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three. The commencement (in D major), -with the accompaniment in triplets for violins, again smacks of Aubcr. Lurline's exhortation to the Rhine to devote its waters to the destruction of the conspirators (which climbs, by an ordinary sequence of semitouic progressions, from A minor, through B flat minor, to B minor), and the storm-movement (in F sharp minor) that follows, whore the first subject of the allegro in the overture is presented in the relative minor key, are undistinguished by any very salient characteristics; while the concluding vocal display for the prima donna is merely a repetition of Lurline's first air ('' Flow on, oh silver Rhine," in the same key as in Act I.—E major*), embellished with ornaments and "bravura" traits to show off the neatness and brilliancy of Miss Louisa Pyne's vocalisation. It brings down the curtain, however, with great animation, and is exactly fitted for the place it fills at the end of an opera, which, independently of its intrinsic merits, is the most successful dramatic work of a deservedly successful composer.
MUSICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON". This very important institution, for the interests of music inaugurated its public proceedings for the present year with its first concert of the season, in St. James's Hall, on Wednesday evening, when that spacious saloon was crowded by a most elegant assembly, among whose numbers were nearly all the most eminent musicians at present in London. The most powerful rivalry, if not the only one with which the Council of the Society have to contend, is the reputation of the series of performances during 1859, which were so remarkable and so eminently meritorious that they will be difficult to equal and almost impossible to surpass, while still they prompt most sanguine expectations as to what interesting matter a second series may furnish. A most happy augury for the success of the coming performances is the retention of Mr. Alfred Mellon in the office of conductor; and the general sense of the members of the high value of this arrangement was loudly expressed in the enthusiasm which greeted the appearance of that excellent artist at his post in the orchestra. A band over which this able director has to preside, is almost entirely the same as that of last year, the ouly very slight changes that have been made being yet further to strengthen its universally pronounced efficiency. The policy which drew great credit to the management of the Council of last year, as proving the liberal principles of the Society, and the active zeal of the executive in carrying these into operation,—the policy of including in each performance some work little known, and entirely new to a London audience,—was proved still to influence the arrangements, by the very interesting programme of this initial concert, and we may safely infer, from the indication thus given of the intentions for the future, that the concerts of I860 may bear comparison even with those of the previous year, and still be felt to have realised the first object of the Musical Society, in having tended to the yet further advancement of music in England. The concert opened with Robert Schumann's overture to Tieck's historical tragedy of Oenoveva, played, to the best of our belief, for the first time in London. The romantic story this composition illustrates,—of the Count's repudiation of his guiltless wife, of her despairing flight from the effects of his jealous fury, of her concealment in the forest, of her inability to nourish her infant, of his being suckled by a doe, of the Count's wounding the wild nurse of his child while on a hunting party, of his tracking his prey to its covert, and there finding the exiled Genoveva and her son, of his ascertaining her innocence, and of receiving her, pure and faithful, to his remorseful heart, furnishes wide scope for the
* We should have preferred the finale iu D major, the key of the overture. "Pourquoi!" Mr. Wallace will a^k, and we shall bo at a loss to auswer him. Nous ne lavom pas; but wo should huvo preferred it. Voili-lout.
poetical qualities of the musician, and calls in exercise the loftiest powers of passionate expression. It is the well-known characteristic of the class of musicians with whom Schumann is associated, and of the style of criticism of which he is the best ornament, unduly to exalt the ideal above the technical—unmindful that while ideality is essential to artistic production, music must be music in order to bring it within the range of art, aud that unless we be moved by the effect of the elemental beauty of a composition, we can have no perception of its poetical purport. The first hearing of the present work, however, ag:-eeably impresses us with a clearer idea of its technical design, and a more definite sense of its musical interest, than almost any other production on the scale of its author ; it must be admitted that it approaches not, in its intrinsic merit, the great characteristic overtures of Beethoven and Mendelssohn, and that it neither equals these masterpieces in its power of suggesting the features of the subject it is designed to illustrate; still, it amply proves the thoughtful mind, the deep musical feeling, and the mastery of the artistic resources of the composer, and we expect that all these qualities will be made yet more manifest to general appreciation, by the repeated hearing of this effort of his genius. Compared with that of the overture of Gade, and of the immensely interesting symphony of Schubert, at the concerts of last season, the reception of the overture to Oenoveva, on Wednesday, may be considered as bordering on enthusiasm; and we trust its success on thi3 occasion may induce its repetition on some future series of concerts. A knowledge of this work must prompt respect for the composer, if it fail to awaken admiration of his production.
Herr Reichardt sang the aria of Adolar, in Euryanthe, which was assigned to Mr. Sims Reeves in one of last year's programmes, «with a dramatic feeling, an animation, an excellence of vocal delivery, and a general good effect, that brought out beauties which before were wholly unrevealed in this charming specimen of Weber's too-little-known opera. The introductory symphony for wind instruments to this piece was not so perfectly executed as most of the music of the evening,—a misfortune attributable to the fact of the song having been substituted, without rehearsal, for one which Signor Belletti was prevented from singing by sudden illness.
A concertino in D, by Ernst (an honorary member of the Society), which we do not remember to have been played by the composer in England, was executed by Mr. Blagrovo in a manner which'surprised even the admirers of this gentleman's talent. Not only was his performance marked by the exquisite beauty, the perfection of finish, and the purity of intonation, which are his justly acknowledged qualities as a violinist, but it was equally distinguished by an amount of passion such as he rarely displays, and it raised his high artistic character in the estimation of all who heard it. The cordial and spontaneous applause throughout and at the close of the concertino was a worthy tribute to the great merit of the executant.
The admirable dramatic scena of Madame Ankastrome in the third act of Auber's Gustave, a piece as new to a concert-room as it was thoroughly welcome, was excellently sung by Mdlle. Parepa, one of the best of our present English vocalists. This lady has come forward as a concert singer at a fortunate moment for the public and for herself. Now that Mad. Clara Novello and Mad. Lemmens Sherrington are both away from London, our public performances would -be sadly deficient without the fine voice aud good style of Mdlle. Parepa, and she would have less opportunity to prove her ability were those two merited favourites here to share her chances of public applause. The selection of this clever song was a suitable compliment to its author (one of the Society's honorary members), aud a good refutation of the silly prejudice that would exclude Auber from the rank of first-class composers.
Stcrndale Bennett's overture, The Wood Nymphs, was a revival that must have gratified every disinterested lover of art, and must have made everyone who is interested in the progress of art among us truly proud of their countryman. Too long, indeed, is it since this beautiful work has been heard in public, but not so long that its exquisite traits have passed from the memory of those whom they once delighted; not so long but that everyone who remembered its charming effect rejoiced to hear it again. Twenty years have passed since the then prolific author produced this, the last of his three admirable concertovertures; these twenty years have not sufficed for Bound critics to determine whether this, or its predecessors, the Naiades and Parisina, is the best; each has its individuality, while all aro peculiar to the composer, and all have pre-eminent excellence; and our only regret, in bearing testimony to their beauty, arises from the consideration that thrice as long a period as elapsed between the creation of the first and last ot these has been insufficient for the production of a companion to them from the same source. The purely musical beauty of this work vies with its picturesque and fanciful imagery to charm the sense and delight the intelligence ; and while there exists nothing that does more honour to our artistic character as a nation than the emanation of this masterpiece from one of our countrymen, there exists but very few works which more brightly adorn the art itself. The good effect of the performance would have been much increased had the marks of ritenuto been less rigidly observed, which the composer has too profusely inserted in his score; they induce an interruption of the continuous character of the whole, and thus take from the spirit and the animation which naturally belong to the composition.
Up to this point, the close of the first part, the place of Mr. Mellon (whose absence was compelled by the Queen's second visit to the performance of Mr. Wallace's Lurline at the Royal English Opera) was effectually filled by Mr. Henry Smart. The commencement of the second part was delayed till Mr. Mellon's arrival from the theatre, when Spohr's symphony, The Power of Sound, was performed in memory of the illustrious composer. One of the greatest successes of last year's concerts was the remarkable rendering of this excessively intricate and difficult work, which till then nad never, save under the author's direction, had an approximation to a perfect performance in England; the performance on that occasion was not an approximation, but an attainment of such perfection as would have enraptured the veteran master, could he have witnessed such a presentation of his most esteemed orchestral composition. Only less fully complete than that celebrated performance, but immeasurably surpassing every other attempt, was the justice rendered to the symphony on Wednesday evening. Spohr, too, was an honorary member of the Musical Society, and the honour the institution received by the enrolment of his glorious name, was worthily reflected by the tribute paid to his greatness in such an interrelation as this was of his masterpiece. Each movement might ave been supposed metaphorically to picture some aspect of the artist's career, or of his relation with the world—his B'ruggles as a student, the dawning and the acknowledgment of his genius, the penetration of its influence into the homes and hearts of men, his triumph on the attainment of the pinnacle of his greatness, his own meek estimation of this and of its derivation, the sorrow of mankind for his loss, and our consolation in the possession in the treasures he has left us—some of the most noble examples of the Weihe der Tone.
Mdlle. Parepa appeared to less advantage than in Auber's Bcena, in the aria from Robert le Diable, "Idole de ma vie" a Mcoud impromptu substitution, in consequence of Signor Belletti's illness. Although possessing immense compass and great volubility of voice, this lady has not the finished execution with which Madame Dorus Gras made this song familiar to London audiences; she sings the last movement quicker, and with less of the pointed distinctness which gave a peculiar charm to her predecessor's rendering. As another honorary member of the Society, Meyerbeer will receive better justice when some other of his compositions are chosen for performances.
Rossini (also one of the Society's honorary members) received his homage in the selection of his overture to La Siege de Corinth, the sparkling brilliancy of which was spiritedly brought out in the glittering performance. And thus closed the concert, which was as creditable to the Society as it was obviously interesting to the large proportion of its fifteen hundred musician members who were present.
MUSICAL FESTIVAL IN DURHAM.
(From a Correspondent.)
Wis it, we wonder, a real love of niusic which drew together, on Tuesday and Wednesday last—under the roof of the New Markets—so many hundreds of the inhabitants of this city and the neighbourhood. There must have been a strong attraction in some direction; for despite tho weather, which could not have been scarcely more unfavourable, wo have seldom seen in this city audiences so numerous, or who appeared so thoroughly to appreciate the entertainment whicli hnd been provided for them. The large building was fitted with heating apparatus, matting, &c., kindly lent by tho Dean and Chapter of Durham Cathedral, to ensure the comfort and convenience of the pntrons &c., during the festival. The following h a list of patrons, viz:—His Grace the Duke of Cleveland, The Most Noble Frances Anno, Marchioness of Londonderry, The Right Rev. Lord Bishop of Durham, Tho Earl of Durham, The Earl of Scarborough, Viscount and Viscountess Boyne, Sir William Eden, Bart., Lady Eden, The Solicitor General, The Very Rov. The Dean of Durham, The Ven. Archdeacon Thorpe, Tho Worshipful The Mayor of Durham, Rev. Canon Edwards, Lady Williamson, Lord A .V. Tempest, M. P., Tho Right,Hon. J. R. Mowbray, M. P., The High Sheriff, H. Fenwick, Esq., M. P., Colonel Stobart, S. Rowlandson, Esq., and E. Pcele, Esq., ic. Ate. &c.
On Tuesday evening, Judas Maccahccus was performed, and we heard but ono opinion—that it Wbb highly creditable to all concerned. Tho larger portion of the band and chorus were selected from the Bradford Festival Choral Society, including those who had tho honour of performing at Buckingham Palace, before Her Majesty, a short time ago, assisted by efficient local talent. The principal singers were Mrs. Sunderland, Miss Hiles, Miss Illingsworth, Miss Whcatcr and Miss Pringle, and Messrs Walker,- Bates, Ashton, Lambert, and Hcuiing, of tho Duhram Cathedral Choir, and Mr. D. Lambert, of St. George's Chapel Royal, Windsor. The band was led by Mr. T. Smith, of York; and Mr. Burton presided at the organ and pianoforte, 'iho organ, which was bnilt for the occasion, is a very fine instrument, and was very effective in the choruses. -Mr. Jackson, who has pained some celebrity as a composer of oratorio music, was conductor, and Mr. Kaye, director. The performance of Judas Maceabeeus, as we have already snid, was highly creditable, to all parties concerned, and gave every satisfaction to anumerous audience. The choruses were given with a breadth, precision, and effect, that would have done credit to a band of more pretensions. Mr. D. Lambert (Simon) sang the recitative and air for the bnss, " I feel the deity within "—" Arm, arm, ye brave," with fine effect, and was very successful in "The Lord workoth wonders," the florid runs of which were clear and distinct. Mr. Ashton was much applauded in the recitative and air "'Tis well, my friends "—" Cull forth thy powers," and showed tho capabilities of his voice in "Sound an alarm." Miss Hilea sang "From mighty kings," and "Shall the lute," with ease and purity of tone. Miss Illingworth and Miss Wheator also sang their parts very judiciously, and Mr. Lambert, senior, gave "Rejoice, O Judah," with much effect. The performance was brought to a close at eleven o'clock, half an-hour after tho time announced, in consequence of the ncver-to-be-sulliciently-reprobated practice of indiscriminate encoring, which is especially out of place in oratorios.
On Wednesday morning, the Messiah (as usual) attracted an immense assemblage of persons from the adjoining towns and villages, as well as all tho principal families of tho city and neighbourhood. The choruses were very good, the voices keeping well together, and manifesting the great advantages of practice. We cannot say as much for the band, which was very often at loggerheads, and running a race for supremacy. The brass instruments, on tho ono hand, loudly claimed almoet exclusive attention, and the violins and violoncellos were continually treading on each other's heels. Nevertheless, tliore is an excuse in the fact that the instrumentalists were not accustomed to play together, and some were out of their clement altogether in such music as Handel's chef-d'auvre. Mr. Ashton sang "Comfort ye" and "Every valley" in excellent style jhis best and most successful effort, however, was in "Thou shalt dash them." Mr. Lambert, senior, a general favourite in Durham, was much applauded in "Behold, darkness," the accompaniments of which were played with precision by the band. Of tho three young ladies, we may say that they sang their music correctly and in tune; that Miss Wheater has a good voice, that Miss Pickles ought not to attempt a shake till she oanoxecute one, and that Miss Illingworth was passable. Mrs. Sunderland sang the opening recitatives very impressively. Her triumph was in " I know that mv Redeemer liveth." Mrs. Sunderland's voice is as clear and resonant as ever, and if there is a change at all in her singing, it is, that she sings with greater fervour. "Why do tho nations" was sung in euch a manner by Mr, D. Lambert as amply to justify the good opinions entertained of him; lie also gave the recitative and air, "Behold I tell you a mystery," and "The trumpet shall sound," which elicited the warm applause of the audience. The organist, Mr. Burton, presided in a talented manner, and Mr. Jackson, the conductor, displayed good tact in keeping together his instrumentalists. The wholo performance went off well, and gave great satisfaction to the crowded assemblage.
On Wednesday evening, the building was again visitedby a very large and respectable company, when the following miscellaneous programmo was gone through:—
Madrigal, "Since first I saw your face" ... ... Ford.
Madrigal, " Down in a flowery rale" ... ... Feata.
Song, Mrs. Sunderland, " Why, my harp " ... ... Bellini.
Port-Song, "Awake the starry midnight hour" Mendelssohn. Song, Mr. D.Lambert, "The village blacksmith" ... Weiss.
Part-Song, " O, could I with fancy stray" Eatton.
Part-Song, "The dawn of day" Beay.
Song, Mrs. Sunderland, "Merrily o'er theBnow" ... Schloesser.
Glee and Chorus, "The sisters of the sea" Jackson.
Part-Song, "The wreath" Benedict.
Madrigal, "I saw lovely Phillis" Pearsall.
Song, Mrs. Sunderland, " Captive Greek girl" ... Eobbs. Part-Song, "Oh, hills! O, vales of pleasure" ... Mendelssohn.
Song, Mr. D. Lambert, " I'm a roamer" Mendelssohn.
Part-Song, "Pack clouds away" ... ... ... Jackson.
Duet, Miss Illingworth and Miss Pickles, " I heard
a voice" ''-'3S Glover.
Madrigal, " In the merry spring" ... Bavenscroft.
Chorus a la Valse (organ accompaniment), "Oh,
the flowery month of June" ... ... ... Jackson.
Finale, "God save the Queen."
The choir in the part-songs elicited frequent encores. In Bellini's song, "Why, my harp," Mrs. Sunderland's singing oharmod the audience, and she won an undeniable enoore in "The captive Greek girl," with a repetition of which she favoured tho audience. Mr. David I Lambert sang Wciss's popular song, "The village blacksmith," with great force, and enhanced his reputation with his Durham friends: he wa§ encored. The concert gave great satisfaction, and the Festival, on the whole was, in every point of view, decidedly successful. Great credit is duo to Mr. Thomas Kayo, director and manager, and we hove no doubt that the endeavours to popularise tho performances by adopting a moderate scalo of prices has had much to do with the result.
Leicester— (From a Correspondent).—A concert of Handel's music was given by the New Philharmonic Society, in connection with Mr. Nicholson's cheap series, on Mondny evening. The attendance, considering the badness of the weather, was large. The pieces selected were the Dettingen Te Ileum, and portions of the Messiah. The former piece hns never been given beforo in Leicester, and must, therefore, have, been new to a large majority of the audience. Mr. Nicholson is deserving of much credit, for bringing Buch a masterpiece of sacred music within the reach of the whole of a population whioh has always been distinguished for its musical taste. The execution of the choruses reflected the highest credit on the performers. Tho chorus, "To Thee, cherubim and seraphim," was finely given. In the quartet and choruB, "The glorious company of the apostles," the vocal parts were sustained by Miss Jackson, Mr. Harrison, Mr. Sills, and Mr. Christian. Mr. Briggs sang the bass solos,and Mr. Oldershaw the solo, "When thou tookett upon Thee." The trio, "Thou sittest at the right hand of God," was well sustained by Messrs. Harrison, Wood, and Christian. The performance of the Te Deum occcupied exactly one hour. The selections from the Messiah were "Comfort ye my people," "Every valley," "Andthe glory of the Lord," "For behold darkness," "The people that wnlked," the "Wonderful" chorus, "Behold I tell you a mystery," "The trumpet shall sound," and the Hallelujah chorus. Mr. Sansome sang "Comfort yc," and Mr. Briggs, in his allotted parts, fully sustained his reputation; but the precision which characterised the choruses exceeded anything ever heard in Leicester before. At tho conclusion of "The trumpet shall sound," in which Mr. Harper fairly excelled himself, the audience instinctively broke out into loud and long applause. The air, however, was very properly not repeated, and the Hallelujah ohorus brought the concert to a close, soon after ten o'clock. We should state that tho principal instrumentalists were Messr?. Harper, Farmer, Gill, Selby, Weston, Smith, &c., Ac. Mr. Nicholson conducted.—Leicester Journal.
TO COEBESPONDENTS. Scotchman.—The papers have not come to hand. J. A. J.'s " trite" communication will receive attention next week. A. W. (Hanover).—Next time. F. S. C—Next time.
Aetist (Brighton).—We believe there are three in all, but will make
inquiries. Charles Mckorkell.—Next time.
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THE MUSICAL WORLD.
LONDON, SATURDAY, Maech 3rd, 1860.
We believe it is still to be decided whether it is an advantage or a disadvantage for a composer to have good verses to set to music. Many composers seem to prefer bad ones, but perhaps they have Do choice in the matter, for we have very few poets in the present day who know how to write tolerable songs. In " comic operas," we mean those in which singing and speaking occur alternately, the well-known rule, laid down by a writer who had too much wit to conform to it himself, is that which is too stupid to be spoken should be sung; and some of our English librettists seem to have improved upon this, and to have concluded that nothing ought to be sung except what is too stupid to be spoken. According to this precept then, grand operas, in which there is no speaking at all, ought to be stupid from beginning to end, and we confess that when we heard that; Lurline was to be a grand opera, we expected to find the libretto one mass of nonsense, more or less melodious. But we reckoned without Mr. Fitzball, who laughs at rules, and who in Lurline has produced a poem which, in many respects, must be considered a masterpiece. We know that Mr. Fitzball's "book " has been sneered at by a large portion of the press, and that a number of critics, without taste or learning, pretend to have discovered faults in it. But nothing is more easy than to point out trifling errors in a work of high imagination, and it is usually found that those critics who are most apt at detecting flaws, are also the most insensible to great beauties. Dryden has expressed this tersely enough in tho following couplet: •
"Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow,
In Lurline it is especially necessary to "dive below," because all the most remarkable portion of the opera takes place at the bottom of the Ehine; it is in the "halls of liquid crystal" where Ehineberg dwells, in the "coral cave" of Lurline herself, and in the "opal shells" of her attendant nymphs, that we must look for our poetic pearls.
What first strikes us in the subaquatic scenes of Lurline, is not the novelty of introducing coral, which is a marine product, in the bed of a river, nor any other of those details which have fixed the attention of the undistinguishing critics who contribute to the columns of our daily and weekly contemporaries; it is the fine use Mr. Fitzball makes of supernatural machinery, and the manner in which he has abolished, once and for eyer, the limits which formerly separated the different regions of spirits. The learned and ingenious Paracelsus divided the world of spirits into four great kingdoms, corresponding to the four elements into which the ancient philosophers divided the material world. The gnomes inhabited the earth, not as Mr. Fitzball and we, ourselves, inhabit#it, but dwelling in the bowels thereof, usually in the heart of a mo\intain, and with a marked preference for volcanoes. The air was peopled by sylphs, elfs, and fairies of all kinds. The water was the home of sizes and undines; and in the fire lived salamanders, whom the snperstitious think to have been a species of devils, it being a well-established fact that devils are of so chilly a temperament that they can only exist with comfort in an atmosphere of flames. Some say that Paracelsus invented the salamanders because he was determined, while he was about it, to make his system complete. At all events, the salamander is not the hero of any popular tale or tradition, whereas the spirits of the earth, the air, and the water, appear in innumerable legends; and this has led to another theory, that trees, rivers, and rocks or stones, to all of which the ancient Germans sacrificed, were the true habitations respectively of the fairies or wood-nymphs, the nixes or water-nymphs, and the gnomes or dwarves, and that no other spirits than those just named (the ghosts of humanity excepted) can be considered genuine. The swan-nymphs are usually classed with the nixes, but they alone had the capacity of living in two elements; the delicate little fairies would have been drowned if they had attempted to visit the watcr-nytnplis in the rivers, and suffocated if they had joined the gnomes in the mines, nor could gnomes live with water-nymphs, or water-nymphs with gnomes. Now to Mr. Fitzball belongs the merit of changing all this. He has understood that it is as easy to exist without air in one place as in another, and if a being—say Mr. Corri or any one else—could live in a state of interment, he could live in a state of submersion. Accordingly he makes his gnomes and his water-nymphs reside together at the bottom of the Rhine, where they form a sort of spiritual happy family; and thus the poet enlarges the realms of romance, and shows the way to new and endless combinations of the supernatural.
Mark, too, how Mr. Fitzball has treated the character of Rhineberg; and in the first place observe his name, Rhineberg; berg means mountains; gnomes liked to live at the foot of a mountain, and the gnome Zelieck is always "crouching" at the feet of Rhineberg! Then how human this Rhineberg is. Other poets, when they introduce spirits, make them speak not like people of our own species, but like beings of quite a different order. Rhineberg, however, though a marine monster, is as eloquent about a " father's love" as a parishioner of Marylebone 1 who has just been registering the birth of his first little boy.
Cowley, in a letter to a friend, says: "You tell me that you do not know whether Persius be a great poet, because you do not understand him." If any one says this about Mr. Fitzball, we can only reply that he humanises monsters, and breaks down the barriers which once separated the earth from the water.
Pantagruel was fast asleep, happy as if he had swallowed the wondrous narcotic of Monte Christo, made up after the Old Man of the Mountain's own prescription. For he thought he was Paris passing judgment on the three goddesses, who were exact likenesses of —i , we need not
say whom, for we know that our readers are fully capable of filling up the blank. While he was rolling his eyes this way and that, wondering whether M. W., M. T., or L. T.— Juno, Pallas, or Venus—best deserved the prize, the golden apple suddenly slipped from his hands, and began bounding upon the ground like a gulta percha ball, making all the time such an odd noise that the goddesses at last melted away, and the mighty Pantagruel awoke. The lovely forms were gone, but the noise remained; for there was such an unseemly knocking over head, that Pantagruel thought a whole committee of spirit-rappers had hired Panurge's bedroom for the purpose of holding a full board.
So, being in an angry mood, he took his night-lamp and walked up-stairs till he reached the door of the offending apartment.
"Worshippers of the devil!" roared Pantagruel, "why do ye make such an infernal disturbance at this time of night f If you must summon the shades of departed fools, why didn't you furnish them with gloves, that their hard knuckles might sound less loudly upon your accursed table. Deal with all the fiends and ghosts of Tartarus if you will, for I know the bottom of the bottomless pit will not throw up rascals more damnable than yourselves, but, miscreants as ye are! dare not to disturb my slumbers, or there shall be such a rapping of spirits as never was since the fall of Lucifer."
"It's only me, master," squeaked Panurge.
"Respect Lindley Murray, thou slave! if thou carest not for me,—and at least say 'it is only I,'" retorted Pantagruel. "But what the devil art thou doing? I know thou art not the man to call about thee a mob of fleshless, penniless ghosts that could not lend thee a farthing. Let me hope at least that thou art making thy own coflui, and intend to be buried in it to morrow."
"I am investing my property," squeaked Panurge; "but walk in, an thou wilt, for the door is neither locked nor bolted."
Furiously did Pantagruel open the door, but he soon stood still and gazed with much curiosfty, for there was Panurge fastening a thin sixpence to the wall, with a nail as thick as a skewer, which he struck with the end of the poker, looking all the while as grave and 'as wise as if he were making some singular philosophical experiment. And on other parts of the wall were nailed sundry other coins, all of small value,— silver three-pences, fourpenny-bite, rusty farthings,—with a pewter medal or two for the sake of variety and ornament.
"Expound the meaning of this stupendous foolery," bellowed Pantagruel, but his voice and his countenance were not half so angry as his words, for he was really amused to sec the ugly face of Panurge wear an aspect of such exceeding gravity, and anxious to know the purpose of his strange operations.
"Look ye now," said Panurge, " I am acting on the advice of Watts" k.. .• • •>...!.
"Dr. Wratts?" asked Pantagruel. "Art thou fancying thyself a little busy bee? when thou art infinitely more like a blue-bottle, making much noise to no profit."
"Not Dr. Watts—but Watts Phillips," proceeded Pantagruel, "who hath written a play called Paper Wings, which was brought out to-night at the Adelphi. Now this same play is not'only distinguished by remarkably fine acting on the part of Mr. and Mrs. Wigan, but it aboundeth in so many wise precepts, that I can only compare it to the Hitopadesa, which the Gentoo nurse read to me in my infancy."
"Gentoo nurse, ignoramus I" thunderedPantagruel,—"Who talks of Gentoos now-a-days 1—Can'st thou not say 'Aya;' like a gentleman, when I have paid for thy admission into the upper gallery of the Haymarket, in order that thou mightest pick up Oriental lore from Tom Taylor's Overland Route f
"Let me go on," said Panurge, humbly. "The passages in this play, whereof I speak, warned me, through three long acts, against the danger of ordinary investments. The good man and the bad man, the stock-broker and the clerk, the housemaid and the footman, however they might differ in other particulars, all united against banks, shares, and paper representatives of value. And shall I let all $his wisdom be poured into my cars for nothing 1 Not I, forsooth." And so saying he dealt a mighty blow at the nail, that made the whole street echo, and caused the policeman in the neighbouring square to pause in the pursuit of a little boy, who had been taking a sight at him from behind the lamp-post.
"No," continued Panurge; "I will be ruined by beer, I will be brought to starvation by tobacco; yea, oceans shall roll over my treasury, but my money shall never have paper wings, now I am counselled by Watts Phillips. Here it all standeth—it is not much—but, nevertheless, here, I say, it standeth an unimpeachable testimony to the moral utility of the stage, that I trust will be found perfectly satisfactory by the whole bench of bishops."
Mdlle. Piccolomini is said to have been recently married in Dublin to an Italian nobleman.
Eotal Italian OrEnA.—This great establishment opens with Der Freischiitz. The novelty of the season will be Felicien David's grand opera, Herculaneum.
The Vocal Association will repeat Mendelssohn's psalm, "Hear my prayer, O God!" on Thursday evening, at St. James's Hall, with Mdlle. Parepa and choir of 200 voices. Miss Arabella Goddard will perform Handel's "Harmonious blacksmith," and Benedict's " where the bee sucks."
Sacred Harmonic Society.—Last evening, Judas Maccabccus was performed, with Miss Parepa, Miss Banks, Miss Laura Baxter, Mr. Sims Reeves? Mr. Montem Smith, and Signor Belletti as principal vocalists. Particulars next week.
Myddleton Hall Monday Evbnino Concerts.—At the fourth concert, on Monday last, when the folhjwing artistes were engaged :— Mesdames Cooper, Woodwnrd, Paget, and Fanny Reeves; Messrs. G. A. Cooper, G. C. Rowland, and Elliot Galer; pianist, Mrs. Seymour.—Mr. Frank Mori conducted. The first part of the programme comprised selections from the sacred works of MendelsBohn, Haydn, Handel, and Rossini j the second part wiis miscellaneous, Mr. Elliot Galer sang Handel's "Deeper and deeper still," eliciting a loud encore. He also received the same complimeut in a new song by Lutz, " Under the linden tree." Miss Fanny Reeves (a great favourite at these concorts) was enoored in Mr. Frank Mori's new balled, " Where art thou wandering, little child?" Miss Woodward, Miss Paget, and Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Cooper all acquitted themselves to the entire satisfaction of the audience.
Herr Maurice Nabich, a celebrated soloist on that rather unwieldy and decidedly inconvenient instrument, the trombone, and who first made his appearance some years ago at one of the New Philharmonic Concerts with such eminent success, gave a soiree on Tuesday last, at Willis's Booms, assisted by Madame Budersdorff,Mr. and Mrs. Weiss, Herr De Becker, the "Islington German (!) Gesang Verein," Herr Pauer, M. Pap6, and Mr. Svensden, with Sig. Baudegger and Herr GaDz as conductors. The benificiare's performances were an arrangement of the grand septet from Lucia, for trombone and pianoforte, David's concertino, in which, we believe, he made his debut, and some other solo, whose title did not transpire. His pure tone and singular command over the instrument elicited universal admiration. Mr. Svensden's flute solo was encored, and all the vocal pieces gave much satisfacton.
ROYAL ENGLISH OPERA. Lurline increases in attraction, and the announced its performance nightly up to the end of the No curtailments have been deemed necessary, or, perhaps, found practicable. The performance, as a matter of course, is smoother than on the first night, and thereby considerably abbreviated.
NEW PHILHARMONIC CONCERTS. Dr. Wylde has this year again taken the field early, and again taken the initiative in the great classic performances of the season. The director and conductor of the New Philharmonic Concerts has issued his prospectus, but stands pledged to nothing definite. He intimates persistence in his former course of administration, and proclaims non-interference with the open policy of the Musical Society of London, especially that part of it which holds out a protective hand to the British musician. The first concert of the ninth season was given on Monday evening week. The programme was as follows :— Part L
Overture (Abenceragen) Cherubim.
Aria, "Parto, ma tu ben mio" Mozart.
Concerto in E minor, violin and orchestra ... ... Spohr.
Chorus (Ruins of Athens) Beethoven.
Romania ed Aria, "Einst traumte," (Der Freischutz) Weber. Symphony in B flat Beethoven.
Concerto in G minor, pianoforte and orchestra ... Mendelssohn. Sarabanda e Gavotte, violoncello ... ... ... Bach.
Madrigal, " In going to my lonely bod" ... Edwardes, A.d. 1560.
Aria, "Batti, batti" Mozart.
Overturo (Ruler of the Spirits) Weber.
The only fault in the selection was the introduction of the two concertos, one of which should have been omitted, more particularly as there was another single instrument performance. Mr. H. Blagrove played the violin concerto, and Mdlle. Marie Wiecke the pianoforte. The violin concerto—one of Spohr's noblest contributions to the instrument—was performed by Herr Joseph Joachim at one of the concerts of the Musical Society last year. It was at once correctly and brilliantly executed by Mr. Blagrove. Mdlle. Marie Wiecke played Mendelssohn's concerto with immense vigour, exhibiting something akin to her sister's manner, but wanting the poetical depth and energy of style which have been long recognised as the distinctive characteristics of Madame Clara Schumann's playing. Signor Piatti's execution of Bach's Saraband and Gavotte, was faultless.
The band has not deteriorated—that is a great matter. Beethoven's symphony—the irresistible No. 4—was splendidly executed, and called forth enthusiastic plaudits from the audience. The overtures were both finely played, and both welcome for different reasons, one as a new, the other as an old acquaintance.
Dr. Wylde, who is conducting with more and more intelligence and decision, comes forward again with a capital choir. The choral performances have constituted from the commencement an eminent attraction at the New Philharmonic Concerts. The two pieces given on Monday night went admirably, especially the wonderfully dramatic chorus from the Ruint of Athens. Edwardes' madrigal was encored.
Mdlle. Parepa and Madame Budersdorff were the solo vocalists. The last-named lady appeared to supply the place of Signor Belletti, who was prevented from attending by illness, and gave both her songs with great power and great expression. The clarinet obbligato in Mozart's air was played by M. Pape; and the viola obbligato to the romanza from Der Freischutt, byMr. R. Blagrove. Few are more successful than Madame Rudersdorff in the interpretation of strong emotions; and this is the reasoD why she is better than any one else we have heard in this country in the finale from Mendelssohn's unfinished opera, Lorely. Mdlle. Parepa is making ground fast with the public. She is a brilliant bravura singer, and has a clear penetrating soprano voice, with plenty of power. She came late