Hear Bryce Dessner’s Premiere of ‘Pope Francis’ Song From Netflix’s ‘The Two Popes’

Althea Legaspi

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Bryce Dessner of the National unveils the new acoustic ballad, “Pope Francis,” premiering via Rolling Stone. The song appears in the upcoming Netflix film, The Two Popes. Dessner scored the soundtrack, which is available for preorder and will be released on December 6th via Milan Records.

The contemplative song was recorded at Abbey Road and features London Contemporary Orchestra. It opens with a tender guitar melody, which blends with warm orchestral swells in the arrangement.

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“I wrote this simple guitar piece for one of the most important moments in the film,” Dessner tells Rolling Stone. “I had such an amazing time working on The Two Popes with director Fernando Meirelles and getting to go on set in Rome during the filming and meet Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce.”

The Two Popes details the story of two men of faith that have opposing world views, who will ultimately decide the fate of the Catholic church. Frustrated with the church’s direction, Cardinal Bergoglio (Pryce) — the future Pope Francis — asks Pope Benedict XVI (Hopkins) for permission to retire in 2012. Instead, amidst church scandal, the pair have a series of meetings that force them to “confront elements from their pasts in order to find common ground and forge a future for a billion followers around the world.”

“This piece is one of several important themes in the score that relate to major development in Bergoglio’s story,” Dessner adds.

The Two Popes will premiere in theaters on November 27th and will be available for streaming via Netflix on December 20th.

The Two Popes Track List

1. “Walls”
2. “Cuando Tenga la Tierra” featuring Mercedes Sosa
3. “Dialogues”
4. “Vote Counting”
5. “Ratzinger Election”
6. “Garden Dialogues”
7. “Was It Something I Said”
8. “Shifting Gardens”
9. “Cathedral”
10. “Bergoglio’s Awakening”
11. “Siete de Abril”
12. “Dirty War”
13. “Taken Away and Tortured”
14. “They Took Esther”
15. “Another Bergoglio”
16. “Walls 2”
17. “Pope Francis”
18. “Sombras de Buenos Aires”
19. “Minguito” – Dino Saluzzi
20. “Sastanàqqàm” featuring Tinariwen
21. “Besame Mucho” featuring Ray Conniff & His Orchestra

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