Mendelssohn's Prelude And Fugue In P Minor (op. 35)

Mendelssohn was singularly felicitous among the composers of his own time in his application of the several devices of counterpoint. Ills assiduous and carefully directed early study gave him a pre-eminent command of these inestimable resources for a musician, and the admirable freedom that always distinguishes his part writing is to be traced to the fluency he thus acquired. The art of counterpoint — that is, of combining two or more independent melodies, while maintaining an individual interest in each—is especially exemplified in the composition of the fugue, throughout which, one subject is always paramount, its variety of effect being entirely dependent on the diversity of the several counter melodies that, at different periods, accompany this one principal theme. No one, since Mozart, has been so completely successful as Mendelssohn in fugal composition; and the work, from which the present specimen is selected, contains ample justification of this well-considered remark. This series is notable for the happy manner in which the peculiarities of the pianoforte are so advantageously displayed throughout, while the contrapuntal characteristics essential to a fugue are never disregarded; and thus the several pieces are, each in a different style, as admirable for the exhibition of the technical powers of the instrument, as they are interesting in their abstract quality as musical compositions. Following the precedent of the great Bach, the composer prefaces each fugue by an independent movement, which he calls its prelude, that has no affinity with what it introduces, save in its sometimes analogous expression and its always identical key. Such prelude is free in its construction, and while this is often capricious, it more frequently bears the form of a regularly developed movement. As belonging to the latter class, we are to regard the many preludes of Bach, in which he anticipated a grand design of the chief division of the modern symphony or sonata; and Mendelssohn has modelled the present prelude upon the same plan. Deeply pathetic is the expression of the chief theme of the prelude of which this is the initial phrase j

[merged small][merged small][graphic][graphic]

comprises its own principal counterpoint; that is to say, the answer enters at the sign' in the fourth bar of the above quotation ; and the ensuing four bars constitute the accompaniment to this. The latter four bars are here included in what is cited as the subject, because the two melodic figures presented in them have interesting importance in the subsequent developement of the composition. A fugue is wont to be considered as a certainly dull, perhaps ingenious, exercise of scholastic pedantry; and such, truly enough, it is often its ill fortune to be; but a fugue is also, though it may bo less frequently, a medium of the manifestation of one of the greatest qualities of genius — the power, namely, of making restrictions conducive to the best effects; and such it has eminently proved to be in the instance before us, where the wildly passionate outbreak from the pathetic despondency of the prelude which it embodies, acquires an always increased intensity at

every fresh entry of the subject, and at each reappearance of the several fractions of this, until the original expression obtains such an accumulation of power as it could derive from no other process of developement.— G. A. Macparrkn.

Mad. La Grange, since the death of her husband, has been living in retirement near Paris. On the occasion of her last benefit at Madrid, she took both the parts of Alice and Isabella, in Robert le Dtable.

Hans Selino, a pianist and composer, who performed during the past year in Paris, and was said to have remarkable talent, died recently in Prague, his native city, at the age of thirty-three.

Prague.—Alexander Dreyschock has returned from a protracted professional tour, but will leave again in a few weeks for St. Petersburg, where he intends taking up his permanent abode, in order to enter upon his duties as professor of the piano at the Conservatory of Music there.

The Opera At New York.—Notwithstanding the war times, our opera managers are very busily at work. Ullman will present in the fall to the New York public the great actress Itittori, and the great singer Titiens. In London it is rumoured that Urdu is negotiating with Grisi and Mario, while Maretzek already has his hands full.—New York Evening Post.

Musical Instruments in the International Exhibition — We have looked so far in vain for a full list of the awards for the best pianofortes, by which one might judge how the American instruments have stood comparison with those of other countries. The London Times, we are told, declined to publish the awards' in all departments, seeing that the list would occupy some forty columns of that paper, leaving it no room, for at least one day, to revile the defenders of civilisation in America. But it is very doubtful whether such a list, even if we had it, would furnish the comparison desired, because, as M. Fetis has informed us, there was only one kind of medal awarded in all cases, and that on the ground of positive and not of comparative merit. It would seem as if the judges preferred to evade the question of individual precedence between several whom they place in the first rank. From M. Fetis wo gleen: — 1. that " the kings in this category " (pianos) were, by general consent, the instruments of Broadwood (London), Herz (Paris), and Pleyel, Wolff & Co. (Paris), and that these instruments showed excellence in all respects, in all kinds of pianos (although it appears that Broadwood exhibited only one kind, namely, " Grands") ; and 2. that the pianos of Steinway & Sons (New York) were also found worthy of the medal for excellence in certain specified respects, which are of prime importance. A list of the awards to American exhibitors only has found its way into our newspapers, and from this we learn that medals were awarded to Steinway & Sons, for the " powerful, clear and brilliant tone of piano, with excellent workmanship shown in a grand' piano, and square piano of very large dimensions ; " and to G. H. Hultkamp, for "novelty of in' vention in sound-board of piano, and for an important invention in violins." The house of Chickering did not compete, nor did that of Erard, and surely neither of them stood in need of prizes. The Steinway pianos seem to have had no American competitors; but this need not detract at all from the prestige they certainly acquired there, among so many of the most famous instruments of Europe. — Dwight's Journal of Music (boston).

An Idiot Or A Pianist. — Do the ladies, whom he has so often astonished, wish to know M. Prudent's secret, and learn to advance as far as he in the art of making the fingers fly over the key-board, and execute, evenly, a very rapid cadenza, four or five minutes long? There is nothing simpler. It consists in practising ten hours a day for fifteen years. You become thereby either a great pianist or an idiot of the tint water, according to the amount of intellectual power you possess. If you succeed in this trial — so much the better for you -, if not, you are lost. — Lyons Paper.

An Obstinate Organ. — In a small church at a little village near Brighton, where the congregation could not afford to pay an organist, they recently bought a self-acting organ, a compact instrument, well suited to the purpose, and constructed to play forty different tunes. The sexton had instructions how to set it going and how to stop it; but unfortunately he forgot the latter part of his business, and after singing the first four verses of a hymn before the sermon, the organ could not be stopped, and it continued playing two verses more. Then, just .as the clergyman completed the words, "Let us pray," the organ clicked, and started a fresh tune. The minister sat it out patiently, and then renewed his introductory words, "Let us pray," when click went the organ again, and started off on another tune. The sexton and others continued their exertions to find out the spring, but no man could put a stop to it j so they got four of the stoutest men in the church to shoulder the perverse instrument, and they carried it out down the centre aisle of the church, playing away into the churchyard, where it continued clicking and playing away until the whole forty tunes were finished.

TO CORRESPONDENTS. Paoiniwi's Ghost—Next week.


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11IIE inauguration of the seventh season of the Royal ■ English Opera demonstrates the unaltered energy and determination of the directors. The difficulties to be overcome this year were sufficient to constitute manifold stumbling-blocks in the path of any enterprise. Miss Louisa Pyne and Mr. W. Harrison, however, were not to be daunted by apparently insurmountable obstacles, and went to work with a will. A good tenor is an absolute necessity for an operatic company. Mr. Harrison, whose dramatic power is unquestionable, except in his old original parts—in which it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a successor— appears to have resigned the sentimental lover, and to have taken to personifying eccentric characters, finding, doubtless, no other singer who could give them the same force and point. Thus in Mr. Balfe's last opera, The Puritan's Daughter, he plays Charles the Second, and in Mr. Benedict's Lily of Killarney he sustains the character of Myles-naCoppalcen, in neither instance undertaking the lover's part, which ordinarily belongs to the first tenor. Last season Mr. Henry Haigh appeared ns Hardress Cregan in Mr. Benedict's opera, and was very favourably received — at least by the goneral public. Mr. Haigh, although an indifferent artist, possesses a most agreeable voice — a quality which, we need hardly say, covers a multitude of sins in a singer — and, if not a Mario in acting, is at all events easy and natural in his bearing and deportment. Why Mr. Haigh has not been re-engaged we cannot surmise. Mr. George Perren, who has replaced him, is a far better vocalist, but is so entirely novel to the boards as to leave a sensible balance ir: Mr. Haigh's favour. Mr. Perren, it may be urged, will improve, and therein lies the best hope of the directors. In the meanwhile both they and the public will have to wait. Mr. Perren, we understand, was never intended for the stage, in which case it might, perhaps, have been more prudent had Miss Pyne and Mr. Harrison first considered whether— Mr. Sims Reeves, of course, for nine hundred and ninetynine reasons, being out of the question—there was no English tenor to whom the stage was no stranger. It is not for us to dictate to managers, but assuredly, had we been in the position of Miss Pyne and Mr. Harrison, Mr. Swift

would have presented himself to our consideration before Mr. Perren, not because we underrate the talents of the latter gentleman, but simply because the former — a great matter in a dramatic singer, it must be owned—was familiar to the stage. That the directors are indeed partial to beginners in the histrionic profession is proved, not merely by the engagement of Mr. George Perren, but by that of Mad. Laura Baxter, who, we believe, except in one character, and under particular circumstances, never played in public. To be sure, Mad. Laura Baxter has a voice of the very finest quality, and she is a great public favourite; but we fancy these recommendations will not altogether smooth over the incompleteness of a tyro, and induce people to make allowances for shortcomings and inexperience. So talented a lady and so zealous an artist, nevertheless, we may feel certain, only requires time to instruct her, and point out the road to accomplishment.

In other respects the company is stronger than ever. With Miss Louisa Pyne and Mile. Parepa heading the sopranos, there is no fear but that department will be efficiently represented; while the names of Mr. Santley and Mr. Weiss are guarantees for the excellence of the basses. Every one interested in the welfare of the Royal English Opera will be delighted to learn that Mr. Weiss has rejoined the company, which it is surprising he should have ever quitted.

With Mr. Alfred Mellon as Director, we may conclude that the band is as admirable as in any former year, and that the chorus are complete and effective.

A new policy as regards the performances is being pursued by the managers, which, we are of opinion, will turn out highly advantageous. It is varying the representations nightly, and ignoring that most intolerable of modern systems, running a piece until it is literally run off its legs. Moreover, by this means the same artists are not compelled to perform every night — a custom than which nothing can be more dangerous to the singer.

On the whole, the Royal English Opera has commenced the present season most auspiciously, and with every prospect of a flourishing campaign; although there are some who seem inclined to think that operations have been begun too early, and that when the Exhibition closes, audiences will be scarce. For that very reason, say we, the directors are justified in opening their doors some six weeks or two months sooner than usual.

NEXT to the famous Scena Cantante—known in Englandas the "Dramatic Concerto "—Spohr's concerto in D minor (performed by Herr Joachim at the Philharmonic Jubilee Concert) is, with the majority of professors and advanced amateurs, the most admired of all the compositions, in an extended form, which its celebrated author has bequeathed to the instrument on which he so greatly excelled. Judged simply as an effort of the imagination, the Scena Cantante is entitled to the palm; it is in a less essential degree abstract music, and reaches a higher sphere of beauty. Moreover, it is dramatic, both in sentiment and form; and the reader need scarcely be reminded that in all the manifestations of art — be that art what it may — the dramatic element carries with it a special attraction. In short, supposing the principal instrument to represent the singer, the dramatic concerto — but that no piece of such length would be tolerated in any theatrical representation — might stand very well for a grand operatic scena, in which the hero, or heroine, under the pressure of agitating incident gives utterance to an extraordinary variety of passionate feeling— now expressing his emotion in the eontabile, now in the bravura style—the sense of unity always preserved; so that the illusion of one and the same individual being concerned throughout may never be lost sight of. Hence the popularity of the Scena Cantante (the most widely known of Spohr's violin concertos) with the laity — or, as Professor Marx would say, "the outer world." Musicians, however, while admiring all this, can also sympathise with something of another kind which more immediately concerns their art. In the D minor Concerto — though again, in the first movement especially, the character is passionate, and here and there, in a strict sense, dramatic — the music speaks an independent language, and directly illustrates the famous definition of Goethe: "The worth of Art appears most eminent in music, since Music requires no material, no subjectmatter whose effect must be deduced. It is wholly form and power." This peculiarity in music, of being able to impress without expressing any definite feeling, or describing any definite object, separates it from the other arts, and, in a large measure, accounts for the predilection of the greatest masters — even those who, like Mozart and Beethoven, have excelled in opera, or Mendelssohn in oratorio, for purely instrumental compositions, whether in the mould of symphony, concerto, quartet, or sonata. As an example of music exerting an influence entirely on account of the outward technical form and inward ideal beauty, which endow it with life and the power to charm, the violin Concerto in D minor may be triumphantly cited. It is a master-work, in which the polyphony of the earlier schools (when musicians loved to exercise their genius in fetters) is taken just so much advantage of as to give freedom, solidity, and independence of parts to the composition, while the rich glow of modern harmony, and the depth and variety of modern instrumental colouring, proclaim it an offshoot of art in its full maturity. The violin is rendered, to all intents and purposes, the commanding instrument, never for an instant being allotted a subordinate part; but, on the other hand, the under current of orchestral treatment is ceaselessly interesting, and never allows the nttention of the hearers to slumber. At times the violin may be likened to a fair and stately ship sailing proudly on the bosom of a tranquil sea; at times, to a frailer bark tost by the wind-vexed billows; the master applying his orchestral resources with such felicity, that though (to carry out the metaphor) the vessel is exposed to every change of weather—from calm to tempest, and from tempest to calm — it bravely faces every incident, and safely reaches the harbour of its destination. Perhaps no composer in a more remarkable degree than Spohr has possessed the art of conferring variety and interest on his orchestral accompaniments, without ever interfering with the indispensable prominence of his solo instruments; and this because he knows how to display his materials with a clearness and (to use a pertinent French idiom) sagesse that enable him to join richness of detailj with symmetry of plan, while at the same time avoiding superfluous and perplexing elaborations.

"7THE Mozart Institution," at Frankfort-on-the-Maine, -L founded at the Vocal Festival held in that city in the year 1838, intends to grant an exhibition or stipend to the most deserving candidate, at the five-and-twentieth anniversary of its existence, in June, 1863. The award will be made in conformity with the following conditions contained in the body of the statutes: —

"1st. The purpose of the Mozart-Institution is to assist persons possessing musical talent in the study of the theory of composition.

"2. Young men of all countries where the German language is the language of the people, may compete for this exhibition, provided they are of good reputation, and possess especial musical capabilities.

"25. Applications to be allowed to compete for the stipend must be addressed, post-paid, to the Committee; they must contain a statement of the applicant's age, as well as certificates of his musical capabilities and productions.

26. Should the certificates and references prove satisfactory, the applicant will be required by the Committee to furnish them with material proof of his musical capabilities.

"27. The applicant will be called upon by the Committeo to set a certain song, and compose an instrumental quartet.

"28. Three musicians of acknowledged authority will act as umpires."

33. The successful competitor will be placed under a professor of the theory of composition, to be chosen by the Committee, although the student's own wishes will be consulted as far as possible.

All who are desirous to compete for the stipend, and are properly qualified, according to the above conditions, are invited to forward their applications within two months. At the same time, the editors of German papers are requested to give as much publicity as possible to this announcement, and are thanked in advance for their kindness.

The announcement is dated "Frankfort-on-the-Maine, August 5, 1862," and signed, "The Managing Committee of the Mozart Institution."

To the Editor of the Musical World.

SIR,—As a contrast to Mr. John K. Paine's organ programme given in your last, allow me to inform those of your readers who take an interest in organic matters, that I heard, two months ago, four performances at the International Exhibition by London organists, and although their programmes amounted in the whole to some thirty pieces, there was not a single organ composition in this large number.

The music, in my opinion, was quite unsuited to the character of the instrument, and included such overtures as Zampa, Der Freischiitz, Don Giovanni, William Tell, Semiramide, JJItaliana, Fra Diavolo, the Bohemian Girl, he, together with operatic scenas, Scotch airs, and pieces of a similar character, which no lover of organ music could for a moment defend. To me, the playing sounded more like large barrel organs at work, than anything else I can compare it to. It was not at all like an orchestra. If we are to have organ performances and adaptations, let us have something compatible, and let us also have at least one-half organ music in each programme, say I. If all the organists who give performances cannot play Sebastian Bach or Mendelssohn, they perhaps could give us some of the simpler works of Rink or Adolphe Hesse.

An Okganist In The North. —♦—

ACORRESPONDENT writes to us about Handel's Deborah:—"The occasional revival of the oratorio or 'sacred drama'of Deborah is not only advisable but interesting. The first work of the kind on a grand scale which Handel wrote — for Esther was but a faint prophecy of the great things to be afterwards accomplished—Deborah has a twofold claim to consideration. The chief strength lies in the choruses, in the art of constructing which Handel had already at this period established a wonderful proficiency —the Coronation Anthem for George II. to wit. Of these, indeed, he availed himself liberally in Deborah, as well as of an ode for Queen Anne's birthday, a much earlier production. Nevertheless, as the admirers of Handel are well aware, there is quite enough of new matter in Deborah to excuse these appropriations, even though among them are to be enumerated the stately chorus, 'Let thy deeds be glorious,' the 'Hallelujah' at the end of the first and third parts, and other notable passages. Of the remarkable progress in choral singing made by the members of the Sacred Harmonic Society no stronger proof could have been given than their first performance of Deborah this season."

(From the " Presse " of Vienna.)

The jury began their examinations with the Pianos — the "distingue" and "refined" class of the sounding society. A delicate task! To be sure — thanks to the multitude of medals—there was scarcely room to fear that any good piano Would go unhonoured. But if the prize distribution was easy, the making up of an opinion was not. As for any thorough musical trial, the Piano is no proper object for an exhibition, at least not in a gigantic palace like the one at London. What piano player—and that is almost as much as to ask what European—does not know the immense influence of the locale on a piano? The same instrument, placed here or there, can appear good or bad, can approach the tone of the organ or of the guitar.

The Exhibition building is unfavourable for all pianos; but it is not equally bad for all. The French knew best how to locate their pianos—namely, in the gallery; also the Englishmen and the Americans have found out more enclosed and covered places in the hall. Thereby they stood at great advantage, especially compared with the Austrian instruments. It was with difficulty that we recognised pianos here, which had sounded very finely to us in the ateliers of their makers in Vienna. The jury tried all the instruments just where they found them. The Paris jury (in 1855) had every instrument carried from the Exhibition to the same hall in the Conservatoire, and there tried them. They carried impartiality so far as to have the names of the makers covered up beforehand ; and then they had the different pianos played by the same virtuosos, who played the same piece on them all. Then it was that the fearful event occurred which Berlioz has described so humorously. Chopin's Etude in F minor was tried on 209 pianos one after another. In the course of this proceeding several jurors fainted, and some virtuosos were carried off for dead. When the small surviving remnant approached the three hundredth piano, the instrument, to the general dismay, began to play the piece of its own accord, Nothing could be found to silence it. Finally, they called in the priesthood, who operated upon the clairvoyant piano with incense and holy water, until the F minor fiend was happily exorcised. "On that day we played no more."

The reader need not fear lest we should reproduce him similar horrors black on white. We can only mention the most prominent and most talked of. In the Austrian division the two Grand Pianos of Streicher and Ehrbahr take by far the first rank. Ehrbahr's Pianino was unanimously recognised as the finest in the whole exhibition. . . . In the French division the pianos of Herz and Pleyel stand at the head by their peculiar brilliancy and power of tone. Erard is the only renowned master who has not exhibited; a visit to his factory here has convinced us of the dazzling excellences of his concert instruments.

The French deserve here, as everywhere, to be emulated

as careful exhibitors. Their instruments are judiciously and agreeably arranged, and throughout in good tune. All the French makers have taken care to provide Virtuosos of every kind, to play their instruments in the Exhibition. We found too in the quality of their productions a certain standard of respectability, below which even the most

insignificant did not sink Among the English, the

firm of Broadwood stands first; next, but at some remove, come Hopkinson and Collard. A strange gentleman obligingly opens for us the Broadwood "Grands," With strong hand draws out the mechanism, and gives us an explanation of every detail of the construction. His personality has something fascinating by its peculiar blending of intelligence and kindliness. The bright brown eye, the youthful and elastic bearing, contrast finely with the grey hair and earnest furrowed brow. So, thought my neighbour, might a prime minister look. In fact it is the piano manufacturer, Henry Broadwood. Who does not at once couple with this name the representative of an imposing manufacturing and business industry? The nation is proud of the achievements of this firm; it may well be proud of men like Henry Broadwood. The man, whose property, as long ago as the first London exhibition, amounted to over two million pounds, sits at six o'clock in the morning at work on his pianos. As great a gentleman as any other, he is yet proud to be ft working man. In his factory—it is like a little town—he knows every journeyman, every corner, every arrangement. With a liberality without example, Broadwood becomes the guide and explained to foreign manufacturers in his gigantic institution, so far is he from all littleness of even the smallest mystery or boast. And, zealous as we found him to instruct others, he was quite as much so to observe

and learn himself.

. . . Such great English enterprises, by the gigantic dimensions of their capital, their connections, their industrial force and speculation, are more favoured than similar manufactories on the continent. Broadwood's factory consists of two great establishments, one in Great Pulteney Street, the other, which is larger, at Westminster. The latter covers an area of more than half a mile in circumference, and consists of four parallel rows of buildings, forming three great courts. The buildings are 300 feet long, and contain, through three stories, a double row of workshops, in which some 400 persons are employed on every stage of the process, from the first sawing out of the wood to the finest mechanical detail of producing a complete piano. At the ends of the courts are four or five dwelling houses for the overseers and agents. In great sheds, partly open, partly covered, are huge masses of wood piled up for drying.— To the Pulteney Street establishment the finished pianos are sent from the larger one, to receive the last touches. The number of workmen in the two factories amounts to 500 persons, including about forty tuners. The yearly outlay of the Broadwood establishment may be reckoned in round numbers at 100,000/. They produce annually about 2,300 instruments—not less than all the Vienna makers put together.

With such dimensions, certainly, the most ingenious piano maker of Germany cannot compete. Next to England, North America is the land where such colossal manufactories can be developed, where talent and labour find the most luxuriant soil, and, even in the want of capital, command the help of credit. The Steinway family, from Brunswick, seem to wish to become for America what Broadwood is for England, and Erard for France.

Of the pianos of other countries there is little of importance to be said. Germany has sent a great deal that is mediocre. By far the best hails from Bechsteia of Berlin. He is the Broadwood of the Zollverein. The pianos of Breitkopf and Hartel (Leipzig) show that one may be the first notability in music-publishing, and at the same time a rather insignificant pianoforte maker. Andre, in Offenbach, has exhibited one of his "Mozart pianos," i. e. a piano whose pitiful make is supposed to be redeemed, or even glorified, by the portrait of Mozart.

The Brothers Moritz And Leopold Ganz.—The King of Prussia has conferred on the Concert-meisters M. and L. Ganz, of Berlin, the order of the "Kronungs;" a decoration especially created for the artists who assisted at the concert given at his Coronation at Kcenigsberg.

Tub Mozart Relics.—A catalogue of all the autographic manuscripts, and other relics of Mozart, contained in the Mozarteum at Salzburg, has been drawn up by Herr Carl Moyses, and published by Herr Duyle, of the above town.

Mlle. Patti has been giving, during the week, a series of operatic performances at the Theatre Royal, Manchester, with Signors Gardoni, Delle-Sedie and Ciampi.

Sig. Schira has left London on a visit to his family at Milan.

Mlle. Trebelli, who recently arrived in Paris, has been singing in a Concert at Colombes for the benefit of the Association of Dramatic Artists

Hebr Siqismond Leymeter has left London for Germany and Switzerland.

Sacred Harmonic Society.—A second extra performance of the Messiah was given lost night at Exeter Hall ; the principal vocalists being, as before, Mile. Parepa, Mad. Laura Baxter, Mr. Wilbye Cooper, and Mr. Weiss

Theatbes In Passion Week (Retrospect) The experiment of

keeping the theatres open during Passion Week is said not to have been generally successful, at least not at the Opera. It would be rather curious, if after all the fuss that has been made about the hardship of managers not being allowed to give performances during the four days preceding Good Friday, the managers themselves should find it to their advantage not to do so. The great argument that used to be brought forward was, that, by the theatres being closed during Passion Week, the singers, actors, musicians, sceneshifters — altogether an army of employees —were for the time thrown out of work and left without salaries. If the Lord Chamberlain allows the theatres to be kept open, and the public does not attend them, will the singers, actors, &C., get their salaries all the same?

London Reiieaksals, Or No Reheabsals (Retrospect).—We hear that Meyerbeer's vocal and instrumental work was received in London about five months ago ; indeed, that at least five months ago M. Meyerbeer was inquiring if the rehearsals of his composition were soon to begin. They have not begun even now; and it is said that two rehearsals is as much as any of the new music will obtain. This looks very clever when it is brought forward in the newspapers as a proof of the rapidity with which things can be managed in this Wonderful country of ours, but it is not just to the composers, or to the singers, or to the public, or to the country. Our beat orchestras and choruses can do what the best orchestras and choruses can do in other countries) but it is never a matter of absolute certainty that they will execute a difficult, elaborate work the first or even the second or third time that they experimentalise upon it in such a manner as to satisfy the composer. Whether or not they will be able to satisfy the Exhibition Commissioners or Committee is a very different matter.—Illustrated Times.

Joachim, not Hebr.—The stringed quartets were, of course, led by "Mr." Joachim, or whatever this admirable violinist ought to be styled. What the Hungarian for "Mr." may be we cannot tell, nor apparently can any of our contemporaries. But to put "Herr" before the name of Joachim, the musician, who by simply playing tho Rakoezy March on his violin, raises the patriotic enthusiasm of his compatriots to the highest pitch, and thus produces as great an effect as the most successful orator could obtain, is not only a mistake, but almost an insult. A Hungarian is no more a German than an Italian of Venetia is a German.—Illustrated Times.

The Grand Duke Op Weimar has accepted the Protectorate of the " German Musical Association," a league in the interests of " Music of the Future."

— —


Os Saturday Martha was repeated, and Signor Giuglini being indisposed, Mr. Walter Bolton undertook the part of Lionel at a short notice. It was followed by the mad scene from Lucia di Lammermoot, for Mile. Titiens.

On Tuesday, Norma, with the divertissement.

On Thursday, Lucia di Lammermoor, with the divertissement.

To-night, Norma, given for the benefit of Mile. Titiens, with other performances, will bring the season to a close.

ROYAL ENGLISH OPERA. The seventh season was inaugurated on Monday with the Lily of ltdlarney, the triumphant success of which last year rendered its early production this year a matter of necessity. The cast differed in two particulars from that of last season, Mr. George Perren being substituted for Mr. Henry Haigh in Ilardress Cregan, and Miss Thirlwall for Miss Jessie McLean in Ann Chute. Mr. Perren has long held a distinguished place in the concert-room, and is an excellent artist. His voice is more sweet than powerful, and in ballad singing is particularly effective. Hence his best efforts on Monday night were in the single songs, more especially in " Eily Mavourneen," which was unanimously encored; while in the concerted music he was not so successful. As an artist Mr. Perren has almost all to learn. Miss Thirlwall gives evidence of talent in everything she undertakes, and if, in her new character, she did not exhibit the fine voice aud dashing manner of Miss M'Lcan, she at all events showed a thorough familiarity with the music, and displayed abundance of earnestness in her acting. Of Miss Louisa Pyne's singing of the music of the Colleen Bawn it is only necessary to state that it was as enchanting and finished as ever, and that in the two songs, the vocal gems of the opera, "In my wild mountain valley," and " I'm alone," she threw the audience into ecstasies. Mr. Santley, too, made a powerful impression in the music of Danny Mann, which, we do not think, be ever sang with finer effect. Last, not least, Mr. Harrison's admirably characteristic delineation of Mylcs-na-Coppaleen threw a bright gleam over the darker features of the piece, which made the people merry, and sent them away happy at the end. Miss Susan Pyne sustained, as before, the character of-Mrs. Cregan, and, as before, with great ability.

The band and chorus showed no falling off from their former excellence, and Mr. Alfred Mellon at his old place in the orchestra was proof that the directors were determined to carry things with a high hand.

There was an immense attendance, and nearly every piece was called for a second time — a proof of the extreme popularity of the music.

On Tuesday the close of Custille was given, and on Wednesday, Dinorah. Mr. Balfe's opera was the means of introducing a new member to the company in the person of Mr. John Rouse, who sustained the character of the silly courtier, Don Florio. Mr. Rouse may be complimented for his adherence to the author's intentions ; since to the character which Mr. George Honey's grotesque humour made endurable Mr. Rouse restores much of its coarseness. Mr. Rouse's vocal ability seems to be of the most limited order. The Rose of Castille also brought back Mr. Weiss to the English stage, his first appearance for four years. Don Pedro is almost as thankless a part as the farcical Don Florio, and not even Mr. Weiss, its original representative, can do more than sustain it with equable dignity and weight. All the important music allotted to the character was, however, sung by him with remarkable energy and effect. The ballad, *' Though fortune darkly o'er me frown," was given with so much feeling and power, that the audience insisted on its repetition.

Mr. and Mrs. Aynsley Cook made their first appearance, the one as the Innkeeper, the other as the Duchess. Mr. Harrison's spirited impersonation of the Muleteer is too well known to require a word of comment; nor does Miss Susan Pyne need added praise for her old character of Carmen. Least of all should we omit to notice Miss Louisa Pyne's irreproachable singing, equally conspicuous in the bravura airs that are poured in abundance from the lips of the Rose of Castillo and in the dreamy "Convent cell," her exquisite singing of which never fails to command an encore, were it not for the unusual spirit with which she gave the scene, "I'm but a simple peasant maid," in which Elvira mystifies the conspirators by her assumption of regal and rustic demeanour.

Dimirah also brought back a former member of the company in Mile. Parepa, who sustained the character of the poor love-crazed

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