excerpt from 'Musical letters from abroad' pp. 129-30 (304 words)

excerpt from 'Musical letters from abroad' pp. 129-30 (304 words)

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Musical letters from Abroad

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This is a Roman Catholic place, and the music is, of course, such as belongs to that Church. There is but one place where a good choir is sustained, namely, the “Chapel of All Saints.” This a beautiful building, about one hundred and fifty feet in length, ninety in width, and seventy in height. There are a number of fine carvings ; and the whole interior is finely covered with fresco paintings, on a gold ground; so that the appearance, as one enters the building, is very splendid. We attended at this chapel on two occasions, on each of which high mass was performed, viz., Ascension-day and the Sabbath morning following. The music on the first day was by the director, Aiblinger, well known as a composer of Masses, Motets, &c. The choristers numbered about twenty-four, or six voices on a part, being composed of the best professional vocalists, or opera singers, in Munich. The organ was well played, but never as an accompaniment, as the vocal music was without any accompaniment whatever. There was, in the performance of this choir, all the full, dear, and certain delivery and union of vocal tones that the most fastidious critic could desire; though less of the crescendo and diminuendo than in the Dom choir at Berlin; but in one respect, the Munich choir had a great advantage, — the Soprano and Alto parts were sustained by femail voices. Consequently, there was a fulness, richness, and maturity of voice, and a blending in the chorus; neither of which can be obtained in choirs where boys sing the Soprano. There is a disagreeable effect always resulting from the predominance of boys’ voices in a choir. The attempt to unite them with adult voices, is like the attempt to mix oil with water; they will not coalesce.


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excerpt from 'Musical letters from abroad' pp. 129-30 (304 words)


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