Indelible Grace Hymnbook

John Goss

Born: De­cem­ber 27, 1800, Fare­ham, Hamp­shire, Eng­land.

Died: May 10, 1880, Lon­don, Eng­land.

Buried: Ken­sal Green, Har­row Road, Lon­don, Eng­land.

Goss com­posed most­ly church mu­sic. He was or­gan­ist at St. Paul’s (1838-72). Queen Vic­tor­ia knight­ed him in 1872, and Cam­bridge Un­i­ver­si­ty award­ed him a Doc­tor of Mu­sic de­gree in 1876. He al­so held the post of Pro­fess­or of Har­mo­ny at the Roy­al Aca­de­my of Mu­sic for al­most half a cen­tu­ry.

In the Mu­sic­al Times for 1901 Dr. Hop­kins has giv­en some in­ter­est­ing rem­in­is­cenc­es.

‘Goss had not long been in­stalled be­fore he dis­cov­ered that the or­gan stood in need of the ad­di­tion of a few use­ful stops, so he took the op­por­tun­i­ty, af­ter one of the week-day ser­vic­es, of ask­ing the Can­on whe­ther these de­sir­a­ble al­ter­a­tions might be made. Mr. Goss, sol­emn­ly re­plied Sy­dney Smith, what a strange set of crea­tures you or­gan­ists are! First you want the bull stop, then you want the tom-tit stop; in fact you are like a jad­ed old cab-horse, al­ways long­ing for an­o­ther stop!

‘In the Psalms,’ con­tin­ues Dr. Hop­kins, ‘when­ev­er there oc­curred any ref­er­ence to storms and tem­pest, the or­gan used to give forth a deep roll, to the great de­light of good Miss Hack­ett, who would look up at the ins­tru­ment with a smile of in­tense sa­tis­fac­tion. On one oc­ca­sion, when the psalms had been un­u­su­al­ly full of ref­er­ences to at­mo­spher­ic dis­turb­anc­es, and the or­gan had been de­mon­stra­tive to an un­u­su­al de­gree, this good la­dy’s face had been beam­ing al­most in­cess­ant­ly. Af­ter the ser­vice Syd­ney Smith ac­cost­ed the or­gan­ist with this pro­found re­mark: Mr. Goss, I don’t know whe­ther you have ever ob­served this re­mark­a­ble phe­nom­e­non: when­ev­er your or­gan ‘thun­ders,’ Miss Hack­ett’s face ‘light­ens’!’

Lightwood, p. 193-94

Goss’ works in­clude:

The Ser­geant’s Wife (an op­e­ra)
Parochial Psalm­o­dy, 1826
The mu­sical edi­tion of Cé­sar Ma­lan’s Hymns of Re­dem­ption (ed­it­or), around 1838
Church Psal­ter and Hymn-Book by W. Mer­cer, 1854 (mu­sic­al ed­it­or)

Source: The Cyber Hymnal