OF SACRED MUSIC
Director of the Sistine Choir under five Popes
MGR. LORENZO PEROSI. director of the Sistine Choir of the Vatican for 59 years, under five Popes. a principal collaborator of St. Pius X in the reform of Church music, died on Friday at the age of 83. He began his remarkable career at the Vatican under a Popc—Lco X111—who had no ear for music. A story is told that on the occasion of a Papal anniversary. Don Lorenzo waited hopefully in the vicinity of the Pope for some expression of the Holy Father's opinion about a new composition of his.
A Papal Chamberlain. noticing him and fearing that no opinion would be forthcoming, went to him and told him that Pope Leo was very pleased. Afterwards the Chamberlain explained that he knew. the Pope would be pleased because the new composition was
a short one. •
But when Pope St. Pius came, Lorenzo Perosi rose to the heights.
Opinions differ now as to the quality of the bulk of Mgr. Perosi's compositions. Some musicians THE CATHOLIC HERALD asked for their opinions this week begged to be excused : one or two were highly critical.
But there is no dispute at all about the importance of Mgr. Perosi's Church music reforms at a time when. especially in Italy, Church music 'had been tending more and more to the theatrical and becoming an end in itself. distracting people from devotions it was intended to enhance — a concert going on at one end of the church while the Holy Sacrifice was being celebrated at the other end."
Mgr. Perosi died after a heart attack. Cardinal Ottaviani and Cardinal Constantini were at the bedside of Mgr. Perosi — himself the younger brother of a Cardinal during his last hours in his apartment in the Palace of the Hole Office.
WITH ST. PIUS
The Holy' Father, who was a personal friend of Mgr. Perosi, was kept constantly informed about his condition. He sent his special blessing to him when his condition began to cause concern, It was from Pius X. then Patriarch of Venice. that Lorenzo Perosi received his first important appointment, _that of Director of