Sandro Magister, who might be a wonderful journalist in some ways but who knows absolutely nothing about music and so he becomes vulnerable to being manipulated by his blustering contacts in the Vatican, is at it again, slamming the director of the Sistine Chapel choir. You are welcome to read his rant.
But notice this sentence: "It is not enough, in fact, that the selection of composers and songs is today more in line with the desires of the pope."
Hold on a minute there buddy. What it means is that the SisChap choir has embraced B16's musical desires. And that's not enough for Magister?
I'm sorry but we've been down the road before. Magister is playing politics in the well-known way of this world. He has a horse in this race -- Bartolucci will be grumpy and disgruntled until the end of time -- and he is using his column to push for the one on which he placed his bet.
It is an indisputable fact that the music at the Basilica in general is VASTLY better than at any point in half a century. They are singing the propers in chant, real Gregorian, and often the music you hear in the Basilica is wonderful, particularly the chant. This has not been true in our lifetimes!! What's more, no more goofy visiting choirs that sing American pop music. That was an incredibly gutsy move that ended decades of noisy corruption. Can we please give some credit where it is due?
As for the SisChap choir, the problem there appears to go back to the beginnings of the paleolithic period. No news here. Not even PX could fix this problem.
I took apart the last column by Magister on this subject, and don't much feeling like doing it yet again.
Nathan Knutson, cathedral and diocesan director of sacred music, performing artist, father, lecturer on sacred music