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Music from the North.                   137
Witnesses to be relied on assure us that, as heard in the great Churches of St. Petersburg and Moscow, executed by a mass of finer voices than any per­mitted to travel abroad, the impression of this Rus­sian sacred music in its sublimity exceeds even that of the more accessible Easter music at Rome, con­cerning which so much has been written. 1 had long an idea, that the music of the Russian church might be influenced by Greek traditions; that its chants might be the old chants : but, so far as 1 can understand, the singularity of interval which dis­tinguishes the old Ambrosian or Gregoriem tune, does not pervade the cantilena or melody—and the whole music of the rite is a modernised music. On this matter, which however 1 have taken some pains to ascertain, I can only speak from hearsay, not inspection of manuscripts.
Physical effects like these adverted to, from the double-bass voices, can only be obtained under the conditions of serfdom; since the singers can be little more than machines, comprising each a few select notes, whose owners are fit for small other service.
The perfection derived from limitation or division of labour such as this, when applied to art, can only be obtained when society is primitive—as in India,







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