Tuesday, January 15, 2008
How Bad is the Sistine Chapel Choir?
While much attention is being devoted to the orientation of the Holy Father's Mass in the Sistine Chapel (last post), my attention was distracted by a subject that has bothered me for years - the awful wailing that comes from what is purported to be a choir. Readers of this blog (all three of them) will know that I would rather have my tongue removed with pliars by Michael Bin Mooren than criticize anything to do with the Pope. But I suspect he may agree with me. Years ago, when I was a mere schoolboy, studying in an Anglican boarding school, our school chaplain used to take great pleasure in trying to irritate me (the only Catholic in our Divinity 'A Level' class) by saying that an average Anglican small Cathedral Choir was better than the Sistine Chapel Choir. As I recall he used to describe them as "a couple of fat Italian squawking boys." In my youthful desire to defend Holy Mother the Church, I used to try and valiantly defend the little chubby fellows. I suspect even then I knew he had the winning argument. Pope Benedict should recruit a good Anglican Choirmaster from one of the Cathedrals and get the music sorted out - we know the Italians can sing - why is it so bad in St. Peter's?