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Temple will find some other expedient for the determination of the said difference.
$663. As to the price of the organs, Smith, the organ-maker, absolutely refuseth to set any price upon his organ, but offers to submit the same to the judgment of the treasurers of both societyes, or to such artists as they shall choose, which their mastershippes cannot but think reasonable.
664. As to the numbering the organ-pipes and stops, their mastershippes think it below them to trouble themselves therein, because the proposal can have no other ground than a supposition of such fraud in the artist as is inconsistent with the credit of his profession.'
“The benchers of the Inner Temple, nevertheless, still adhered to their determination, to have impartial judges chosen 'to decide the controversy ; while the Middle Temple, satisfied that they had made choice of the better instrument, would not yield, so the contest was further prolonged; and accordingly we find the benchers of the Inner Temple, in February, 1686, again urging the necessity for the appointment of indifferent
persons by each society to determine which is the best organ.
“• At length,' says Burney, the decision was left to Lord Chief-Justice Jefferies, afterwards King James the Second's pliant Chancellor, who was of that society (the Inner Temple), and he terminated the controversy in favour of Father Smith; so that Harris's organ was taken away without loss of reputation, having so long pleased and puzzled better judges than Jefferies.'”
" After its rejection by the societies of the Temple, Harris's organ was divided ; a portion of it formed the old organ in the cathedral of Christ Church, Lublin ; and the remainder was erected in St. Andrew's, Holborn.
"Reverting, however, to the accounts of the strange contention between Fatber Smith and Harris, for the order for the erection of the Temple organ. In Malcolm's Londinum Redivivum we find the following :- The most singular occurrence of Smith's professional life, was the harmonic contest between his organ, now in the Tem
ple Church, and the one erected by Renatus Harris, son of another German organ-builder, who left his country about the same time that Smith came. The learned Antients of the above seat of law, wavered in their choice of the artist who should place an organ in their venerable church. The efforts of Smith and Harris were, therefore, brought into and heard by an open court, supported by counsel, who exerted their best abilities in their defence, had a respectable variety of jurors, and Judge Jefferies gave sentence, which was in Smith's favour. In other words, the organ made by IIarris was placed on one side of the church, and that of Smith on the other; the former played by Draghi, the latter by Dr. Blow and Mr. Purcell. Near a year elapsed before the contention ceased, and Jefferies made his fiat. It was this success that led to Smith's employment at Paul's.'
“And the Hon. Roger North, attorney-general to James II., who was in London at the time, adds his testimony to the virulence of the contest, and the acrimony exhibited by the friends on both sides, when, speaking of the evils which arise from competition in matters relating to music, he says, 'And more (i. e., ill effects) happened upon a competition for an organ at the Temple Church, for which the two competitors, the best artists in Europe, Smith and Harris, were but just not ruined?-(Memoirs of Music, by the Hon. Roger North, edited by Dr. Rimbault, 1846, p. 120.)
Indeed,' says Dr. Burney, 'old Roseingrave assured me that the partisans for each candidate, in the fury of their zeal, proceeded to the most mischievous and unwarrantable acts of hostilities; and that, in the night preceding the last trial of the reed stops, the friends of Harris cut the bellows of Smith's organ in such a manner, that, when the time came for playing upon it, no wind could be conveyed into the wind chest.'”—(Burney's History of Music, c. viii.
The history of the Temple organ does not end here. When the church was restored, it was needful to put the organ in a renewed and improved shape. Many hundreds of pounds were laid out on it-enough to have constructed a new and large
1 Vide “ A Few Notes on the Temple Organ," p. 11, et. seq.
organ; and the "learned” Benchers thought they had done the right thing; but it was still left an imperfect, ill-balanced instrument, utterly incapable of having ordinary organ-music performed on it. That the Benchers should have allowed the celebrated Temple organ to have been so dealt with, is the strongest possible evidence of their entire ignorance both of music and musical instruments, and of their duty as trustees for the Societies. As an illustration of this absurd waste of money, and the obvious imperfections of these improvements, it is within our knowledge that , when Mendelssohn was in England, he was invited to play on some of the finer organs in London, and amongst others he was asked to try that of the Temple ; but, on being informed what was its scale and arrangement, he peremptorily refused even to look at it. The most renowned organist in Germany, Hesse, did afterwards come and look at the celebrated instrument, but disdained to touch it; remarking, that to play organ-music on such a thing was ganz und gar unmöglich. As time went on the Banchers seem to have been better inforred; and during the last few years, and at the cost of several hundred pounds more, the instrument has been at last rendered so far complete, that we believe an organist may henceforth venture to play on it music written for the organ. The clever devices which we frequently heard Mr. Hopkins resort to before these last improvements were made, in order to cover the defects of the instrument, were very amusing. With two or three hundred pounds more, properly laid out, we might obtain what the church ought to and could possess—viz., a complete instrument which we might be proud of. A late addition to the works is the beautiful hydraulic machine which works the bellows; for it is a remarkable fact that the bellows are now worked from the source of the New River in the Eastern counties.
We may in passing remark, that the "raryetie” of the quarter notes is merely a musician's conceit; practically they are of no
The organ is now, we think, tuned in equal temperament, like the piano; and, even if it were not, the two additional tones introduced within each octave would be as great an evil as benefit on the whole. This addition of two pipes in each octave through
out all the stops, adds one-sixth more to the number of the pipes. Being curious, however, they have been retained throughout all the alterations and improvements of the instrument.
In connection with the musical service of the church, the story of the Anthem Book is worth recollecting. For some time the congregation did without any books, but in 1845 a special edition was prepared for the use of the church ; we believe the late Mr. Burge volunteered to edit the collection. As it is now withdrawn from use, we should not refer to it as being certainly the very worst collection ever made, if it were not to give another, though it be but trifling, example of the folly, squandering, ignorance, and presumption of those who assume the direction and management of the affairs of the hon. Societies. This edition was printed by Pickering, and affected to be every thing that it was not. The Benchers, however, at last actually found out that the defects of the Anthem Book were intolerable, and they ordained that a new edition of " Anthems, Psalms, and Hyrons, for the use of the Temple Church,” should be prepared; for no doubt it was thought that such a body as that of the Templars ought, in a literary point of view, to command an edition as perfect as possible; so in 1856 a new book of Psalmody was ordered. The part devoted to anthems is very fairly executed in this latter edition, so far as we have observed, and it probably answers the purpose of the congregation very well; but the psalms and hymns have been collected and edited with extreme carelessness, gross ignorance, and bad taste. Carelessness is exhibited in the printing,' and in extracting from unauthentic sources the psalms and hymns; the ignorance is evinced in the editor not knowing the vast field of English sacred song; and bad taste by omissions and insertions, as well as in alteration of the originals. Not only in a literary sense is the collection absurd, but, musically, it is beneath contempt.
As examples of crassa ignorantia of the first principles of psalmody, we quote the following lines, in which musical rhythm
Who was the clever
1 We see it was taken to Scotland to be printed. instigator of this :
would require the words, when sung, to be accentuated as is indicated:
“Authòr of faith, eternal Word," No. 489.
&c., &c., &c. Next we will illustrate, by a few casual examples, the utter incompetence of the editor of the psalm and bymn department in other points.
At page 204 there is a hymn numbered 541, said to have been found in “ Wesley's collection.” This so-called hymn consists in reality of five verses of a psalm known to every charity-boy (Psalm 106, new version). The attentive reader will, in fact, find this hymn repeated in the collection, being, with a slight variation, again placed among the psalms at page 243.
The hymn 492, also taken from Wesley's collection, is nothing else than an outrage upon religious feeling and poetical sense. We omit for obvious reasons the first three verses. The last verse is as follows:
« God is in heaven, and man below :
Be short our tunes, our words be few !
And praise sits silent on our tongues. How appropriate is the second line after a choral service of an hour and a half's duration, and before a sermon which it would be unamiable to say we had ever timed! The rest of the verse requires no comment."
One of the finest of our English psalm tunes is Handel's * There are in this collection of hymns at least half a dozen in which the word “ Father occurs thus wrongly accentuated. Was the editor aware that this hymn, No. 491, and some others in the book, attributed by him to Steele, are not the composition of Sir Richard, but of the devout Mrs. Steele ? If so, it would have been judicious to have intimated the fact.
* The nearest approach towards rendering the last two lines musically, was attempted by the organist on a late occasion, by his suddenly shutting off at this part all the stops but one.