A press release from the Vatican Press Office today announced the following (working translation):
In the past few days, Mons. Massimo Palombella, SDB, has concluded his service as Maestro Direttore of the Music of the Pontifical Chapel. The Holy Father accepted the request of the Maestro to terminate his assignment. The decision was taken after consultation with the Congregation of the Salesians of Don Bosco and with the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. Monsignor Palombella is henceforward available to the Salesian Congregation for the new ministry that will be entrusted to him.
Original Italian announcement will be found at
Palombella has done much in recent times to restore the reputation of what were previously known as the “Sistine Screamers”. No longer are there “twenty competing vibratos bawling at each other and boys singing consistently flat”. The plainchant is now restrained (though not to everyone’s taste), and Palombella has done a lot of work in the Vatican music archives, particularly regarding the works of his predecessor Palestrina and performance practices of Palestrina’s time. It remains to be seen who will take on this work and whether Palombella’s successor will succeed in continuing on the same path.