Amos Plimmer

From Rocklopedia Fakebandica
Jump to navigationJump to search

Composer from the "Next Seasons Novelties" joke review in vol. 54, no. 846 (Aug. 1, 1913) of The Musical Times, by Harvey Grace.

Six motets for unaccompanied singing,' by Amos Plimmer

(Cashdown & Co.).-It must be some twenty years since Mr. Plimmer began the series of a cappella works that has led to his being known as the English Palestrina. Never was title better earned. Ecclesiastical music in this country was in a parlous state before his advent. The sickly inanities of R. L. de Pearsall, Stanford, Parry, and their foul brood of imitators held undisputed sway. Now their meretricious strains are rarely heard. Instead we have the noble austerities of Plimmer and his enthusiastic fellow-workers in the cause of artistic purity--Hodgkinson, Smeale, Flinders (A.), and Gathercole. The volume under notice shows no falling off from the high standard Mr. Plimmer himself set. In one respect the work is a new departure, i.e., in the choice of words. It is dedicated to the organist of the Ethical Church, and in a preface, the composer explains that he has chosen the text with a view to performance in that and similar places of worship. 'Noting,' he says, 'that recently Palestrina's "Papa Marcella" Mass was sung at the Ethical Church, adapted to words in accordance with the tenets of that sect, it occurred to me that there was room for polyphonic settings of a text that could give no offence in that or any other quarter. The provision of such settings would do away with the necessity of adapting works written for the Catholic Church,-a proceeding which certainly savours somewhat of Vandalism.' Mr. Plimmer in his choice of words, displays not only great skill in avoiding anything of a contentious nature, but shows sound literary taste as well. He has gone to that best-loved and most widely-read of all Latin authors,--Smith, whose chef-d'wuvre, the 'Principia,' is such a mine of sound incontrovertible truths. Of the six motets, perhaps the palm must go to No. 5, 'Ego te monebam." Space will not permit of extensive quotation, so I must content myself with the wonderful opening bars.

The "Ethical Church" was a sort of proto-Universalist church, except that it tried to separate morality from theology. The joke here is that the text of the work is taken from a beginner's Latin textbook- you can't get much more ecumenical than that!

External Links