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king, however, lost in mute attention, never lowered his eyes from the roof, but kept staggering about the church till he made his exit at the door.
One of the most perfect organs in this country, for equality of tone and rich combination, is the work of Snetzler, a German, in St. Martin's Church, Leicester.* Its excellence is not duly estimated by the parishioners, though it is the admiration of all strangers. A similar instrument is to be found at Halifax, made by the same person, now rendered still more famous as being the organ upon which Herschel, the great astronomer, played when organist of that place; and what is equally remarkable, Joah Bates, (who presided at the commemoration of Handel,) son of the sexton of the same church. The style, hitherto deemed the perfection of organ playing, is that of canon and fuguet
* This instrument was erected under the auspices of the late Jos. Cradock, Esq. of Gumley,—the companion of Burke and Johnson, and a friend of the author.
† Many persons suppose that the modern authors have not the ability to write canon and fugue equal to Bach and Handel: in refutation of this opinion, we give an extract from a letter of Mozart, who played before Hässler, the most noted fuguist of his day:— They
asked me to play on the organ ; I told them what is the truth, that I "had but little practice on that instrument, but I found they had a pro' fessed organist, who was to kill me, if I may say so, by his playing. · He played very well, without much originality or imagination ; I therefore aimed directly at this stranger (Hässler), and exerted myself well. I concluded with a double fugue, in strict style, and played ' it slowly that I might conduct it properly, and that the hearers might be able to follow me. Now all was over. No one would play after this.—Mozart's Letters.
which evidently has its origin in the peculiar mechanism of this instrument.* Handel and Bach are esteemed the two greatest performers that ever appeared; but since the science has been so enlarged by the introduction of all the known instruments, the organ has lost its dominion in the orchestra, and has sunk into the office of a menial or helper. Though its tones are full of diversity, yet its mechanical structure disqualifies it from delivering them with expression. It never is so well employed, as when placed at the back of an orchestra, to pour out its fluid harmony into the chinks and interstices of a band. The Germans, who brought its powers
+ The touch of the organ differs essentially from that of the piano forte. Distinctness, which is an excellence upon the latter instrument, is to be avoided upon the organ. There must be no gaps between the notes. Though the finger should be put down with considerable force, and smartly taken up, it must not quit the key till a second is put down. This will bind the notes together, and give a compactness to the effect, which forms the true style of organ playing. Formerly an unpremeditated voluntary was considered a test of ability upon this instrument, but this opinion is no longer entertained.
As many congregations are deterred by the great and uncertain expense in erecting an organ, we shall put down a list of those stops which form the best composition; limiting the cost to 300l. for one of full compass and scale. Open Diapason.
Swell. Stop Diapason.
Open Diapason. Dulciana.
Pedal to take off. An Octave and half of German Sesquialtera
Pedals, in wood. Trumpet.
to the highest point of perfection, are the first to abandon it: you now scarcely hear it introduced into the mass.
These compositions, so sensitive and full of opposite effects, in their judgment, would be injured by its uniform tone; and many writers exclude it altogether. To neglect an instrument of such powers, to refuse its aid in heightening the sublime, betrays a want of judgment in the composer. If we peruse the posthumous Mass of Beethoven, we may there learn its true application: we may see in that magnificent work, how the conceptions of this great musician have been enforced, by a new mode of using the powers of this noble instrument.
The clarionet approaches the tone of the female voice nearer than any other instrument; and as a principal in the orchestra, it now sustains a distinguished part. This instrument, which is of German origin, was introduced into this country about the year 1770; and for the first twenty years, its use was confined to the military: for it is remarkable, at the last grand performance in Westminster Abbey, in 1791, that forty oboes, and forty bassoons, were admitted into that stupendous orchestra of a thousand performers, but the clarionet had not gained sufficient reputation to obtain a place. Soon after this period, from its warlike tone, it was adopted by all the military bands upon the continent; and the French found it of such singular efficacy in leading on their troops to battle, that all their regiments were headed by vast groups of these performers. At the federation in Paris, July 14, 1802, the writer was present when eighteen thousand troops passed in review before the Consul Buonaparte, to which were attached more than twenty bands of fifty performers each, forming an aggregate of more than a thousand musicians. The ordinary practice of a military man is not less than six hours per day, and that for twenty years is but just adequate to conquer all the difficulties* of this instrument. Probably the greatest good effected by the thirty years' war, was the improvement of the wind instruments. It was the incessant practice of fifty thousand performers spread over the continent, that drew forth the genius and powers
* Many of these obstacles are now removed, by having clarionets made in different keys. With the following set, C, B flat, and A, we are enabled to play with ease in most keys. Music in two flats, is played upon the B clarionet, as in the key of C; and music with three sharps, with the A clarionet, as in the key of C. Music for the B clarionet, in three flats, must be written in F, with one flat; and music in four flats, written in B, with two. For the A clarionet, music in two sharps, must be written in F, with one flat; and music in four sharps, in G, with one sharp ; i. e., a minor third above the real key, because the instrument is a minor third below it.
of those instruments, by which Haydn and Mozart perfected the musical science. In the hands of Willman and Barman, the clarionet is brought under complete subjection. In quality of tone it is warm and powerful; partaking somewhat of the oboe and trumpet combined, and the lustre of its tones adds great refulgency to the orchestra. Composers employ the chalumeau, or lower octave, with singular effect. Notice its accompaniment 'Protegga il giusto cielo,' in Don Giovanni.
The tone of the clarionet is peculiarly grateful in the open air. Who has not sailed down the Rhine, and held his oar, to listen to its joyous notes in the grove? Hidden in the thick umbrage of the mountains, on high you hear its clarion voice: it is the feast of the vine-dressers, and Drachenfells and Jura return the cheerful strain. Encircled by mountains, the peasant has a rich delight in pouring forth the tones of this instrument. Softened by the echoes, he listens to the dulcet notes he has raised, and his merry bits of melody make the mountains laugh and sing.
The full and complete effect of a number of voices and instruments conjoined depends upon the just