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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 eflbrts 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 J efferies gave sentence, which was in Smith’s favour. In other words, the organ made by Harris 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 J efferies 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, wererbut just not ruz'ned.’—-(Memoirs of M usie, 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.’ ”—(Burne_1fs History of M uric, c. viii. p. 427.) ‘
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
‘ Vida “ A’Few Notes on the Temple Organ," p. ll, 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 ourknowledge that . when Mendelssohn was in England, he was invited to play on someof 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 gem: und gar unmbglich. As time went on the Benchers seem to have been better informed; 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. VVith 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 use. 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, ther"
story of the Anthem Book is worth recollecting. For some time the congregation did without any books, but in I845 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 aflairs of the hon. Societies. This edition was printed by Pickering, and atfected 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» Hymns, 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. Uarelessness 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. N 0t’ 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
‘ We see it was taken to Scotland to be printed. Who was the clever instigator of this 2
would require the words, when sung, to be accentuated as is indicated :-—
“ Author‘ of faith, eternal Word,” No. 489.
“ Pardbn, and holiness, and heaven," Id.
“ Father of mercies, in thy Word,” No. 491.1
“ Whittier, ah whither, shall I go?” Id.
“People and realms of ev’ry tongue,” N 0. 505.
“ Angels ascend with songs again,” No. 516.
Next we will illustrate, by a few casual examples, the utter incompetence of the editor of the psalm and hymn department in other points. l
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 apsalm 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 :
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 unaniiable 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 “ Hanover,” to which, however, owing to its peculiar rhythm, one psalm only can be properly sung—viz. the 149th. The sagacious editor has given but one verse of this with the Gloria Patri. The sharpest curate in London could not shift his vestrnents, attend to his private devotions, and slip his sermon-case out of his pocket, before the time was exhausted which this abbreviated psalm could occupy. We presume the fastidious selector of spiritual song for the honourable Societies objected to the phrase in the second verse of the psalm, in which the worshipper is enjoined to extol the deity “in the dance.” If so, the same delicate sense-of the ofi'ensive in poetry should have induced the omission at p. 193 of
' ‘There are in this collection of hymns at least half a dozen in which the word “' Father” occurs thus wrongly accentuated. W'as 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 1 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, ofl“ at_
this part all the stops but one.
“ The barren wilderness shall smile
As an example of the frequent carelessness in punctuation, we may refer to the second verse of the Advent hymn—-always difiicult to read or sing, but here made worse than meaningless by the full stop after the fourth line.
“ Every eye shall now behold him,
As Wesley’s collection has afforded so much material to the editor, or the committee of Benchers, or the beadle, or whoever (modestly concealing his name) undertook the supervision of the book, why were not a few more added to suit all tastes, and all shades of doctrine? Thus, for the suspected Socinian there might
have been introduced the hymn—
“ Lord thou art one, and only one,
The next Sunday the orthodox Trinitarian might have his hymn taken from the same collection, in which occurs the beautiful
‘ In the collection in which we have seen this hymn, the line runs we think
somewhat dilferently, thus—-“ And drive his doctrine back to hell,"-Ed. L. M. and R.