Sacrilege? St Peter’s Basilica instals electronic organmain
The Vatican has bought a digital organ from a Pennsylvania company and will use it on all Papal celebrations in St Peter’s Square, replacing the traditional pipe organ.
The Allen Organ Company announces: ‘The Vatican’s new three-manual Allen GeniSys organ and its audio system include special adaptations to enable the instrument to be moved throughout the Vatican and other locations. While in St. Peter’s Basilica, the organ’s speaker cabinets are located behind the Choir with its sound also being amplified through the Basilica’s PA system to allow the organ to be heard by as many of 12,000 attending Mass.
‘During the first week of December, Allen President Steven Markowitz and Vice President Barry Holben traveled to the Vatican to install the organ and introduce it to Juan ParadellSolé, organist of the Pope, and Monsignor Massimo Palombella, Maestro of the Sistine Chapel Choir. In addition, the Allen organ was tested and approved for use in St. Peter’s Basilica.’
The digital organ was first heard in the Vatican on December 31.
No-one has yet noticed the difference.