Pope Francis reveals he loves Bach’s Passions and schmaltzy Italian classical-pop
1 February 2022, 17:21 | Updated: 1 February 2022, 17:26
The Pope’s personal playlist is an unexpected marriage of Bach, Piazzolla and Pärt, with Italian pop-opera hits.
Listen to this article
Last month, the Pope delighted the music world when he was spotted slipping out of the Vatican to visit a record store in downtown Rome, and leaving with a classical CD in hand.
The Pope, known for his love of classical music, popped out of the Vatican on Tuesday night to visit a record store in downtown Rome – and left with a classical CD.— Classic FM (@ClassicFM) January 13, 2022
A few years ago, Pope Francis said his favourite composers are Mozart and Bach, calling Bach's music "sublime". pic.twitter.com/80mJ1lgIUw
Now, through a tweet from the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Gianfranco Ravasi, we have been given a deeper insight into Pope Francis’ curious cocktail of musical tastes.
Cardinal Ravasi posted a photo of the “musical materials” he had received from the Pope in advance of Italy’s iconic Sanremo Music Festival. The cluster of recordings included a vinyl of Bach’s St John Passion, a CD of minimalist composer Arvo Pärt’s Adam’s Lament, and an album by operatic pop trio, Il Volo.
Read more: This is the Pope’s favourite music
“We’re approaching #Sanremo2022, and I have received another set of musical materials from Pope Francis. Best wishes to the festival!” Ravasi tweeted.
Along with the Bach and Pärt, the Pope sent Ravasi an EP of Italian record producer and singer Caterina Caselli’s song ‘Nessuno mi puo’ giudicare’, and an album of music by Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla.
When Pope Francis visited StereoSound, the Rome record store, earlier this year, the store’s owner Letizia Giostra told Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera that his surprise visit was “an immense thrill.” She added: “The Holy Father is passionate about music and was already our client, years ago, when he was still a cardinal and would pass through Rome. Then, of course, we never saw him again. And now he came to visit us, to say ‘hello’”.
The Pope’s music library, curated by Ravasi, is said to include nearly 2,000 CDs and 19 vinyl records, among which tunes by Édith Piaf and Elvis Presley can be found.