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MUSIC IN CASSEL. Last year, I did not fail to assure you that, up to that time, the lamentable political condition of Hesse had exercised but small influence upon our cultivation of the divine art. Our theatre, especially the opera, is—apart from certain considerations affecting the composition of the repertory—very flourishing. The drama, it is true, has a rather limited field of action, since pieces like Egmont, Wilhelm Tell, Macbeth, Fiesko, Cabale und Lithe, &c, give offence in high quarters for political reasons; while other pieces, such as Narciss, Anne Lise, &c, do so from personal ones. With regard to Opera, it has been deemed necessary to banish La Muette from the stage, on account of the affairs in Italy; but no one has interfered, up to the present, with Rossini's Tell. In order to show how good our operatic repertory has been from the commencement of the season, I will just give you a list of the authors and their works:—
Mozart* Don Juan (three times), Die Zauberfidte, Figaro's Hochxeit, and Die EntfUhrung (three times)—Beethoven: Fidelio (three times)—Weber: Der Freitehiitx (twice).—Kreutzer : Kachtlager in Granada.— Mi'liul : Joseph en Egypte (three
times)—Cherubini; Lesnlcux Jounees—Maurer, L.: Aloyse (twice) Marachner:
Tempter und Jtidin (twice).—Lortzing: Qxaar und Zimmermann, Undine Nicolal:
Die Lusiigen Weiber von Windsor Wagner: Tannhauser. — Flotow: Stradella,
Marina.— lialevy: La Juive (twice)—Meyerbeer: Robert la Viable (twice), Les Huguenots (three times).—Auber: La Part tiu Diable(three times)—Adolphe Adam:
We• Brasseur de Preston—Rossini: // Barbicre di Seviglia, Guglielmo Tell (twice)
Bellini: La Sonnambula. — Donizetti: La Fille du Regiment, Lucresia (twice), Belisario, Lucia di Lamtnermoor—Reisa: Otto der ScilUx, new (three lime*).— Offenbach; Orphee aui En/ers (five times),
In a few weeks Spohr's Jesionda, also, will have been performed, after a rest of nearly three years, and will be immediately followed by a revival of Marschner's Hans Heiling.—With regard to the manner in which the operas in the above list were executed generally, it may be designated a careful manner; but some of the works, such, for instance, as Die Zauberflbte, Figaro's Hochzeit, Fidelio, Joseph, and Undine, were performed with extraordinary excellence. With regard to the company, I can simply repeat my former assertion, that Herr and Mad. Biibsamen are its two greatest ornaments Mad. Biibsamen has been kept off the stage, by certain maternal duties, for the last three months, but will shortly return to it in the character of Susanna Among our new acquisitions in opera, I must especially mention Mad. Kapp-Young, who possesses a voice of great compass; but it is not, however, invariably sympathetic. The lady, although no longer in the first blush of youth, did not commence her dramatic career till last year. In the course of the season she has studied, and most successfully sung, such parts as Donna Anna, Fidelio, Valentine, Elizabeth, &c, in quick succession, one after the other. She surprised every one by her Fidelio more especially. Another no less valuable addition to our operatic company is Ilerr Baumann, an acting tenor, from Frankfort. He is a perfectly educated musician, and a pleasing actor, who has already rendered himself indispensable, and become a great favourite. The other members of the company are the same as they have been for some time past.
There have been four subscription concerts given by the Ducal band. At the first of these concerts Herr Hermann Levi, from Mannheim, produced a highly favourable impression of his talent, both as a composer and a pianist, by his performance of an original concerto for piano and orchestra. Although there are evident marks of the influence of Mendelssohn and Schumann in the said production, the independent talent of the composer cannot be denied The instrumentation is especially worthy of praise, and the structure of the entire work thoroughly good. The young violinist, Herr Isidor Letti, from Warsaw, was also successful in the first movement of the concerto in E major, by Vieuxtemps, and the " Perpetnum mobile," by Paganini. At the second concert Herr Hans you Biilow was the chief attraction. The principal works selected by him for performance were, Hcnselt's Concerto in F minor, Beethoven's sonata, Op. 110, and Liszt's "Fantasia on Hungarian Melodies." The third concert introduced to us Herr Alfred Jaell, always a welcome visitor, who, on this occasion as\vell as on all previous ones, met with a very warm reception. Ho took part in Spohr's C minor quintet for piano, flute, clarinet, born and bassoon, and was well supported by the leading members of the band. At the same concert, Herr Wipplingcr performed Mendelssohn's oft-heard but never-tiring Violin-Concerto. At the fourth concert, two local artists took the principal part in the instrumental music. They were Herr Graff, leader, and Herr Knoop. The former, a pupil of Vieuxtemps, possesses very respectable powers of execution, and a most elegant style, and has repeatedly gained great applause for his rendering of compositions by his former master, and by De Beriot. He was less fortunate with Beethoven's Violin-Concerto. The cadences introduced by him were a mixtum composiium from Vieuxtemps, Joachim, Laub, etc., and, consequently, were not calculated to throw the audience into rhapsodies. Mile. Kristinns, a young contralto just engaged at the opera, made her debut at this concert, and at herself with the public, being repeatedly and tumul
tuously recalled. An interesting item in the programme was the charming finale to Cost fan Tutte, which was) admirably rendered.— I must add to my notice of the third concert, that the pleasing chorus from Chcrubini'a Blanche de Provence was particularly well received. Indeed, under the direction of Herr Hempcl, who now occupies the post of musical director, in place of Herr Weidt, the chorus has gained immensely in delicacy and precision, a fact of which the audience manifested their appreciation at every fitting opportunity. Tho chorus sung, also, two of Schubert's "Lieder im Volkstonc." With regard to the merit of tho orchestra, more particularly, it is quite equal to what it was last year, and high praise is due to Herr Beiss for the pains ho has taken in getting up the concerts. In the way of overtures, wo have had Mendelssohn's Hebrides Marschner's overture to Der Vampyr, Chcrubini's to Les Abencerrages, and a new and original one, in D major, by Herr August Walter. In addition to these, we have had Schubert's Symphony in C major; Beethoven's Symphony, No. 8 j Niels W. Gado's Symphony, No. 4; and Schumann's Symphony, No, a (C major). The last took very well with the public, though but few of those present eould, I should say, have been able to appreciate it fully with only one hearing. At the next concert, we shall hear Herr Ferdinand Laub for tho first time. Mad. Michal-Michaeli, member of the Royal Opera, Stockholm, played here twice, selecting the characters of the Queen of Night, and the Queen of Navarre, in the operas of the Zuuberjlote and Les Huguenots, respectively. She was extremely well received.
Here Molique's Oratorio Of "abraham," At Stuttgart.— (From the Schwabische Kronii.) The above oratorio, performed yesterday, the 13tli April, at the Subscription Concert, produced a deep and solemn impression upon a most numerous audience, whose curiosity had been worked up to a high pitch. It was executed by the members of the Royal Chapel, in the manner on which the composer has good cause to congratulate himself, and which, it was easy to perceive, resulted from the respect felt by tho executants for their former colleague. The orchestra and chorus were admirable, and the solo parts well supported, especially the highly grateful part of Abraham, by Herr Schiitky. Mile. Schroder even undertook, and most successfully sang, a second part, besides her own. The gems of the work are the instrumentation, which is invariably excellent, and tho admirably written choruses, among which we would call especial attention to the majestic final chorus of the First Part "Lobet den Hcrrn," the magnificent chorus of destruction, "Und der ncrr strccktc aus im Zorn," the grand No. 35: "Gross ist der Herr," and the final chorus No. 44. The women's chorus, "HoY uuscr Flehen," is also conceived in a noble spirit, and would be still finer, were the second part less artificial. We must, moreover, designate as masterly the entire second half of the First Part, from the eminently characteristic recitative of the messenger to the conclusion. All this part, the recitative of Abraham, his dialogue with tho people, the Departure, tho Women's Chorus, the March, and the Return, are extraordinarily dramatic, and full of great spirit, except that the trio of the March is too modern in style. Of the solo pieces, those which pleased us most were the nobly simple air of Abraham, " Loit' mich, o Herr," the song in which he alternates with the chorus No. 7, the touching recitative, "Vorbei ist die Freude," and the contralto air, No. 2G, "Sie hicltcn nicht den Bund," which might, however, especially in the rhythm, bo treated with greater sonority. Of the concerted pieces, the gentle trio, "Freud alle euch," produced the most favourable impression. What rather detracted from the effect of the work, as a whole, is a certain want of warmth, especially perceptible in some of the solo parts. Thus, for instance, we expected tho quarrel-duet with Sarah, and the entire scene with Hagar, would have been far more effective; in addition to this, there is a monotony in the rhythm, which, with the exception of a single number in J, is nearly always in * and * time. We do not think we are wrong in asserting that, since Elijah, no oratorio has been written bearing the stamp of excellence so unmistakeably as this. On a second performance, it would be desirable to divide, by a pause, the Second Part, which is extremely long, after the chorus No. 27, since the action itself here justifies a separation.
fetters to the (Bitot-.
COSTA v. BENNETT v. COSTA.
Sir,—Is not this a piteous case?—I am, Sir, yours obediently,
Thomas Duck, Teacher of Music.
P.S.—Is there no way of arranging this piteous case?—T. D.
HER MAJESTY'S THEATRE. . On Saturday night Semiramide was given a second time, and the success of the Sisters Marchisio confirmed.
It was a treat to hear the broad melodies, genuine vocal phrases, and luxuriant orchestration of Rossini's last great Italian opera once again at this establishment, where it was first introduced to England, and where it has afforded opportunities for all the great singers, from Pasta and Brambilla down to Titiens and Alboni. The sisters Carlotta and Barbara Marchisio—for whom the recent gorgeous French version of Semiramide at the Academie Imperiale de Musiquc was oxpressly prepared, and who, at their concerts in St James's Hall, made so lively an impresssion in the duets for the Babylonian Queen and Arsace—have been judiciously allowed to make their first essay on the London stage in Kossini's fine work, which on Saturday night was presented for the second time, and with unquestionable success. What was written about the singing of these clever ladies at St. James's Hall is fully borne out at Her Majesty's Theatre. The Miles. Marchisio, however, are not merely cut out for duet-singers, but possess such excellent qualities as cnnble each of them to shine independently of the other. Thus while "Serbami ognori" and "Kbben, a te, ferisci" were the effective coups de theatre which brought down the most overwhelming and long-continued plmidits, the "Bel raggio" of the soprano (Mile. Carlotta), the "Become al fine in Babylonia," and "In si Barbara sciagura," of the contralto (Mile. Barbara) obtained unanimous approval as solo displays. Both ladies are entirely at their ease before the lamp?, and while Mile. Carlotta Marchisio can hardly be said to boast the personal attributes calculated to raise the notion of an ideal Semiramide, no more—as many will remember—could Pasta (with whom, be it understood, we have no intention of comparing her). Arsace is one of those nondescript ports which depend exclusively on the music and the singing, and which none of its great representatives, from Marietta Brambilla to Marietta Alboni, have at any time striven to render dramatic. Mile. Barbara Marchisio is not, therefore, to be criticised for failing to achieve what none of her predecessors achieved, or even aimed at achieving. Enough that the two sisters are singers of high accomplishment, with powerful voices—the contralto being one of extraordinary compass, the soprano (or, strictly speaking, "mezzo-soprano") possessing the telling quality of tone which dominates invariably in concerted music, and never leaves the principal part in obscurity. The joint performance of the new singers is, in short, sufficiently remarkable to revive the popularity of an opera too crowded with genuine beauties to be laid on the shelf. In A.-sur (one of the most famous assumptions of Tamburini) M. Gassier has proved himself incontestably an artist of capacity very far above the average, and shown that he could aspire to a great part just as well as he could elevate a small one. His grand duet with Semiramide is in all respects admirable ; and every scene in which Assur is engaged finds him thoroughly conversant with the peculiarities of the music—peculiarities essentially appertaining to a florid school of vocalisation now almost extinct, which Bossini himself abandoned in Guiltaume Tell, and no composer after Bossini has succeeded in restoring. Thus, in a purely musical sense, the three chief characters in Semiramide are singularly well sustained; and, as the histrionic traditions of this Assyrian lyric drama would seem to have perished, or at all events to be locked up in the breasts of Grisi and Tamburini (who are not very likely to come out from their retirement and reveal the secret to their successors), what more can an operatic audience desire?
The tenor part of Idrcno (Sig- Bettini, who was to have undertaken it, being indisposed) is creditably supported by Mr. Walter (•' Sig. Gaultiero") Bolton, and that of Oroe, the High Priest, by Sig. Laterza, a new bass, of whom we may speak on a future and more auspicious occasion. The chorus does its best; the band, under Sig. Arditi, is decidedly efficient.
The opera last night was Lucrezia Borgia, with a cast to which, except in one instance — that of Mile. Trebelli, a singer new to the English public, who made her first appearance in the character of Maffeo Orsini — the patrons of this theatre have been accustomed. A more encouraging reception has seldom been awarded to a debutante. Mile. Trebelli's voice is in.quality rather "mezzo-soprano" than contralto. What it wants in richness, however, is fully made up for in power. Every note tells; and it is quite probable that time and use may modify a certain hardness, which at present deteriorates, in a musical sense, from its genuine effect. Mile. Trebelli is seemingly a very young artist, and her singing more remarkable for dash and energy than for refinement of expression and execution. There is a vigour in all she does that at once makes itself understood, and such an entire absence of hesitation
or timidity that it is difficult to imagine her even comparatively a novice to the stage. True, she has served an apprenticeship in some of the principal theatres of Spain, Germany, and France; but as only a few* years have elapsed since she first trod the boards, her extreme selfcomposure in front of the lamps—whether as a singer or as an actress —is, to say the least, unusual The quality of Mile. Trebelli's voice was at once made apparent in the first scene of the opera, where Orsini entertains his friends with a story of the supernatural warning against "the Borgia." The air, " Nella fatal di Rimini" was well and pointedly given, and the good impression it created was evinced in hearty plaudits at the conclusion. The capital test, however, to which every representative of Maffeo Orsini necessarily submits, is the brindisi in the third act—"II segreto per esser felice." This was delivered with singular animation by Mile. Trebelli, and so much to the taste of the audience, that the dirge from behind the scenes, which interrupts the song at the end of the first couplet—
"La gttria de profani
—was, fairly drowned in applause. This possibly caused many of the audience to believe (at the end of the second couplet, "Profittiamo degl' anni fiorentini," which is again interrupted by the dirge) that the "encore " they unquestionably intended had been complied with. What other qualifications Mile. Trebelli may ^possess, in addition to those we have endeavoured to specify, the future must decide.
Of Mile. Titiens' superb Lucrezia; of the graceful and highlyfinished singing of Signor Giuglini in Gennaro; and of the Alphonso of M. Gassier, an impersonation of distinguished merit, it is enough to say that in the most striking scenes they produced the accustomed powerful impression. The eminently dramatic trio of the second act (" Guai se ti sfugge un meto" ), splendidly given, created a marked sensation, and was unanimously encored. At the end of the opera Mile. Titiens and Signor Giuglini were summoned before the curtain; and then there was a separate call for Mile. Trebelli.
Lucrezia Borgia was repeated on Thursday night j and on this occasion there was no mistake about the brindisi and "dirge;" so that Mile. Trebelli obtained (and well deserved) the unanimous "encore" that is a special privilege of this animated drinking song.
To-night Mile. Guerrabella makes her first appearance at Her Majesty's Theatre, as Elvira, in the Puritani.
As M. Meyerbeer is in London for the International Exhibition, it is fit that he should be allowed the opportunity of hearing some of his music at the great opera-house in Bow Street. Mr. Gye has, therefore, displayed both judgment and courtesy in bringing forward two of the renowned composer's most admirable works—the gloomy and magnificent Prophile, the piquant and captivating Dinorah. These (with the Favorita on Tuesday) formed the attractions of last week, and would have been duly reported at length, but for the engrossing claims of the International Exhibition, in which,as everyone is aware, M. Meyerbeer was also playing a distinguished part. Happily, there is little to say, either of Dinorah or the Prophete, which our readers could not easily anticipate. The performance of Dinorah restored one of the most graceful of Italian tenors to his rightful place before the stage lamps, and in a character, too, his impersonation of which has won hearty and unanimous approval. Corentin, indeed, is one of Signor Gardoni's very best parts. The music is well suited to his voice ; and although the character belongs to a class which the French would denominate niais. Jit has provided him with the means of revealing a capacity not previously recognised among his artistic qualifications—that, to a certain extent, of dramatic humour. Dinorah is the part in which Mad. Miolan Carvalho first earned and has best merited her laurels in this country. It is now, as in 1860, attractive alike as a dramatic conception and as an exhibition of singular vocal facility. M. Faure's Hoel is perfect in every sense; and Mile. Nantier DidieVs female goatherd, with its single air, as pleasant and unaffected as of yore. This air (an interpolation, by the way, which the composer was induced to make for the sake of strengthening the cast with her name) and the famous " Shadow Song " of Dinorah were the pieces that, if plaudits and "encores " are to be accepted as tokens of comparative worth, stood out prominently from tho rest in the course of a remarkably fine performance.
About Dinorah generally, we need only add that, as given at the Royal Italian Opera, it constitutes a pastoral which for scenic truth an d beauty has not been surpassed on our stage, and has only been equalled by the memorable representation of Handel's ^4cis and Galatea—when Stanfield was the "Beverley" and the late Tom Cooke the " Costa " of the day—under Mr. Macready's management at Drury Lane Theatre.
The Prophete was repeated on Saturday. The Prophete must always hold a conspicuous place among the grand spectacular operas belonging in a certain sense to the French school. Its histrionic interest, scenic beauty, and lyric splendour, play, as it were, into each other's hands, and build up a whole which, in gorgeous and picturesque variety, has seldom been paralleled. That to the music, nevertheless, must be traced tbe origin and chief reason of its European popularity, will hardly be disputed. The music has been principally instrumental in sustaining with undiminished force the thrilling excitement of scenes at first calculated to impress, on their own account, through the startling nature of their incidents, but which, now that the gloss of novelty is worn off, would be little or nothing, if not musical. A remarkable example is offered in the scene of the coronation, where the'impostor Jean, by a pretended miracle, allays the suspicions of the turbulent mob, and outwardly feigning to ignore the grief of his deceived and outraged parent, compels her to prostrate herself at his feet and formally deny her relationship. Brilliant, stirring, and expressive in turns, as is nearly all the rest of the opera, it is with that grand passage that the interest culminates; and, side by sido with the fourth act of the Huguenots, it ranks with universal consent among the triumphs of its composer, and of the musical art in its most intimate connection with the drama.
The striking excellence of Mile. Csillag's impersonation of Fides has been dwelt on more than once. It is, in our opinion (her Orfco, in Gluck's opera alone, perhaps, excepted), her most elaborately-finished performance, and now even better than formerly. The regret caused by Sig. Mario's resignation of the part of Jean of Lcyden, at first so general, has been completely dissipated by the very masterly performance of his successor, Sig. Tamberlik, whose powers this year seem to be endowed with fresh vigour. Nothing can be more impressive than this gentleman's entire conception of the Coronation scene; nothing grander than his singing in that ofThe Camp before Munster," where, after rebuking his followers for insubordination, the Prophet induces them to join in prayer. In the famous apostrophe, "Bo del cielo," which (for the sake of displaying, with unrivalled power, the highest notes of his register) he gives in a key not M. Meyerbeer's, Sig. Tamberlik exhibits an enthusiasm that completely "carries away" his hearers, and brings down the curtain amid reiterated applause. Mad. Budersdorff, Bertha, as in every other part attempted by that zealous Muscovite songstress, is careful, energetic, and artistically correct; the three Anabaptists are admirably represented by MM Neri-Baraldi, Polonini, and Zelger; and Oberthal is, as usual, a highly-finished sketch in the hands of Sig. Tagliafico.
The chorus and band are magnificent—the former in the strident "All armi" (Jinale to scene 1), the latter in the pompous " Coronation March," fully and honourably maintaining their repute. These, the skating scene, with all its bustling accessories; the conflagration, at the end, when the Prophet dooms his enemies and himself to a common destruction; and the other salient points of the dramatic spectacle excite tbe accustomed interest, being as well and completely done as at any former period.
On Saturday, Mad. Csillag being indisposed, the part of Fides (for the second time) was allotted to Mad. Nantier Didiee, whose very intelligent and artistic impersonation of this, one of the most arduous characters in the modern lyric drama, was alluded to in appropriate terms last season.
No long-established favourite of the public was ever re-welcomcd with greater enthusiasm than Mademoiselle Adelina Patti on Monday evening, when she made her first appearance for the present season in tbe opera of the Sonnambula. It was in the character of Amina that her earliest laurels were won, and few can have forgotten tbe extraordinary sensation produced on the occasion of her debut. Unheralded by preliminary flourish, she took the audience by storm; and a name, that was previously unknown to this country became in a very brief period familiar as a household word. The extreme youth of the new comer, united to a modest and prepossessing exterior, was at once a passport to favour; her opening recitative elicited the heartiest applause, and long before the termination of the well-known "cavatina" ("Come per me sereno ") her success was established. The faults incidental to inexperience were overlooked or disregarded in tbe general effect of her performance, which left an impression of something, quite as new as it was fascinating. The charm of freshness was felt in every scene; and an impersonation of Amina which, amid the liveliest dramatic sentiment, owed nothing whatever to mere stage conventionality, was unanimously recognised. Several of the older amateurs present hinted that, here and there, they were reminded of Malibran, by a certain impulsiveness which they remembered as one of the especial prerogatives of that highly-gifted artist; others declared that Mile. Patti was entirely original; while all — even those disposed to be critical—acknowledged the power of the young singer to raise emotions wholly distinct from those depending upon ordinary exhibitions of talent. The characters
subsequently assumed, at various intervals, by Mile. Patti helped more or less to strengthen the first impressions; and, as the experience derived from closer familiarity gradually revealed what was wanting to make her a thoroughly accomplished artist, and brought her more easily under the microscopic lens of criticism, so wero those natural qualities to which her genuine attraction may be attributed more and more clearly defined. That the issue was favourable cannot be denied, nor that the end of the season of 1861 beheld a new operatic "star" shining with undiminished lustre. A new Amina, a new Bosina, and a new Zerlina had been discovered; and how much the Boyal Italian Opera benefited by the discovery it is hardly requisite to add.
The brilliant reception of Monday night gives fair reason to believe that the interest in Mile. Patti will be maintained this season at its height. What was written on the occasion of her first performances might be repeated almost word for word, and apply just as well. We can detect, indeed, but little difference. Her voice seems to have gained in power, and her singing in spontaneity. But the peculiarities of her vocalisation — its technical defects no less than its undefinable charm, its occasional derelictions from severe purity of style no less than its warmth of expression and engaging tenderness, those beauties and those faults, in short, which make up a sum total as irresistibly captivating as it is unhackneyed—remain much as they were before. As an actress, Mile. Patti has made a decided advance. We can recall nothing more graceful, nothing more impassioned, than the scene of the bedchamber, where the distracted Amina strives in vain to persuade Elvino of her innocence. It was difficult to account for the stubborn incredulity of her lover, so earnest was her manner, so eloquent her appeal, so heartrending her agony of despair. Nor do we remember to have seen an audience more thoroughly moved to sympathy. The fall of the curtain was a complete triumph for Mile. Patti, who was recalled before the lamps, to be literally overwhelmed with applause. The mill scene was, in another way, quite as impressive. To endow with more exquisite sentiment the beautiful slow movement, "Ah non credea rairarti," would be simply impossible. So perfect was it, indeed, that we were almost angry with the descending scale — beginning with "E fiat, in alt " (our readers must pardon the technical allusion) — which, however capitally achieved, seemed out of sorts with an exhibition of such deep feeling. The final rondo, " Ah non giunge," was, of course, a brilliant display, and, of course, the second verse was overloaded with ornaments (fioriture) and tours de force, in the bravura style; it told its tale, nevertheless, as from time immemorial. Again Mile. Patti was recalled, and again honoured with such a tribute of applause as can only bo elicited when an audience has been roused to enthusiasm.
Sig. Gardoni — probably as excellent an Elvino as the Italian stago at present can boast — sang all his music well (the famous scena, "Tutto e sciolto," admirably); Sig. Tagliafico was as gentlemanly a Count as could be imagined; and Mad. Tagliafico as pert and malicious a Lisa. The house was crowded, and among the audience were MM. Meyerbeer and Verdi, whose presence no doubt stimulated the performers, one and all, to unwonted exertion. At any rate Bellini's delightful pastoral has seldom, on the whole, been better done — even at this theatre.
The first appearance of Signor Mario, always a " fete" at the Opera, was emphatically so on Tuesday night, when Signor Verdi's Batto in Maschera was represented before a crowded and brilliant audience. How admirably this work is placed upon the stage at Covent Garden our musical readers need not be told. It formed one of the chief attractions of last season, with Mad. Pcnco, Signor Mario, and Signor Graziani as Amelia, Biccardo, and Renato; and now, with two important changes in the cast, its popularity seems likely to increase rather than diminish.
A very few words must suffice to record the entire success of Tuesday evening's performance—a success in no slight degree attributable to Signor Mario, whose singing was little short of perfection. Never, perhaps, has this distinguished artist more incontestably proved himself the king of Italian tenors, never more triumphantly established his claim to be regarded as the chief of Italian lyric actors. His Duke of Naples is truly a picturesque conception, picturesquely filled up. (Naples, by the way, is a far more appropriate canvas for Signor Verdi's musical delineations than Massachusetts, and a "Duke" an essentially more romantic personage, from a theatrical point of view, than a "Governor.") The music, too, lies so conveniently for his voice, in every solo and concerted piece, that one might almost have thought the composer had written it expressly for him. The quaint and tuneful barcarolle (" Di tu se fidele"), the delicious solo and quintet (" E scherzo od i follia "), of the second act; the duet with Amelia (one of Signor Verdi's most impassioned pieces), the strikingly dramatic trio, in which Benato takes part with Amelia and Biccardo, of the third; and the scene with Amelia, terminating in the assassination of Biccardo, of the fourth, afforded Signor Mario so many opportunities of exhibiting his mastery of vocal phrasing and his command over varied expression, of which he availed himself with consummate art, transporting his hearers in every instance. The barcarolle and quintet were encored, while the other pieces were enthusiastically applauded. Such a beginning augurs well; and if Signor Mario continues in this vein to the end of the season, both the manager and his patrons will have good cause to rejoice. The first appearance at the Royal Italian Opera of Signor Delle Sedie. who earned such unqualified praises in Renato at the Lyceum Theatro last summer (nndcr Mr. Mapleson's direction), was also an event of more than ordinary interest. This gentleman is in every sense an artist; and, though many baritones have been endowed with voices of greater power and sweetness, few have been able to turn them to such excellent account. The two airs, " Alla vita die t' arride" (Act I.), and " E sei tn chc macchiavi," were specimens of dramatic singing wholly beyond criticism—no less faultless in style than truthful and eloquent in expression. The last moved the whole audience to sympathy, and was redemanded on all sides. Of the Oscar of Mad. Miolan Carvalho, and the Ulrica of Mad. Nantier Didiee, both extremely meritorious performances, and of MM. Tagliafico and Zelger, graphic and unexceptionable "conspirators," we spoke last year; and all we can say just now of Mad. Csillag's impersonation of the unfortunate Amelia, is that on no former occasion has this zealous and thoughtful artist bestowed more care and intelligence upon B part, or worked it out with more complete success. Mad. Csillag, in short, fairly divided the honours of the evening with Signors Mario and Delle Sedie. In the scene of the masquerade (Act IV.)—one of those spectacular displays in which the Royal Italian Opera invariably shines, and the diligent hand of Mr. Augustus Harris is apparent—the principal danteuse was the graceful and clever Mile. Salvioni, Mr. Gye's most recent and valuable acquisition in the ballet department
On Thursday the Sonnambula was repeated, and drew the most crowded house of the season. To-night // Barhiere for the first time, with Patti as Rosina, Mario as Almaviva, and Delle Sedie (where is Ronconi ?) in Figaro.
Monday Popular Concerts.—Mr. Charles Halle1 has contributed in no small degree to the success of these entertainments — pianoforte music having played a no less important part than quartets, &c, in the general scheme. On Monday (83rd concert) this gentleman took his "benefit," and notwithstanding the oppressive heat, the counter-attractions of the Philharmonic, and the Royal Italian Opera (re-appearance of Mile. Patti), St. James's Hall was extremely well attended. Mr. Halle had an immense reception. The increasing vogue of the sonatas by Beethoven, Mozart, Dussek, lbs, says much for the improved taste of pianoforte players, and the frequenters of these concerts must have observed how numerous are the scores carefully followed by their possessors, who appear to consider the Monday Popular Concerts as an interesting and cheap method of taking lessons in style and expression. Mr. Charles Halle being so soon about to repeat his Beethoven recitals, did not select one of the great composer's sonatas for his solo, preferring the " Op. 24" (in C major) of Weber,* and indicating his choice by a magnificent performance. Replete with difficulties as with beauties, this sonata demands a player of exceptional powers. In Beethoven's sonata for pianoforte and violin, C minor (No. 2. Op. 30), Mr. Halle enjoyed the invaluable cooperation of Herr Joachim, and we need scarcely add that the execution was perfect. Mendelssohn's trio, in D minor, with Signor Piatti at the violoncello, was what might have been expected. A finer performance of that glorious work has rarely been heard. Mozart's quartet in C major Was the other instrumental piece, Mr. Tennant and Mr. Santlcy were the vocalists, the first- named singing Himmel's song, "Yarico to her lover," and Mendelssohn's "On music's softest pinion;" the last, Danny Mann's romance from The Lily of Kiilainey, and Schubert's "Addio;" while the duct from the same opera, "The morn has raised her lamp above," was so well rendered by the two as to elicit an encore. Both gentlemen, indeed, sang their best. Mr. Benedict was the accompanist. At the next concert the pianist is to be Herr Ernst Pauer.
New Philharmonic Society.—At the second concert on Wednesday the attendance was not quite so largo as at the first, the inclemency of the weather no doubt preventing the shilling seats from being filled. In other parts of the Hall, however, scarcely a place was found vacant.
* Recently played by Mr. Lindsay Sloper, as substitute for Mad. Arabella Goddard.
In the admirable programme Dr. Wylde provides he has always some novelty, instrumental or vocal. The "Sisters Marchisio" contributed the "special" feature on this occasion. A finer selection could hardly have been wished :—
Grand Duo, ..u m
Concerto, Pianoforte, G minor
Duo Bolero (Let Diamant de la Couronne)
Overture (Ruler qf the Spirits)
Tho overtures of Cherubim are more frequently heard at the new Philharmonic Concerts than elsewhere. For this the lovers of genuine music are deeply indebted to Dr. Wylde The overture to Les Abenccrrages is a masterpiece, and will bear hearing many times. (At the next concert, by the way, the overture to Lodoiska will be performed.) The grand symphony of Mozart was nobly played, and thoroughly enjoyed. The violin concerto of Spohr was a magnificent performance on the part of Herr Joachim, who filled the audience with mingled astonishment and delight, and was greeted with overwhelming applause at the end. The pianoforte concerto, by Mr. John Barnett, also, in its way, a remarkable performance, was received with enthusiasm. Both Herr Joachim and Mr. John Barnett were recalled. The "Sisters Marchisio" sang the three duets with that extraordinary precision and perfect blending of the voices for which they are so justly renowned. The ensemble in " Giorno d'Orrore" (" Ebben, a te, ferisci") was the chief point of attraction, and created the usual sensation. The " Sisters Marchisio," we understand, are re-engaged for the fourth concert. Herr Joachim is to play Mendelssohn's Concerto at the third, when Mlle. Titiens will make her second appearance, and Herr Jacll, a German pianist of distinguished eminence, who has made the tour of the Old and [New World, play Beethoven's Concerto, in E flat,
Philharmonic Concerts.—The fourth concert on Monday night was even more remarkable for two public demonstrations that took place among the ordinarily quiet audience than for the performance, admirable, in almost every respect, as that was. In the first instance, Dr. Stemdale Bennett received such an " ovation" on his first appearance in the orchestra as he will certainly never forget as long as he lives. Dr. Bennett has received the heartiest sympathy from every unbiassed, rightthinking musician in England to console him for the persecution to which he has been subjected, and his cause has been warmly defended by the press; but all the goodwill of strangers will not be valued by him so highly as such a demonstration of respect and sympathy as greeted him on Monday night. The audience were in the humour for applause; and after Mile. Titiens's fine performance of " Va dit elle," from Robert le Diable, the composer of that masterpiece, who was hidden in the gallery of the room, was summoned forward to receive the spontaneous tribute to his genius. The programme was as subjoined:— PART I.
Sinfonla, in A minor ... ... .«
Aria, Mile. Titleni
Adagio and Fugue in D ... «• •» •»
Aria, " Vol che lapete," Mlle. Titiens
Concerto, in B. minor, pianoforte, Herr Pauer
Sinfonia, in C, No. 1
Recti, and Aria, " Non mi dlr," Mile. Titleni „
Concerto, Violin, Mr. Cooper, »,
Overture (Dcr Frietchutx)
Conductor—Professor Stbrndale Bennett.
The symphony of Gade, dry and monotonous, though clever, was not well received. Mozart's vigorous adagio and fugue was quite another affair. Herr Pauer, too, by his masterly execution of Hummers rarely heard concerto, kept up the interest of the concert, and revived the spirits of the audience. Of the symphony and overture in the second part, what need be said? Mr. Cooper played Mendelssohn's wellknown concerto superbly, and was immensely applauded. Mile. Titiens 6ang all three pieces in her best manner (notwithstanding the ill-advised and un-Mozartcan cadenza at the end of "Voi chc sopete"), and was received with high favour.
Westbourne Hall, Batswater.—Herr Sprengcr, the pianist, gave a Matinee at the above Hall on Thursday, in which he was assisted by Mnd. Louisa Vinning, Mile. Scdlatzek, Mile. Elvira Behrens, Herr Reichardt, and Sig. Nappi, as vocalists; and Ilerren Albert, Otto and Ferdinand Booth, as instrumentalists. There was a large and fashionable attendance, mostly ladies, which may account for the want of anything like enthusiasm in the audience. Herr Reichardt, nevertheless, pleased so much in his own very charming cradle-song, "Good night," that he was unanimously encored. He thought proper, however, to substitute another song instead, which did not seem exactly to meet the wishes of some of the fair auditors, who wanted absolutely to hear "Good night" again. Herr Sprcnger is a skilful pianist, and his taste and feeling may be understood from the music he played, which comprised Mendelssohn's Trio in D minor, with Herren Otto and Ferdinand Booth; Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata;" Mendelssohn's Andante e Rondo Ca. prieeioso, besides other pieces by Thalberg, Ilellcn, Kullak, and himself. Of his various performances, Beethoven's sonata seemed to please the most. Herr Wilhelm Ganz accompanied all the vocal music.
Hbrr A. Polutzer—one of the most accomplished violinists at present resident in the metropolis—gave an interesting Matinee Musicale on Tuesday last, at Messrs. Collards' Rooms. The instrumental artists employed, in addition to Herr Pollitzer, were Messrs. Watson, Webb, Paque, and Dcrffel; while the vocal selections were entrusted to Miss Robertine Henderson and Mr. Santley. The two instrumental features in the programme were Schubert's quartet in D minor (posthumous), for violins, viola, and violoncello; and Beethoven's Kreutzer sonata, both of which were rendered in a masterly manner by the above instrumentalists, who showed themselves fully capable of appreciating their spirit and text. Ernst's " Elegie," and a fantasia of Herr Pollitzer's own composition, abundantly proved that gentleman's possession of a large amount of manual dexterity and artistic finish. Miss Robertine Henderson sang two songs by Schubert, and A gondolier a by Herr Bauer, besides joining Mr. Santley in M. Benedict's charming duet " I Montanari." Mr. Wilhelm Ganz conducted.
THE MENTAL HISTORY OF POETRY.
*' To March through all 1 felt or anw,
Continued from page 247.
We have now arrived at a point in the course of this inquiry whence we can directly proceed towards the heart of the subject, and, retiring from the Investigation of its subordinate constituent properties, consider what is the specific attribute of the Art of Poetry.
It has been submitted that previous to the visible advent of Art generally, there exists a peculiar preparatory internal condition, a " vast abyss," pregnant with Art-life, and the source of till Art-impulse in whatsoever channel that impulse may be subsequently destined to run. It has been explained that this condition consists,—of a general sensitiveness, in the nature of the man whom it invests, to the great principle of Beauty,—of a broad and keen mental appreciation, and of a deep moral sympathy,—both magnified and extended through a bright endowment of the faculty of Imagination ; which internal circumstances being breathed upon by the vivid influences of surrounding Creation— the Charm, the Power, the Wisdom, the Beauty and the Majesty — causes the above nature to be absolutely flooded with a comprehensive, permanent, and exhaustless emotion of " Admiration."
"He felt them — he was moved — then forth they broke
We have seen that out of this preparatory inward condition arises the desire to wreak this state upon expression, and that in the consummation of this expression a grand principle is visible—that of " Imitation "— the principle of imparting and relieving an emotion of admiration by re-producing more or less directly, and in aesthetic medium, the original influence of that emotion. We have seen that the action of this principle is directly visible in Poetry, in those imperishable portraits of great heroes, virtues and charms,—of shining deeds " that shall not pass away," and of striking and grand events,—which illumine and sublime the vista of Poetic Art
We hare seen again that out of that primitive inward condition just described in its motion towards expression is seen exhibited another grand principle in the laws of human demonstration, exemplified whenever Language, Poetry, or Music is appealed to as an instrument of expression—the principle of tone and phrase. We have seen that as the principle of "Imitation," though directly visible in poetry, is not literally and repletely exemplified save in the art of painting; so in the same way have we observed that, although the principle of tone and phrase— the principle of conveying emotion through a pure effect wrought out of change in modulation and variety in accentuation of the human voice—that although this principle is distinctly exemplified throughout all the stages of language, and so much so in poetry as to involve a visible system, it still does not attain unfettered scope and
full developement but in " Music." We have thus seen that the Art of Poetry bears in it both the spirit of "Painting" and that of "Music." Wo have also seen, however, that, unlike either of those arts, poetry is one that does not possess any abstract charm, that is, that it is an art wherein there can be no aesthetic design or effect whatsoever, wrought out of the pure material of its physical constitution. We have seen that, whatever influence it does possess of this abstract nature is reflected upon it by the art of Painting on the one hand, and Music on the other, the influence derived from the one art being visible in those manifold and redundant suggestions of colour and form, whether drawn from nature or art, which abound so profusely and extravagantly over the whole surface of poetry; that from the other betraying itself in that regulated flow of rhythm, that tendency to aesthetic design in the arrangement of phrases, which imparts the distinctive features to the outward surface of poetry. And thus we aro led to perceive that not only is the spirit of painting and music present in the poetic impulse, but that the manifesting signs and outward forms of both these arts is visible in poetic effect. We have seen that the poetic impulse, partaking so deeply of the inner spirit both of painting and music, and springing out of a primitive and preparatory condition common to all the three arts, may be regarded as being similarly morally constituted as the impulse preceding the display of cither painting or music in particular; and that in cases where these latter arts are severally displayed, the reason why the general Artimpulse exudes in the particular direction of one or the other, lies in the presence (in the nature of the exponent) of an exceptional and more external faculty of wielding that abstract material for effect which both these arts possess, such as a faculty for developing pure effects of "Colour" on the one hand, and " Sound" on the other there existing, as has been before remarked, in both these materials of Art-effect, an imprcssional influence of a totally abstract character, like the influence of "Colour" un-humanised by "Form," or that of "Sound" ungathered into " Measure."
For it will be observed that the possession by these two Arts of Painting and Music of resources for effect (beyond any accruing to Poetry), which lie in the influence of the pure physical material of their constitution, involves in the case of their positive exhibition, the demanding of a condition which the Art of Poetry in being displayed does not exact. They demand in their exponent an exceptional and rather external faculty, immediately relating to this inherently expressive material, such as a faculty of developing pure and abstract effects of "Colour" on the one hand, "Sound" on the other. The possession by these two Arts of a purely material form of influence — of an abstract species of effect, attaches to the conditions of their display the necessity of an appropriately unique and exceptional demonstrative faculty in the personal endowment of their exponent; a faculty which, in the eases of these Arts, depends to a great extent upon extraordinary natural fineness and perfection, conjoined to cultivation, in the physical organs respectively of eye or ear.
It may be observed in passing that the extent to which a particular nature is endowed with demonstrative faculties of the character just alluded to, bears no direct proportion,, to that degree in which those general and internal Art-conditions previously described exist in the same natures; for although it is only where this relationship does exist whence the phenomenon of important Art-effect ensues, still, somewhat in disaccordance with our general ideas of the spirit of propriety, it is to a great extent, accident which brings this momentous relationship to pass. The presence of the deep internal faculties of imbibing Art-inspiration depends upon that difference in native moral endowment, the causes of which, though without doubt precise and clear in their hidden existence, still lie enshrouded in that mystery which ever envelopes the inner motions of man's nature. But the presence of the externally demonstrative faculties of Art depends mostly upon those more palpable natural laws and outward circumstances to which can be visibly traced all differences of physical conformation. The moral faculties of Art may therefore be said to proceed from an inward and inscrutable scource, the material faculties of Art from an external and physical origin. And thus as there exists no direct connection between the separate origin of these two divisions, in the complete range of faculties constituting perfect Art-cr.dowment, there is no law regulating the relative proportion in which they themselves meet together in particular natures. Consequently the prevailing of that due proportion betwixt them essential for tho one grand result of important Art-effect is only immediately traceable to that incalculable combination and progression of circumstances denominated "Chance."
(To be continued,)