Pope Benedict XVI has expressed his gratitude after a concert of sacred music by Vivaldi and Verdi conducted by maestro Riccardo Muti at the Vatican.
Italy's president, Giorgio Napolitano, offered the concert Friday evening in honor of the seventh anniversary of Benedict's papal election. Muti kissed the pope's hand before Benedict handed him a red box with a pontifical medal.
Benedict praised Muti's `'intense interpretation" of Vivaldi and hailed his `'sensibility for sacred music." Napolitano gave the pope an 18th-century violin. Benedict is known for playing classic piano music to relax..
Muti thanked Benedict for the compliments.
Benedict, 85, has recently used a cane in public but on Friday walked steadily with no cane in sight.
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