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an equal height with the side buttresses, with half pinnacles ornamented with crockets and finials. Betwixt these and the corner abutments is placed, on each side, a Gothic window, smaller than the rest, but similarly disposed in its parts. Over this projection rises the tower, with a fine double imperial crown spire, which is to be highly enriched with Gothic or naments. From the small plan of this chapel, which is prefixed to the Edinburgh Almanack, the spire appears to end very abruptly directly above the upper imperial crown. It would certainly add to the appearance of the whole, and produce a more striking effect, were the spire to rise to a considerable height above the upper crown, gradually tapering to a point.
The eastern end of the Chapel, which looks down Princes Street, is particularly fine, being embellished with a large Oriel window, nearly 30 feet high, and corresponding in breadth nearly to the space betwixt the two inner walls. It has really a fine effect from Princes Street, being form ed into several lights by mullions, and decorated, in the upper part, with a Catherine wheel, or Marigold window, the cusps of which appear to great advantage at a distance. The circle Oeil de Bouf perhaps may be too large to correspond with the other ramifications in the top of the window. This window is surrounded, on each side, by an elegant buttress, ornamented in two different parts with small canopied niches and crocketed pinnacles on top. Betwixt these, and the corners, are small windows of equal dimensions, with those directly opposite them in the front. The wall at both ends of the Chapel terminates in a stone railing. The whole of this stately edifice is built of beautiful white polished ashler, resembling marble, particularly during sun
The appearance of the interior, will, I hope, correspond to that of the
exterior. I am happy to hear that there are to be no galleriers; as these are always hurtful to the appearance of any Gothic building or cathedral, and destroy the general effect of the interior, by obstructing our view of the fine Gothic windows at the side, and, by dividing the aisles, and there by preventing us from seeing the whole space at one view.
This Chapel, therefore, though not large, is distinguished for its proportions, lightness, and delicacy of execution, and decided Gothic charac ter. The canopies, and pedestals of the niches, are richly embellished with sculpture, and finely executed. The tracery and ornaments are perhaps too minute and trifling, to be consistent with the nature and character of a Gothic building, and the mullions in the heads of the windows may be thought rather heavy. But, taking it upon the whole, Bishop Sandford's Chapel must be allowed by all, to be the most chaste and elegant building of which Edinburgh can boast; and to reflect great credit on the taste of the architect, as well as those by whom the work is executed. Edinburgh, 20th Dec. 1816.
M. T. E..
Report of the EDINBURGH Institution for the Encouragement of Sacred Music.
WEobtained a copy of this interest
ing report, at a time when we were almost closing our monthly la-bours; we could not, however, forbear from presenting our readers with the following summary of its contents.
The report begins with some very judicious remarks on the little attention which has been paid to scientific music in this country, while on the continent it has attained the highest pitch of graudeur and beauty.
There, even the uneducated peasantry perform in parts; while, in our churches, nothing is heard but the simple unison of the air itself; in which simple style, too, a striking deficiency is observable by a correct ear. Yet sacred music was, at an early period, the object of great attention in Scotland. In the reign of James I. the organ was employed, and that accomplished prince encouraged and excelled in music, more, says Buchanan, "than was expedient or seemly for a king." The Reformation gave the first check to the cultivation of sacred melody. Yet it does not seem to have been the wish of its leaders that it should produce this effect. In 1579, an act of parliament was passed "for instruction of the youth in the art of music and singing," in which it is exhorted, that a school should be set up in every parish.This, however, did not produce the desired effect; nor could it prevent the art from sinking into its present state of decay.
On the 19th November 1755, a representation was made to the Town Council of Edinburgh "touching the improvement of church music ;" and a grant was made of £.25 Sterling. Mr Eornforth Gibson was elected precentor of the High Church, and appointed to teach one hour gratis every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, in the New Kirk aisle, the use of which for such a purpose is therefore by no means an innovation. The High Church was thus provided with an excellent precentor, but no other lasting effect seems to have followed.
It was the musical festival of 1815 which gave a new turn, in this quarter, to the general feeling on the subject of sacred music; and by shewing the public what effects (of grandeur, beauty, and impressive solem nity) may be produced by choral harmony, skilfully conducted, has, we presume, laid the foundation of an improved taste in this country.
Those splendid performances, in which variety, richness, and elegance, were so remarkably combined, filled the audience with emotions, which more than probably had never before been excited in Scotland by the power of music.
In our Number for January 1816 we gave a pretty full view of the establishment of the "Edinburgh Institution for the Encouragement of Sacred Music." The Report now announces the progress and final success of the measures employed for promoting that interesting object.
The effect of the notice which had been issued to singers was extremely gratifying. On the night appointed for receiving applications, the place of meeting was surrounded by a crowd of young people, so great, that it was with difficulty they got admission. The mere recording of their names and addresses occupied several successive nights, till 780 names had been taken down, and intimations made, that no further applications could be received. Amidst the eagerness to be enrolled which then appeared, it was interesting to remark the mortification of some ambitious little spirits expressing itself even by tears, on their being informed that they were considered as unfit to be taught.
Under the assiduous tuition of their able master, the pupils of the institution soon obtained a proficiency highly gratifying to the Directors. It was such, that a rehearsal, with a view to a public performance, took place in the General Assembly Aisle, on 5th April 1816; the use of the Aisle having been previously granted to the institution by the proper authorities.
It may be right here to mention, that though the great object of the institution was to establish a school of music, and not to give concerts, it was yet resolved, from the beginning, that there should be public exhibitions of the progress of the pupils, partly
for the satisfaction of the subscribers, and partly for the sake of extending the subscription.
The first of these took place on the 24th of May, in the Assembly Rooms, George's Street, by the kind permission of the Directors, to whose liberality the gentlemen connected with the institution feel themselves deeply indebted.
It included the 100dth and 148th psalm tunes, along with St Matthew's and St Mary's; and no less than three chorusses: "The Hallelujah,"
"Fix'd in his everlasting seat,' and "How excellent is his name."
On this occasion, a crowded and respectable audience, including many of the Clergy from various parts of Scotland then in Edinburgh, testified their surprise and delight, in witnessing the degree of proficiency to which a band of 250 vocal performers had been taught in the course of little I more than four months, and which gave the strongest pledge of their futare progress. It had indeed a grand effect, and afforded an unusual gratification to hear our venerable psalm tunes sung in parts by so powerful a choir, accompanied by not fewer than sixty instrumental performers. The instrumental band included almost all the professional talent of Edinburgh, and was rendered interesting by the appearance in it of the principal amateurs. It was led in a most spirited manner by Mr Penson.
Subsequently to this period, the Directors resolved, for the improve. !ment of the amateur, that there should be regular meetings for instrumental practice. These accordingly have since taken place at stated intervals, under the conduct of Mr Simpson, and are likely to prove equally beneficial to the institution, and agreeable to the parties. Indeed, the Directors cannot help regarding the assistance given at their concerts by the private amateurs, as among the most pleasing features of their establish
ment, and not the least likely to give it permanence.
That the objects of the institution might be known as extensively as possible, the Directors, who had given the first performance during the sitting of the General Assembly, for the sake of the Clergy, resolved, that their second and third should take place during the race week; which, on this occasion, assembled in the metropolis an unusual number of the landholders of Scotland, and other strangers. Application was accordingly made for leave to perform these concerts in the Episcopal Chapel, Cowgate. This was granted in the most handsome manner; and the thanks of the institution were unanimously voted to the gentlemen of the vestry.
The effect of these two performances (the first of which was ably led by Mr Simpson) was powerfully strengthened at the third concert by the admirable talents of Mr Yaniewicz, who obligingly consented to lead the band.Of the instrumental music on this occasion, a full piece, composed for the institution by Mr Graham, was peculiarly admired for the beauty and spirit of the composition; and the Directors have to mention an anthem, produced also on this occasion from the pen of Mr Schetky, the father of music in this place, as another of the novelties which the institution produced.
But of all the public performances, the most pleasing was the fourth, which took place in the Assembly. Rooms, George's-Street, on the 29th of November. The public interest in the prosperity of the institution had now been so much excited, that the room was crowded to excess at an early hour, with a brilliant company. On this occasion, the delightful chorus in the Creation, "The marvellous work," sung with the greatest precision and beauty, on the preparation of less than a fortnight, was a subject equally of admiration and surprise,
evincing the ability of the performers port of an additional number of consoon to execute the noblest specimens of sacred music.
The fifth concert, on a smaller scale, was performed on the 13th of December, in Charlotte Chapel, by permission of the vestry.
The last performance of the year took place on Friday, 17th Jan. 1817, and fully sustained the character of the institution. The noble chorus of "The Heavens are telling," was produced on this night, and powerfully executed by the band, both vocal and instrumental. Mr Graham also gave two original psalm tunes, which were brought forward on this occasion.
The Society express their high satisfaction with the conduct of the professional musicians, who gave every aid in their power with little or no remuneration, also with the attention and regular conduct of the pupils themselves.
At the suggestion of Mr Mather, in a letter to Dr Baird, the Society have resolved to publish a collection of psalm tunes, on a new and improved plan.
The Society anticipate the most favourable results from the great number of persons whom they have now trained to great excellence in church music. These will afford to the different churches the means of obtaining good precentors; the means also of forming a band to support them; and the example is also leading the parishes to establish schools of church music. A school for this purpose has already been formed in the High Church; and similar establishments are forming in the Old Grey Friars, the Tron Church, St George's Church, and the Old Church.
The sum required for earrying all the views of the institution into effect, is very considerable; yet the Society have determined not to raise the annual contribution, but to trust to the public experience of the benefits derived from their labours, for the sup
General View of the Measures taken for the Relief of the Labouring Classes in EDINBURGH; with some notices on the same Subject from GLASGOW and ABERDEEN.
IN our last Number, we gave an ac
count of the formation of the plan for affording relief to the labouring classes in this city and its suburbs, under the very severe pressure now arising from want of employment.→ The following information, relative to the mode in which it has been carried into execution, derived from authentic sources, will, we hope, be gratifying to our readers
The very judicious principle here acted upon, is, that the relief should be given in work rather than in money; that the latter should not be bestowed, unless some corresponding equivalent in the former. It was also very wisely determined, that the employment thus afforded should not interfere with any of the ordinary channels of industry; that it should consist of works useful, convenient, and ornamental to the city, but which would not have been carried into execution, but for the extraordinary exertions now making. For this reason, no work could with propriety be afforded to artizans in their own lines of employment. The simplest species of out-door work was the kind required. This evidently pointed to the improvement of roads; not the regular and necessary lines of roads, but those formed for pleasure, and which might be considered as luxuries. The Calton-bill has long been the most eligible pleasure walk for the greater part of the inhabitants; and when the new and excellent approach is opened by the Wellington Bridge, it must become more than ever a place of ge-` neral resort. Messrs Jardine and Steven
Stevenson, Civil Engineers, whose judgment and taste in this department are undisputed, have drawn out plans, by which the roads round this noble hill may be extended and improved. They have also formed a new line through the King's Park, which will form an important improvement to those by whom that beautiful walk is frequented. Mr Paterson, Architect, has particularly attended to other improvements which are carrying on in Burntsfield Links. Some difficulty having been found in procuring a sufficient number of tools, orders have lately been sent by Government to supply them as required, from the stores in the Castle.
In order to secure the due performance of the work assigned, the whole number employed has been divided into parties of 100, with an overseer to each. These have been divided into smaller parties of 25, which have each a sub-overseer. The whole has been placed under the superintendence of a retired military officer of rank and experience.
The next, and the most laborious task, was that of discriminating the proper objects to be employed, and the detection of imposture. This latter evil, it might have been supposed, would have been less to be feared, when money was to be given, only combined with employment, especially
when the rate of payment was properly made very moderate. But it was found, that there were motives which induced some persons to apply when they might have found employment in the regular channels. An easier task, the allowances of soup, &c. given to those who had families, the labouring only during the day, while they could employ the night in other occupations, were motives impelling several to apply, who could not be considered as worthy objects.
A strict investigation was therefore necessary, and it was undertaken and performed, with the most meritorious diligence, by Principal Baird, J. H. Forbes, Esq. Robert Johnston, Esq. and several other gentlemen, who have always devoted their labours to objects connected with the public good, with the same zeal as if it had been to promote their own private interests. The town was divided into twenty-six districts, to each of which a Visitor and Elder was appointed, to whom applications were to be made, and who were to report upon them to the Committee. A schedule was furnished to them, in which they were first to insert the statements of the applicant, as given by himself, and then the corresponding result of their own personal enquiries. It may not be uninteresting to exhibit the form of the schedule
As stated by self.
This schedule, when filled up, is delivered to the Committee for report
ing on the cases of the applicants.The Committee communicates its re