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Fifth Avenue FamousThe Extraordinary Story of Music at St. Patrick's Cathedral$
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Salvatore Basile

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780823231874

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823231874.001.0001

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The Substitute Choirmaster (May 25, 1879)

The Substitute Choirmaster (May 25, 1879)

(p.1) Chapter 1 The Substitute Choirmaster (May 25, 1879)
Fifth Avenue Famous

Salvatore Basile

Fordham University Press

William F. Pecher had more than enough reason to be discouraged. For most of his life, the organist had led an existence in which careful plans had always been made, but nothing had worked out exactly as planned. Music-making on a high level could be a risk, often a ruinously expensive one. New Yorkers hungry for musical improvement would soon notice an increase in cash outlay, if not quality. This chapter traces the history of St. Patrick's Cathedral and Pecher's tenure as its first ever choirmaster. St. Patrick's maintains an unusual place in the history of sacred music—not only because of its fame but also because its own history coincides with that of a critical time in the history of New York itself, when the city evolved from a commercial port town into an international capital.

Keywords:   St. Patrick's Cathedral, William F. Pecher, sacred music, history, New York, organist

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