Premiere of Morricone Mass in Rome
Ennio Morricone, the Italian composer who has won multiple awards for his film soundtracks including The Mission, has debuted the first mass he has ever written, named after St Ignatius Loyola and composed in honour of Pope Francis in the Church where Ignatius is buried.
The Missa Papae Francisci was performed on Wednesday (10 June) by the Orchestra Roma Sinfonietta, with Morricone himself conducting, at the Gesù (Chiesa del Gesù), the mother church of the Society of Jesus in Rome. The Mass was composed at the request of the Jesuits, as part of the celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of the Restoration of the order.
Morricone has won three Grammy awards and two Golden Globes for his film work, and has been nominated five times for Oscars.
Morricone's composition was first conceived in 2012, when the Jesuits approached the composer with the request of write the work for the occasion of what was then the upcoming 200th anniversary of the Reconstitution of the Society of Jesus in 2014.
The Italian Jesuit website Gesuiti.it said, "The maestro immediately accepted and a few months later the Mass was ready, in fact the maestro himself was able to use it in homage to the Holy Father, after whom he wanted to name it, on the occasion of the Feast of St Ignatius in 2013."
The Mass was broadcast by the Italian radio station Rai 5.