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Catholic and Evangelical Protestant church absolution was now to the fashion in question, or, if fortunate, simply rule it, obtained, in return for the benefit granted the church from the that is to say, adopt the newest fashion. The jargon which the fact that religion, as had previously been the case with the composer has invented, in order-for the sake of the historimasses, was-to retain consistently the expression of German cal end-to speak in strange accents, immediately becomes, if criticism-emancipated through opera.
successful, the fashion, in its turn, and this fashion, once Thus did the operatic composer become completely the saviour adopted, suddenly does not appear strange any longer, but is the of the world; and in the profoundly inspired Meyerbeer, irre-dress we all wear, the language we all speak. The composer is sistibly carried away by his self-lacerating, enthusiastic zeal, necessarily in despair at seeing himself thus always thwarted have we to acknowledge, in every case, the modern redeemer, through his own inventions, in his endeavours to appear strange, the lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.
and is compelled to resort to some means of appearing so, once But this sin-purging “emancipation of the Church” could for all, directly he would fulfil his mission for “historical" only be carried out conditionally by the musician. If religion music. He must, therefore, once for all, be intent on again wished to be blessed by means of opera, she must reasonably distorting in itself the most distorted expression, because content herself with her proper place among the other emanci- it has become fashionable and customary through his means pated personages and things. Opera, as the liberator of the |-he must resolve, strictly speaking, to say “No” where he world, must rule religion, and not religion opera; if opera really means “Yes ; ” to bear himself joyously when he should become the church, religion would not be emancipated would express grief, and to whimper piteously where he would by opera, but opera by religion. For the purity of the musico- give himself up to agreeable delight. In sober truth, thus, and not historical costume, it would certainly have been desirable for otherwise, is it possible for him always to appear strange and sinopera only to have to do with religion, for the sole available gular, as if he had come from heaven knows where ; he must at historical musio was to be found nowhere but in the music of the once play the lunatic, in order to appear “historically characterchurch. But to have to do with monks and priests would have istic." Here, then, a completely new element is obtained ; the sensibly affected the gaiety of opera ; for that which was to be impulse for the "historical " has led to hysterical madness, and glorified by the emancipation of religion was, properly speaking, this madness, to our delight, is, when seen in the light, nothing nothing but the operatic air, that voluptuously developed more than-how shall we designate it ?-New Romanticism. primitive germ of the whole system of opera, which by no means
(To be continued.) shot out its roots in search of devout meditation, but of amusing recreation. Strictly speaking, religion was to be employed
ROBERT LINDLEY. simply to give the whole a flavour, just as it is a well-regulated State; the principal seasoning remained of necessity, the “Prince
(From a Correspondent.) and Princess," with the requisite garnishing of villains, chorus of
This unrivalled performer on the violoncello died on the 13th of this courtiers, and chorus of people, coulisses, and clothes.
month, in his eightieth year, having been born at Rotherham, in York. But how was the whole of this right reverend operatic com
shire, in 1776. His reputation has been established, for the last sixty
years, as a master of the difficult instrument on which he so excelled. munity to be metamorphosed into historical music.
From the age of seventeen, until about three years since, when he was At this point, the musician beheld opened to him the bound
succeeded by his able representative, Lucas, he held the responsible less, grey, misty realms of absolute invention ; the challenge to
and distinguished position of first violoncello in the Opera orchestra. create something out of nothing. Behold, how quickly he madeAt about the same age. also, he was engaged in the same capacity in up his mind ! 'All he had to do was to take care that the music the country festivals, and at a still earlier age played as a solo perwas always a little different from what custom must lead us to former, and otherwise, at the professional concerts. Even as a child suppose it would be. Thus his music would, at any rate, sound his great musical talents appeared, and at the age of eight he might strange, and a right cut on the part of the theatrical tailor would have been seen playing in the Margate Theatre, of which fact that estabe sufficient to make it completely “historical.”
blishment may now well boast. He was a pupil of the younger CerMusic, the richest means of expression, had now a new and un vetto, a player himself much esteemed for his sweetness of tone and commonly piquant task, namely, once again to overthrow expres
expression, and whose father appears to have been one of the first to sion, through itself, which she had, as a general rule, previously
bring the violoncello into notice as a solo instrument-his coadjutors made the object of expression ; expression, which, without an
in this respect being Buononcini and Francischello, and his rival, proobject worth expressing, was, of itself, null, became, in the en
bably, Caporale. Besides the advantage of Cervetto as a master, our deavour to be itself that object, again negatived, so that the
departed friend, Lindley, had also the opportunity, in his youth, of result of our world-creation theories, according to which, out of
hearing and playing with Crosdill, whose powerful tone excelled that of two negatives something was produced, must now be completely
any previous performer. Of his own power and sweetness of tone, and attained by the operatic composer. We recommend to German
brilliancy of execution, who now living in the musical world, unless of
very recent date, can be ignorant? Whether as leading the basses at critics the operatic style which sprang from this as “ emancipated the Opera and the oratorios, with his admirable skill in accompanying metaphysics."
recitative-whether as a player in quartets and other concerted musio Let us consider this mode of proceeding a little more closely. whether as a solo or concerto player, or in the body of the orchestra
If the composer was desirous of giving an immediately - he was always great and perfect; and, as he excelled in every branch, suitable, naked expression, he could, with the best will in the he was inimitable. Who that has had the delight-though now to be world, only do so in the musical mode of speech received by us looked back upon as a sweet dream of the past--of hearing his accom• at present as intelligible, musical expression ; if he now wished paniments to · Alexis," “ Gentle Airs," and others of that class, can to impart to this an historical colouring, which he could only, ever forget the sensations produced ? and, though not so strictly within in reality, suppose attainable by embuing it with a strange,
the scope of the instrument, who can forget his celebrated golden trio unusual sound, the first thing most certainly at his command
of Corelli, and the ninth solo-where, using the subjects as themes, the was the mode of expression peculiar to a previous musical
exuberance of his fancy, and skill in his art, enabled him to produce epoch, which mode of expression he might imitate as his fancy
effects that surprised as well as charmed his hearers? In private, dictated, and from wbich he might borrow according to his own
amongst his friends, he would occasionally show his power in still caprice. In this manner, then, has the composer, out of all the
greater dificulties—though difficulties they were not to him-such as peculiarities of style, in the least palatable, of various periods,
playing on the violoncello the first violin part of a quartet, or of a
Beethoven trio. His upright conduct, punctuality, and kindness in botched up a motley jargon, which, in itself, was not badlý
his profession, were known to all-and they were many-who ever adapted to his straining after what was strange and unusual.
came in contact with him. He was, indeed, a man of strict integrity Musical language, as soon as it is detached from an object
and honour, and a steady friend, which the deep regret of his family, worthy of being expressed, and attempts to speak quite and of those who enjoyed his intimacy, will testify. alone, without substance, and according to the mere caprice of the operatic air, that is to say, would only prate in STRASBURG.-The German operatic company, under the direction of singing and whistling, is, in its constitution, so completely Herr Röder, has commenced operations. Malle. Anna Zerr is engaged subjected to mere fashion, that it can only subordinate itself for a limited number of nights.
eye, that he will believe none of the professional chorus of 1852 were
guilty of such conduct. M. Berlioz is respected and appreciated by THE MUSICAL DIRECTORY.
the musical world, from the humblest to the highest professor; and,
though the New Philharmonic may now be looked on as an amateur To the Editor of the Musical World.
society, making its vocal and musical engagements through a gentleman MR. EDITOR,—Will you allow me to ask (through the medium of (a tailor by trade) who cannot possibly know much about it; still the your valuable paper) the proprietors of “ The Musical Directory,"
professional chorus singer (neither clerk nor shopman) feels it neces. published by Messrs. Rudall and Co., if they are aware that several sary to exonerate himself from any participation in an impertinence persons described as professors in the “ Directory" list are not so.
suggested only by the most ignorant inefficiency. Your obedient servant, I am induced to ask this question from the fact of my baker (who
VOCE. is an amateur violoncello player) regularly receiving the private price P.S.-I enclose my card, in obedience to the regulation you enforce. lists from the London music publishers and kindly informing his circle Tuesday, 19th June. of acquaintances what my profit must be on any particular piece I may happen to teach any of my pupils. May I venture to add that none but bona fide professors should be
MR. SALAMAN, NOT MR. SLOPER, placed in the “ Directory." I beg to remain, Mr. Editor, yours, very
To the Editor of the Musical World. truly,
OBOR. DEAR SIR,-Will you oblige me by correcting a mistake in the last June 18th, 1855.
number of your journal ? The pianoforte part in the concerted piece ** The “Musical Directory" is full of errors. Amateurs are de- at Mr. Benson's concert was played by Mr. Charles Salaman, and not scribed as professors -violinists as pianoforte players-sopranos as by me; and this gentleman also assisted me in the accompaniments to contraltos, etc. Wrong addresses are given, and well-known names the vocal music. I am sure you will be equally desirous with myself are incorrectly spelt. It is to be regretted that a useful work should that your praise should be bestowed on the right person. be spoilt by such careless editorship.-ED, M. W.
I remain, dear Sir, yours faithfully,
Sr. MARTIN'S HALL. The eighth and final concert this season, DEAR SIR, - In the above society's advertisement (about the begin: I under the direction of Mr. John Hullah, came off on Wednesday ning of the year) offering a prize of five guineas for the best cheerful
evening last. The programme contained selections from the glee, it was distinctly stated that all the competitors should receive
works of Sebastian Bach, Himmel, Mozart, Marcello, Croce, notice of who was the winner, immediately on the decision being made..
Donizetti, Mendelssohn, Bennett, Travers, Bishop, etc. The In a subsequent advertisement it was announced, that a performance of all the glees sent in (twenty-seven in number) would take place on
principal performers were Miss Fanny Rowland, Miss Palmer, .
! the 25th of last month, and the prize awarded on the spot. More than
Mr. Montem Smith, and Mr. Thomas. Mr. Hopkins, organist three weeks have elapsed since the above date, and I, one of the com of Temple Church, presided at the organ. The chorus, which petitors, have heard nothing further of the matter. I conceive that consisted of the members of Mr. Hullah's first upper school, this apparent breach of faith requires explanation.
gained general applause, and were encored in the following I am, dear sir, yours truly,
pieces: "Thou art beautiful" (Croce); part song, “The NightJune 18th, 1855.
INQUIRENDO. ingale is gone away," and hunting song, "Now morning ad
vances" (Mendelssohn.) Miss Palmer was encored, and M. BERLIOZ AND THE NEW PHILHARMONIC. deservedly, in “ Partant pour la Syrie.” With this exception, To the Editor of the Musical World.
we can afford but little praise to the soloists. The singing of SIR, --In one of your leading articles of last week, noticing the fifth the “National Anthem" was by no means what might have New Philharmonic performance, you complain of the society for not been desired. The concert was well attended, and Mr. Hullah performing the vocal part of M. Berlioz's Symphony, and ask "Where warmly received on his appearance in the orchestra. was the chorus which in the performance of Beethoven's Choral MR. CHARLES SALAMAN commenced a course of four lectures, Symphony under Dr. Wylde's bâton, crew forth our commendation?" at the Royal Panopticon, on Wednesday, the 13th instant, on the Permit me to inform you, as a member of the chorus, that every one
History of the Pianoforte. The first lecture was restricted to was in his place in the orchestra on that evening, both willing and I the clavichord and virginal, the musical illustrations being given ready to perform the choral parts of the symphony, had not M.
on the last-named instrument. Mr. Charles Salaman introduced, Berlioz informed us that he desired its omission. I assure you, I, as
for the first time, two curious compositions—“The short meawell as every member of the chorus, telt no slight mortification at finding that our services, after attending six rehearsals and having
sure of my Lady Wynkfield's rounde," composed in the early learnt the music by heart, were so unceremoniously dispensed with;
part of Henry the Eighth's reign, and some variations, by Henry and we likewise regretted that the society should have been put to so
Purcell, ou an ancient English tune called “Old Simon." The much expense and trouble for no purpose. I agree with you that some
lecture was well received. Mr. Charles Salaman continued the explanation is required, and as we acted in accordance with M. Berlioz's subject on Wednesday last. expressed wishes we should be glad to hear some explanation from PRESENTATION TO THE REv. W. H. BUCK.-The Sacred HarI am, Sir, your obedient servant,
monic Society in the parish of St. George the Martyr, SouthJune 22, 1855.
A MEMBER OF TIE CHORUS. wark, have presented Mr. Buck with an address and a silver
salver, to mark their high sense of his untiring efforts to improve THE CHORUS AND M. BERLIOZ.
the music of the church, and to establish the society, which under
his conductorship has made steady progress during the short To the Editor of the Musical World.
space of eighteen months. On retiring from the curacy of the SIR,—You allude to the choruses in Romeo and Juliet being omitted |
itted | parish, Mr. Buck resigned his bâton to Mr. J. Rhodes, the at the New Philharmonic Concert on Wednesday night last, as if the
organist, under whose guidance it is fully expected that the members ordinarily engaged could not attend. Such was not the case. The few professional choristers (about four to each part) who are en
society will continue to prosper. We are glad to hear of another gaged from night to night, were never offered any engagement. Whether
clergyman using his influence to reform the music of the Church. this was purposely done to upset M, Berlioz's music, I cannot say, but
When shall we have a general move to effect so important as engagements have been sent on other occasions several days before, it
an end ? seems probable. The amateurs could not sing the music at Tuesday
WEIMAR.- According to report, Dr. Franz Liszt is about to night's rehearsal, and, after several trials, M. Berlioz decided on omit. resign his position of Kapellmeister, for the purpose of making ting the vocal portion. Now, Sir, I should not have troubled you with a professional tour in the United States of America. The this statement, but, on the chorus taking their places in the orchestra original mask of Beethoven, taken after death, is hanging in on the concert night, they were told no music would be given them for Dr. Liszt's music-room, over the piano presented to Beethoven Romeo and Juliet. Accordingly, on M. Berlioz entering the orchestra by the Messrs. Broadwood, two years before his for the second part, they hissed him. The one great musician of the of the celebrated composer's hair is still sticking in the plaster day can afford to laugh at the insult; but I trust, should this meet his of the mask,
SIGNOR GIULIO REGONDI gave his annual concert yesterday at FESTIVAL OF THE THREE CHOIRS.—The arrangement for the Willis's Rooms, and attracted a highly select and numerous coming meeting of the three choirs of Worcester, Hereford, and audience ; indeed, the rooms were somewhat overcrowded, every Gloucester are now approaching completeness. The festival hole and corner being full. Besides the attraction of the emi will be held this year at Hereford, and will take place in the nent concertinist and guitarrist, a host in himself, Sig. Regondi week commencing Tuesday, the 21st August. The following was assisted by a select body of vocalists and instrumentalists, have accepted the office of stewards to the Festival :--The Right comprising the names of Mesdames Clara Novello, Lascelles, and Hon. and Rev. Lord Saye and Sele, Sir H. J. Bridges, Mr. J. H. Emilie Krall, Signor Marras, and Messrs. Boleyne Reeves, Bla Arkwright of Hampton Court, Mr. Booker M.P., Mr. Chadwick grove, Evans, Lake, and Li Calsi. Of Signor Regondi wecannot of Puddlestone Court, Mr. Kevil Davies of Croft Castle ; Rev. W. do more than repeat what we have said over and over again, P. Hopton of Bishop's Froome, and Mr. H. Stratford Stratford. that he seems to have carried the concertina to the highest pitch The professional engagements include Madame Clara Novello, of excellence, both as regard expression and execution, of which it Mrs. Weiss, Miss Moss, Miss Dolby, Madame Grisi, Signor Mario, is susceptible, and the greatest eulogium that we can bestow on Mr. Sims Reeves, Mr. Montem Smith, Mr. H. Burnby, Mr. him is, that he has assimilated it so closely to the human voice Weiss and Master Arthur Napoleon. The band and chorus that we almost fancy we hear the melodious and pathetic strains are to be larger than usual. Mr. G. Townshend Smith, organist of Rubini in his best days, so closely does he imitate him by his of Hereford Cathedral, will, according to the custom observed at execution and admirable phrasing. It is certainly to Signor these festivals, be the conductor. Hitherto the Hereford Regondi that the concertina owes the high position which it now festivals have been, in a pecuniary point of view, the least occupies in public favour. As a guitarrist Signor Regondi is no successful of the three choirs, ou account of its isolated position, less eminent; he has carried it to its extreme limits, and in his having no railway within the confines of the county. Since the hands it is always pleasing; the ease with which he executes the last festival here, however, in 1852, no less than three railways most elaborate and difficult passages is quite astounding. The have been opened to Hereford, communicating with the North, choice of pieces was excellent. The execution of the quartet South, and East-viz: the Newport, Abergavenny and Herein F, Op. 18, of Beethoven, by four concertinas, was very ford, the Shrewsbury and Hereford, and the Hereford, Ross satisfactory, considering their difference from stringed and Gloucester lines, so that it is anticipated these facilities instruments; the executants, who were Messrs. Regondi, will induce the attendance of large audiences from distant Blagrove, W. Evans, and G. Lake, maintaining throughout parts, and arrangements are being made accordingly under the the most perfect ensemble. Madame Clara Novello sang | direction of Mr. Townshend Smith. Mozart's “Non temer” with perfect expression, and was CARACCAS.--A new opera-house, lighted with gas, and capable warmly applauded, and Haydn's Recollection” with exquisite of accommodating 3000 spectators, has been opened, in the finish. The solo of Signor Regondi on the guitar, "L'amo, l'amo," capital of Venezuela, by an Italian operatic company from was a tissue of marvels in execution and delicate expression, Naples. Music is in a flourishing condition in this city. Each and was encored. Miss Lascelles sang Cherubini's “O Salu- of the twenty-two churches has a chorus of from sixty to eighty taris hostia" with much finish, and was successful in the persons. “ Exile.” Malle. Emilie Krall is possessed of a pure, sweet, and MOLLE. RACHEL.--" It is true," says the Messager des Théâtres, powerful voice, and created a highly favourable impression in "that Malle. Rachel starts for America on the 25th of July. Mendelssohn's Lieder and Mozart's air from the Nozze di Figaro. She will return in the month of December, and then-then only Signor Marras sang with much expression a very pretty song of shall we be informed as to the definitive resolutions of the his own composition. Mr. Boleyne Reeves executed some melo-tragédienne. The Théâtre-Français will wait. There is no dies on the harp, and was much applauded in a duet on airs hurry for the present, and Malle. Rachel may set out and make from Mose with Signor Regondi. The principal feature of the her mind easy as to the fate of those whom she abandons--and concert was the Concerto Dramatique of Spohr, which, although who do not utter a word of reproach.” written for the violin, was admirably executed by Sig. Regondi L'ETOILE DU NORD.-On Monday, Madame Ugalde appeared, on the concertina, and elicited the most enthusiastic applause, for the first time, in the part of Catharine in L'Etoile du Norú, as did also three MS. melodies composed by Molique for the at the Opéra-Comique, Paris, with complete success. She was concertina. Sig. Li Calsi accompanied in excellent style, and encored in the couplets of the first act, and in the grand scèncwas much applauded in a piece by Mendelssohn.
de-folie of the third act was applauded to the echo. The success SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY. - Elijah was performed on
of Meyerbeer's comic chef-d'oeuvre goes on increasing with every Friday evening, the 15th inst., and attracted a very large
representation. audience. The performance, on the whole, was admirable.
MDLLE. PALMYRA AND MOLLE. PAOLA.-These talented dancers, The principal singers were Madame Clara Novello, Miss Dolby,
who were so much admired in the ballet of Terpsichore, produced Mrs. Lockey, Mrs. Temple, Messrs. J. A. Novello, Walker,
at Drury Lane Theatre, have left for Paris, to the regret of their Smythson, Herr Formes, and Herr Reichardt, who was sub
admirers here, and the satisfaction of their friends in Paris. stituted for Mr. Lockey. The trio, “Lift thine eyes”-perfectly
BERLIOZ IN VIENNA.—The arrival of this illustrious musician and sung by Madame Clara Novello, Miss Dolby, and Mrs. Lockey
critic in London, recalls to our memory an anecdote à propos to the was redemanded, and sung again, in spite of precedent. Among
times. At a sumptuous banquet, in 1845, given at Vienna to Berlioz by
the Princess Alexandre Czartoryska, the accomplished pupil of Chopin the best points in the performance were unquestionably the
and Mayseder, I had the honour of being present. With that courtesy recitative and air, “If with all your hearts," and " Then shall
and good breeding observed in the patrician houses of my own country, the righteous," by Herr Reichardt, who gave both in such a
the foreign guests took precedence of the younger members of the manner as to satisfy the most fastidious. This gentleman under
family on being marshalled to dinner. Berlioz, with a provoking amount took the tenor part, at a short notice, Mr. Lockey, who was of national politesse, refused to enter the salle à manger before me, and announced, being suddenly taken ill. Herr Reichardt's success whilst we were mutually bowing to each other, and uttering all kinds of was decided, and we hope to hear him more frequently at civilities, the venerable prince, who preceded us, with his daughter-in-law, Exeter Hall. Miss Dolby sang the exquisite air," O rest in the seeing my embarrassment, naïvely observed “Gentlemen, in matters Lord,” as charmingly as ever; and Madame Clara Novello of art, I believe that England is right in awarding precedence to produced a great impression in “ Hear ye, Israel.” Herr France !" Berlioz smiled at this decision, and I followed in his wake. Formes sung the part of Elijah splendidly. Between the parts, I always remember this social entertainment as one of the happiest days the band played the “Dead March ” from Saul, as a tribute to
of my artistic life. Elated by the congenisl society of accomplished the memory of Robert Lindley, for many years-up to the period
dillettanti, Berlioz was more than usually brilliant in wit, anecdote, and of his retirement from public life-principal violoncello of the
conversation. Among other compliments that passed towards the Sacred Harmonic Society.
foreigu guests, "Success to L'Union Musicale in London" was proposed
as a toast, to which Berlioz added a singularly prophetic amendment, SIGNOR MARRAS'S ANNUAL MATINEE MUSICALE is announced “ et l'alliance de l'Angleterre avec la France.” Long may the Musical to take place, on Monday next, at the Pavilion, Hans-place, | Union be identified with this alliance in the cause of justice and Belgravia.
humanity.- Ella's Musical Sketches..
The year 1832 was further memorable for the first visit to A STUDENT OF HARMONY.—Apply to Mr. G. A. Macfarren, 15, this country of Meyerbeer's great compatriot, Mendelssohn Hanover Cottages, Regent's Park.
Bartholdy. What things have occurred since then! St. Paul C. H.-The Allegro alone.
and Elijah written, and their gifted composer departed to a
place " where only his music can be excelled;" the Laporte THE MUSICAL WORLD.
and Lumley dynasties at the Opera; the secession of Costa,
and the establishment of a rivalry so formidable as to cause LONDON, SATURDAY, JUNE 23RD, 1855.
the temporary suspension of the elder theatre; the Jenny
Lind mania; the rise and fall of the ballet, with the Pas de For the first time during three-and-twenty years, Meyer
Quatre as its apogee; Costa at the Philharmonic, Costa at beer has been induced to visit England, where his works
Exeter Hall, Costa at the Birmingham Festival, Costa every have rendered his name famous for more than a quarter of a
where; the whole career in England of the magnificent century. The composer of Il Crociato in Egitto, Robert le
Grisi; the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, and the Crystal Diable, Les Huguenots, Le Prophète, L'Etoile du Nord, and
Palace at Sydenham ; Jullien, and the musical conquest
of the masses; the “Hullabaloo;" Macready's retirement, so many other remarkable productions, arrived in London on Tuesday afternoon, and witnessed, in the evening, the per
leaving the English stage without an actor; the triumph formance of Verdi's Trovatore at the Royal Italian Opera.
of humbug in the person of Mr. Barnum; the death Meyerbeer has doubtless come to superintend the rehearsals |
of Malibran; the seventeen works of Balfe and the of his last great opera, upon the success of which at Covent
dissolution of English opera; the great bubble of the Garden so much depends. He will find in Mr. Costa all
Royal Academy of Music, and its early bursting; the that a sensitive composer could possibly desire from a musi
meteoric course of Rachel; the follies of Liszt, and the cal director. The same zeal, the same gentlemanly attentions
opposition by Richard Wagner, with "the books ;" which the popular chef-d'orchestre lavished upon Dr. Spohr,
but we could go on for ever; all these, which we will, we are sure, be equally at the disposal of Meyerbeer.
have named pell-mell, and a hundred other things we shall The principal singers, the members of the band and chorus,
not name at all, have passed before us, like the vision of the in short, the whole personnel of the Royal Italian Opera, from
kings before Macbeth. Meanwhile the fame of Meyerbeer the manager to the scene-shifter, will hail the advent of the
has risen step by step to its present eminence. His coming celebrated musician with enthusiasm, and do everything in
among us, after so long an absence, to find boys men, and their power to render his sojourn in this metropolis agreeable
men dotards, the face of the city changed, and his own name enough to tempt him here again when the long-expected
spread out from a point into a sun, is “an event,” both for Africaine shall be immediately on the tapis. And, after all,
Meyerbeer and for all of us who regard music as a great fact, the reception Meyerbeer is sure to experience is but a just
and its best representatives as worthy to be honoured. return for the services he has indirectly conferred on the establishment. How many thousands upon thousands of The case of Mr. W. T. Best versus the Manager and pounds sterling have the Huguenots and the Prophète Council of the Panopticon, does not seem to be fairly before caused to flow into the Covent Garden treasury in the the public. Mr. Best, having seceded from the post of course of seven or eight years! And how many salaries, organist (how and wherefore matters little), was perfectly to rich and poor, have been paid through the medium entitled to advertise in the newspapers that he had no of their attraction. These matters cannot be over- further connection with the institution. He availed himself Jooked. They have nothing to do with the esteem which of his right, as any other professional man would have done inevitably attaches to the composer of some of the most in a similar predicament. Because Mr. Best, who lives by extraordinary operas that have enriched the modern lyric the exercise of his talents, is no longer organist at the stage. That is a question apart—a question for musicians Panopticon, is that any reason why he should starve? The and amateurs who have been charmed by the music of the Manager and Council would seem to think so, if we may master, and for the theatrical public at large, who are not draw conclusions from a circular forwarded to the office of likely to be behind-hand in testifying their respect for one | the Musical World, and which we subjoin :to whom they are indebted for so much gratification and
Royal Panopticon of Science and Art, Leicester-square, amusement.
15th June, 1855. When Meyerbeer was last in England (in 1832), he came
The Secretary presents his compliments to the Editor of the Musical to preside over the rehearsals of his Robert le Diable, on the
World, and is directed to request the favour of the insertion of the
enclosed paragraph in an early number of that journal:occasion of that celebrated opera being produced, by Mr.
(PARAGEAPH.] Monck Mason, at Her Majesty's Theatre. Robert had already “THE ORGANIST AT THE ROYAL PANOPTICON.-An advertisement, been played with distinguished success at Drury Lane and beaded Royal Panopticon,' having appeared in several journals, in Covent Garden Theatres, in the English language, with
which Mr. W. T. Best begs to inform his friends and the public that Meyerbeer's music, but not with Meyerbeer's instrumentation.
he is no longer connected with this institution as organist,' we aro
authorized to state that Mr. W. T. Best was dismissed from his situation At the first theatre the pianoforte score was arranged for for insubordination, and that on the day fixed for the election of his the orchestra by the late Sir Henry (then Mr.) Bishop; at successor a letter was received from him, making overtures for a reCovent Garden the same operation was performed by the engagement, which the Council did not feel disposed to entertain." late Mr. Ropbino Lacy. Mr. Monck Mason, however, invited! This would appear grave enough at a first blush. “Disover the French company, persuaded the composer to ac- | missed” is an awkward word, and "insubordination" is another. company them, and brought out the opera which had made Mr. Best depends as much upon private repute as upon proso great a sensation at home and abroad, in the original (the fessional ability for maintaining the position he enjoys; and French) language. Since then, as we all remember, it has the paragraph in question was likely to compromise both, been heard in German and Italian.
through the medium of vague insinuation. The Editor of
John Bull (Dr. Biber) had already inserted it in the columns
Royal' Panopticon of Science and Art, Leicester Square, of that journal (our only motive for not rejecting it, or at
27th April, 1855. least for publishing it otherwise than as an advertisement);
SIR,—Dr. Biber desires I will call your attention to his order, reand it was therefore natural that Mr. Best should step
Piquiring you to play a piece of music at the close of the evening's enter.
taipment, and also to my letter of the 25th inst., in reply to your's forward in his own defence. A careful perusal of the corre- addressed to the President. I am, sir, your's obediently, spondence below to which we are glad to afford all the pub-1 W. T. Best, Esq.
T. J. BROWN, Secretary. licity in our power-will, or we are much mistaken, exonerate Mr. Best altogether, and win him rather the approval than
Royal Panopticon of Science and Art, Leicester Square,
3rd May, 1855. the condemnation of those who would not willingly see the SIR,-I am directed to forward to you the enclosed minute of a art of music degraded in the person of one of its most meeting of Council held yesterday (May 2nd), and remain, eir, your's eminent professors.
T. J. BROWN, Secretary.
Mr. W. T. Best.
[COPY OF MINUTE.]
"Ordered-That the Secretary write to Mr. Best, to the following SIR, -As your columns are always open to the exposure of injustice,
effect, viz. : that as he had not performed on the organ at the times I am induced to write a few lines respecting an authorized aanounce
| specified by Dr. Biber, and subsequently in two letters from the ment in a weekly paper, to the effect that “Mr. W. T. Best was dis
Council through the Secretary, or taken any notice of the said letters, missed from his situation as organist to the Panopticon for insubordi.
his engagement be considered to terminate in a month from the 3rd nation, and that on the day fixed for the," etc. As regards the first part of the paragraph, the manager of this place of amusement (Rev. E. | We have previously commented with some severity on the J. Biber) desired me, in addition to my duties, to play an organ piece uses to which the superb instrument built by Messrs. Gray each evening at ten o'clock, after the business of the programme had been concluded, and while visitors were leaving the building, suggesting,
and Davison for the Panopticon was put, in obedience to the oddly enough, that Mendelssohn's “Wedding March" would be an mistaken policy of managers. Here is another nagrant appropriate piece. This derogatory and unreasonable service I declined instance of how little account is set upon the most valuable to perform, thereby not suffering the art which I profess to be degraded, | object the institution can boast. Why not have a barrelas well as preserving my own self respect. With regard to being dismissed, I have only to state that the Council
organ at once, and engage a Savoyard to grind it for the are in possession of my letter of the month of May, in which I stato “if
| edification of visitors? We cannot but applaud Mr. Best you are, etc., I shall tender my resignation.”
for the independence. he has shown; and we trust that his The concluding statement in the paragraph is false. I was requested example may act beneficially elsewhere. It is too frequently by the Manager, and a highly influential member of the Council,
the case to find the organist in more sacred edifices reduced through one of the shareholders (whose letter I append), to make over. tures for a re-engagement. I have only to add that, finding the Insti
to the condition of a menial, at the beck and call and tution was encouraging the assumption that I was still engaged, by not
caprice of various personages who, whatever their especial announcing the change that had taken place, I thought it my duty to claims to respect, are ignorant of music and indifferent to its make the public, the profession, and my friends acquainted with the | influence as a refined and civilising art. It is a matter for truth-the only way of doing which efficiently was that to which I congratulation that, in another place, where the pretext of resorted. I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
“spiritual” office has no sway, a gentleman has been found
W. T. Best. sufficiently courageous to stand up for the honour of his The above in every respect dignified and straightforward | calling and refuse to do anything unbecomingly subservient. letter was accompanied by the following correspondence, which, at Mr. Best's desire, we lay before our readers :
The immaculate correspondent of our New York musical
contemporary has changed one of his noms de guerre. He (copy.]
now writes from Paris under the style and title of To the President and Members of Council
“Haudegen.” Heuceforth, then, he must be apostrophised of the Royal Panopticon.
London, April 25th, 1855.
as Professor Drei-Sterner Haudegen (late Plauderein) Praeger GENTLEMEN,—As the Rev. Dr. Biber, Manager of this Institution,
(of Hamm). Tired of babbling, he now means to sabre his has endeavoured to impose a duty upon me which I consider deroga. | enemies. May his shadow never be less ! tory to myself, I beg to lay the matter before you. He wishes me to In his last letter from London, as yet unfettered by the play an organ piece every night at ten o'clock, after the business of the Giacomo-ic influence, “*,*" deals out justice with an even. programme is fulfilled, and while visitors are leaving the building. I bave offered to play this music at any other time in the morning or
hand, and exposes what he maintains to be humbug with evening programme that might be fixed upon, but the Rev. Dr. Biber unsparing severity. He sneers (who can blame him ?) at would not hear of it, and persisted in his unreasonable request. our miserable attempts in England towards the consolidation
This " playing the poople out" was to have commenced on Monday of a national opera. “Mad. Thillon,” says hem night, but I have refused to comply till your decision could be ob. tained, and I now leave the matter in your hands. Should, however,
"and the Crown Diamonds at the Lyceum, will not cause the foundayou decide that an organ piece be played at the time, and under the
tion of a national opera ; nor are Fra Diavolo, and similar novelties at circumstances mentioned, I shall be compelled to place my resignation
the Haymarket, with Mr. and Mrs. Sims Reeves, worthy of detailed in your hands. I am, gentlemen, your obedient servant,
criticism, although that never fails them in certain quarters here, why W. T. Best.
and wherefore who can tell ?”.
This is a hard hit for The Morning Post, The Athenceum, Royal Panopticon of Science and Art, Leicester Square,
and The Sunday Times, whose criticisms are highly favourable 25th April, 1855. SIR,-In reply to your letter of yesterday, addressed to the President,
to Mr. and Mrs. Sims Reeves—" why and wherefore” I am directed to say that the Council entirely coincide with the orders (wherefore “why,” if "wherefore," and why "wherefore,” if given by the Rev. Dr. Biber, and alluded to therein, and it is their wish as why ?") it is easy for anyone but a Wagnerite, who regards that the same should be carried out.
all legitimate successes with a yellow eye, to "tell.” The In regard to the leave of absence for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, the Council see no objection, provided a fitting substitute
meaning of “Haudegen," however, is clear enough. He be provided by you. I am, sir, your's obediently,
intends to convey that Mr. and Mrs. Sims Reeves pay for · W. T. Best, Esq.
T. J. BROWN, Secretary. their praises. Happily, the reputation of those distinguished