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"Deuxieme Canzonelle" — pour le piano — par Stephen
Heller, op. 100 (Cramer, Beale and Wood). As the last composition of M. Stephen Heller, this canzonette will find universal welcome among pianists. This is his "op. 100" — and it is pleasant, to find him still so full of vigor, fancy and characteristic expression at this stage of his productive career. Amateurs of the piano should drink to his health and "op. 100." In the piece before us we find (or perhaps imagine) a stronger leaning to Mendelssohn than is customary with M. Heller, whose manner is eminently individual. The opera, in G minor, is new and charming— full at the same time of quaint and piquant "Hellerisms." The second subject (in B flat), constructed upon a brief series of notes, which bear a tacit resemblance to our national anthem:—
is effectively contrasted with what precedes it, and, like its companion, developed with great taste and ingenuity. We have this very shortly again, in G major — further developed, and followed up by a graceful passage in triplets, as ritornelle, to which succeeds a very interesting episode, in E minor. This brings us once more back to G major, with the second subject, and a repetition of nearly all that has gone before in that key. All this is to be played in somewhat quicker time than the opening (crotchet— 160, against crotchet — 144, by Maelzel), which ultimately returns, and is repeated (tempo primo) with certain not unimportant modifications,— • including a more lengthened treatment of the episode (now in G minor, instead of E minor), — and once more giving place to the second subject, in the major — with a portion of which, judiciously condensed, and a very short tail-piece of common chords, the canzonette is brought to an end.
"Catharina"—Ballad, introducedjin Auber's opera of The Crown Diamonds—words by W. Reynolds Topham; music by Alberto Randegger (Addison, Hollier and Lucas).
Graceful, melodious, vocal, and wholly unpretending. A well-written obbligato accompaniment for violoncello enhances the effect of the voice part. The original key of this ballad is D flat; but it is here transposed to C.
"Mountain Echoes "— characteristic piece for the pianoforte — John Francis Barnett (Lamborn ^Cock, Hutchings and Co.). If not strikingly original, this piece may be unreservedly recommended for neatness of construction, thoroughly finished workmanship, and a considerable amount of character. It is also brilliant without presenting any difficulties to a player of average acquirement. Mendelssohn and Sterndale Bennett are evidently among Mr. J. F. Barnett's musical household gods. He exhibits, nevertheless, remarkable promise; and the more he gives us of such really sensible, honestly-made music, the better we shall be pleased.
"A sound was heard on England's shores" — words by Mrs. Lees; music by R. Sidney Pratten (R. Sidney Pratten).
A "Volunteer Song," — as may be guessed from the title, — and as dashing and full of vigour as befits the subject. We have seen few more healthy things of the kind.
"Could Life's dark scene " (ballad of the Queen, act iii.), "Gaily pass the jocund hours" (opening chorus, act i.), "Home of my youth" (ballad of the Queen, act ii.), and lastly, "Why then for such loving care" (rondo of the Queen), which forms a dashing climax. We can recommend both pieces as excellent in their way. "The New Year's Galop"—-by Melville Tod (Hopwood
and Crew). "A galop" for the new year.
Leipsic, Jan. 3, 1862.—(From a Correspondent.)—Singers are called for everywhere, but in Germany it seems there are none to be had. Nothing can well be worse than the Operatic performances in such places as Hamburg, Hanover, Brunswick, &c, and perhaps worse than all, here in Leipsic; not a singer who would even pass muster at "Weston's" or the "Oxford " Here is the celebrated Conscrvatorinm, with two hundred and thirty-six pupils, and not one singer amongst them! Mad. Artot was here singing at the Gewandhaus last week, and created an immense sensation—so much so, that the Directors have decided on having no solo singer for the next concert 1 I Dr. Bennett Gilbert (from London) presented himself at the Conservatorium last night, and brings with him his pupil, Miss Caroline Parry, a charming young soprano of seventeen or eighteen summers. We had the satisfaction of hearing her in the Grand Aria from Frieschutz, "Wie nachtc," and also Donizetti's "L'amor suo." This young lady is to sing at the grand levees about the twelfth of this month, and there is little doubt about her success. We recognise Dr. Bennett as an old friend, and his reception at the Conservatorium must have been highly gratifying to him. He leaves us on the 14th for Dresden. No doubt you have heard much of Miss Parry; she brings here the best recommendations from such men as 'Kappclmeistcr Dessoff (of Vienna), Julius Bietz, &c, &c; enough to secure her the first position on the continent. The "Fair" is supposed to be at its height, but the principal business is carried on by a few of those wretched Brass Bands we hear so much of in London. All other business is worse than dull. However, that is all not musical business, therefore none of yours or mine. Send singers to Germany, that's what we want—make haste! Have pity on us, and recommend a few from London (where they can well be spared). They are sure of a success, and there is no competition. Where is Mad. Sherrington or Parepa? we shall be in want of some one when the misfortune happens that Miss C. Parry is called to Dresden again.
(From an occasional Correspondent ') Mcsic is at a low ebb in Italy. There is, in fact, none to be heard, except at the theatres, where Verdi and his imitators reign supreme. Here, in Milan, the only performances of any importance are those given at the Scala and the Carceno. It is the same in every town throughout "the land of song" at the present day; the theatres seem to enjoy an almost exclusive musical monopoly. There are no oratorios, no concerts, except those of a few wandering instrumentalists— no amateur societies indicating the cultivation of the art among the community. Classical music is ignored, — nothing being relished by the public but operas, and those of the most ephemeral description. The arrangements for the present season at the Scala, one of the largest theatres in Europe, go a long way to prove the actual condition of music in the country once so celebrated for the culture and encouragement of the art. The company brought together, consisting almost entirely of foreign artists, implies a remarkable scarcity of available native talent. It includes the names of Mad. Csillag (Hungarian), Mad. Colson (French), Mile. Talvo (French), Signora Guarini (Italian), Mile. Acs (Hungarian), Signor Graziani (brother of the well-known baritone), Signor Negrini, M. Morelli Ponti, M. Atry, M. Chapuis, and Signor Beneventano. Art and artists are universal, it is true; but surely, it might be reasonably expected, at the first Opera House in Italy, to find a greater number of Italian singers engaged. The carnival season commenced on December 26th. Hitherto the operas given have been one by Petrella called lone, and Verdi's Ballo in Maschera. The first mentioned is a work of pretension, but of very ordinary merit, and not likely to extend the composer's reputation beyond the limited sphere in which he is known. It has been performed frequently in Italy. In the present instance the cast included almost all the French members of the company, a fact which caused no little displeasure to many of the patriotic habitues of the theatre. Negrini and Beneventano were the only Italiansjjoncerned,—the latter, for obvious reasons, having resigned his engagement, after the first night, and being replaced by a French baritone. Negrini was left alone to share his laurels with the foreigners. lone and a ballet entitled Vedi Napoli e poi Mori by Paul Tuglioni were played a fortnight; and the Ballo in Maschera produced on January 8th, for the first time in Milan. The performance of the opera was looked forward to by the Milanese as an event of public interest. Every seat in the vast theatre was secured, long before the date of representation was definitively fixed.
A first night at the Scala is the most severe ordeal either singer or composer can undergo. The audience assembled on such an occasion have no consideration for nervousness, or any circumstances which may interfere with the performance they come to criticise. They pride themselves upon judging all they see and hear strictly according to its true merit. Their applause is tumultuous, and their different modes of expressing discontent the most discordant it is possible to imagine. They disregard all the rules and regulations which are posted at the doors of the theatre forbidding any interruption of the performance —if an unfortunate singer happen to displease them, they completely drown his voice in a storm of hisses, or uproarious laughter.
The cast of the Ballo in Maschera was as follows : —Riccardo, Sig. Graziani; Iienato, M. Morelli; Amelia, Mad. Csillag; Ulrica, Mile. Acs ; Paggio, Signora Guarini. The artists, as well as the music, were alike new to Milan, the excitement inseparable from a first representation being thereby considerably increased. The cold reception which the audience gave the debutantes was remarkable. There was no applause to inspire them with courage and confidence at the outset of their arduous task; the public had come to judge and not to flatter. To the majority the result was not satisfactory. The opera, notwithstanding the great popularity of its composer, was not admired, and had it not been for the great success of the prima donna, would probably have come to an untimely end. Sig. Graziani, whether from habit or timidity, sang out of tune; M. Morelli, a very conscientious artist of the French school, was more than once in danger of being harshly treated for his extravagant gestures ; he, however, entirely won the approbation of the audience by singing the aria "Cri tu" to perfection. Mad.
Csillag was the most fortunate of all the debutantes. She was, in the first instance, more coldly received than any of the other artists. The favourable impression she made was not evident until the duet after the aria "d'intrata." The greatest enthusiasm then prevailed in favour of the new soprano, and every phrase she afterwards sang was followed by "Brava la Csillag," from all parts of the densely crowded house. Her success was the great feature of the evening in question, and has since increased to a furore at the subsequent representations of the opera. The ensemble of band and chorus, and the mise-en-scine at the Scala, are necessarily upon a large scale, the stage being perhaps the most spacious in Europe. The band numbers eighty-four, and the chorus upwards of one hundred members. A numerous corps de ballet, with the graceful Boschetti as prima ballerina, complete the company. An opera by Braga, formerly well known in London as an accomplished violoncellist, is in rehearsal, as also one by Petrocini. Both are to be produced during the Carnival. A second by Petrella, the composer of /one, is also spoken of. That which is discreditable to the taste and good sense of the public frequenting the Scala, and for which the manager is not responsible, is a barbarous custom, strictly enforced, of introducing a ballet, sometimes two hours long, between the acts of the opera. Several attempts have been made to discontinue such an unreasonable order of performance j but the public are inexorable, and unless the ballet be given during the opera, take revenge by forsaking the theatre altogether. Such vandalism would not be tolerated elsewhere; it is but a criterion of the present musical taste of the Italians.
The other house at which operas are given — the Carcano—has a'strong family likeness to the Victoria Theatre, of Waterloo Road celebrity. The public supporting both places of amusement are very similar in conduct, odour, and appearance. They devour oranges and beer with the same avidity; they converse as loudly and m the same complimentary strain with one another, and as equally familiarly with the performers on the stage; they indulge in shirt sleeves, and perspire to the same disagreeable extent. It is not only to the company before the curtain that the resemblance between the two theatres is apparent: the likeness is as strong on the other side of the foot-lights. There, the performers are very much of the same class, the only difference being that while the entertainments at the Victoria are melodramatic and cf striking effect, those at the Carcano are musical and only very rarely of any effect at all.
Verdi's Aroldo has been given during the past week for the first time in Milan — a feeble attempt on the part of the Carcano manager to imitate the doings of his rival at the Scala. Aroldo is an emasculated version of the Trovatore, with much noisy music in place of the most pleasing melodies of the latter opera.
The prima donna is not remarkable except it be for a shrill voice, and very long arms, of which she avails herself most freely. The tenor, a tenore robuslo at the beginning of the opera, becomes so weak and exhausted by shouting and exertion as to be anything but robusto during the last acts. A heavy basso, who apparently has seen better days, and has come to the Carcano as a last resource, affords evidence of artistic skill and sentiment — an agreeable contrast to the rest of the company. His singing, however, is not appreciated by the refined auditory, who prefer quantity to quality, in music as well as every other commodity for which they have to pay. The band and chorus are respectable, and certainly in one respect the arrangements at the Carcano are superior to those at the Scala, — there is no ballet to interrupt the opera.
Perhaps the most interesting collection of modern musical MSS. is that in the possession of Ricordi, the well-known music publisher. The original scores of the most popular works of Rossini, Bellini, Paganini, Donizetti, Verdi, and other celebrities, handsomely bound, form the library which decorates his bureau. Ricordi rules with despotic sway in musical matters throughout Italy, from the fact of the operas of Verdi being his sole property. The managers of the different theatres have to acquire from him the right of reresenting any one of them. He has amassed a large fortune from is prosperous monopoly, and welcomes with princely hospitality all those connected with the art who visit Milan.
The last opera of Verdi, La Forza del Deslino, about to be produced at St. Petersburg, has become the joint property of Ricordi and Cramer, Beale and Wood.
THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ELBERFELD GESANG-VEREIN.»
At the period of Germany's deepest humiliation, namely in the winter of 1811, a number of gentlemen of musical taste in Elberfcld made an appeal to the public, calling upon the latter to establish a society for tho cultivation of chorus singing, because — to quote the circular of the 1st December, word for word — " it is an indisputable fact that grandeur and elevation, that those qualities which touch, move, and agitate the heart, exist to a greater extent in choruses than in the most brilliant bravura airs." When the circular had obtained twenty assenting signatures, Herren Bredt, Bcrges, Nielo, Reusch, Sasse, Schornstcin, "Wollf, and Williamson, met to draw up the rules, in conformity with which it was resolved that the twenty individuals who had signed the circular should combine to found a School of Singing, and meet, every Wednesday, under the direction of Herren Sasse and Schornstcin, for the purpose of practising part singing.
The Elberfeld Singing School consisted of ten ladies and eleven gentlemen, with two professional directors, Herr P. M. Bredt and Herr Reusch. The latter, with the duties of secretary, were appointed to bo the committee. As all the members were already well-trained singers, the task, of studying the choruses proved so easy that in only four months they were enabled to give a performance, in the room where they met to practice, of Haydn's Seasmis, with orchestral accompaniment. None but members, however, and a few other persons especially fond of music, were invited on the occasion. On the 15th August, 1812, the Society sang for the first timo in public, executing, at the NapoleonFestival, decreed by the government, Haydn's Mass in C major, in the Catholic church. The following winter, they selected Haydn's Creation, also with orchestral accompaniment; but only a select number of persons were invited to attend. In obedience to a requisition, still existing, from the mairie, the Society celebrated the Napoleon-Festival of 1813, in the same manner as they had celebrated that of the previous year, namely by a musical entertainment in the Catholic church. This was, thank heaven, the last festival of the kind on German soil.
In the autumn of 1813, the thunder of cannon was heard at the battle of Leipsic. Among our hills, also, the foreign yoke was broken; every one arose to take part in the triumphal march to France. It was no time for the cultivation of song. After the Society had sung at one more festival, got up by the town, in 1814, to do honour to the entry of Justus Gruner, Governor-General of the department of the Rhine, in the winter of 1813, the Singing-School was dissolved. In the winter of 1814, however, the Society was re-established, and the number of members immediately doubled. Their object was now no longer merely the study of important vocal works, but the public performance of them as ■well. The Singing-School had disappeared, and, in its place, a Gesangverein had started into existence, Johannes Schornstcin being appointed sole director.
This zealous artist had been summoned to fulfil the duties of organist at the Reformed Church as far back as 1808. Educated in the Teachers' Seminary at Cassel, and, thanks to his intercourse with Grossheim, initiated in the immortal works of Bach and Handel, ho mado it his incessant and especial aim to favour, in his newly found home, a circle of musical amateurs, all actuated by the same feeling, who might resuscitate the works of those great masters. It was with this object that, three years previously, he had been chiefly instrumental in founding the Singing-School. When, however, in consequence of the improved state of popular feeling, the original circle was enlarged, and the public performance of the works studied became the avowed end of the Society, he felt that the hour had at last arrived for the realisation of his long-cherished wish. There was in Elberfcld a party who were attached to Italian singing, and ridiculed the more severe German school. With wise foresight, Schornstein understood how to make small concessions, without sacrificing his own better intentions. The earlier concert programmes contain numerous operatic pieces by Paer, Righini, Mair, sc., in which Schornstein himself was distinguished by his magnificent efforts as a bassist, while from Handel's works there are only a few pieces, the success of which, however, could not be a matter of doubt.'such, for instance, as the reception of the victors in Joshua, the " Hallelujah," in the Messiah, and others of a similar description. In proportion as such selections from older works became more frequent, the number of operatic pieces diminished.
The annual subscription-concerts had hitherto taken place in the room, still unchanged, of the Hotel Herminghauscn, until, in the- year 1819, they were removed to the Casino. In the year 1817, there occurred a musical event, destined to be attended with the most im
* From the Niederrheinische Musik-Zeitung. (Translated for the Musical World.)
portant results for the whole Rhine-Province. Schornstein had long yearned to treat the public to a performance of some grand classical work, as he had formerly endeavoured to do with the Singing-School. Knowing how hazardous such an attempt was, he adopted every precaution, by the selection of as popular a work as possible, and by the most brilliant execution, to render success in every way certain. His choice fell upon Haydn's Creation, which was, in the first place, studied with all imaginable care. The next step taken was to look about in all directions for musical amateurs, and prevail on them to lend their assistance. In consequence of Burgmuller's active exertions, Diisseldorf sent an especially strong contingent, as, also, did Crefeld, with the Wolff family at its head. Schornstein, who had never before put his leg over a horse in his life, rode himself to Dortmund, to secure Mile. Eilking, afterwards Mad. Pottgiesser, for the soprano solos. Herr Schcibler, from Crefeld, had undertaken the tenor solos. In this way, one huudred and ten executants were collected, and the performance took place, on tho 1st November, in the large room of the so-called First Society (the present Gymnasium). Tho attendance of the public was extraordinarily great. The performance itself exceeded all expectation; no one had any notion of so grand an effect, and everybody firmly resolved to secure, at any price, the repetition of so high a source of en joyment, by similar performances in future. The very next day, the most influential admirers of music from the various towns assembled to discuss the matter, and the result of their deliberations was the establishment of the Musical Festivals of the Lower Rhine (Niederrheinische Musikfeste). It was determined that there should be a twodays' performance, to take place, alternately in Elberfeld and Diisseldorf, at Whitsuntide, tho object of such performance being the satisfactory execution of grand musical compositions, by the united resources of the various towns and villages. It was thus that, no later than six months subsequently, the first Musical Festival of the Lower Rhino took place, under Burgmuller's direction, in DiisseldorC Ever since the excitement produced by the Elberfeld performance, people had been so struck by the lofty character of oratorio music, that they could not have enough of a good thing, and, consequently, on this occasion, two oratorios were performed one aftor the other, namely, Haydn's Seasons, on the first day, and his Creation, on tho second. The speedy repetition of the latter work may be accepted as a proof how powerful the impression produced at its first performance must have been.
At Whitsuntide, 1819, the performance was to be In Id at Elberfeld. After ten years of unceasing exertion, Schornstcin's dearest wish was destined to be realised, by the production of a complete oratorio of Handel's. The choice fell upon the gem of that master's works, the oratorio of oratorios, the immortal Messiah; and thus it is to Elberfeld thnt the honour, also, is due, of having been the first of all the cities in the Rhenish provinces to give a performance of an entire work by Handel. From the programme of tho second day we are greeted by Beethoven's D major symphony and the grand Leonore overture. We see by this, that, even with regard to the programme, Elberfeld has given the law for tho Niederrheinische Musikfeste down to the present day; for, during all tho forty-two years, Handel has remained the great attraction on the first day, and Beethoven on the second.
The third festival, like the first, was held at Diisseldorf, under Burgmuller's direction, when Handel's Samson was performed on the first day, and Beethoven's Eroica on the second. With this third performance, the festivals, in consequence of their having sprung entirely from the great mass of the people, without the slightest external patronage or influence, had become so much matters of national interest that Cologne could hold back no longer. In the same year it joined the league, in order to enjoy the honour of holding the fourth Festival within its walls. The Festival in question took place in 1821, when Friedrich Schneider's Weltgericht (already given a year previously at a concert in Elberfcld) and Beethoven's Symphony in C minor were performed, under Burgmuller's direction.—The fifth Festival was celebrated in Diisseldorf, when Hurgmiillcr included in the programme Stadlcr's Befreites Jerusalem, and, once again, Beethoven's D major Symphony.—Tho sixth Festival was held in Elberfeld, under Schornstein's direction, and, with Handel's Jephtha and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, far outshone the Festival of the year preceding.—Tho seventh Festival was celebrated in Cologne by Schneider's Sundfluth, the F major Symphony by Ries, and Beethoven's overture to Coriolanus. The town of Aix-la-Chapello joined tho Association in the year 1824, and the next year, under the direction of Herr Ries, celebrated the eighth Festival by Handel's Alexander's Feast, with Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and Christ on the Mount of Olives. —Tho ninth Festival was held in Diisseldorf, under the direction of Ries and Spohr, when the works selected were Die lelztcn JJinge, by Spohr, a vocal Mass by Schneider, sixteen pieces from the Messiah, and tho D major Symphony, by Ries.— In the year 1827, the turn of Elberfeld again camo round, and tho tcuth Festival, under Schornstcin's direction, was distinguished by the performance of Schneider's Velorenes Paradise, the " Kyrie" and " Gloria " from Beethoven's Grand Mass in D major, and the same composer's Symphony in C minor.'' This was, however, the last Festival held at Elberfeld. While, on previous years, the Casino had been found large enough, on this occasion it was necessary to hold the Festival in the more spacious Riding-School. But even this would not have been sufficiently capacious in following years, not to speak of the fact that the town did not possess hotels enough to accommodate the masses of visitors who flocked in from all parts. Consequently, when, three years later, the turn again came round to Elberfeld, the town, to the great regret of its inhabitants, was under the necessity of seceding from the Association. But the elevation of our Gesang-verein was already completely accomplished. All that was now needed was to pursue undeviatingly the path struck out, and follow, as guiding stars for the local concerts, the programmes of the later Festivals. Such a course was entirely consonant with the views entertained by Schornstein, and was put into practice by him with faithful perseverance. Besides, the number of members in the Gesang-verein had increased from year to year, so that they were well able to execute, without extraneous assistance, the grandest works, in a manner worthy of those works themselves. Thus the concert-programmes for the ensuing years prove that the classical tendency was truly followed up. We find in them almost exclusively nothing but compositions by Handel. Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Spohr, Weber, Klein, Schneider, and Fesca. Among other works, David, by Klein, was performed in 1834, and Alexander's Feast, by Handel, in 1835. The festival held at Diisseldorf, in 1836, exercised a great influence on subsequent programmes. Mondelssohn'a St. Paul was performed there for the first time, and excited a degree of enthusiasm altogether indescribable. A young and previously unknown artist had succeeded in doing what so many celebrated masters had for thirty years in vain attempted, namely, in composing an oratorio worthy of being ranked with the grand creations of the last century — an oratorio in which he had understood how to combine, in the most happy manner, the brilliant advantages gained by modern timos with the dignity and strictness of the old school. From that moment was Mendelssohn the especial favourite of the Rhenish provinces, and he has remained so up to the present day. As early as the year 1837, our Elberfeld Gesangverein performed St. Paul, and thenceforth Mendelssohn's vocal works constituted the principal portion of our programmes. They have all, without exception, been executed — some, indeed, several times — and that, too, as it rule, directly they appeared i thus, for instance, the composer's dying strain, Elijah, was performed three weeks after its publication. One peculiarly excellent quality distinguishing Schornstein, a quality which cannot be too highly prized, was that, despite the strictest and most unmistakeable adherence to what was old and tried, he preserved to the end of his existence, the facile susceptibility of youth, in all its freshness, for new impressions. Nay, more; his susceptibility appeared to increase with age. A brilliant proof of this is the loving devotion with which, when sixty years old, he gave himself up to Schumann, immediately after the latter became known. The unfathomable depth of feeling possessed by this wonderful composer is, unfortunately, so difficult of access from without, that, even up to the present day, there are only a few places where he has been fully appreciated, while there are many where he is as yet not understood at all. Here, in Elberfeld, his Parodies und Peri was performed as far back as 1845, and even repeated shortly afterwards. This year was, indeed, very rich in musical events; besides the Parodies und Peri, it brought us the Walpurgisnacht and the music to A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Mendelssohn, as well as the oratorio of Moses, by Marx. All these works were speedily produced here, and most of them have been frequently repeated.
£To be continued.)
Ms. Halle's grand concerts in Free Trade Hall, Manchester, proceed as brilliantly as ever. At the last there was the symphony in A major ("Italian") by Mendelssohn, the Scherzo from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (first time), the overtures to Anacreon (Cherubini), Siege de Corinthe (Rossini), and Bayadere (Auber), and the ballet-pieces from Meyerbeer's Prophete—an unusually rich and varied orchestral selection. In addition to all this, there
* This corrects the erroneous tradition that Schornstein gave, on this occasion, the whole of Beethoven's Mass in D major.—Ed. of the Niederrhein ische Musih- Zeitung.
was Mendelssohn's Serenade and Rondo Giojoto (first time), for pianoforte and orchestra, Mozart's ottet for wind instruments in C minor (first time), which is also known as a quintet, and for piano solos some short pieces by J. S. Bach and Scarlatti. Mr. Sims Reeves was the singer, and to him was allotted the tenor scena from Der Freischiitz, a song by Kiicken, and Molique's serenade. Such a concert was well worth a journey to Manchester. The Guardian writes of it (we unavoidably abridge) :—
"Mendelssohn's symphony was, of course, the principal orchestral composition, though the scherzo of Beethoven was scarcely of less interest. Both were rendered by the band with the skill and intelligence that have characterised their performances throughout the season. The ballet music and the overtures were comparatively slight work. Mozart's ottet was another genuine treat, played as it was irreproachably by the eight accomplished performers to whom its execution was entrusted— viz. Messrs. Lavigne and Jennings (oboes), Pollard and Gladncy (clarinets), Grieben and Greuner (horns), and Raspi and Walters (bassoons). The Serenade and Rondo of Mendelssohn, for piano and orchestra, introduced by Mr. Halle for the first time, but not, wo hope, for the last, is a most charming thing, fanciful and brilliant for the piano, full of thought, and finely-coloured for the band. Very interesting, too, were the old compositions of S. Bach and Scarlatti. Mr. Sims Reeves was in capital voice, and sang with great care and effect. No tenor of the present day can give the grand scena from Der Freischiitz as he does. He was equally successful with Kiickeu's song, and Molique's serenade, the latter exciting such an amount of enthusiasm as made its repetition a matter of necessity. Mr. Reeves promptly and gracefully complied with the call, and sang it again entire."
A correspondent from Birmingham writes as follows:— "At Birmingham the musical public have had two busy time of it this week. On Wednesday evening a grand concert was given in the TownHall, at which Mad. Lind Goldschmidt made her first appearance since her return to artistic life, and, although there were not the same crush and the same excitement as in the days of the Jenny Lind furor, some ten years ago, the great songstress was received with distinguished marks of favour by a brilliant and fashionable audience. Mad. Goldschmidt's share of the programme comprised the Cavatina 'Tho' clouds by tempests' from Der Freischiitz; Scena and aria from Sonnambula, 'Care compagne ;' Mozart's rondo for voice and violin obbligato, 'II re pastore ;' Taubert's 'Bird-Song;' Norwegian 'Echo Song;' and with Mr. Sims Reeves the duet from Lucia, 'Sulla tomba.' If the reception awarded to the artist did not recall the boisterous demonstrations of bye-gone times, critic?, at all events, saw very little difference between the 'Nightingale' of 1852 and the 'Nightingale' of 1862. Mozart's song was her crowning effort, and indeed this was a supreme vocal achievement. Mr. Sims Reeves shared liberally in the honour bestowed on the performance. He was tumultuously applauded in the grand scene, 'Oh! I can bear my fate no longer' from Der Freischiitz, and compelled (absolutely compelled) to repeat Molique's beautiful serenade, 'When the moon is brightly shining.' Signor Belletti gave Rossini's 'Tarantella' with such effect as to command an encore, and added the grand florid air 'Sorgete,' from L'Assedio di Corinto, in which, since Tamburini, no other barrytouc has been able to succeed. Mr. Henry Blagrovc played Ernst's fantasia on Otello, Sig. Piatti his own Barcarole, and the Festival Choir, under the direction of Mr. Stockley, sang several part-songs. Herr Otto Goldschmidt conducted. Among the most interesting things of the evening, by the way, was a selection from Hummel's Septet, in which, besides HerrGoldschmidt(piano),andMr.Blagrove (violin), M. Barret (oboe), C. Harper (horn), Mr. Pratten (flute), Sig. Piatti (violoncello), and Mr. Howell (double bass) took part. The first movement opened the first part, the scherzo and andante (with variations) the second. What became of the finale f"
A correspondent from Winchester informs us that,— "The Brousil family gave two concerts (morning and evening), at St. John's Rooms, on the 20th inst. They were accompanied by Mrs. Helen Percy as vocalist. The morning performance was but thinly attended; out the evening one went off with much spirit. The family were much applauded in all their pieces, particularly in 'The Bird on the Tree.' Mrs. Percy was very successful in her songs, especially in Mr. Henry Smart's charming ballad, 'The Lady of the Sea,' and a song by P. Van Noorden, called 'On the Hills' "
From another correspondent at Basingstoke, we learn further particulars of the family. We are told,—
"The Brousil family, accompanied by Mrs. Helen Percy, gave a concert at the Town Hall on the 21 st. The evening was very unfavourable, the ground being covered with snow; there was, in consequence not a large attendance, but the performance was highly appreciated. The Bruosil family were encored in 'The Bird on the Tree.' Mrs. Percy was loudly applauded in 'Kathleen Mavourneen,' and in Mr. Henry Smart's ' Lady of the Sea.'"
The Liverpool Pott supplies a detailed and highly laudatory account of the first concert of a new society called the " Wirral Philharmonic," which was given recently at Birkenhead, in the new Music Hall, with complete success. The new hall is much commended, and the decorations named as handsome and befitting. The general arrangements, too, we are informed, reflect the utmost credit on Mr. Beausire, the secretary. The only fault found is the want of sufficient accommodation for the orchestra, which, however, is intended to be remedied by the extension of the building lengthwise. The programme was excellent on the whole, and had some points worthy of special comment. Beethoven's Symphony in C major, No. 1, was performed under the direction of Mr. Perceval, and also the overtures to Oberon and Zampa. Mr. Charles Halle played Mendelssohn's Concerto in G minor, and joined MM. Vieuxtemps and Baetens in Beethoven's trio in C minor. Mr. Halle also played a Nocturne Valse by Chopin. Of the performances of the great pianist the Post thus speaks :—
"The great instrumental attraction was Mr. Charles Halle, whose performances were of the highest order. The Mendelssohn Concerto was a fine example of manipulation and of unity. In the trio he produced even greater effect in conjunction with Mr. Baetens and M. Vieuxtemps, while in Chopin's Nocturne Valse he would have delighted the master whose genius has in Mr. Halle so great an admirer."
Mile, ("perche non" Miss ?) Anna Whitty, the solo vocalist, appears to have touched the most sensitive chord of the writer's admiration, if we may judge from the following :—
'Mile. Anna Whitty was rewarded by hearty applause. Her first piece was from Rossini's Bianca e Faliero, 'Bella rosa if vcl vermiglio,' which was thoroughly appreciated, but the 'Batti, batti,' was still more telling. In 'Non piu mcsta,' Mile. Whitty was overwhelmed with plaudits, in which it was impossible for the audience to be unmoved."
The conductor, too, appears to have merited unqualified commendation : —
"M. Percival deserves the utmost praise, not only for the excellence of his arrangements, in which there was no single hitch, but also for the precision and thoroughly musician-like readiness of his conducting throughout the evening."
Finally, the writer prays that the concert may be the precursor of many such, in which case the Wirral Philharmonic Society will prove an invaluable acquisition to the district.
A Liverpool correspondent informs us that the "Sisters Marchisio" sang at two concerts, one at the Philharmonic Society, the other at St. George's Hall, in both of which they were triumphantly successful.
Another correspondent writes that:
"The Clayton Hall has been turned into a very handsome theatre, styled the Prince of Wales, the manager being a Mr. Henderson, well known in Australia. Up to the present time, the new establishment, which will be valuable as a foil to the monopoly of the manager of the two other theatres, has been most successful. At the opening, the burlesque of the Colleen Baum (now running on its third week) was produced; and during the past week, Mr. J. L. Toole, of the London Adelphi, has made a most successful debut."
The Preston Chronicle records the Messrs. Ricbardsons' concert, in which the "Sisters Marchisio" were the principal attraction. Our contemporary is most enthusiastic in his praises of the accomplished artists.
Forest Bat. —A concert was given on Friday evening last, for the benefit of the Christchurch Schools, when the following artists assisted: Vocalists — Miss Susannah Cole, Miss Guselda Archer; Messrs. Coel, Hunt, Owen, Sims, and Herring. Instrumentalists — Miss Griselda Archer (Pianoforte), Herr A. Manns (Violin), Herr Nabich (Trombone). Herr Formes was announced, but he was suffering from indisposition, and a medical certificate was read, to the evident disappointment of the audience. The room was fully attended, and the applause frequent and liberal, especially to Miss Guselda Archer, in Prudent'* Chaste, and her
| own fantasia on subjects from Flotow's Martha. Miss Archer pleased equally as a singer, the audience being delighted with her "Batti, Batti," and the archness (it could scarcely have been "Archer") she threw into " Katey's Letter," and which she was compelled to repeat. Miss Susannah Cole displayed her fresh and beautiful voice to eminent advantage in Balfe's "Pretty, lowly, modest flower " (Puritan's Daughter), and in "Softly sighs." Solos on the violin (by Herr Manns) and on tho trombone (Mr. Nabich) were both admired, and indeed the whole entertainment was warmly appreciated by the audience.
Societt Fob Encouragement Op The Fine Arts. — Mr. Alfred Gilbert delivered his second lecture on the "Lifo and Works of Beethoven," at the Society's Rooms, 9 Conduit Street, on Thursday evening last, to a crowded audience. The lecturer, who took the second and part of the third period of Beethoven's career, was assisted in the musical illustrations by Mad. Gilbert, Mad. Andrea, Mr. Edward Southwell, Mr. Reilly and some members of the Arion choir; with Herren Polletzer and Daubert (violin and violoncello). The points in the programme worthy of particular notice were the scene and aria, "Ah perfido," Med. Gilbert; a charming little song, "Molly's Abschied," Op. 52, by Mad. Andrea; the grand trio, "Trcmati empi Tremati," Mad. Gilbert, Mr. Southwell and Mr. Reilly; the air and variations from the sonata dedicated to Kreutzer, and the Scherzo from the grand trio in B flat, Op. 97, in which Mr. Gilbert was ably assisted by Herren Polletzer and Daubert; and lastly, Mr. Gilbert's unaided reading of the andante and last movement of the Sonata appassionata (in F minor), Op. 57, which were all exceedingly well played.
Beaumont Institution.—The second concert t of the season, under the direction of Mr. D. Francis, was given on Monday week, with Mile. Florence Lancia, Miss Poole, Miss Palmer, Messrs. Sims Reeves, Lewis Thomas and Winn as vocalists; and Miss Eleanor Ward, pianist, as solo instrumental performer. There was a large attendance. Mr. Sims Reeves, who seems in such especial favour with the Mile End audiences, sang the grand scena from Oberon, "Kathleen Mavourneen," and "My guiding star," from Robin Hood. The two English songs were enthusiastically applauded, and the last repeated. Mile. Florence Lancia gave the " Shadow Song" from Dinorah most brilliantly, and the air from the Amber Witch, "My long hair is braided," besides taking part in duos, trios, &c. Miss Poole was encored in "Juanita," and Mr. Weiss in "My own sweet child," from The Puritan's Daughter. Miss Eleanor Ward played Mr. Benedict's fantasia "Albion," and M. E. Burger's "Echos do Londrcs," the latter being given with so much spirit and brilliancy as to command a distinct and unanimous encore. Mr. Frank Mori was the conductor. On Wednesday last another concert was given at the Institution, at which, among others, Miss Parepa and Miss Clara Fraser sang.
ftiter to i\t (gbrtor.
MISS CHARLOTTE GROSVENOR.
Sir My attention has just been called to an editorial notice in the
Musical World of the 11th inst., in which the amusements produced at the Islington Music Hall are severely criticised, aiicl the presentation of a testimonial to the proprietors rather extensively ridiculed. There will of course be a difference of opinion as to the taste exhibited in that presentation; but there can be no doubt that the least intellectual part of the programme at the Islington, in common with all Music Halls, commands the greatest share of applause, I do not intend to allude further to these matters, for with them I have no immediate concern; but I wish respectfully to protest against the designation of " Signora Squallini" as applied to Miss Charlotte Grosvenor, a lady, according to very generally expressed opinion, but little inferior, in point of sweetness and volume of voice and facility of execution, to Miss Pync herself. I am ready to believe that you cannot have heard Miss Grosvenor in the great scene from the Rose of Castille, Rode's Air, the finale to Sonnambula, and similar performances, or you would not have applied such a derogatory expression to her as the one you have introduced into your article. She is an excellent musician, has nearly three octaves in her voice, and has been pronounced by one of the greatest singers of the day to be fitted to appear before any audience in England,— in fact, she has sung at some of the best provincial concerts in Great Britain. As to her private character, that point is not raised or even hinted at in the notice; but as it is the fashion to indiscriminately condemn all females who sing at Music Halls, I may mention that her name is unblemished, that she is a married woman, and the mother of a family.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,