Sistine Chapel Choir Debuts CDs Capturing Sounds of the Conclave

Cardinal Ravasi Presents «Habemus Papam»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

The beautiful music heard from the Sistine Chapel Choir at events surrounding the 2013 Conclave will be for the first time made available through a major production company.

During a press conference this morning, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, expressed his “great satisfaction” on behalf of Vatican Radio about an initiative which will further make the works of the much beloved Sistine Chapel Choir more available worldwide.

Presenting the CD «Habemus Papam” (‘We Have a Pope’), released by Deutsche Grammophon, speakers at the press conference explained that the CD brings together the music of all the celebrations linked to the Conclave of 2013, performed by the Sistine Chapel Choir, conducted by Maestro Massimo Palombella.

Speakers at the press conference included Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Msgr. Massimo Palombella, director of the Sistine Chapel Choir; Fr. Federico Lombardi, as general director of Vatican Radio; Dr. Mirko Gratton, director of the Divisione Classica Universal; and Ute Fesquet, vice-president of Deutsche Grammophon.

In July 2014, an exclusive agency agreement was reached by the record label Deutsche Grammophon and the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir for the «Habemus Papam» CD; this agreement provides for two forms of production.

The first is a series of «great ecclesial events,» inaugurated by the double CD «Habemus Papam,» which includes music from celebrations presided at by Pope Francis recorded live by Vatican Radio. The second is a series of studio recordings by the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir of their characteristic repertoire, the music that has been historically composed for papal celebrations.

The 2-CD set «Habemus Papam» will be on sale in Italy from Nov. 11 and, in the rest of the world, from Nov. 28.

With a presentation by Maestro Roberto Gabbiani, the CDs contain all the music performed during the celebrations surrounding the 2013 Conclave, including the Mass for the election of the Pope in St. Peter’s Basilica, entry into the conclave, the Mass with the Cardinal Electors in the Sistine Chapel and the Mass for the beginning of the Petrine Ministry in St. Peter’s Square.

In addition, the CDs include the «Habemus Papam» announcement and Pope Francis’ first address from the Loggia.

With all live recordings, this publication is presented as the first historical documentation of the music of a conclave. 

Cardinal Ravasi, explaining how this CD will promote dialogue and evangelization, reminded those gathered of how Johann Sebastian Bach always spoke of music’s role to promote “the glory of God.”

To this end, Msgr. Palombella likewise expressed how music must “evangelize the world of today,” and how the choir is doing so, particularly through its ecclesial service, first of all, but also through other performances including for the patriarchate of Moscow as well as in New York.

The Sistine Chapel Choir, or the Pontifical Choir, is the oldest choral institution in the world. Composed of 20 permanent adult singers and around 30 child choristers from an associated private school with classes ranging from fourth to eighth grade, the choir normally performs at Celebrations presided at by the Pope, providing a primarily liturgical service.

As such, its concert activity is directed exclusively towards evangelization and to the promotion of ecumenical dialogue.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation