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and a portion of the funeral anthem, "When the ear heard him," composed by Handel for Caroline, Queen of George IL The overture to the Messiah was omitted, to the disappointment of those who had not read the advertisements in the papers. A printed apology with ccrtifi. cate of Mad. Sainton-Dolby's indisposition was circulated in the room, and to Miss Leffler, who took the place of our most accomplished native contralto at At very short notice, much praise is due for her careful reading of the part, moro especially of "He was despised," in which the time was not dragged, as is too often done with a mistaken view to deepening the pathos of this most pathetic of airs. The soprano music was entrusted to Miss Eleonora Wilkinson, whose voico at present has scarcely sufficient power or cultivation for so arduous a task. Of Mr. Wilbyc Cooper and Mr. Lewis Thomas, it is sufficient to Bay that they sang as they invariably do, like true artists, producing the customary effect in the best known airs; Mr. T. Harper's trumpet, as usual, sharing the applause bestowed upon the final bass solo. The chorus, as we have previously had occasion to observe, contains many fine and fresh voices, but is yet far more numerous than efficient. Young ladies and gentlemen should be reminded that, although amateurs, they are placed in the orchestra for other purpose than that of eyeing the audience through double-barrelled lorgnettes, and that attention to what is going on is expected of them by the public. We should then be spared such mistakes as occurred at the commencement of "The Lord gave tho word," to say nothing of a frequent want of precision, rendering many parts far from satisfactory. That they can do better was evinced by "All we like sheep," and "Hallelujah," the most satisfactory achievements of the evening.
St. James's Hall.—At the first concert of the sisters Marchisio, on Thursday evening (see another page) the instrumental "lion" was M. Vieuxtemps, whose superb execution of his own FaniaisieCaprice—one of the most original and attractive pieces of which the modern repertory of the violin can boast — created what may be termed, without over-colouring, a " sensation." In addition to the great Belgian virtuoso there was M. Lamoury, a violoncellist of more than ordinary ability, who performed a solo by Servais so cleverly, and with so much taste, that the absolute emptiness of the composition he had selected was forgotten. The young pianist, too, M. Arthur Napoleon—who, as a boy, some years since, afforded so niuiAi puifictinn bv his performances, and who returns to us, after a lengthened sojourn in the U nited States, a young man, still full of "promise"—besides joining M. Vieuxtemps in a brilliant duet, played a couple of solos, one by Liszt, a sort of olla podrida on airs and fragments of airs from Norma, the other a "Grand Galop de Concert," by himself. Both were given with remarkable spirit; and after the last, which seemed most to the taste of the audience, M. Napoleon was recalled. Among the other singers was Miss Ellen—we beg pardon, "Mademoiselle Elena"—Conran, who, as Donna Elvira, in a trio from Don Giovanni, and in the trying cavatina of Norma (" Casta Diva") showed herself mistress o fa voice of such genuine beauty, and of a talent so incontestable, that she need not have been afraid to own that their happy possessor was a veritable "daughter of Erin." Mr. Swift — a son of Erin, and a worthy one so far as minstrelsy is concerned — afforded an excellent specimen of his capabilities in "Love sounds the alarm," from Ads and Galatea, which he delivered with a force and energy that proved how thoroughly he had entered into the spirit of the song—one of Handel's most racy and vigorous Signor Ciampi, the well-known bass, whose successful debut at Her Majesty's Theatre, in the character of Don Bartolo, won him subsequent access to the Royal Italian Opera; Mile. Dario, a lady with a strong "soprano" voice that wants nothing so much as cultivation; Mr. Walter Bolton,"prima tenore of the Teatro Reale, Lisbon, and the principal Italian theatres;" and Signor Eugenio Coselli, a " bassbaritone," each contributed a solo, as well as joining in the celebrated sestet from Don Giovanni (" Sola, sola"), which was not the best performance of the evening. An orchestra, conducted by Signor Vianesi, besides accompanying the vocal music, began the concert with an overture, called "Stabat Mater"—a composition bearing the name of Mercadante, but apparently owing some few of its materials to Rossini. Altogether the concert, in spite of its extreme length and the "miscellaneous" character of the programme, gave evident satisfaction.;
The subjoined is an abridgement of the report which appeared in the Manchester Guardian, of Mr. Halle's last concert in the Free-Trade Hall: —
"Prior to the commencement of the concert, and as a tribute of rospect to the memory of the late Prince Consort, the ' Dead March' in Saul was performed by the band, followed by the National Anthem, by Mr. Leslie's celebrated choir, which constituted the vocal element of the concert, commencing with an additional stanza by Mr. W. H. Bellamy. The performances of Mr. Leslie's choral body more than confirmed the opinion we have already expressed of them, the acoustical properties of the Free-Trade Hall adding greatly to their power, and rendering more apparent those gradations of light and shade which are the life and soul of part-singing. These qualities were manifested in a marked degree in all the pieces, and it is difficult to select any for special eulogium. Morley's madrigal,'My bonny lass she smileth,' and Pearsall's partsong, ' O who will o'er the downs so free,' were the two that took most, both being encored, though others — Mendelssohn's setting of the 43rd Psalm, Reay's part-song, 'The dawn of day,'a serenade ofPinsuti's and a glee of Calcott's for example, — well deserved a similar compliment. Beethoven's grand concerto in E flat, for piano and orchestra, was played by Mr. Halle entirely from memory, and with almost unapproachable excellence. The band accompaniments, too, were admirably rendered. The andante from Spohr's symphony Die Weihe der Tone, was given to perfection by the orchestra, the flutes, clarinets and bassoons being especially remarkable. The exquisite grace and beauty that Mr. Halle imparts to the lighter compositions of Chopin, Schubert and Mendelssohn (a selection of one from each master constituting his second solo performance) all who have been accustomed to hear him know full well, and those who have not been so accustomed cannot be informed by any language we can command."
From Manchester, we also learn that the annual performance of the Messiah on Christmas Day attracted an enormous audience to the Free-Trade Hall. The intelligent critic of the Manchester Examiner and Times gives an interesting report, from which we extract the following : —
"Such is the attractive character of the greatest of Handel's great works, that, although announced for performance on- two consecutive days, the Free-Trade Hall was densely packed in every part; indeed, it was, perhaps, the largest audience ever gathered on a similar occasion, though Christmas Day has, for the last twenty years, been noted for bringing together vast crowds to listen to the Messiah. The 'principals' were Mad. Rudersdorff, Miss Fanny Huddart, Mr. Swift, and Herr Formes. The last not having sung in oratorio here for some years, we were glad to find him in such good voice, and fully equal to the task of giving truthful expression to the bass music of this wonderful oratorio. His singing of ' But who may abide' was as pure in voice and as earnest in feeling as the best musician would desire. 'The trumpet shall sound,' with Mr. Elwood's accompaniment, deserves equal commendation. Miss Huddard won a hearty encore in 'He shall feed His flock' — a compliment to which she is no stranger in Free-Trade Hall. Many of our musical readers will remember Mr. Swift in the farewell operas of Mad. Grisi; few visitors to Manchester have found more favour. This was the first time this gentleman had attempted the music of Handel; and we may congratulate him upon his manner of accomplishing a task of such difficulty — that of singing music new to himself, but familiar to the great proportion of those who heard him. For ',Comfort ye my people,' he received warm applause, and into ' Thy rebuke ' and 'Behold, and see,' he threw the same truthful character of expression. It was in the great air of' Thou shalt break them,' however, that Mr. Swift realised fully all that we had expected from him, and in this there was a true appreciation, as well as a skilful delivery, that could find liberal favour when compared with the best that have gone before him. The band and chorus mustered about 200. • For unto us,' as usual, met with an encore, and ' All we like sheep' escaped barely a similar honour. The 'Hallelujah' was also very fine, and the great mass of people, rising, was an impressive sight. We must not let Mr. Banks pass without a line of compliment, for he has long shown how thoroughly he is master of his position in the English school of music, among which tradition and our respect for the great composer has placed the noble works of Handel."
A correspondent from Windsor reports an interesting performance of pianoforte music, at the Town Hall, by Mr, W. Gr. Cu« sins. The programme was as sub"
"part L—Prelude and Fugue in C minor (No. 2 of the 48), S. Bach; 'the Harmonious Blacksmith,' variations by Handel; Grand Sonata in E flat (Op. 31, No. 3), Beethoven; Romance, ' Genevieve,' W. S. Bennett; Song without words (No. 6, Book 5), followed by Andante and Hondo Capriccioso, Mendelssohn.
"part II.—Two waltzes in D flat and C sharp minor, followed by grand polonaise in A fat, Chopin; Wanderstundcn (No. 2), Stephen Heller; Fantaisie-etudc, 'Pcrles d'ecume,' Kullak; Grand fantasia (Mose in Egitto), Thalberg."
Mr. Cusins entitled his first part " Classical," and his second part " Modern "—why, considering that Chopin is dead, and Bennett (happily) living, it would be difficult to say. Nevertheless, the performance could not fail to interest, and we are not surprised to hear that Heller's " Wanderstunden," was encored, and that at the end of the concert, the audience requested him to repear the spirited Fugue of Bach with which it had commenced.
THE FOURTH GESELLSCHAFTS-CONCERT AT
Tan programme of the above concert, which was under the personal direction of Herr Ferdinand Hiller, comprised the following pieces : — First Part: 1. Concert-Overture, by F. Hiller (new —manuscript); 2. Aria from Handel's Sampson, sung by Mad. Ollermans van Hove, from the Hague; 3. "Weihnachtslied," for six voices, by Sethus Calvisius (1587); 4. Violin-Concerto, No. 7, by L. Spohr, played by August Kompel; 5. First finale from Weber's Euryanthe. — Second Part: Beethoven's Ninth S) mphony.
Hiller's new overture consists of a single fiery allegro, without any introduction, or other change of tempo. It is the effusion of a lively fancy, which is restrained, by the sure musical knowledge of the composer, within the limits of a beautiful form, and moves, with great dash and spirit, in the domain of musical ideas. It was most favourably received by all competent judges and impartial listeners; and is, without a doubt, one of the fiuest orchestral works Hiller's muse has produced.
For many years, Mad. OfFermans van Hove has enjoyed in Holland a wide-spread and -well mcrttoJ ■< luic.niuit us an artistically accomplished singer. This reputation she has justified here, also, wTiere she appeared for the first time. In Handel's little triller air from Sampson, " Mit Klagclaut und Liebesgirren" (with violin obbligato), more especially, she proved herself a most accomplished vocalist, educated in an excellent school. Her voice, which is of considerable compass, and very pleasing in the upper notes, is distinguished for the freshness of its quality, ringing through everything else in the Ninth Symphony. Indeed, her singing of the entire soprano solo part in this work, convinced every one she was a thorough musician.
The " Weihnachtslied " of the celebrated and learned old musician, astrologer and chronologist, Sethus Kalwitz (1556—1615) of Thuringia, was given a capella by the chorus very purely and gracefully.
August Kompel, who has been accustomed to such brilliant ovations at his concerts in Holland, carried away here, also, the audience, though the latter were not very much inclined to applaud on this particular evening. His execution of Spohr's seventh Violin-Concerto was admirable, and elicited signs of the most hearty approbation, besides procuring for him the honour of being called on.
The pleasing finale from Euryanthe did not produce the effect which it never fails to produce on the stage. The reason of this is to be sought in the character of the composition itself, and not in the manner in which it was executed. The solo3 were entrusted to Mad. Offermans, who, however, did not sing the part of Euryanthe with the same excellence that she sang Handel's air; to Mile. Adele Assmann, of Bremen, a pupil of the Conservatory here; to a very good musical amateur (tenor), from Crefeld, and to Herr Karl Bergstein, of Aix-la-Chapelle, who rendered the part of Lysiartus, as well as, subsequently, the difficult bass part in the finale of the Ninth Symphony, with a degree of expression, which stamped him as a thorough master of his art.
The insertion of the Ninth Symphony in the programme was a mark of respect to the birthday of Beethoven, namely, the 17th
December. It was played in splendid style, the execution of the first, allegro, the scherzo and the Jinale being especially good. — From the Niederrheinische Musik-Zeitung.
The United States National Hymn.—"Some months have elapsed since the day appointed for the opening of the manuscripts sent in to the Committee upon a National Hymn, and impatience is manifesting itself, in many quarters, for the announcement of the expected award. Aside from any interest which the public at large may take in the subject, the great number of the competitors—only a few short of twelve hundred—makes it inevitable that there are thousands of eager expectants sitting upon the anxious seat in this regard. For it can hardly be that each competitor has less than a dozen friends who are solicitous for his success. We have hitherto thought it worth our while to inform ourselves as far as possible upon the subject, and we learn that the Committee are upon the verge of the conclusion of their labours. They have not yet, however, decided upon making an award; and we remind our readers, that in their advertised conditions of competition, they expressly stipulated that they were not to give the prize to the best hymn sent in; but that they should reject all, whatever their intrinsic merits, if they found none exactly suited to the purpose. Their mode of proceeding, we understand, has been this:—The manuscripts containing words alone were first opened, the music being laid aside for separate consideration. The verses were then read by the member who opened the envelope containing them. If they were condemned nt once by a nearly unanimous voice, they were cast into a waste-basket ready at hand; if not, they were reserved for future consideration. But, by a waste-basket, must not be understood any of those wicker concavities, known to ordinary mortals by that name. A vast washing-basket — a "buck-basket," big enough to hold Falstaff himself—was made the temporary tomb of these extinguished hopes; and this receptacle was filled, it is said, five times with rejected manuscripts, which were seized upon for incendiary purposes by the cooks of the gentlemen at whose houses the meetings of the Committee took place. Alas for the hapless writers! Were even the priceless manuscript plays of the Shakspearian age that Warburton's cook purloined and used to put nnder pics so lamented as those remorsely incrcmatsd hymns will be? The mass of these manuscripts, we are informed, were ftithpr thp. morMt cnmmnniilQcf, uciiiier rhyme nor reason.
From the whole collection only about thirty were reserved as worthy of a second reading, and these, on a second and third examination, were reduced about one half. Several were also preserved on account of their absurdity or grotesqueness. They were so bad as to be good.
"The hymns sent in with music were about three hundred in number. To enable them fairly to judge of the merits of these, the Committee called in competent musical aid, and after a winnowing of the heap over the pianoforte, the residuum, found worthy of a more particular hearing, were sung. This second examination left less than twenty compositions in the hands of the Committee. We hear that among the rejected musical manuscripts were very many that were evidently sent in by persons who were ignorant of the very first principles of harmony, and who to their ignorance added utter lack of native musical capacity. It has been stated that the Committee called in two eminent musicians to pass judgment, as experts, upon the compositions sent in to them. But we are informed that this report is not correct, and that judgment upon the merits of contributions has, in all cases, remained entirely 'with the Committee, among whom are gentlemen of well-known musical taste and cultivation. But even with their stock thus reduced the Committee hesitated about their decision ; and, finally, determined to call the public to their aid. It is to the public heart and to the general ear that the words and music of the hoped-for hymn are to be addressed; and, therefore, it appears to us that this determination is a wise one. It is to be carried into effect by the performance of the songs, now in tho hands of the Committee, at concerts in New York and Brooklyn, in which soloists, a chorus, and an orchestra, will test in the most satisfactory manner the fitness of these hymns for national purposes. The names of the authors and composers will be withheld; and, indeed, they are yet entirely unknown to the members of tho Committee themselves. It is not, we believe, intended that the question shall be decided by the amount of applause elicited by this or that hymn; but that the manner in which the performance affects the public shall enter largely into the considerations by which the final judgment of the Committee is effected. The plan is at least an ingenious one, and the concerts, which are to be given at a low price of admission, though in the most creditable style, will doubtless excite a very general interest."—JV. Y. Daily Times.
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"Christ came to earth upon this day,
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"Arise, my soul, no longer mourn,
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Hallelujah, praise our Lord I"
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NE W EDITION.
THE VOICE AND SINGING
(THE FORMATION AND CULTIVATION OF THE VOICE FOR SINGING),
By ADOLFO FERRARI
WHEN this book first appeared we foretold its success; our conviction being founded on the author's freedom from conventional trammels, the strong good sense of his opinions, the novelty and yet evident soundness of his precepts, and the conciseness and practical value of his examples and exercises, of which every note is dictated by a clear and definite purpose. The influence of Signor Ferrari's method of forming and cultivating the voice, as it is explained in this treatise, is enhanced by the efficacy of his personal lessons in his practice as one of the most eminent teachers of the day ; and this work has consequently come into general use as a manual of vocal instruction, not only in the metropolis but throughout the kingdom.
In this new edition the author has made various important additions to the work, especially to the Exercises. Formerly they were confined to soprano or tenor voices; exercises for the one voice being also available for the other. But, for the contralto, or the barytone, provision was not made. This desideratum is now supplied, partly by means of entirely new exercises, partly by giving the old exercises likewise in transposed keys, and partly by adapting the soprano exercises also to the contralto or baritone, by the insertion of alternative passages in small notes. By these means the utility of the work is very greatly increased.
We have said that the remarkable qualities of this book are the author's freedom from conventional trammels, the strong sense of his opinions, and the novelty yet evident soundness of his precepts ; and this we will show by quoting, unconnectcdly, a few passages which cannot fail to strike every reader.
"Voices are too often ruined by giving pupils 'difficult songs, in order to gratify their vanity or that of their friends, before they have acquired the power of sustaining the voice, throughout its natural extent, with a firm and clear intonation. When it is recollected that it has taken years of application and study to enable professional singers to execute HTOTi£\r\y the enncra we. ftrA Riyuiatnmivl to hflrtr attempted by almost every young lady who is requested to sing in a drawing-room, the absurdity of the prevailing system becomes self-evident.
"I strenuously advise all who wish to sing not to defer the commencement of this study, as is generally the case, till the pupil arrives at the age of 17 or 18, by which time young ladies ought to be good, singers, but to commence early, at about 13 or 14 years of age, and resisting the gratification of singing a number of songs for the amusement of their friends (the word may be taken in more senses than one), to devote sufficient time to what may be termed the drudgery of singing, so as to enable them to acquire the power of sustaining the voice, easily to themselves and agreeably to the air.
"Many young ladies now-a-days speak habitually in a feigned voice. Here lies the greatest difficulty in teaching, or practising singing; for should neither the pupil nor master know the real tone of the voice, the more earnestly they work together the sooner the voice deteriorates. In my experience I have found this difficulty most easily overcome by making the pupil read any sentence in a deep tone, as though in earnest conversation, beginning two or three notes below what they consider their lowest notes; but, as the lower and richer tones of the voice are generally objectionable to young singers, all of whom are ambitious to sing high, it requires much firmness and some coaxing on the part of the master to get the pupil to submit to this exercise. I cannot advise too strongly the greatest attention to the free and natural development of the lower tones of the voice : it is to the stability of the voice what a deep foundation is to the building of a house.
"In conclusion, I must add a few words on a subject of great importance to the pupil who makes singing a study. I mean the spirit in which instruction is received. Every emotion of the mind affects the voice immediately; therefore it is of the utmost importance that the pupil should receive the lesson with the mind entirely preoccupied by other matters, and in a perfect spirit of willing submission to the teacher's corrections, however frequent, and however unimportant they may appear ; for it is simply by the constant correction of little nothing* that beauty of intonation and elegance of singing arc obtained."—Paikj News.
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IHE MUSICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON—Fourth
a Season, 1862.—TRIAL of NEW COMPOSITIONS.—The Members of the Society and the Musical Profession generally, are hereby informed that Trials of New Chamber (Instrumental) Compositions are appointed to take place at the Marylebone Institution, 17 Edward Street, Portman Square, W., on Wednesday evening, February 26th, and November 12, 1862, at Elghto'clock.
Any Composer desirous of having a work tried is requested to forward the score of the same, for the inspection of the Council, to the Honorary Secretary wiih as little delay as possible.
N.B. No composition which has been already performed [in public is eligible for trial.