Chapter

Only the Right Men, Only the White List (1904–29)

Salvatore Basile

in Fifth Avenue Famous

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780823231874
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823234929 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823231874.003.0003
Only the Right Men, Only the             White List (1904–29)

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As the process of grieving never fits into a business schedule, the early months of 1904 were a very black time for the musicians of St. Patrick's Cathedral. They were particularly so for Jacques C. Ungerer, who had just lost his mentor and closest friend, William F. Pecher, and whose job was about to become, for a while, impossible. The Cathedral was without a director of music. Far more than careers or logistics had been changed by the musical upheaval of 1904. The motu proprio had affected the role of the choirmaster, underscoring his status as a lay minister while considerably reducing his authorial profile. The conductor with a strong and idiosyncratic vision was, quite simply, no longer a realistic choice for a Catholic church. During the next decade, Catholic music would be more suitable to the service but less interesting to the public—as would its musicians. And this change spread to non-Catholic music as well.

Keywords: musicians; St. Patrick's Cathedral; Catholic music; Jacques C. Ungerer; William F. Pecher; motu propio; choirmaster

Chapter.  17518 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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