Excerpt from Sacred Music
It is quite common to denounce artistic performances as unworthy a place in the house of God. If by this is meant to banish from the church the artificial arrangements, in which certain Hymns might be read best, or the more elaborate treatment of Psa... lms and Hymns, without regard to the senti ments suggested by the words, of which the whole musical structure ought to be but the realized ideal, that inspired the sacred writer - then, very 'well; but if art is to aim at the realization of the ideal itself, if she, especially in sacred music, is to afford the means by which we can reach that state of mind and heart, in which alone worship can ¿ow from the soul - then, artistic perform ances ought to be the rule, instead of the exception. But it must be borne in mind, that simplicity and dignity are essential attributes of music, in which the soul is to commune with its Maker.
In this collection of Sacred-music, it has been my chief object to give to the sentiments of the words their proper expression in music. Hence, most compositions are new, or have at least never been published in the form in which they now appear. Whenever motiv_es have been taken from the masters, it has been with especial reference to the very same sentiment for which those masters used them as the original expression.
The new features of this collection may be stated as follows, viz.
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