Vatican uproar as Sistine Chapel conductor goes

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Monsignor Massimo Palombella, director of the Choir of the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican has announced. Palombella, 52, has been the subject of financial allegations.

Read here.

He is credited with transforming a shambolic ensemble into a credible force, gaining a record contract with Deutsche Grammophon and generally raising musical standards at the Holy See.

Here’s an FT update.

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  • Mons Palombella was more concerned about the CDs and their marketing than about the exemplary quality of the liturgical work at Saint Peter’s; I hope his successor will have a different focus.

  • The Woodpigeon (as he is known to translators) made that choir sound like a fire in a pet shop. Their concert at Westminster Cathedral was virtually inaudible, so strange were the aims and methods of this untrained puppeteer. Just as well he had his hand in the till – he needed sacking, and quick!

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