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CHRISTMAS DAY IN DUNEDIN.

On Sunday, the Feast of tbe Nativity, Masses commenced in St Joseph's Cathedral at 6 a.m., the Rev Father Lynch, Adm., acting as celebiant, and tbe choir of the Dominican nans einging in a very sweet and devotional manner the " Ad»ete Fidelea " and the " Gloria in Excelsis," and other parts of tbe Mass. The sanctuary and high altar bad been beautifully adorned by the nuns for tbe occasion, and inside the door leading into the north aisle from the baptistery in the northern tower, they bad, as usual 6et up the crib. Attendance at the Masses was crowded. — At 11 a.m. Pontifical High Mbbs was celebrated by tbe Bishop, who entered the church by the principal door, where he was received by the clergy, attended by aolytee, and conducted in procession to tbe throne. Tbe Bey Father Murphy acted as deacon, the Bey Father Ryan as subdeacon, and the Bey Father Lynch as master of ceremonies. A telling sermon on the festival of tbe day was preached by Father Lynch. The preacher also thanked ths gentlemen who bad given their assistance in collecting the Christmas dues ; the choir, for the good service done by tbem at all times ; the visitors who oo (his occasion g*ve them tbeir valuable aid, and the congregation, who had been so generous in their contributions.— Tbe music was, besides the Xmas hymn, " Adeste Fideles," and the solos sung at the Offertory, the Twelth Mass, Once we should have said Mozart's Twelfth Mass, bat that ws dare no longer say. Has not tbe fiction-crusher laid hold of the Mass? There is not a note in it, not a dcmi-semi-quaver, he swears, that Mozart ever made use of. Moeart never heard of it, never dreamt of it, never even suffered from it in a night-mare. We should, therefore, risk an accusation of not knowing a quaver from a crochet, or a sharp from a flat, were we to hint at anything of the kind. Still, leaving out all question of quavers and crochets, and even of semibreves and minims, and of musical pedantry generally, familiar only to the initiated, we would

venture to say that, at least where theless erudite ear iTcohotrned, there arii passages in this* Man that suggest the thought of a~pttter. The earnest iosistanoe ot the " £yrie," for example, formi such a passage. Such a passage, too, is ihat sustataiiig in the," Oredo " the idea of the Incarnation coupled with the idea, of the Crucifixion— thai simultaneously suggesting the end for which the Word was made flesh. The Pseado-Moiart may, perhaps, hare been an inferior musician, bnt he nnderstood the trne spirit of prayer and combined theological points with striking effect. As to tVe, fiction-crusher, we are not, on second thoughts, ful'y inclined to acknowledge his infallibility. His most learned conclusions are frequently contradicted by facts that afterwards happen. Why, then, waa the Pseudo-Mot art— or how did he manage to foist his forgery on generations sb capable as the present of appreciating the genuine works of the composer ? The Mass, it is true, hag oommonly formed the piioe de ririttanee in choirs of no great excellence, and in whose throats the Pseudo-Mozart himself might And it diffloult to recognise the offspring of his talent. It has, nevertheless, been thought worthy of performance by choirs of distinction ard by musical societies of no little consideration— by whom also it was assigned to the true Mocart. We have, for example, ourselves heard it so performed both in London and Dublin. Whether Mozart, or some imitator orwonld-belmitator,notdumb,batinglorions,t>f his,com posed the Mass, it was very well song on the occasion alluded to. The principal voioe s did their parts ably, and they were admirably sustained by the members of the choir generally. The nuanoet were finely observed, and the meaning of the music was clearly brought out. The organist of the church, who also instructs the choir, ia to be congratulated on what was evidently the result of a course of painstaking and intelligent training. Of the Masses now in vogue, we know of none, with the exception of Gounod's " Messe Solennelle," more devotional or better Baited to divine worship. We know of some that are much less so. The " Adeate Fideles " was sang before Mass. At the Offertory the solos " Vnni Creator Spiritus " and " Aye Maria " were sung, the first by Mr Neilsoo, a gentleman who possesses a tenor voice of great excellence, and whose singing is marked by a fine power of expression ; the second by Mrs NeiUon— a soprano singer of a high degrea of merit. The lady and gentleman in question both belong to Williamson's Opera Company, now in Danedin, as does also Mrs K-tne and Mr Behan, who likewise gave their services on the occasion. The orchestra of the Opera Company, too, were. present, and, with M. Leon Caron as conductor and Mr Kane as leader, did their part brilliantly. The voluntaries were— ingoing, "The First N el," an organ solo played by tile organist, Mr Vallis ; ongoing, the " viarche aux Flambeaux," for organ and orchestra. The choir nnmbered 60 members, the principal parts being taken as follows i— Soprano : Mrs Ndilson and the Miss'S M orris n and Mills ; contralto : Mrs Kane and Miss Murphy ; tenor : Messrs Neilson, Bahan, Eager and Carolin ; bass : Messrs W. Cant well and W, Woods. The members oi the orchestra wers in number 20. la the evening after V. spers, Miss R >se Blaney sang Meroadante's " Salve Maria " ; Mr Beban, Zingarelh's " Laudate Dominum " ; and Mr Jago, Gounod's •• Nazirtth." At St Patrick's Ohurcb, South Danedin, the festival was also solemnly observed, the Rev Father Hunt, pastor of the district, acting as celebrant and preacher. Farmer's Mas 9in B flat was performed at 11 a.m., the principal soUs being taken by Mrs Limon, the Misses Blaney und Drumtn, and Mr Moin.ll. The " Adeste Fideles " wag eu: gat the Offertory. Mr Lemon acted as organist. At the church of the Stored Heart, North-Bast Valley, the Rev Father Murphy preached at an early Mass. In the afternoon Banediction of the Most Holy Sacrament was given by the Bey Father Lynch, The number of the communicants for the whole parish amounted to 1,000. ___ ______

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/periodicals/NZT18921230.2.23

Bibliographic details

CHRISTMAS DAY IN DUNEDIN., New Zealand Tablet, Volume XXI, Issue 11, 30 December 1892

Word Count
1,036

CHRISTMAS DAY IN DUNEDIN. New Zealand Tablet, Volume XXI, Issue 11, 30 December 1892

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