excerpt from 'Musical letters from abroad' pp. 160-1 (252 words)

excerpt from 'Musical letters from abroad' pp. 160-1 (252 words)

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Musical letters from Abroad

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On Sabbath morning, we attended the Roman Catholic service at St. Roch. Music receives more attention here than at, perhaps, any of the other Paris churches; and the whole mass was, to-day, quite well done. The choir, including ministers, boys, and all, numbered about fifty persons. There are two organs; a large one at the end of the gallery, occupying about the place in the house that organs generally do with us; and a smaller one in the choir, near the altar. This latter was used exclusively for accompaniment, and the former, or large one, was played only when some flourish of overture or march triumphant was desired. Then it sent forth its tones loud and jubilant, so as to make the welkin ring again. The music was quite modern; as much so as if composed by the latest Donizetti or Verdi, and quite in the orchestral, anti-ecclesiastical style. It was indeed vocal, — words were sung; but, as they could not be understood, the effect of the whole was such as is the musical effect in a grand pantomime. Indeed, the worship in the Roman Catholic cathedrals seems to be little else than a mute, gesticulatory action of bowings, crossings, and kneelings, with grand processions, musical accompaniment, &c. Musically considered, how ever, the performance was good. It was prompt and energetic, and the pianos and fortes were well observed. The organs too, though far different from the German style, were played with all the power of execution that could be desired.

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excerpt from 'Musical letters from abroad' pp. 160-1 (252 words)


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