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Gorgeous with artful lustre
Sparkles the fairy scene,
Round one that seems their queen:
Bounding with airy lightness,
Tripping with nimble grace,
Light up her youthful face:
Mortal!—Lo now before ye,
On that poor mimic fay,
Death his gaunt hand shall lay:
Paint not that sceno of horror,
Shriek not those shrieks again;
Racking with martyr's pain,
Swiftly some gay bird speeding,
Pinions thus bright expand,
'Neath thy relentless hand.
Hunter with heart of stone.
THE LATE MR. GEORGE HAUSMANN.
(From the Edinburgh Daily Courant.)
Death baa been busy of late among our musicians. It is just a fortnight to-day since we bad to deplore the loss of one of the most talented of their number, Mr. Louis Drechsler, and now a similar sad duty devolves on us owing to the sudden decease of Mr. Hausmann. Both of these events have occurred within a year of the death of the lamented Mr. Durrner, and in the case of all three the anxious question may well arise—who shall supply the place? For many years Mr. Hausmann had been so constantly and so prominently before the Edinburgh public as to cause him to be looked upon as a resident musician, which, indeed, he was during the whole musical season. Knowing with what a sudden and severe shock the announcement of his death has fallen upon a large portion of the inhabitants of this city, we were anxious, before paying our tribute to his memory, to obtain, for the information of our readers, some particulars as to the cause of his death. Owing however, to its having taken place in his native town of Hanover, we have as yet been able to learn nothing further than that his death was sudden and attributable to heart complaint. It had been evident for some months that he was not in robust health, but we believe that eo sudden a seizure was quite unexpected.
Mr. Hausmann held a high place among violoncello players, as a proof of which we may refer to his honourable position in Mr. Co3ta's unrivalled band. As an orchestral player, he displayed a vigour in attack, and a correctness in execution, which few could surpass, and the influence of which imparted steadiness and spirit to the performers around him. As a solo player, it must be admitted that he was less successful, his tone being frequently harsh and his manner somewhat spasmodic, yet he always obtained the welcome of a favourite, and even as a soloist his familiar form and tones will be much missed in our concert-rooms.
Two year3 ago Mr. Hausmann, with much diffidence, undertook the post ofconductor of the Edinburgh Musical Association, and both the executant members and the subscribers will bear us out when we say, that two more successful seasons have seldom, if ever, occurred during its existence. As a conductor, Mr. Hausmann showed a correct and reverential appreciation of the works which were performed, the various degrees of time and shades of expression b?ing most carefully attended to; while in the adjustment of the programmes there was the evidence of a refined and classical taste. This work, carried on with unflagging
I energy and zeal, was purely a labour of love, to which, however, the Association responded by cordial assistance at his benefit concerts. At the last 01" these he appeared in the further capacity of an orchestral composer, and if he did not exhibit any striking originality of invention, he at least showed a creditable knowledge of orchestral effects, and of the uses of the various component instruments. To him, too, belonged the credit of carrying on, what never was done so successfully before, a series of classical chamber concerts, which—in general only appealing to a few select dilettanti—became, under his management, both fashionable and popular.
In private, Mr. Hausmann's loss will be severely felt, for there his obliging nature, amiable disposition, and musical enthusiasm, made him a universal favourite; and by his death many a musical coterie will feel a blank which, while reminding of past enjoyment of his company, will produce a feeling most fitly expressed by the words of our laureate—
"Oh! for the touch of a vanish'd hand,
A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT.
What was he doing, the great god Pan,
Down in the reeds by the river?
He tore out a reed, the great god Pan,
Ere he brought it out of the river.
While turbidly flowed the river,
To prove it fresh from the river.
(How tall it stood in the river!)
"This is the way," laughed the great god Pan,
"The only way since gods began
To make sweet music they could succeed."
Then dropping his mouth to a hole in the reed,
Sweet, sweet, sweet, O Pan,
Piercing sweet by the river!
Came back to dream on the river.
To laugh, as he sits by the river,
As a reed with the reeds in the river.
Elizabeth Babkett Browning.
Hogarth And His Carriage.—By "carriage" is meant carriage.—Hogarth was a remarkably "absent man." On setting up his carriage, he paid a visit to the Lord Mayor, and having protracted his stay until a heavy shower came on, he was led out by a different door to that by which he enterod, nnd, unmindful of his carriage, he set off' on foot, and reached home dripping wet. When Mrs. Hogarth asked him where he bad left his carriage, he said he had forgotten it.—Not from the Cor Mil Magazine.
HER MAJESTY'S THEATRE Notice.—In consequencc of the numerous applications from non-subscribers and the public at the Bi>x-nffice to witness the performance of Weber's grand romantic Opera or OBERON, with its entirely new and magnificent scenery, its costly appointments and mechanical effects and transformations, splendid dresses, Ac, proving it to be one of the most elaborate and georgeous spectacles ever produced in Her Majesty's Theatre, the Lessee and Director has consented, notwithstanding the enormous expense con. sequent upon its reproduction (as it embraces nearly t ie whole of the aitlftts and per. sonnel of the establishment), to give two more grand representations of Oberon on the following dates :—To-night, July 21 : and Monday, July 33, for which purpose he has entered into a fresh engagement with Mad. Albom, and has recalled by telegraph Signor Mongini, who had taken his departure lor Italy—This Evening, July 21, will be performed Weber's grand romantic Opera oT OTtKKON, with the f Mowing great cast:—Reisa, Mile. Titiemb; Fatlma, Mad.AuiONi; Puck, Mad. Lemairi; Roshana, Mile. Vanebi; Oberon, Signor Belaet: Babfken, Signor Gassier; Scherisman, Sign or Evehardi; and Sir Hugo, Signor Mongini (who has returned from the Continent expressly for the occasion). Conductor: Mr. Benedict. Gallery, 2s.; Seats, Half-circle, 2s. GA.; Gallery Stalls, 5s.; Pit, 3s. Gd. ; Seats, Second Circle, 4s.: Seats, First Circle, 6s.; Pitt Stalls, 10s. fid.; Third Tier Private Boxes, to hold four, 10*. 6d.; ditto, Two Pair, stl Is.; ditto, One Pair, £\ lis. Gd.; Pit Tier, €1 Us. 6d.; Grartd Tier, £1 2s. Early application to secure places fs earnestly recommended, as boing the only means of preventing disappointment. The Box-office of the Theatre is open daily from 10 to 6, and on the Evenings of Performance until the end of the Opera.
HER MAJESTY'S THEATRE Titiens, Alboni, I.emairb, Van Km, HEiArt, Gassier, Evkrardi, and Mongini. This evening, July 21, will be repeated Weber's Grand Romantic Opera, OBERON, with the following cast: Reiza, Mile. Titiens; Fatima, Mad. Alboni ; Puck, Mad. Lehairb; Itosh.ina, Mile. Vaneri; Oberon, S'gnor Belart; Babiken, Signor Gassier; Scherisman, Signor Everabdi ; and Sir Hugo, Signor Mongini (who lias returned from the Continent expressly 'or the occasion). Conductor—Mr. Benedict. Between the acts of the Opera, a Ballet Divertissement, in which Mad. Ferbakis and M. Chappdy will dancea grand Pasde Deux. The opera will commence at Eight o'clock. Gallery, 2s.; Seats, Half-Circle, 2s. 6d : Gallery Stalls, 5s.: Pit, 3s. Gd.; Seats, Second Circle, 4s , Seats, First Circle, 5s.; Pit Stalls, 10s. fcl.; Third Tier Private Boxes, to hold four, 10s. 6d.; ditto, Two Pair, sfl ls.; ditto, One Pair. 41 lis. 6d.; Grand Tier, €2 2s. The Box-office of the Theatre Is open daily from Ten to Six, and on the Evenings of Performance until the end of the Opera.
ROYAL ITALIAN OPERA, COVENT GARDEN.— Extra Night On Monday next, July 23, will bo performed (for the fourth
time theie Ave yean) Meyerbeer's Grand Opera, LE PK PHETE. Fides, Mile CslLLAO; Bertha, Mile. Corbari; Count Oberthal, Signor TiGLUncoi Zaccarla, M Zeloer ; Giona, Signor Nrri-baraldi; MathUen, Signor Poloxini; Si rgeant, Signor Roasi; Pea»ant. Signor LoccHE.i; Burghers, Signor Vairo, Signor Patriossi; and Jem or Leydcn, Signor Tambrrlik. The Incidental Divertissement and Skating Scene will be supported hy Mile. Zina, Mile. Esraa, and M. DssrlACEJ, and comprise the celebrated Quadrille des Pallneurl.
T3 0YAL ITALIAN OPERA, COVENT GARDEN.
JLAl On Tuesday next, July 24, will be performed (for the last time thli season) Doniicttl's Opera, LUCREZIA BORGIA. Principal characters by Mad. Gaisl (her last appearance In that character). Mad. Dim I K, Slgnorl Ronconi, Zrlger, Poiomini, TAOLiAtloo, LcccHESt, Ros^i, and Maeio. To conclude with LES AMOURS 1)E
DIANE. Extra Night, Thursday next Combined Entertainment—On Thuriday
next, July 26, will be performed the First Act of Beethoven's Opera, FIDELIO. Leonora, Mile. Crillao. After uhlch (for the last time this season), Belllna's Opera, NORMA. Norma, Mad. Grisi (her last appearance in that character).
T71RENCH PLAYS.—ST. JAMES'S THEATRE
JJ Every Evening (the Last Week) Mile. Fix. M. Taunt begs to announce his Benefit for Wednesday next, 25th inst. Orchestra Stalls, 7s. 6d.; Balcony Stalls, 6s.; Pit, 2s.; Gallery, Is.; Private Boxes from £2 2s. Commence at 8 o'clock.
The Musical World may be obtained direct from the Office, 28 Holies Street, by quarterly subscription of Five Shillings, payable in advance; or by order of any Newsvendor. Advebtisements are received until Three o'clock on Friday Afternoon, and must be paid for when delivered.
f Three lines (about 30 words) 2*. 6d.
9. tnns j Every additional line (10 words) ... Gd.
% If usral aSHarte.
LONDON: SATURDAY, JULY 21, 1860.
rpHIS is the age of "revivals." Not to glance at the -L Operas, where Gluck and Weber are being resuscitated, but to confine ourselves to the pianoforte and instrumental chamber music, simultaneously with a revival of the works of Jean Louis Dussek (more leisurely but as surely) is being effected a revival of the works of Franz Schubert. By means of these "revivals,"—unlike some others of the present day that might be named,—we are returning to
a purer worship than has for some time prevailed. Of Dussek we have lately said enough; but a word or two about Schubert, and especially about Schubert as an instrumental composer, may not be without interest
The pianoforte writings of Franz Schubert possess much of the romantic character that distinguishes more or less every one of his well-known songs. They are numerous, of all varieties of form, and, though they have achieved a far less degree of popularity than his vocal compositions, are scarcely inferior to them in genius and originality.
We may perhaps shock the prejudices of many in avowing our opinion that Schubert, from a certain point of view, was'a somewhat overrated man. That he has "a spark of the divine fire" is not to be questioned. The concession, wrung from the haughty, and occasionally prejudiced, Beethoven, may be accepted as rather an epigrammatic than a strictly just expression of the truth. "A spark of the divine fire" was in Schubert, no doubt—nay, more, a flame. He was, however, neither a universal nor a commanding genius; nor was he a musician of very profound acquirement. He belonged to that order of composers and poets, so numerous in Germany, of which Carl Maria von Weber is the most illustrious representative. From peculiarity of intellect and temperament these musicians would probably have reached eminence in any pursuit to which the circumstances of early life and education might hare conducted them. Their organisation was not, as in the instances of Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, and the greater composers, so happily attuned to music that it were absurd to deny their being chosen instruments of Heaven to delight the world with melody. Thorough enthusiasts, with quasimorbid natures, they seem ever lamenting their incapacity to set forth in plain and convincing language the thoughts that struggle for utterance within them. The antipodes of common-place, they are, notwithstanding, all more or less in trammels. Such men can hardly fail to meet with ardent worshippers — natures like their own, yearning for the impossible, disdaining self-evident truths, with minds attuned to their own in sympathetic discord. These proclaim Schubert and the rest the only true prophets, and ndvo«atc their pre-eminence over every rival.
What has been denominated the "Romantic School" is clearly traceable to Weber, Schubert, and their imitators and disciples, who in eager quest of a new and more striking language, have unconsciously given circulation to endless mannerisms, upon which the more ordinary sort of music-makers have laid hold to make their own emptiness pass current. But Schubert must be carefully separated from the impostors who make art subservient to the doubleend of show and traffic. He neither held out wares for sale in a bazaar, nor exhibited them as a picture-monger, still less as a polichinello, to the vacant gaze of the illiterate mob. Schubert was a man of strong convictions, besides being a man of traly imaginative genius. That he did not succeed in becoming a thoroughly practised musician was partly due to an incomplete education, partly to a stubborn organic deficiency. As painter, poet, or novelist— anything indeed but arithmetician, mathematician, logician — Schubert would have attained an equal celebrity, and have displayed quite as powerful an individuality as distinguished his career as a musical inventor.
But to leave mere speculation ; in various symphonies, overtures, quartets, &c., Schubert evinced a strong desire to excel in the sonata form. Disdaining, however, or failing to understand entirely its indispensable conditions— clearness, consistency, symmetrical arrangement of themes, keys, and episodic matter—he was by no means as successful as he could have wished. Though gifted with an abundant flow of ideas, Schubert was wanting in the faculty of condensation and methodical disposition of parts. He accepted all that presented itself to his fancy, rejecting nothing as inappropriate or superfluous; and then, while rarely insipid, nay almost invariably interesting, he is too often diffuse, obscure, and exaggerated. Occasionally, in place of developing the principle subject of a movement, he conducts an accidental phrase, a simple figure of ornament, a fragment of remplissage, through a labyrinth of progression and modulation, until the ear becomes fatigued, and satiety gives way to revulsion. In six grand sonatas for the pianoforte solus—which if length, vastness of proportion, and ambitious endeavour were enough to constitute perfection, might rank with the finest of Beethoven, or the most impassioned of Dussek—exuberance of detail, want of connection, excessive modulation, redundant episode, strange and unnatural harmonies, and other glaring defects, lessen the impression that would otherwise be pvoduced by many exquisite and undeniable beauties. A grand duet in A minor, also for the pianoforte, exhibits the same inconsistencies, amidst merits that are not to be contested. The minor works of Schubert for the same instrument—especially some marches and short characteristic pieces—are remarkably attractive; but in these, not being limited to set forms, his ideas are presented in their primitive simplicity, without any attempt at development. Here, for the reasons thus briefly stated, Schubert is quite as happy as in his best compositions for the voice.
For all who have a touch of romance in their dispositions, the pianoforte works of. Schubert, like everything else that came from his pen, must possess a strong measure of interest. There is something fascinating in the tone of melancholy that marks even his smallest effusions, while the unquestionable originality of his ideas places him altogether beyond the pale of ordinary thinkers, and extorts forgiveness for the absence of those qualities which have conferred durability as well as charm on the faultless models bequeathed us by the great masters. We have said enough to explain why Schubert—like Beethoven, Weber, Mendelssohn, &c.—should be assigned a place apart from his contemporaries ; but the peculiarities that have won him this distinction have, in another sense, prevented him from exercising any decided influence on the progress of the art, of which he was a gifted, if incomplete, disciple.
AGENTLEMAN connected with the Norwich Festival has written to The Times, communicating the extraordinary fact, that for singing at two concerts last year at Bradford, Mile. Titiens and Signor Giuglini received no less than £600, which, as any one with the slightest arithmetical genius will at once perceive, is at the rate of £150 each for a single concert. People who have voices like ravens are amazed to hear of these large sums being paid to thoBe whose privilege it is to delight the public with their singing, and ask how it is that mere histrions and cantors receive such exorbitant wages to what are given to ministers, judges, and the wisest of the land. Wisdom, however, has always been what the writers of MoneyMarket and City Intelligence articles call "a drug in the market." We have surely plenty of barristers, and it is notorious that even an unsuccessful counsel will make a
capital judge ; while, as for ministers, is it not easier to form a cabinet—aye, half-a-dozen cabinets—than to get up one really good opera company? Besides, there is nothing new in singers and actors being remunerated at these high rates, and therefore nothing at which any one need be [ astonished. Great artists have always been regarded as luxuries, and as luxuries which must be paid for so dearly that it is only in the very richest countries they can ever be secured. In Italy we no more expect to find the most renowned vocalists than to find the finest fish at the seaside, or the best growths of claret at Bordeaux ; they are forwarded and exported without delay to those places in which there are the most profitable markets for such commodities—that is to say to Paris, to London, or to St. Petersburg.
We make a remarkable fuss about a few great artists being paid such enormous salaries that if, by a lucky chance, they retain their powers and their reputations for a dozen years, they may perhaps be able to lay by enough to enable them to live for the rest of their lives at the rate of a thousand a year. Why in ancient Rome nearly oil the popular players reckoned their fortunes by thousands and millions. (Esopus, who was not only the most famous tragic actor, but also the most prodigal spendthrift of his time, is said to have left twenty millions of sestertii to his son—something like one hundred and sixty thousand pounds of our money, and this the mere wreck of a fortune. Roscius, by the admission of his illustrious advocate, gained one year with another an annual income of half a million sestertii, and yet he often performed for nothing, as a means (said the malicious critics of the day) of currying favour with the public. Why then should Mile. Titiens and Signor Giuglini not have now and then their hundred and fifty pounds a night? Vegetating on our hundred and fifty pounds a year, we say coolly and deliberately that we do not regret the large sums that are paid to great artists, but only that there are not more great artists to command, if possible, even larger sums.
Her Majesty's Theatre.—The last night of the "Subscription" has come off, but by no means the last night. The bond fide public, who take places on the eve of performance, or pay their money at the doors, are virtually just as much subscribers as those who hire boxes and stalls in advance, for what is conventionally termed " the season," and for these numerous and not inconstant patrons, the lessee of Her Majesty's Theatre continuing to provide entertainments, the attractions of which are enhanced by the co-operation of new singers and dancers of eminence, it is as well to postpone our accustomed "review" until everything has been brought forward originally announced in the prospectus, or which the restless activity of Mr. E. T. Smith may still have in store, to multiply the incidents of this his very remarkable " first campaign." On Saturday one of the pleasantest of comic operas, La Figlia del Rcggimento, was produced, with the celebrated French (or Belgian ?) singer, Mad. Marie Cabel, as the heroine; Signor Belart, the capital Spanish tenor, as Tonio; and Signor Ciampi, the new Italian "buffo," as Sulpizio. The impression created by Mad. Marie Cabel in 1854, when an Opera Comique troop (principally from the Th6iltre Lyrique) gave a series of representations at the St. James's Theatre, can hardly have been forgotten. Among the parts then essayed by this admirable lyric comedian was Maria (in the French, and original, version _ of Donizetti's sparkling work), her impersonation of which was justly eulogised for its spirit and vivacity. But little, if at all, inconvenienced by
the trammels of a foreign language, Mad. Cabel, in the Italian adaptation of La Figlia, exhibits, with signal felicity, the very same qualities that won the admiration of good judges when, her own native tongue being the medium of communication, her task —taking into account the genuine accomplishments she possesses, both as singer and actress—was comparatively easy. Mad. Cabel's voice has lost none of its intrinsic charm, her vocalisation none of its "finesse" and bird-like volubility, her demeanour none of its indefincble grace—artfully studied, though to all appearances unstudied (a stereoscopic illustration of the "simplex mun~ ditiis), h«r bye-play none of its piquancy and animation. Coming immediately after Mile. Piccolomini, who offered a portraiture of the Vivandiere, amid its uncommon sprightliness, a little too saucy and "theatrical," the Maria of Mad. Cabel may at first sight appear somewhat wanting in sentiment, vigour, force, and even spontaneity; but a closer acquaintance will possibly lead to the conviction that, if less theatrically striking, it is truer to the nature of "things in general," and vivandieres of gentle blood in particular. In her execution of the music, the thoroughly practised mistress of the French style of singing is everywhere evident; and if her farewell to the regiment (Act I—" Convien partir") lies open to the reproach of being less pathetic than the situation demands, all the rest—from the duet with Tonio to the final air— is irreproachable. The cadenza to the air of Caffariello, which Maria humours the old marchioness by trying over at the pianoforte, was set off", on the present occasion, by a variety of embellishments and tours de force—including an endless succession of shakes in the higher register, achieved with invariable perfection —-which gratified and astonished the ear in an equal measure; and while Mad. Cabel's whole performance was "an uninterrupted success, this was perhaps her most brilliant display, and brought down "thunders of applause." Signor Belart has rarely, perhaps never, more honourably maintained his claim to be regarded as one of the best tenor singers now before the public, than by his uniformly correct and effective execution of the music of Tonio, to which, by the way, he adds, for the first time in England, an air (in the second act) always introduced at the Opera Comiquc, but invariably omitted from the Italian versions, at Her Majesty's Theatre and elsewhere. This air (too genuine to be neglected) he sang to such perfection on Saturday night, that it was impossible to decline the unanimous encore it elicited. Signor Ciampi fell somewhat short of what had been expected of him in Sulpizio. His "make up" was extravagant; while in his performance there were too many traits his frequent use of which encourages a belief that they are little better than "mannerisms." It is to be hoped this gentleman—who produced so marked an impression on the occasion of his debut at Her Majesty's Theatre—may not turn out, in emulation of the man who was only well acquainted with one book, a singer who can only excel in one part; but certainly, there are strong touches of "Dr. Bartolo" in whatever he attempts. Signor Arditi presided in the orchestra, and the chorus-singers exhibited so much more precision than we have been accustomed to, as to warrant a conclusion that if those operas in which they have to take part, were brought out with less indiscriminate haste, a far more flattering account might be given of them. True, the choruses in La Figlia are not nearly scf elaborate as those in the Huguenots and other operas; but this merely proves that the Huguenots, &c, require more careful preparation.
A word must record the enthusiastic reception awarded to Mad. Amalia Ferraris, who, since her last appearance in this country (nine or ten years ago), has obtained a European reputation as a dancer of the foremost rank in the highest school of art, and who now takes the place, at the grand opera in Paris, successively occupied by such favoured daughters of Terpsichore as Carlotta Grisi, Cerito, and Rosati. In a pas de deux with M. Chappuy. (also a new comer), from the ballet of Or/a, originally produced for Cerito, Mad. Ferraris more than justified all that had been reported of her very exceptional talent, accomplishing feats that, one after the other, raised the admiration of the house. Does the lessee of Her Majesty's Theatre intend bringing forward any more "stars" before the termination of the present season? It is to be hoped not. His "cheap prices" have commenced, and the second and third tiers of his private boxes are thrown open (as at
Jullien's concerts, and the Drury Lane Italian Opera) to the general public; so that, now the rumour that the engagements of Mad. Alboni and Signor Mongini were terminated proves false, and that future representations of Oberon— the most genuine and solid success of the season—no more depend upon the readine& and ability of Mad. Borghi-Mamo and Signor Giuglini, tojretup the part of Fatima and lluon, there are still, with Mile. Titiens and the rest, attractions enough to all intents and purposes. It might be ungracious to add that those whose duty it is to report (to say nothing of their readers) would be none the worse for a brief interval of repose, more especially as the temporary secession of the Italian artists iB to be shortly followed, if we are wellinformed, by the advent of another troop of singers from all climes, expressly engaged for the performance of English opera.
Although in reality Signor Mongini was allowed to take his flight homewards, his engagement having concluded, and had even, we learn, reached the northern capital of Italy, so great To the disappointment expressed by the public at the withdrawal of Oberon, so many the enquiries about its next repetition, that Mr. Smith had no alternative but to recall him, and he at once telegraphed to Milan for the great tenore robusto, and had him back to London by the wires; whereupon Oberon was given on Thursday, for Mr. Smith's benefit, and will be repeated to-night and on Monday, and no doubt some few nights more, before the rere-season be brought to a termination. It was ill-advised to allow Signor Mongini to depart in the midst of the triumphant sucess of Oberon, especially as no one could be found to substitute for him in the part of Sir Huon; but it was good policy and quick work to have him back again, and thus knock down grumbling and disappointment. "A good beginning," observes a first-rate authority, "is the half of all." A good ending is better, say we; and Oberon promises to wind up Mr. Smith's hrst season at Her Majesty's Theatre with astonishing brilliancy and eclat.
Royaj, Italian Opera. — The second performance of \ the Prophete, on Saturday, was a great improvement on the first; and the third on Monday — an extra night — a still greater improvement on the second. This was no more than what might hare been expected from music so elaborate and difficult, and from the working of such complicated machinery as is involved in the scene department. Such an opera, indeed, would necessitate at least a dozen full rehearsals at the Grand Opera in Paris, in the place of the solitary One which Mr. Costa thinks himself fortunate in obtaining at Covent Garden. They manage these things better in France. Some people, however, are inclined to think that our English system works better in the end. If the public really knew how little dependance is to be placed on first performances of operas — at least of French grand operas and the larger works of the great Italian and German masters — they would be in no hurry to take their places the first night, but rather wait until such time as the members of the orchestra would feel more at their ease, the singers would get rid of their timidity, and the carpenters be enabled to work the scenes more smoothly. That the performance of the Prophete on the first night was not unexceptionable is not to be wondered at. The surprise indeed is that it was so admirable, taking all things into consideration, Had. Csillag has added a new leaf to her already fairly-won laurel wreath by her impersonation of Fides, which proves her, if proof were wanting, to be a tragedian of the first order. If the music does not invariably adapt itself to her means, it is not her fault, but that of M. Meyerbeer, who wrote it for one of the most exceptional voices of modern times. The Jean of Signor Tamberlik is every way masterly — not only one of kit finest performances, but one of the most striking on the lyric stage. Mile. Corbari, too, sensibly improves, although the music is in parts too high for her. A more charmingly-acted and more graceful looking Bertha, however, we have not seen. Had the Prophete been brought out at the height of the season instead of a period when London is decimated, it would have filled the theatre cram-full for a dozen nights in succession. Mr. Gye will now have to wait until next year for the virtual success of the Prophetf, which, with such a cast and such unparalleled magnificence in the costumes and decorations, it requires no prophet to foretell, will be triumphant.
On Tuesday, Rigoletto was announced, but was postponed until this evening, and Martha given instead. Mad. Miolan-Carvalho will make her first appearance to-night as Gilda in Martha, and Signori Mario and Ronconi sustain their favourite parts of the Duke and the Jester.
A Grand Concert was given on Wednesday evening, consisting of a miscellaneous selection, and Gluck's Opera, Orfeo e Eurydiee. In this miscellany the most noticeable points were the overture to Oberon, executed superbly by the band, and the "Oath of Liberty," from GuiUaume Tell, given with great effect by Signors Tamberlik, Lucchesi, Polonini, Taglialico, Patriossi, M. Faure, orchestra, and chorus. The music of Gluck makes its way slowly, but steadily and surely. The fourth performance ot Orfeo, on Wednesday, was by far the most interesting. The execution was better in every respect, and deeper and more earnest attention was paid by the audience to every piece. This is a good sign, and shows that art is progressing in the right direction. After the Opera, the Floral Hall was thrown open to the lovers of gas-lights, roses, fuchsias, cactuses, stove plants, green-house plants, and brilliant toumures.
The Huguenots was repeated on Thursday.
Mb. Aguilar's Soirees Musicals.—The last of this gentleman's Soirees for the present season took place at his residence before a distinguished audience. Among the most important pieces in the programme was Mr. Aguilar's sestett for piano, flute, oboe, horn, clarionet, and bassoon, capitally executed by the composer, assisted by Messrs. Fratten, Lazarus, Nicholson, Hausser, and Harper. Miss Lindo gave with great expression the "Inflnmmatus," from Rossini's Stahat mater, and Mr. Aguilar's charming song, "On a windy day." Mad. Rieder, Miss Augusta Thomson, Miss Wilkinson, and Mr. Tennant were the other vocalists. Among the distinguished company present were Viscountess Hawarden, Lady John Somerset, Lady Smith, the Baroness Meyer de Rothschild, and Mr. White (M.P. for Brighton) and family. Mr. Aguilar accompanied the vocal music; and, in addition to his sestett, played two fantasias of his own composition, on Weber's Last Waltz, and on airs from La Traviaia. Mr. Aguilar and Herr Oberthur, in addition, played the Trovatore duet for harp and piano, the composition of the lastnamed gentleman, and Mad. Fratten a solo on the guitar, in which she was encored.
Society For The Encouragement Of The Fran Arts.—Tho sixth and last conversazione for the season of this society took place on Thursday evening, at the French Gallery, Pall-Mall, and was most fully attended, the company extending into the vestibule. Mr. J. Edmiston was in the chair. The chief point of interest in the evening's proceedings was the announcement of the prize awards (silver medals) for the season, the report of which was read by the honorary secretary, Mr. H. Ottley. The prizes were—in historical painting to Mr. S. Solomon, for his picture of Moses, in the Royal Academy; in landscape to Mr. Vicat Cole, for his Harvest Time, in the exhibition of the Society of British Artists, Suffolk Street; in genre to Mr. H. Tidey, for his Queen Mah, in the exhibition of the New Water Colour Society; in sculpture to Mr. Durham, for his statue of Chastity, in the Royal Academy; in architecture to Mr. S. J. Nicholl, for his designs for the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, at Cork, in the Architectural Exhibition; and in poetry to Miss Power, for her poem of Virginia's Sand. In music and eDgraving awards have not as yet been made, but will probably be announced on the re-assembling of the society in October. The announcement of the awards seemed to give general satisfaction. A concert followed, conducted by Mr. A. Gilnert, which presented some features of more thatf usual interest and novelty. One of the objects of the Society being the "encouragement" of practitioners, it was gratifying to find this agreeable rSunion of Thursday the means of introducing some new and rising talent which we have no doubt will one day achieve considerable distinction. Amongst the vocalists Miss Kenny and
Miss Rae appeared for the first time in the duet "Trabe, Trabe," by Kucken, and acquitted themselves in a manner to call for the warmest applause. The former young lady afterwards sang a
German lied by the same composer; and, though evidently labouring under considerable nervousness, confirmed the good opinion she had already excited by the purity of her voice and the correctness of her style. Miss Rae was enthusiastically encored in Wallace's "The Bellringer," which she gave with charming effect. Miss Eleonora "V\ ilkinson, a young lady, a pupil of Garcia's, who has we believe not as yet made her regular public appearance, made a complete succes in the polacca "La Placida Campagna," which was encored. Later in the evening she was equally happy in Mendelssohn's beautiful song "Through the Wood." Mad. Andrea, Mr. George Tedder, and Mr. Montgomery also contributed their aid in the vocal department. Herr Ganz played on the piano a serenade Italian and mazurka (Jaell and Ganz) in masterly style; and upon the same instrument Herr Semler (his first appearance in England we understand) gave a solo on airs from William Tell with brilliant effect. Nor must we pass over without the praise to which it was entitled the grand duet on Weber's Preciosa, most satisfactorily rendered by Miss Lindley and Miss Conaron. Altogether the evening passed off admirably, and all agreed that it was one of the most agreeablo reunions of the season.
Mllb. Vaneri Of Her Majesty's Theatre, and M. Samary, violoncellist of the Imperial Chapel of Napoleon III., gave a matinee musicale on Monday last at Collards' New Rooms. They were assisted by some of the artists from Her Majesty's Theatre, comprising Mad. Borghi-Mamo, Signor Belart, Signor Evcrardi, and M. Remusat, first flute in the orchestra. Mad. Everardi, wife to the barytone, and M. Jules Lefort, were also amongst the singers; and Mile. Laure Colmache, and Mr. G. A. Osborne, pianists, added their services in the instrumental department. Mile. Vaneri sang the cavatina, "Qui la voce," from I Paritani, and some French romances, displaying uifdcniable talent in both styles of composition, and delighting the entire audience by her case and facility, and the fine quality of her voice; Mad. BorghiMamo introduced the grand air of Malcolm Graeme, from the Donna del Logo, which she sang superbly, and a serenata by Braza with violoncello obbligato, which was almost equally effective. Mile. Laure Colmache, in her two pianoforte solos — caprice by Mendelssohn, and Stephen Heller's "La Truite"—exhibited a sound free style, and much dexterity of execution. Solos were also furnished by Mr. G. A. Osborne on the piano, M. Remusat on the flute, Herr Engel on the harmonium, and M. Samary on the violoncello, all with masterly skill.
Herr Wilhelm Ganz' Annual Morning Concert (June 29th) took place at St. James's Hall under royal and distinguished patronage; Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge and Her Royal Highness the Princess Mary heading the list of patrons, lor such grand guests—patronesses are sometimes expected to attend performances to which they lend the glitter of their names—Herr Ganz provided a good bill of fare, comprising selections from the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini, Hummel, Meyerbeer, &c, for the true devotees of music, and less recherche viands for the more homely disposed. It was in fact a well-varied programme and fitted to many tastes. Herr Ganz himself—a nimble-fingered and sound pianist—selected for his displays Hummcl's grand quintet in E flat minor (Op. 87), for pianoforte, violin, viola, and basso—in which he was assisted by M. Sainton, Herr Goffrie, M. Paque, and Mr. F. S. Pratten; Beethoven's Sonata Pathfetique; Thalberg and De Beriot's grand duo for pianoforte and violin, performed with M. Sainton; and Prudent's Caprice on airs from La Sonnambula, with all of which — more particularly Beethoven's sonata—the distinguished visitors appeared mightily pleased. Solos were executed by M. Sainton and M. Paque on their respective instruments. The vocal music was contributed by Mesdames Catherine Hayes, LemmensSherrington, and Sainton-Dolby; Mr. AVilbye Cooper, Mr. Santley, and Herr Hermanns, nothing of which being novel stands in need of communication. Messrs. Benedict, W. G. Cusins, and Wilhelm Ganz officiated as conductors.
The Matinee Musicale Of Madame De Vaucheran attracted a large and fashionable audience to the Beethoven Rooms, Hurley