Music: Choiring Celt

The greatest liturgical composer who ever lived and one of the musical wonders of the ages was Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, whose lacy counterpoint was the pride of the Vatican under Pope Sixtus V (1585-90). The best U.S. interpreter of Palestrina is an Irish-American named Father William J. Finn, former choirmaster of Manhattan's Church of St. Paul the Apostle, who has behind him nearly 50 years of high musical achievement.

Last week Father Finn published a book (The Conductor Raises His Baton; Harper's, $3.75). Extremely technical and written in a style of truly...

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