The Pope goes browsing for records

The Pope goes browsing for records


norman lebrecht

January 16, 2022

His Holiness nipped out last Tuesday evening to browse in his favourite classical store.

Rome is one of the few cities where such pleasures are still possible.

A Vatican spokesman said Francis had gone to Stereosound to bless the shop after its recent renovation.



  • db says:

    I was curious about this place after seeing the story. I searched for it online. “Stereosound” does not exist.

    The shop is called “La Discoteca al Pantheon”.

    English language news reports got it wrong. It took under five minutes to find out the actual name and no journalist even bothered.

    • Sam's Hot Car Lot says:

      The sign over the store entrance says “STEREOSOUND”.

      • Db says:

        And that is not the name of the store!

        “Over 99 Billion Served” is not the name of the fast food burger chain either.

        Just Google “la discoteca al pantheon” and you’ll see.

        This shouldn’t be too hard to understand.

  • David K. Nelson says:

    There were two record reviewers on the Fanfare staff at the same time I was who at least in their own minds had personal claims to infallibility. And they too issued plenty of bulls— . Whether the then-Pope read their suggestions or not I do not know.

    But what would be on a Pope’s shopping list?

    I guess we can rule out Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony, Boccherini’s La casa del diavolo Symphony, and Tartini’s Devil’s Trill Sonata.

  • John Borstlap says:

    My fly on the wall tells me that obviously, that blessing story is only a cover for an acquisition of a number of CD’s, of which at least 3 of the Rolling Stones, sold under the counter.

  • V. Lind says:

    That’s your story, Your Holiness. You stick to it!

    That looks suspiciously like a CD in his left hand…

  • Michael P McGrath says:

    How cool is this?!

    • Gustavo says:

      It’s so cool that I would convert to Catholicism if that would help keeping record shops alive.

      • V. Lind says:

        I got one of the best hauls of low-priced classical CDs of my life in a sale of books and music at my church. Suggested musical families galore, albeit the fact that they were selling them off could be construed otherwise.

      • John Borstlap says:

        In fomrer times it was the other way around: music used to keep catholicism alive.

  • chris says:

    I hope he bought Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Three Screaming Popes

  • Freewheeler says:

    But he left empty-handed because they’d sold out of Burzum.

  • Gustavo says:

    What is he hiding under his robes?

    Looks like a vinyl.

    Possibly John Williams in Vienna…”Besuch vom lieben Gott”?

  • Frank says:

    OK, but just don’t tell me he likes Mahler….

    • Gustavo says:

      “Some think that tradition is a museum of old things. I like to repeat what Gustav Mahler used to say: “Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire”. It is like a root from which comes sap, that makes the tree grow so that it bears fruit.”

      – His Holiness Pope Francis

      Vatican Basilica, New Synod Hall, Saturday, 26 October 2019

      • Nicholas says:

        Too bad his Holiness believes Liturgical Latin belongs to the worship of ashes instead of preservation of fire. He has been known to criticize Catholic Trads of being too rigid, so I would not be surprised if he listens to and enjoys Mahler’s music. After all, the late author, Edmund Morris, wrote that there’s something “masturbatory” in Mahler’s music and who is his Holiness to judge?

      • John Borstlap says:

        ‘As long as it has not degenerated into convention, tradition is the phoenix of eternal youth.’

        Anonymous, 21st century

  • Rob says:

    All those billions rolling around in private bank accounts. All based on a lie story.

  • Terence Van Vliet says:

    The pope’s visit to a record shop elicits, not surprisingly given the commentators responding here, a pile of anti-Catholic bilge. Oi vey!

  • DP says:

    Well at least he’s wearing a mask.