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William Henry Longhurst, Mus. D. Cantuar, F. R. C. O., at one time organist of Canterbury Cathedral, died the 17th of June at the age of 85.

It was once the custom of the Dean of Windsor, England, to invite the Lay Clerks of St. George’s Chapel to an annual supper at the Deanery. On one occasion the genial host, a man fond of his garden, in the course of conversation with one of his guests enthusiastically expatiated upon his success in raising celery, a word which he pronounced salary. “I wish, Mr. Dean,” replied the listener, “you could see your way to raise my salary!”

The late Dr. E. J. Hopkins was of opinion that there are various puzzling points to the thoughtful player in connection with Mendelssohn’s “absolutely unsurpassed” organ sonatas. The chords written low in the bass, as found in the Finale of the First and the Allegro of the Fifth Sonatas, he thought that Mendelssohn would never have written if the “heavy doubles” of our organs had existed in his day. Then we are asked to look at the thin scoring of certain passages. For example, the second bar in the fourth score, page 30, Peters edition; it looks and sounds as if something had been inadvertently omitted by the composer. Yet Mendelssohn never did anything carelessly; and, if an explanation is needed, it should be sought elsewhere. There is a notion entertained by some organists that Mendelssohn, in consideration of the state of the pedal organ and of pedaling in his day, purposely planned the scoring of his organ sonatas so that they might at a push be performed in their entirety by an expert manual player, with a very sparing use of the pedals. As to the truth of this, one cannot, of course, speak; but it is a fact that nearly the whole of the six sonatas can be played upon the piano by one performer, except perhaps in cases where a long-holding note or a few stacato notes are given to the pedal here and there, and in places where the left hand part might be left out altogether without materially affecting the harmony. Perhaps the Mendelssohn enthusiasts may have something to say on the subject.

I came upon a good story the other day. At a country church, a well-known solo vocalist visiting the locality offered to sing at one of the services. The organ being much out of tune, the organist suggested to the principal church-warden the desirability of having it tuned for the occasion. The idea did not meet with the approval of this intelligent person. “I thought,” said he, “that all good singers could adapt their voices to the instrument!”

 

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