Those present at yesterday’s concert by the Cappella Musicale Pontificia Sistina at St George’s Basilica, will surely treasure this memorable event, which in the words of Gozo Bishop Mgr Mario Grech “marked this extraordinary day.” Yesterday’s concert was the last appointment by the Sistine Chapel Choir following Pope Benedict XVI resignation earlier this month. The Sistine Chapel Choir sings at all the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff and traces its origins to the first centuries of the Church.
A fully-booked St George’s Basilica welcomed all the dignitaries of Gozo including most Members of Parliament, the Mayor of Victoria, Auxiliary Bishop Mgr Charles Scicluna and Gozo Bishop Mgr Mario Grech. The choir was under the direction of Mgr Massimo Palombella who was appointed by His Holiness Benedict XVI in 2010 as Choirmaster of the Pontifical Musical Choir of the Sistine Chapel.
Following a welcome address by Mgr Joseph Farrugia, the Project Coordinator, the choir sung a sequence of pieces mostly by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594), very appropriate for the current liturgical period. The concluding address by H.L. Mgr Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo and Dean of the Collegiate Chapter, emphasized the importance of art and music in the live of men. He went on saying that “the opening of this museum” and the “concert of this evening” fit properly “St George’s Basilica” and “mark an extra ordinary event to us all”.
Later he unveiled a plaque to mark this event and the guests were invited for a reception.