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Il Crociato in Egitto, not at Trieste, as Weber supposed, but at Venice,
where it was represented for the first time the 26th December, 1825. (Continued from page 465.)
The principal parts were written for Velluti, Lablache, and Madame
Meric-Lalande, then in the zenith of her fame. The execution was OPINIONS, however, were not unanimous in Meyerbeer's own country admirable, and the success surpassed the expectation of the composer, upon the change which had taken place in his manner. A kind of who was recalled many times and crowned on the stage. All the large epite that he had deserted the school, of which he had been a pupil, towns of Italy received the Crociato with the same enthusiasm, and for a strange one, manifested itself frequently through bitter words in there is no doubt but that if Meyerbeer bad continued writing operas the journals. This disposition increased with each new success of the in that school, he would have become the rival of Rossini even on his author of Emma. Weber partook of these prejudices, and perhaps own ground. But already other projects occupied his mind. ' they influenced him more than all the others. It could hardly be On examining the score of Ii Crociato in Egitto with attention, otherwise. Weber, a man of a rare talent, but whose genius was certain signs of a modification in the manner of its composer will be directed towards a despotic idea of the principles of art, was perhaps discovered, and an endeavour to amalgamate his primitive school with the last person in the world disposed to that eclecticism which admits the Italian style he had since adopted. The individual character of as equally good systems the objects of which are entirely different. Meyerbeer's talent began to form itself, and his happy instinct for the That elevated sentiment which leads to eclecticism is among the rarest expression of powerfully dramatic situations to make itself apparent. qualities of the human mind. It frequently happens that the most In order to develope itself this instinct had no other requirements than' exalted geniuses become narrowed when they are called upon to pro. the study of the French opera. A favourable circumstance presented nounce judgment on works of art belonging to a school different from
| itself in the invitation Meyerbeer received from M. Larochefoucauld to their own. It is not, therefore, to be wondered at that Weber should direct the mise-en-scène of his Crociato at Paris ; and it was in the condemn Meyerbeer for departing from the style to which he himself French capital that the transformation of Meyerbeer's artistic ideas was so pertinaciously adhered. Weber did not understand Italian music- finally achieved. or at least he failed to appreciate it; it might be said, indeed, to be Il Crociato in Egitto did not enjoy at Paris the enthusiastic successes antipathetic to him. It was, then, in a spirit of opposition to the of Venice, Rome, Milan, and Turin. Circumstances were not favour. popularity enjoyed by Meyerbeer's Italian operas, that Weber produced able. Ať Paris laurels are rarely divided, but are bestowed all upon the at Dresden, with infinite care, Abimeleck; ou, les deux Califes, same head. In 1826, the habitués of the Théâtre-Italien would not written in the composer's first or German style, and which was re- | accept of any other composer than Rossini; no other music but his. ceived with so much coolness by the Viennese public. In other respects Too serious for the majority of the spectators, the music of the Crociato his friendship for Meyerbeer knew no diminution. In a passage in was not appreciated at its just value except by a small number of con. one of Weber's letters written to Godefroid Weber, the common friend noisseurs who were even then fully sensible to its beauties. Nobody, of both, he thus expresses himself :-“ On Friday last I had the great however, it must be acknowledged, could divine the whole extent of the pleasure of having Meyerbeer pass a whole day with me.......... It was, author's genius in this work, nor perceive the capacity of intellect, tho indeed, a delightful day—a revival of the happy hours we passed at fertility of invention subsequently inanifested in Robert le Diable, Les Mannheim.......... We did not separate until long after midnight. Huguenots, Le Prophète, and L'Etoile du Nord. Those who really Meyerbeer goes to Trieste to bring out his Crociato. He will return in understood and admired the Crociato, regarded it as the highest less than a year to Berlin, where he will, perhaps, write a German expression of the talent of the composer-in some respect, indeed, his opera. God grant it! I have made many appeals to his conscience." last word. The silence observed by Meyerbeer for some years seemed
Weber had not sufficient power over Meyerbeer to find his wishes to justify their judgment and their prejudices. His marriage and the realised at once: eight years later he would have been completely melancholy death of two of his children suspended his labours: He happy. Although he had already composod many admirable works, returned to thom aguin in 1828, but as soon as he rosumed his pen his Meyerbeer was still-in 1824-in search of his individuality; a cir. new route was traced; his genius, matured by years of meditation, was cumstance of which he had more than one illustrious example in the completely transformed, and his talent had taken its proper colour. history of artists, among others that of Gluck. As happened to that All the world knows at the present moment the results of these radical eminent man, a light came suddenly to irradiate the mind of our hero; modifications. and, like Gluck, it was on the French stage that he found the true ali In 1825 Il Crociato in Egitto was produced, for the first time in ment of his genius. Though altogether disapproving the course he was London, at the King's (Her Majesty's) Theatre, under Mr. Ayrton's pursuing, Weber was convinced of the great talent of Meyerbeer, for, management. Immense preparations were made in getting it up, and no when dying, he expressed a strong desire that he should complete his expense seems to have been spared; but, as is usual with the production of own comic opera of the Pintos, which he had left unfinished.
great works in this country, there were not sufficient rehearsals. In In 1821 Meyerbeer wrote, in the Italian style, an opera entitled The Paris it took nine months of preparation under the direction Gate of Brandebourg, for Berlin, his native place; but circumstances of the composer; in London not more than one month under the that have not transpired hindered it from being produced. The com superintendance of Signor Velluti, the celebrated malo soprano singer, poser was now occupied on another work for the Scala at Milan. The | who, having played in the opera both at Venice and Paris, was success of Emma di Resburgo had opened to him the principal theatres well acquainted with the composer's intentions, and followed them in Italy, among which the Scala stands in the first rank. In 1822 with zeal and veneration. The opera was further remarkable as being Margherita d'Anjou was represented there, and, in spite of the preju- that in which Malibran made her first appearance on the stage. Felicia dices which a stranger never fails to inspire in the minds of Italians, Garcia-how few remember Malibran by that name!-was then a girl the opera was received with enthusiasm. A French version of this of seventeen. She was prepared in her part in the Crociato by Velluti, work was given at the Odéon in Paris, and has been played success. who saw her talent, and took infinite pains with her. The opera had fully in all the theatres of France and Belgium. To Margherita suc | a great success, and attracted immense audiences. At that time the ceeded in 1823-L'Esule di Granata, the principal parts in which subscribers to the King's Theatre used to attend all the rehearsals. were composed for Signor Lablache and Madame Pisaroni. Already The greatest expectations were entertained of the new composer's new Meyerbeer's name had resounded over all Italy. His reputation work, and the first performance filled the house with all the rank and created him a host of enemies, who would fain have put a stop to the fashion of London. “The Duke of Wellington,” says Mr. Ebers, in applause bestowed on the author of Emma di Resburgo and Marghe- his work, Seven Years of the King's Theatre, " with a party who dined rita d'Anjou. The Esule di Granata was rehearsed with so much at Apsley House, attended the Opera, as did most of the people of discarelessness, that it was only performed during the last days of the tinction in town. The effect of Velluti's assistance in getting up tho season of the Carnival; and the same influence which had retarded the opera was fully manifest in the perfection of all the singers in their production of the opera, endeavoured to contrive its failure by a thousand respective parts. Remorini, Curioni, Mademoiselle Garcia, excelled secret machinations. In fact, everything seemed to presage the fiasco of themselves, and Madame Caradori exhibited a degree of excellence the Esule di Granata. The first act was hissed, and the second appeared which even those who had best appreciated her powers had not antici. destined to the same fate, when a duet sung by Lablache and Pisaroni pated. No other opera than Il Crociato was performed during the completely carried away the audience. At the following representation remainder of the season, which closed on the 13th of August, after the triumph of the opera was complete. The season terminated-Meyer | ten representations of that piece." beer repaired to Rome to compose music for Almanzor, an opera in The critics, for the most part, were all favourable to the new protwo acts; but, after the general rehearsal, Madame Caroline Bassi, en. duction. The Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review published the trusted with the principal character, fell ill, and the opera was never following remarks, which we transcribe, to exbibit the current opinions played.
of the day on a work which, however well prized, and eminently suc After a voyage in Germany, Meyerbeer returned to Italy to bring out I cessful, has since been strangely neglected :
THE MUSICAL WORLD.
“If we would estimate justly a dramatic composition of this character, it must never escape us that the intercourse of nations and the progress of civilization now occasion so rapid a circulation of the works of eminent men, that a community of judgment, almost independent of
LONDON, SATURDAY, JULY 28TH, 1855. natural aptitude and natural predilection, is, as it were, established over Europe. If Italy first gave musical instruction to Germany, the latter, in her turn, by her Haydn and her Mozart, has materially in MEYERBEER left London, on Tuesday, for Spa, in Belgium, fluenced the structure of opera, which may be called the drama of his usual sum
his usual summer resort since very many years. Spa is a Italy. England has bought her knowledge of both. The result cer. tainly is, that whatever improvements obtain in our country are much
ch quiet secluded town, buried in a nook of the Belgian High
quiet seciu sooner transmitted and caught by the rest than at any former,
| lands; and, but for the Rouge et Noir, etc., which turns a period, and hence it becomes a fair presumption, that not only little heaven into a sultry hell, would be one of the most à mixed style will prevail, but that the most recent additions desirable spots in the world for contemplation and repose. will, as soon as they have obtained a certain degree of celebrity, tingen with their peculiarities the productions of the modern composer, how
Meyerbeer, however, is no gambler. While nine-tenths of ever gifted he may be. The most original writer of an age so advanced the visitors that flock to Spa in the dog days are sweltering as the present is he who combines with so happy an assimilation that in heated rooms, watching with throbbing hearts a colour or he produces passages which raise the emotions be desires to raise; and a number, and inventing systems to overthrow the doctrine to do this, he must employ phrases which have been previously em.
of chances—as baseless and illusory as those of Richard ployed, but in a manner more forcible, more various, and more equally sustained than his predecessors. We defy the most imaginative com
Wagner for perfecting the drama—the celebrated musician poser to discover a passage so novel that it may not be traced, either is enjoying the fresh air, on the hills or in the plains, puras a whole, or in such fragments, as to prove its previous existence, or suing, as it were, the musical ideas with which his fertile the germ from which it is developed. But if a man writes the fulness
imagination teems, entrapping this or that fugitive melody, of the German harmony with the grace of the Italian melody--if he
to mould it into consistent form and stamp it with immorcollects expedients which are scattered here and there, and uses them to new and better purposes and effects—if he accumulates imagery
tality. If we may judge from results, the atmosphere of introduces unexpected, bold, and beautiful transitions, converts an Spa is favourable to musical aspiration. Nearly the whole ornament into an exclamation of passion, or gives an outline which a of L'Etoile du Nord-in which the melodies come and go as singer of expression fills up magnificently-the man who does all this, | fast as swarms of fire-flies, each like at this time of the day, we say, must be considered an original and highly-gifted genius ; and such we esteem Meyerbeer. In drawing
-- the beam-like Ephemeris,
Whose path is the lightning's,'* our definition, we have, indeed, only recapitulated the qualities which appear to us to be compacted in his opera of Il Crociato in Egitto. | dying almost as soon as it is born, yet, unlike the Beautiful traits of melody, rich harmony, novel and grand effects, ephemeris, reviving in another and still more glittering intense feeling, and pathetic and passionate expression, are all brought shape--nearly the whole of that fascinating opera was, if we together, with a fine vein of imagination. Solidity, energy, and pathos, are compounded and employed with great delicacy and
| are not misinformed, conceived and sketched at Spa. It force as to the means, by turns and in season, Above all, may have been completed in Paris and Berlin ; but the first he has a vivid perception of the beautiful and the great, unalloyed by ideas presented themselves to “the immeasurably rich comfalse notions of effect. It would be difficult to say to what school he poser ”f at this pretty miniature of a watering-place-embelongs, or to the study of whose works he has chiefly devoted his hours. We see marks, classical marks, of acquaintance with the great
bosomed among gentle heights, whose tops are capped with masters, both of Italy and Germany, down even to the latest and most
the sun as with a shining head-dress, whose sides are robed popular-Rossini himself. And here it is just and necessary to repeat with wealthy trees, and at whose feet are tiny rivulets, that the works of that great Italian composer have so considerably en sparkling and singing as they flow, and bearing tribute from larged the domain of execution, that the singer and the hearer of the the treasury of springs and fountains in the hills that are present time expect and must be supplied with the matériel, the one to display his acquisitions, the other to feed his over-stimulated fancy.
their birth-place, to feed the larger streams in which they Meyerbeer has indulged them both very artfully, at the same time that
live but to be lost. At Spa came all those tunes, so evanescent he has, in a good degree, brought them back nearer to simplicity. This in themselves-petitioning the Master to receive and clothe is principally to be seen in the recitatives and choruses ; in his airs and them in harmony, that they might endure to delight concerted pieces he approaches nearest to the fashion of the day. From the world, and not remain for ever invisible, like the all these facts, we conclude that his style may fairly be said to be his own. He has acquired strength, and an evident inclination for rich
mich drops of water that make up the length and breadth harmony and for modulation from his native country ; while, from the and depth of the limitless ocean which ebbs and flows in more fervid and voluptuous school of Italy, he has imbibed that warmth eternity. To think that good and evil should be so near each of feeling, that sensibility to the touches of passion, and that elasticity
other in Spa—the inspired minstrel to the ever restless of sentiment which, assisted by a natural enthusiasm that runs through his veids, form a style at once imaginative and refined. Pathos is
and wretched gamester! To think that one man should be Meyerbeer's forte; in the expression of deep feeling, from the most
industriously and modestly working for the happiness of vehement to the deepest shades, he is not excelled by any modern com mankind, with a fulness of love for his task, while hundreds poser. Meyerbeer must be classed with florid writers, but, at the same are labouring to the destruction of their species; that one man time, he has mingled the portion of ornament with so much of what is much more sound, that one of the strongest reasons for which we com.
should be doing God's behest, and dispensing the riches of his mend him is, that he obviously aims at moderating the rage for execu
endowment for the benefit of his fellow-creatures, while huntion, and shows a taste for purer means of expression, without a particle
dreds—unmindful of the plenteous manifestations of pature, of affectation or extravaganza."
and scorning “ the dædal earth,” with its forests and waters, (To be continued.)
its laughing plains and upstart hills, its branching trees and
pleasant-scented shrubs, its green and ample fields, its merry BERLIN.—The annual performance of Mozart's Requiem, in com- wild flowers, and its sky that spreads out till it melts into memoration of the death of Queen Louisa of Prussia, took place on
| infinite space-should prefer a stifling atmosphere wbere Thursday the 19th instant, in the Louisenkirche, at Charlottenburg, under the direction of Herr Börner. Several pieces from St. Paul and
pale faces, tortured spirits, worn-out frames, and all the the Messiah preceded the Requiem.
various outward phases of inward madness and despair make DUSSELDORF. - Herr Julieus Tausch has been elected Städtisclier hideous day and night! To think that the earnestly busy Music-Director, for three years certain. There were forty-six can. didates.
* Shelley. Wagner. "
man, moved by a fine artistic impulse, should be fulfilling his speaking, it is an advertisement, and should be paid for as an mission within a stone's throw of these same headless and advertisement, we are induced to give it a place, for several heartless money-grubbers, and yet the sun at day, and the moon reasons. It is enough, at present, however, to mention one. We at night, not veil themselves in mist for very sadness! But no. are anxious to impress clearly on the minds of vur readers There are no clouds at Spa; or at least none but those fleecy our strong objection to the system of puffing which now unsoft transparencies, through whose bright thinness the happily obtains. It appears to be almost inseparable from smallest objects can be easily discovered, as through the every kind of musical enterprise, big and small—from the vapourous shadow of an exhalation. While Meyerbeer grand festival to the shilling concert. The circular which catches a melody amongst the trees, to sing the child to sleep, has been addressed to us on the part of the Committee of or rouse a people to fight for liberty, a smothered sigh, down the Hereford Festival involves a puff in favour of that in the valley there below, in that flaunting hypocritical man- meeting, at the expense of another which takes place in sion whose white and finely shaped exterior is a mockery, Birmingham, the week following. Puffing is at all times announces, perhaps, a ruined fortune and a broken heart ! ungraceful and injudicious; but it is still less to be admired,
Go to Spa, reader, and watch the composer of the Hugue-when, not content with magnifying ourselves, we combine nots breathing the fragrant air, and courting health by with that act of egotism an attempt to injure others. Such means of exercise on the docile back of a mule-may be an is the case with the Hereford puff, which we therefore insert ass*--for Meyerbeer, like Auber, is a "good rider”+-go and under protest. refresh yourself, with him, on the hill-side, and perhaps some
“HEREFORD MUSICAL FESTIVAL.-We have much pleasure in melodies may come to you ; but avoid that gaping edifice, announcing that the plans of the Cathedral and Shirehall are now with its many windows through which the sunlight peeps placed at Mr. Parker's, 80 that places con be secured ; and we would but furtively at day, and its dazzling lamps underneath wish to impress upon our readers the desirability of early application, which, at night, the tables—covered with treacherous ver
in order that a party consisting of a large number may obtain the
requisite number of seats together, or in immediate proximity. We dure, a verdure that grows upon a grave-seem to dance
are glad to hear that it is proposed to issue the ball tickets on Friday and quiver with a light as sickly as it is glaring, as ghastly at a moderate price, including refreshments. The Lord-Lieutenant as it is insolent and unblushing. When morning slowly and the Members for the county and city have consented to act as dawns upon those marble halls, so richly dight with tapestry
stewards, with the lay stewards of the Festival, and a first-rate list of and blazonries,
lady patronesses has been obtained. Most sincerely do we trust that “And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels
the great exertions which have been, and which still are used, may be Before day's pathway"
successful, and that so noble a charity may derive the liberal support it
deserves. It is impossible not to rejoice at the immense attraction we you will see the faces paler and more dim (an “anxious have in the oratorios, compared with Birmingham ; all will admit that polyscopity” on each), the tables greener with a more Clara Novello is vastly superior to any singer in the world for sacred unearthly green-a green that has no affinity with nature's music: we have nothing to do with the reason why she is not employed
ut Birmioglium, it is ouMcient to kuow that she is engaged here. Tho wide-spread carpet in the fields—the croupiers haggard and
steady progress of the Festivals of the three choirs is most cheering; still hungrier for prey, the winners (poor devils !) departing, the success at Gloucester and Worcester will, we hope, be followed at with a grin of imaginary content, but stealthily, as though Hereford, and the losses of the stewards be a thing of the past. - We fearful that some thief may come on them unawares and rob are glad to find the excellence of the programme has been favourably them of their ill-gotten gains; the losers, with unwilling
noticed by the press generally. On the first morning we have two
new works-Mr. Townshend Smith's Jubilate, and Mendelssohn's 98th steps, tottering lamely to their never-welcome homes, to find
Psalm. The “Hymn of Praise" is also a novelty here ; and the no sleep in bed, no pleasure when the noonday sun invades revival of Spohr's exquisite composition, “The Christian's Prayer," their shameless rest!-a scene, in short, not unlike, in many deserves praise. The selection as a whole is of the most popular of its details, that graphic one described by De Balzac, in
character we ever remember. At the Shirehall great improvements
have been made as regards ventilation; the advantage of retiring. his Peau de Chagrin, when the morning streams, unper
rooms for the performers, and an enlarged orchestra, have also been ceived, through the hall-windows, and lights up a revolting
secured.” and still unfinished orgy How much better to go forth into the valleys, like
This is not the way to belp the cause for which the Meyerbeer, and listen to the birds singing, and see the
annual meetings of the three choirs were established at milch-cows lightened of their load by the tender fingers of
Gloucester, Hereford, and Worcester. On the contrary, it the paysanne, and intoxicate yourself with the bracing- is calculated
is calculated to lower their status in public estimation; and vigour of the morning, and enjoy all God's blessings, and we urgently recommend Mr. Townshend Smith, and the give thanks for them, and, if you are gifted, compose beau
stewards and managers pro tem., to desist from all further tiful music, and present it to the world—that voices may be
attempts to extol their own virtues while giving their neighlifted, trumpets sound, and feet twinkle, to heaven-sent
bour a sly poke in the ribs. Depend upon it it is unworthy melody. Thus you will show “the finger that inforced you,"
of the object for the accomplishment of which they are and appear before the face of your brother-man-not as a united. Th
united. The affair between Mad.' Clara Novello and the selfish egotist, but as a benefactor. " . .
Committee of the Birmingham Festival has nothing whatAnd then
enough. however: we have been ever to do with the public. If the gentlemen of Warwickpreaching, without intending it. The fault is Meyerbeer's,
shire, and the counties adjacent, cannot, or will not, pay not ours. Had he not composed the Etoile du Nord-and
350 guineas for the services of a single vocalist, it is their at Spa, too—we should hardly have written a sermon.
own affair. For our own parts, considering that the festivals
are in aid of charities, we are of opinion that all the singers, * Jules Janin says, “ an ass."
+ Wagner: "principals” especially, are absurdly over-paid; while other
performers, including the members of the band and the A PRINTED circular has been sent to us from one of the professional choristers, are just as absurdly under-paid. It cider-counties, with a request that it might be published in is notorious that the exorbitant terms granted to the the columns of The Musical World. Although, strictly singers, last autumn, were utterly ruinous to the Norwich
festival, and the inauguration of St. George's Hall at John Field made his way in St. Petersburg, or Mr. Balfe in Liverpool.
Vienna, and as Mr. Sterndale Bennett can make his way, if
he pleases, in any part of the Continent. It is worth noting, OUR contemporary, The Athenæum, appears satisfied with however, that the only two men who have acted consistently the result of the last general meeting of the members of the in this disgraceful business of the Philharmonic, by declining Philharmonic Society—at least the following paragraph,
to serve as directors under the despotic rule of the chief which appeared in his last number, would lead to that im- offender, are M.M. Benedict and Sainton-foreigners. We pression :
do not share the apprehensions of The Atheneum about “PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY.-We are glad to learn that the General
“imported monstrosities,” but we stand greatly in fear of Meeting of the members of the Philharmonic Society did not pass over
the national “mediocrity” to which he alludes. He may rest without some measures of reform being set in motion. The Directors assured that the Philharmonic Society, although, as he elected for the ensuing year are, Messrs. Sterndale Bennett, Anderson, rightly says, it was founded on “no class conditions," will not Lucas, M Murdie, Blagrove, Chatterton, and Griesbach. Mr. Anderson
be the “ European" institution he recommends, under the and Mr. Hogarth were re-elected as Honorary Treasurer and Secretary. A Committee was appointed (with powers to call a Special General
régime of the seven English directors appointed at the Meeting when their Report is prepared) to take into consideration the | last general meeting. We hate the encroachments of incarevision of the laws, etc. This Committee consists of Messrs. Lindsay pable foreigners ; but we have no sympathy for equally Sloper, Ayrton, Griffin, Potter, W. S. Bennett, Benedict, and Gries- incapable Britons. Our patriotism stops suddenly short at bach, with the Honorary Treasurer in office. It was further carried, That the Directors shall not appoint any person as Conductor for the
that point. ensuing year without the sanction of a General Meeting. The election of new Members and Associates was, under existing circumstances,
A BILL is now flying through the House of Commons, of postponed. On the proceedings of this revising Committee depends, we conceive, the future of the Philharmonic Society. We trust that
| immeasurable importance to composers of music. We allude they will be based on views and principles of art alike liberal and to the “Limited Liability Bill." True, it is opposed by all stringent; that the best music, and the best execution of music, will be the capitalists; but, being under the protection of our pugthe points kept in view, and not any party desire to bring forward nacious Premier, the composers need have no fear of its mediocrity, with the fancy of encouraging 'native talent,' or of im
falling to the ground. What wonderful results may spring porting monstrosity under the idea that, being of foreign origin, it must therefore be something wonderful, and worthy of being stared at.
from the passing of this measure they only can divine who The Philharmonic Society was founded under no class conditions, and have their escritoires filled with original inspirations. The if it is to be kept alive, it must be as a European—not an English- "Limited Liability Bill” places English musicians on the same institution."
footing as their foreign contemporaries, and ensures them a With the concluding sentences we entirely agree; but the position of which blind prejudice has so long deprived them. names of the new directors, and those of the special com- No earthly reason will exist for English musicians being mittee, among whom only one foreigner is to be found, give imitators and adulators of their rivals, and none why English little cause to hope for anything like cosmopolitan policy. music-publishers should import foreign operas for our All that is most pernicious in routine and past-worship is sug- | theatres, or foreign artists to perform in them, when once gested by a perusal of those two lists. The abuses which have the happy day has arrived, and the “Limited Liability Bill" almost laid the Philharmonic Society prostrate have invariably becomes the law of the land. sprung from, or been sanctioned by the very men to whose It is notorious that an unfair and immoveable prejudice has wisdom and energy we are now to look for reform. Why, always existed against English music in the very country they are.Gladstones, Sidney Herberts, Grahams, and Russells, which should nourish it; and it is equally well known that with scarcely an exception. Nothing will be done, depend the main cause of this antipathy to “native talent" may be upon it; and, what is worse, nothing was ever intended to be traced to the illiberality of managers and publishers, who done.
turn their backs invariably on everything to which the name We have no inclination to hail the return to office of a of a “ British” composer is attached. parcel of old women-since, metaphorically, the majority of But the effect of the “Limited Liability" will be to emanthese directors and special committee-men are nothing better. cipate men of genius from the hands of those selfish and We remember a great fuss being made, some years ago, about unnational despots. English musicians have now but to the appointment of M. Sainton as leader-one of the few co-operate, and the world will become shortly possessed of steps for which Messrs. Anderson and tail deserved credit. those countless treasures which for so many years, in dignified This came out of the native talent” cry, which simply em- ) silence, they have retained in their portfolios. An associabodies a dangerous sophism, and offers a sop to the Cerberus of tion should be formed for the publication of untried works at common-place. “Help yourself or nobody will help you," is a the general expense. Eight hundred shareholders, with £25 wholesome maxim, the neglect of which has had no small share shares (according to the new Act), would give a capital of in the undignified position which, as a class, our own musicians £20,000 to begin with. The principle should be at once maintain in the face of Europe. We learn from foreigners, invested in the compositions of shareholders, and the interest steal from foreigners, and in return abuse them and lay arising from the profits paid them in the form of dividend. plans to get rid of them. We are not alluding to the If our English musicians are the men we take them for, “locusts" of whom we spoke some time ago—the small and the shares would soon rise to a premium of at least 100 per ravenous "fry,” that swim across the Channel like the Danes cent. Every shareholder would then be entitled to a certain and other fishy barbarians of the early ages, burdening the number of publishing warrants, which he might employ in the land with a veritable glut of mediocrity and common- manner that pleased him best-in bringing out, for example, place—but to foreigners who are really distinguished half-a-dozen ballads or polkas, a short oratorio, a funeral for their ability, among whom such a professor as M. anthem, a treatise on counterpoint, a stringed quartet, the Sainton is justly entitled to rank. M. Sainton has first act of an opera, no matter what according to the bent as much a right to make his way in England, as Mr. of his taste and genius. ' A proprietor of four shares might
have the right to engrave a five-act opera in pianoforte
ROYAL ITALIAN OPERA. score.
The second, third, and fourth representations of L'Etoile du The liberty of giving full rein to their imagination, without Nord-on Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday-were highly the influence of an odious man of business constantly shaking
favourable to the opera, which is better liked the oftener it is his head incredulously at their most beautiful ideas, will
heard. One eminent characteristic of Meyerbeer's music is, that
it improves on acquaintance and never cloys. It may not open a new world to our musicians. What changes will be
| always be appreciated at first-the composer carefully avoidwitnessed! Composers of talent, now scattered about Lon
ing, on almost every occasion, the merely “ad captandum" don, unacknowledged, under the various masks of teachers, style of tune--but it grows upon the ear and is not easily players, critics, and what not, will henceforth stand openly forgotten. We could name many pieces in the Etoile du revealed as benefactors of mankind—as “immeasurably” en- | Nord which failed to arrest admiration on the first night, dowed minstrels. He who before would transact the while their beauties became manifest on the second. There laborious affairs of a society for the mere satisfaction of hear
are, however, some passages so melodious and captivating,
that, in spite of their entire originality, are understood at once. ing a single overture of his own composition performed before
Among them are the graceful cavatina at the end of the first a charitably disposed audience, will now no longer have to
act, sung by Catherine, which also forms one of the subjects of undergo this probationary and unprofitable drudgery. At the overture, and is subsequently introduced in the course of the home, and at his ease, he may write as fast as his pen and opera; the pastrycook's song, so tuneful and full of character; his ideas can flow, certain of being heard and appreciated by
the exquisite duet for Catherine and Prascovia, so peculiarly an impatiently admiring public. He who has hitherto vented
quaint and French; the morceau de danse which opens the second his disappointment in the columns of a newspaper may now
act; the song of Danilowitz in the third (a genuine inspiration);
the lovely duet between Peter and Catherine in the first act; and raise up his head and smilingly exchange congratulations the piquant and thoroughly original duet for the Vivandières. with the very men he has “pitched into.” Masterly These are among the beauties which at once strike the ear. But symphonies, lengthy and original concertos, musician- | to understand the deeper and more recondite beauties of the work like overtures and other" classical ” productions, once demands a frequent hearing—the more frequent the better. (exclusively) known to doting wives and select circles of The music of the Etoile du Nord is in no instance light or friends and relations, but long since shelved in oblivion,
trivial, though always sparkling and characteristic. The success will be dusted and brought to light for the advantage of a |
of the opera on the first night was merely the prelude to an
enduring triumph, which we feel confident awaits it, in fellowship world previously neglectful, but now ashamed that it with Robert le Diable, the Prophète, and the Huguenots. That ever allowed the dust to accumulate and bury such chefs L'Etoile du Nord, in spite of an occasional want of interest d'ouvre. The applause of successive generations will esta- in the libretto, will become one of the most popular works blish a new era for the art, and the “ Future ” of Richard in the répertoire of the Royal Italian Opera, there is no Wagner no longer be a chimera.
reason whatever to doubt. It has alreaay made a conquest In short, the “Limited Liability Bill ” is just the measure
of the public, and its vogue increases nightly. Meyerbeer him
self is perfootly satiofied with ito roceptivu ; how much more so calculated to vindicate the undoubted—though until now
than his less exacting admirers. The extraordinary popularity unrecognised-musical talent of our compatriots; and we enjoyed by the L'Etoile du Nord in the French capital is now bail its passage with sincere satisfaction. Our own labours a matter of history, and we have no doubt whatever that the will not be the less agreeable, since we shall no longer have British public is quite as capable of estimating, at its full value, to address a class of ill-used and unrewarded men of genius.
the great work of a great master, as the French France and May it pass- but not without the whole results antici
England are allies in war, and why not in art?
The performances improve with each repetition. The slight pated! Be chesm! Our eyes upon it !
tremulousness observable in Mad. Bosio the first night has
entirely vanished, and the Catterina of that admirable artist MR. HOWARD GLOVER's “TAM O'SHANTER.”-In consequence may now be pronounced a masterpiece. Indeed, more exof the great success which attended the production of this work quisite singing it would be almost impossible to hear, and Mad. by the New Philharmonic Society, it has been added to the Bosio must be signalised as one of the main causes of the eminent programme of the approaching Birmingham Festival. Mr. Sims success of the opera. Meyerbeer, too, owes no little to Mdlle. Reeves will sing the principal tenor part.
Marai-whose execution of the music of Prascovia has materially M. JULLIEN. The Surrey Gardens have been continually raised her reputation in this country. Signors Gardoni, Lacrowded in the course of the week. M. Jullien's patrons (the blache, Tagliafico, and Polonini, M. Zelger, and Herr Formespublic at large) are not deterred from following him by wind, Italians, French, and German continue to vie in praiseworthy hail, or any other form of bad weather. Whenever his name is rivalry in making the performance complete and satiefactory. attached to a musical entertainment success follows as a logical Lablache is greater every night; “stupendous” is the only term sequitur.
to apply to his personification of the Tartar chief. Herr Formes Wo UND WANN.-In der Londoner Musical World ist eine presents a still more elaborate portraiture of the mighty selfneue Composition von Ferdinand Praeger "Elfenmährchen" mit willed Czar; and Gardoni's singing in Danilowitz is perfect. der Bemerkung angezeigt, das der Componist solche in allen On Thursday the charming romance in the third act, describing seinen Concerten auf dem Continent und auch im Gewandhaus- the approach of Catterina, was given by this gentleman in so Concert in Leipzig gespielt. Wo gab Herr Praeger denn Con- finished a manner, that although it was close to midnight, the certe und wann spielte er in Leipzig ? (From the Rheinische audience insisted upon its being repeated, and Sig. Gardoni was Musik-Zeitung-edited by Herr Schloss (not Albert Schloss), at / obliged to comply. Cologne.)
The chorus, too, and the corps de ballet, to say nothing of the THE MOZART INSTITUTION (“Mozarteum”) at Salzburg intends / band, whose task is evidently " a labour of love,” are all entitled to celebrate Mozart's centenary birthday (September 7, 1856) byl to unqualified praise. We have already paid our tribute of a musical festival on the largest scale, the conductorship of admiration-so justly due to Mr. Costa for the zeal and energy which will be entrusted to Herr Franz Lachner, of Munich. | he displayed both in getting up the opera and conducting the The Committee, we read in the Cologne Gazette, requests all performance. Meyerbeer is keenly sensible of the invaluable musical authorities, at home and abroad, to assist at the festival, services rendered by the eminent chef-d'orchestre, and has exand to announce their intention of doing so before the end of pressed his gratitude and satisfaction repeatedly, and in the May, 1856, to the Committee of the “Mozarteum.” Special warmest possible terms. Such a feat, indeed, accomplished in invitations, it is said, will not be sent out.--Atheneum.
so short a time, is without precedent.