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*#* The agreeable recreation which is derived from the performance of Operatic Music as Pianoforte Duets, and the belief that a collection of Operas arranged for Two Performers would be very acceptable to Families and Amateurs, have induced the Publishers to issue the following series of favourite Operas at a moderate price, and in a convenient and durable form.
Several Operas are included which, although not so well known on the stage as others, contain much delightful music, and will be found to be not less attractive on the Pianoforte. The arrangements of all are treated in a brilliant and popular style, and every one is published in as complete a shape as a judicious Pianoforte adaptation will admit of.
THE SIEGE OF SEBASTOPOL!—Grand March by W II. Iiaikb, M performed before the Queen at Buckingham Palace, and the Allied Sovereigns at Windsor. Now ready. Piano Solo, 2s. 6d.; Duet, 3s. 6d. Beautifully Illuatratod. Cramer, 201, Rrgent-Btreot; Ollivier, 19, Old Bond-street, and to be bad everywhere.
TTALIE POLKA, BY GAVIOLI. — This favourite
JL Polka, so long in demand, i« now published, price 2s. 6d., Illustrated by Brandard. The copyright is secured by the French International Treaty, and any infringement of it will be immediately prosecuted. The baud parts are published this ilay. price 5s. ; scptett parts, Ss. Od. Published (for the proprietor) by Boosey and Sous, 28. Holies-street.
ENGLAND AND FRANCE.—The most popular Waltz, in which the favourite melodies of France, England, Ireland, and Scotland are introduced, is the STARS OF THE WEST, by G. Montagne, illustrated by Braniiard in colours, with the portraits of two French and English Benuties. Second edition, price 4s. for pianoforte. Orchestral parts, 6s. Boosey and Sons, 28, Holies-street.
MRS. SUTHERLAND, MISS STABBACH, and MISS MEBSENT.-Just published, THE HOUR IS NIGH, new ballad, sung with the greatest applause by the above celebrated artists. Written by Desmond Ryan ; composed by R. Hacking, Jun. Price 2s. Boosey and Sons, 28, Hollosstreet. ____ _____
A SECOND EDITION OF LAURENT'S VALSE DU CAHNAVAL is published, price 3s. Orchestral parts, Ss. Boosey and Sons, 28, Holies-street.
LES GUIDES.—Henri Laurent's Galop des Guides is encored on overy oc«uji>n at all the Theatres and Public Balls in London. Illustrated with a group of Les Guides. Price 2s. 6d. Band parts, 5s.
CHARLES MACKAY.—Six Original Compositions.—
1. When first my fancy coisod to roam. Song. Price 2s.
2. Believe if you can ,, 2s.
3. The fisherman and his wife .. .. Gleo. ,, 2s.
4. Du I ley Castle Song. „ 2s.
5. Oh! say fond heart „ 2s.
6. The ro3e's errand .. .. .. „ ., 2*.
The kindred fuclings of P'>etry and music arc joined by Mr Mackay in theso lyrics, as ho has written l>oth the words and the melodies. They are effectivo drawing-room songs, familiar, yet pleasing, and graceful in character. "Bolicvo if you can" is light, sparkling, and very effective; "The rose's orr.ind," an expressive and touching ballad; and "The fisherman and hU wife," a gleo for three voices, is excellently harmonised, and one of the best specimen-* of glee writing that we have seen for some time.—News of tin World.—Boosey aud Sons, 28, Holies-street.
COMPLETE OPERAS FOR PIANOFORTE.—Messrs. Boosey And Sons' new series of complete operns without words, in cloth covers, gilt letters: Lucia di Lammcrmoor, 5s.; Les Hugu< not*, 7s. 6d. ; La Sonnambula, 4s.; Norma, 4s. ; Fille du Regiment, 4s.; Fra Diavolo, fis ; Don Juan, 0s.; Lucrezia Borgia, 4s. The following operas in i>aper covers, are without the recitatives. Rigoletto, 4s.; II Trovatore, 4s.; Eruaui, 4s ; Nabuco, 4s.: Lombardi, 4s.; Elisire, 4s.; Anna Bolena, 6s.; &c, *tc.
BEETHOVEN'S FIDELIO IN ENGLISH AND GERMAN, price 16s. bound. Messrs. Boosey and Sons' Edition of FIDELIO (uniform with Mozart's operas) is the most perfect of any published in Europe. The text. In English and German, includes the whole of tho spoken dialogue, and la published with the music, and also in a separate form, at the commencement of the book. The pianoforte adaptation is full and complete and, although not difficult, presents all the instrumental effects in tho most brilliant form. It is accompanied with notes from the score, showing at a glance the composer's system of instrumentation. The three overtures to Leonora and Fidelio precede the opera. A_very interesting biography of Beethoven, with a critical and historical essay on Fidelio by J. W. Mould, are prefixed to the music, price 15s., In green ornamental cloth. Boosey and Sons, 23, Holies-street.;
NEW SONG—TREES OF THE FOREST. Composed by J. W. CHERRY. Price 2s. (sent postifre free ) This song is a companion to "Shells of tho Oceau," by the wiine composer. It will become exceedingly popular, aa it equals in beauty its prcdoassor.—Duff and Hodgson, 65, Oxfordstreet.^ ___
NOVELLO'S CHEAP EDITIONS OF ORGAN MUSIC. FOLIO SIZE.
RINCK'S PRACTICAL ORGAN SCHOOL. Op. 55. Carefully revised and corrected with tho German directions and terms translated into English. Complete in One Vol., folio size, 15s.; or in Six Books, 3s. each.
BACH'S GRAND STUDIES, with Pedal obbligato, consisting of Preludes, Fugues, Toccatas and Fantasias. In one volume, 28s.; Violoncello parts, 7s.
HILES'S SHORT VOLUNTARIES, selected from the works of emiuent Composers. In 9 Nos., Is. 3d. each; or in one volume, cloth, 10s. 6d.
NOVELLO'S SELECT ORGAN PIECES, consisting of Selections from the works of tho Church Coroiwecra of the German and Italian Schools. In 3 vols., 31s. Cd. each; or 18 Books, 6s. each; or 108 Numbers, Is. 3d. each.
NOVELLO'S SHORT MELODIES, original and selected, intended principally for the Soft Stops. In one volume, 31s. Cd.; or 6 Books, 6s. each; or 36 Numbers, Is. 3d. each.
Second Edition of
SCHNEIDER'S COMPLETE THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL ORGAN SCHOOL, containing Instructions for playing the Organ, with numerous exercises for acquiring the use of the Pedals; translated by Charles Flaxhah. and Edited by J. G. Emett. Prico 10s. J. Alfred Novollo, London and New York.
NOVELLO'S EDITION of ALBRECHTSBERGER'S THOROUGH BASS and HARMONY, Vols. 1 and 2, Ss. 6d each ; (Vol. 3 in rgre&s.) Marx's General Musical Instruction, whole cloth, C-a, 6d ; post tree, Cherubini's treatiso on Counterpoint and Fugue, -whole cl-th, Cs. 6d. ; post free, 7s. Moxart's succinct Thorough Bass School, paper cover, I0d. Fetis' Trea' ise on Choir and Chorus singing, paper cover Is. 6d. Cutcl's Treatise on Harmony, paper cover, 2s. 6d. Being the first six works in the series of "Novello's Library f. >r the Diffusion of Musical Knowledge." J. Alfred Novello, Lond-n and New York.
NOVELLO'S CHEAP MUSIC is sold by eveiy respectable music-scllcr and bookseller. Catalogues post free on sending six stamps to 69, Dean-street, Soho.
NOVELLO'S original Octavo Editions of ORATORIOS, K.und in scarlet cloth: Hadyn's Creation, 3s.; Handel's Messiah, 4s.; Judas, 4s. ; Israel in Egypt, 4s.; Samson, 4s.; Saul, 6s. 6d.; Mendelssohn's St. Paul, 6s. Od.; and 20 others. List gratis.—J. A. Novello, G9, Dean-street, Soho, and 24, Poultry.
Published by John Boosey, of 27, Notting Hill-square, in tlto parish of Kensington, at the office of Boosey tt Sons, 28. Holies-street. Sold also by Rhed. 15, John-street, Great Portland-street; Allen, Warwick-lane ; Vickers, Holywclls rect; Keith. Prowse. & Co., 48, Chrapsido; G. Scheurmann, 86, Newgatestreet; Harry May, 11, Hollx>rn-bars. Agents for Scotland, Patersun & Sons, Edinburgh ; for Ireland. H. Bossell, Dublin; and all Music-sellers.
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SUBSCBIPTION:—Stamped for Postage, 20b. per annum-Payable in advance, by Cash or Post Office Order, to BOOSEY & SONS, 28, Holies Street, Cavendish Square.
HER MAJESTY'S PRIVATE BAND.
To the Editor of the Musical World.
Sir,—Circumstances have arisen which make it most desirable that the letters which have passed between me and the Master of Her Majesty's Private Band, on the subject of my resignation, should be made public, for the satisfaction of all parties. Your condescending to afford them a corner of your valuable space will be esteemed a great favour by yours, most respectfully,
May 8th, 1855. H. Hill.
P.S. The letters themselves require little or no comment. I would simply premise that my salary was originally £100 per annum, with various privileges. I resigned for the first time about three years ago, from the painful and miserable humiliations I had at times to undergo. I returned again, after an interview and some letters having passed between me and the Band-master, in one of which I had rashly said I would rather take £20 less salary than suffer what I had hitherto done. On this basis, twenty pounds a-year less, I remained until April 19th, 1855. The value of the appointment at the moment of my leaving, was as follows: salary, £80; sapper money, £5: total £85 per annum ; from whi<*h deduct £5 income tax; expenses annually incurred in the perlormance of the duties, nearly £25; leaving a net salary of about £55 per annum.
April 19th, 1855. Q. F. Anderson, Esq.
Dear Sir,—In times past, when an artiste was engaged to serve Her Most Gracious Majesty as a musician, the employment reflected at least some shade of honour upon him ; but recent events have changed all; and the once-valued distinction has now become a bye-word and a shame.
Pray do me the favour to accept my resignation of the appointment I have hitherto held in Her Majesty's Private Band.
I need hardly say that, in alluding to those shameful reports with which the ears of the entire musical profession have been stuffed of late, I am animated by one sole desire to preserve to myself an unsullied name. Amongst other scandals, it is said, that you receive £100 per annum on account of my services, pay me £80, and apply the rest after the dictates of your private judgment; also, that I am a consenting party, in order to avoid a rigorous performance of my duties. Can anything be more degrading than such a scandal? A very small amount of reflection must convince you that my resignation is the only reasonable solution to an imputation alike dishonourable to you and to me. Your's truly, H. Hill.
34, Nottingham Place, York Gate, Regent"* Park, April 20<A, 1855. Dear Sir,—I have this morning received your letter of yesterday's date, which, I must confess, has astonished mo beyond measure.
I immediately placed it before the Hon. Col. Phipps, who is equally surprised as myself at your paying any attention to such absurd and libellous nonsense. I quote the following passage
from CoL Phipps' letter to me, written with yours before him: "The receipt of the whole of Mr. Hill's salary that is due to him, as of every other member of the Private Band, is certified to me quarterly by their own signatures to the receipts, which you know that I examine separately, and particularly to sec that they correspond with the sums charged."
I am ready to show you, or any one else, Col. Phipps' letter, on their calling upon me. I should be glad if you would give me the name of the author of such a libellous falsehood. I am only waiting to catch the party. Yours, in great haste,
To H. Hill, Esq. G. F. Anderson.
P. S. If you pass this way to-morrow, I will show you Colonel Phipps' letter, and pay you 10*. I also want you to sign your receipt, in order that I may make out my accounts.
Dear Sir,—The units of animosity swell when they are once brought into a heap by some untoward event and told over by the nice accuracy of vindictive malice, and a very small amount of acquiescence serves to embalm a scandal and fix the consequences on a man for ever. "The nonsensical libels," as you term them, now going the round, are not the fruits of a day; they have been maturing for a long time, a very long time, from many and various causes, as must be evident to every dispassionate person in any way acquainted with the evils in question; they have been suffered to exist, perhaps from indifference or contempt, or else very clumsy expedients nave been used to suppress them.
The scandal pointed at in my letter is not a thing of a moment; it has been stinging my ears for some time; many of your own actions and admissions have given it great countenance, at least in my opinion. When you said but lately "that the money was reserved to pay deputies in my absence," there was only a small parcel of words wanting to make it a very ugly affair. As it is very well known that I paid for my deputies on all occasions, and dearly too, your recent offer to me, viz., a willingness to pay the whole expense of my deputy this winter at Windsor, an offer to intercede, and a fervent expression of a wish to see my salary raised to the original amount, viz., £100 per annum, all appear to me so many hypocritical coquetries employed to get rid of a difficulty; and it has not been easy to resist the inevitable impression—coming so pointedly as they did in the wake of those notorious epistles—that cogent reasons might exist for such a mode of proceeding; hence my refusal of the proffered favours, which seemed to me to savour of complicity. I may have done you wrong; but I took the clear path, as even you must allow the giving up of names to shield oneself, or to justify a deliberate act, has something of the poltroon in it, and not a little of the knave. If I have been wrong in the inferences in a measure forced upon me by what seemed clear and sterling reasons, the consequences must rest with me.
These matters have been too long the subject of comment in every circle to be a secret, and I decline the unenviable employment of an informer. Yours, H. Hill.
P.S.—The letter of the Hon. C. B. Phipps being, as you say, so complete a vindication, why not publish both side by side, and so start clear with the world at once.
PRINCIPAL AND DEPUTY.
To the Editor of the Musical World. Sib,—Can you, or any of your readers, inform me whether the gentleman who liberally pays his deputy one-fourth the amount ho received, is the same who proposod to reduce the salaries of the orchestra, to meet the increased expenditure consequent on the engagement of Herr Wagner? I enclose my card. May 8lh. Crotchet.
(Not knowing, can't say.—Ed. M. W.)
THE OXFOKD MUSICAL CHAIR.
Pkai: Sib,—Can you inform mo if the appointment of Professor of Music to the University of Oxford, which has lately fallen vacant through the demise of Sir H. R. Bishop, is yet made. Or, if not, how soon it is likely to be made, and who is to receive the distinguished honour.
Your attention in next Saturday's World will oblige, dear sir,
Yours faithfully, An Old Oxonian.
May 8th, 1855.
[Tho Rev. Sir Frederick Gore Ouseley, a distinguished amateur, is, we understand, to succeed the late Sir Henry Bishop.—Ed. M. W.]
TWO SONGS BY RICHARD WAGNER.
(From the Sunday Timet.)
The more wo 6ee and hear of Herr Richard Wagner, the more are we convinced of the soundness of our first opinion, that, however extraordinary a man he may he in other thing?, to whatever extent he may possess the general impulse of the artist, music is not his special birthgift—is not for him an articulate language, or a beautiful form of expression. We have examined tho two compositions under notice with unusual care, anxious to catch any glimpse of this " music of the future," which is to redeem all the short-comings of tho past—determined, if possible, to discover the source of that mystic light which is, we are told, last making its way into every nook and cranny of the old German mind, and is destined thereout to banish all the accumulated darkness of the two last centuries. We may be unfortunate, or we may be dense. We may not luivo secured the key to this great 'music-mystery, or we may he in that state of invincible ignorance impolitely termed obstinacy; but, be it as it may, we are, on the evidence before us, forced to adopt one of two conclusions —either Richard Wagner is a desperate charlatan, endowed with worldly skill and vigorous purpose enough to persuade a gaping crowd that the nauseous compound he manufactures has some precious inner virtue, that they must livo and ponder yet more cro they perceive; or else he is a self-deceived enthusiast, who thoroughly believes his own apostolic mission, and is too utterly destitute of any perception of musical beauty to recognise tho worthlessuess of his credentials. It may be objected that neither of such strong conclusions can be justified on the evidence of two small sougs—that they are the vagabonds, the mere waifs and strays of a great man's invention—and that by his large works alone can his position in art be fairly estimated. Obvious us is such an objection, it is but so partially true that we cannot permit its interference in the present case. Take the small published songs of such men 83 the whole world has consented to dignify—'say Mozart, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn. We find in them nothing ugly, awkward, unmusical. Wo recognise in each instance distinct individuality, and a step in advance of inero precedent. But in each case, also, the originality, sometimes even oddity, is never paraded for its own sake ; it is a part of tho man's own nature, and is always subordinated to somo purposo to which it unfailingly ministers. Furthermore, these men of the past never leave us without a witness of the divinity of their mission in tho all-pervading presence of beauty—not beauty shrouded in enigma, that may or may not, at somo period of " the future," bo unveiled; but beauty, clear, actual, fresh, appreciable by all. Truly, it is possible that no one might, from ono of Beethoven's small songs, have predicted that colossal operation of genius which produced the Ninth Symphony; but no one, also, could examine the least of these things without perceiving the thoughts of a man of genius, ordered and refined by the hands of a master. Now, looking at Herr Wagner's two songs in this spirit, distrustful of the probability that Liszt, and half Germany, have gone mad, aud sincerely anxious to discover all or any part of what they profess to admire, we are obliged to viction that these compositions are remarkable only for the everything that has been deemed beautiful in music, added
to the presence of some of the most intolerable offences to which either the ear or the principles of harmony need ever be subjected. Of rhythmic melody they have but the faintest trace—of its commoner form, tune, they are absolutely destitute. If it were possible to extract from either of theso songs two consecutive bars which the memory could, for an instant, retain, it would be only because the privileged phrase was as wholly familiar and common-place as the "ifs" and "ands" of conversation. Once, indeed (in the last movement of tho second sonS)> 'ho composer ventures out of this monotonous kind of "plain song " in quest of some freer-handed tune; but it is only to perpetrato Buch a dismal suite of melodic progressions that the singer need well be without ears who would attempt its correct execution, and his auditors had better share the defect if they would promise its patient endurance. But, unmeaning, absurd, even disagreeable, as is the voice-part of these songs, their harmonic structure—form, in the technical sense of the word, they have none—is still more reprehensible. It reminds us of nothing but the "extemporizing" of some man who, ignorant of music, has discovered a number of chords on tho pianoforte, and straightway proceeds to string them together, wholly insensible to their wont of mutual relation. In the absence of some ready means of quotation, it is very difficult to elucidate points of this kind; but having gone so far in general fault-Ending, we feel it necessary to make the best reference to particulars that this species of review will permit. If, for instance, the first song "Dost thou breathe with me," can be said to be in any key at all, it is in C major. This being premised, the symphony opens in E natural major (in iterated triplets of quavers—a figure that continues throughout the accompaniment), in the second bar we have the first inversion of the chord of A flat major, in the third bar, the secoud inversion of the dominant seventh in D, and in the two following bars the ninth and seventh on G. On this same chord, in the following bar, the song commences and leads, with wouderful abruptness, to the tonic harmony with a sharp fifth; snd from thence onwards, for fifteen bars, the harmouic succession is, essentially, as follows :—7 on E; F; 6 on A; B natural major; 7 on D; 7 on G; C major and minor; 6 on G; A minor; 7 on B; 4 2 on C; 6 on B; A minor; and thence, by a 6-4 and 7 on D to a close in G. This is tolerably wandering for tho number of bars occupied: but immediately the song recommences in E flat, and goes through an almost precisely parallel course of modulation—if it ought to be so termed—with the exception that this time, at the expiration of the fifteen bars, provision is made for a return to C major, after which a few more bars of wandering among major and minor chords bring this "composition" to a close. Anything more rambling, incoherent, and unmastcrly than all this cannot bo conceived; and its unsatisfactory effect is in no degree alleviated by the fact that the voice parts have nowhere a higher function than that of bearing-some portion of the harmonymelody, iu any known sense of the term, it has literally none. The second song is equally abundant in stupid and unmeaning oddities. It commences in G minor, and the first unreasonable thing that occurs is that, within the first nine bars, we are thrice treated to a succession of the minor and the major of the same tonic. Immediately afterwards there is, by a 6-4 on A, a pretence of going into D minor, which is as immediately broken by a dominant seventh on D, aud a return to G minor, whereupon the 6-4 on A re-appears, but, this time, to lead to its legitimate consequences. Three long chords, D minor, C major, and B flat, disposed in the well-known and well-worn ecclesiastical fashion, now lead to the only consistent morsel in either of the songs, name.y, a page of very common-place, vocal material, accompanied with a tremolando all in B flat, except the transition to D major, with which it closes. And now comes one of the most barbarous things which listeners of ordinary sensitiveness are likely, in much experience, toencounter. The ear has been feasted for the very unusual duration of an entire page, with the key of B flat major, and at its close occurs the following precious succession—D major, C sharp minor, B natural minor, and all within three bars! And all this cacophony for what, think our musical readers t Merely that this last chord of B minor may give place to a 6-4 3 on A, and thus introduce the second movement of tho song in G major!—an end which any one, unless, in deed, very far gone in the "future," might have accomplished in an infinitely easier, neater, and moro agreeable jnanner. This second movement we have already alluded to, for the especial ugliness of its theme, and we may safely challenge any one to play it over without wincing. But this is not all. Remembering that this movement is essentially in (r major, we have its last five bars but three occupied with the following teeth-wetting harmonic series—B major, O sharp major, C sharp minor, 6-5 on A, diminished seventh on A sharp, 6-4 on B, 6-5 on 0 sharp, and thence with the usual dominant cadence on D to the original key. So that, in order to bring this very trumpery, and, indeed, ugly,
movement—only tliirty-eiglit bars of real length—to a close, it is thought necessary, clever, and, wo presume, "future," to load its last five bars with modulation into all but as many keys!
And we are really to accept this wild senseless dabbling about among chords, without form, without idea, invention, expression, as music! As music, too, which is to make us think of Mendelssohn only as the "Jew," and of Mozart and Beethoven—the rest utterly out of sight— as mere timid hangers on about those portals of truth, through which, first and foremost of the world, Richard Wagner has hewn his way! The time hns long past for such absurdities to prevail. That they may partially succeed in a country where men expend so much of their lives in investigating the mechanism of thought that they have no time left for its use, we can believe; but they will fail in England. 'The public, in deference to their own ears, will not accept them, and the English musicians are infinitely too well educated to permit their convictions to bo shaken by suoh a poor form of heresy as this. Speaking of these two songs in particular, we do not hesitate to pronounce them not music at all. If a joke is intended in their publication, it is a bad one; but if put forth seriously, their author must be either one of the most daring quacks, or one of the most self-deluded beings in existence.
We have been unusually serious about what would seem an unworthy matter, because we deem the occasion ripe, and the time for speaking out all too long delayed. At a period when English musicians find the utmost difficulty in procuring publicity for their works, or the slightest recognition of their claims to notice, we have had another foreigner foisted on us still further to mystify the public, still more to divert their attention from the just claims of their artist-countrymen. As a conductor, Herr Wagner baa done nothing more than half a dozen Englishmen would have done better; and, in the matter of composition, it would be a scandal to compare him with the men of reputation this country possesses. Scarcely the most ordinary ballad writer but would shame him iu the creation of melody, and we sincerely hope no English harmonist of more than year's growth could be found sufficiently without ears and education to pen such vile things as we have now had occasion to notice.
(From our own Correspondent.)
The buay sound of numberless hammers, the ceaseless hum of a thousand voices, and all the various notes of preparation for the great Exhibition, are heard incessantly in the New Palace of the Champs Elysees. The work advances, but like Penelope's web, something ever remains to be done, and the design as yet is far removed from completion. At present there seems every prospect of the opening being further postponed, and those best capable of judging say, that labour by night and by day must be well directed to ensure the doors being opened on the 1st of June. As with the industrial so with the musical world. There also has been postponement; there are also continuous preparations and incessant rehearsals of productions of foreign and native growth, which are to be represented before all nations when attracted to Paris in the present summer. Meanwhile, as chorus-masters, ballet-masters, leaders of orchestras, and conductors are respectively drilling their various squads, coaxing some, threatening others, and fining almost all; as rehearsals by day and night weary the throats of singers, the legs of the ballerini, the fingers of the fiddlers, and the lips of the "wind;" so the public, finding nought at the theatres save stale viands and diluted drink, are preserving their purses and their stomachs to enjoy the more stimulating and nutritious diet which will next month be placed before them. What can a musical correspondent say?—what can ha dot Has he not already described the merits of Mdlle. Sophie Cruvelli in the Huguenots and Juive? The celebrated prima donna now sings in no other operas, though she rehearses the Sicilian Vespers four or five times a-week. Has he not recounted the triumph achieved by Madame Stoltz in the Prophitet Fides, for the present, is her only part. Has he not dilated on the grace, tenderness, and beauty of Boeati in La Fonti? Her merry, twinkling steps are applauded in that ballet alone. Caroline Dnprez in Les Diamants de la Couronne, Mdlle. Lefebvre in Le Chien du Jardinier, Mdlle. Miolan in Le Pri aux Clercs, and La Cour de CUimene, have received their due meed of praise, and lo! no other notes are heard at the Op^ra-Oomique. Marie Cabel
still fascinates and enchants in the Muletier de Tolede; Madame De Lauters still charms all comers to the Thfiutre-Lyrique with her lovely voice in Robin des Bois (Der Freischiitz). As even a fly may be gorged with treacle, or a liquoriah-tongued youth be cloyed with sweets if turned loose in a grocer's shop, so may the musical critic have his taste palled and his palate spoilt by feasting too long on the same musical delicacies. Would that the Exhibition might open; would that the sky might change, for then the strains of Verdi should be heard at the Grand, and the new music of Daniel Auber (entitled Jenny Bell), delight at the Comic Opera. The The&tre-Lyrique also is ready with an opera entitled Jaquarita. Indeed, all is ready to burst with blossom at the various musical establishments, when watered by the plentiful-descending rain, which, in the shape of five-franc pieces, is expected to fall from the pockets of strangers and others during the ensuing months.
The Demi-Monde still holds its triumphant course at the Gymnase, having already been represented forty-seven times. It is a capital subject for burlesquing, and I need hardly say the opportunity has not been lost by those who hold the facile pens wherewith vaudevilles are written for the minor theatres. Le Quart du Monde at the Vari6t6s, and Le Monde Camelotte at the Palais-Royal are among the best of the squibs.
The Vaudeville has recommenced a successful run of La Dame aux Camelias, with M. Fechter in his original part, and Mdlle. Page as the fair, frail, and interesting lady. Mdlle. Page has triumphed over her rival, Mad. Doche, who is now starring it at Brussels as La Baronne d'Ange in the Demi-Monde, a part for which she has peculiar qualifications. Mesdaines Page and Doche had a lively discussion some year or two back a proposal a part in a new play, which lost of the ladies was anxious to "create." From words thoy proceeded—not to blows—but to letters published in the Constitutionnel, and went to such extremities, as at last to light upon the question of their respective ages, Nothing could be more merciless than the way in which each of the fair disputants tore the mask from the face of the other, regardless of rouge, enamel, false hair, and all the various et ceteras which constitute a stage make-up. Iu the end, Mad. Doche gave her rival the coup-de-grace with a mot which gained great applause for the time, and fairly drove Mdlle. Page from the field. Both ladies were present at a ball given by a wellknown artist. Late in the evening, an old gentleman with grey hair and faltering gait, unknown to the greater part of the guests, tottered into the room. "Qui eat-ce Monsieur lat', enquired some one of Mad. Doche. "Je ne sais pas," replied she, 'mais c'est probablement le fils aiu6 de Mdlle. Page."
I hear that Berlioz's "Te Deum," performed on the 30th at the church of Saint Eustache, with its nine hundred executants, had a great success. I hope on its second performance—which is reserved for the taking of Sebastopol, or a decisive victory in the Crimea—to send you a full account of its merits—and demerits, if it possess any.
In a few days the various objects of art and curiosity which decorated the saloons of M. Nestor Boqueplan, will be brought to the hammer in the Salle Drouet. Marbles, bronze.', pictures, china, and nic-nacs, have been accumulated for years, with the taste of a connoisseur and the passion of a collector. The sale excites much interest, as it comprises many articles, souvenirs of M. Roqueplan's connection with the musical world of Paris. Another change takes place in the feuilleton of the Presse, to which M. Koqueplan was appointed, on the secession of M. Theophile Gautier to the dramatic chair of the Moniteur. M. Roqueplan has just received a grant of ground from Government in the newly-opened promenade of the Bois de Boulogne. There he has undertaken to rear and exploit cafes, restaurants, salles de danse, etc., etc., and his time will oe so much occupied with his new pursuits, that he is unable to instruct and enlighten the numerous readers of the Presse. He, therefore, makes way for M. Paul de Saint Victor of the Pays; who is in his turn succeeded by M.Mt-ry, the poet; who, in his Nuits a Londres and other works, has shewn such a thorough, learned, and critical acquaintance with, and appreciation of English literature, manners, and customs. Indeed, so profound is M Mery, that few oi the inhabitants of your foggy and semi-civilized island have been able to recognise their literature or their manners, ns depicted by him—without torches.
M. Eugene Serret's new play has been produced at the Odeon with considerable success. It was, as I told you, delayed for some time by the Stage Censor, and its original title of Le Bonheur du Ric'he has, by superior command, been exchanged for that of Le if tuvais Riche. Here is the plot in two words:—A father has a son and a friend. He has remained poor from motives of conscience. The friend, having a conscience, more pliable, has become rich.—Which course is the son to follow? He now inclines to the right, now to the left. In the end he not only preserves his honour, but also acquires riches. Such is the idea, obviously enough borrowed from Ponsard's play of L'ffonneur et VArgent. The new comedy, however, is neatly written and well acted; its success is merited, though in a great degree attributable to the interest excited by the cause which postponed the date of its representation.
The directors of many of the Parisian theatres have been lately discussing the propriety of applying to the Government for permission to increase the prices of admission. No doubt they are mainly moved thereto by the hope of drawing large sums from foreign and provincial pockets, during the Exhibition months ; and they desire to follow in the footsteps of the proprietors of caf6s and restaurants, the inn-keepers and lodginghouse-keepers, who are demanding fabulous sums for the various items of bed, board, and lodging. However, they cannot stir without the sanction of the Government, to whom they would be compelled to furnish some reasonable ground for so unpopular a proceeding. They therefore contend, first:—That artists are now paid three times as much as they received fifteen years ago, when the present tariff was established ; secondly :—That five francs go no further now-a-days than they did then ; thirdly: —That the stage expenses have assumed gigantic proportions,— for they now represent in reality, what was previously painted in imitation. All this is ingenious enough, but will hardly be listened to. ' A theatre is as necessary to a Frenchman as are his coffee and petit verre; or as tea to dowagers, and porter to draymen, on your side of the channel. Each successive Government, Imperial, Eoyal, Consular, or Republican, has been thoroughly acquainted with this fact, and paid large sums of money from the public purse, in the shape of "subvention " to the great Parisian theatres. But, in truth, those theatres which are well managed, answer admirably, whether subventioned or not. The Opera-Comique receives a "subvention;" the Thfiatre-Lyrique has none. Both are under one management; each pays well; but I question whether the Thefltre-Lyrique does not present the better balance-sheet at the end of the year. The Odeon and the Gymnase may be taken as another example ; and I doubt whether there could be found in Europe, a theatre which, without receiving a farthing of public money, produces more good plays, brings more money to the treasury, or does more honour to its direction than the Gymnase, under the superintendance of the accomplished actress who presides over its destinies—Mad. Rose Chen. .
(From a Correspondent.)
The religious element has suspended all the theatres at Naples, and they will not re-open until the 13th of May. Saint January is the cause of this suspension: but, as all the churches will produce their grandest composition in honour of the patron saint of Naples, and there will be no end of processions, the Neapolitans are likely to be rather the gainers by this event, especially as both the San Carlo and the Fondo have given but small signs of vitality during the past season, and have but indifferent chance of success in their future operations. The direction of both theatres has again changed hands, and much is expected from the company which has undertaken the management of all the Neapolitan theatres, and which has chosen for its leader Peter Barbaja, son of the celebrated manager Barbaja. We shall see what we shall see ; although what can be expected from a second-rate company, worn-out operas, and detestable ballets, we are at a loss to divine.
At Florence, II Trovatore has been reproduced with success,
the new pieces having been pronounced failures, after a few representations. Much praise is given to Madame Gionfredi in the part of Leonora, and to Signor Mazzanti, who possesses a good voice, but is wanting in cultivation, whilst, on the contrary, the tenor, Signor Mongini has a small voice, but sings with method. The other singers are indifferent, the chorus all at sixes and sevens, and the orchestra is alone worthy of commendation.
At Milan, musical matters are at a stand-still. Not a theatre open since the 15th of April. A death-like silence pervades the whole city; the only sounds musical heard are those of the Austrian military bands; but all good Italians scout the idea of listening to the music of tiieforestieri, plug up their ears, and close their windows to exclude the unwelcome harmony, and prefer a famine to receiving aught from their oppressors.
At Mantua, Mad. Barbieri-Nini has obtained immense success in Rossini's Mosi.
At Genoa the new opera by Sig. Pedrotti, Fiorina, has been successful.
Vienna.—At (he Imperial Operahouse, a new tenor, Signor Roppa, telegraphed to replace Signor Bcttini (indisposed), appeared as Gennaro, in Luerezia Borgia, with little success. A new ballet, entitled. Meline, in which Mdlle. Priora, from Paris, sustained the principal character, was a failure. Signor Bettini, on his recovery, re-appeared in the Trovatore.— At Herr Rubenstein's fifth and last concert, he was assisted by Madame Tuczek-Herrenburg, who sang a polacca from the Earl of Westmoreland's Opera, L'Eroe di Lancattro. Herr Rubenstein himself played several pieces.—The third concert of the pupils of the Academic der Tonkunst (Academy of Music) took place, on the 27th ult., in the Grosser Landhaus-Sual. The efforts of the pupils, generally speaking, reflected great credit on their professors, who nevertheless should not allow them to attempt pieces too difficult for mere beginners.—The third annual report of the Deutsche Tonhalle has been issued. The institution, at the cud of its first year had one hundred and seventy-one members, and two hundred and sixty-eight, at the end of the second. At present, thero are four hundred. In 1852-53, the receipts were 299 florins 47 kreutzers; and in 1853-54, 445 florins 59 kreutzers.—M. Fiotow is writing a new opera, called Albin, the text by Herr Mo3enthal.
Berlin.—On Thursday, the members of the Singacademie, performed The Creation. The solo parts were sustained by Herren Mantius and Krmise. Mad. Hahnemann and Mdlle. Geisler. The choruses were remarkable for precision and spirit. On Sunday, in the music-room of the Theatre Boyal, in aid of the sufferers by the inundations of the Weicbscl, there was a performance of Die le/zten Tage von Pompeji, an opera by Herr August Pabst, of Konigsberg, which was represented, some years ago, in Dresden. The book, by Dr. Jul. Pabst, is founded on Bulwer's romance. The overture was played by the full band; the pieces were accompaniod by Herr Golde on the piano. Mcsdllcs. Bury, Hoppe, Lowgreen, von Meddelhammer, Herren Formes, Kruger, aud Zschiesche, were the singers.
Kroll's chapel, which, since the closing of the establishment, has settled at Kemperhof, is very attractive. The symphonies of the great masters are admirably played. When the financial affairs of K roll's establishment arc arranged, Herr Engcl will reopen the theatre,—probably on the 15th inst. Opera will be excluded from the repertoire.
Dresden.—During the last three months there have been twenty-six operatic representations at the Royal Opera-House, with o:ie novelty, Meyerbeer's Etoile du Nord, and one revival, Bellini's SonnambuJa. The names of Mozart, Beethoven, and Gluck, have not once appeared in the bills.
Hawoveb.—On the 15th ult., Auber's Lac dee Feet was produced with great splendour, in honour of tho birthday of Her Majesty the Queen. The theatre was decked out with numerous extra gas-jets, bouquets, and garlands. The scenery was painted by Professor Gropius, of Berlin, and the machinery constructed under tho inspection of Herr Daubner, of the same city. The representation was one of the most successful ever given in our theatre. Mdlle. Geisthordt, who sustained the part of Zeiln, was presented, by the Queen, with a handsome bracelet. Herren Gropius and Daubner received from tho King the gold Medal for Arts and Scieuces.
Dessau.—The now theatre is already begun, and will, it is expected, bo finished this autumn.
Copenhagen.—Schumann's Paradietund die Peri was given for tho first time in this capital, at the seventh subscription concert of the Musical Union.