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HUBANUS. “Because I heard y

you our choir of the Church of S. Bobut just now rehearsing such a sor. tolph, in the United States, that rowful, in fact, so lugubrious, a mor- you can hear. I'm the organist ceauan Offertory piece, I presume, and director." for a Requiem Mass—that I

sup

GREGORIUS. “Not sing the Inposed you were getting up the mu- troit! Why, good domne Hubasic for some such occasion."

nus, our grand and joyous festival (Tyre monks regard the aged stran- on the morrow would be robbed of ger with no little surprise, mingled one of its chief features if we failed with curiosity.)

to sing the Gaudeamus--I mean the GREGORIUS. “We must have Gaudeamus that you have just made indeed sad work of it in our

heard.” rehearsing. Worthy Hubanus, it HUBANUS. “ De gustibus non est was the Gaudeamus you heard.” disputandum.' Hem! excuse my

HUBANUS. “The Gaudeamus, eh? indulging in the classics; those old (Aside. I don't remember seeing Latin fellows say a good deal in a that in Ditson's catalogue. I won- few words, you know.

But you der what it is. To Gregorius.) don't seriously mean to say that Would you mind repeating it once such monotonous stuff-excuse my ·more ?"

plain speaking on your plain singGREGORIUS. “With pleasure. ing-is fit for a joyous festival ? As Sing, my brothers." (They sing my friend, Dr. — says in his late the whole Introit.)

paper on 'Church Music,'' to hear HUBANUS. “Ah! fine; quite so. Gregorian chant for a long time, lemn ! A Gregorian chant, I per- and nothing else, becomes extremecewe. A very plaintive move- ly monotonous, and burdens the ment. The finale has an exceed- ear with a dull weight of sound not ingly mournful effect. In D minor, always tolerable.' He says, moreis it not ? Still, for a Requiem over, that 'this is admitted by all Offertory I think Rossini's Pro who in seminaries and monasteries Peccatis, or Gounod's Ave Maria, or have been most accustomed to 'Angels ever Bright and Fair,' for hear it.' a change, would please the congre

GREGORIUS. “ Your

learned gation better."

friend did not seek our judgment, ALL THE MONKS. “ Plaintive! I assure you, and I am at a loss to Our Gaudeamus mournful! Calls know who could have made so silly an Introit an Offertory piece! Like an admission to him." . Requiem Offertory indeed! An HUBANUS. “But do you not 'reAve Maria for that too! What sort to every device,' as he says does he mean by D minor ? (Bless- again, 'to escape its monotony on ing themselves.) Ab omni malo, festival days, by harmonies on the libera nos, Domine!"

chant which are out of all keeping HUBANUS. “Oh! beg pardon. with it,' and so forth?" That is an Introit, is it? Indeed! GREGORIUS.“ We do not, I trust. But, as I said, I have the honor to What little harmony we sing is in be born at a much later date than strict keeping with the mode of the yourselves, and we don't bother chant; and as to escaping anything, ourselves with singing those things we know the rubrics, domne Huin my day and country. We bring banus, and respect them, and, what out the finest music, however, in is more, we observe them."

HUBANUS. “On that score I which you must confess, with Dr. have the advantage of you ;• for it is of limited, very limited, doesn't require much knowledge of range,' and in my opinion as poor in what you call rubrics to bring out expression as a kettle-drum.”

Mass and grand Vespers with us. GREGORIUS. “ I crave your parHowever, this question of plain don, worthy sir. You are a stranger chant is settled long ago. It ought and quite aged—” to have been settled long before HUBANUS (interrupting). "Eighyou were born. For, as Dr. teen hundred and seventy-four.” continues in his paper, ‘No one GREGORIUS (continuing) -- "as will deny the appropriateness and the length and whiteness of your impressiveness of plain chant on beard proclaim, while we have certain solemn occasions, especially only the experience of one thousand those of sorrow; but it is confess- years, the lessons of the church, and edly unequal to the task of evok. the taste as well as the examples of ing and expressing the feelings of the saints to profit by; but we must Christian joy and triumph.' Ah! confess that of a prima donna we Brother Gregorius, you should have have never yet heard." been born later."

ALL THE MONKS. (very decidedly). GREGORIUS. “ Then we monks, “Never !"* and the generations of the faithful HUBANUS. “Never heard of a throughout the world, have for the prima donna! Why, when were you past thousand years been shut out born? I mean, of course, the chief from the feelings of Christian joy lady soprano who sings in the and triumph, have we? Verily, choir.” either we or you can have known (Here all the monks burst out laughvery little of one or of the other, ing.) as the observation of your learned GREGORIUS (having got his breath). doctor may happen to be true or “Come, come, my ancient stranger, pot. Did the church put a lie into that explains all. We knew you the mouths of her cantors when must be ‘chaffing' us, from the she bade them sing, Repleatur os very first, with your mournful meum laude tua, alleluia; ut possim Gaudeamus' and your never singcantare, alleluia; gaudebunt labia ing Introits or obeying the rubrics mea, dum cantavero tibi, alleluia, and the rest. Ha! ha! Truly, alleluia '?”*

a chief lady in the choir '-prima HUBANUS. “You are a trifle sar- donna, I think you named such a castic, Brother Gregorius; but I mythical personage-was only needwillingly pardon it, for I'm a plain- ed to cap the climax of your exspoken man myself, and call a cellent joke.” zpade a spade. Besides, you know, HUBANUS.“ Joke! I'm not jok. you can always fall back on the ing at all. We have ladies in our * De gustibus '-—a quotation I often choir-(aside) and it's no joke to find very convenient; but I war- manage them either-(to Gregorius) rant me your prima donna doesn't and pay them good salaries, as you find much satisfaction in exhibiting must; for without that, you know, her fine soprano on your dull chant, you never can have good music.”

(Here the laughing of the monks "Let my mouth be filled with thy praise, alle suddenly subsided, followed by loud nis, that I may sing, alleluia, my lepsshalleluial and angry whispers, of which the word heretic" was unmistakably HUBANUS. “Ma foi! I do not heard. Brother Gregorius interpos- know. (Aside.) I hope they do, if ed.) "Judge not too hastily, good old fogies like you are going to stir brothers. True, no church which up that question. (To Gregorius.) oweth obedience to our Holy Father, No lady-singers! If that were to the Pope, and which hath a right happen, my occupation, as well as therefore to call itself Catholic, did theirs, would be like Othello'sever yet permit women to sing in gone. For hark you, Brother Grechurch choirs; but what she might gorius, although I know but little have done in this matter in the of your old-fashioned, barbarous country from which this aged chant-can't read a note of it, to stranger comes-be it ever so con- tell the truth-if women-singers are trary to all the rubrics and tradi- banished from the choir, music goes tions known unto us—we will the with them. The music I like re. better learn from his own lips. quires the female voice. I wouldn't Women, then, good domne Huba- waste my time with a parcel of boys nus, do sing in the choir in the Cath- and on such music as they can olic churches of your strange land, sing." standing, perchance, beside the men- GREGORIUS. “What music is this singers ?"

of which you speak so often ? Hath HƯBANUS. Where else would the church adopted a new style of they stand ? You see we put the melody which is not chant ?" sopranos and tenors on one side, HUBANUS. “No, not adopted preand the altos and basses on the cisely, but there is a new musicother."

everybody knows it-written by Gregorius (scratching his shaven Mozart, Haydn, Mercadante, Peters, crown in great perplexity). “We and several others, which organists have yet to learn many wonder- and choirs make use of in our day. ful things! Canst tell me, worthy Some prefer one, some another, acHubanus, how comes it? Does your cording to taste. De gustibus, learned friend, Dr. — speak of you know." this matter in his celebrated 'paper ?

GREGORIUS. “ Yet tell me for Doubtless he mentions some decree here the strangeness of your news of the Sacred Congregation of Rites almost surpasses belief-how dare which hath allowed this—this (an- the organists and choirs make use other scratch) unheard-of novelty?" of any melody in accompanying the

HUBANUS. “I cannot remember Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and abthat he made any allusion to it. solving the Divine Office which has In fact, I fancy that he would not been adopted, or at least disrather not, and I am glad he didn't. tinctly sanctioned, by holy church, But where's the use of making a fuss to whom it appertains to dispose the over it? Haven't women got voices ordering even of the most minute as well as men, and what did the rubric in these important matters Lord give them voices for, if he did concerning the due praise of God not intend them for use ?"

and the sure edification of the peoGREGORIUS. “In the choir ?" ple?"

HUBANUS. “In the choir, or out of HUBANUS. “All I can say is, we the choir, what's the difference?" do it. It is tolerated in some places,

GREGORIUS. “ Do the rubrics and my friend in his paper quotes allow it?"

Instructions' which the

some

cardinal vicar in Rome issued to ALL THE MONKS. Ab omni malo, his own clergy to prove the tolera- libera nos, Domine !" tion; but, to my thinking, they GREGORIUS. “His account of sound very much like the care- your musicwhich you seem, neverful mother's permission to her boy theless, to prize so much more highwho asked leave to learn to swim- ly than our dear holy chant, which * Certainly, my child, but don't you hath the undoubted sanction of the never go near the water, least- church-gives pretty plain evidence ways any water that is over your that the church hath not adopted ankles.''

it in any wise. It rather suggests GREGORIUS. “I think I under- the thought that she would gladly stand, for I have heard our good fa- be rid of it altogether, abstaining, ther, the abbot, say that he who however, like Father Ambrose, fro would be well carried must not drive reforming musicians before they are with too stiff a rein '; and my holy no- formed, and resolving, as he did ofvice-master, Father Ambrose—to ten pleasantly say, to my comfort, whose soul may God grant rest !- 'Thou shalt see, Brother Gregorius, did oft chide my hasty judgment that I shall make no change in our upon my fellow-novices, saying in holy Rule.'his sweet way, and after the manner HUBANUS. “ One would think of his wise speech, “Thou wouldst you were born later, after all'; for it reform monks, good Brother Gregor- would appear that our Holy Father, ius, before they are formed. All they Pius the Ninth-pity you haven't need is a little instruction.' At pre- lived to know him, Brother Gresent every one is well pleased with gorius, for he is the dearest pope your music ?"

that has ruled the church since HUBANUS. “Oh! that is quite the days of S. Peter-is in the van another question. Dr. - himself among the leaders of the · Gregodoes not seem to think so, for he rian movement,' since a little while says in his paper : 'In consequence ago he made a decree that the Greof the failure of modern composers gorian chant should be taught in to meet the requirements of Cath- all the ecclesiastical schools of he olic devotion, though their music states of the church, to the exclusion has been introduced into our of every other kind of music-Canchurches and given every chance tus Gregorianus, omni alio rejecto, of trial, complaints against it are tradetur.' You see he wishes to heard on every side. We grumble get the Roman priests educated up about it in our conversations; we to it-Rome rules the world-and write against its excesses in the the thing is done. Othello's public journals; bishops complain occupation is gone!'

occupation is gone!' But how in of it in pastoral letters; provin- the world we shall ever get up a cial councils are forced to issue Christmas or an Easter Mass that decrees about it; the Sovereign is fit to listen to when that day Pontiffs themselves not unfre- comes is more than I can tell." quently raise their voices, some- GREGORIUS. “Despair not, good times in warning, sometimes in Hubanus. Remain with us past the threats-in a word, the ci'il seems morrow, and thou shalt hear a holy to have attracted a good deal of Mass and solemn Vespers which attention.'”

will warm the cockles of thy heart, chanted in strains of melody that but intended also to be understood belie neither the sentences of joyful as asserting that the cause of this praise which are uttered nor the failure lay chiefly in the melodiexultation which doth lift the hearts ous form of such music--the neof the brethren to heaven, and fill cessary result of a tonality essenthe festival hours with a divine tially sensuous, which renders it, gladness. (To the monks.) Brothers, despite every effort of the artist, inlet us rehearse the Gloria in Ex- trinsically unsuitable for the excelsis."

pression of the “prayer of the church.” That there is prayerful

music we do not deny, but it will As the curtains of our memory never obtain any more positive dropped upon the scene we have sanction from the church than she just been present at, our eyes gives to the hundred and one senticaught sight again of the sentence mental “prayers ” and turgid “ litaquoted by Prof. Hubanus: “In nies” which fill the pages of our consequence of the failure of mod- “largest books of devotion ” ad ern composers to meet the require- nauseam, and are equally supposed ments of Catholic devotion”—which by the uneducated Catholic and the failure is so utter that, in the judg- ignorant Protestant to be the masment of the same writer, he “thinks terpieces of Catholic musical and it no exaggeration to say that, if all liturgical art. their compositions, except a very

We did not think it necessary, few, were burned, or should other- writing as we did for a special class wise perish, the church would suffer of readers, to explain the disno loss.”

tinguishing characteristics of the But what of the figured musical church's "prayer," being, as our compositions of those musicians learned friend says, fourfold-lawho may in our time be honored treutic, impetratory, propitiatory, with the title of "ancient," such as and eucharistic.

To us

the Palestrina and his imitators ? The church was not wanting in wismusic of this style forms, we are dom in the adoption alone of plain told, the staple of what is common- chant to express her divine prayer, ly heard in S. Peter's. The writer whether it happen to be latreutic, of the article we allude to evidently impetratory, propitiatory, or euchiabelieves any attempt to make such ristic. She never made any dismusic popular would be no less a tinction that we know of. But our

The intricacy of the style, learned friend, while he cannot help the exceeding difficulties attendant but admit that for the purposes of upon its artistic execution, and its adoration, propitiation, and supplirestricted vocal character, are fa- cation it is not only all that could tal" objections.

be desired, but is also better than We fully agree with him. In any other melody, denies, with an our former articles on this subject ipse dixit, its capability of express(THE CATHOLIC WORLD, December, ing praise and thanksgiving. Ar1869, and February and March, gument does not seem to be worth 1870) we not only pronounced seeking. “Plain chant,” he says, modern figured music to be in "is confessedly unequal to the task practice a failure as church music, of evoking and expressing the feel

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