October 2, 2010. Pope Benedict attended yesterday a concert at the Vatican, a gift to him from an Italian energy company. Along with cardinals, politicians and businessmen was a group of Rome’s poor who attended at the invitation of the Pope.
"I send a special greeting to the group of poor people served by Caritas in the diocese, I wanted to invite them to share these moments of joy."
For the occasion, the Estonian director Neeme Jarvi led the orchestra and choir of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. The musical program included works by German composer Ludwig van Beethoven, the Austrian Joseph Haydn, and one of the most important contemporary composers of sacred music, Estonian Arvo Pärt.
The Pope listened to Part’s work "Cecilia, virgine romana", a musical on the martyrdom of the patron saint of music.
"The most beautiful work of art, the masterpiece of human beings, is each of their acts of authentic love: from the smallest (in everyday sacrifice) unto the extreme sacrifice. At this point life itself becomes a hymn; an anticipation of the symphony we will sing together in heaven."
Benedict XVI is perhaps one of the most knowledgeable Popes of classical music. In his acceptance speeches after these concerts, he’s been the first pontiff whose teaching includes theological reflections on music.
He said that "music is the universal language of beauty" and even "music itself” can be a form of praying to God.