Mozart and The Pope

Actually just before I log off and just before the day turns I have one last thought for Friday…

In case you’re reading this many months from now, today Friday April 8th 2005 was the day of the funeral of the late Pope John Paul II in Vatican City. I should be upfront on all of this and say that, like so many of my generation, I’m a spectacularly lapsed catholic with a quite strong belief in God and that’s why what happened to me yesterday made me pause for thought.

The lovely folk at Deutsche Grammophon (who don’t send me stuff ever unfortunately!) sent in a CD of The Pope celebrating mass in St Peter’s in 1985 with the immortal Herbert Von Karajan conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in Mozart’s Coronation Mass. Beautiful, haunting and, as I found out when I played it here at home, strangely moving.

To hear a man who, in his later years, had been so infirm and such an almost ethereal figure speaking (and singing!) a full mass in Latin almost brought tears to my eyes (although I’ve always been a sucker for the power of religious music – I could listen to Ariel Ramirez’s Misa Criolla all day long….)

I suppose we tend to forget what a charismatic, almost rock and roll figure he was in the early days of his papacy and I think to have that contrasted with the recent heart-rending images of a very sick man being wheeled out for partial public appearances was what caught me off guard. Felt the same way when I saw the supplement with the Irish Times today of candid and posed photos of the 1979 papal visit. Maybe it’s one of the reasons so many felt the need to grieve so publicly over the last few days…

It’s DG 463 292-2 if you’re interested…


0 thoughts on “Mozart and The Pope

  1. Great blog Rick and really enjoying the show in the morning. It really does make the morning drive to work all the better.

    I agree with you on the subject of this particular entry in your blog. Anyone I’ve spoken to has been affected in some way by the Pope’s death and the same point is always made that they didn’t think they would be affected.

    here was a man who lived the last few years of his life in ill health and he chose not to hide away. He chose to show his human frailties to us and the image of him trying to speak on Easter Sunday morning was one that broke my heart and made me cry and I don’t cry that often.

    The sense of permanence he offered in our lives (either consciously or subconsciously) is what will be missed and is part of the reason why the death touched so many people of faith or none.

    I must check out that CD you mentioned. It sounds great.

    Keep up the blogging!

  2. Pope John Paul II Celebrates Solemn High Mass in St. Peters [LIVE] [IMPORT] …..

    Is this the one you are talking about? Available on Amazon as an import?

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