Vatican City, 19 October 2012 (VIS) – The eleventh edition of the International Festival of Sacred Music and Art – which takes place during the autumn in Rome’s patriarchal basilicas and in the Vatican – is to be dedicated to the Year of Faith.
The festival serves to promote the activities of the “Fondazione pro Musica e Arte Sacra”, an organisation presided by Hans-Albert Courtial which has the mission of restoring the artistic treasures contained in the patriarchal basilicas, and ensuring that sacred music continues to be played there.
This year’s programme includes seven concerts due to take place between 2 and 13 November. The first will be the Requiem Mass of Giovanni Sgambati to be performed by the Roman “Sinfonietta” Orchestra in the basilica of St. Ignatius of Loyola. In the same basilica on Wednesday 7 November the Orchestra of Rome’s “Teatro dell’Opera” will play Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7. On 11 November a private concert will take place in the Vatican at which the Sistine Chapel Choir will sing the “Missa Anno Santo”, composed by the Pope’s brother Msgr. Georg Ratzinger. On the same day in the basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, the Johann-Rosenmuller-Ensemble will perform Claudio Monteverdi’s “Vespers of the Blessed Virgin Mary”. On 12 November a concert will take place in the papal basilica of St. Mary Major with a performance of “Polyphony of the Roman School” by the Sistine Chapel Choir, and “Six Centuries of Catholic Choral Music from the British Isles” by the Westminster Cathedral Choir. On 13 November, the Westminster Cathedral Choir conducted by Martin Baker will sing during a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Comastri. Also on 13 November, the festival will come to an end with a concert at the papal basilica of St. Paul’s Outside-the-Walls at which the Wiener Philharmoniker Chamber Orchestra will play a programme of music by Mozart.
Commenting on the coming festival Cardinal Comastri, who is honorary president of the “Fondazione pro Musica e Arte Sacra”, said: “This a music born of the faith, and thus a music which also attracts to the faith. All art in the Church is, in fact, nothing other than an expression of inner beauty translated into exterior forms”.