Thursday, December 07, 2006

Why Do We Sing

The sharp eye of Fr. Robert Skeris noticed a translation issue in the speech of Benedict XVI in honor of Maestro Domenico Bartolucci.

The English says: "Venerable Maestro, you have also always sought to make the most of sacred music as a vehicle for evangelization. Through numberless concerts performed in Italy and abroad..."

But the original Italian says: "Lei, venerato Maestro, ha cercato sempre di valorizzare il canto sacro, anche come veicolo di evangelizzazione. Mediante gli innumerevoli concerti eseguiti in Italia e all’estero..."

Fr. Skeris says that is better rendered as "You, honored Maestro, have always sought to strengthen and promote sacred song, also as a vehicle and instrument of evangelisation. Through the countless concerts performed here at home and abroad..."

The Vatican translation hints that the only purpose of the musical vocation is to evangelize by giving concerts. The Skeris translation make it clearer that singing the music is its own virtue, and in addition, the conductor evangelized by giving concerts.

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