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Numbers of people, able and willing to pay, get access to the dome by favour-tickets, at disposal of the committee; whereas if tickets were to be had (and they are universally asked for) at ChappoU'?, Cramer's, Mitchell's, Booscy's, and other great music shops and libraries, half a guinea might bo charged, and no one grumble. At any rate, we cannot too often insist that the idea of abolishing these festivals is altogether as preposterous as the fact of their being abolished would be disgraceful. Give the children a holy day at the Crystal Palace once a year by all means, but let not that be (as was once tho case) a pretext for skipping one of the anniversary meetings in tho cathedral. If the new and splendid organ is for ever to bo unfinished, at any rate let the festival proceed.
THE HANDEL TRIENNIAL FESTIVAL.
Before entering on a comparison between the musical force employed at the International Exhibition opening on tho 1st of May, and that of the forthcoming Handel Festival, it may be worth while to notice the occasions on which very large orchestras have been assembled, and tho advance which has been made. Neither at the opening of tho 1851 International Exhibition, nor at any of the musical festivals up to that time, had a larger musical force been engaged than at the ordinary concerts of the Sacred Harmonic Society. The first was at the opening of the Crystal Palace, on 10th June, 1854, when about 1,600 amateurs and professors were employed, including thirty double basses. The novelty created great interest ; and as the music was confined to the Old Hundredth Psalm, " God Save the Queen," and the Hallelujah Chorus, its effect was striking. The Paris Exhibition, in 1855, was opened with considerable parade. The music, however, failed. The closing ceremony (the distribution of medals) was one of the most imposing of modern times. Great efforts had been made to render the music a striking adjunct to the rest; but, though upwards of 1,200 musicians were employed, no effect was produced. The orchestra was placed in an elevated, strait gallery, and the music unfit for such an occasion. At the Dublin Exhibition opening, in 1853, a good musical display took place. A proper orchestra had been built, and on the whole the music was very successful. The Handel Festivals of 1857 and 1859 were so similar to the coming event, that particular allusion to them is not needed. In 1857 the orchestra held about 2,500. Being open at the sides and back, a large portion of the sound was lost. In 1859 the orchestra was considerably enlarged, and enclosed to a height of fifteen feet, while over it was suspended an oiled canvas awning, to remedy the defects of 1857. This was only partially realised; the music at the Commemoration Festival, therefore, although occasionally grand, did not produce that overpowering effect of which it was believed capable. To make these Festivals, with their large profits, a permanent success at the Crystal Palace, the great orchestra must be roofed over. Many were the suggestions. Without entering upon a technical description of the great roof which has recently been thrown over the orchestra, it will suffice to say, that it has been accomplished most successfully, as well in regard to musical results as to the method of its construction and its perfect security. No additional weight has been imposed on the building itself, as the roof is supported independently of the original structure. Many scientific men, architects, and engineers, who have inspected the work, assert that it has added to the solidity of tho great arched roof of the main building; and this, coupled with the additional iron columns lately added to the front of the centre transept, has added eight times its strength to the original Crystal Palace transept. The want of a proper sounding-board, like this new roof of the Crystal Palace orchestra, was very manifest at the opening of the International Exhibition. The number of musicians was only inferior to that engaged at the Handel Festivals. The effect, however, was comparatively small. In the coming Festival, amateurs and professors engaged, for the first time, have a proper orchestra; and there is no doubt about the effect. Public curiosity is excited to learn what the impressions will be under such conditions. Among those qualified to judge, there is but one anticipation; and bearing in mind tho care which has been taken in tho selection of the performers, the regular and systematic rehearsal to which all have been subjected, there can be no question that the results of the coming Festival will show a success far beyond any that have preceded it. The Messiah-day, as yet, appears most in request with the general public.
SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY. Iiakdelian.—Read, learn, and inwardly digest.—" Solomon was revived last evening, after having been laid aside for eight or nine years, wo believe. It drew an overflowing assemblage; and though it is far from
being one of Handel's greatest works, yet it has so many beauties, and was so well performed, that the audience were highly gratified, and testified their pleasure by an unrestrained applause, the self-;mposed prohibition of such demonstrations at Exeter Hall being new very little attended to. We are glad it is so. There can be no reason, on religious grounds, for withholding any expression of approbation when we listen to the performance even of sacred music And judicious applause undoubtedly has the effect of encouraging and animating the performers, who are necessarily chilled and dispirited when their best efforts are received with rigid, unrclaxing silence. Solomon is one of Handel's latest works, written at a time when he had begun to feel the infirmities of age. Often unfortunate in the literary assistance he received, he was especially so in this instance. Solomon is the worst of the poems written for him, and is supposed not to have been by his poet-in-ordinary, Dr. Morell, because it is so much below the level of that worthy gentleman's known productions. The language is mean, both in diction and sentiment; and there is something almost sickening in the fulsomo adulation which the great monarch receives from the courtly sycophants around him. Some of the choruses—especially "From the censer curling rise"—which might have been inspired by veneration for the Deity—lose their effect when wo find them employed to celebrate the power and wisdom, and magnificence of King Solomon. Of the three parts into which the piece is divided, the first is chiefly made up of matter of this kind, varied by a few passages of conjugal endearment. Last night this portion was "cut" unsparingly, much to the advantage of what remained. The second part, which is by far the best, contains the celebrated "Judgment" of the dispute between the two mothers for the possession of the child. This scene is pretty well managed by the poet, and Handel's music is as dramatic as it is beautiful. The last part, the visit of the Queen of Sheba, is secular in its character, being festive, gorgeous, and almost theatrical. The principal parts in this oratorio are for female voices, and were written for favourite singers of the Italian Opera, who must have been conversant with the English language and English elocution to a degree of which there are no instances in our day. The part of Solomon himself is for a contralto, and was last night sung by Miss Dolby. The other female parts were sustained by Mad. Catherine Hayes and Mad. Weiss. The recitative, "Israel attend," in which the king pronounces judgment, was, on Miss Dolby's part, a noble piece of declamation, delivered with great dignity and beauty. Miss Dolby's singing of the fine pensive air, "What though I trace," too, was a model of style and expression. The male parts, which have no dramatic interest, and are ungrateful for the singers (the tenor part especially, which, having been written for a famous singer of Handel's day, Lowe, is full of long divisions and other difficulties), were sustained by Mr. Montcm Smith and Mr. Thomas." What will "Handelian" say now?
The Duke And Duchess Op Manchester entertained at their mansion in Great Stanhope Street, on Saturday, their Royal Highnesses the Duchess of Cambridge, the Grand Duchess of Strelitz, the Princess Mary, and a distinguished party. In the course of the evening a selection of English part music was performed by The London Glee And Madrigal Union, under the direction of Mr. Land.
Paris.— (Extract from a private letter.) —" I must inform you that Hector Berlioz has written a comic opera. As tho Paris theatres still close their doors against him, he has destined it for the inauguration of the French theatre at Baden-Baden — of course, at the request of tho local Play-King. It is in two acts, and is entitled Beatrice et Benedict. Berlioz is said to havo written tho book himself, founding it on Shakspcarc's Much Ado about Nothing. The opera will be produced in August. Despite the admonitions of the papers, the management of the Imperial Opera has not yet made up its mind to bring out his great work, Les Trot/ens. Such treatment of such a man — and a member of the Institute to boot—is incomprehensible."
Crystal Palace.—Mr. Thomas Baring, M.P., as one of the Commissioners of the International Exhibition, gave a fete on Friday, at tho Crystal Palace, to the jurors and foreign visitors to tho Exhibition. The south wing and the suite of private rooms reserved for Mr. Baring's guests were thrown open at 3 o'clock, and carriages continued to set down company until after 6 o'clock. The band of the Coldstream Guards, under the direction of Mr. Godfrey, performed on the terrace during the afternoon. Shortly after 4 there was a display of the whole series of great fountains and waterworks, and at 5 o'clock M. Blondin exhibited his skill and courage by passing over them on a high rope. The orchestral band performed in the concert room, and Mr. Coward on the Handel Festival organ at 3 o'clock. Mr. Baring received his guests in the large dining-room, and most copious refreshments were served in the long gallery and in the small dining rooms. The company separated shortly after 7 o'clock.
ST. JAMES'S HALL,
MONDAY POPULAR CONCERTS.
IGHTY-EIGHTH CONCERT, ON MONDAY
Evening, June 23, 18112, for the Benefit of
.' i ' PROGRAMME.
Past I Trio, in B flat, Op. 99, for Pianoforte, Violin, and Violoncello, MM.
Hall6, Laub, and DavldofT( Schubert); Song,11 T'amo," Mr. Santley, by permission of J. H. Mapleson, Esq. (J. Benedict); Klegic, for Violin Solo, with Pianoforte Accompaniment. Herr Joachim (Ernst); Song, " Swifter far than summer's flight," Mad. Sainton-Dolby (J. W. Davison); Sonata, in D, Op. ;10, Mr. Charles Halle (Beethoven).
Pa»t IL-. Quartet, first time of performance in England, 1st Violin, Herr Joachim; 2nd Violin, Herr Laub; Viola, Herr Mollque; Violoncello, Sig. Platti (Ernst); New Song, " The wind," Mr. Santley (Hcrht): Soup, " When I was young," Mad. SaintonDolby (H. F. Chorlcy); Pensees Fugitives, for Violin and Piano, MM. Laub and Halle (Ernst and Stephen Heller).
Conductor: Mr. Benedict.
Notice.—It is respectfully suggested that such persons as are not desirous of remaining 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.
Between the last vocal piece and the Pensees fugitives for Violin and Pianoforte •n interval of Five Minutes will be allowed. The Concert will finish before Halfpast Ten o'clock.
Sofa Stalls, 10s. 6d. and 5s. j Balcony, 3s.; Admission, Is.
Tickets to be had of Mr. Austin, at the Hall, 28 Piccadilly; Chappell & Co., 60 New Bond Street, and all the Principal Musicsellers.
Effie.— No answer has reached us. Qu' est cef
Buskin.— The article was as subjoined :—" Adelphi Theatre.—The drama of Janet Pride, which has been played with uninterrupted success ever since its production, closed the first epoch of its existence last week, and will not be repeated till Whit-Monday. As the withdrawal of a piece in the Easter holydays might lead to a false impression, it may not be superfluous to state, that it is merely occasioned by the temporary absence of Mr. Kcclcy, who plays the chief comic part."
Tablecorns.— Signore—convicn distinguere locandiero da locandierc. BIRTH.
On Thursday, tho wife of Cunningham Booscy, Esq., of a son.
To Advertisers.—Advertisers are informed, that for the
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 o'Clock P.m., on Fridays—but not later. Payment on delivery.
f Two lines and under 2s. (id.
t trms \ EvcrlJ additional 10 words Crf.
To Publishers And Composers.—All Music for Review in The Musical World must henceforth be forwarded to the Editor, care of Messrs. Duncan Davtson & Co., 244 Regent Street. A List of every Piece scut for Remote 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.
LONDON: SATURDAY, JUNE 2 1, 1 8 62.
THAT the approaching Handel Commemoration at the Crystal Palace will be an unparalleled success there is every reason to believe. Nobody doubts it; everybody anticipates it; in fact, it is already a foregone conclusion. If this were not the universal expectation, it would not be the
fault of the Sacred Harmonic Society, which not only has lent its energetic assistance, but has been devoting all its business-experience to bring about such a result. The Sacred Harmonic Society has, indeed, laboured zealously and unceasingly for the first "Triennial," which is to bear the illustrious name of "Handel." The newspapers have recently abounded in lengthy and elaborate paragraphs, all pointing out the perfect arrangements in the great orchestra, the marvellous sonority obtained by the new vaulting, and Mr. Costa's unqualified approval. If we are to put credence in these enthusiastic enunciations, we are bound to look for the Millennium. Nothing was ever like it—nothing will ever be like it. No prophet was ever so certain of a coming event as the Sacred Harmonic Society that the Festival next week will be a prodigious success.
Well, we are inclined to place faith in these auguries. The success will be prodigious. Nothing we remember has ever looked more promising. Every precaution has been taken, every provision made, which foresight could suggest and art contrive to arrive at a perfect consummation. A perfect consummation, nevertheless, is of such rare occurrence as to warrant more or less preliminary caution. That a far more powerful effect will be given to Handel's music than at any former Festival, is looked forward to as a certainty. The modifications and alterations in the great orchestra could not, we think, be improved upon. The new roof and elongation of the sides will not only economise the sound fifty per cent., but prevent its wandering at random all over the building, as was the case at each of the former commemorations. The great Handel orchestra now presents the segment of an enclosed sphere, in which all the artists are placed, and from which sound can only proceed in a rectilinear direction. Formerly the sound was partly lost overhead, and partly travelled without restriction up and down the nave, along the aisles, or got entangled among the labyrinthine galleries. Now, Skill and Construction stand sentinels in the orchestra, and allow of no divergence from the straight line. In fact, the orchestra in its present state is a complete inclosure, and answers all the purpose of a regular-built music hall. At the rehearsal this morning its acoustic properties will be fully tested, and all speculation be at an end.
That the increased numbers of the band and chorus will lend additional force and grandeur to the execution, there is every reason to suppose. There is a limitation, however, to everything; and so vast a body of singers and instrumentalists might, a priori, endanger that precision which is | the first essential of musical performance. In this instance, however, we are inclined to think there is no reasonable cause for apprehension. The band is composed of the most eminent players in the kingdom, and the members of the choir have been selected, with infinite care and trouble, from the most experienced choral bodies, provincial and metropolitan. Moreover, a regular course of training for the special performances, to take place next week at the Crystal Palace, has been gone through, during months past, by the several choirs; and- a preparatory rehearsal took place at Exeter Hall last night, which, as far as we were enabled to judge from the effect in such a disproportionate arena, spoke trumpet-tonguedTor the approaching displays at Sydenham, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
The most intense excitement prevails among all classes about the forthcoming Festival, which we trust, for the sake of art and the musical reputation of the country, will realise the highest expectations. Now, more than ever, it is to be hoped that foreigners who attend the performances may go" away with the conviction that England, in at least one department of the musical art—and that the noblest and the mightiest—is not behind the rest of Europe.
THE first general meeting of the shareholders in the English Opera Association was held on Wednesday, in the large room at St. James's Hall. In the absence of the Earl of Westmoreland, Col. H. P. de Bathe took the chair. The secretary (Mr. Cawood) read the notice convening the meeting, and also the report of the executive committee. The chairman moved the adoption of the report, which was seconded by Mr. Chandos Wren Hoskyns, and carried unanimously. Mr. George Wood (of the firm of Cramer, Beale & Wood) proposed the following gentlemen as the executive committee, viz. :—Mr. J. H. Arkwright, the Hon. F. H. F. Berkeley, Mr. Frederic Davison, Colonel H. P. de Bathe, Scots Fusilier Guards; the Hon. Seymour Egerton, 1st Life Guards; Mr. Chandos Wren Hoskyns, Mr. Edward James, Q.C., Mr. Alexander H. Ross, and the Eight Hon. the Earl of Westmoreland, C.B. M. Lemmens seconded the motion, which was carried with acclamation. Mr. Robert Addison and Mr. George Wood were elected auditors. The accounts up to the 31st of March were presented. The chair was then taken by Mr. Edward James, Q.C., and a vote of thanks having been given to Colonel H. P. de Bathe, the proceedings terminated.
In the list of shareholders presented to the meeting we observed the following, connected with the musical profession, viz.:—Robert Addison, M. W. Balfe, John Barnett, Joseph A. Barnett, Jules Benedict, Charles Beale, Henry Blagrove, John Callcott, J. G. Callcott, Wilbye Cooper, Frederick Davison, V. de Pontigny, Francis Dickins, Theodore Distin, James Etherington, Howard Glover, J. L. Hatton, F. V. Heddingham, John Howard, J. Lemmens (Conservatoire of Music, Brussels), Henry Leslie, Joseph Lidel, G. A. Macfarren, William Mason, R. L. Nunns, G. A. Osborne, Miss Euprosyne Parepa, W. Parkinson, H. Hugh Pierson, E. A. Ramsden, Mad. Lemmens Sherrington, James Smythe, Mrs, Sunderland, Charles Santley, John Thomas, W. J. Tennant, W. Vincent Wallace, W. H. Weiss, George Wood, Samuel Young, Charles Zeis?, &c.
To the Editor of the Musical Wokld.
SIR,—Lohengrin has been once more produced, after the lapse of a considerable period. The performance was for the benefit of the subordinate members of the Imperial Opera House, the subscription list being suspended on the occasion. It so happened that, at the termination of the opera, I had an opportunity of speaking to some nonprofessional friends, not devoid of intelligence in matters of art, and who, perfectly impartial, had now for the first time become acquainted with the "wondrous" Knight of the Swan. They said the work was something quite new and peculiar, if only because it was "something soaring above sounding singing mediocrity" (!)—because, in short, it appealed to their sympathies in an uncommon manner. True, it left the hearer in a state of total prostration (especially— they might have added—when obliged to remain fixed to his seat for upwards of three hours, with a heat of nearly thirty degrees, Reaumur). In the frame of mind which engendered the work, there was something morbid and unhealthy, while its superabundant mysticism, from beginning to end, with but few intervals, and those not over lucid, became, as the drama advanced, more and more oppressive, till, at last, it
was actually insupportable. Under such an infliction, the mind is reduced' to the same condition as the body in continuously sultry weather; anxiously yearning for the outburst of the storm, until, at length, the lightning on the verge of the horizon announces that it has taken place at a great distance, without rendering the temperature a bit cooler. On the music, as music, they would not venture an opinion, for they had heard, it was here to be considered — although far from remaining modestly in the background, which we suppose of the Greek'drama—as of merely subordinate importance. But let me, as well as I can remember, quote the precise words employed by one of these gentlemen, Herr L n:—
"In spite of many genial traits and an exceedingly remarkable power of combination," he said, "the fearful monotony of such music, operating outrageously in a particular way, was moreover so deficient in invention, and constantly'painted with the same colours,—on principle, by the by— music which, when it did rise, nlways ran into ecsucics, if not into vulgarity—as in many passages filled with 'Tartarian noiso'—and aiming at the production of effects calculated to shake Heaven and Earth—besides being frequently crammed with disguised or evident reminiscences — this fearful monotony, conduced, in [no trifling degree, to the exhausting, ear-torturing, and heart-parching impression of the whole.
Strange," he pursued—in the same long-winded phrase — "that, as music, as well as poetry, affords, of itself, such trifling purely artistic pleasure, from the combination of two powers, so unsatisfactory in themselves, there should arise a third and higher Something more perfect than anything opera and drama had ever realized; although it cannot be denied that an especial result might be effected by an original admixture of the elements, and that, by this, or some similar plan, a pure force might attain to an art-production, which, based partly on new principles, should prove eqnal to the old opera and the old drama, and create, with old means, a branch of art, new in a certain sense, and in which the fading branches of poetry ns well as of music might possibly be regenerated."
I think, by the way, Richard Wagner would have no bad cause to retort upon the speaker for his exhausting and prostrating, if not mystical and "heart-parching" definition. Such, nevertheless — however, wind-baggedly laid down— were the impressions produced on these gentlemen by the drama and music of Lohengrin; and as they agree pretty well with those opinions which in humbler phrase 1 have more than once endeavoured to express about Wagner's efforts generally, I have preferred citing them, instead of venturing on any new original reflections of my own. The closely packed house, and the frequent bursts of applause showed that the interest taken by the Viennese public in Lohengrin was still vivid; and this is the same public, it should be remembered, that found no inward or outward sympathy with the Iphigenia of Gluck.
With regard to this particular performance of Herr Wagner's "opera-drama," which, from the first, has been one of the best executed pieces on the Viennese stage, it comprised a mixture of good, weak, and absolutely bad. Among the "good "—Mile Dustmann scarcely ever sang and played the part of Elsa better; there was life and movement in every tone, every trait; anything finer or more consistent could not be imagined. Such assumptions are literally creative, inasmuch as they supply what is wanting in the poet and composer, to whom, vivified by such inspiration, his own work must appear almost strange. Herren Beck and Schmidt were also among the "good "—the latter, indeed, having probably on no occasion represented the King with greater dignity. Herr Ander (Lohengrin) was but the shadow of what he has been. It was deplorable to see with what painful efforts he strove to maintain his position, while scarcely-able to emit a sound. Tannhauser and Lohengrin, I fear, have done for Herr Ander. No wonder he would not hear of Tristan und Iseult. The execution on the whole, was decidedly effective, except in the first chorus of the second act. There were many (and right welcome) "cuts;" but still not half enough. Three hours or more of such music as Lohengrin require the iron nerves of a Liszt, the subserviency of a Raff, or the beaufll(s)ial enthusiasm of a Hans Bulow, to endure. H. H. Vienna, Juno 14th.
Tiik Italian Opera In Paris. — M. Bagier, who, it may be remembered, was in negotiation, last year, for Her Majesty's Theatre, purchased at a public auction, on Tuesday last, the Salle Ventadour (the Italian Opera House), for the sum of 2,600,000 francs (104,000/.). M. Calzado, the present occupier, offered 2,500,000 francs (4,000/. less). The position of these rival speculators is singular enough. M. Bagier has the theatre, without the right of performing Italian opera; while M. Calzado has the privilege of performing Italian opera, without the theatre.
Vocal Association.—The annual conversazione of this society takes place, at St. James's Hall, the second week in July. Invitations are being sent to the Commissioners of the International Exhibition, and other distinguished foreigners now in London; also to all the artists of eminence visiting England. The Earl^of Dudley, President of the Vocal Association, who takes great interest in the conversaziones, is expected to be present.
Sig. Schika's New Ctera.—The opera of Sig. Schira, to'which reference was made in our notice of the prospectus of Her Majesty's Theatre, is underlined. The name of the new work is Nicolo De'Lappi. The subject is borrowed from a romance by Massimo d'Azeglio, founded on one of the most stirring and memorable passages of Florentine history. Something new will be welcome both to subscribers and the public.
Handel Triennial Festival. —Last night the final rehearsal of the chorus, preparatory to the grand rehearsal with orchestra and soloists (at the Crystal Palace) to-day, took place in Exeter Hall, which was crowded to the walls by the singers. Mr. Costa conducted. Only a few select visitors were present. The effect was stupendous. The chorus was for the most part "provincial."
Mi.i.k. Louise Likbhart.—This eminent artist, "court-singer" and prima donna at the Imperial Palace and the Imperial Opera in Vienna, has arrived in London, with the intention of remaining during the season. Mile. Licbhart is mistress of various styles. The repertory of Anna Zerr (Astriaffamente, &c), that of Mile. Wildauer (the operatic sovbrette, &c), and that of the ordinary first-soprano, are equally at her command. She is also renowned as if singer of national airs — Suabian, Hungarian, &c, — to which she imparts extraordinary geniality and freshness. An account of Mile. Liebhart's performance at a recent concert of the Vocal Association will be found in another column.
Hbb Majesty's Theatre.—Mile. Guerrabella is to make her "rcntr£e" next Tuesday, as Norina in Don Pasquale (Don Pasquale, Sig. Zucchini; Ernesto, Sig. Giuglini).
The Glocester Musical Festival.—Mile. Titiens is engaged (so rumour says) for the forthcoming Glocester Festival. Tani mievx.
Hbrr Laub. — This gentleman, whose violin-playing at the Monday Popular Concerts has satisfied and delighted the audience even during the temporary absence of Herr Joachim, leaves London for Berlin on Tuesday. It is Herr Laub's intention, we believe, to return to England in January 1868.
St. James's Hall.—The grand morning concert, on Wednesday, to aid the fund for establishing schools in Southern Italy, was a complete success. A more crowded and brilliant audience has rarely been assembled in St. James's Hall. The programme — exclusively of a "miscellaneous" character—does not call for criticism. With such singers as Mad. Goldschmidt-Lind, Mile. Titiens, Mad. Louise Michel, Miles. Carlotta and Barbara Marchisio, Mad. Guerrabella, Sigs. Belletti, Bettini, Zucchini, Giuglini, Mr. Sims Reeves, and M. Levassor (the Parisian John Parry), and such instrumental performers as Sig. Piatti, Sig. Arditi (who, though conductor at Her Majesty's Theatre, is not the less an expert violinist), Hgrren Jael, Rubinstein, and Otto Goldschmidt, any tolerably made out programme would have proved attractive. Happily, the selection was, of its kind, first-rate, and gave unqua
lified satisfaction to the immense audience. There was no orchestra, but the piano accompaniments were in the practised hands of MM. Finsuti, Arditi, Li Calsi, and Otto Goldschmidt.
Garibaldi's Appeal Concert. — (From another report) — A grand morning concert was given on Friday, in St. James's Hall, in answer to Garibaldi's appeal to the women of Italy for aid in the establishment of schools in their liberated land. The response was as noble as the call which drew it forth. It is a curious circumstance that, with two Italian opera-houses open in London, the only Indies nationally qualified to reply on the part of this metropolis should have been the sisters Carlotta and Barbara Marchisio. Their male compatriots, however, were in stronger force, numbering on their muster-roll Signors Giuglini, Giraldoni, Annandi, Bettini, Zucchini, Belletti, Piniuti, Ciabatta, Campana, Li Calsi, Arditi, and Piatti. This powerful array of Italian vocal and instrumental talent was farther strengthened by the ready aid of Mad. Lind-Goldschmidt, Mad. Luise Michal, Mad. Guerrabella, Mile. Titiens, M. Rubinstein, M. Alfred Jael, Mr. Otto Goldschmidt, and Mr. Sims Reeves. The entertainment was worthy the cause in which it was given. All the artists sang and played as if inspired with a strong sympathetic alliance for the attainment of a good end.
Handel Triennial Festival.—The provincial singers engaged to come to London for the Handel Triennial Festival are more numerous and widely selected than on any former occasion. At the opening of the International Exhibition about 500 were brought from the country districts; on the present occasion upwards of 1,200 of the best choralists have been selected from the most musical towns in England. Many of the singers arrived in the early part of the week, but the bulk of them came by excursion trains yesterday afternoon. At half-past six, they assembled with the Metropolitan Chorus in Exeter Hall for the last grand choral rehearsal. The following towns, among others, were represented: —Bradford, Birmingham, Nottingham, Ely (Cambridge), Bristol, Hereford, Gloucester, Norwich, Worcester, Manchester. Liverpool, Exeter, Windsor, Eton, Canterbury, Rochester, Chatham, Wells, Bath, Oxford, Newcastle, Chester, Winchester, Lincoln, Peterborough, Aberdare, Leeds, Huddersficld, York, Leicester, Sunderland, Salisbury, Stockport, Sheffield, Halifax, Coventry, Durham, Chichester, Derby, Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Belfast, Armagh, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.
Mrs. Mekest's Concert.—The concert of Mrs. Merest (Maria B. Bawcs) is announced for Tuesday next, at Dudley House, the residence of the Earl of Dudley. Mrs. Mercst's list of patrons includes the names of some of the first nobility.
Botal Horticultural Society.—By the permission of the Council of this Society, a novel experiment was tried in their conservatory on Saturday afternoon—viz., the introduction of vocal music by a military band. Mr. Smyth, the bandmaster of the Royal Artillery—a corps well known as possessing one of the finest bands in the service—has formed a choir of sixty voices, who sang part songs by Mendelssohn and others after the usual instrumental performance. Now that the subject of proper amusement and employment for our soldiers during their idle hours is attracting such attention, this experimental performance commands additional interest.
MONDAY POPULAR CONCERTS. Tho Twenty-third Concert of the Fourth Season (on Monday night) was attended by an audience which filled St. James's Hall to overflowing. The selection was marked with the usual discrimination, and although departing from the regular plan by the addition of an extra couple of songs, the singer being Mr. Sims Reeves, was none the less attractive. Herr Laub, the new violinist, and our great English tenor divided the honours of the evening between them. Herr Laub unmistakeably asserted himself as a player not only far beyond the ordinary, but entitled to take rank with the few who may be classed among the Mfraordinary. The quartet of Beethoven, in B flat (op. 131), requires an executant of the highest order, and that Herr Laub was fully equal to the task was speedily proved. The cavatina which precedes the final movement was given with admirable expression, and the whole quartet played finely. But another opportunity was reserved for Herr Laub to display his powers. The first romance of Beethoven (in F major) — accompanied to perfection, it should be stated, by Mr. Benedict— was a performance so graceful, unaffected, and masterly, that a rapturous "encore" was the result. Herr Laub is a thoroughly legitimate fiddler, disdaining everything in the shape of eccentricity, possessing a tone of wonderful richness, n, perfect command of the instrument, delicacy and feeling, and tho commendable habit of never sinking the composer in the performer. In justice to Herr Wiener, M. Schroeurs, and Herr Davidoff, who sustained the other parts in the quartet, wo must not omit to add that they honestly shared the success with their talented "chef." Mr. Sims Reeves, set down for three songs, was so heartily and continuously applauded in two of them (tho Hunter's Song of Mendelssohn, and Mr. George Lake's fresh and graceful "Summer is sweet") that he had no alternative but to repeat them. Mr. Charles Halle won unanimous plaudits in the sonata of Mozart (in D major), which he had already introduced at a previous concert. Herr DavidoU"— a violoncellist with a well-earned Leipsic reputation—also joined Mr. Halle in Mendelssohn's Tema con Variazioni (in D), the success of which, although it came at the very end of tho concert, was all that could have been wished. Miss Roden, who has a good voice, sang *' Voi cho sapete" with great applause. The prayer and barcarolle from Meyerbeer's Etoile du Nord were well suited to the sympathetic voice and pleasing style of Mad. Florence Lancia, who more than once reminded us of Angiolina Bosio, whose Catarina can never be effaced from the memory.
The concert for next Monday should command universal attention, being for the benefit of Ernst, whose long illness has unhappily altogether shut him out from the public arena. The bare mention of this fact will suffice to enlist the sympathies of all those who have had the good fortune to hear Herr Ernst—one of the most poetical (perhaps the most poetical) and highly gifted violinists of this or any age.
MUSIC IN ITALY.
Feb. 4 The only subject on which the Italians of Southern Italy are
allowed to express their opinion freely at the present moment is, the merit or demerit of the lyric drama. Even on that subject, however, they have few novelties to amuse their politically-imprisoned minds. Verdi bos done nothing for the Carnival season, Ricci and Rossi are equally silent—whilst Pacini only promises for the future. In such a state of things, the production of a new opera at San Carlo, by a comparatively new master, is an event of much interest in this part of the world. A few nights since San Carlo presented its old crowded aspect of the days of Barbaja, when Bellini, Donizetti, and Rossini were writing for the cradle of modern song. Nicolo di Giosa's new opera, Folco d'Arles, was the object of attraction. The young composer had already written one or two harmonious trifles for minor theatres, the success of which induced him to try his powers on a tragic subject. The author of the libretto is the well-known Cammarano. He has taken his subject from Victor Hugo's Ruy Bias—and has thus treated it. The Countess Elfrida, Queen of Provence, is enamoured of Folco. Arthur, a grandee of the kingdom, a lover by her despised, avenges himself by making her believe that Folco is his cousin, and of most noble birth, while he is in fact one of his servants. The Queen makes him a knight; and he having thus arrived, by fortune and merit, to be a commander-in-chief, she is about to marry him, when Arthur exposes his base origin. Folco kills Arthur and then himself. The libretto contains the usual amount of cleverly accented verse, with perhaps a little more than the usual quantity of twaddle. The singers known favourably in the musical world who executed the opera were the prima donna Tadolini and tho baritono De Bassini. The general character of the music is light, flowing, and melodious. The author was the last pupil to whom Donizetti gave instructions, and much of the promise of the present opera is traceable to the maestro's inspirations. There were fire or six morceaux which gained universal applause. One of these was a polacca by Tadolini — original and popular in its character—and which, I fancy, will travel to the north. De Bassini contributed greatly to the success of the other favourite pieces of the opera. He is an artist who will certainly take a high rank in London and Paris at no distant period. The opera was the decided hit; and the general opinion is, that Giosa will form a valuable addition to the living artists of the day. He possesses, all agree, originality and the faculty of pleasing; his school is that of Bellini and Donizetti. Tadolini is about to throw up her engagement at Naples,— why I know not. Some of the journals, as usual, are extravagant in their praises of the new opera; but the opinion of the critical in the ,land of critics is, that in the sentimental buffo Giosa may one day approach to the excellence of the Don Pasquale of his maestro.
I mentioned the promises of Pacini. Tho author of Saffo, who has already enriched Italian art with so many works, has recently completed several new musical pieces, destined to entwine fresh laurels around the brows of the great master. Besides Allan Cameron, which will shortly be produced at Venice, and which has been long completed, Pacini has despatched to Naples La Zaffira, a serio-comic opera, melo
dramatized by A. D. Lanzieres, for the Teatro Nnovo. Up to tho present time it has not been accepted by the impresario. He is also completing L'Assedia di Let/da, a grand serious opera, to be represented we know not where. We are also awaiting from his pen fl Nicolo do Lapi, and an opera of a'fantastic character, entitled Belfagor.
I may conclude my musical gossip by announcing from an Italian journal, the publication of a new work by Rossini, suggested by tho hymn of Bacchilide. It is described as a grand work for a bass, or rather for a chorus in which a principal bass acts, as the coryphceus of the ancients. The composition is conducted with wonderful art throughout The prelude is characterised by an indescribable delicacy and voluptuousness which is truly Greek, and which penetrates every mind through the ear,—whilst the finale is remarkable for the alterations of sound, and Tor the harmonious echo which repeats through the long halls the songs of youth revelling in love and wine. X. X. X.
An Anthem by Miss Virginia Gabriel.—A correspondent writes us that an anthem by Miss Virginia Gabriel was given at the Temple Church a few Sundays back, for tenor solo and chorus, in the key of D. It was of a more florid character than is usually heard in our Protestant churches, but how highly it was thought of may be inferred by its having been re-demanded by the committee, and again performed.
Haydn's Creation.—The performance consisted of The Creation, the most beautiful, if not the grandest of Oratorios; a work whose very beauty has been disadvantageous to It in the estimation of some modern critics, who opine that, because it is simple, melodious, and easily understood—because it is beautiful, in short—it cannot be sublime. And indeed, if, as Burk has it, obscurity is an element of tho sublime, these critics may probably be in the right; for no great musical work that we have ever heard is so uniformly clear and comprehensive as The Creation. But believing, as we do, that the works of nature may create ideas of power and grandeur when viewed under the brightest sunshine as when shrouded in clouds and darkness, we cannot feel that the sunshine, of which Haydn's masterpiece is fatter than any other musical work in existence, derogates in the least from its sublimity. It is a hymn to the goodness as well as the power of the Great Creator; and it is in this, as it seems to us, that its exquisite and divine beauty consists.—(Daily News.)
Ancient War Music. — It is recorded that the Hebrew soldiery had, besides their weapons, a trumpet made from the horns of a ram. In this manner their trumpeters must have been as considerable as their armies. It seems highly probable that their success in many of their wars depended as much upon the strength of their lungs as their arms. I conceive tho effect of their terrific noise must have been to drive the enemy out of hearing, at least such of them as had any taste for civilized music. — Mr. John Towers on Military Music.
Taking A Torn At Handel.—(From Punch.)—Anomalous as it may sound, Mr. Punch hates handles music, but he loves the music of Handel. The music made by turning the handle of a barrel-organ is not at all the kind of music Mr. Punch enjoys a tnrn at. But Mr. Punch the other evening attended a rehearsal where the couple of thousand singers took a turn at Handel; and such was the effect on Mr. Punch's ears and mind, that he came away determined to make record of the fact, inasmuch as one good turn deserves another.
People cannot well bo blind to the beauties of good music when they sing so well at sight as those did at this rehearsal. Choruses that long ago have passed clean out of memory, and seldom have been sung since Handel himself led them, were "rendered," in slang phrase, with a fire and a precision that a rifleman might envy. One from Hercules was given with a force it would have puzzled even Hercules to give to it; and one from St. Cecilia's Day was sung in such a way that, being a good musician, tho Saintesc would no doubt have given her cars to hear it. There was a laughing chorus too (words written by Milton, music put by Handel — a fitting combination); and just fancy how a laugh of two thousand horse power must have startled the staid echoes of solemn Exeter Hall! The singers indeed laughed with such a hearty vehemence that Mr. Punch began to think that by some traitor in his printing-office one of the jokes in his forthcoming number had been sent to them; and tho round of applause with which the laughter ended very naturally served to strengthen this idea.
Mr. Punch knows no more of musical slangography than he does of Chinese chaff, or the talk of Feejee fast men. So he will not plague hisareaders by describing how the contrapuntal passages were rendered, what pains were bestowed upon the melodic progressions, and how well the tempi were preserved throughout. It is enough for him to hint that