Gentle Saints and Glorious Heroes

I’m thinking of starting a series called: Things I Meant to Say in My Interview. I was on the radio yesterday talking about my new book about singing, and I blanked on so many things I meant to talk about. Like …

“To sing in a choir is the quickest, surest, and best way to become intimate with music, to get close to the seat of its emotional life, where its heart-throbs can be felt and heard; to ‘experience’ it … to hold communion with its gentle saints and glorious heroes …” – Henry Krehbiel, a 19th century music critic.

Singing in a choir really is the ultimate communion. You don’t just look at a work of art, or listen to it, you become it. “You get to ride on the genius of a Beethoven of a Palestrina,” Dimitra Kessenides, an alto in the Choral Society of Grace Church, once raved to me.

I came upon opera singers in the subway stop at 42nd Street while on my way to my interview on the radio show Talk of the Nation. They are from an organization called The Opera Collective. I took it as a sign.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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2 thoughts on “Gentle Saints and Glorious Heroes

  1. Can you imagine what it takes to sing opera that well, by yourself, in the subway!? These singers are one in a million!

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