AS A MUSICIAN.
Author of "Cherubini: Memorials Illustrative of his Life."
LONDON: KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUeBNER, AND CO. 1892.
REPRINTED (WITH ADDITIONS AND MUSICAL EXAMPLES) FROM "THE MONTH" OF SEPTEMBER, 1891.
ROEHAMPTON: PRINTED BY JAMES STANLEY.
Music's ethereal fire was given Not to dissolve our clay, But draw Promethean beams from Heaven, And purge the dross away.
Cardinal Newman as a Musician.
It is a remark of St. Philip Neri's latest biographer that, "Our Saint was profoundly convinced that there is in music and in song a mysterious and a mighty power to stir the heart with high and noble emotion, and an especial fitness to raise it above sense to the love of heavenly things." In like manner the Saint's illustrious son, Cardinal Newman, has spoken of "the emotion which some gentle, peaceful strain excites in us," and "how soul and body are rapt and carried away captive by the concord of musical sounds where the ear is open to their power;" how, too, "music is the expression of ideas greater and more profound than any in the visible world, ideas which centre, indeed, in Him whom Catholicism manifests, who is the seat of all beauty, order, and perfection whatever." Music, then, to him was no "mere ingenuity or trick of art like some game or fashion of the day without meaning." For him man "sweeps the strings and they thrill with an ecstatic meaning." "Is it possible," he asks, "that that inexhaustible evolution and disposition of notes, so rich yet so simple, so intricate yet so regulated, so various yet so majestic, should be a mere sound which is gone and perishes? Can it be that those mysterious stirrings of heart, and keen emotions, and strange yearnings after we know not what, and awful impressions from we know not whence, should be wrought in us by what is unsubstantial, and comes and goes, and begins and ends in itself. It is not so; it cannot be. No; they have escaped from some higher sphere; they are the outpourings of eternal harmony in the medium of created sound; they are echoes from our home; they are the voice of angels, or the Magnificat of saints, or the living laws of Divine governance, or the Divine attributes, something are they beside themselves, which we cannot compass, which we cannot utter." And with him, as with St. Philip, may we not say that music held "a foremost place in his thoughts and plans"? True, out of its place, he will but allow that "playing musical instruments is an elegant pastime, and a resource to the idle." Music and "stuffing birds" were no conceivable substitutes for education properly so called, any more than a "Tamworth Reading-Room" system could be the panacea for every ill; but so long as an art in any given case did not tend to displace the more serious business of life; should it become for such an one an "aid to reflection," or, per contra, profitably distract him; in brief, if it anywise helped a soul on to her journey's end, then welcome the "good and perfect gift."
[Footnote 1: Cardinal Capecelatro's Life of St. Philip Neri, translated by the Rev. Thomas Alder Pope, of the Oratory, vol. ii. p. 83.]
[Footnote 2: Discourses to Mixed Congregations, p. 297, Fourth Edit. 1871.]
[Footnote 3: Idea of a University, dis. iv. p. 80, Sixth Edit. 1886.]
[Footnote 4: Oxford University Sermons, p. 346, Edit. 1884.]
[Footnote 5: Idea, dis. ix. 230. Dr. Chalmers writes to Blanco White: "You speak in your letter of the relief you have found in music.... I am no musician and want a good ear, and yet I am conscious of a power in music which I want words to describe. It touches chords, reaches depths in the soul which lie beyond all other influences.... Nothing in my experience is more mysterious, more inexplicable." (Blanco White's Life and Correspondence, edited by Thom, 1845, vol. iii. p. 195.)]
[Footnote 6: Oxford University Sermons, pp. 346, 347. Writing to her brother about the passage on music, partly cited above, beginning: "There are seven notes in the scale, make them fourteen; yet what a slender outfit for so vast an enterprise! What science brings so much out of so little! Out of what poor element does some great master in it create his new world!" Mrs. J. Mozley says, "We are pleased at your tribute to music, but what do you mean by fourteen notes? Do you mean the twelve semitones, as some suggest? I am indignant at the idea. I think you knew what you were saying. Please tell me when you write." (Mozley, Corr. ii. p. 411.) He replies: "I had already been both amused and provoked to find my gross blunder about the 'fourteen.' But do not, pray, suppose I doubled the notes for semitones, though it looks very like it. The truth is, I had a most stupid idea in my head there were fifteen semi tones, and I took off one for the octave. On reading it over when published, I saw the absurdity. I have a great dislike to publishing hot bread, and this is one proof of the inconvenience." (Ibid.) The Second Edition has "thirteen notes," which is correct, if the octave be included, but later editions go back to "fourteen."]
[Footnote 7: Pope, Capecelatro, ii. 82.]
[Footnote 8: Idea, dis. vi. p. 144.]
[Footnote 9: Ibid.]
Thus, of a pupil's violin playing, September, 1865: "There are more important things, and I had some fear that he might be neglecting his proper studies. Now since he has not been, his music is all gain.... To my mind music is an important part of education, where boys have a turn for it. It is a great resource when they are thrown on the world, it is a social amusement perfectly innocent, and, what is so great a point, employs their thoughts. Drawing does not do this. It is often a great point for a boy to escape from himself, and music enables him. He cannot be playing difficult passages on the violin, and thinking of anything else." Perhaps he was speaking from experience, for he told us in September, 1875: "I began the violin when I was ten years old," and his two brothers used to accompany him in trios, Frank playing "the bass." On going to Oxford he kept up his music. Thus in February, 1820: "Our music club at St. John's has been offered, and has accepted, the music-room, for our weekly private concerts;" and later: "I went to the R's to play the difficult first violin to Haydn, Mozart, &c.;" and in June, 1820: "I was asked by a man yesterday to go to his rooms for a little music at seven o'clock. I went. An old Don—a very good-natured man but too fond of music—played bass, and through his enthusiasm I was kept playing quartets on a heavy tenor from seven to twelve. Oh, my poor eyes and head and back." When the news arrived of his success at Oriel he was practising music. "The Provost's butler—to whom it fell by usage to take the news to the fortunate candidate—made his way to Mr. Newman's lodgings in Broad Street, and found him playing the violin. This in itself disconcerted the messenger, who did not associate such an accomplishment with a candidateship for the Oriel Common-Room, but his perplexity was increased when on his delivering what may be considered to have been his usual form of speech on such occasions, that 'he had, he feared, disagreeable news to announce, viz., that Mr. Newman was elected Fellow of Oriel, and that his immediate presence was required there,' the person addressed merely answered, 'Very well,' and went on fiddling. This led the man to ask whether, perhaps, he had not gone to the wrong person, to which Mr. Newman replied that it was all right. But, as may be imagined, no sooner had the man left than he flung down his instrument and dashed downstairs." And again, "With a half-malicious intent of frightening them (his electors at Oriel), it was told them that Mr. Newman had for years belonged to a club of instrumental music, and had himself taken part in its public performances, a diversion, innocent in itself, but scarcely in keeping, or in sympathy with an intellectual Common-Room, or promising a satisfactory career to a nascent Fellow of Oriel." So thought the quidnuncs; nevertheless, Mr. Newman "went on fiddling." His pupil, F. Rogers (the late Lord Blachford), joined him herein, and writes, January, 1834: "Your sermons ... and Beethoven are most satisfactory. I wish I could hope to join you in the last in any moderate time. However, I do expect you will take me to Rose Hill to hear some of it again, if it were only to remind me of those evenings I used to spend with you when at Iffley. I am afraid you will have enough of my bass to satisfy you without Beethoven in the course of next term." N.B.—"He was to be in Froude's room over my head,—J.H.N." Mr. Bowden also played the violoncello, and Newman was further supported by one who was a musician, and a deal more besides. "Mr. Blanco White," he writes, November, 1826, "plays the violin, and has an exquisite ear." "I have only one sister alive now," he said sadly in September, 1875, "and she is old, but plays Beethoven very well. She has an old-fashioned, energetic style of playing; but one person, I remember, played Beethoven as no one else, Blanco White. I don't know how he learned the violin, but he would seem to have inherited a tradition as to the method of playing him." "Both were violinists," writes Mr. T. Mozley of Blanco White and Mr. Newman, "but with different instruments. Blanco White's was very small.... Poor gentleman! Night after night anyone walking in the silence of Merton Lane might hear his continual attempts to surmount some little difficulty, returning to it again and again like Philomel to her vain regrets. With Reinagle ... Newman and Blanco White had frequent (trios) at the latter's lodgings, where I was all the audience.... Most interesting was it to contrast Blanco White's excited and indeed agitated countenance with Newman's sphinx-like immobility, as the latter drew long rich notes with a steady hand." Dr. Newman was still "bowing" forty years later, by which time the alleged "sphinx-like immobility" had made way for an ever-varying expression upon his face as strains alternated between grave and gay. Producing his violin from an old green baize bag, bending forward, and holding his violin against his chest, instead of under the chin in the modern fashion, most particular about his instrument being in perfect tune, in execution awkward yet vigorous, painstaking rather than brilliant, he would often attend at the Oratory School Sunday practices between two and four of an afternoon, Father Ryder and Father Norris sometimes coming to play also. For many years Dr. Newman had given up the violin, but finding some of the school taking to the strings, he took it up again by way of encouraging them to persevere in what he deemed to be so good a thing for his boys. And he quietly inculcated a lesson in self-effacement too, for albeit he had begun the violin very long before our time, he invariably took second fiddle. He had no high opinion of his own performances. Answering the Liverpool anti-Popery spouter's summons to battle, he relied rather on his friends' estimate of his powers than upon his own. "Canon M'Neill's well-known talents as a finished orator would make such a public controversy an unfair trial of strength between them, because he himself was no orator. He had in fact no practice in public speaking. His friends, however, told him that he was no mean performer on the violin, and if he agreed to meet Canon M'Neill, he would only make one condition, that the Canon should open the meeting, and say all he had to say, after which he (Mr. Newman) would conclude with a tune on the violin. The public would then be able to judge which was the better man." With mere fiddling, a fluency void of expression he had little patience, and when, at a term "break-up," a youth's bow cleverly capered about on a violoncello, he uttered no compliment when the boy had concluded his flourishes. It was a mere display for executive skill, without feeling.
[Footnote 10: Mozley, Correspondence, i. p. 52.]
[Footnote 11: Ibid.]
[Footnote 12: Mozley, Corr. i. p. 71. On one occasion (between 1860-70) two Oratory boys went up to his room to make a complaint, and hearing only "fiddling" the other side of the door, made bold to enter, but their visit was ill-timed. "Every Englishman's house is his castle," said the Father, and he "went on fiddling." This term, "Father," is what every one in the house called Dr. Newman, and correctly, as being Father Superior of the Oratory. It is the name (it need scarcely be added) that he liked to be called by.]
[Footnote 13: Ibid. i. p. 104: Provost Hawkins, at this time a Fellow, and ultimately succeeding Copleston, had no love for music, and rather despised such a thing as being "a sign of an effeminate (or frivolous) mind." He used one or other of these terms, or both.]
[Footnote 14: Mozley, Corr. ii. p. 22.]
[Footnote 15: Ibid. i. p. 146.]
[Footnote 16: She writes in July, 1843: "Now I do so wish, John, you would pay us a visit. I will practise hard to get up some Beethoven." (Mozley, Corr. ii. 415.)]
[Footnote 17: With this difference, however, Philomel had not to learn her regrets: she knew them already.]
[Footnote 18: Reminiscences, i. pp. 247, 248, Second Edition, 1882. Of statements in this work the Cardinal humorously observed: "When a thing won't stand on three legs, Tom supplies a fourth." The Father played the viola a good deal, which is larger than the violin; hence Mr. Mozley's "different instruments," &c.]
[Footnote 19: One of the boys was once lent this aged green baize bag, and losing it, never heard the end of it. Whenever there was question of lending him anything else, the Father would say very quietly: "I think I lent you a green baize bag." Nor would he allow that it was lost: "You mean mislaid."]
[Footnote 20: A friend remembers Father Whitty, S.J., bringing to Maryvale Mr. McCarthy and Mr. M'Quoin, young converts and subsequently priests (the former is still living in Jersey). Both played the violin, so an instrumental quartet was essayed (a rare event in the community), the executants being the two named, and Fathers Newman and Bowles (violoncello).]
[Footnote 21: Father Lockhart, in the Paternoster Review for September, 1890.]
Readers will remember here the passage in Loss and Gain: "Bateman: 'If you attempt more, it's like taxing a musical instrument beyond its powers.' Reding: 'You but try, Bateman, to make a bass play quadrilles, and you will see what is meant by taxing an instrument.' Bateman: 'Well, I have heard Lindley play all sorts of quick tunes on his bass, and most wonderful it is.' Reding: 'Wonderful is the right word, it is very wonderful. You say, "How can he manage it? It's very wonderful for a bass;" but it is not pleasant in itself. In like manner, I have always felt a disgust when Mr. So-and-so comes forward to make his sweet flute bleat and bray like a haut-bois; it's forcing the poor thing to do what it was never made for.'"
[Footnote 22: Loss and Gain, p. 284, Sixth Edition, 1874.]
In the same mood, when a quartet of Schubert was played to him in March, 1878, the sole remark he let fall was, "Very harmonious and clever, but it does not touch the heart."
In March, 1883, he observed that he missed the minor key in Palestrina, and on our adding that, perhaps, Mendelssohn had too much of it, he went on, "It cuts me to the heart that minor," and so he liked the mixed mode to the Psalm In exitu Israel, and was much affected by the slow movements in Beethoven's Ninth Quartet and C minor Symphony, and the Allegretto of the Symphony in A.
I cannot of that music rightly say, Whether I hear or touch or taste the tones, Oh, what a heart-subduing melody!
[Footnote 23: The Dream of Gerontius.]
There was just that human element about it, so "deeply pathetic," which in the same way made him prefer Euripides to Sophocles, for all the latter's "sweet composure, melodious fulness, majesty and grace." And here we may add, that as late as January, 1890, apropos of a Greek play for his school, he was as keen and eager as ever about the merits of Euripides, expressed himself as being at a loss to understand the critics invariably preferring Sophocles to the other two, and evidently placed Euripides and AEschylus first and second respectively. A frequently true and natural feeling, whether displayed by the author of the Bacchae, or by the composer of Fidelio, evidently almost atoned, in his estimation, for every deficiency.
[Footnote 24: Essays, i. 7, Fifth Edit.]
He writes to his sister, October, 1834: "There is a lady here" (at Tunbridge Wells), "who plays most beautifully. I think I never heard such a touch—why, I cannot make out, for she has not long fingers to be brilliant. So you must set yourself to rival her. It would be interesting to examine the causes of expression, which you might easily do. Strength of finger is one thing certainly. This lady is not brilliant in the common sense—that is, smart and rattling—but every note is so full-toned, so perfect, that one requires nothing beyond itself. This in Beethoven's effective passages produces a surprising effect. I accompanied her last night and am to do so again to-night." He wrote in September, 1865, of a certain boy's progress with the violin: "He plays fluently, so to say; by fluency I mean in time, in tune, and with execution. This is stage one; stage two is eloquence, by which I mean grace, delicacy, and expression. To gain this nothing is better than to accompany his sisters. A boy who always is first fiddle is in danger of artistic faults parallel to those which are implied in the metaphorical sense of the words. When he comes back I think he has had enough of the music-master, and I shall try to make him turn his thoughts to a higher school of music than is suitable to a beginner, but I cannot tell whether he is old enough to take to it. I recollect how slow I was as a boy to like the school of music which afterwards so possessed me that I have to come to think Haydn, in spite of his genius, almost vulgar." And just as Blanco White would seem to have thoroughly initiated Mr. Newman into the mysteries of Beethoven, so did Dr. Newman lead on his boys (as they would say) "to swear by" that master. They might start with Corelli, and go on to Romberg, Haydn, and Mozart: their ultimate goal was Beethoven, and round would come the "Father Superior" with ancient copies of the quintet version of the celebrated septet, and arrangements from the symphonies; nor were the first ten quartets, the instrumental trios, the violin sonatas, and the overtures forgotten. The "Dutchman," with his force and depth, his tenderness and sweetness, was the Cardinal's prime favourite. "We were at the concert," Mrs. Newman writes to him at school, "and fascinated with the Dutchman" (the name he had given to Beethoven to tease his music-master because of the van to his name), "and thought of you and your musical party frequently." "They tell me," he said in May, 1876, on occasion of hearing at the Latin Play, the scherzo and finale of the Second Symphony, "that these first two symphonies of Beethoven are not in his style; to me they are Beethoven all over. There is no mistaking that scherzo." And again in October, 1877, after a rendering of the allegretto of the Eighth Symphony, on our observing that it was like the giant at play, he said: "It is curious you should say that. I used to call him the gigantic nightingale. He is like a great bird singing. My sister remembers my using the expression long ago." And although he betrayed a little doubt as to Beethoven's tone being essentially religious, he was unwilling to hear anything said against him. The late Father Caswall, once distracted, while singing High Mass, with Beethoven's Mass in C, half-humorously vented his wrath at recreation against the Credo. Said he: "I think that's a condemnable Credo." "Oh, I rather liked it," was Father Newman's rejoinder. "More dramatic than reverent," had been the remark made to the latter in September, 1882, by the then Warden of Keble, after the conclusion of the Mount of Olives at the Birmingham Festival. The Cardinal said little or nothing at the time, but his affection for Beethoven came out subsequently. "When you come to Beethoven," said he, "I don't say anything about good taste, but he has such wonderful bits here and there." And in the department of cadenza and variation he deemed him without an equal.
[Footnote 25: Mozley, Corr. ii. 67.]
[Footnote 26: Mozley, Corr. i. 19.]
[Footnote 27: The late Canon Mozley said that Chopin was "certainly a Manichean; he did not believe in God; he believed in some spirit, not in God;" while "the moral grandeur of Beethoven's genius was always present to him, as, with less force, was also Mendelssohn's: 'They believed in God—their music showed it.'" (Letters, p. 353, Edit. 1885.)]
Distrusting their talent lest it should run away with them, and they neglect the rubrics, Dr. Newman was sensitive over musicians of the day setting to work upon liturgy. Of sorts of liberty taken we have modern examples in Gounod's Mors et Vita Oratorio, where O felix culpa, &c., is planted in the middle of the Dies Irae, and in his Messe Solennelle, where Domine, non sum dignus, &c., figures as a solo in the Agnus Dei (a less objectionable case, the treatment being fortunately devotional). Berlioz, too, in his Requiem, introduces before the Tuba mirum the words, Et iterum venturus est judicare vivos et mortuos. And in a passage where he would appear to be depicting Beethoven's power, after alluding to "the marvellous development which musical science has undergone in the last century," Dr. Newman continues: "Doubtless, here, too, the highest genius may be made subservient to religion," but "it is certain that religion must be alive and on the defensive, for if its servant sleep a potent enchantment will steal over it.... If, then, a great master in this mysterious science ... throws himself on his own gifts, trusts its inspirations and absorbs himself in those thoughts which, though they come to him in the way of nature belong to things above nature, it is obvious he will neglect everything else. Rising in his strength he will break through the trammels of words; he will scatter human voices, even the sweetest, to the winds; he will be borne upon nothing else than the fullest flood of sounds which art has enabled him to draw from mechanical contrivances; he will go forth as a giant, as far as ever his instruments can reach, starting from their secret depths fresh and fresh elements of beauty and grandeur as he goes, and pouring them together into still more marvellous and rapturous combinations; and well indeed, and lawfully, while he keeps to that line which is his own; but should he happen to be attracted, as he well may, by the sublimity, so congenial to him, of the Catholic doctrine and ritual, should he engage in sacred themes, should he resolve by means of his art to do honour to the Mass, or the Divine Office—(he cannot have a more pious, a better purpose, and religion will gracefully accept what he gracefully offers; but) is it not certain from the circumstances of the case, that he will be carried on rather to use religion than to minister to it, unless religion is strong on its own ground, and reminds him that if he would do honour to the highest of subjects, he must make himself its scholar, must humbly follow the thoughts given him, and must aim at the glory, not of his own gift, but of the Great Giver." How entirely is this spirit in accord with the Congregation of Rites; with the sentiments, indeed, of every lover of true church-music. He was thus very slow to take (if he ever really took) to new-comers on the field of sacred music. And holding, as he did, that no good work could be adequately adjudged without a thorough knowledge of it, he was disinclined to be introduced to fresh musical names at all, on the bare chance, that might never occur, of what had been a casual acquaintanceship ripening into intimate friendship. He had in early days found time and opportunity to comprehend certain masters, Corelli, Handel, Haydn, Romberg, Mozart, and Beethoven, but Schubert, Schumann, Wagner ("I cannot recollect all the fellows' names"); who were these strangers, intruding somewhat late in the evening upon a dear old family party? Thus, writing of Mendelssohn's chief sacred work in March, 1871, which he had been reluctantly induced to go and listen to, and which he never got to hear again: "I was very much disappointed the one time that I heard the Elijah, not to meet with a beautiful melody from beginning to end. What can be more beautiful than Handel's, Mozart's, and Beethoven's melodies?" Now, of course, there is plenty of melody in the Elijah, though it may be conceded that Mendelssohn's melodious gift is less copious than that of Mozart, but the fact was, Cardinal Newman never got to know the Elijah, doubtless deemed it long, and felt content to feed upon the musical pabulum that he had so long found satisfying. And underlying this particular form of the gravamen against Mendelssohn, we should say that there existed a species of irritation with some of the modern oratorio. Was it not very possibly in his eyes a kind of Protestant rejuvenescence of an eighteenth century Biblical institution, all quietly founded, without acknowledgment, on St. Philip's own Catholic creation, and nowadays bidding fair to do duty at convenient intervals for proper religious worship with large numbers alike of church-goers and of people who never go to church? Better oratorio here, it may be said, than nothing at all, and that may be conceded; but we have an impression that the Cardinal looked jealously at the use of Scripture for general musical performances in concert-halls. He was a little put out, too, by librettists interlarding Holy Writ with their own "copy." Scripture was good, and Gounod, for example, might be good, but both together in literary collaboration were—well, not so good. While allowing that there was something of interest in the history of the latter's Redemption Oratorio, insomuch as when first conceived long ago its composer had entertained thoughts of embracing the religious state, he could with difficulty be induced to go and hear it, at its first production in Birmingham on the last day of August, 1882. Nor could he be got to say anything about it by way of a compliment. "As the work of a man of genius one does not like to criticize it," was what he let fall, and he was rather troubled by its "March to Calvary," which he likened in private to "the bombardment of Alexandria." At the 1876 Festival, Wagner's Supper of the Apostles was to his ear "sound and fury," and Brahms' Triumphlied fared no better in 1882. We happened to be with him at the Friday morning performance, September 1. A certain party came in late, and talked away behind us all through the G minor Symphony of Mozart, whose "exuberant inventiveness" excited our wonder. When the din of the Triumphlied came on, her voice was quite drowned, and the Cardinal whispered: "Brahms is a match for her."
[Footnote 28: Idea, dis. iv. 80, 81. In a Bull of 1749, Pope Benedict the Fourteenth lays great stress on the words being heard and understood, "Curandum est ut verba quae cantantur plane perfecteque intelligantur," and this is best secured in the unaccompanied chant. In an interesting article of the Dublin Review (New Series, vol. ii. January-April, 1864), the effect of official pronouncements on the questions affecting the plain chant and concerted music is thus succinctly summed up: "1. That music, properly so called, may be admitted as well as plain chant. 2. That the music of the church is to possess a certain gravity and to minister to devotion. 3. That instrumental music may be allowed, under certain restrictions."]
[Footnote 29: Discussions and Arguments, p. 343, Fourth Edit. 1882.]
[Footnote 30: We have it, however, on good authority that a Jesuit Father told a Mr. Okely that "one of our Fathers received him (Mendelssohn) into the Church shortly before his death." Our informant thinks the occurrence took place in Switzerland. If so, the fact ought to be better known than it is. Moreover, he adds, that the late Father W. Maher, S.J., on one occasion, previous to Mendelssohn's Lauda Sion being done at Farm Street, addressed the congregation: "Perhaps you would like to know that the author of the music we are about to hear died a Catholic."]
[Footnote 31: Oxford University Sermons, p. 346.]
[Footnote 32: She subsequently resumed talk, trying to draw him out about Ireland and Gounod, but all in vain. It was nearly 3 p.m. ere this morning concert came to an end, when a second lady, introduced by a noble lord, appeared on the scene, and detained him upon questions relative to the state of the soul after death, what St. Thomas had said, &c. Meanwhile sweepers, uninterested in this ill-timed discussion, were pursuing their avocation in the emptying hall, and stewards were set wondering as to when His Eminence would be released.]
He got to know fairly well Mendelssohn's canzonet quartet and Schumann's pianoforte quintet Op. 44; but we recall no musical works heard by him for the first time in very late life making any particular impression on the Father, with one notable exception; Cherubini's First Requiem in C minor, done at the Festival, August 29, 1879. We were to have gone with him, but a Father who accompanied him wrote to us instead next day: "The Father was quite overcome by it, and that is the fact. He kept on saying, 'beautiful, wonderful,' and such-like exclamations. At the Mors stupebit he was shaking his head in his solemn way, and muttering, 'beautiful, beautiful.' He admired the fugue Quam olim very much, but the part which struck him most by far, and which he spoke of afterwards as we drove home, is the ending of the Agnus Dei—he could not get over it—the lovely note C which keeps recurring as the 'requiem' approaches eternity." When it was done twice in its true home, the church, later, on the 2nd and 13th November, 1886, he said, "It is magnificent music." "That is a beautiful Mass" (adding, with a touch of pathos), "but when you get as old as I am, it comes rather too home." A diary noting the service on All Souls' day, says: "His Eminence was at the throne in his purple robes. I was in the gallery at the end of the nave, and the dim-lit sanctuary (with the Cardinal's zucchetto the only bit of bright colour in the gloom), the sublime music, all had a most impressive effect." On November 13, 1885, he heard in the church and for the first time, the Florentine's Second Requiem in D minor, for male voices; and thought it beautiful and devotional, and in no way lacking in effect through the absence of soprani and contralti, which he had not missed. He was most struck with the piano passage in canon beginning with the words Solvet saeclum. On September 1, 1882, he heard at the Festival the same composer's Mass in C, and characterized as "beautiful" the fugue at the end of the Gloria, the part in the Offertory where the chorus enters in support of the soprano solo, and the conclusion of the Dona. It came as a relief to him after Brahms, who was not understood at a first hearing, and this inability in general to grasp good music at once is exhibited in his Italian correspondence. "This last week," he writes from Rome in April, 1833, "we have heard the celebrated Miserere, or rather the two Misereres, for there are two compositions by Allegri and Boii [it should be Bai, and a third is now added, composed by Father Baini] so like each other that the performers themselves can scarcely tell the difference between them. One is performed on the Thursday and the other on Good Friday. The voices are certainly very surprising; there is no instrument to support them, but they have the art of continuing their notes so long and equally that the effect is as if an organ were playing, or rather an organ of violin strings, for the notes are clearer, more subtle and piercing, and more impassioned (so to say) than those of an organ. The music itself is doubtless very fine, as everyone says, but I found myself unable to understand all parts of it. Here and there it was extremely fine, but it is impossible to understand such a composition on once or twice hearing. In its style it is more like Corelli's music than any other I know (though very different too). And this is not wonderful, as Corelli was Master of the Pope's Chapel, and so educated in the school of Allegri, Palestrina, and the rest. These are the only services we have been to during the week."
[Footnote 33: Mozley, Corr. i. 380. We do not think that Corelli ever was Papal choirmaster. For some years, however, he led the orchestra of the Roman Opera, and was a great friend of Cardinal Ottoboni. How different the Tenebrae music at St. Peter's can be from that at the Sixtine chapel, is seen by the three Misereres at the former being by Basili, Guglielmi, and Zingarelli, all composers of light opera.]
For good operatic music Cardinal Newman had, we believe, more of a liking than for the more modern oratorio. Rossini, as a religious composer, was, we fear, in his bad books, yet when the choice had to be made at the 1879 Festival as to what performance he would attend, he at first said, "I shall go once, and I choose Mose in Egitto." He was, he continued, fond of operatic music, and heard very little of it. "However," he added to two of the Fathers, "there's no reason why you shouldn't go to all." Perhaps there was one reason against that course; it would be expensive. There is an amusing notice of Rossini in the Anglican Letters of Mr. Newman. "Bowden tells me," he wrote in March, 1824, "that Sola, his sister's music-master, brought Rossini to dine in Grosvenor Place not long since; and that as far as they could judge (for he does not speak English) he is as unassuming and obliging a man as ever breathed. He seemed highly pleased with everything, and anxious to make himself agreeable. Labouring, indeed, under a severe cold, he did not sing, but accompanied two or three of his own songs in the most brilliant manner.... As he came in a private, not a professional, way, Bowden called on him, and found him surrounded, in a low, dark room, by about eight or nine Italians, all talking as fast as possible, who, with the assistance of a great screaming macaw, and of Madame Rossini in a dirty gown and her hair in curl papers, made such a clamour that he was glad to escape as fast as he could."
[Footnote 34: Mozley, Corr. i. 83.]
The revised Latin play, and music in conjunction, and all played by the boys themselves, were two striking traditions (not, we trust, to die out) of the Oratory School in our time, and they were institutions introduced by Dr. Newman there, and rooted in his affections from boyhood's associations. "Music was a family taste and pursuit," writes the late Miss Mozley, "Mr. Newman, the father, encouraged it in his children. In those early days they could get up performances among themselves, operatic or simply dramatic." At Ealing School he took the parts of Davus in the Andria, Cyrus in the Adelphi, and Pythias in the Eunuchus, as he told us himself; a varied repertoire, i.e. the confidential family servant, the young man about town, and the maid of all work! We see not only plays, and then music, and lastly the two together, but original composition also, early engaging his attention. He tells us, "In the year 1812 I think I wrote a mock drama of some kind.... And at one time I wrote a dramatic piece in which Augustus comes on. Again, I wrote a burlesque opera in 1815, composing tunes for the songs."
[Footnote 35: Ibid. i. 19.]
[Footnote 36: Mozley, Corr. i. 19.]
As to composing, he writes to his mother in March, 1821: "I am glad to be able to inform you that Signor Giovanni Enrico Neandrini has finished his first composition. The melody is light and airy, and is well supported by the harmony." We may add that Mr. Newman, Mr. Walker (afterwards Canon of Westminster), and Mr. Bowles, played together at Littlemore instrumental trios written by the Cardinal himself, and which Father Bowles once told us were "most pleasing." What has become of them? On our showing the Father in 1869 an original song to his words "The Haven," he pointed to the second chord, exclaiming, "Ah, a diminished seventh!" We had no notion at that time what perpetrated iniquity that might be, but two years later he wrote: "Every beginner deals in diminished sevenths. At least, I did as a boy. I first learnt the chord from the overture to Zauberfloete; and henceforth it figured with powerful effect in my compositions. You must try to make a melody. Without it you cannot compose. Perhaps, however, it is that which makes a musical genius." If you have no ideas, in fact, go in con amore, for the chord of the diminished seventh.
[Footnote 37: Ibid. p. 61.]
[Footnote 38: Mrs. J. Mozley to J.H.N., December 1, 1842: "I suppose you are able to make use of your violin now you are at Littlemore. I have been practising hard lately, and wish you could come, that I might turn my practice to good account." (Mozley, Corr. ii. 405.) Father Lockhart, too, refers to Newman's playing at Littlemore "exquisite sonatas of Beethoven." (Paternoster Review, Sept. 1890.) Father Coffin, afterwards Bishop of Southwark, assisted at the musical performances.]
[Footnote 39: Verses on Various Occasions, p. 86, Edit. 1888.]
On receiving a march, written by a pupil in 1873, he gently indicated faults while giving encouragement, and wrote in July, "It shows you are marching in your accomplishments. It is a very promising beginning.... On reading it, I thought I had found some grammatical faults, but perhaps more is discovered in the province of discords, concords, and coincidences of notes than when I was a boy." And in September of the same year, "Thank you for your new edition of St. Magnus. On what occasion did he march? I know Bishops were warlike in the middle ages. However, whenever it was, his march is very popular here, and it went off with great eclat." Then he wrote to his correspondent in April, 1880, who talked about not being "skilled," "Why should you not qualify yourself to deserve the title of a 'skilled musician?' 'Skilled' is another word for 'grammatical' or 'scholarlike.'"
When an Oratory organist in the early days was shown a hymn with tune and accompaniment all composed by Dr. Newman himself (for insertion in the printed Birmingham Oratory Hymn Book), unaware of the authorship he at once corrected some of the chords. The Father Superior noticed this, and asked him why he had made the changes. The organist proceeded to advert to some consecutive fifths in the harmony. But, urged the Father, Beethoven and others make use of them. "Ah," came the answer, "it's all very well for those great men to do as they like, but that don't make it right for ordinary folk to do as they like." Dr. Newman therefore learned that musically he was only an ordinary folk, and he would have been the first to laugh down the notion that he was anything else; for a modest estimate of himself in many things was a very marked characteristic with him, and made him call his beautiful verse "ephemeral effusions" to Badeley, and write in May, 1835, apropos of a suggested uniform edition of his revised Latin plays, "I have not that confidence in my own performance to think I can compete with a classical Jesuit" (i.e. Father Jouvency). In 1828 he had contemplated writing an article on music for the London Review, along with one on poetry. The latter, in the event, alone saw the day; the former "seems to have remained an idea only." He is apologetic in the Idea of a University, when about to descant so eloquently upon music: "If I may speak," he says, "of matters which seem to lie beyond my own province;" but in very early Oratory days at Edgbaston, he essayed some lectures on music to some of the community in the practice-room. And at the opening of the new organ there in August, 1877, he "preached a most beautiful discourse [taken down at the time], upon the event of the day; and on music, first as a great natural gift, then as an instrument in the hands of the Church; its special prominence in the history of St. Philip and the Oratory; the part played by music in the history of God's dealings with man from first to last, from the thunders of Mount Sinai to the trumpets of the Judgment; the mysterious and intimate connection with the unseen world established by music, as it were the unknown language of another state. Its quasi-sacramental efficacy, e.g., in driving away the evil spirit in Saul and in bringing upon Eliseus the spirit of prophecy; the grand pre-eminence of the organ in that it gave the nearest representation of the voice of God, while the sound of strings might be taken as more fitted to express the varying emotions of man's state here on earth."
[Footnote 40: Essays, i. Fifth Edit. 1881; Mozley, Corr. i. 194.]
[Footnote 41: Idea, dis. iv. 80.]
[Footnote 42: Tablet, 25 Aug. 1877.]
At Oxford, in his time, he said, there were none of the facilities for music that now form part of the institutions of the place; there was little to encourage individual musical talent. At St. Clement's we only learn, "I had a dispute with my singers in May, which ended in their leaving the church, and we now sing en masse," and in June still, "My singers are quite mute." At St. Mary's, Mr. Bennett, who was killed on his way to Worcester Festival by the upsetting of a coach, and after him Mr. Elvey, elder brother of Sir George Elvey, sometime organist at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, were Mr. Newman's organists. "I shall never forget," writes a hearer, "the charm it was to hear Elvey play the organ for the hymn at Newman's afternoon parochial service at St. Mary's on a Sunday. The method was to play the tune completely through on the organ before the voices took it up, and the way he did it was simply perfect."
[Footnote 43: Mozley, Corr. i. 97.]
[Footnote 44: Ibid.]
[Footnote 45: "There is a chant of his composing," writes a friend, "which was reckoned at the time a stroke of genius—quite a new idea. I have it in a Collection made by his father, who was organist of Chichester Cathedral," and Bennett's elder brother "was my master at Chichester in 1842. He used to speak of his brother's genius, and what a loss he was to music."]
Still the Anglican service, taken as a whole, was scarcely then calculated to stir artistic fervour, and this listener, so delighted with Elvey at St. Mary's, went home to his village parish church only to hear the hymn murdered, or if it were Advent, Christmas, or Easter, a tradesman shout from the gallery, "We will now sing to the praise and glory of God a hanthem!" when a motet would be sacrificed to incompetency with every circumstance of barbarity attending the execution. Mr. Newman in language of appalling force, written a year after his conversion, has described the Anglican service as "a ritual dashed upon the ground, trodden on, and broken piecemeal; prayers clipped, pieced, torn, shuffled about at pleasure, until the meaning of the composition perished, and offices which had been poetry were no longer even good prose; antiphons, hymns, benedictions, invocations, shovelled away; Scripture lessons turned into chapters; heaviness, feebleness, unwieldiness, where the Catholic rites had had the lightness and airiness of a spirit; vestments chucked off, lights quenched, jewels stolen, the pomp and circumstances of worship annihilated; a dreariness which could be felt, and which seemed the token of an incipient Socinianism, forcing itself upon the eye, the ear, the nostrils of the worshipper; a smell of dust and damp, not of incense; a sound of ministers preaching Catholic prayers, and parish clerks droning out Catholic canticles; the royal arms for the crucifix; huge ugly boxes of wood, sacred to preachers, frowning on the congregation in the place of the mysterious altar; and long cathedral aisles unused, railed off, like the tombs (as they were) of what had been and was not; and for orthodoxy, a frigid, unelastic, inconsistent, dull, helpless dogmatic, which could give no just account of itself, yet was intolerant of all teaching which contained a doctrine more or a doctrine less, and resented every attempt to give it a meaning." The Catholic Church's ritual he found very different.
[Footnote 46: Essays, ii. pp. 443, 444.]
"What are her ordinances and practices," he asks, "but the regulated expression of keen, or deep, or turbid feeling, and thus a 'cleansing' as Aristotle would word it, of the sick soul? She is the poet of her children; full of music to soothe the sad, and control the wayward—wonderful in story for the imagination of the romantic; rich in symbol and imagery, so that gentle and delicate feelings, which will not bear words, may in silence intimate their presence, or commune with themselves. Her very being is poetry; every psalm, every petition, every collect, every versicle, the cross, the mitre, the thurible, is a fulfillment of some dream of childhood, or aspiration of youth. Such poets as are born under her shadow, she takes into her service, she sets them to write hymns, or to compose chants, or to embellish shrines, or to determine ceremonies, or to marshal processions; nay, she can even make schoolmen of them, as she made St. Thomas, till logic becomes poetical."
[Footnote 47: Ibid. 442, 443.]
And, of course, as the Catholic poet that he now was, he duly set about to "write hymns" and "to compose chants." Since 1834, it will be found, his original muse, amid the "encircling gloom," had been entirely silent, but once emerging into the light of the true faith, it struck the lyre again with those most lovely notes of "Candlemas"—
The Angel-lights of Christmas-morn, Which shot across the sky, Away they pass at Candlemas, They sparkle and they die.
[Footnote 48: Verses on Various Occasions, p. 279, Edit. 1888. The well-known tune to this was adapted by him, for the Birmingham Oratory Congregation, from Reinagle's hymn tunes, brought out by subscription at Oxford, and to which he subscribed.]
In 1849 appeared his most original and pathetic "Pilgrim Queen," or No. 38, Regina Apostolorum, in the Hymn Book, the sweet music thereto being his own composition, (or in part adaptation?)
There sat a Lady all on the ground, Rays of the morning circled her round; Save thee, and hail to thee, gracious and fair, In the chill twilight what wouldst thou there?]
In 1850 came two more exquisite hymns in honour of the Mother of God, i.e., the "Month of Mary," and the "Queen of Seasons," both headed Rosa Mystica in the hymn-book. The hymns and tunes of two others, of No. 51. "Regulars and St. Philip," (an expressive melody),
The holy monks conceal'd from men In midnight choir or studious cell, In sultry field or wintry glen, The holy monks, I love them well, In sultry field or wintry glen, The holy monks, I love them well.]
and No. 81, "Night" ("The red sun is gone," from the Breviary),
The red sun is gone, Thou light of the heart, Blessed Three Holy One, To Thy servants a sun Everlasting impart.]
are also by him; and there may be others. And though this tune to No. 81 has been irreverently referred to as being "just like an old sailor's song," the same critic has extolled its effect, and told us how he loved to sing its long note at eventide. No. 61, "Conversion," is Father Faber's hymn, "I was wandering and weary" (No. 66 in the London Oratory Hymn Book), but the original air in both Oratory books is the same, and the composition of Cardinal Newman.
[Footnote 49: Oratory Hymn Tunes. Arranged by W. Pitts. London: Novello.]
I was wandering and weary, When my Saviour came unto me, For the ways of sin grew dreary, And the world had ceas'd to woo me; And I thought I heard Him say, As He came along His way, &c.]
Its peculiar merits grow upon familiar acquaintance, and a devoted lover of plain chant, rather to our surprise, once expressed his affection for it. It has been termed "briny," like No. 81. Its expressiveness and "go" are unquestionable, and it is becoming popular without the public in general knowing who the composer is. The study of the application of music to words was interesting enough, as the Cardinal remarked in April, 1886. Sometimes the music could not quite fit in with the words, and one or other had to give way, and on our referring to this music to Father Faber's hymn "Conversion," he said he had an idea that the words had been somewhat altered to suit his tune. The reverse would appear to be the case. At least the refrain, "O silly souls," &c., is not identical in the Birmingham and London books.
[Footnote 50: Father Lockhart's solitary original tune, harmonized by Mr. A.H. Prendergast, and set to Father Faber's Hymn to St. Joseph, "There are many saints above," is another example of tender sentiment by an amateur that outweighs any technical defect as to settled rhythm.]
[Footnote 51: In 1834, when Keble wrote an Ode on the Duke of Wellington's installation as Chancellor at Oxford, Dr. Crotch was employed to write the music, and Mr. Newman wrote to his friend: "I hope Dr. Crotch will do your ode justice." And on difficulties arising with the composer, he wrote again to Keble: "I like your ode uncommonly. I would not budge one step for Dr. Crotch. His letter is most amusing, and your counter-suggestions are amusing too.... I would go so far for Dr. C. as to offer him your frigate, which certainly does better for music than the long ode." Later on he inquires: "How do you and Dr. Crotch get on?" and Keble replies: "Crotch has swallowed the frigate whole." (Mozley, Corr. ii. 29.)]
O silly souls come near me, My sheep should never fear me, I am the Shepherd true, I am the Shepherd true.
O silly souls come near me, My sheep should never fear me, I am the Shepherd true, I am the Shepherd true.]
Mr. W. Pitts, the compiler of the latter, sends us word that "the melody only came into my hands, and it stands in the London book exactly as I received it. I think it was sent by one of the Birmingham Fathers, or by Mr. Edward Plater." This is satisfactory, and points to a smoother and far more effective version of the refrain by the composer himself.
[Footnote 52: Mr. Pitts' chords are generally good, but might be considerably improved (more especially at the words "I am the Shepherd true"), by some contrary motion in the harmony.]
Altogether we have ever felt that there is an indescribable brightness, a radiant cheerfulness, which might have pleased St. Philip, about the Birmingham selection of hymns and tunes, with Beethoven, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Pleyell, Crookall, Webbe, Moorat, and others laid under contribution. In the Saint's time, we know, "there were sung at the Oratory many Laudi, motets, madrigals, and sacred songs in the vulgar tongue, and these gave scope for composers to essay a simpler, and more popular and stirring style of music." Take up then the Father's book, hear the people at the May devotions sing such winning songs as the "Pilgrim Queen" (No. 38, Regina Apostolorum), and the "Month of Mary" (No. 32, Rosa Mystica), or listen during St. Philip's Novena, to "St. Philip in his School" (No. 49), "in his Mission" (No. 50), "in Himself" (No. 51, "Regulars and St. Philip"), and "in his Disciples" (No. 54, "Philip and the Poor"), and we conclude that, as with the Saint, so with his distinguished son, it has been his "aim to make sacred music popular;" and may we not further say that the Cardinal, without any parade whatever, but in the simplest fashion, has somehow succeeded at Birmingham in his aim?
[Footnote 53: Pope, Capecelatro, ii. 88. Father Gigli to Tarugi at Naples, about the Roman Oratory, 1587: "Our feast passed off most joyously, and with admirable music.... We had three choirs—two in the galleries, besides one in its accustomed place." (Ibid. ii. 103.)]
[Footnote 54: Ibid. 99.]
The Birmingham Oratory Book, with the tunes, only privately printed for local use, came, nevertheless, as a surprise to Messrs. Burns and Westlake, who made merry over the occasional simplicity, not to say meagreness of the harmonies. A quick movement, too, from a Beethoven Rasoumousky quartet, is rather awkward, albeit taken slow, for No. 74, "Death," and Leporello's song for Nos. 22 and 23, is possibly not over suitable, however intrinsically appropriate, looking to the associations it might arouse, not so much, however, among the poor, who cannot afford to patronize opera, as among the rich. "Just look at the harmony," says one of No. 51; and of the famous No. 61, "there is a strange want of unity, the first part has no second harmony." A noble lord, too, disapproved of No. 51, the notes being, said he, all over the key-board, but such are the strains of some of the best music in the world, and the notice to this anonymous collection is almost an answer to particular criticism, as Burns felt at once, i.e.: "Neither the following tunes themselves, nor the hymns to which they belong, have been brought together on any one principle of selection, or to fulfil any ideal of what such composition ought to be. Many of them have grown into use insensibly, without any one being directly responsible for them; the rest have been adapted as the most appropriate, under circumstances, to complete the set, and to answer the needs of our people."
[Footnote 55: An examination of the book of words published by Pickering, and which originally numbered eighty-two hymns, since increased from time to time up to one hundred and forty-nine (1888), shows forty-one hymns (original or translated) by Father Caswall, Nos. 5, 8-11, 13, 15-17, 19, 21-28, 33-36, 40, 42, 43, 47, 48, 62, 64, 79, 80, 116, 118, 121, 134, 143-145, 147, 148, 149; thirty by Father Faber, 1, 3, 4, 12, 14, 29, 30, 37, 44, 45, 52, 53, 55, 57, 61, 65, 73, 85, 115, 119, 120, 124, 125, 127-129, 133, 137, 138, 141; thirteen by Father Newman, 31, 32, 38, 41, 49, 50, 51, 54, 63, 67, 76, 78, 81; two by Father Stanfield, 123, 126; one by Father Bittleston, 39 (the familiar "Daily, daily," from St. Anselm, Sancti Anselmi Mariale, p. 15, Omni die, &c., the second part, No. 40, by Father Caswall); one by Father Christie, S.J., 122 ("To Jesus' Heart all burning"); one by Father Vaughan, C.SS.R., 130 ("God of mercy and compassion"); one by Bishop Chadwick, 131 ("Jesus, my God, behold at length the time"); one by Dr. Lingard, 20 ("Hail, Queen of Heaven"). Bishop Heber also contributes, but the remaining Nos. 2, 6, 7, 18, 41, 46, 56, 58, 59, 60, 66, 68, 69, 70, 72, 74, 75, 77, 78, 82, 84, 86, 117, 129, 135, 136, 139, 140, 142, 146, have not yet been identified by the present writer. (See Lyra Catholica, 1849, by Father Caswall, &c.) How beautifully, by the by, has not the late Father Bittleston rendered St. Anselm's hymn. For example:
Haec Regina, Nos divina, Illustravit gratia. She the Queen who decks her subjects, With the light of God's own grace.]
Like St. Philip, too, "he took the word music in its widest sense, and made use of both vocal and instrumental music, and of their blended harmony." While we believe that he would have been the first to admit the beauty of large portions of the old chant, its incomparable hymns in the liturgy, the familiar accentus dear to every Catholic ear, for the Preface, the Pater noster, &c., the modes for Holy week, the tones for the Psalms of the Divine Office, &c., we question whether he could have made much of a mass of antiphons that seem to illustrate the sacred text, "All we like sheep have gone astray." "In Gregorian music," said a writer in 1890, speaking more positively than we are able to do, "Newman could see no beauty whatever—none, at any rate, in the usual antiphons and 'tones.' An exception must be made in favour of those familiar chants occurring in the Mass.... I recollect his telling me, after we had heard one of Cherubini's Masses admirably performed at a Birmingham Festival, that the music, though so beautiful, needed the interspersing of those quaint old chants to make it really devotional," but "I believe," writes a friend, "it is very difficult for one who has heard only Mozart and Beethoven, &c., in all his early years ever to get a liking for Gregorian tones. It used to drive Canon Oakeley wild when he heard his nephew, the present Sir H. Oakeley, play a fugue of Bach's even on the organ. The Cardinal, however, liked the modus peregrinus to the In exitu Israel (that was only natural), and I remember once he seemed quite put out because once we followed the Rubrics in Easter week (when the In exitu is used) by having all the Psalms to one tone. For a moment it seemed as if he would contradict himself in his strict rule of going by authority against what he liked, and would change the tones so as to have the peregrinus." He somewhere, however, calls Gregorian an "inchoate science." Could mediaeval work, largely out of touch with the times, claim for itself a monopoly of existence to the exclusion of the modern? So loyal a son of Holy Church as Dr. Ward had let fall that a plain chant Gloria reminded him of "original sin." "And, if sometimes," writes a friend of old Oratory days, "we were so unfortunate as to have on some week-day festival of our Lady, only the Gregorian Mass, Father Darnell used to say we were 'burying our Lady,' and though he would make no remark, I have little doubt the Father thought so too." Perhaps, then, Cardinal Newman's love for vocal and instrumental ecclesiastical music in combination (especially at Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost) was a true instinct recognizing the undoubted needs of another day, and is best labelled for a motto with some verses of the 149th and 150th Psalms, which we recommend to the attention of a few purists in case they may have forgotten them? Thus, acknowledging in January, 1859, the Gothic to be "the most beautiful of architectural styles," he "cannot approve of the intolerance of some of its admirers," and he would "claim the liberty of preferring, for the purposes of worship and devotion, a description of building which, though not so beautiful in outline, is more in accordance with the ritual of the present day, which is more cheerful in its exterior, and which admits more naturally of rich materials, of large pictures or mosaics, and of mural decorations."
[Footnote 56: Pope, Capecelatro, ii. 82.]
[Footnote 57: Merry England, No. 30, p. 380. Mon Reale, in Sicily, we think, was his ideal in the Italian style of architecture.]
"My quarrel with Gothic and Gregorian when coupled together," says Campbell, in Loss and Gain, "is that they are two ideas not one. Have figured music in Gothic churches, keep your Gregorian for Basilicas." Bateman: "... You seem oblivious that Gregorian chants and hymns have always accompanied Gothic aisles, Gothic copes, Gothic mitres, and Gothic chalices." Campbell: "Our ancestors did what they could, they were great in architecture, small in music. They could not use what was not yet invented. They sang Gregorian because they had not Palestrina." Bateman: "A paradox, a paradox." Campbell: "Surely there is a close connection between the rise and nature of the Basilica and of Gregorian unison. Both existed before Christianity, both are of Pagan origin; both were afterwards consecrated to the service of the Church." Bateman: "Pardon me, Gregorians were Jewish, not Pagan." Campbell: "Be it so, for argument sake, still, at least, they were not of Christian origin. Next, both the old music and the old architecture were inartificial and limited, as methods of exhibiting their respective arts. You can't have a large Grecian temple, you can't have a long Gregorian Gloria." Bateman: "Not a long one, why there's poor Willis used to complain how tedious the old Gregorian compositions were abroad." Campbell: "... Of course you may produce them to any length, but merely by addition, not by carrying on the melody. You can put two together, and then have one twice as long as either. But I speak of a musical piece, which must, of course, be the natural development of certain ideas, with one part depending on another. In like manner, you might make an Ionic temple twice as long or twice as wide as the Parthenon; but you would lose the beauty of proportion by doing so. This, then, is what I meant to say of the primitive architecture and the primitive music, that they soon come to their limit; they soon are exhausted, and can do nothing more. If you attempt more, it's like taxing a musical instrument beyond its powers."... Campbell: "This is literally true as regards Gregorian music, instruments did not exist in primitive times which could execute any other."... Reding: "... Modern music did not come into existence till after the powers of the violin became known. Corelli himself, who wrote not two hundred years ago, hardly ventures on the shift. The piano, again, I have heard, has almost given birth to Beethoven." Campbell: "Modern music, then, could not be in ancient times for want of modern instruments, and, in like manner, Gothic architecture could not exist until vaulting was brought to perfection. Great mechanical inventions have taken place both in architecture and in music, since the age of Basilicas and Gregorians; and each science has gained by it." Reding: "... When people who are not musicians have accused Handel and Beethoven of not being simple I have always said, 'is Gothic architecture simple?' A Cathedral expresses one idea, but is indefinitely varied and elaborated in its parts; so is a symphony or quartet of Beethoven." Campbell: "Certainly, Bateman, you must tolerate Pagan architecture, or you must in consistency exclude Pagan or Jewish Gregorians, you must tolerate figured music, or reprobate tracery windows." Bateman: "And which are you for, Gothic with Handel, or Roman with Gregorian?" Campbell: "For both in their place. I exceedingly prefer Gothic architecture to classical. I think it is the one true child and development of Christianity; but I won't for that reason discard the Pagan style which has been sanctified by eighteen centuries, by the exclusive love of many Christian countries, and by the sanction of a host of saints. I am for toleration. Give Gothic an ascendancy; be respectful towards classical."... Reding: "Much as I like modern music, I can't quite go the length to which your doctrine would lead me. I cannot, indeed, help liking Mozart; but surely his music is not religious?" Campbell: "I have not been speaking in defence of particular composers, figured music may be right, yet Mozart or Beethoven inadmissible. In like manner you don't suppose, because I tolerate Roman architecture, that therefore I like naked cupids to stand for cherubs, and sprawling women for the cardinal virtues.... Besides, as you were saying yourself just now, we must consult the genius of our country, and the religious associations of our people." Bateman: "Well, I think the perfection of sacred music is Gregorian set to harmonies; there you have the glorious old chants, and just a little modern richness." Campbell: "And I think it just the worst of all, it is a mixture of two things, each good in itself, and incongruous together. It's a mixture of the first and second courses at table. It's like the architecture of the facade at Milan, half-Gothic, half-Grecian." Reding: "It's what is always used, I believe." Campbell: "Oh, yes, we must not go against the age, it would be absurd to do so. I only spoke of what was right and wrong on abstract principles; and to tell the truth, I can't help liking the mixture myself, though I can't defend it."
[Footnote 58: "I think with you that what is called Gregorian is but a style of music: viz., before the fixing of the diatonic scale, and the various keys as rising out of it. The Pagan and Jewish tunes are necessarily in this style. And in this sense certainly the Gregorian comes from the Pagan and the Jewish. The names 'Lydian,' 'Phrygian,' &c., look like Pagan. One should think, however, some must be Jewish. I can't answer your question about the genuineness of the professed specimen of Pagan, as in Rousseau's Dictionary. Will Rousseau answer your question? All true art comes from revelation, to speak generally, I do think, but not necessarily through the Jewish Dispensation," &c. (Dec. 1850, J.H.N.) Mozley, Corr. ii. 479.]
[Footnote 59: Loss and Gain, pp. 282-286.]
The irrepressible Bateman has Gothic and Gregorian on the brain: and in another place goes "on boldly to declare that, if he had his will there should be no architecture in the English churches but Gothic, and no music but Gregorian. This ... gave scope for a very pretty quarrel, Reding said that all these adjuncts of worship, whether music or architecture, were national; they were the mode in which religious feeling showed itself in particular times and places. He did not mean to say that the outward expression of religion in a country might not be guided, but it could not be forced; that it was as preposterous to make people worship in one's own way, as to be merry in one's own way.'... Bateman: 'But surely ... you don't mean to say that there is no natural connection between internal feeling and outward expression, so that one form is no better than another?' Reding: 'Far from it, but let those who confine their music to Gregorians, put up crucifixes in the highways. Each is the representative of a particular locality or time.'... Campbell: 'You can't be more Catholic than Rome, I suppose, yet there's no Gothic there.' Bateman: '... Rome has corrupted the pure Apostolic doctrine, can we wonder that it should have a corrupt architecture?' Reding: 'Why, then, go to Rome for Gregorians?'"
[Footnote 60: Loss and Gain, p. 277.]
The foregoing would probably open out, in the eyes, say, of the accomplished author of the Vesper Psalter, a wide field for further discussion, but so much may be fairly gathered, viz., that the Cardinal's musical views were sensible ones, even if open, theoretically, to some differences of opinion. Omnia probate, he seems to say, quod bonum est tenete. He had, of course, no sympathy with extravagances. His was a cultured, at any rate a refined taste, sui similis, and when it was said in April, 1886, that Niedermeyer's B minor Mass was "elaborate," he observed: "Well, I like a medium in music, although I may be wrong in that." All was well, we suppose, provided the best gifts of Catholic masters in their art were in good faith proffered to Almighty God. In the words herein of St. Gregory the Great: Mihi placet ut, sive in Romana, sive in Galliarum, sive in qualibet ecclesia, aliquid invenisti quod plus omnipotenti Deo possit placere, sollicite eligas. All was well, too, if singers and players were animated with the Catholic spirit that breathed in a Haydn and a Mozart, to say nothing of later giants. Under such conditions, and with due observance of the unaccompanied chant in Advent and Lent, the male choirs of both Oratories in England have probably done a good work, and if so, one worthy of St. Philip's blessing.
[Footnote 61: By the late Sir John Lambert, K.C.B., and published by Burns in 1849. Its Preface is well worthy of attention, and we note with pleasure his remark, "that while pleading for the restoration of the Ritual Song as the Church system and the music of the people, and as the basis of all that is really grand and ecclesiastical, the writer would not wish to be understood to object to the superadding of the most elaborate music where it can be properly executed, if it does not supersede the Church Song, and is of a character to harmonize with it. Doubtless," he adds, "as the Church employs all the resources of art, as far as in accordance with her own spirit, the most perfect celebration of the Divine Office would be where both could be combined. All would then be impressed and edified, each person according to his peculiar sense, and God would be worshipped with all the magnificence which art can be made to minister." (p. xiii.)]
[Footnote 62: S. Greg. Epist. xxxi. lib. xii. De expos. divers. rerum.]
[Footnote 63: Thus M. Tonnelle, pupil of Father Gratry, of the Oratory: "Haydn et Mozart, c'est la foi Catholique, c'est la soumission naive et spontanee, c'est la devotion tendre et vive," which can, of course, be truly said without implying that they are always perfection.]
It was in April, 1886, that two of the Fathers, along with the writer, played over to Cardinal Newman, Dykes' well-known setting to "Lead, kindly Light," which (he said) he had never heard before, and he seemed rather surprised at its very quiet, hymn-like quality. No piano, he added, could equal the strings, nor any organ, and we gave him the version of the "Lead" by Pinsuti, and West, as also Hurrell Froude's "Tyre" and his own "Watchman" and the "Two Worlds," all with violoncello obbligato. In 1889 he had been very ill, and when recovering, said to a Father: "Father Faber wrote the hymn 'Eternal Years.' I have always had the greatest affection for it—quite a passionate affection for it—in connection with Father Faber, and I always used to think that when I came to die, I should like to have it sung to me; and I want you to play it for me." Would a harmonium do? "Yes, a harmonium would be just the thing; perhaps one could be spared me."
[Footnote 64: There was nothing, however, so really "magnificent," he said once (speaking of the wind instruments of brass and wood), as a military band.]
[Footnote 65: The following have set "Lead, kindly Light" to music: Canon J. Ballantine-Dykes, Rev. H. Earle Bulwer, Dr. G.A. Macfarren, Dr. S.S. Wesley, Dr. A.R. Gaul, Dr. C.J.B. Meacham, Sir A. Sullivan, J. Barnby, F. Tozer, C. Pinsuti, W. Hamilton, W. Hume, M.A. Wood (Mrs. Harvey), Katharine Rowley, C.T. Gatty, T.W. Barth, A. Allen, F.G. Pincott, H.C. Layton, J. Tilleard, J. Otter, W.H. Walter, J.A. Gardiner, W. Nicholson, J.W.R., and three anonymous composers. We may add that Mr. Rowton has musically essayed the Dream of Gerontius; "J.W.R.," "Warnings" from the Lyra Apostolica; Dr. Macfarren a duet, "O God, Who canst not change" (breviary translation); "R.S.," "All is divine which the Highest has made;" E.W., "Softly and gently, dearly ransomed soul;" the Rev. C.E. Butler, "Praise to the Holiest;" Maria Tiddeman, the same; Mr. Bellasis, the "Haven," "Consolation," "Waiting for the Morning," "The Two Worlds," "The Watchman," and "Heathen Greece;" and an anonymous composer, "The Pilgrim Queen," "There sat a Lady," &c.]
[Footnote 66: From the Lyra Apostolica, and a striking little poem, as indeed are all the few signed [Greek: b], the music by a pupil of the Cardinal.]
[Footnote 67: Verses on Various Occasions, pp. 80, 319; the latter written in 1862, the music by a pupil, and according to the Father "better than my words." The words also appear in the Birmingham book as a hymn (No. 67), entitled "Sacrifice."]
[Footnote 68: Father Faber's Poems, No. 135, pp. 379-381, new edit. 1861. This is not in the London Oratory Hymn Book, but under the heading "Eternity" six of the quatrains (Nos. 1, 8, 9, 11, 15, 16) appear in the Birmingham book as No. 73, and are set to a tune in the minor from Beethoven's sixth trio (for flute, viola, and violoncello), taken andante.]
So, when evening had set in, a harmonium was put in the passage between his two rooms, a Father knelt at his side reciting each verse, while two others played and sang the "Eternal Years."
How shalt thou bear the cross that now so dread a weight appears, Keep quietly to God, and think upon th'eternal years.]
"Some people," he then said, "have liked my 'Lead, kindly Light,' and it is the voice of one in darkness asking for help from our Lord. But this (the 'Eternal Years') is quite different; this is one with full light, rejoicing in suffering with our Lord, so that mine compares unfavourably with it. This is what those who like 'Lead, kindly Light' have got to come to—they have to learn it." Then they played and sang it over again. And he said at the end, "I thank you with all my heart. God bless you. I pray that when you go to Heaven, you may hear the angels singing with the genius that God has endowed them with. God bless you."
To quote as we began, and once again from Cardinal Capecelatro and Father Pope, and we have done. What His Eminence says of the first founder of any Oratorian Congregation may more or less apply to the great Oratorian whom we have mourned: "The sweet enticement of music is quite in harmony with the spirit of St. Philip, and imparts to piety an ineffable gladness and gentleness and grace. Take away from our Saint his delight in music, and you leave his image in our hearts mutilated, despoiled of much of its winning beauty."
[Footnote 69: Pope, Capecelatro, ii. 106.]
Agnus Dei, 19.
"All is divine," 38.
All Souls' day at Edgbaston, 19.
Allegri, 19, 20.
Allen, A. 38.
Anglican service, 25.
Bach, J.S. 33.
Badeley, E. 23.
Bai, 19, 20.
Ballantine-Dykes, Canon, 38.
Barnby, Dr. J. 38.
Barth, T.W. 38.
Beethoven, 9, 12-17, 22, 23, 30-32, 35, 36, 39.
Bellasis, E. 38.
Benedict XIV. Pope, 16.
Bennett, Mr. 24, 25.
Birmingham Festival, 18, 32. " Oratory choir, 38. " " hymn-book, 23, 27, 29-31, 39.
Bittleston, Rev. H. 31, 32.
Blachford, Lord, 8.
Blanco White, 5, 9, 13.
Bowden, J. 9, 21.
Bowles, Rev. F.S. 10, 22.
Brahms, 18, 19.
Bulwer. Rev. H. Earle, 38.
Burns, J. 31, 37.
Butler, Rev. C.E. 38.
Canzonet quartet, 18.
Capecelatro, Cardinal, 5, 6, 32, 40.
Caswall, Rev. E. 14, 31, 32.
Catholic service, 26.
Chadwick, Bishop, 32.
Chalmers, Dr. 5.
Cherubini, 18, 32.
Christie, S.J. Rev. A.J. 32.
Coffin, C.SS.R. Bishop. 22.
Conversion, 28, 31.
Copleston, Provost, 8.
Corelli, 13, 16, 20.
Crookall, Dr. 30.
Crotch, Dr. 29.
"Daily, daily," 31.
Darnell, Rev. N. 33.
Dies Irae, 15, 19.
Discussions and Arguments, 16.
Don Giovanni, 31.
Dream of Gerontius, 12, 38.
Dublin Review, 16.
Ealing school, 21.
Edgbaston, 8, 19, 24, 28, 39.
Elvey, Mr. 25. " Sir G. 25.
Essays, 12, 23, 26.
Eternal Years, 39.
Faber, Fr. F.W. 28, 29, 31, 39.
Farm Street Church, 17.
Froude, R.H. 9, 38.
Gardiner, J.A. 38.
Gatty, C.T. 38.
Gaul, Dr. A.R. 38.
Gigli, Fr. 30.
"God of mercy," 32.
Gounod, 15, 17, 18.
Gratry, Fr. 38.
Grecian architecture, 33-36.
"Hail, Queen of Heaven," 32.
Hamilton, W. 38.
Handel, 16, 17, 36.
Harvey, Mrs. M.A. 38.
Hawkins, Provost, 8.
Haydn, 7, 13, 16, 38.
Heathen Greece, 38.
Heber, Bishop, 32.
Holy Week, 32, 38.
Hume, W. 38.
"I was wandering," 28, 31.
Idea of a University, 5, 6, 16, 24.
In exitu Israel, 12, 33.
"Jesus, My God, behold," 32.
Jewish music, 34, 35.
Jouvency, S.J. Fr. J. 23.
Keble, Rev. J. 29.
Lambert, K.C.B. Sir J. 37.
Latin play, 21.
Lauda Sion, 17.
Layton, H.C. 38.
"Lead, kindly light," 38-40.
Lingard, Dr. 32.
Lockhart, O.C. Rev. W. 11, 22, 29.
London Oratory choir, 38. " hymn-book, 28, 29. " Review, 23.
Loss and Gain, 11, 34, 36.
Lydian mode, 34.
Lyra Apostolica, 38. " Catholica, 32.
Macfarren, Dr. G.A. 38.
Maher, S.J. Fr. W. 17.
Mariale Sti. Anselmi, 32.
McCarthy, Rev. Mr. 10.
M'Quoin, Rev. Mr. 10.
Meacham, Dr. C.J.B. 38.
Mendelssohn, 12, 14, 16-18, 30.
Merry England, 34.
Milan Cathedral, 36.
Miserere, 19, 20.
Mixed Congregations, Discourses to, 5.
M'Neill, Canon, 11.
Mon Reale, Sicily, 34.
Month of Mary, 27, 30.
Moorat, S. 30.
Mors et Vita, 15.
Mors stupebit, 19.
Mose in Egitto, 20.
Mount of Olives, 14.
Mozart, 13, 16, 17, 30-32, 36, 38.
Mozley, A. Corr. J.H.N. 6-9, 13, 14, 20, 21, 24, 29, 34.
Mozley, Canon J.B. 14. " Mrs. J. 6, 9, 22. " Rev. T. 9, 10.
Naples Oratory, 30.
Newman, Mrs. J. 13. " F.W. 7. " C.R. 7.
Nicholson, W. 38.
Norris, Rev. J. 10.
"O God, Who canst not change," 38.
"O silly souls," 29.
Oakeley, Canon, 32. " Sir H. 33.
Okely, Mr. 17.
Omni die, 32.
Oriel College, Oxford, 7, 8.
Otter, J. 38.
Ottoboni, Cardinal, 20.
Oxford University Sermons, 5, 6, 18.
Pagan music, 34, 35.
Palestrina, 12, 20.
Pater noster, 32.
Paternoster Review, 11, 22.
Phrygian mode, 34.
Pianoforte quintet, 18.
Pilgrim Queen, 27, 30, 38.
Pincott, F.G. 38.
Pinsuti, C. 38.
Pitts, W. 28, 30.
Plater, E. 30.
Pope, Rev. T.A. 40.
Prendergast, A.H. 29.
Psalms, 149th, 150th, and In exitu, 12, 33.
Quam olim, fugue, 19.
Queen of Seasons, 27.
R., J.W. 38.
Rasoumousky quartet, 31.
Regina Apostolorum, 27, 30.
Regulars and St. Philip, 27, 30, 31.
Reinagle, 9, 27.
Requiems, 15, 18, 19.
Rogers, F. 8.
Roman Oratory Choir, 30.
Rosa mystica, 27, 30.
Rose Hill, 9.
Rossini, 20, 21.
Rousseau, J.J. 34.
Rowley, K. 38.
Ryder, Rev. H.I.D. 10.
S., R. 38.
St. Philip and the poor, 30. " " in himself, 30, 31. " " in his disciples, 30. " " in his mission, 30. " " in his school, 30.
St. Anselm, 31, 32. " Clement's, Oxford, 24. " George's, Windsor, 25. " Gregory the Great, 37. " John's, Oxford, 7. " Magnus, 23. " Mary's, Oxford, 24, 25. " Peter's, Rome, 20. " Philip Neri, 5, 6, 17, 24, 30. " Thomas Aquinas, 18, 26.
Schubert, 12, 16.
Schumann, 16, 18.
"Softly and gently, dearly ransom'd soul," 38.
Solvet saeclum, 19.
Stanfield, Rev. F. 31.
Sullivan, Sir A. 38.
Supper of the Apostles, 18.
Symphony in A major, 12. " " C major, 14. " " C minor, 12. " " D major, 14. " " F major, 14. " " G minor, 18.
Tarugi, Cardinal, 30.
"The Angel-lights of Christmas morn," 27.
"The holy monks," 27, 31.
"The red sun is gone," 28.
"There are many saints above," 29.
"There sat a Lady," 27, 30, 38.
Thom's Blanco White, 6.
Tiddeman, M. 38.
Tilleard, J. 38.
"To Jesus' heart all burning," 32.
Tonnelle, M. 38.
Tozer, F. 38.
Two Worlds, 38, 39.
Tunbridge Wells, 12.
Vaughan, C.SS.R. Fr. 32.
Verses on Various Occasions, 22, 23, 27, 39.
Vesper Psalter, 37.
W., E. 38.
Wagner, 16, 18.
Waiting for the morning, 38.
Walker, Canon, 22.
Ward, Dr. W.G. 33.
Warden of Keble, 14.
Waller, W.H. 38.
Wellington, Duke of, 29.
Wesley, Dr. S.S. 38.
Westlake, Mr. 31.
Whitty, S.J. Fr. 10.
Wood, M.A. 38.
Worcester Festival, 24.