Monday, 26 June 2006

'Disorderly Sounds'

On Sunday Pope Benedict attended a concert of Sacred Music given by the Sistine Choir in the chapel of that same name. They were directed by 89 year-old maestro, Mgr Domenico Bartolucci (who led the choir between 1959 and 1997).

At the end of the performance His Holiness said: 'Sacred polyphony, in particular that of what is called the "Roman school," constitutes a heritage that should be preserved with care, kept alive, and made better known, for the benefit not only of the scholars and specialists, but of the ecclesial community as a whole...An authentic updating of sacred music can take place only in the lineage of the great tradition of the past, of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony.'

In an interview published in Monday's La Stampa, the former Archbishop of Ravenna, Cardinal Ersilio Tonini, agreed: 'Benedict XVI is right, Mass is a meeting with God and to meet God sacred music is better than the turmoil of electric guitars, hand clapping and the hustle and bustle of disorderly sounds.' Tonini said that in the immediate aftermath of the Second Vatican Council, 'making mass more popular and inviting could be understood.' However, the Cardinal added, 'we exaggerated and now I believe it is legitimate to consider as over this season of breaks with tradition.'

That's the good news. The bad news is that, even with the involvement of Mgr Bartolucci, the Sistine Screamers sounded as bad as ever when I listened to Vatican Radio - at least to my English ears!



Anonymous Andrew said...

The dismissal of Mgr Bartolucci was one of the worst blunders of Pope John Paul II.

He should have listened to Pius XII when he originally appointed Mgr Bartolucci for life

10:44 pm  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Actually from hearing a few things tonight after our celebratory meal for the feast Ss. Peter and Paul, it looks like Mgr. Bartolucci wasn't as good as he was hyped to be.

It seems to me that the Sistine choir has unfortunately been pretty bad after the council.

1:18 am  

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