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THE MUSIC FOR THE INTERNATIONAL
EXHIBITION.

It cannot often bo said with truth that a man gets more than lie bargains for, even when he pays liberally for the article of which he is in want. The complaint, indeed, is generally the other way. Her Majesty's Commissioners for the International Exhibition, however, have been fortunate in their dealings with musicians, foreign and native. True, Rossini was either idle or perverse, and declined to give them anything at any price; but in every other quarter they have met with nothing but the readiest assent. Sig. Verdi, who, whatever abstract distinction may be made by curious inquirers between Rossini and himself, is certainly the Rossini of his day—by which is meant, of course, the foremost of Italian composers—being asked for "a march," with a liberality unprecedented in one the value of whose minutes is reckoned by guineas (and to whom the Czar guaranteed something like 6,000/. for an opera, which, though completed, has not yet seen the light), instead of a march prepared a cantata for voices and orchestra, comprising a tenor solo, rife with modern Italian patriotism and modern Italian inspiiation, which Sig. Tamberlik, the Italian Duprcz, the artist who, next to Mario, is most thoroughly identified (in a constitutional or Victor-Emmanuelian sense) 'with the " revolutionists" of his country, consented to sing. M. Aubcr, the very essence of French esprit, the king of French musicians, and the courtliest of high-bred French gentlemen, being also applied to for " a march," has forwarded to the Commissioners an overture, worthy of being used as prelude to any of his most charming comic operas. From Herr Meyerbeer, too, not only the greatest, but in some respects the only German dramatic composer living, a man of European—nay (for his works are as well known in the New World as in the Old, and have even penetrated to Africa, Asia, California, and Australia), world-wide reputation—" a march" was requested, and Herr Meyeibeer has responded with a composition written with so much pains that one would have thought he had risked his reputation upon its success. Lastly, our own great—nay, why withhold the truth 1greatest musician, Professor Sterndolc Bennett, was requested to contribute a corale, for which our greatest modern poet (who if not "Laureate" would have put the "Laureate " to shame) was to write words. Well, Professor Bennett, as though he had an inkling of what Verdi, Aubcr, and Meyerbeer were about, instead of a simple "corale "—with the co-operation of Poet Tennyson (who, also, it would seem, was loth to be " cabined, cribbed, confined," on such a memorable occasion )—has' supplied a grand cantata! Thus, what was expected merely to serve as " music" (from the Christmas pantomime point of view), to prepare the vast assembly for more substantial and important matters, has resulted in nothing less than a quadruple manifestation of "high art." The musicians, to say truth, proud of the occasion, were determined to show that they, too, had that within them which merited the world's attention ; that they, too, were workers for the general good ; and that the merchandise in which they dealt was just as well worth exhibiting at its best as any other commodity included in the comprehensive "Ode" of our Laureate, who (like all the great poets, except Shakspeare and Shelley), although his Ode was to be sung by voices to the accompaniment of an orchestra, left music, as a matter of course, out of his category, and yet, with his mastery of verse, might have added "sounds " to

"— shapes and hues of Art divine,"

and in no way have arrested its "flow" or dislocated its rhythm.

And shapes, and hues, and sounds of Art divine wonld not have been an inharmonious climax to the antistrophc.

The admirable and universally popular composer of Masaniello, Fra Diavolo, Gustave, Le Domino Noir, and so many other chef-d'auvres, has sent, under the title of Marche, composiepour rExposition Universelle de Londres, an overture, sparkling, brilliant, and exhilirating as any of his most renowned dramatic preludes, the key E major, the brightest of orchestral tones. It commences with a very brief preamblo {andante maestoso'), which leads to a delicious andante (in C), instrumented for trombones and corncts-a-pistons — a movement that for tuneful grace may rank with a similar passage in his celebrated overture to Masaniello. This is succeeded by a spirited allegro, which, prefaced by an introduction in the minor key of E, culminates in a vigorous motivo alia marcia in the major. Here is the leading theme, and anything more inspiriting could hardly be wished. Its conduct is marked throughout by all the skill and happy invention of the composer, who, as a master of orchestration, occupies a place apart among modern composers to whom the full resources of the orchestra are familiar. The second theme (in B major) is an elegant and charming cantilena, a French "Song without Words," a melody that speaks for itself. This is "capped" by a ritornelle, just such as Mehul might have written (but did not) in his Ckasse du Jeune Henri. The two motivi are developed with the ac

customed facility of M. Auber, who—writing (for the first time) a piece expressly for the country where, sixty years ago, he spent what ho himself recalled as "a pleasant time" — seems to have put on renewed youth, as though he wished to produce something for the occasion which the Vingt Ans immortalized by Bcranger might, under agreeable circumstances, have suggested. The overture winds up, in the most animated style, with a movement (un pen plus vite) which conveys the idea of a quick march, just as the principal theme does that of a march of triumph. Nothing, in short, can be moro piquant, nothing more engaging, nothing more completely Auber in his happiest mood, and therefore, from so eminent a Frenchman, nothing more flattering to ourselves on so special an occasion, than what, under the modest nomenclature of Marche, has been furnished by this truly great musician for our International Exhibition.

M. Meyerbeer, too, has done his work for us con amorc. Instead of the march that was expected from his practised pen, he has given three marches in one, with "Rule Britannia" in the bargain. He had shown, in fact, the high importance he attached to the task he was invited to perform, by producing an ingenious and elaborate masterpiece, the composition of which must have cost no little time and no little thought. We will in as few words as possible endeavour to describe the plan of M. Meyerbeer's overture — for overture it is, and "grand overture" to boot Its title is as follows:— Ouverture en forme de Marche pour I'Inauguration de rExposition Universelle a Londres en 1862. The first movement (allegreHo moderato), in the open and conventionally martial key of C, is entitled Marche Triomphale. It commences with an introduction, which, through a crescendo, leads gradually up to the subject-proper, the orchestra gathering force as it proceeds, until the climax, when the familiar rhythm unmistakeably tells that the veritable " March " has begun. The introduction is built upon a prominent feature of the leading subject, which, with measured pomp and resonant instrumentation, amply bears out its denomination of "Triumphal." This grandiose strain, to which the entire united bond gives tongue, is answered by the trumpets, flutes, oboes, and clarinets, in a sort of fanfare, the whole orchestra counter-retorting in fortissimo; and thus, by degrees, we are brought to the second part of the subject, in which some new and striking transitions will not pass unobserved by musicians. The "trio" (as the second theme of o march is traditionally styled — although seldom now allotted to the antiquated "three wind instruments") begins with a strain of graceful melody, allotted to the first violins and bassoon, so delicately accompanied by "wind" and "string," that (although to the basses is assigned a pizzicato, which might puss itself for a melody) it is always well defined, and stands out with conspicuous clearness from the rest. The developement of this "trio" is marked by successive beauties that will speak for themselves, and of which, indeed, we cannot attempt a description. Enough that the interest never ceases during its progress, and we feel almost sorry when the old crescendo (from the introduction), with its stirring imitations and responses, brings us back to the leading theme, now assuming increased magnificence by reason of its contrast with the melodious phrases of the "trio." The curtailment of the subject on repetition is managed with admirable skill, just so much of it being repeated as the laws of symmetry demand. The Marche Triomphale is followed by a Marche Seligieuse (in the key of F), in which the most important part is allotted to the wind instruments. The time of that is andantino quasi allegretto. It is announced, with appropriate solemnity, by some mysterious notes on the drum, reiterated, at intervals, during the course of the march. The soft and tranquil character of this andantino — which, not less original than beautiful, is arranged for the orchestra with consummate art, and 'abounds in combinations as delicate as ingenious—has an inexpressibly soothing effect after the sonorous splendour of the movement that precedes it. A point that can hardly escape the admiration of connoisseurs is the new accompaniment allotted to the stringed instruments, when the leading theme is repeated, and the fresh device of modulation to which its recurrence gives rise. Here is one of those fine touches that reveal the master's hand and the master's instinctive abhorrence of monotony. Meyerbeer's music is full of such points — occasionally, perhaps, almost to excess. The only sin with which the Marche Seligieuse can fairly be charged is its brevity. It should be played pianissimo, almost throughout — a feat, wc apprehend, however, as impracticable as it would be dangerous to attempt in the vast arena of the International Exhibition. To the Marche Religieuse succeeds a Pas Redoubli (in C), a lengthy and highly elaborated movement, which, while preserving from end to end the life and spirit of the military "Quick Step," exhibits the musician's art and the musician's contrivance with a felicity rarely paralleled. The theme is as vif and rhythmical as the finale of Rossini's overture to Guillaume Tell (which, it should be added, it in no other way resembles), and is conducted throughout with singular felicity. After it has been fully worked out we come to what, in the language of musicians, is termed a " pedal point"—that is, whero a variety of changes of harmony, constructed upon a chosen theme, may take place, while the bnss, or lowest note, remains fixed and unalterable. Here the second violins and the bassoon alternately give snatches of the first bars of "Rule Britannia," which energetic and familiar tunc at length forces its wny into prominence, and is thundered out by the united orchestra, in extenso, interrupted after each section of the melody by an orchestral figure, borrowed from the theme of an episode in the Quick March—after the manner adopted by Bach, more than a century siuce, and by Mendelssohn, of our own time, in their treatment of the accompanied corale. Not content with this ingenious artifice, Herr Meyerbeer treats our great naval song as a fugue, with which he combines the most striking phrases of his Pas Redouble; and thus, at intervals, with extraordinary skill, works as many its three, and sometimes even four, subjects simultaneously. The movement ends with a coda, which, gathering power and intensity bar after bar, attains a climax rarely paralleled in brilliancy. We have merely hinted at the most prominent features of this remarkable piece, which does equal honour to the musician who imagined, planned, and constructed it and to the occasion in honour of which it was produced. The first ever composed by Hcrr Meyerbeer (whose name, nevertheless, is a "household word" among us) for this country, let us hope it may not be the last.

Professor Sterndale Bennett has shown himself worthy of setting tho poetry of the Laureate to music. His Ode is divided into three parts, with intervening recitatives and preambles—all choral. The words of the Ode having already appeared in The Times, it is only necessary to refer to them as guides by which the design of the composer may be explained. The first strophe," Uplift a thousand voices full and sweet" —the short hymn of praise addressed to the Deity, with which it commences, is very appropriately presented as a four-part corale. The style of this corale (in the key of F major) is precisely what it ought to be—what, indeed, the words naturally suggest —jubilant while impressive, simple and severe wliilo richly and nobly harmonized. The brief but eloquent reference to the late Prince Consort—

14 O silent father of our Kings to be"

—ia wedded to music wi 'i n felicity that can hardly be too much admired. Here, while the four-part liarnin>v is preserved, tho strict form of tho corale, with its measured phrases uiul periodical stops, is judiciously abandoned. By this expedient a larger field is allowed for variety of treatment and for the employment of modulation as a medium of expression; and of this Professor Bennett has availed himself with equal skill and feeling. The minor.kcy of V (which Mendelssohn, in the finest corale of St Paul, has used with such deep sentiment) is justly adapted to a theme so solemn; and the whole passage is as touching and pathetic as it is masterly. The descriptive catalogue of human inventions and human industries (which has engendered one of the most stirring passages of the Ode), announced by a short and emphatic choral prelude to the words—

"The world-compelling plan was thine"

— is conveyed with admirable effect, through a measured recitative (accompanied), the voices at first alternating with each other in naming particulars, and then uniting to signalize generalities. "Bich in model and design," exclaim the tenors; "Harvest tool and husbandry," respond the sopranos; "Loom and wheel and cngin'ry," ejaculate the basses j "Secrets of the sullen mine," the altos j and so on. Tho whole of this Is most effectively contrived, and carried out in the orchestra harmony with such ingenuity that a sense of fragmentariness is never once experienced. The last three lines of this strophe,—

"And is the goal so far away?
Far—how far, no man can say!
Let us have our dream to day"

—arc well expressed, tho women's voices asking the question, the men's voices answering it, and the whole choir giving tongue to the final aspiration. A short introductory passage, in full harmony, conveys the admonitory couplet,—

"Oh ye, the wise who think, the wise who reign.
From growing commerce loose her latent chain;"

—the remaining lines, beginning,—

•' And let the fair white wing'd peacemaker fly,"

and ending,—

"And gathering all the fruits of peace, and crowned with all her flowers,"

being set to a flowing and rhythmical movement (in F major—the key of the opening), equally noticeable for pure melodious beauty and musician-like construction—a movement, indeed, to be compared with the concluding portion of Mendelssohn's "Lauda Sion," the peculiar cha

racter of which it successfully emulates, without borrowing from it a solitary idea. The passage, for all the voices in unison, to tho words,—

*' Breaking their mailed fleets and armed towers,
"And ruling by obeying nature's powers"

is strikingly new and wonderfully expressive. In short, Professor Bennett has represented England in his musical capacity, as was expected from him.

Sig. Verdi's cantata — but why speak of that which, after having been written in such good faith, and with a feeling not less honourable to its distinguished composer than complimentary to ourselves—has been unceremoniously rejected? We should only be too happy to place on record how worthily Italy—the "Land of Song," the cradle and nursery of music—had done her part in this great festival. But that pleasing task has been denied us — not by Sig. Verdi (to his credit be it said), but by Her Majesty's Commissioners.— Times, April 30.

MUSIC AT STRASBURG.' Let Us, before doing aught else, thank the management of the theatrefor the splendid evening's entertainment it has procured us, and the eminent virtuoso for having kindly acceded to the request of the management, when there was reason to doubt that he would include the city of Strasburg in his professional tour. The concert given yesterday, the 23rd of April, by M. H. Vieuxtemps, in the large room of the theatre, possessed all the character of a musical solemnity, during which the great violinist never ceased to inspire admiration and enthusiasm.

After having been greeted, on his appearance, by a salvo of bravos, as redolent of gratitude as of the deference due to a prince of art, M. Vieuxtemps speedily subjngated his audience, who followed him, quite fascinated, from the very first bars of his Concerto in A minor, one of his newest and not least admirable compositions. That which especially characterises M. Vieuxtemps—that which assures him the sceptre among the violinists of the day—is tho fact that with him the composer equals the virtuoso, when one of these glories would be sufficient to render him illustrious. And what a composer is M. Vieuxtemps! Always selecting the most grandiose forms of musical art, he infuses into them the most derated and most noble ideas; he knows how to devclope them with more than common talent, and to enhance their valuo by an instrumentation worthy the great masters of the Symphony. In a word, the concerto is his favourite form of composition, and that most suitable to his powerful and original organisation, as full of inspiration as of knowledge. The concerto he played yesterday contains in an eminent degree all these characteristic traits, besides affording an opportunity for the most prodigious difficulties of execution.

After an orchestral introduction in the highest style, the first allegro is classically developed, being'cqually divided between the most tender melodies and the richest, though always grave and logical, passages. At the very first phrase of the exposition, the applause of the public burst out, and the virtuoso appeared much touched by this spontaneous explosion of admiration, proving to him, as it did, how eloquent he was from the exordium itself. What was to be expected from the remainder of the oration? A brilliant and skilfully combined cadenza, which also was greeted by the acclamations of the profane as well as by those of the initiated, ushers in one of the finest adagios in existence. Soft poetry in the melodic idea, unheard-of happiness in the effects of harmony and instrumentation, magical execution, and, in a word, all the elements of musical ideality, are united in this adagio, which produced a profound impression, and elicited enthusiastic marks of approbation from all parts of the room. The coda was the crown of this superb morceau, after which M. Vieuxtemps was compelled to reappear for the purpose of receiving the double ovation due to the inspired composer and the inimitable violinist. The other pieces were but the continuation of this first triumph. They comprised the fantasia upon Lucia, a transcription to which M. Vieuxtemps has succeeded in adding the impress of his own individuality, and two septentrional importations, full of "northic" colouring and nationality—namely, "Halka," a Polish romance, which has everywhere procured for the composer a success con furore, nnd "St. Patrick's Day," an Irish song, breathing a sweet melancholy. In these pieces, M. Vieuxtemps charmed the audience with the sentiment, expression, and grace of his style, as much as in his concerto he had astonished them by the power of his playing—by tho incomprehensible force which he possesses in his bow.

After the last salvos which yesterday crowned the triumph achieved by M. Vieuxtemps, everyone said that, despite the threats contained in the bills, a second concert will soon follow the first. Having rendered

* From the Courier du Bos Uhin.

justice to the virtuoso, let us lose no timo in addressing the congratulations it deserves to the orchestra, which, under the direction of M. Hasselmans, accompanied the violinist with remarkable sagacity and delicacy. M. Vieuxtemps must certainly have been delighted at being thus understood and interpreted. The orchestra performed, also, in that style which long since established its reputation, a well written and highly applauded overture by otic of its members, M. Briisch, and that to Tannhiiuser, of merited celebrity. Several artists, moreover, lent M. Vieuxtemps their brother assistance. M. Bobyns executed a trombone solo with much talent, and amid a storm of bravos; Mad. Kauis sang the "Shadow Song" from Dinorah to perfection; M. Raynal also delighted the audience with L'Huillier's romance, which turns upon a shepherdess, a great nobleman and a dog, the whole with'a simple pianoforte accompaniment; and the gentlemen of the choir sung two choruses with satisfactory precision.

K. Schwab.

P.S.—Wc have heard with great pleasure that M. Vieuxtemps has consented to give a second concert next Saturday.

MONDAY POPULAR CONCERTS. The instrumental pieces last Monday (at the 83rd concert) were from Beethoven. Magnificently as Hcrr Joachim invariably plays, upon this occasion he surpassed himself, and in the adagio, the " Rasonmowski" quartet (E minor), fairly entranced his hearers. Herr Ries, Mr. H. Webb, and Sig. Piatti are no less deserving praise for the admirable manner in which they supported their eminent leader. The sonata for pianoforte alone (G major, op. 31) was introduced for the first time, by Mr. Chas. Halle, who was recalled on the conclusion of his performance—a compliment due to his masterly reading of the work. The trio for stringed instruments in C minor, and the sonata for piano and violin in G major (op. 30), were equally well given, and equally well received by an audience as appreciative as it was numerous. Misses Banks and Lascelles were the singers, the first-named young lady receiving an encore for her unaffectedly charming singing of "Iu my wild mountain valley" {Lily of KiUamey). Miss Lascelles' fine voice was heard to advantage in Meyerbeer's "Les Souvenirs" (one of tho most beautiful of the Quarante Melodies); while Paer's " Puro ciel," and Mr. Henry Smart's M When the summer wind is blowing," wero given to perfection by the two ladies. Mr. Benedict accompanied the vocal music.

Musical Society Op London.—The second concert took placo on Wednesday night in St. James's Hall, which, it is unnecessary to say, was crowded, inasmuch as very few of the members wero absent. The performance (which, at the express invitation of the Council, was honoured by the presence of M. Meyerbeer) equalled in interest any that has been given since the foundation of the insiitution (in 1859). The programme will speak for itself:—

PART THE FIRST.

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Mozart.

Meyerbeer.

Hossinf.

PART THE SECOND.

Concerto in E flat (two pianofortes)

Aria—" Pieti, pieti "— Le Prophets

Overture—La Gazza Ladra

Conductor, Mr. Alfred Mellon.

The overture to Faniska is worthy of an opera which induced Haydn and Beethoven to pronounce Cherubini the greatest dramatic composer of his time—a verdict not long after quashed by Beethoven's own Leonore, which, under the name of Fidelia, has outlived Faniska more than half a century. It was admirably performed. The duet from the Island of Calypso—extremely well sung by Miss Banks and Herr Reichardt—is a highly favourable specimen of a work written by Mr. Edward Loder, one of our best composers, at the instigation of the long defunct "National Concerts" (so called), got up at Her Majesty's Theatre in opposition to M. Jul lien (1849-50).

Of Beethoven's Choral Symphony what now remains to be said, except that it is the grandest inspiration of its composer, and ono of the richest legacies ever bequeathed by genius to the art? On the whole, the execution of this colossal master-piece was first-rate. The quartet of solo singers—Misses Banks and Lascelles, Herr Reichardt and Mr. Lewis Ihomas—laboured zealously at their arduous task; the chorus (80 professional singers) was remarkably efficient, and the band su[>erb. So unanimous was the impression created, and so favourable, that, as though the same idea had struck every one in the hall simultaneously, no sooner had the echoes of the last chords died away, than the name of the conductor was pronounced by every mout i; and Mr. Alfred Mellon, an orchestral director—Englishman though he be — second to none in

Europe, returned to the platform to receive the tribute of enthusiastic applause conscientiously adjudged him by tho largest assembly of professors and connoisseurs that by nny means can be brought together in this country—an audience of musicians, in short, 1,500 or 1,600 strong. The honour was great; but that it was legitimately earned is undeniable.

Mozart's duet for two pianofortes with orchestral accompaniments (the same which was played two or three years since by Miss Arabella Goddard and Mr. Halle) was a musical treat of the highest order. The executants on this occasion were Mr. Charles Halle and Herr Stephen Heller, and the performance was nothing less than irreproachable. Of Mr. Halle wo need say nothing, inasmuch as his name is ono of onr musical household words. Herr Stephen Heller, however, c.innot fairly bo pnssed over with a simple record of his having played finely. That, indeed, was what all who are acquainted with his talent perfectly well knew would be tho case. Herr Heller has other claims to notice. Hit visit to this country is, or ought to be, an evont in the musical world. A distinguished composer, no less than a classical pianist, he is one of those who persist in writing music for the pianoforte, in pjace of treating it as a mere instrument for tho exhibition of manual dexterity. His works, happily, have long enjoyed a European fame; and the good they have effected in arresting the progress of a school which—whatever its merits, judged from the point of view of mechanical display—is at the best but a specious form of charlatanism, is incalculable. Herr Heller has never been tempted to court the frivolous taste of the day j but, following the instinct of his own original genius, he has produced an extended series of works distinguished in an equal measure by serious purpose and felicitous invention. He is, in fact, one of the few existing champions of art in its purity. On Wednesday night his part in Mozart's duct was noticeable for other reasons besides its faultless execution. He had prepared a cadenza (a due) for the first, and another for the last allegro, which might pass for ingeniously constructed pieces, even without reference to the concerto in which they were interpolated. Movement after movement of tho duet was listened to with sustained interest, and applauded with warmth and unanimity.

The plaintive and beautiful romance from Meyerbeer's Prophete was given with true sentiment by Miss Lascelles; and a magnificent performance of Rossini's ever-welcome overture to La Gazza Ladra — which for picturesque colouring and instrumental brilliancy has no* been surpassed — brought to an effective conclusion a concert with which it would have been difficult to find fault.

Royal Society Op Musicians.—The annual performance of the Messiah took place at St. James's Hall on Friday week. In rigorously adhering to the text, Dr. Bennett shows how thoroughly he understands the composer's meaning; and tho result is, that not a particle of the truly religious and imposing character of the whole is for a moment lost sight of. The enthusiastic warmth of Dr. Bennett's reception, und the hearty applause which greeted him at the termination, had a marked significance. Mad. Guerrabella in the first, Miss Wilkinson in the second, and Mad. Lemmens-Shcrrington in the third part, all distinguished themselves, the first-named lady delivering " Rejoice greatly" with much brilliancy. Mad. Sainton-Dolby's pathos in "He was despised" was as remarkable as ever; Miss Lascelles singing the remainder contralto music iu her usual musician-like style. Mr. Weiss was londly applauded in "Why do the nations?" Mr. Thomas in " Tho trumpet shall sound," the obbligato, played as only Mr. T. Harper can play it, was capital; while to Mr. Wilbye Cooper every praise is due for his careful singing throughout. Mad. Weiss, not having sufficiently recovered from her late severe indisposition, was prevented from appearing. Tho band and chorus were excellent from first to last.

Mr. Aptommas'b Harp Recitals.—The first was given on Tuesday last, at Messrs. Col lards' pianoforte-rooms. Tho audience, as might be expected, was composed almost entirely of ladies, with whom the instrument is necessarily more popular than with the sterner sex. Our readers need hardly be informed that Mr. Aptommas is a player of the first calibre, and his performance upon this occasion was in every way worthy of his reputation, the pieces selected being a symphony by Krumpholtz, a fantasia by Parish Alvars, Welsh Melodies, and the duo conccrtante of Herz, •' O dolce concento," the pianoforte part being played by Mr. Arthur Napoleon—one and all given in a style which displayed the thorough command and perfect knowledge of every resource of the instrument, which Mr. Aptommas has literally at his fingers' ends. Mad. Florence Lancia's pure flexible voice and excellent method were exhibited in Meyerbeer's prayer and barcarole, from L'Etoile du Nord, "I'm alone," and " A thousand miles from thee," all of which gave immense satisfaction. Herr VYilhelm Ganz conducted.

Signor Campanella's Morning Concert was fully and fashionably attended. The vocalists were Mile. Parepa, Siguora Badia, Miss Marian Moss, Miss Allan (the two latter pupils of Signor Campanella), Mr. Seymour Smith, Mr. Viotti Cooper, and the concert-giver himself, who pleased his patrons greatly in several Italian songs. Mr. Viotti Cooper made a highly favonrable impression by his singing (in Italian) Beethoven's "Adelaide," and (in English) Benedict's popular ballad " Eilcy Mavourncen." The programme was relieved by two harp solos, played by Signor Bellotta ; and altogether the concert evidently pleased Signor Campnnella's aristocratic patrons.

M. Sainton's Soirees. — The fourth (and last), which took place on Wednesday evening, was equal in interest to any of its predecessors. As usual, the programme contained a novelty of importance. This time it was a thoughtful, very clever, and remarkably effective trio in C major, the composition of M. Silas, performed by the composer himself (pianoforte), M. Sainton (violin), and M. Paque (violoncello). The work was received with great favour, and, while every movement seemed to please, the scherzo—quaint, and at the same time full of spirit—obtained the most applause. Mendelssohn's early quintet (in A), one of the most wonderful productions of his boyhood, as melodious and symmetrical as Mozart, though resembling Mozart in nothing more than in these abstract qualities, and with a scherzo that foreshadowed the music to A Midsummer Night's Dream, began the concert. This was given in first-rate style, M. Sainton is always at home in the music of Mendelssohn, which he plays con amore and to perfection) taking the first violin, Herr Pollitzer the second, Messrs. Doyle and Haiin the two tenors, and M. Paque the violoncello. The quintet was listened to throughout with an attention worthy of its merits, and delighted every amateur in the room. A solo for violoncello, on airs from Un BaUo in Maschera, written and performed by M. Paque, was highly successful. An excellent thing of its kind, this solo, in the hands of its composer (accompanied, too, by M. Silas), derived every advantage from effective reading and finished execution. The second part included Beethoven's 6th quartet (in B flat) and a Prelude and Impromptu for the pianoforte by M. Silas (his own composition). The instrumental music was most agreeably varied by the singing of Mad. Sainton-Dolby, who in Haydn's canzonet, ** O tuneful voice," exhibited the refined and classical taste for which she is distinguished. Her other pieces wore the " Evening Prayer," from Mr. Costa's Eli, and Mr. Henry Smart's " Lady of the Lea," one of the elegant "romances de salon" now universally in vogue. Mr. Deacon accompanied Hnydn's canzonet in the style of a thorough musician. M. Sainton's soirees will be remembered as among the most agreeable and judiciously-managed of the season 1862.

MR. COSTA AND HER MAJESTY'S COMMISSIONERS.

To the Editor of" The Times"

Sir,—I beg leave to inclose you the correspondence which has taken place between her Majesty's Commissioners cf the International Exhibition and myself, with the persuasion that you will insert the letters as a simple act of justice after the attacks to which I have been subjected.—I am, Sir, yours, &c,

M. Costa.

59 Eccleston Square, April 28.

59 Eccleston Square, April 26, 1862.

Dear Sir,—-My attention has been called to several statements in the public newspapers, reflecting upon me as to the performance of Dr. Bennett's music at the opening of the Exhibition ; and as it appears to be the object of the writers to induce the belief that I have, through caprice, or some other unworthy motivo, created embarrassment by "suddenly" declining to conduct Dr. Bennett's composition, and virtually violated an engagement previously made between me and her Majesty's Commissioners, I must request that you will favour me by recalling to the recollection of the Commissioners that, at the very outset, when I was first consulted on the subject of the musical arrangements, early in July last, I made it a distinct condition of my services being available that I should not be expected to conduct any work of Dr. Bennett, if he should be invited to furnish one for performance on the occasion of the opening, as I must, for reasons which were explained to the Commissioners, positively decline, with their complete assent, to do so.

Under these circumstances, I shall esteem it as a favour if the Commissioners will relieve me from the imputation now cast upon me, by admitting tho fact to be as I have stated above.—Believe me, dear Sir, &C.,

M. Costa.

P. R Sandford, Esq., &C. &C.

Exhibition Buildings, South Kensington, W., April 28, 1862.

Dear Sir,—In reply to your letter of Saturday, her Majesty's Commissioners desire me to express their regret that you should have experienced any annoyance from the unfounded reports to which you refer, and to state that your letter gives a perfectly correct account of the condition which you laid down with respect to tho performance of any work by Dr. Bennett at tho opening of the Exhibition, when you kindly undertook to direct the musical arrangements for that occasion.

I am to add that Dr. Bennett, when applied to by Her Majesty's Commissioners, declined either to conduct his own chorale, or to name any one whom he would wish to do so, or finally to state whether he would prefer that his work should be entrusted to Mr. Alfred Mellon or Mr. Sainton, when the Commissioners offered to invite either of these gentlemen to fill his place in the orchestra.

Under these circumstances, the Commissioners, knowing the confidence that you place in Mr. Sainton, and the position which ho fills in your staff, invited him to conduct Dr. Bennett's work; and they have much satisfaction in thinking that it is now in the hands of one so well qualified to do justice to its merits.—I am, dear Sir, &c,

F. K. Sahdford.

Michael Costa, Esq" &C. &c.

probintial.

—+—

The Birmingham Journal of Saturday, April 26, has a long account of the last Subscription Concert of the Festival Choral Society, from which we condense some passages: —

"The last subscription series was brought to a close on Thursday evening with a selection from Samson and Haydn's Seasons. The cooperation of the great English tenor, Mr. Sims Reeves, was foremost among the many recommendations of the concert; and even without the association of Miss Emily Spiller, Miss Palmer, Mr. Inkersall, and Mr. Lewis Thomas, so eminent an artist, backed by so powerful and efficient a choral force, ought to have sufficed, as it often has done ere now, to fill the Town Hall to overflowing. Mr. Shockley was the conductor, Mr. Henry Hayward, first violin, and Mr. Stimpson, organist. Although Mr. Sims Keovos's performance was restricted to the music of the first part, he contrived to find so many opportunities of distinction, that we remember no instance in which his eminent qualifications have been exhibited in Birmingham to greater advantage. The extreme difficulty of the music appeared to offer new occasions of triumph for his wonderful executive skill, and in ' Total eclipse,' in which the Israelito giant bemoans his loss of sight, the heart-rending pathos and deep expressive power, in which Mr. Sims Reeves has ever been unrivalled, moved the audience in many cases to tears. In the remonstranco of Samson, 'Why does the God of Israel sleep?' the marvellous fluency, power, and accuracy of intonation of Mr. Sims Reeves were triumphantly revealed; and in the duet with Harapha, ' Go, baffled coward,' the same rare gifts were exhibited in a yet more striking manner, and contributed mainly to bring about the 'encore,' which the audience so enthusiastically urged, and the singers so cheerfully conceded. Mies Emily Spiller, in the 1 Let the bright seraphim,' gave evidence cf a sweet flexible voice. Miss Palmer sang with evident hoarseness in the early part of the evening, but soon regained her purity and richness of voice, combined with feeling and dramatic power. Mr. Inkersall distinguished himself in the tenor music of Albert in an excerpt from Haydn's Seasons, and Mr. Lewis Thomas, who took the onerous bass music of Manoah in Samson, and of Simon in the Seasons, sang with great spirit and vocal skill. Tho chorus appeared to enter fully into the spirit of the music of Samson with which they ore thoroughly familiar. Their performance was almost irreproachable. The orchestra, with the exception of the brass, instruments, discharged their duties with ability. Mr. Stockley conducted with his usual good sense and presence of mind."

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ST. JAMES'S HALL,

Regent Street and Piccadilly.

MONDAY POPULAR CONCERTS.

EIGHTY-FOURTH CONCERT, ON MONDAY j Evening, Mar Mh, IK* For the Benefit of

MR. CHARLES HALLfi.

PROGRAMME.

Part I. —Quartet, in C major for Two Violins, Viola, and Violoncello, MM. JoaChim, L. Hies. Schmtju, and PiattI (Mozart). Duet, " The moon has raised her lamp on high," Lily of Killarnry. Mr. Tbnnant and Mr. Santlby (J. Benedict). Song, "Yarlco to her lover," Mr. Pennant (Himmel). Recitative and Romance, "The CoUeenJBawn," Lily of Killarney (by desire), Mr. Santley (Benedict J. Sonata, in A flat, for Pianoforte solo, Mr. Charles Halle (C. M. von Weber).

Part II.— Sonata,"in C minor for Pianoforte and Violin, Mr. Ciiarlk* Halle, and Herr Joachim (Beethoven). Song, "Auf Fliigeln des Gesanges," Mr. Tennant (Mendelssohn). Song, ** 1,'Addlo," Mr. Santlby (Schubert). Trio, in D minor, for Pianoforte, Violin and Violoncello, Mr. Charles Hallo, Herr Joachim, and Slgnor Piatti (MendelssobnV

Conductor, Mr. Bbnbdict. To commence at eight o'clock precisely.

Notice,—It fs reipectfully suggested that such persons as are not desirous of remainlng till the end of the performance can leave either before the commencement of the last instrumental piece, or between any two of the movements, so that those who wish to hear the whole may do so without interruption.

V Between the last vocal piece and the Sonata for Pianoforte and Violin, an interval of Five Minutes will be allowed. The Concert will finish before half-past ten o'clock.

N.B. The Programme of every Concert will henceforward Include a detailed analysis, with Illustrations in musical type, of the Sonata for Pianoforte alone, at the end of Part I. m

Stalls, 5s.; Balcony, 3s.; Admission, Is. A few Sofa Stalls, near the Piano, 10s. Gd. Tickets to be had of Mr. Austin, at the Hall, 28 Piccadilly; Chappell & Co., 50 New Bond Street, and the principal Musicsellcrs.

NOTICES.

To Advertisers.Advertisers are informed, that for the future the Advertising Agency of The Musical World is established at the Magazine of Messrs. Duncan Davison & Co., 244 Regent Street, corner of Little Argyll Street (First Floor). Advertisements can be received as late as Three o1dock P.m.. on Fridaysbut not later. Payment on delivery.

~ J Two lines and under 2s. Gd.

(terms | Ev€ry additional 10 words Gd.

To Publishers And Composers.All Music for Review in The Musical World must henceforward be forwarded to the Editor, care of Messrs. Duncan Davison & Co., 244 Regent Street. A List of every Piece sent for Review will appear on the Saturday following In The Musical World.

To Concert Givers.No Benefit-Concert, or Musical Performance, except of general interest, unless previously Advertised, can be reported in The Musical World.

JCfcc Pnstxal SHoxItr.

LONDON: SATURDAY, MAY 3, 18 62.

11/ HEN Napoleon I. called the English a nation of shopT V keepers, he made a good insulting observation which has delighted the French ever since. But England is no more a nation of shopkeepers than it is a nation of sailors, or of cotton-lords, or of landed aristocrats : it is a nation of a variety of interests, and in which the shop-keeping one, so far from predominating, has, politically speaking, scarcely any voice at all. If Napoleon M., however, were to call the Commissioners of the Brompton Anti-national Exhibition a body of shop-keepers, he would be paying them a most unmerited compliment; for shop-keepers, after all, are a respectable class of men. Many of them are honest, a few are even honourable. All are civil to those with whom they are likely to have dealings, and as polite as possible to them if there is a certainty that those dealings will prove profitable.

We do not know, without using unbecoming language,

what to style the Commissioners of the Anti-national Exhibition—a speculation which, whatever good it may do, is certainly calculated to bring one nation into contempt.

To say that they are utterly unfitted for the duties they have to perform would be nothing. There are numbers of . more or less incapable men about London, who are not necessarily low-minded because they are a little deficient in ability.

To say that the Commissioners are blind to artistic beauty, or, rather, that they are so gimlet-eyed as to discover what they mistake for, or wilfully affect to regard as, beauty in constructions which are veritable Parthenons of ugliness— this would be perfectly true, but it would not be anything like the whole truth as regards these ignorant, paltry, thoroughly shabby representatives of a nation which, as a nation, is neither uninformed, nor unmindful of the dignity of art, nor generally low.

To say that they are foolish — but every one knows that they are foolish, and not even inclined to repent of their folly; naked of wisdom, and not ashamed! Afterseeing the South Kensington Museum, and knowing well that that hideous edifice — beyond a doubt the most unsightly in Europe — was the production of an architectural Captain of Engineers, they straightway commissioned the said Captain of Engineers to build another Museum on a larger scale. There were two men in England of whom they ought at once to have thought in connexion with the Exhibition edifice. One was Sir Joseph Paxton, from his success first in Hyde Park, and afterwards at Sydenham, where he has erected the most aerial, fairy-like building of modern times: the other was Captain Fowke, by far the worst architect of this or any other age. Seriously, we do not believe that even the Royal Engineers could produce another man capable of devising such a thoroughly ugly, repulsive-looking structure as, under the title of the South Kensington Museum, has now been allowed for some years past to raise its bead on its back, or backs—or whatever the boiler-roofs which surmount the sheds are to be called—in the otherwise agreeable-enough suburb of Brompton. The Commissioners, we repeat, ought to have thought of both these men. It was desirable that they should seek the one, essential that they should avoid the other. They did the very converse of what they ought to have done—of what would have been done, not only by persons of good taste, or even of common sense, but even by any moderately straightforward, wellmeaning corporation of imbeciles. It required a combination of perversity of various kinds to make the Commissioners prefer the architect of by far the worst, to the architect of by far the best, Exhibition-building ever seen in England.

But these unfortunate men have had a long artistic rope given them, and 'we are glad to see that they are hanging themselves very fast indeed. Their last movement in this direction has been to reject a cantata offered to them in the kindest manner, in the best and most generous spirit, by Sig. Verdi. Some eminent composers, 'if you asked them for a cantata, would give you R march; Sig. Verdi, asked for a march, gives a cantata.

"This is too long," say the Commissioners. "You send us choruses, and even some solo verses to be sung by a man named Tamberlik. You must not trouble us with anything of this kind. Take back your contribution. It is a product of industry for which we can find no place."

We hope Sig. Verdi will understand the deep disgust which the news of the rejection of his kind, sympathetic co-operation has caused among the musical and general public of London. Our Opera Houses are not endowed with

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