Am Meer. Fantasiestück, für Pianoforte [review-book]

1869 The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular  
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more » ... out Early Journal Content at JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not--for--profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact 275 be said to be acknowledged in a tentative manner, as though the fear were ever present that the new work would not recompense for the loss of the old. Following this line of argument, we may say that there was until quite lately, only too good cause, for such a doubt, music for the Church not having progressed at the eame pace as when dedicated to the stage or the concert-room. Now however, the case is somewhat diSerent, for the music of the sanctuary has awakened to a new existence, and it is a gratifying circumstance to find this fact being recognised and acted upon, as in the case of the two anthems now under notice. It is indicative of the state of church music at the present day, that we should find these two works very unequal in merit. And we frankly admit that this circumstance goes far towards justifying the fear of which we have previously spoken, viz., that the whole success of a splendid service might be endangered by the failure of the work specially written for the purpose. From a musician's point of view, this must have been the fate of the re-opening 6ervice at Grantham Parish Church, for we look in vain for any gleam of freshness or beauty in the specially composed Anthem. A vapid introduction composed of worn-out sequences, is followed by a chorus, which is somewhat remarkable on the score of accent and modulation, if for nothing else. As an example of the first we have, ' that I may go into them," aIld afterwards 'Open me the gates of righteouslless." Again in the next chorus, which is in triple time, we find " This ts the gate of the Lord." But what is most painful is the before-mentioned want of freshness. Nowhere do we find anything which has not been done before and long ago. It seems as though Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Spohr, and Mendels20hn had had no existence in Dr. Disonts experience, for there is not a shadow of their influence anywhere discernible. Boyce, King and Travers appear to be the authors whose works have been the principal sources of inspiration. Mr. Thorne's Anthem, on the other hand, seems to us to be one of the most remarkable works of the kind we have ever seen * and we have no hesitation in adding that in our opinion it would stand a comparison with the finest works of its class, for freshness of invention and masterly treatment. This, like the other Anthem, opens with an instrumental introduction, the first few bars of which cannot fail to attract the notice of the musician by their breadth and dignity, as well as a daring use of discords, and not alone is the introduction large in outline but the chorus flows from it without a break, the same two subjects being used in a manner as bold as it is new. The second subject, " Our feet shall staWnd in thy gates, O Jerusalem," is singularly graceful and apposite, and with its counter-subject, ; Jerusalem is built as a city that is at unity in itself," presents an effect of great novelty. After a few bars of modulation which are almost as striking as any thing in the work, we are brought to the second movemellt, for soprano solo and chorus: " O pray for the peace of Jerusalem." It is difficult to describe in words the effect of this portion of the anthem. The prayerful dignity of the first subject, the novelty of the second, where the word 4 Peace,2' given out by the soprano voice, is echoed by the tenor, and the gorgeous harmonization of the whole, render this a movement which would do no discredit to the reputation of any composer living. The third movement, ' For mzr brethren and companions' sakes," falls somewhat short of the elevation attained by the two previous ones, and ret it is far from small work. It appears as though the mind had been stretched to such a state of tension as would IlOt last through the entire Anthem. This is regretable for many reasons. Still it is so seldom that music of such a high class intended for Church use, comes under our notice, that our principal feeling is one of satisfaction in finding there are thosc now amongst us who are likely to emulate the works of the best of the old church composers.
doi:10.2307/3352472 fatcat:3wldvqx73bh2rjxaf2e2uaifri