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MUSIC AND THEATRES IN PARIS.

tacle, and witnessed its performance for the third or fourth time (From our own Correspondent.)

last week. By the way you know that out of compliment to the

December 19. composer of the music of this ballet, the illustrissimo Mastero The most important thing fallen out since my last communica- | Rossini was present at the grand dress rehearsal which took place tion, is the production of a long-promised new opera, the composi- / on the eve of performance, and you know also that out of complition of M. Lefébure-Wély, at the Opéra Comique. It is called ment to the great composer the overture to Guillaume Tell was Les Recruteurs, and the libretto, which is in three acts, is the joint

| played for him by the orchestra. Now see what a complete whole, work of MM. de Jallais and Vulpian, names with which I unalterable in the minutest fibre of its composition, is a work of am totally unacquainted, as are all whom I have consulted on the art to the mind of a true artist producing it-totus teres atque rotunsubject. If this work be the coup.d'essai of these gentlemen, it is dus ! For years past an error of the text of this overture had mighty well for a beginning, though open in many points to

crept into one of the orchestral parts; it was only one wrong note, in critical attack. They have, in the choice of their subject, followed the violoncello part, at the thirty-seventh bar of the andante. But with literalfidelity the Horatian exhortation Sumite materiam vestris

for the accidental presence of Rossini on the occasion in question - the plot turning upon a supposed adventure of the celebrated this slight error-slight to all but the intellect which had, with a dancer Vestris, or rather, one of the celebrated dancers of that | definite purpose, willed his work to be thus in every the minutest part name, for there were a succession of them hereditarily gifted with and not otherwise in any the minutest part-might probably haveremercurial heels. The Vestris of the author's choice is Auguste, mained undetected to the end of all time. The mould into which the who, a little before the revolution of July 1830, might be seen great work had been cast was still in the foundry, though the furnace strutting along the Boulevards Italiens, with erect spine and still / might be cool, and the fiery streams of moulten metal would never elastic hams, in pumps and short pantaloons, being then upwards more flow therefrom; and when, by chance, the statue is fitted once of fourscore years of age. Now, as the taking of Port Mahon is again into its matrix of mortal clay, a bitch occurs, and by the . made to occur during the action of the piece, and while the great grating sound it is found that the work has sustained some trifling dancer is in his zenită, and this Auguste did not make his debut damage, unperceived by the most knowing connoisseurs. One is at the opera till 1772, sixteen years after the military achievement reminded of Fuseli's saying, that the Apollo Belvidere would lose in question, it is clear that Gaetano Vestris, the father of Auguste, its god-head by the most minute alteration in its proportions. would have been selected for their purpose had the authors taken

This should teach us respect for the integrity of works of art, the pains to consult the learned work of M. Castil Blaze, La | and make us savage against all ignorant puppies who dare to bid Danse et les Ballets depuis Bacchus jusqu'à Mlle. Taglioni. Not for a spurious fame, spawned of the breath of fools, by mauling content with one chronological blunder and historical impossibility, and maiming the monuments of human genius. the librettists have committed a worse one still in making Mlle.

Count Walweski has made up his mind that the authority he posCamargo- the celebrated danseuse, who came out in 1726, and

sesses over the artistic subjects of his imperial master shall not retired in 1751, five years before the taking of Port Mahon - the grow weak from want of use. Edict after edict comes forth to companion of Auguste Vestris in a professional tour just before I tell of his care for the interests of art. They are not always as that event. However, history and the concordance of dates may intelligible in their purport as that which he has last issued, and be despised, and yet an interesting - aye, an immortal, dramatic

which enjoins that at the Imperial Opera every part in the réperwork be produced, as many mightier names and eke better toire shall be “doubled" and "under-studied,” as the technical known than those of MM. -- and --might be brought to expression is.

expression is.

In the case so frequently occurring of

In the case so frequently occurring of sudden inprove. Plots are not amusing to read, and but few can convey

disposition, there will thus be no interruption to the ordained them so pithily that the wound inflicted by their recital is scarce

course of business. Such a measure is perhaps the most efficafelt; so I, not being of the few or in the mood to omulato thoix | ciqus preventive remedy for some of the most obstinatc maladies of levity of hand, shall abstain from narrating the story of the

| principal vocalists that could have been devised. Recruteurs. Proceeding, therefore, to speak of the composer, a

The blunders of journalists would make a big book, as big as subject more germane to the columns of the MUSICAL WORLD,

would the inaccuracies of Mr. Bright. There have occurred lately M. Lefébure de Wély is the organist en titre of the Madeleine. As

two in Paris papers sufficiently staggering to find a place in any & composer, he is hitherto known for having put forth organ

such record. A musical journal, the other day, announced that a music, which, if it be nothing better, is certainly queer, and piano

new tenor, M. Braun, under the name of Brini, had made his forte fantasias, which if they be nothing worse are certainly

début at the Italiens, in the somewhat subordinate part of Pollione trivial. As an executant on the organ, however, he is, without

in Norma. The fact being, that the new tenor has not made his dispute, excellent. With antecedents such as I have indicated, appearance yet in that, or even any other less unlikely part, and the success of this ambitious attempt to shine as a lyrical composer, that Norma has never been played at all. The other trifling inis not a little surprising ; but the composer has managed to intro

accuracy appears in a paper not specially devoted to music, and duce, without spoiling them, a number of tolerable melodies, to

consists in an elaborate paragraph, recording the first appearance which may be added ballet music of a decidedly graceful character,

of Mlle. Guerra in Rigoletto, and discriminatingly criticising her and having avoided the cumbrous accompaniments to which he performance on the occasion. Both articles are attributable to was addicted in other works, has achieved his undertaking without

oversight; or that sort of second-sight which sees over intervenpositive disaster

ing events to a yet distant future. These paragraphs, which seem There has been also a diminutive novelty—that is, a small false now need only be kept back till the events they refer to have novelty of little novelty-called La Tête Enchantée, at the Théâtre actually come to pass, and they will be perfectly true, no doubt, as Lyrique. It is in one act, and the music is composed by M. Léon true as most paragraphs which come out in a more timely or Paillard, while the words are by M. Ernest Debreuil. The sub

timeous fashion. Whether they precede or follow the fact reject is composed of incredibly stale materials, being of the same

corded, it is too often with their mind's eye that the historians of class as the Poupée de Nuremberg, in which some old fool, with a

daily events have qualified themselves as witnesses. daughter or a ward, believes in magic, and is duped by a trick of the lovers. Such puerile trash as this constantly recurring de 1 A WEST HAM SCHOOLMASTER “ ABROAD." — The South-Eastern notes the imbecility and dotage of the stage ere its total extinction. | Times of the 21st inst., states, that “ at a recent meeting of the It is now the slippered pantaloon with spectacles (pronounce West Hanı board of guardians (Dec. 12), the Rev. Thomas Parry, spectacles) on nose; by and by it will be sans eyes (sans taste it M.A., in the chair, the schoolmaster reported that a number of has long been), sans everything.

boys and girls belonging to the schools had for some time been The Grand Opera has been giving the immortal Huguenots with

has been giving the immortal Huguenots with | learning glees, part-songs, &c., and asked permission of the board unusual éclat, M. and Mad. Gueymard being the Raoul and Valen to allow the children to give a concert at Rockeby House. The tine and M, Obin the Marcel. Alceste still secures an excellent board refused compliance, and thought the children might have house when announced, and L'Etoile de Messine, the new ballet, been better employed in some industrial occupation; they, howplayed Mondays and Fridays, has the like repletory results. The ever, exonerated the master from all blame.” Mr. Punch will Emperor seems particularly tickled by the brilliancy of this spec- probably sniff the matter ere long.

THE MUSIC FROM

HOWARD GLOVER'S

NEW OPERETTA,

"ONCE TOO OFTEN,"

Will be Published on the 17th of January, by
[DUNCAN DAVISON & CO., 244 Regent Street, W.

"ALICE, WHERE ART THOU?"

44 A LICE, Where Art Thou?" Romance; sung by

jt\- Signor Oardonl, and written by Wellington Guernsey. Music by J. Aicher. *' Mr. Ascher, whose fame as a writer of pianoforte music ts European, has proved himself in 1 Alice, where art thou?' as consummate an artist as a vocal writer as he is renowned as a composer for the pianoforte. The melody is graceful, flowing, and cri. glnal, full of themost original feeling and thought. It has been sung by Sims Reeves, Gardonl, Mr. Tennaot, Mr Perren, Mr. Tedder, Mr. Melchor Winter, and all the leading tenors of the day. Two editions of this romance have been printed—one in B flat for ladies' voices, and the other in D flat for tenors. Altogether, we have seldom met with a composition embodying all the elements of popularity in so great a degree as M. Ascher1 s romance of * Alice, who art thou ? 1 and one that must, on its merits alone, become themost popular song of the present day."—(Irish Times.)

In the Press,

"ALICE," transcribed for the Pianoforte by J. Ascher.
ditto ditto by Behnhoxf.

Duncan Davison and Co.t244 Regent Street, W.

Just Published, Price 3s. Gd.

« rriHE ECHO SONG," for Voice and Piano. Composed

JL by JULES BENEDICT.

Duncan Davison and Co., 244 Regent Street, W.

London:

Just Published, Price 4s,,

EMILE BERGER'S NEW PIANO SOLO,
"LES ECHOS DE LONDRES."
This new fantasia was composed expressly for M. Ole Bull, Ilerr Formes, Mr. and
Mrs. Tennant, and Miss Anna Whitty's provincial tour. It has been played by Mr.
Emile Berger (as well as the transcription of Ferrari's popular serenade '* Vieni,
Vieni ") every where with the greatest success, and has invariably been encored.

"The introduction of the two popular melodies, * Gentle Annie' and 'Dixy's Land,' was a happy idea of Mr. Berger. The audience were delighted, and the applause was so great that the talented pianist was obliged to return to the platform and repeat the fantasia, to the great delight of the audience."—Sheffield Paper.

London: Duncan Davison and Co., 244 Regent Street, W.

JUST J-UBLieirun. price. 2s. 6d.. « LETTY LORNE."

tf Ballad. Written by E. M. Swinn. Composed and Sung uy utuaiiis I-kiirkn.
London: Duncan Davison and Co., 244 Regent Street, W.

HERR REICHARDT'S NEW SONG,
"ARE THEY MEANT BUT TO DECEIVE ME T*
Mazurka-Polonoise.
The Poetry adapted hy JOHN OXENFORD.
Price 2s. Gd.

Sung at the Crystal Palace Concerts by HERR REICHARDT, with immense
success.

The Times says: "Herr Reichardt, the German tenor, whose pure, classical style and fervid expression—still remembered, in spite of two years' absence—were displayed with the utmost effect in a characteristic song from his own pen, entitled 'Are they meant but to deceive me ?' which exhibited more than one touch worthy the composer of that deservedly popular romance,' Thou art so near and yet so far.'"

London : Published by Duncan Davison and Co. 244 Regent street, W.

BLUMENTHAL'S new Compositions for the PIANOFORTE, "The days that are no more," Madame Sainton's popular song, transcribed, price u, and " Un petit Cadeau," Bluette, 3s.

London: Duncan Davison and Co., 214 Regent Street, W.

JD MOTHER HUBBARD" QUADRILLES—For

Juvenile Performers—Illustrated, 8vo. size, founded on airs in the New Pantomime at Dhury Lank, composed and arranged by J. H. Tully. Price 3s. Lanborn Cock, Hutching* and Co. (late Leader and Cock), 6i & C3 New Bond Street.

MUSICAL DIRECTORY, REGISTRY, and ALMANACK for 1862. Just Published. Contents: —365 Miniature Musical Biographies ; the Addresses of Musical Professors, &c, throughout the Kingdom; the Musical Societies of London and the Provinces, with their List of Music Published in Great Britain during 1861; Advertisements of everything new and interesting in connection with Music. Price Is. Gd., by Post Is. 8d.

Rudall, Rose, Carte and Co., 20 Charing Cross.

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"AA7ILL O' THE WISP."—New Song sung in the

VV PANTOMIME, "The House that Jack Built," at Druky Lanr, composed by J. H. TULLY. Price 2b. 6d.

Lanborn Cock, Hutching! and Co. (late Leader and Cock), 62 & 63 New Bond Street.

THE DEAD MARCH in SAUL, Arranged by W. H. CALLCOTT as a Pianoforte or Organ Duet, 2s. Accompaniments for Flute, Violin, and Violoncello (ad lib.), ed. each. Select Airs composed by his late Royal Highness the Prince Consort,- arranged by W. H. Callcott as Pianoforte Solos, O. ; and Duets, 6s., with ad lib. accompaniments for Flute, Violin, and Violoncello, Is. each. Also Selections from his late Itoval Highness's Vocal Works.

C. Lonsdale, Musical Circulating Library, 26 Old Bond Street.

MR. DAVID LAMBERT (Bass Vocalist) will Sing at the "Musical Society of Bays»ater" Haydn's CREATION, January 6th. Patrons—Professor S. Bennett, Cipriani Potter, Esq, Sir F. Halliday, General Willounw,,, Sec. Uxbridge 15; Bury (Suffolk), Creation, 17t.li; and Barnard Castle, Mat, &c.

Communications for/Engagements to be addressed 15 Adelaide Square, Windsor, Berks. 1

To the Editor of the Musical World.

Mllb. Titibns presents her compliments to the Editor of the Mtjsical World, and, in reference to a paragraph that appeared last week in his valuable journal, begs to state that there is no foundation for the report of her being engaged at Drury Lane Theatre for the coming season.

TO M. W. BALFE, Esq.

How can I praise where all have praised?
Why strive to gild a golden treasure?
It needs no feeble word of mine,
To fill the already flowing measure—
In English homes—in distant climes —
Where hearts beat high, with love or duty—
Where nations mourn — or patriots arm,
His genius speaks, in strains of beauty I

His teeming brain, like bright champagne,

With sparkling fancies brimming over,

Will, like the wine, make others shine

And many a latent gem discover.

With smiles that warm, and words that charm,

He cheers, where trembling souls would falter,

And wins the love of many a heart

Time cannot change, or absence alter;

Fame adds fresh laurels to his brow

Growing with every fresh endeavour,

While hearts can feel the "Power of Love,

The name of " Balfe" must livo for ever!— Clofee.

A Correspondent from Brentford writes : —

"Mendelssohn's Elijah was rooontly given at the Town Hall, under the auspices of the Brentford Literary Club. The soprano solos were divided between Mrs. Harriette Lee, Miss Saunders, and Miss Martin, all of whom acquitted themselves ably, especially Miss Martin, in 'Hear ye, Israel.' The contralto part was sustained entirely by Miss Palmer Lisle, who was encored in 'O rest in the Lord.' Mr. W. Evans, the tenor, was encored in 'Then shall the righteous.' Mr. Cross, besides conducting, sang tho whole of the music of Elijah. The chorus, when we consider that they had only a piano to sustain them, are entitled to praise. Mr. Gardner was the accompanyist. The Hall was crowded to the doors, and no one left till the last bar was finished."

St. Petersburg.(From a Correspondent.)—According to the terms of his contract, Signor Verdi is bound to produce his new opera, La Forza del Dextino, by the middle of January, at the latest. The libretto, written by Piavc, and founded on, a Spanish drama, is said to be highly interesting. The soprano parts are intended for Signoro Lagrua and Fioretti; the tenor part for Tamberlik; the baritone and bass parts for Graziani, Debassini and Marini. Verdi has composed, also, some ballet music,which, should circumstances require the adoption of such a course, may be omitted without prejudice to the opera. Report speaks very favourably of this newest production of the prolific master's pen. Verdi himself says that he has made fewer concessions than is usual with him to suit the taste of the general public, but that, in this instance, he has written a work which can bear the strictest criticism.

Amsterdam.—C. A. Bertelsmann, founder of the Liedertafcl, "Eutonia," which he directed for many years, died here on the 20th ult. He was born at Soest, in Westphalia, but selected Amsterdam as the field of his professional exertions. He was not only distinguished as an excellent conductor, but as a scientific musician. His compositions were greatly admired, especially his part-songs

MUSIC AND THEATRES IN PARIS.

(From our own Correspondent.)

December 19.

The most important thing fallen out since my last communication, is the production of a long-promised new opera, the composition of M. Lefdbure-We'ly, at the Opera Comique. It is called Les Recruteurs, and the libretto, which is in three acts, is the joint work of MM. de Jallais and Vulpian, names with which I am totally unacquainted, as are all whom I have consulted on the subject. If this work be the coup-d'essai of these gentlemen, it is mighty well for a beginning, though open in many points to critical attack. They have, in the choice of their subject, followed with literalfidelity the Horatian exhortation Snmite materiam vestris —the plot turning upon a supposed adventure of the celebrated dancer Vestris, or rather, one, of the celebrated dancers of that name, for there were a succession of them hereditarily gifted with mercurial heels. The Vestris of the author's choice is Auguste, who, a little before the revolution of July 1830, might be seen strutting along the Boulevards Italiens, with erect spine and still elastic hams, in pumps and short pantaloons, being then upwards of fourscore years of age. Now, as the taking of Port Mahon is made to occur during the action of the piece, and while the great dancer is in his zenith, and this Auguste did not make his debut at the opera till 1772, sixteen years after the military achievement in question, it is clear that Gaetano Vestris, the father of Auguste, would have been selected for their purpose had the authors taken the pains to consult the learned work of M. Castil Blaze, La Dame et les Ballets depuis Bacchus jusqu'd Mile. Tagliom. Not content with one chronological blunder and historical impossibility, the librettists have committed a worse one still in making Mile. Camargo—the celebrated danseuse, who came out in 1726, and retired in 1751, five years before the taking of Port Mahon — the companion of Auguste Vestris in a professional tour just before that event. However, history and the concordance of dates may be despised, and yet an interesting — aye, an immortal, dramatic work be produced, as many mightier names and eke better

known than those of MM. and might be brought to

prove. Plots are not amusing to read, and but few can convey them so pithily that the wound inflicted by their recital is scarce felt; so I, not being of the fe« ui L, tUo mood to omJa. ii>a» levity of hand, shall abstain from narrating the story of the Recruteurs. Proceeding, therefore, to speak of the composer, a subject more germane to the columns of the Musical World, M. Lefebure de war is the organist en titre of the Madeleine. As a composer, he is hitherto known for having put forth organ music, which, if it be nothing better, is certainly queer, and pianoforte fantasias, which if they be nothing worse are certainly trivial. As an executant on the organ, however, he is, without dispute, excellent. With antecedents such as I have indicated, the success of this ambitious attempt to shine as a lyrical composer, is not a little surprising; but the composer has managed to introduce, without spoiling them, a number of tolerable melodies, to which may be added ballet music of a decidedly graceful character, and having avoided the cumbrous accompaniments to which he was addicted in other works, has achieved his undertaking without positive disaster

There has been also a diminutive novelty—that is, a small novelty of little novelty—called La Tile Enchantie, at the Theatre Lyrique. It is in one act, and the music is composed by M. Leon Pailiard, while the words are by M. Ernest Debreuil. The subject is composed of incredibly stale materials, being of the same class as the Poupee de Nuremberg, in which some old fool, with a daughter or a ward, believes in magic, and is duped by a trick of the lovers. Such puerile trash as this constantly recurring denotes the imbecility and dotage of the stage ere its total extinction. It is now the slippered pantaloon with spectacles (pronounce spectacles) on nose; by and by it will be sans eyes (sans taste it has long been), sans everything.

The Grand Opera has been giving the immortal Huguenots with unusual iclat, M. and Mad. Gueymard being the Raoul and Valentine and M. Obin the Marcel. Alceste still secures an excellent house When announced, and L'Etoile de Messine, the new ballet, played Mondays and Fridays, has the like repletory results. The Emperor seems particularly tickled by the brilliancy of this spec

I tacle, and witnessed its performance for the third or fourth time last week. By the way you know that out of compliment to the composer of the music of this ballet, the illustrissimo Mastero Rossini was present at the grand dress rehearsal which took place on the eve of performance, and you know also that out of compliment to the great composer the overture to Guillaume Tell was played for him by the orchestra. Now see what a complete whole, unalterable in the minutest fibre of its composition, is a work of art to the mind of a true artist producing it—totus teres atque rotundus — / For years past an error of the text of this overture had crept into one of the orchestral parts; it was only one wrong note, in the violoncello part, at the thirty-seventh bar of the andante. But for the accidental presence of Rossini on the occasion in question this slight error—slight to all but the intellect which had, with a definite purpose, willed his work to be thus in every the minutest part and not otherwise in any the minutest part—might probably have- mained undetected to the end of all time. The mould into which the great work had been cast was still in the foundry, though the furnace might be cool, and the fiery streams of moult en metal would never more flow therefrom ; and when, by chance, the statue is fitted once again into its matrix of mortal clay, B hitch occurs, and by the grating sound it is found that the work has sustained some trifling damage, unperceived by the most knowing connoisseurs. One is reminded of Fuseli's saying, that the Apollo Belvidere would lose its god-head by the most minute alteration in its proportions. This should teach us respect for the integrity of works of art, and make us savage against all ignorant puppies who dare to bid for a spurious fame, spawned of the breath of fools, by mauling and manning the monuments of human genius.

Count Walweski has made up his mind that the authority he possesses over the artistic subjects of his imperial master shall not grow weak from want of use. Edict after edict comes forth to tell of his care for the interests of art. They are not always as intelligible in their purport as that which he has last issued, and which enjoins that at the Imperial Opera every part in the repertoire shall be "doubled" and "under-studied,' as the technical expression is. In the case so frequently occurring of sudden indisposition, there will thus be no interruption to the ordained course of business. Such a measure is perhaps the most efficaciqus preventive remedy for some of the most nb«t!»»tc maladies of principal vocalists that could have been devised.

The blunders of journalists would make a big book, as big as would the inaccuracies of Mr. Bright. There have occurred lately two in Paris papers sufficiently staggering to find a place in any such record. A musical journal, the other day, announced that a new tenor, M. Braun, under the name of Brini, had made his debut at the Italiens, in the somewhat subordinate part of Pollione in Norma. The fact being, that the new tenor has not made his appearance yet in that, or even any other less unlikely part, and that Norma has never been played at all. The other trifling inaccuracy appears in a paper not specially devoted to music, and consists in an elaborate paragraph, recording the first appearance of Mile. Guerra in Rigoletto, and discriminatingly criticising her performance on the occasion. Both articles are attributable to oversight; or that sort of second-sight which sees over intervening events to it yet distant future. These paragraphs, which seem false now need only be kept back till the events they refer to have actually come to pass, and they will be perfectly true, no doubt, as true as most paragraphs which come out in a more timely or timeous fashion. Whether they precede or follow the fact recorded, it is too often with their mind's eye that the historians of daily events have qualified themselves as witnesses.

A West Ham Schoolmaster " Abroad."—The South-Eastern Times of the 21st inst,, states, that "at a recent meeting of the West Ham board of guardians (Dec. 12), the Rev. Thomas Parry, M.A., in the chair, the schoolmaster reported that a number of boys and girls belonging to the schools had for some time been learning glees, part-songs, &c, and asked permission of the board to allow the children to give a concert at Rockeby House. The board refused compliance, and thought the children might have been better employed in some industrial occupation; they, however, exonerated the master from all blame." Mr. Punch will probably sniff the matter ere long.

GLUCK IN PARIS.

(From the "Revue et Gazette Musicale.")

2Eaot being'one day asked by some one who met him in the street whither he was going, replied, " I cannot tell," and the said some one there and then sending him to prison proved the perfect correctness of the reply. There is not the slightest analogy between the Greek fabulist and the German musician, unless, indeed, it be that several times in his life Gluck had seen himself on the point of going to Paris and then obliged to go somewhere else.

Once, in the April of 1763, Gluck was getting into a post-chaise in Bologna in order to realise the notion of this happy journey, the object of his ambition and his desires, when the fire which broke out at the Opera (April 6, 1763), put an end to the excursion. In the same letter he was informed by Count Durazzo of the fatal event and of his recall to Vienna; and he had to resign himself to his fate. The following year the plan was again entertained, but was not more fortunate in its issue. It was written that Gluck should not come to Paris until ten years after this, in 1771, and that he would start off there, not as he had contemplated at first by the production of small operas of a playful and anacreontic character, but by a grand and serious work, animated by the spirit of the antique muse of tragedy.

Men of genius are not exempt from illusions with respect to themselves, nor is it unusual to see them advancing towards the end in view like simple mortals by indirect paths. AVho in the present day would believe that Gluck for a long time wasted his energies in writing operettas worthy of the Bouffes Parisiens of his time, and that M. Favart, author of La Chercheuse d'Esprit, who supplied him with several subjects, believed he might monopolise him as a collaborator, after having introduced him upon our lyric stage?

Yet nothing can be more positive, as may be inferred by a few lines in a letter of the same Count Durazzo who was then managing the Vienna theatre in the name of the Empress Maria Theresa, and who had pitched upon Favart as his correspondent and plenipotentiary in Paris. Gluck had not written as yet either Orfeo or his Alceste; but as early as 1741 he had become known by his Artaserse, performed at Milan, and composed to a libretto of Metastasio. In the couisc-»c-«i~» c..nr....:„a i,a hiul.xrauliuuui

Demofoonte in the same city, and Demetrio and Ipermneslra in Venice. Among other works of his in this interval are to be found the Caduta dei Giganti, played in London in 1745; Telemaco in 1750 in Rome; and La Clemenza di Tito in 1751 in Naples. At Count Durazzo's accession to the management of the Imperial Theatre in 1754, Gluck was appointed musical director, with a salary of 2000 florins, and it will be seen what constituted a part of his duties in that post.

The letter in question addressed to Favart by the Count, is dated December 20, 1759, and in it occurs the following:—"When M. Favart shall have written a new comic opera, although it be intended for Paris, let not this prevent his sending it to Vienna. Count Durazzo will have music set to it by the Chevalier Gluck, or other skilful composers, who will be charmed to work upon such pretty verses. The poet and the musician will thus extend their reputations by a reciprocal aid, and will doubly profit by working one for the other, and M. Favart, without any cost to himself, will have new music according to his wishes." It was a seductive offer, and accordingly Favart lost no time in taking advantage of it. By the following January he had despatched to Vienna two poems, the offspring of his pen, joined to that of the Abbe Voisenon. The Count had sketched out a sort of programme, setting forth the conditions imposed by the taste and habits of the court of Vienna, and he had submitted to them with docility. "I have examined," he wrote, "and caused to be executed, Cythere Assiegee and Vile de Merlin, and I find nothing to be desired in point of expression, taste, and harmony, and even as regards French prosody. I should be flattered if M. Gluck would exercise his talents on my works, and to him their success would be due." An entirely false prediction! Gluck composed the music of these two operas, of which one was performed at Schoenbrunn, in 1758, and the other in Vienna, in 1762. L'Arbre Enchante and Cythere Assiegee were played in 1775 at the Opera in Paris, in the interval between Orphie and [Alceste, but without any success. All that came of

Cythere Assiegee was that people said Hercules wielded his club better than the distaff.

Favart was therefore mistaken in his hopes and his calculations, but he trusted to the opinion of Count Durazzo, who seemed only to see in Gluck a composer of comic opera, and to condemn him to this employment for life. At the time of the intended journey, which was broken off by the fire at the Opera, Favart was reckoning with certainty on having Gluck as a guest. "Monseigneur Durazzo," he wrote to him, "informs me that you are coming to Paris in the course of this month. It is impossible that any lover of talent should be ignorant of your reputation. I have not the honour of knowing you personally, but I have always desired this advantage. May I flatter myself with the thought that you will respond to my eager desire? Yes, I dare hope as much from the consideration in which I have always held your merit. For this reason I reckon on your accepting no other quarters than at my house. I have in my house a furnished apartment to offer you; you will find in it a harpsichord and other instruments, a garden and entire liberty; that is to say, you will do exactly as though you were at home, and shall 6ee nobody but those you choose. Although situated in one of the noisiest quarters of Paris, our house, standing between a court-yard and a garden, is in a kind of solitude, in which you can work as quietly as in the country. If I am fortunate enough, Monsieur, to persuade you to accept this offer, I beg that you will advise me of the day of your arrival. My address is Rue Mauconseil, near the Comedie Italienne, opposite the great gate of the cloister of St. Jacques de l'Hdpital. I have the honour to remain, with all the respect due to talent," &c, &c.

Besides the close relations brought about by fellow-workmanship, the composer and the poet were further drawn together by another bond, the engraving of Orfeo, performed at Vienna about 1762, and which, at the request of Count Durazzo, Favart had undertaken to get published in Paris. "Thanks to M. Phillidor," says a letter addressed to the Count, "we are proceeding with the engraving of Orphic. I have made known to your Excellency that this celebrated musician, a great admirer of the talents of M Gluck, had declared himself a patron of that work, and is ambitious for the honour of being its sponsor." In s[>ite of the patrona.fy> «f x>K;uLj^Wr anA af tha ujmlv^tU>a for U which he shared with his compeer, Mondonville, the score of Orfeo was so little sought after, that in 1767 there had not been sold four copies of it. Favart had at last taken the matter into his own hands, and on the 30th of April, 1770, the Count wrote: "Let me know if you have succeeded in turning the edition of Orphie to any account, for I have no intention that you have, as the Italians say, la pene ed il malanno."

Gluck, therefore, much against his desire, remained in Vienna, and continued to write while there what his biographer Schmid calls " new airs " for various comic operas: among others L'lvrogne Corrige, Le Cadi Dupi, On ne s'avixe jamais de tout, La Rencontre Imprioue, which was also entitled Les Pelerins de la Mecque, &c. This occupation, which engaged his time for more than ten years, was relieved occasionally by the production of more serious works, such as Orfeo, Alceste, and Iphigenie en Aulide. At last the Archduchess Marie Antoinette, his former pupil, having married the heir to the throne of France, Gluck saw every obstacle to his journey to Paris removed, and left Vienna in the autumn of 1773, to look after the performance of his Iphigenie, which Du Rollet, the author of the poem, had offered to the Opera as early as August in the preceding year.

Iphigenie en Aulide was represented for the first time on the 19th of April, 1774, only twenty-one days after the death of Louis XV. and the accession of Marie Antoinette. Orphie, translated into French, was played in Paris in the course of the same year. VArbre Enclutnte and Cythere Assiegee appeared the year following.

Alceste was produced in 1776, and Armide in 1777. Iphigenie en Tauride was not forthcoming till two years later, and the same year Gluck produced Echo de Narcisse, which made but little impression, but admirable fragments of which are still sung.

Such is an exact account of the works produced by Gluck in a city which he had only reached with as much time and trouble as it cost the Greeks to capture Troy—tantte molis erat. Chance is so paltry a power, that it is repugnant to admit that it can ever be a necessary auxiliary to men superior in genius and talent to their fellows. If Gluck had not given music lessons to the An hduchess Marie Antoinette, would his Jphiginie en AuLide have ever been performed? Should we have been inevitably deprived of the latest of his chefs-d'oeuvre f At any rate, it is certain that the great composer had no time to lose, and that the protection of the amiable ilaupbine came at a very timely moment. A musical revolution ushered in a reign which was to terminate in a revolution of a very different kind.

The biographer, Antony Schmid, relates that during his last stay in Paris, Gluck, who was already in his sixty-fifth year,, happened to meet Piccini in a certain company, the latter being his junior by some fourteen years. The conversation turned on music and operas, and some one asked Gluck how many he had written. "Not many," he replied. "I do not think I have written twenty " (he only reckoned his principal works), "and that even with infinite pains and exertion."

The other composer, without waiting till the question was asked him, exclaimed: "I have composed more than a hundred, but I must confess without the least trouble." Gluck, stooping instantly down, said in his ear, "You ought not to say so, my dear friend.'

THE SISTERS MARCHISIO. Them; celebrated singers, of whose continental achievements the readers of the Musical World have heard such glowing accounts from time to time from our foreign correspondents, made their first appearance in England on Thursday night, in St. James's Hall, at a concert given under the direction of Mr. Land. As a second concert is to be given this afternoon, at which the Miles. Marchisio will sing, we may reserve our own opinion until next week. Meanwhile a fair idea of the effect they produced upon the audience on Thursday night may be conveyed through the medium of a few extracts from the notices of our morning contemporaries. To begin with the Daily News. After an interesting preliminary, which Ills uuncucawsry u> u-"' our contemporary thus comments upon the new comers:—

"The sisters Marchisio have shown themselves completely worthy of their splendid reputation, and more than realised the highest anticipations. Their first performance was the famous duet, 'Ebben' a te, ferisci,' the piece which first excited the enthusiasm of the Parisian public. It is, perhaps, the greatest duet Rossini has written; and it has this remarkable advantage, that while it is highly dramatic, and paints with exquisite truth and force a situation of the most tragic interest, its musical beauties are so great — its long, flowing melodic periods, and the delicate combinations of the two vocal parts, so exquisite, that it suffers less from the absence of theatrical accessories than any other dramatic duet with which we are acquainted. Its performance was all that has been described by the warmest continental critics. It is well known that Rossmi himself, sated with music and with fame, was excited by curiosity to hear the young performers, and so charmed with their talent that he took the greatest pleasure in listening to them as they sang the whole of their parts in the most magnificent of his operas, and in giving them his valuable counsels — counsels which are very apparent in the exquisite taste and purity displayed in their every phrase. We cannot pretend to give any idea of their singing. It beggars description, and must be heard in order to form a notion of the perfection to which duet-singing may be carried. The two voices, though of different registers, are of kindred quality; they are equally sweet, equally rich, equally true in intonation — equally lovely, in short, and hence blend together as no two voices have done that we have heard before. They have a pianissimo, the beauty of which cannot even be imagined —a stream of harmony so soft that it seems to be felt rather than heard, while its thrilling effect is like that of the 'dying falls' of the yEolian harp. But we are trying to describe what is indescribable. Let our readers hear for themselves this transcendent, this incomparable singing."

From The Morning Post we extract the subjoined : — "None present could have been in the least disappointed by the performances of the famous sisters, and for our own part we must confess that they quite exceeded our expectations, knowing how much ' effect' may sometimes be made upon the public without that sterling merit which alone constitutes the genuine artist. The sisters Marchisio have splendid voices, are thoroughly well-educated singers of the best school,

J and thoroughly proficient in that school. In the music of Rossini, judging from their magnificent execution of two duets (' Ebben' a te, ferisci' and 'Matilda, non morrai'), we should say that, with the exception of Madame Alboni, they stand unrivalled; and certainly no higher eulogium than this could possibly be passed upon any singer who aims at strictly musical beauty rather than declamatory excellence. But if the sisters Marchisio display such extraordinary ability as entitles them to the highest artistic rank, still more remarkable, quite incomparable indeed, is their ensemble singing. Two Albonis would be required to do what they accomplish, and those two must also be sisters, otherwise how could their voices blend together with such oneness of tone and such perfectly sympathetic feeling? The immense sensation created by the sisters Marchisio warrants the conviction that they are two of the greatest artists ever heard in this country."

From a long and elaborate report in The Morning Herald, we take the following : —

"The introductory essay of the sisters Marchisio was the grand duet, 'Ebben' a te, ferisci,' which exhibited to perfection their style and powers. Mile. Barbara, the contralto, is perhaps entitled to precedence. Her voice is rich, voluminous, round, powerful, and of great flexibility. Dramatic fire is apparent throughout her singing, and her expression is at once varied and intense. The voice of Mile. Carlotta is a high brilliant soprano, extremely telling and of fine quality. Both voices have been trained to the highest state of finish, and the manner in which they are made to blend together is really astonishing. In point of perfection, indeed, we can compare the duet singing to nothing but playing on a double flageolet. The sensation produced iu the duct from Semiramide was universal. Each singer in her solos was frequently interrupted by bursts of applause, and the famous ensemble, 'Giorno d'orrore,' created a furor. Nor did the excitement abate when the fair sisters sang the brilliant duet from Matilda di Shabran, which, if anything, elicited louder and more continuous applause. They also sang a ducttino by Gabussi — a trifle, but rendered to absolute perfection; and joined in the sestet from Don Giovanni. In fine, a more signal triumph we have not witnessed for years in the concert-room, and there is no doubt but that the sisters Marchisio promise to become the vocal lionnts of the season."

Tt,<« n„,7j/ Ty-tr—fi, -r«— rui Historical preface, thus

enters on the critical part of the question : —

"The debutantes both give evidence of having been carefully trained in the school of Italian singing, as it was taught and practised when Rossini wrote. Mile. Carlotta's voice is a soprano of considerable compass, and of great power, metallic resonance, and brilliancy. Her execution of the difficult passages which abound in both the operatic duets left absolutely nothing to desire; and the sole blemish we could discover—namely, a very slight harshness in some of her notes—may fairly be attributed to the nervousness which all singers, however well assured their positions, must inevitably experience on their first appearance in a strange country, and which is quite sufficient to prevent them from exercising perfect control over their powers. Mile. Barbara, it is true, betrayed no perceptible nervousness, and with her performance we cannot find the shadow of a fault. Her voice is a genuine and rich contralto of singularly sympathetic quality, of remarkable extent, and more completely uniform in tone throughout its entire compass than that of any singer we can call to mind. Her execution is quite as highly finished as her sister's, while real artistic feeling and refined taste are observable in every phrase. But it is in singing together that the sisters appear to most conspicuous advantage, and in this respect they ore simply unrivalled. Certainly in our experience we have never listened to ensemble singing that could be at all compared with it. In the most delicate diminuendo and crescendo passages, in the delivery of staccato as well as of sustained notes, the two voices sounded as though they proceeded from one throat, such absolute concord existed between the singers. The famous 'Giorno d'orrore' exhibited this quality to eminent advantage, the light accompaniment leaving freest scope for the voices; but in the second duet (from Matilda di Shabran) and in Gabussi's 'Le Zingare,' the extraordinary refinement of the ladies' ensemble singing was still remarkably apparent."

From the Morning Star a brief extract must suffice: — "'The sisters' were warmly welcomed, and their wonderful singing was applauded in a most enthusiastic manner. All who heard the duet between Semiramide and Arsace will echo^the praises which have been lavished on their ensemble performance, by the French critics. Never was Rossini's music more beautifully rendered, and never was duet singing so perfect. Mile. Carlotta is a pure soprano, and Mlle. Barbara a fine contralto. The two voices are highly cultivated, and

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