Appeared in Fall 1991, Vol. XVII, No. 3

The following address opened a colloquium on musica Sacra at christendom college, June 28-30, 1991.

Permit me to confess that as I stand before you this evening, I feel a sensation similar to that which of old surely moved the pius pater Aeneas when he stood – or rather, sat, as Vergil says – among the courtiers at Carthage before the infelix regina, the ill-starred Dido, in response to her command to speak. The moment in which I now find myself, that instant between introduction and response, was described by Vergil in the famous verse: conticuere omnes intentique ora tenebant – all fell silent now, and their faces were all attention (aen. 2/1, c. Day Lewis).

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