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while the trumpet (Mr. T. Harper, of course) echoed the phrase she had just delivered. Nothing could be more entirely satisfactory, nothing more genuine than this, or than the choral peroration,
11 The dead shall live, the living die.
perhaps the most tuneful fugue in existence, the melody — polyphnnous melody, or melody in all the vocal parts — flowing on with such unrestricted grace and spontaneity that it is almost impossible to believe we are listening to a movement distinguished in every bar by intricate and scholarly treatment. Who will say that "fugue" and "counterpoint" arc essentially dry and uninteresting after one hearing of this heavenly chorus — a fitting apostrophe to the "divine art," inasmuch as it is the essence of music from first to la9t? Handel did well to discard the setting of Dryden's contemporary' Giovanni Battista Draghi, and rccompose St. Cecilia for his own satisfaction. Although the work was only a "ten days' labour," it was not the less a In bum of love, and the music of Handel is as imperisbublo as the Ode itself.
Another " revival" (to which allusion was also made in noticing the rehearsal) immediately followed, and with the same success : —
"Tyrants now no more shall dread
— a sort of lament for the death of Hercules, a summing-up of the evils that must return and vex the earth, now that the strong-handed advocate of right is laid low. From beginning to end the chorus is in Handel's most energetic style, nnd, like its companion out of St. Cecilia's Day, altogether freo from the conventional turns nnd faded "graces " of his period. The final passage —
"The world's avenger Is no more "— ,
readiest the loftiest ideal of expression, and is one of those beautiful and tender thoughts which prove that Handel was not only a great musician, but a great musical poet in the bargain. This chorus — though just as well executed — was not so warmly appreciated as that from Dryden's Ode, to which, nevertheless, while in other respects wholly unliko, it is in every sense equal. Hercules (composed in 1744, for the King's Theatre, in the Haymarket) was one of the secular oratorios of Handel, founded on tho story of Dejanira and the Poisoned Garment, dramatically treated by Sophocles and poetically by Ovid. To the chorus from Hercules succeeded the bass air, "Revenge 1 Timotheus cries," from Alexander's feast, or the Power of Music, in which, though Dryden, perhaps, excelled his other Ode, Handel (while extinguishing Jorcmiah Clarke), can scarcely be said to have beaten his own St. Cecilia. The air introduced yesterday, however, is one of tho most characteristic in the work, and comprises another of those remark' able passages (where allusion is mado to the ghosts of the Grecians, •lain in battle) of which Handel has left so many examples, and in which he stands alone among composers. The accompaniments to this air, unusually rough and unsteady throughout, considerably damaged the effect of Signor Belletti's singing, which was artistic and correct, as it seldom fails to be. It thus full comparatively flat, — notwithstanding tho merits both of iho composition and the performance.
The "Nightingale" chorus, as it is called—"May no rash intruder" —was the tingle example from the oratorio of Solomon—that prodigy of invention, composed at the age of sixty-three. To sustain tho pianos in the instrumental symphonies and accompaniments to this chorus was no light tnsk lor so enormous a body of players. It was, nevertheless, for the most part, admirably done. The chorus — which, in its continuous and unceasing melodious flow, may be compared with the Addross to Music in tho Ode on St. Cecilia—a slight defect here and there allowed for (unavoidable, no doubt)—was remarkably well given, the delicious pianissimo phrase—
"While nightingales lull them to sleep with their song"—
being sung to perfection — almost brenthed, indeed — an extraordinary feat under the circumstances of place and numbers A loud "encore' ensued, with which, after a moment's pause, Mr. Costa graciously complied. About Salomon our musical readers have heard enough; nor do tlity require to be told anything particular about Acis and Galatea— that ino.-t eloquent, and chaste of pastorals. From this last, three pieces were introduced two solo airs and a grand chorus. Tho first air, "Hush, ye pretty warbling choir"—was allotted to Mad LemmcnsBhcrrir.gton, who sang it in a charmingly unallccted manner, the delicate accompaniments for fiddles (on the higher tones), and the Mliyato for piccolo (admirably played by M. de Folly), being mellowed and softened by the exceptional space and distance so materially as to realise almost literally the evident idea of imitating the "warbling choir'' to which the poet makes reference. This was warmly and deservedly applauded. Tho second solo was tho most heartfelt and beautiful of songs, in which the perfections of "the beloved" are glow
ingly apostrophised—" Love in her eyes aits playing"—delivered by Mr Sims Reeves with great intensity of feeling, tempered by a judgmen1 uncompromisingly classical and pure. Every phrase was endowed with its appropriate amount of expression — in no single instance exhibiting that artificial excess which is not feeling, but mere "show" of feeling, and degenerates inevitably into what is fittingly described as "mock sentiment" This was the perfection of singing, and met with the enthusiastic recognition it so justly merited. The chorus from Acis and Galatea wns that most impressive and marvellously descriptive piece called "Wretched lovers." The measured, "long-drawn" cadence of the lament — the broken ejaculatory phrases, when the giant is first seen, and his "ample strides" strike terror into the beholders—each so graphically depicted in Handel's music, were on the whole well delineated by the choir; this, too, in spile of an occasional "dragging" on the part of tho basses, in the florid passage, "Behold the monster Polypheny," and the interference, rather than support, of the dry staccato notes delivered by the heavy brass instruments—occasionally aa serious an impediment to the singers as the "heavy-armed men" to the rest of the army of Cyrus, described by Xencphon In "The Retreat of the Ten Thousand." A disposition to overlay with "brass" and organ-stops is, indeed, the chief defect in the arrangements at these gigantic music meetings. The grand chorus from Acis, however, notwithstanding all shortcomings, was unanimously admired and unanimously applauded. The jolly laughing air with chorus, "Haste thee, nymph" from "L'Allegro," the solos rendered (a tone lower) with spirit and vigour by Mr. Weiss — although there was frequently a want of precision in the general balance of effect, brought the second part of the "selection " to an end amid general and hearty plaudits.
The third part comprised the overture to the oratorio of Samson, an air from Judas Maccabaus, and several double choruses. The overture was finely played, more especially the quaint and pretty minuet (a foretaste of the dance-music of Gliick), which brought out the fiddles and basses with characteristic effect. The middle movement (fugue) was, on the whole, less satisfactory. The first double chorus was from Deborah (Handel's second oratorio to English words, and composed in 173'), "Immortal Lord of earth and skies" belongs to the sublime and lofty style, in which, as a writer for the choir, the composer of The Messiah and Israel has rarely been approached One of the themes in this chorus (" Oh, grant a leader to our host") is borrowed from an earlier work — the Ode on Queen Anne's Birth-day (1713). In magnficence and solemnity tho execution of this double chorus was decidedly one of the triumphs of the day. The unison responses from the various parts of the choir, on the passage, "To swift perdition doom our foes," were declaimed with the emphatic precision of one colossal voice; and, indeed, the entire performance was remarkable. The air from Judas, "So shall the lute and harp awake"—a universal favourite with sopranos —was allotted to Mad. Lemmens-Sherrington, who decidedly excels in the florid style, and in this instance more than sustained her well-earned reputation. The double choruses from Solomon—taken from that scene of truly Oriental magnificence in which the King entertains tho Queen of Shebah — included " From the censer," which contains a fugue built upon one of tho most characteristic subjects ever invented by Handel, and the antiphonal effects in which were rendered with singular precision, point, and accuracy; " Music spread thy voice around '—another exquisite apostrophe to the attractions of the "divine art;" "Now a different measure try"—one of Handel's happiest and most emphatic expressions of martial enthusiasm; "Draw the tear from hopeless love"
— a chorus which in depth of pathos has never been surpassed; "Then rolling surges rise"—which so graphically depicts the rise and gradual abatement of the storm; and " Praise the Lord with harp and tongue',
— a hymn to the Deity in which again we find Handel soaring to the clouds. No praise can bo too high for the marvellously correct and effective execution of these choruses — and before all " Draw the fear," the most difficult (on account of the modulations) and the most beautiful of any; nor can Mad. Sainton-Dolby's declamation (as Solomon) of the introductory recitatives to each he eulogised too warmly.
The third part, and the "Selection." came to a worthy conclusion with the air, "Oh, had I Jubal's lyre 1" sang with wonderful brilliancy by Mile. Titiens, and the immortal trio, alternating with semi-chorus and full chorus (solo-trio, Mesdames Titiens, Lemmens-Sherrinyton, and Sainton-Dolby —given to absolute perfection), "See the conquering hero comes "—both from the oratorio of Joshua.
Our report of this ttnprecedeniedly rich and varied programme has occupied so much space thut we have none left for general remarks; these must, therefore, be postponed. Enough that 1 lie audience keenly enjoyed the entertainment from first to last, and, after nearly five hours of music, did not appear satiated or fatigued. Tho Festival terminates to-morrow, with tho incomparable Israel in Egypt It is as well, perhaps, to state, in order to correct an erroneous impression very generally prevailing, that it will be quite impossible to give a fourth performance. A body of vocal and instrumental performers 4,000 in number, it should be borne in mind, Is by no means so easy to deal with as an ordinary assembly of musicians. How they are got together at all is sufficiently a puzzle; to keep them altogether for more than a week is beyond the power even of the Sacred Harmonic Society, which has accomplished so many seemingly impracticable feats of recent years.
HER MAJESTY'S THEATRE. Oh Saturday Robert le Viable was repeated, and attracted one of the most crowded audiences of the season.
On Tuesday the Trovatore was performed with Mile. Titiens, Mile. Trebelli, Signor Giuglini, M. Gassier, and Mr. Santlcy—without exception one of the bost casts ever given in England.
On Thursday, Robert le Diable again.
Miss Lonisa Pyne is engaged, and will make her first appearance as Zcrlina in Don Giovanni.
ROYAL ITALIAN OPERA.
Mr. Gye's season is now in its zenith, and, night after night — whether the attraction be Mile. Patti, whose name alone, no matter what part she plays, suffices to fill the theatre to the roof, or one of the grand spectacular operas of Meyerbeer, — brings crowded audiences. Epsom week made little difference; Ascot week none; the International Exhibition hns lately been rather beneficial than otherwise; and now the Handel Festival in the Crystal Palace, with all the absorbing interest attached to it, if in any way influencing the fortunes of the Opera, apparently does so in a sense the reverse of unfavourable. Robert le Diable — the production of which last week was briefly recorded — is just at this time exciting general attention. 1 here was a great house on Saturday night, at the second performance, and another on Tuesday night, at the third; neither of which can be reported as an improvement of the first, inasmuch as the first was in many respects one of the most complete and effective ever given.
The Royal Italian Opera, which from the beginning has earned renown by the lavish splendour of its mise en seine, in the "revival"' under notice more than sustains its reputation. Without entering into details, we may say, in a word, that a more superb representation of Meyerbeer's grand romantic opera (the musical magnificence of which need hardly be dwelt on) was never witnessed. The zealous and active BupTintendence of Mr. Augustus Harris is plainly exhibited in the more than usually admirable arrangement of the stage "business ;" the ballet, so indispensable an accessory in one of the most important situations of the opera, is perfect in every respect, the various dances — executed with the utmost grace and spirit by Mile. Salvioni and a Terpsichorean "corps" that would have done honour to the memorable epoch of the Pas de Quatre — being highly creditable to the invention of M. I)esplacc«; while in the scenery the genius of Mr. W. Beverley shines with even unwonted lustre. The scene of the ruined cloisters by moonlight, where the departed nuns are summoned from their tombs by the magic invocation of Bertram, is as beautiful as it is ingeniously laid out, the stage illusion being as complete as the picture is natural and striking. Those who have visited the ruins of Tintern Abbey at night, when the moon is full, and at intervals half obscured by thin, transparent clouds, may be reminded of some of the impressions they experienced, by this masterpiece of Mr. Beverley's pencil. The other tableaux — especially the "Harbour of Palermo," and the "Rocks and Caverns of St. Irene " — arc, in their way, quite as picturesque ; and, indeed, the scenery alone wonld suffice to stamp this revival of Meyerbeer's great work as one of the most remarkable since its first production in England more than thirty years ago. Then the costumes arc all new, appropriate to tta period (so far as that can be historically tetted), liberal and sumptuous in every particular. If the scene of the resuscitation in the cloisters were so contrived that the nuns remained motionless until the incident of the transformation; and if, in that where Robert, by virtue of the magic branch, sends all the court of Isabelle, including the Princess herself, to sleep, it was so managed that the soporific influence was instantaneous, instead of gradual (which would do away with the absurdity of many of the characters walking to ] the staircase, or some other convenient place, and soliciting slumber, as though of their own accord), the same unqualified praise might be awarded to the mechanical arrangements as to nil the rest. But to
dwell further on such trifling points, where so much has been effected, wonld be hypercritical.
Of the band and chorus wo can hardly speak in terms of too hisrh eulogy. Their task in Robert le Diable, as our readers must be aware, is one of no small responsibility, and cn no occasion have they done greater honour to themselves and to Mr. Costa their conductor. Last, not least, the principal characters in the dramatis persona are ns efficiently disiributed as the resources at the command of the direction will allow. Mad. Penco's Alice is one of that very clever lady's most well studied and thoroughly finished assumptions. That Mad. Penco ia an actress of remarkuble intelligence we have suggested more than once; she proved it incontestably in the Gazza Ladra, and in this respect her Alice is a worthy pendant to hcrNinetta. Her execution of the music is everywhere agreeable and effective, sometimes really dramatic and always artistically correct. Such stago-singers as Mad. Penco are much too rare not to bo estimated at their proper worth. Mad. Miolan Carvalho's Isabelle is a meritorious, but unequal, performance. Where most was expected of her she does least, and where least most. Thus, the cavatina of the second act (when the Princess is first seen), which was thought precisely calculated to display the peculiar powers of the brilliant French songstress, passes almost unnoticed; while the famous address to Robert, in the fourth act ("Robert, toi que j'aime"), which no one believed 6uited to her style, is received with flattering applause, and a recall at the descent of the curtain. On Tuesday night, in particular, it created little short of enthusiasm. Of the Bertram of Hetr Formes, those who have been in the habit of attending the performances at Covent Garden since the Koyal Italian Opera was first set on foot need hardly be reminded. Regarded merely as a dramatic exhibition, it is one of the most forcible and picturesque the lyric stage has furnished. Sig. Tamberlik's Robert is, without exception—French, German, English, or Italian—the most vigorous and the best, histrionically and vocally, we have seen. A more " uphill" part does not exist; Robert has to listen alternately to Alice, Isabelle, and Bertram, while they express their individual sentiments in eloquent musical phrases, and to walk through an elaborately protracted ballet, surrounded by bevies of dancing nymphs, entertained with the dazzling evolutions of a principal ballerine, and all this while he himself has nothing vocally to declaim except an occasional interrogatory ejaculation, and nothing dramatically to express but an occa-ional gesture of surprise. Sig. Tamberlik. however, is a thoroughly accomplished comedian. He can listen and look on just as naturally and gracefully as he can sing and act; and how well he does these last his Robert alone would demonstrate, notwithstanding the long probationary penances to which MM. Scribe and Meyerbeer have condemned their chivalric hero. The scene at the gaming-table with the famous " L'or est une chimere;" the first interview with Alice; the grand duet with the Princess, and—finest of all—the concluding trio, in which Robert, having to choose between Alice and Bertrand, between good and evil, is saved in spite of his own irresolution, are so many triumphs for Sig. Tamberlik—triumphs under difficulties, it may be, but triumphs none the less.
The performance on Tuesday night was in all respects excellent, and by judicious supervision the opera now, instead of lasting till nearly one o'clock, terminates before midnight.
On Monday Don Giovanni was repeated. On Thursday the Sonnambula. Last night the Huyueuots. To-night again Don Giovanni. Decidedly this is a Don Giovanni season. The next novelty is to be Don Pasquale, with Mile. Patti as Norina, and Sig. Mario as Ernesta.
Olympic Theatre.—In consequence of the indisposition of Mr. F. Robson, the character of Queen Elinor in the burlesque Fair Rosamond, has been intrusted to Mr. Warboys, a comedian who made his first appearance at the Soho Theatre, when it was opened Inst winter with the new name of the Royalty. His dibnt was promising, but not sufficiently remarkable to justify the expectation that he would be equal to sustain with credit, before a fashionable audience, so important a part ns the one which accident has now thrust upon him. However, not only does he follow Mr. Rohson's precedent with much intelligence and care, muking himself up into a most striking likeness of his model, but his imitation is sufficiently free from servility to allow something like original humour to display itself upon occasion. The art of modulating his voice he has yet to learn, but ho articulates with laudable distinctness, and has in a high degree that faculty for pointing verbal jukes which would seem indispensably necessary for the speakers of a dialogue bristling with puns, but which is by no menus universally possessed even by actors of repute. Not one of his pleasantries misses fire, and when we record that he generally gets a laugh at the places where n demonstration of mirth has evidently boin courted by the author, wc say a greft deal for an unknown artist, who suddenly fills a vacancy caused by the absenco of a popular favourite.
ST. JAMES'S HALL.
MONDAY POPULAR CONCERTS,
THE LAST MONDAY POPULAR CONCERT OF THE
ON MONDAY EVENING, July 7, 1862, the DIRECTOR'S BENEFIT, being the ONE HUNDREDTH CONCERT since ihe commencement of the Series in February, lB5y. The Programme will be lelected from the Works of all the great masters.
Part I Quartet, in E flat. Op. 44. for two Violins Viola, and Violoncello, MM.
Joachim, Hits, Wlbd, and Pi-rrt (Mendelssohn); Song, " A bird git on an alder bnuKh," Miss Banks (Siiohr); Sung, "The Wanderer." Mr. Weiss (Sch'ben); Sonata, in A, for Violoncello solo, with Pianoforte Accompaniment. Sig. Piatti (Boc* cherml); Song. " Dulia sua pace/' Mr. Sims Kkeves (Mozart); H-irpsicord Lesson, Mr. Charles Halle (Se.u latti)
Part II — Kleeie, for Violin solo, Hcrr Joachim (Ernst) ; Sonir, "Dalli sua pace," Mr. Sins Reeves (Mozart); Canzonet, '* The Mermaid's song," Miss Banks ( Haydn); Sonata, in A major, tletil cited to Kreoizer, for I'ianutorte and Violin, Mr. Ciiahlkb Halle and Herr Joachim (Beethoven).
Conductor: Mr. Benedict.
Notice.—It is respectfully suggested that such persons as are not desirous of remaining till the end of the perlormauce can leave either before the commencement of the last instrumental pi^ce, or between any two of the movements, so that those who wiih to hear the whole may do so without interruption.
Between th» last vocal piece and the S»nau for Pianoforte and Violin an interval of Five Minutes will Joe allowed. The Concert will finish before Half-past Ten o'clock.
Sofa Stalls, .">j.; Balcony, 3s.; Admission, Is. Tickets to be had of Mr. Austin at the Hall, 29 Piccadilly; Chappell & Co., 50 New Bond Street, and all the Principal Music sellers.
ST. JAMES'S HALL. —Mr. CHARLES HALLE'S LAST BEETHOVli.N RECITAL but TWO, on Saturday Alternoon next, Juno 28.
The Programme will include the celebrated Sonata Appasflonata, Op. 57; and Sonatas, 0|H M, 78 and 79.
VoCMlitt: Mad. I.KMMENs-SHFRRtNOTON. Accompanyiit: Mr. Haromi Thomas.
At the SEVENTH RECITAL, on Friday, July 4th, Mr. HaLtt will play "Lei Adleux, I,'Absence, et Le Retour," Op. 81 ; the Sonata In E minor, Op. DO; Op. 101, In A, and Op. 1116 In B Hat.
For Particulars, (ec Programme, at Chnppell's, 50 New Bond Street.
TO SUBSCRIBERS. TJnnsnal press of matter prevents us this week from publishing notices of Concerts, &c, which will appear in our next number.
To Advertisers.—Advertisers are informed, that for the future the Advertising Agency of The Musical World is established at the Magazine of Messrs. Duncan Davison & Co., 244 Regent Street, corner of Little Argyll Street (First Floor). Advertisements can be received as late as Three o'Clock P.m., on Fridays—but not later. Payment on delivery.
~ J Tuio lines and under 2s. 6d.
Strms \ Eve)y additional 10 words (id.
To Publishers And Composers.—All Music for Revieto in The Musical World must henceforth be forwarded to the Editor, care of Messrs. Duncan Davison & Co., 244 Regent Street. A List of every Piece sent for Revieto 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 Would.
LONDON: SATURDAY, JUNE 2 8, 18 62.
THE Triennial Handel Festival, which commenced on Monday, and was brought to a conclusion yesterday, has proved a complete and signal success. The unbounded expectations indulged in by the Directors was perhaps not exactly realised in one respect. There was not that increase of power and accumulation of sound so confidently reckoned upon from the augmentation of the choral and instrumental
force, and the new alterations and modifications in the orchestra. That a vast deal, nevertheless, has been gained there is no disputing. The acoustical improvements are very great. The sound from the orchestra is now transmitted direct—excepting where necessarily it becomes somewhat broken and disturbed at the sides by the intervening trellis-like projections of the gallery supports — into the body of the transept, and reaches the hearer without vibration or weakening in any place within the focus of the huge concave platform. The effect of the thorough enclosure of the orchestra is indeed surprising. The chorus has not only obtained greater distinction and precision, but superior quality of tone, since the voices amalgamate more intimately and with greater smoothness than before, the choristers not being compelled to sing too loud. The improvement gained for the solo vocalists by the newly constructed orchestra is even more remarkable. The finest pianos of Mr. Sims Reeves are not lost as formerly, while his forte singing now in reality penetrates the building like a silver trumpet. This is an immense gain, seeing that one of the serious drawbacks to the Festivals of 1857 and 1859 was the impossibility of hearing the soloists distinctly unless placed close to the orchestra. From the second gallery in the south transept, which in its distance from the orchestra embraces more than half the length of the entire transept, one is now enabled to hear the most delicate tones of the single voices, and the singers, knowing that, are at liberty to husband their resources to any extent they please. In short, thanks to Mr. Bowley, who has worked with a will and a determination to secure this great and necessary accomplishment, the Handel Orchestra is, in its present state, rendered as fit and capable for the execution of musical performances on a large scale as it could be made without injury to the building. Of course everybody desires that a clear open space should be secured all along the front of the orchestra, but this would involve a reconstruction and rebuilding of the whole of the central transept from the foundation, the expense of which would be enormous. However, there is nothing to complain of, and everything to be lauded, and so we cry "content" to the reconstruction of the orchestra now proved of such vast utility.
The chorus and band indicate not merely superior numerical strength, but superior quality. This was no more than might have been anticipated from gained experience, and greater pains taken in the selection of singers and players. Moreover, since 1859 the provincial choirs had been in constant training for the present Commemoration, and what the metropolitan contingent had been doing in the meanwhile our readers do not require to be told. That the Handel Triennial Festival of 1862, under the circumstances, should have proved a triumphant, and, indeed, unprecedented, success was inevitable. Such choral singing as that heard throughout the three days at the Crystal Palace we may, without stretch of the imagination, assert, was never heard in England before, and, consequently, never heard anywhere else. Making allowance for a few trifling errors, and an occasional over-carefulness on the part of one section of the choir, the whole performance was marvellously grand and sublime, and left an impression on the minds of those who were present which never can be effaced.
It is gratifying to look forward to another such performance three years hence. The establishment of a Great Metropolitan Festival had been talked about and mooted for a considerable period, and would have come to nothing but for the Sacred Harmonic Society, stimulated and urged on by their indefatigable Secretary. No doubt every triennial meeting will provide its improvement. It is hinted that a mistake has been committed in bringing so vast a force together from all quarters for a week, and only making use of them four days in the seven. Why not, it has been said, following the example of all the provincial Festivals, have four days' performance instead of three? It must be remembered that the Italian Operas would interfere seriously with this arrangement, since it is not to be supposed, even if they could get to the theatre in time, that the members of the band belonging to both Operas could undergo the fatigue of an oratorio in the morning and an opera at night. No! as Othello says, "'Tis better as it is;" and all we can do now is to remain satisfied with, and be thankful for, what has been consummated, and trust to Mr. Bowley's foresight and energy for future amelioration.
OUR prediction of last week is more than verified, and the Handel Festival of 1862 must be recorded as something even beyond a great success—it has been a veritable triumph. Bearing in mind the first experiment in 1857, and contrasting the effect then produced with the result now obtained, we are fully justified in saying that the superiority of the performance of this week is simply immeasurable. Never, perhaps, since they were first penned, have the immortal strains of Handel been rendered by so large and so thoroughly trained a body of singers and players as those brought together under the vast span of the Sydenham Palace — a building that may fairly challenge rivalry with any other structure on the face of the globe, and which more than ever realises the line of the poet —
M A thing of beauty is a joy for ever."
Here music is invested with a poetry that it were vain to seek elsewhere, finding utterance in the midst of cognate arts, and surrounded by everthing that is beautiful in nature. Let the eye wander but for a moment from the imposing view of the gigantic orchestra, with its serried ranks gathered from all quarters of the kingdom, to the long aerial perspective of the marvellous nave, with its bright fresh trees, its plashing fountains, its statues, its courts—wherein the studious may read the history of the world's progress—and, while feasting the sense of vision at the same time, let the ear drink in those glorious sounds to which the genius of the grand old Saxon has given undying fame, and we pity the being who can remain unmoved under such circumstances.
It seems the fate of the English people to be misunderstood. Napoleon stigmatised us as a nation of shopkeepers, and our lively and imaginative neighbours are of all people the most fond of perpetuating erroneous notions, certain recent "special" correspondents having also done their best to convey the most absurd reports of our manners and customs. We hope that the " intelligent foreigners " (of whom we hear so much) mustered in strong force at the Handel Festival, and that some intelligent native communicated the fact that these great works, of which the "intelligent foreigner" might possibly never before have heard, were written expressly for this benighted and unmusical land, and that the vast band of instrumentalists and vocalists, who entered with such thorough enjoyment into their task, were almost exclusively English, many of whom had left their business avocations and travelled some hundreds of miles for the mere pleasure of assisting at a performance which all desired to make worthy of the year in which we invite all nations to our show of industrial and other arts. In no other country is the oratorio, undoubtedly the highest, the
most sublime form of musical composition, so well known as in England, and in no other country would it have been possible to produce so complete an effect with but one full rehearsal. The Messiah, Israel in Egypt, Judas Maccabeus, are as familiar to every man, woman, and child in our northern districts as their own broad hearty dialect, while in the south the triennial meetings of the choirs have kept alive the taste for this class of music; and after an existence of considerably more than a century, the festivals of Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford, not only still maintain their ground, but each year seem to gain in vigour and prosperity. So much for un-musical England.
It is not our province here to enter into details of the Handel Festival, but the excellent management of the whole affair demands more than a word of passing praise. To the general public it may seem simple matter enough to multiply the numbers of an orchestra, and announce a performance by four thousand; but a glance at tlft lists of vocalists and instrumentalists will show, that not only England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales send their quota, but engagements extend even as far as Genoa. The amount of correspondence with those whose services are enlisted must have been in itself something enormous, while the myriads of letters from the public at large (all wanting seats in the best "blocks" as a matter of course), would be sufficient to overwhelm anything short of a most perfect and businesslike system, carried out by a numerous and competent staff. The musical arrangements have been in every way worthy the occasion. No festival, metropolitan or provincial, would be considered complete without the Messiah, while there is no work of Handel so eminently calculated to display the choral resources as Israel in Egypt, hence it was inevitable that these two should be given. The intermediate, or "selection day," was, perhaps, after all, the most interesting, inasmuch as it afforded an opportunity of hearing excerpts from certain works hitherto, comparatively speaking, unknown; and as everything that Handel has written should be dear to Englishmen, let us hope that some of these compositions may soon be heard in their entirety, and that thus the first Triennial Festival of 1862 will not only have given the most striking performances of the well-known and time-honoured masterpieces, but also have been the means of opening up "fresh fields and pastures new," in the realms of that art, at once the most touching and universal, and of which Handel was at once the high-priest and prophet.
THE public meeting for the performance of the two quartets which have won the prizes offered by the Society of British Musicians, took place at Messrs. Collards', 16 Grosvenor Street (by their kind permission), on Friday, the 20th inst., before a numerous audience. The following is the award of the umpires, Messrs. Molique, Potter, Joachim, Macfarren, and Mellon, all of whom attended on the occasion :—
"In discharge of the responsibility, as umpires, you have confided to us, we award your first prize to the Quartet No. 19 j because, of all you have submitted to us, this best funis the specialities of quartetwriting, and best carries out the principles of musical design, though it is not the richest nor the most original in ideas.
"We award your second prize to No 7, which has, in a less degree, the same qualities as No. 19. We particularly commend No. 10, with the motto 'Excelsior,' for its inventive vigour and dramatic feeling; but its irregularity of form, its orchestral character, and its being injudiciously written for the instruments, exclude it from the prizes placed at our disposal. We commend, also, No. 33, with the motto 'Sero sed serio;' and there are some others which show much talent, to whose composers we offer our cordial encouragement."
The two prize quartets were admirably performed by Messrs. Joachim, Mellon, Webb, and Piatti; after which the chairman of the meeting, Mr. Charles E. Stephens, opened the sealed letters which accompanied these works, and the winner of the first prize proved to be Mr. Ebenezer Prout, and of the second, Mr. Edward Perry, both of whom were present and were greeted with loud applause. Votes of thanks to the umpires and the executants concluded the proceedings.
THE theatrical public of Vienna have lately sustained a great loss through the death of their especial favourite, Johann Nestroy, the low comedian, which happened on the 25th May, at Gratz. Nestroy was born at Vienna on the 7th December, 1802, and intended for the law, which, by the way, he studied for some time very successfully. His love for the stage, however, obtained the mastery over him, and scarcely had he passed his examination in Roman law, before he applied for, and obtained, an engagement at the Karnthnerthor Theatre. In 1823 he accepted an offer from Amsterdam. During 1824-1826, he was in Briinn and Gratz. In 1826 he made his first appearance as a "star" at the Joseftheater, Vienna, and in 1831 was engaged by Herr Carl, manager of the Theater an der Wien. On the 1st November, 1854, he undertook the management of the Carlstheater, and resigned it on the 30th October, 1860, after a lapse of six years. His last appearance in Vienna took place on the 5th March last, in the Kaitheater, when he played the part of Knieriam in his own piece, Lumpazivagabundus.—He long since expressed a desire to be buried in the Wahringer churchyard, and the manager, Herr Traumann, undertook to carry out that desire. The gentleman in question succeeded in purchasing a grave for his deceased friend in the same part of the cemetery where repose the remains of Beethoven, Schubert, Seitfried, Sartori, and Lampi. The body was followed to its last resting-place by an immense concourse of persons, anxious to pay this sad mark of solemn respect to one who had for so long.been so popular with them.
MONDAY POPULAR CONCERTS.
THE concert given on Monday night for the benefit of Herr Ernst was successful beyond anticipation. St. James's Hall was crowded in every part, and the amount realised, after all expenses paid, is stated to be upwards of 300/. The entertainment itself was one of the most attractive imaginable—a genuine "Monday Popular Concert," and of the very best. Of course the great feature was the quartet in B flat, for two violins, viola, and violoncello, composed by Herr Ernst, and performed by MM. Joachim, Laub, Molique, and Piatti. As this will, no doubt, be heard again in St. James's Hall, we must be content at present to say that it is a work of exquisite fancy, in every movement showing the hand of a master. The execution was perfect. How, indeed, could it be otherwise on such an occasion, and with such players? Movement after movement was ap» plauded with enthusiasm, and, at the end, the four distinguished musicians—who, in thus paying honour to a brotherartist, did equal honour to themselves—were unanimously recalled. The same flattering reception awaited the Elegit (in C minor), one of the most pathetic pieces ever written— not merely by Herr Ernst, but by any composer who could
be named. In saying that his performance vividly reminded us of that of Herr Ernst himself, by its impassioned tenderness, its richness of tone, its depth and variety of expression, we have paid Herr Joachim the highest possible compliment. A rapturous encore was elicited—an encore not under any pretext to be declined, and the earnest sincerity of which was further declared by the vehement plaudits that followed the repetition of the piece. Three of those graceful and charming bagatelles, entitled Pensees Fugitive!—the joint composition of Herr Ernst and M. Stephen Heller—intrusted to Mr. Charles Halle' ami II ri L.iub (a violinist, by the way, whose visit to this country deserves more than a passing notice), made up that part of the selection to which Herr Ernst contributed as a composer. These brought the concert to an end with eclat. The other instrumental pieces were Schubert's trio in B flat (MM. Halle, Laub, and Davidolf), and Beethoven's solo sonata in D major (Op. 10), by Mr. Halld—both first-rate performances, the last eliciting a recall for Mr. Hall6. The vocal music was in excellent hands. To Mad. Sainton-Dolby was allotted Mr. J. W. Davison's setting of Shelley's Lament, " Swifter far than summer's flight," and a new song entitled " When I was young" (words and music from the pen of Mr. H. F. Chorley). She sung both charmingly, and was loudly encored in the first. Mr. Santley introduced Mr. Benedict's graceful aria, "T'amo," and a ballad, in the German style, called "The wind" (Hecht), both in his best manner, and both to the evident satisfaction of his audience. Mr. Benedict accompanied the vocal music with even more than his usual care.
This was the 99th Monday Popular Concerts since the undertaking was first set on foot (in February 1859). The 100th, and last of the present season (for the benefit of Mr. S. Arthur ChappelL the director), is announced to take place on Monday, July 7.
M. Vivikii has arrived in London, and will play a solo on the horn at Mr. Benedict's concert, on Monday afternoon. All Saints' Church, Dalston. —Mr. W. H. Eayres has been
elected to the post of organist in this church.
The London Glee And Madrigal Union. — Miss J. Wells, Miss Eyles, Mr. Baxter, Mr. W. Cummings, Mr. Land and Mr. Winn gave a selection of tavoutitc part-music at the Soiree Musicale of the Ladies Cornwallis on Thursday last, under the direction of Mr. Land. Mr. Charles Halle was the solo pianist.
Herb Ernst. — In announcing the concert for the benefit of Herr Ernst, the Times of last Monday wrote as follows: —
"Our musical readers need not be reminded of the great popularity enjoyed by Herr Ernst, the violinist, during his several and lengthened sojourns in England (from 1843, the year of his first visit, to 1858, when he last appeared among us) — a popularity no less due to engaging social qualities and generous acts than to distinguished genius as an artist, it is an unwelcome task to have to record that an illness, the commencement of which dates nearly three years back, has finally culminated in paralysis, so that, even if he ultimately recovered — of which but very slight hopes are entertained — Herr Ernst could never resume his professional pursuits, or again take up the instrument upon which he was wont to play so incomparably and with which he has enchanted thousands. Under those circumstances we are induced to depart from our usual custom, in announcing that the Monday Popular Concert, at St. James's Hall this evening, is exclusively for the benefit of Herr Ernst; that the performers—MM. Joachim and Laub (violins), Molique (viola), Piatti and Davldoff (violoncellos), Charles Hallo (pianoforte), Mr. Santley and Madame Sainton-Dolby (vocalists), and Mr. Benedict (conductor) — have one and all tendered their services i and that a MS. quartet from Herr Ernst's own pen, to be played by MM. Joachim, Laub, Molique, and l'iatti, will be the most conspicuous feature of the programme. The idol of the general public. Herr Ernst, from another point of view, was equally regarded by amateurs and professors; and the sympathy which his present condition has elicited In