Singing their hearts out

15 October 2015 | by Joanna Moorhead

As the visual arts go, the Sistine Chapel is one of the world’s unforgettable set pieces. But whoever heard of anyone making a visit to this magnificent space not to admire Michelangelo’s frescoes, but to listen to the choir?The Sistine Chapel hasn’t been renowned for its music for more than a century – mention its choir to an Eternal City insider and you’ll get a wince and a reference to “the Sistine screamers” – but in the last five years things have changed.Under Pope Benedict, a passionate advocate of traditional church music, a new director was appointed and charged with bringing the 530-year-old chapel’s music up to the highest standards. And in an extraordinarily short space of time (it’s astonishing how the Vatican c

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