has developed year after year within the musical atmosphere of Paul VI Hall, has concluded for me with this concert, which coincides with end of my term as president of Italy. So please do not be surprised if within my words you notice traces of particular emotion.” ;

The Mayo Musical Florentino Orchestra, under the direction of Indian maestro Zubin Mehta, performed the overture “The Force of Destiny” by Guiseppe Verdi, on the bicentennial of his birthday. ;

BENEDICT XVI

“Dealing with the theme of destiny, Verdi finds himself taking on the theme of religion directly; he confronts God, faith, the Church. And once again this composer’s spirit re-emerges: his restlessness, his religious quest.” ;

The main piece of the performance was Beethoven?s Third Symphony, also known as the Heroic Symphony. At first, the piece was dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte, but after he crowned himself emperor, the German composer withdrew the dedication. ;

BENEDICT XVI ;

“Changing the title to ?Composition Celebrating the Memory of a Great Man?. Beethoven?s music expresses the idea of a heroic bearer of freedom and equality who has to choose between resignation or battle, between death or life, between surrender or victory. The symphony describes this state of mind with a colorful richness and themes, until now, unknown.” ;

The funds raised from the concert will benefit the Flying Angels Foundation, presided by the Italian ambassador to the Holy See, and which offers flights and visas to sick children so they may seek care in other countries. ;

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