It would be encouraging to see a musician of international renown given charge of papal musical affairs.
From today`s Irish Independent:
Benedict to change his tune in music overhaul
By Malcolm Moore in Rome Tuesday November 20 2007
POPE Benedict is considering a dramatic overhaul of the Vatican in order to force a return to traditional sacred music.
After reintroducing the Latin Tridentine Mass, the Pope wants to widen the use of Gregorian chant and baroque sacred music.
In an address to the bishops and priests of St Peter's Basilica he said that there needed to be "continuity with tradition" in their prayers and music.
He referred pointedly to "the time of St Gregory the Great", the pope who gave his name to Gregorian chant.
Gregorian chant has been reinstituted as the primary form of singing by the new choir director of St Peter's, Father Pierre Paul.
He has also broken with the tradition set up by John Paul II of having a rotating choir, drawn from churches all over the world, to sing Mass in St Peter's.
The Pope has replaced the director of pontifical liturgical celebrations, Archbishop Piero Marini, with a man closer to his heart, Monsignor Guido Marini. It is thought he may replace the head of the Sistine Chapel choir, Giuseppe Liberto.
The International Church Music Review recently criticised the choir, saying: ``The singers wanted to overshout each other, they were frequently out of tune, the sound uneven, the conducting without any artistic power, the organ and organ-playing like in a second-rank country parish church.''
Mgr Valentin Miserachs Grau, the director of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, which trains church musicians, said that there had been serious "deviations" in the performance of sacred music.
"How far we are from the true spirit of sacred music. How can we stand it that such a wave of inconsistent, arrogant and ridiculous profanities have so easily gained a stamp of approval in our celebrations?" he said.
Damian Thompson has another version of this story in today`s Telegraph.