Saint Charles -
A Man of Music
We now come to speak of Father Charles' love of music, the one passion he had if we may call by such a name, what has been aptly termed the language of the soul. There was no mistaking Father Charles' love of music for it manifested itself whenever a seasonable occasion occurred.
In the Liturgical Offices of the Church or in the musical portions of our observance in Choir, he always took an active, sometimes a leading pert, entering into the spirit of his work with all the fervour of his devoted soul. His voice was strong, and could even be stentorian though correct and pleasing at its loudest note. But in the excess of his fervour, at particular words appealing to his devotion, he would lose himself in an exaggerated loudness, knocking all others out of tune; and not infrequently out of countenance also. The Ave Maria he could render beautifully, and delightful it was to see and hear him as be rhythmically swayed to and fro to its musical swell and cadence.
a few privileged occasions be taught or attempted to teach it and some
others of his favourite pieces to us students. As in every class there
is sure to be found, in a musical sense, the good, the indifferent,
the bad, and the impossible. So we were no exception to the general
rule. There was one particularly unpromising specimen amongst us who
could make plenty of noise without producing the faintest approach to
music. But he could and did succeed, to our teacher's discomfiture,
in drowning all the others. Then would follow a battle royal of vociferated
"music", Father Charles raising his voice in opposition and
doing his utmost to lead. But the contest though amusing, invariably
proved unequal; youth and superior lung-power never failing to win.
Thus did the few lessons we had from him, despite his earnestness, end
in good-natured fiasco.