Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

ST. T^MIES'S HALL,

REGENT STREET AND PICCADILLY.

MONDAY POPULAR CONCERTS.

ON MONDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 3,1862.

LAST APPEARANCE BUT POUR

OF

HERB JOACHIM.

PROGRAMME.

PABT. L

GRAND SEPTET, In E flat, Op. 20, for Violin, Viola, Clarionet,

Horn, Bassoon, Violoncello, and. Double Bais

MM. Joachim, H. Webb, Laiarus, C. Harper, Ilutchini,
C. Severn, and Plattl.

BONO, "L'Alouette"

Miss Banks.

BONO, "I never can forget"

Mr. Santley.

SONATA, In B flat (No. 8 of Mr. Halld's edition), for Pianofoi

■olo

Mr. Charles Halle\

PABT II.

FRAGMENTS from an unfinished Quartet (Posthumous) ...

MM. Joachim, L. Ries H. Webb, and Plattl.

BONO, "Dawn gentle flower"

Miss Banks.

CHACONNE, for Violin alone

Herr Joachim.

SONG, " The Bellrlnger." (By desire)

Mr. Santley.

, Vloi

Mozart.

Henry Smart.

[ocr errors]

QUARTET, In B flat, for Pianoforte, Violin, Viola, and Violoncello CM. von Weber.
Mr. Charles Halld, Joachim, H. Webb and Plattl.
Conductor - MR. LINDSAY BLOPER.

To commence at Sight o'clock precisely.

NOTICE.

It Is respectfully suggested that snch persons as are not desirous of remaining till the end of the performance can leavo either before the commencement of the latt intirumental piece, or between any two of the mocementt, so that thoso who wish to hear the whole may do so without interruption.

Between the lost vocal pieco and the Quaret for Pianoforte, Violin, and Violoncello, an Interval of rivic Minutes will be allowed.

The Concert will finish before half-past Ten o'Clock.

Sofa Stalls, 5s.; Balcony, 3s.; Admission, Is. Tlokets to be had of Mr. Acsris, at the Hall, 28 Piccadilly; of

Messrs. CHAPPELIi & CO., 50 New Bond Street.

And of the principal Muslosellers.

NOTICES.

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 Fridaysbut no later. Payment on delivery.

T ( Tiro lines and under 2s. Gd.

1EKMS 1 Every additional 10 words 6d.

To Publishers And ComposersAll Music for Review 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 Review will appear on the Saturday following in The Musical World.

To Concert Givers.No BenefU-Concerl, or Musical Performance, except of general interest, unless previously Advertised, can be reported in The Musical World.

LONDON: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 1862.

OUR Berlin correspondent has already written concerning the hundredth anniversary of the production of Gluck's

Orpheus. The subject, however, is so fraught with interest for all lovers of good music, that we cannot refrain fioiu once more reverting to it.

On the 5th October, a century ago—when Marie Antoinette, the unfortunate daughter of the " woman king,"* was still a blooming girl, not yet married to the grandson of Louis XV.; when the Parc-aux-cerfs was still in existence, and the people were tolerated only that they might minister to the wants of a licentious court and dissolute aristocracy— Gluck's Orpheus und Hurt/dice was produced for the first time, at the Hofburg theatre, in Vienna. Since then what changes have occurred! What events have convulsed not alone France, but the world! How many monarcte—including, by the way, Otho of Greece—have passed before us, almost as rapidly as their phantom brothers in Macbeth, no more to wear the regal crown, or grasp the royal sceptre'. But Orpheus and Eurydice survive in the tender melody of Gluck, full of life and vigor as on the evening they first appealed to and captivated "a delighted audience." Thus it is, and must be ever. Material force and political power are transient as sunshine, while the empire of genius is enduring as the sun. It is to the credit of the Royal Opera House at Berlin that Gluck's masterpiece has always formed one of its stock operas. The management deserves praise also for determining to celebrate its hundredth anniversary, with a solemnity that should be at once a tribute to the merits of Gluck and a proof how highly they were appreciated. As the fifth of October fell, however, on a Sunday, the ceremony, if we may so designate it, was postponed to Monday, the 6th. The performance appears to have commenced with a prologue, written by Herr Hans KOster (husband of the singer of that name), and delivered by Herr BerndaL This prologue alluded, in elegant language, to what Gluck had done to aid the progress of dramatic music, aud dwelt, appropriately enough—considering it was written by a German poet, spoken by a German actor, and listened to by a German audience— on the fact that the great master was, before all, German, unflinchingly German. Next came the opera. It need scarcely be added, in conventional parlance, "that everyone exerted himself to the utmost?" tela va tant dire. Mad. Jachmann (Johanna Wagner) was Orpheus, "for this night only." About her performance, accounts materially differ. Some extol, some criticise, others patiently submit— out of deference, no doubt, to Gluck and the 100th anniversary of his Orpheus. "I will merely observe,"—writes one correspondent—" despite the risk of meeting the ire of her admirers, that it was perfectly unnecessary to recall her to the stage she had formally quitted, in order that she might once again appear under the features of Orpheus,

1 quem concha dicunt Flumuu Threieia detinuisse lyri.'

Was there no singer at the Berlin Opera-house capable of sustaining the part as well—nay better? If such be really the case, the establishment, "Royal" as it is named, must be in a bad plight, and can hardly be set up with fairness as the model of excellence the local press Bo loudly and unanimously proclaims it. Mad. KOster was Eurydice— "quam Orpheus revocavit ah Oreo"—to give a quotation to the lady as well as the gentleman—" and acquitted herself"—according to the same correspondent—" in such a manner as to enlist the sympathies and obtain the applause of the whole audience." The part of Amor—" Veneris alma progenies"—fell to the singer now most in vogue on the

• Maria Theresa.

banks of the Spree—to Mdlle. Lucca. At the conclusion of the performance, a grand scenic decoration exhibited the bust of Gluck, surrounded by the characters his music has immortalised. Altogether, everyone seems to have been pleased, whether in front of the stage or behind the curtain; and the fact of the day being thus kept proves that the good Berliners have more reverence for classical music than their king—that [drill-sergeant in royal robes—for constitutional right. In honour of what national composer shall we ever constitute a ceremony of the kind in England?

MB. DION BOUCICAULT'S proposition to build a new theatre, he himself advancing the large sum of £5000, has been liberally responded to, and is reported as likely to answer his highest expectations. His arguments in support of the necessity of a new theatre are hardly to be controverted. No doubt, in this advanced age of improvement, superior mechanical contrivance has not been made available, nor the public convenience sufficiently consulted. All places of amusement, in fact, have been constructed without reference to economy or utility. We have Mr. Boucicault's word for it—and his authority is of the highest value—that all our metropolitan theatres are constructed upon wrong principles, and that the entrances and modes of exit are faulty to a degree. In the case of one of the temples of the drama, we know that the arrangement of the private boxes is suggestive of a maze rather than a regular building having in especial view free and easy access and departure. That modern architects would amend all this under proper supervision we may reasonably infer; and, therefore, so far a new theatre resolves itself into an object of requirement. But Mr. Boucicault goes farther. Not only is improvement called for imperatively in the construction of the building, but economy may be largely applied to the stage machinery and to the gas apparatus. A saving indeed of something like 50 per cent may be effected in the substitution of machinery for men, and by a peculiar regulation and provision of the lighting of which Mr. Boucicault, it appears, knows the secret. Of course this is a great inducement for those desirous of embarking in the speculation, and no doubt has had its effect on the subscription list The matter of economy in rent and value of property is also laid down at length in Mr. Boucicault's document, but does not, we confess, strike us as so clear or self-evident. On the whole, however, Mr. Boucicault's proposition is feasible and satisfactory. That London theatres are not what they should be every body must allow, and that a theatre built on new and proper principles of art would be a "glory and an ornament to the dramatic profession, if not to the metropolis, we may presume. We therefore wish well to the new undertaking, and heartily hope it may prosper.

We have only one fear. When the new theatre is completed, what is to be done with it? Will Mr. Dion Boucicault—allowing him to be installed as a matter of right in the management — resuscitate the Shaksperian drama? Will he turn his attention to elegant comedy, naturalise French melo-drama, or abide by his own "sensation" pieces? In any case, except the last, from what source is he to procure his actors? Will Messrs. Buckstone, Webster, Falconer, and other lessees and proprietors, cede to him their leading artists in compliment to the reformation building, or will he have to import his company from the provinces? If Mr. Boucicault has originated his theatric speculation solely to advance his own interests,

by producing a continuous series of "Colleen Bawns" and "Sieges of Lucknow," under the most attractive circumstances—which we do not believe for one moment—we can scarcely promise him or his theatre any large amount of support. The truth is, we have already too many theatres for the number and excellence of our actors, and, as far as the immediate interests of the drama are concerned, it would be far better to demolish half a dozen theatres than to erect one. There never was a time when tragedy and comedy were so feebly represented in this country, and, consequently, we are inclined to think that, however excellent and desirable in itself, Mr. Boucicault's proposition might be referred to a more suitable juncture. If sufficient talent does not exist to enable Mr. Boucicault to carry out his plan, it is no fault of his. He should, nevertheless, have patience and wait.

WE learn from the Niederrheinitche Mutile-Zeitung that the measures taken to introduce a uniform change of pitch into the theatres and concert orchestras of Germany, did not, as was originally reported, emanate from the Intendant of the Imperial Theatre in Vienna, but from the Imperial minister, Herr von Schmerling, who ordered a circular to be addressed to all the large theatres in the south and west. This circular was despatched through diplomatic channels. In the case of the Frankfort Theatre, for instance, it was forwarded by Herr von Braun, "Austrian consul in the Free City of Frankfort," who was, moreover, requested to take charge of the answer given by the management. The circular contains a detailed list of reasons showing the pressing necessity for lowering the pitch, Cologne being particularly mentioned as the first town which has adopted the normal Paris standard. It is, moreover, hinted in the circular, that hopes are entertained that, ultimately, even Berlin will consent to it. The Austrian Minister has placed the matter in the hands of Herr E. Devrient, at Carlsruhe. That gentleman has written to apprise the Frankfort manager of the fact, and further stated his resolve to invite all the musical conductors to meet him in conference, ad hoc, at Heidelberg. The precise day of meeting remains to be fixed. Meanwhile, we trust Herr von Schmerling may be able to carry out his plan; in matters where the interests of music are at stake being quite as willing as the Niederrheinitche MutikZeitung itself to be "Grossdeutsch."

To the Editor of the Musical World.

Sir,—In the musical columns of the last issue of the Athenceum, I find the subjoined:—

"The republication of Beethoven's entire works by MM. Broitkopf and H&rtel,—involving, as it docs, close examination of manuscripts, proofs, and all such memorials and directions as exist,—may lead to the destruction of more than one crudity dear to the transcendentalism, who have made Beethoven's crudities, especially in his posthumous Quartetts, their starting-point. It must have been long a surprise to all who know what freaks haste, overcare, ill-deciphered writing play with print, that the voice of Common-Sense has been so sparingly permitted a hearing in defence of Genius, when the latter appears to have uttered nonsense. Beethoven's arrogant answer, 'Well, then, I permit it!' to some pedant who objected to an ungraminutical sequence in a composition of his, has done no common mischief in the world of half-thinkers, who have thenceforward (and not without show of plausibility) justified everything set down for Beethoven as being his own matured and final utterance. So M. Berlioz—once on a time—wasted good ingenuity in admiring the two cancelled bars in the Scherzo of the C minor Symphony. Every one of such mistakes set to rights (for which process are required clear-sightedness, patience, sagacity, and scLf-renuudatiou, far more difficult to exercise than blind idol■try) 19 good service done to the memory of a great man, and to the powers of healthy admiration cherished by those who receive the same."

Who are the "transcendentalisms' that admire wrong notes? Who is "Common Sense," with a " voice in defence of genius," and yet unable to convince? Who are the "half-thinkers," that "justify everything?" Who are the "clear-sighted," "patient," "sagacious," and "self-renouncing," that have "set to rights," and "done good service to the powers of healthy admiration, cherished by those who receive the same?" The key to these mysteries is preserved in the sanctum sanctorum of the musical Atlienceum. The transcendentalists that admire wrong notes, the half-thinkers that justify (where there is nothing to adjudge), are those who happen to differ from "Common Sense —" Common Sense" being, of course, the Athencenum. "Common Sense" (Athenceum) has always been severe upon the "crudities" in Beethoven's last works, and pointed with frequent vagueness to those places where the deaf composer "appears to have uttered nonsense." Amateurs and musicians, who might otherwise have groped about for ever in inextricable darkness, are doubtless grateful to "Common Sense" (Athenceum) for the patient clear-sightedness (or clear-sighted patience) and selfrenouncing sagacity (or sagacious self-renunciation), that have "set to rights" difficulties and fortified "powers of healthy admiration;" but because they are grateful that is no reason why they should be charged with a blind admiration for wrong notes.

Seriously, this flourish of the Athenceum is but an empty flourish. The Athenceum has fought against a shadow, and claims a victory. That the correction of wrong notes, and other errors of the press, can have no influence whatever, in guiding opinion about the later works of Beethoven, is the "matured and final utterance" of

An English Musician.

Skipton under Winchley, Oct. 21.

fete to % mat.

Sio. Schib.i has been nominated, by His Majesty the King of Italy, Chevalier of the order dei Sanli Maurizio e Laiaro.

Testimonial To Mr. G. B. Allen Of Ahm.voh.—The friends and admirers of Mr. G. B. Allen wishing to present him with some proof of their regard and esteem on his quitting Armagh for London, have decided upon presenting him with a testimonial to his excellence as a musician and composer and his high qualifications as a teacher. A subscription has been set on foot for the purpose, and a committee formed to receive contributions and decide upon the most desirable form of testimonial. A sum almost sufficient for the purpose lias been already collected. Mr. Allen expects to leave Ireland the first or second week in November.

Madame Tonnelieb.The Brighton Oaiette of Oct. 30th in speaking of the performances of Mad. Tonnelier, the new prima donna at Mr. Kuhe's Pianoforte Recital, says :—" Madame Tonnelier, a lady whom we never remember to have heard before in Brighton, was the vocalist: her voice is very extensive and her roulades and shakes are given with a fiuish which shows she has practised in a good' school. In her first song, ' Robert toi que j'aime,' there was a little harshness in her forte notes, but her soft notes were delicious. She did not display the same harshness in' Qui la voce;' it was a highly finished piece of vocalisation. The lady quite enchanted her hearers, and was rapturously encored.

Ckoydon.—Madame do Vauchcran gave a concert in the Public Hall on Monday evening. The Vocalists were Miss Khun, Miss Grace Delafield, Mad. J. Heine, Mr. Seymour Smith, Mr. Viotti Cooper ;— instrumentalists: Pianoforte, Mad. de Vaucheran; Violin, M. J. Heine; Piccolo, Mr. A. J. Phipps; Harp, Mad. James Dryden. Conductors, Messrs. George Lake, aud S. Austen Pearce, M.B., Oxon. Mad. de Vaucheran played Kullak's lies Arpeges, Asehcr's Sans Souei (galop,) and several duets, including two for piano and violin with Mr. J. Heine, the extremely clever blind violinist. Many of the vocal pieces appeared to afford much gratification, Miss Elani winning an encore in "Coming through the Bye," and Mr. Viotti Cooper receiving immense applause for his expressive delivery, in Italian, of "Adelaida." Mr. Viotti Cooper introduced Mad. Vaucheran's new patriotic song, "Borne or death for my own loved Italy," which was heartily cheered by the Garibaldians present. The concert altogether gave evident satisfaction.

"ALTHO' I'M BUT A VERY LITTLE LAD."

Sib,—In answer to " A Subscriber's" enquiry as to the Publisher of "Altho' I'm but a very little lad," I was looking over some old musk the other day and came upon the song. It was published bv Unman and Broderip, 26, Cheapaide, and 18, Haymarket. Yours, in.,

Anotukb Spuciour

PARIS.

(From an occasional Correspondent.')

Paris, Oct. 30th.

I have scant news for you this week, aud nothing "special." It U all but arranged that Mario ia to make his dibut in La Muette it tdrtiei (Masanicllo), and M. Massol—the favorite baritone at Her Majetty'i Theatre in 1851, when he played the father in the Frodigo with s much effect, and (as I need hardly remind you), at the Royal Italian Opera in 184'J—as Pietro. In the Comte Ory M. Faure has "condescended" to take the part of Raimbaud, but I do not hear that Rossini has composed a new air for him. Mdme. VandenheuvelDuprez will be the Countess; Mdlle. de Taisy the page; and M. Cazaux the governor. I dare assert your readers are not particularly familiar with the two last named artists.

Sig. Gardoni is engaged to replace Mario at the Italiens, and U announced for Count Almaviva in the Barbiere. The new tenor, or, more properly, tenorino, Signor Cantoni, has appeared once in 1a Sonnainbula (Amina Mdlle. Marie Battu), but with no extraordinary success. The Trovatore, with Mesdames Penco and Alboni, Signers Naudin and Bartolini, has been more successful. Mdme. FrcBobni will appear shortly as Gilda in RiyoUilo, with Gardoni, Signor Delle Sedie aud Alboni as Maddalena. Have I any more news? Yes! On dit—Mdlle. Trebelli is to be married in the spring to Signor Alessandro Bettini, the tenor. The talented fiancee is at this moment at Derlin, winning new laurels. The sad news has arrived here from Naples that Meroadante has entirely lost liis sight, and solaces himself by dictating instrumental overtures.

Adeuna Patti— [an untranslatable "canard").—" Ce quipeutnoui donner une idee de l'engouinent britanuique pour la Patti, c'eit que les jeunes gens de Londres out organise; un train special, y compris le bateau a vapour, pour le 10 novembre, jour oil la celebre artiste doit debuter au Theatre-Italien de Paris. Le voyage coutera cinq livres, aller ct retour, avec un stalle d'Opera-ltalien et cinq jours d'arret dam la capitale."—Leon Escduieb (Art Musical).

Dkvonport.—The second concert for the fund of the New Hospital took place in the Mechanic's Institute. The hall was filled. Theprogramme comprised a recital of some works of Beethoven, and a miscellaneous selection. The artists were Mad. Gassier, Mad. Arrabella Goddard, Mdlle. Marie Cruvelli, Herr Hermanns, Mr. Swift, M. Sainton, Sig, Bottesini, and Mr. Land. The gem of the evening, was Beethoven's sonata in G (Op. 30) by Mad. Gotidard and M. Sainton. There is the same contrasted gentleness and power which won for Mad. Goddard n many plaudits and such wide-spread fame years ago ; and those who then admired are the more warmly enthusiastic now, because they cannot faS to recognize the beauties that charmed them when she first came among us. M. Sainton, quietly appreciative and perfect in undemonstrative execution, was equally happy in his mastery over the violin and in the good opinion of his audience. The sonata, charmingly delivered, was loudly but unavailingly encored. Mad. Gassier's valse from Gounod's Faust was a clever and brilliant performance. Signor Bottesini'i first selection was his own fantasia on the Sonnambuta. So apparently miraculous were some of his passages tliat, after hearing them, few would have been astonished had the Signor played his next piece—the Carnival of Venice—upon a cross-bow. Herr Hermanns saug two German songs, and in Martini's " Vadasi via di qua," with Mr. Swift and another. Mad. Goddard's second solo was Liszt's i(iWe*>—ore of the most brilliant and difficult of modern fantasias. Mr. Swift's best effort was in a duet from Verdi's Attila, with Mad. Gassier. M, Sainton's delivery of Beethoven's Bomance in F. remains to be noted. The success of this concert was in some measure due to the ability displayed by Mr. Land as conductor.

Exeter Hall.—The national choral society gave a performance of Elijah on Wednesday evening, with the usual strong force of singers and the usual inadequate instrumental supplement. Mdlle. Florence Lancia sang the soprana part for first time, and made a decided " bit," indicating in this more emphatically than in the Creation that she is destined to take high standing in the sacred concert room. Mr. Santlcy sang the music of Elijah magnificently, Mdlle. Elvira Behrsffi and Mr. Wflbye Cooper doing good service in the contralto and tenor A LETTER FROM MENDELSSOHN.

Rome, November 8,'1830.

To-day I ought to write about my first eight days in Rome, how I have arranged it to live, what my prospects for the winter are, and how this divine spot works upon me; but this will be rather difficult. It seems to me that I am changed since I came hither; and if formerly I made efforts to repress my impatience and my haste to move onward and push forward with ever increasing speed, or concluded that this was merely a habit, I now see clearly that the real cause was, but the lively wish to reach this gaol. And now I have reached it; and my mind has become calm, joyous, yet earnest to a degree that I cannot desoribe. What it is that has so affected me is also something which I cannot exactly explain; for the awful Coliseum, the pleasant Vatican, the mild spring air, all share it, as well as the friendly people, my comfortable chamber, and everything. But I am changed; I feel myself well and happy to a degree long since unknown, and have such a delight in and impulse to work, that I expect to accomplish far more here than I had purposed; for I am already: deep in my task. If God only bestows the continuance of this happiness, I look forward to a most beautiful and productive winter.

Imagine a small two-windowed house in the Spanish Square, No. 5, that has the warm sun all day long, and a room up one flight in which a good Vienna grand pianoforte stands. On the table lie several portraits—Palestrina, Allegri, &c.; a Latin psalm book—out of which 'Non Nobis" is to be set to music. Well, now, I reside here. The Capitol was too far away, and I was afraid of the cold air, against which here I have no need for anxiety, when I stand at my>window of a morning and look upon the Square, and see everything so sharply defined in the sunshine against the blue sky. My landlord was once to captain in the French service; the girl has the noblest contralto voice that I know; above me lives a captain in the Russian army, with whom I talk politics—in short my locality is good. When I come in the morning into the room and the sun shines so brightly upon my breakfast (you see I am spoiled for a poet) I am filled with infinite comfort; for it is already late in the Autumn, and who with us can think of having warm weather, clear sky, grapes, and flowers? After breakfast I begin work, and play, sing, and compose until about noon. Then all this nuge, boundless Rome lies before me as if purposely for my enjoyment. I take up my work very leisurely, choosing some new object of world-wide renown daily—to-day taking my walk among the ruins of the old city, to-morrow to the Borghese gallery, another time to the Capitol, St. Peters, or the Vatican. This makes every day memorable, and, as I have time enough, I carry off every impression clearer and stronger. When at work of mornings I dislike to stop, and would gladly keep on writing; but I say to myself, "you must, though, see the Vatican ;" and when I am once there I hate to leave it. So every one of my occupations gives me the purest delight, and one enjoyment crowds another. While Venice with her^<M( looked to me like a tombstone—her modern palaces going to nun, and her continual memorials of the magnificence of yore soon making me sad and melancholy— Rome's past seems to me like history; her monuments elevate, making one earnest yet joyous; and it is a pleasant thought, that man can produce that from which after the lapse of a thousand years he can still draw profit and pleasure. When now I have fully impressed Buch a picture upon my memory—and daily a new one —it is usually already twilight and the day at an end. Then I hunt up acquaintances and friends; we exchange notes upon what we have done—that is what we have here enjoyed, and get along delightfully. Evenings I have spent mostly with the Bendemanns and Hllbners, where the German artists assemble; I go, too, sometimes to Scliadow's. A most valuable acquaintance for me is the Abb6 Santini, who has one, of the most complete of libraries for old Italian music, and who gladly lends and gives me everything—for he is good nature itself. Of evenings Ahiborn, or I, accompany him home—because it causes scandal if an Abbe* is seen alone in the street after dark. That such fellows as Ahiborn and I must serve as duennas to a sixty-year-old priest, is piquant enough! The Duchess of— • • • gave me a list of old music, of which she wished to obtain copies if possible. Santini possesses it aD, and I am very much obliged to him for allowing it to be copied, for I at once look it all through and make myself familiar with it. I pray you to send me for him, as a testimony of my gratitude, the six Cantatas of Seb. Bach, edited by Marx, and published by Simrock, or some of the organ pieces. I should prefer cantatas; he already has the Magnificat, the Motets, and Borne other things. He has translated the "Sing to the Lord a new Song," and he intends to

?reduce it in Naples; for which he should be rewarded. As to the 'ope's choir, which I have heard now three times (in the Quirinal, on Lonte Cavallo, twice, and once in San Carlo), I shall write fully on that topic to Zelter. I anticipate great pleasure with Bunsen; we shall have much to say to each other, and I am inclined to think that he has work for me; this I will do gladly and as well as possible, if I can

do it conscientiously. To my 'home; comforts is to be reekoned that I am reading Goethe's Italian Journey for the first time; and I must confess that I am greatly delighted that he arrived in Rome the same day as I did;—that like me he first went to the Quirinal and there heard the Requiem; that in Florence and Bologna he also was full of impatience; and here he became also so calm in spirit—or solid, as he calls it; for that all that he describes has also been precisely my own experience, and that is very pleasant. But he speaks at length of a large picture by Titian (in the Vatican), and is of opinion that the intention of it is not to be made out; that it contains merely figures beautifully grouped. Now I imagine that I have found a very deep meaning in it, and believe that whoever finds higher beauty in Titian is always in the right, for he was of the divine quality. If he had no opportunity here in the Vatican, like Raphael, to show his powers in all their breadth, still I shall never forget his three pictures in Venice, to which belongs in character this in tho Vatican, where I was to-day for the first time.

If we could come into the world in the perfection of all our faculties, everything would smile upon us full of life and joy, as the pictures in the Vatican upon the visitor; the " School at Athens," the " Disputa," the " Peter," which stand there before us as if created by the mere thought of the artist; and then the entrance under the parti-colored vaultings, where on the one side we look out upon the Square and Rome, and blue Alban mountains, while above us are figures from the Old Testament, and a thousand various angel forms and arabesques of fruits and flowers; and then only do we pass up into the gallery! But you must become famous, dear Hcnsel, for your copy of the Transfiguration is magnificent! That joyous awe which seizes me, when I first behold an immortal work, the fundamental impression and idea of it—these did not come to me to-day, but when I saw your picture. The first impression to-day gave me only what I knew already through you; and not until long observation and study did I succeed in finding anything new in it. On the other hand, the " Madonna di Foligno " appeared to me in all the splendor of her lovliness. I have had a happy morning in the midst of all this magnificence; I have not yet visited the sculptures; the first impression of them remains for another day.

Morning of the 9th. So every morning brings me new expectations, and every day fulfils them. The Buii has at this moment again lighted up my breakfast, and now I will again to my work. By the first opportunity I will send you, dear Fanny, the Vienna compositions, and what else is finished, and to you, Rebecca, my drawing book. It, however, does not now quite satisfy me, and I shall see here much of the sketches of the landscape painters, so as if possible to acquire a new style; I tried to form one for myself, but, no! To-day I intend to go to the Lateran and ruins of old Rome; in the evening I go to a friendly English family whose acquaintance I have made here. But I pray you send me many letters of introduction; I have great desire to become acquainted with a monstrous mass of people, particularly Italians. And so I live on happy and jolly, and think of you all in every happy moment. Be happy and rejoice with me in the times which seem opening to me. Farewell all! Felix M. B,

Mdlle. Patti.—A contemporary says—" We are informed that this distinguished vocalist will be unable, after the present tour, to appear in the British provinces again for the next three years, having made engagements extending over that period for London and 6ome of the leading continental cities, which we have reason to believe will be as follows:—Paris, during November and December, 1862, and January, 1863; Vienna, February, March, and April, 1863; London, May, June, and July, 1863; Vienna, September and October, 1863, where Meyerbeer's Dinorah is to be produced for the first time, the eminent composer having selected Madlle. Patti for the occasion. For the season of November, December, 1863, and January, 1863, the little Jady returns to Paris; and in February, March, and April, 1864, makes her debut at Naples in a new opera written expressly for her by Verdi, who will most probably select Victor Hugo's famous story, Esmeralda for the subject, a character admirably suited to the dramatic specialties of Madlle. Patti. During the summer season of 1864 she is again to form one of the company at the Royal Italian Opera, Covent Garden, and in the September and October following will appear at Madrid, concluding this remarkable series of engagements in Paris, during the months of November and December, 1864, and January, 1865. Considerable interest is taken by numerous admirers in London in reference to Madlle. Patti's debit at the Italian Opera, Paris, on the 10th of November next, as Amina in La Sonnambula, so much so that we hear of arrangements being in progress for an excursion by train and steamer, at a five-guinea fare there and back, to include a ticket of admission to the opera on the particular night, aud allowing five days in Paris. We are inclined to think that few vocalists of the present day are likely to win greater favor from a Parisian public than the highly gifted Adelina Patti"

THE SATURDAY REVIEW ON MUSIC*

The last number of the Saturday Review contains rather it curious article entitled "Musical Biography." As the writer evidently takes an interest in musical matters, it is a pity that he did not make himself acquainted with the facts of the question treated by him before publishing his conclusions thereupon. He sets out by stating that musical biographies never possess much literary merit, and he instances Dr. Burner's celebrated work, which, though called a "History of Music," is, in fact, little more than a collection of biographical sketches of musicians and singers. He then explains this assumed badness of all musical biographies (an assumption which appears in the main to be true, though we shall be able to point out some important exceptions to the rule) by further assuming that they are generally written by musicians; and he accounts for the literary and general incapacity of musicians by assuming, finally, that the study of their art "occupies so much of their time that they have no leisure for any other pursuit. Lest any doubt should exist in the mind of the reader as to whether musicians are really the incapable persons which he represents them to be, he states, on his own anthority, that when Mendelssohn was in London it was generally remarked what a very superior sort of man he was for a musician.

We admit that there are very few good musical biographies. Nevertheless, we have a very valuable life of Mozart, by Otto Jahn; two highly-interesting works on the same subject, in very different styles, by Oulibicheff and Mr. Holmes; and several musical biographies by Stendahl, one of the most brilliant writers of modern times. Stendahl's Life of Haydn is a translation from the Italian, adorned and improved; so also is his Life of Rossini, which has the further disadvantage of being, in many places, untrue; but in a merely literary point of view both Stendahl's musical biographies are executed to perfection. Burney's great work is, on the whole, somewhat of a bore, and we are quite willing to give it up to the Saturday Review as a bad job. But Dr. Burney was not much of a musician; and, if the literary world will not have him as an author, the musical world will certainly not accept him as a composer. Even if the History of music, be looked upon as a typical book, Dr. Burney cannot be regarded as a typical musician; nor is it true that the majority of musical histories and biographies are written by musicians at all. Of the three biographers of Mozart—German, Russian, and English— neither was ever a professional musician. Stendahl, again, appears to have been quite ignorant of music; and M. Schcelcher, the biographer of Handel, tells us that he does not know one note from another. Mr. Chorley, the author of several works on musical subjects, is not so communicative ns M. Scho?lcheri but it is tolerably evident, from some observations of his, recently published in the Athenaeum, on an unpublished score of Mendelssohn, that he' also understands nothing of music as an art.

Where are the musicians who have written musical biographies j and why, if musical biographies are faulty or deficient in interest, are musicians to be blamed? As to the assumption that musicians possess no literary faculty, or that, possessing it, they have not the leisure to cultivate it, we will simply remark that Mozart's, Beethoven's, and Weber's published letters prove to the contrary. So do Weber's musical criticisms; so do the tolerably well-known tales written by Hoffmann, who was a musician and successful composer before he made his appearance as an author of books; so does the very clever work on the Opera by Wagner, however wrong the theories enunciated therein may be; so do Wagner's admirable libretti; so, in the small way, do the musical sketches of Berlioz, HahSvy, and Adolphe Adam; so does the Italian libretto, almost improvised by Donizetti on the subject of La Sonnette de A'uit, and the scene added by him to the libretto of the Lucia. Such a petty feat as the composition of a libretto is as nothing compared to the composition of the music of an opera; but, as the question raised is whether or not musicians ever exhibit talent out of their own sphere, and especially in that of literature, we quote a few instances, at random, of composers who, having something to say in written speech as well as in music, knew how to say it. We have purposely laid no stress on the value of the recently-published letters of Mendelssohn, because the writer in the Saturday Review admits Mendelssohn's right to be regarded as a man of some intellect. Why does he suppose him to have been an exception in that respect among musicians? What sort of impression does he think Weber made upon English society? What sort of opinion does he imagine that the very numerous friends of Meyerbeer, Auber, and Rossini entertain of those composers' mental qualifications?

M. Guizot does not usually pass for a light-minded, frivolous man. No one can suspect him of melomania. Let us see what he thought of Rossini, whom he saw once, for half an hour, more than thirty years ago. He describes the scene as if it were an affair of yesterday, and with deep feeling, such as no other recollection set down in his Memoirs seems to have awakened. "When, after the lapse of long years," he Mys, " we collect our reminiscences, we are astonished at the associations which operate in the memory, and which we took no note of while facts were in progress of accomplishment. At the same period, if not on the very day, when these tumults occurred in the streets of Paris, relative to the Pantheon, and of which I retain such a disagreeable impression, M. Lenorinant brought M. Rossini to breakfast with me. He had sustained some annoyances jjom the Revolution of 1830, which I wished to make him forget. Charles X.

From the Illustrated Times,*

had treated him with great favour. He was Inspector-General of Singing, receiving, besides his rights of authorship, the salary of 7000f.; and a few months before the brilliant success of Guillaume Tell the Civil List had signed an agreement with him by which he engaged to compose for the French stage two great works. I was anxious that the new Government should exercise towards him the same consideration, and that in return he should supply us with these masterpieces. We conversed together without reserve. I was struck with his active, varied disposition, open to every subject—gay without vulgarity, and inclined to jest without bitterness. He left me after half an hour of pleasant intercourse, which, however, led to nothing, for I soon after ceased to hold office. I remained alone with my wife, who had been interested by M. Rossini and his conversation. My daughter Henrietta was brought into the room—a little child who had just begun to walk and prattle. My wife went to the piano and played some passages from the works of the composer who had just left us—from Tancrtdi amongst others. We were alone. I remained thus for I know not how long, forgetting all external associations, gazing on my daughter, who attempted to run, perfectly tranquil and absorbed in the presence of these objects of my affections. Thirty years have passed over, and yet it seems like yesterday. I do not agree with Dante when he says—

"Nessun magc/ior dolorc Che ricordarsi del tempo felloe Nella misetia."

I think, on the contrary, that the reflection of a light upon the place it no longer illuminates is a precious enjoyment; and when Heaven and time hare allayed the ardent rising of the soul against misfortune it turns calmly to the past and finds a pleasure in contemplating the advantages and blessings which it has lost."

MONDAY POPULAR CONCERTS.

St. James's Hall was on Monday night crowded to the very doors, on the occasion of the third concert of this prematurely inaugurated season. When we have to speak of entertainments such as the Monday Popular Concerts, admission to which is now always sought with avidity, though the opening of the season may be "early," it can scarcely be said to be "premature." The old landmarks formerly denoting with rigid accuracy the prescribed limits within which musk' was publicly tolerated, are in course of gradual removal, and this eventful year of 18G2 has well nigh effected their total dispersion. It is, of course, for the special behoof of foreign and provincial visitors that the great musical clock of the London season thus anticipates its usual public performance. So we presume, that to the wide-spread, extra-Londinian fame of the " Popular Concerts," must be attributed the remarkably full attendance of Monday night; but if the majority of those present were Exhibition visitors, the steadfast and earnest faith in public taste, displayed even in the concoction of the programme*, must have had the effect of a veritable loadstone, and have attracted only those who are as true as steel in their admiration of the lofty manifestations of the highest art. We are justified in our assumption by the singularly marked discrimination evinced by the audience, eager to listen and eager to applaud, in their reception of each component part of the well-constructed programme.

Scarcely could a concert nave been more impressively announced than by the few mysterious bars of adagio which usher in the first allegro of Mendelssohn's Quartet in E flat. This, the twelfth opus of the gifted successor of Beethoven, was written when its composer had scarcely counted as many happy summers; and to this effusion from a child's untried brain, greybeards are now glad to listen, intent to draw from its melodious accents intellectual profit as well as sensuous delight. Of all musicians, as it seems to us, Mendelssohn preeminently shares with his nobler compeer, Beethoven, that wondrous faculty which reaches, perhaps, its highest development in Raphael's " San Sisto," of suggesting beneath external forms of absolute beauty the presence of thoughts and feelings that" lie too deep for words." That a mere boy, such as Mendelssohn, when he wrote this fascinating quartet, should be able to excite the mind and affect the heart, as well as gratify the ear, is a much more remarkable phenomenon than the purely musical aptitude which displayed itself at so early an age ia Hummel and Mozart. In the ethereal second movement (" canzonet"), Mendelssohn seems to have vaguely imagined the first germs of the exquisite fairy music, afterwards wrought into perfect shape in his Mvisuvuaer Night's Dream; even the quaint and fanciful drone of the violoncello in this movement, reminds the hearer of a similar use of the ophicleide in the later and more elaborate effort. The whole work was played to perfection by Herr Joachim, Herr L. Ries, Mr. Webb, and Signor Piatti, the equality of tone, no less than the accuracy of the performers being alike remarkable in the staccato passages of the canzonet, and in the broad, richly harmonised melody of the andante.

Mr. C. Halle should be complimented for his choice of Beethoven's sonata in F, Op.54, it being not only difficult, but on account, perhaps, of the absence of a slow movement, comparatively ungrateful. It was given for the first time at these concerts, but Mr. Halle has proved in each

« ElőzőTovább »