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Rousseau "confesses," with studied detail, how the music of each piece in the Devin du Village occurred to him; how he at one time thought of burning the whole affair (a conceit by the way which has since been rendered commonplace by amateur authors in their prefaces); how his friends succeeded in persuading him to do nothing of the kind ; and how, at last, he wrote the drama, and sketched ont the whole of the music in six days, so that, when ho arrived with his work in Paris, he had nothing to add but the recitative and the "remplissage "—by which we suppose he means the orchestral parts. In the next page he tells us that he would have given anything in the world if he could only have had the Devin du Village, performed for himself alone, and have listened to it with closed doors as Lulli is reported to have listened to his Armide, executed for his sole gratification. This egotistical pleasure niight, perhaps, have been enjoyed by Rousseau if he had really composed the music himself, for when the Academie produced his second Devin du Village, of which the music was undoubtedly his own, the public positively refused to listen to it, and hissed it until it was withdrawn. If the director had persisted in representing the piece the theatre would doubtless have been deserted.
But to return to the original score which, as Rousseau himself informs us, wanted nothing, when he arrived in Paris, except what he calls the "remplissage" and the recitative. Ho had intended, he says, to have Le Devin performed at the Opera, but M. de Oury, the intondant of the Menus Plaisirs, was determined it should first be brought out at the Court. A duel was very nearly taking place between the two directors, when it was at last decided by Rousseau himself that Fontainebleau, Mad. de Pompadour (and La Vaupaliere), should have the preference. Whether Granet had omitted to write recitative or not, it is a remarkable fact that recitative was wanted when the piece came to be rehearsed, and that Rousseau allowed J&iotte the singer to supply it. This he mentions himself, as also that he was not present at any of the rehearsals—for it is at rehearsals above all that a sham composer runs the chanco of being detected. It is an easy thing for any man to say that he has composed an opera, but it may be difficult for him to correct a very simple error made by the copyist in transcribing the parts. However, Roussean admits that he did not attend rehearsals and that he did not compose the recitative, which the singers required forthwith, and which had to be written almost beneath their eyes.
But what was Granet doing in the meanwhile? it will be asked. In the meanwhile Granet had died. And Pierre Rousseau and his friend M. de Bcllissent? Rousseau of Toulouse, supported by the Conservator of the Royal Library, accused Jean Jacques openly of fraud in the columns of the Journal Encyclopedique. These accusations were repeated on all sides, until at last Rousseau undertook to reply to them by composing new music to the Devin du Village.- This new music the Opera refused to perform, and with some reason, for it appears (as the reader has seen) to have been detestable. It was not executed until after Rousseau's death, and at the special request of his widow, when, in the words of Grimm, "all the new airs were hooted without the slightest regard for the memory of the author."
It is this utter failure of the second edition of the Devin du Village which convinces us more than anything else that the first was not from the hand of Rousseau. But let us not say that he was "tin malhonnete homme." Probably
the conscientious anthor of the Contrat Social adopted the children of others by way of compensation for having sent his own to the " Enfants TrouveV
(From the Morning Post.)
Sept. 21—Of the new oratorio of Abraham, which is to be performed this morning for the first time, we shall not be able to speak in detail until to-morrow, as the morning concerts hero terminate almost simultaneously with the starting of the train that carries our despatch; but having heard a rehearsal of Abraham, we are now in a position to offer some general remarks upon the work which may not perhaps be unacceptable. Firstly, Abraham is the work of a highly educated musician, one brought up in a thoroughly good school, surrounded by the best influences, and perfectly acquainted with the greatest models. All that intelligent study, observation, and experience can confer, Herr Molique possesses completely. A master of harmony, counterpoint, form, and instrumentation, ho, at least, enters upon the glorious field where artists contend for immortality, armed at all points, and ready for all emergencies that human skill can meet. It must be further observed that Ilerr Molique is not only a learned man, but also scrupulously conscientious j one who always does his best, who is incapable)of making]any concession to the *' popular " tasto of the day, and with whom, therefore, the dignity of art is safe. The value of an artist like Herr Molique at this really critical period of art can scarcely be over-estimated. Musical conservatives of ability were never mora wanted than at the present moment, when in Germany a movement which threatens tho very existence of music as an independent art is rapidly progressing, and in Italy all purity of style and loftiness of purpose are as rapidly 'giving way before mere sensuousncss and socalled brilliancy of effect. The state in which Beethoven left musical art was a very dangerous one. The later works of that most extraordinary genius, though betokening exhaustlcss imagination, and revealing to us a new world of music, also exhibited a certain irregularity of form. The boundless imagination of the true Shakspeare of music could'not be imitated, although it might be emulated. Another Beethoven might possibly arise, but there could be no successful follower of that wondrous master. The only characteristic of his later stylo that his would-be disciples have attempted to imitate (though none of them have understood it) is the irrogularity of form of which wo havo spoken. This, the consequence of an imagination [teeming with novel ideas, and a command of artistic means emanating from immense experience, that enabled him instantly to give the happiest expression to any idea whatever (powers which, in his waywardness, he perhaps sometimes abused), has been falsely regarded as the cause of his superlative greatness, and a justification for such wild, licentious theories as strike at the very root of musical art. But fortunately, soon after the death of Beethoven, there arose another very great man, who, fully understanding the situation, knew how to become master of it, and put a salutary curb upon the downward course of Phoebus's chariot. A man who bad drunk deeply at the Pierian spring, who had completely infused into himself the spirit which animated Bach and Handel, a man whose sympathy was with order and regularity, whose mind was of the most classic character, but who could place his own stamp upon all lie touched, and animate old forms with a new soul. That man's name was Mendelssohn. To him, then, the lovers of genuine art, the true musical conservatives, looked as to the living depository of their most sacred traditions—the most perfect illustration of their fundamental theory, that the great principles of musical art (like those of every other) are immutable, and eternally productive. As Mendelssohn was gifted with the power of expressing all that the most enlightened lovers of musical art had long thought of and hoped for, he naturally became the head and representative of a great and important movement. It is therefore not at all astonishing that Mendelssohn should havo had numerous disciples. A safer model, so far as modern art is concerned, there could not possibly be. He has influenced the musical minds of the present generation far more than any contemporary composer. His vast merits have won the homage of all earnest students, and the great success of his works has stimulated them to follow in his footsteps. That the influence of Mendelssohn should not be felt by an artist of kindred spirit like Molique, that the mind of the author of Elijah should exercise no power over the thoughts or feelings of a classic musician of the present day in the composition of an oratorio, is scarcely to be expected.
* • * * » *
September 22.—From what we have already observed with respect to Herr Molique's new oratorio of Abraham, produced here yesterday morning, it maybe readily inferred that the work belongs to the school of Mendelssohn; and in adding that Herr Moliqne has occasionally followed the illustrious author of Elijah more closely than is consistent with perfect independence of mind, we state at once the greatest, if not the only, reproach to which the music of Abraham is open.
The following are the incidents which Herr Moliquc has selected for his oratorio:—The departure of Abraham and his family into the land of Canaan; The separation of Lot and Abraham; The captivity of Lot and his rescue; The casting forth of Hagar; and The intended sacrifice of Isaac. These, with appropriate commentaries, reflections, or prayers, in the form of choruses, concerted pieces, or solos, constitute the oratorio, which, though but slightly dramatic in character, is nevertheless sufficiently connected and continuous to make a satisfactory whole, whilst abundantly affording opportunities for the exercise of the musician's art.
The first thing we find to admire in Herr Molique's work is its wellsustained elevation of style. From the first note to the last it is dignified and chaste, whatever may be the passion or emotion the composer was called upon to express. The next thing is the masterly facture of the entire score, of which it might truly be said that not a note, or the position of a note, could be changed without mischief to the whole. Every sound has its purpose, and undeniable reasons conld be given for its existence. Anything more clear, rich, or resonant than the voicing and instrumentation, it were difficult indeed to imagine; and very few, if any, masters of the present day could write such scientific and pure double counterpoint, imitations, and fugues, as we discover in Herr Molique's oratorio.
To follow so long and elaborate a work through all its details would be tedious and unnecessary. We shall therefore content ourselves with a selection of certain pieces for special remark, and commence with No. 3, an aria in G major, "Lead me, O Lord," sung by Abraham upon receiving the Divine command to depart into the land of Canaan. This has a flowing, continuous, and eminently vocal melody, full of beanty and expression. The orchestration is of the simplest; one flute, two clarinets, one bassoon, two violas, and violoncellos and double basses being the only instruments employed, and yet the effect is extraordinarily full and rich. One of the violoncellos is treated as a solo instrument ; and the manner in which this is made to blend with or support the voice, and impart life and movement to the accompaniment, commands particular admiration. This is, indeed, from first to last a lovely song.
No. 8, "Let there be no strife," is another air for Abraham of a totally different character, but not less charming. Thus, in the key of F major, Abraham appeals lovingly to his brother, praying that there may be no dissension between them. With a lively and affectionate melody is united what we may term a caressing accompaniment, which contributes materially to the expression of that state of feeling in which Abraham is supposed to be. Here, too, Herr Moliqne exhibits the Banie economy with respect to means to which we have already alluded. One flute, two oboes (the first of which plays a very prominent part), two bassoons, two horns, and the so-called "string quartet" make up his orchestra.
No. 9,_" Who walkcth uprightly," an air in A minor, for the tenor voice, evidences still more strikingly Herr Molique's power of making a great effect with a few instruments ; for here he Uscb but one flute, one oboe, two horns, and the string quartet. This air is unquestionably one of the most delightful and original pieces in the oratorio. The accompaniments present the very perfection of part-writing, and althongh very rich in so-called " figures," the voice part stands out always clearly, and commands all the attention due to it.
No. 15, " Hear our prayer," a chorus in A major for female voices only, is richly and beautifully harmonised, and also illustrates very happily that command over the resources of fugal imitation which so rarely appears in the works of composers of the present day.
No. 17, in E flat, is one of the most spirited and melodious marches ever written, and we expect soon to hear of its being played by every military band in England. Here Herr Moliquc employs tho full orchestra, but he uses it discreetly, and although there is immense brilliancy and force in the " tuttis," they are never noisy or bombastic
In No. 19, "Praise ye the Lord," a magnificent chorus in F major, Herr Molique has put forth all his strength. The counterpoint, clear, vigorous, full of variety, and eminently vocal, is throughout of the purest and best kind; and the fugue commencing with the tenors on the words "His right hand and His holy arm," is such as nothing less than an eminent master could write. This piece brings the first part grandly to a close.
No. 22, « Let all those rejoice," a trio in E flat major for alto, tenor, and basB, is one of the finest specimens of genuine three-part counter
point with which we are acquainted. There is scarcely any accompaniment at all to it, and the rich fulness of effect produced by the voices only in every bar is really surprising to those acquainted with the peculiar difficulties of this style of writing. "Let all those rejoice" was repeated by desire.
No. 27, "And the Lord stretched forth His hand against them," a chorus in B minor, also claims our enthusiastic praise. Full of fiery vigour and exciting passion, it quite takes the feelings by storm, and there is deep poetry in the sudden transition to the slow movement on the words "The first-born of death have devoured their strength," with which the chorus unexpectedly terminates. All this belongs to the very highest order of art.
No. 29, "Cast out this bondwoman and her son," a duet in A minor, in which Sarah demands of Abraham the expulsion of Hagar, is another gem, admirable for dramatic expression as for its strictly musical beauties.
No. 32, "Commit thy way unto the Lord," a chorus in F major, ia which the composer has used nothing but common chords, though simple and primitive in character, is likewise a masterpiece in its way. This was also redemanded.
In No. 35, " Great is the Lord," a chorus in D major, Herr Molique's command over the resources of imitative counterpoint and fugue, no less than his cminenco as an orchestral writer, is again triumphantly displayed.
No. 38, "Pour out thy heart before the Lord," a very lovely tenor song in A flat, and No. 42, a duct in E major, in which Abraham and Isaac rejoice together at their deliverance from the terrible ordeal through which they have passed, may also be reckoned among the best things in the oratorio.
In No. 44 (the last piece), " Great and marvellous arc Thy works, Lord God Almighty," a chorus in C major, as in the other choruses we have mentioned, and also in No. 1, "Blessed is the man who trnsteth in the Lord " (which we should have mentioned before), Herr Molique's science and lofty musical feeling arc again strikingly exhibited.
( To be continued.)
Dear Sib,—It was not without some pleasure that I found myself, in your number for Sept. 8th, the subject of a detailed musical review; becatise your remarks, althougn not flattering to the works reviewed (three songs), were written without partiality, and were free from what hns been my fate on so many former occasions — personal attack. If I venture now on a course of direct contradiction to all you say,—if I proceed to justify each one of the points which you designate "faults,"—it is not without first acknowledging the trouble and pains you have bestowed on that review, nor without thanking you for the kindness with which you counsel me to "reconsider other points."
In the first place, speaking of my " Song of the Survivor," you say that "a transition to A flat (the key of the song being G) in the opening symphony, which being made nothing of subsequently, is (to say the least) superfluous." I say, in defence, is it true that am/thing in composition is "superfluous " simply because it is not subsequently made use of? Have we not hundreds of instances in which, cither to suit the text, or to express some particular feeling or meaning, a transition is used which neither the subsequent text, nor the progress of the composition, will allow to be repeated? And lastly, if, for the sake of roundness of form, or unity of plan, a repetition of the symphony be made (as I hare done, page 3, line 4), is it not sufficient to give the whole " figure" and rhythm, without actually reproducing the same harmonies?
Your second objection is to "a false relation" (page 1, line 3, bar 3) in the same song, between G natural in the first chord (6, 3 on F) and Gtt in the next (6, 5, 3 on Gf)." The harmony in question is this,—
I will not fill up your space with a selection of passages from
the best authors in which similar progressions of harmony occur. But I will cite no less and no more remote an authority than Mr. G. A. Macfarren, in his new book on "The Rudiments of Harmony," in which (page 12, sect. 21), in the chapter on "False relations," he states distinctly,—"False relation does not exist between two successive chords when the 3rd of the first chord is the root of the second chord." And he illustrates this by an example in the very key in which my "false relation" occurs; thus:—
On these three points, then, I claim to be in the right, and cannot accept your remarks as a "correction."
On the fourth point (your last objection), in reference to my song, " Still waters run deepest," I have firstly to complain that you have not done me justice in transcribing the passage you quote; a reference to the passage, as it stands in my song (page 2, line I, bar 3), will show that you have misquoted the left hand. Secondly, I urge that the point in question is one upon which there may be a difference of opinion, and which ought to be considered " a matterof taste," not a fault. As you quote the passage, however, it is made to appear wrong beyond doubt, from the fact that the B flat in the left hand appears as a pedal-note, and changes to a different bass when not in concord with the harmony. As / have it, it stands thus : —
and, as the G on which Fit resolves is required for the melody, it is a matter of taste not to ant icipate the sound of it, and to keep the Fit unresolved until then. Had I been scoring such a passage I should certainly have put the resolution, G, at the commencement of the bar (in the harmony). It would have been a G of a different tone-colour (i. e. some other instrument) to that G which occurs afterwards in the melody. But on the piano, where we have no such distinctions of colour of tone, it is, I think, quite justifiable to allow the melody to act as harmonic resolution; and in this case it is not only allowable, but, I think, rather elegant not to have the G sounded until the melody does so. At any rate this should remain an open question (as, indeed, should many other things) until some law shall have been laid down, and "accepted" by musicians in general, for all points of "taste" or "school." AU ears are not constituted alike; all ears are not equally susceptible of distinguishing the melodic part from the accompanying harmony; nor have they all the same power of retaining the impression of a dissonant harmony, until something " satisfactory" occurs in the melody removing such impression.
Are not all the rules at present accepted in Harmony and Composition the result of " what sounds well, and what does not f" Does not everything we are told to do, and all we are prohibited from doing, emanate from one uniform desire to sound well? If, then, all that sounds well is right, may we not lay down another fundamental law, and .'say — only "that" is wrong which sounds bad f I think we do make this law in practice, and in our everyday-judgment of new music. The only question raised, but not answered, being — What "does" sound well? So long as we are as far from a settlement of that question as we are at present, it must remain one in which education of the ear, quickness of apprehension, sympathy, taste, fancy, love of novel effects, and a nameless variety of other influences will ever preponderate.
If, then, in looking over new compositions, all of which are earnestly conceived and carefully compiled, we come to points of objection, which are evidently not the work of chance or neglect, Dut of intention and purpose,— is it right at once to condemn them as "wrong" simply because they differ from our own idea of what is "right?"
I can scarcely hope that this long refutation will find its way into your columns, for which it is designed; but, should you be generous enough to insert it, I feel sure some of the points discussed will not be without interest to some of your readers, while you will be making an " amende honorable " to
Your very obedient servant,
36 Thurloe Square, Brompton, Sept. 22, 1860.
; MUSIC IN BRUSSELS.*
Brussels possesses a conservatory of music, a royal opera house, a large number of excellent performers on all the principal instruments, a pianoforte in nearly every house, and yet it cannot boast of anything like the musical activity to be found in German towns of far le3s importance.
Church music is, as a general [rule, badly organised, both in Brussels and throughout Belgium; money is wanting to do anything distinguished by the slightest artistic value in this branch of composition. There is no deficiency of good elements for the purpose, and the new organs from the factories of Merklin-Schiitze and Company are calculated to give a very satisfactory impetus to the cause, but nothing is done in the quarter where the greatest patronage might naturally be expected.
The theatres have had their periods of success and depression. The Theatre Royal has ^md some good artists during the past year, but the monotony of its repertory has kept people away. As the repertory can, in accordance with the prevailing taste, be renewed only by means of operas which have been successful in Paris, the difficulty of renewing it consists, in the first place, in the fact that there is scarcely any novelty worth anything produced in Paris itself; and, in the second place, in the fact that what is strikingly new requires very great artistic resources, and
• From the Niederrheinische Musih-Zeitung.
a frightful outlay for the mUe-en-scene. In Paris, the Grand Opera can satify its ever-changing population of some hundred thousand visitors with its old operas a grand spectacle; but in Brussels, the audience that pays its money to the 'theatre is constantly the same, and requires something new for what it expends.
Meyerbeer's Pardon de Ploermel has been the only luclcy hit for the management during the past theatrical year. Mile. Boulard, whom the Parisians could not appreciate, proved a great attraction. She has turned out an admirable artist, for true talent, when supported by practice and success, soon attains artistic maturity.
Under the above circumstances, Merelli's Italian Operatic Company was most welcome to all lovers of music. It played in the Theatre du Cirque, a very dirty house, but one exceedingly well adapted for sound. The band was something execrable, and the chorus simply ridiculous. The two combined would have reduced their excellent conductor, Orsini, to despair, supposing such a thing were at all possible in the case of the conductor of a strolling ItSian company, who can adapt himself to everything, and has been subjected to every ordeal. In spite of all obstacles and shortcomings, however, some of the performances, for instance that of Don Pasquule with Donizetti's charming music, reminded us, by the merit of some of the artists, as well as the southern warmth and liveliness of the whole representation, of the good times of Italian singing, and afforded a real treat.
By the repetition of his Paris Concerts, Richard Wagner has produced a sensation here also, a fact that was inevitable, considering how the public are so satiated, as I have before mentioned, by the eternal monotony in musical matters. For a considerable length of time, his concerts were the sole topic of discussion in all the local papers, as well as in all the coffeehouses and other places of public resort. The majority of the patrons of music here have left the Future to decide on the real value of Wajjner's compositions, although they arc convinced the composer is very anxious that his works should be appreciated by the Present.
Good orchestral music is to be heard only at the concerts of the Conservatory, under the direction of M. Fdtis. The band has made considerable progress during the past year.
M. Fetis does not, however, confine himself merely to classical masterpieces; so little does he exclude the productions of his contemporaries, that he performs even unpublished overtures and symphonies. It cannot, Of course, be asserted that he is invariably lucky in his selection. During the last series of concerts we heard an overture to Shakespeare's Macbeth, by M. de Hartog, a Dutch composer, who resides in Paris, and composes for his own pleasure — and that of his friends also — and has already published several works. The composition of characteristic overtures to tragedies is something peculiar; the only models of this kind of writing, Beethoven's overtures to Coriolanus and Egmtmt, stand too high to be equalled by the efforts of mere talent, and what have we, now-a-days, among composers but talent at the very most?
Herr Meyenne, one of Fetis' newest pupils, may also, by the way, lay claim to the possession of this quality. He has now come forward, although somewhat tardily, with an unpublished symphony. It was successful, as was likewise, and perhaps more deservedly, a symphony by Samuel, which contains a great deal of originality.
There was a remarkable performance, at the last concert of the Conservatory, of the finale to the second act of Le Nozze di Figaro. Irritated at the mutilation of this magnificent piece of composition i at the Theatre Lyrique in^Paris, Fetis determined to let the public of Brussels — that is to say, the "small Parisian" public—hear what was the real effect of it when played as Mozart wrote it, and he succeeded completely in carrying out his intention.
Crystal Palace.—The first of the two farewell performances of Mad. Clara Novello, announced to take place at the Crystal Palace, previous t o her final retirement from public life, came off on Wednesday, and attracted a large audience, the number of visitors approximating to thirteen thousand. At half-crown prices of admission so great a crowd at this period of the year proved the immense popularity of the singer, or, at all events, an almost universal desire to hear her for the last time. The performance consisted of the Creation, Mad. Novello—who, by the way, sang
the music of Eve in the third part, usually allotted to a second soprano—having for her coadjutors Mr. Wilbye Cooper and Mr. Weiss. The band and chorus together numbered about two thousand five hundred, a powerful force, doubtless, but by no means too powerful to create an effect in the central transept of the Crystal Palace. Mr. H. Blagrove was at the head of the instruments, and the regiment under his command was a capital effective working body. The chorus consisted of the Vocal Association, with draughts from the Sacred Harmonic Society and other choral institutions. The whole was placed under the direction of Mr. Benedict, so that nothing was wanting Ho insure a first-rate performance. The general execution was for the most part irreproachable, but Haydn's drawing-room oratorio failed to produce any marked sensation. Even the choruses, "The heavens are telling," and "Achieved is the glorious work," which almost invariably strike an audience as with a hammer, passed off with the faintest possible applause. The solos alone created anything like enthusiasm; and indeed the highest amount of excitement was justified in the case of Mad. Novello, whose singing of " With verdure clad," and " On mighty pens," was literally transcendent. "To hear Mad. Novello sing 'With verdure clad,'" as a fluent reporter of the Worcester Festival in a daily contemporary expressed himself, "was worth a long journey and much treasure." More exquisite, refined, and finished singing we never listened to. Mr. Wilbye Cooper was warmly applauded for his careful reading of " In native worth;" and Mr. Weiss, in the two bass airs, "Rolling in foaming billows" and "Now Ileav'n in fullest glory shone," displayed his fine voice and manly style to eminent advantage. To-day the Messiah will be given for the second farewell performance of Mad. Clara Novello, who will be assisted in the solo vocal department by Mad. Sainton-Dolby, Messrs. Wilbye Cooper, Santley, and Weiss.
Me. John Brougham — the popular Irish comedian, formerly belonging to the Covent Garden company under Mad. Vestris, and to the Olympic under the same manageress—commences an engagement at the Haymarket Theatre on Monday, October 8, in an original three-act comedy, writen by himself.
Manchester—Mad. Jdllien's Concert At The Free-trade Hall.—On Saturday last, the public of Manchester had an opportunity of hearing, for the last time, we believe, the fine band which, under the magical influences of M. Jullien, for so long a time delighted the ears of the English public. Prince George Galitzin (who assumed the conductorship) could not feel other than satisfied at the welcome bestowed upon him and the compositions of which he is the author, one of which, the "Surprise" Polka, was given with such startling and emphatic precision as to secure for it the honour of an encore, as hearty as could be desired. The solo singers were Miss Poole, Miss Dyer, and Mr. Henry Haigh—old favourites in Manchester—all of whom well sustained their reputation. During the evening, the choir, which has been trained by Mr. D. W. Banks, gave two illustrations of sacred art which were new to Manchester—a Russian chorus, very graceful in its movements, by Bortniansky, and a more weighty composition by Prince George Galitzin, " Sancta Maria." Amongst the pleasant performances by the choir of the Saturday Evening Concerts on this occasion was one we cannot overlook. At the commencement of the evening, Mr. Dixon, a member of the choir, appeared before the audience, and on behalf of the choir presented Mr. Banks with an ivory bitton, bearing the following inscription :—" Presented to D. W. Banks, Esq., by the members of the choir of the Saturday Evening Concerts, as a testimonial of their respect and esteem.—Manchester, September 15, 1860." The baton was a beautiful example of workmanship, from the establishment of Messrs. Ollivant and Botsford. The concert for this (Saturday) evening will, we may remark, be of unusual interest, and will bring before the public of Manchester not one only, but many of the most eminent artists in Europe.—Manchester Weekly Timet.
Partant potm La Svrie.—It is a well-known fact that the words of the above song, which during the last few years has enjoyed a new career of publicity, were set to music by Queen Hortense. It is not, however, so generally known, perhaps, that
the 1 instrumentation of the song was the work of an artist still living, very advanced in age, but still hale and hearty, in Germany. The ducal Capellmeister at Gotha, L. Drouet—a near relation of the postmaster at St. Menehould, who recognised and arrested the fugitive Louis XVI.—was, in his youth, a member of the band at the court of the King of Holland, and for some time musicmaster of Prince Louis, now Emperor of the French. It was he who scored the above song, since become so celebrated. The Emperor has not forgotten his former master, to whom, some year or two back, he forwarded a valuable golden snuff-box, set with brilliants.
Olympic Theatre.—A short extravagant farce, founded on a French vaudeville (Un Tigre de Bengali, we believe) and entitled Savage a? a Bear, has been produced at this honse. The plot rests altogether on the unreasonable jealousy of a certain Gregory Griffin (Mr. F. Robinson), who insists on tormenting himself and everybody around him by suspecting that Mr. Jnjnbcs (Mr. H. Wigan), his opposite neighbour, smokes cigars and arranges mignonette for no other purpose than that of carrying on a telegraphic flirtation with Mrs. Griffin (Miss Mars ton). The lady makes matters worse by addressing a letter to the reputed libertine, requesting him to desist from his harmless practices, for Jujubes coming over the way, in the belief that the letter is a hoax, nearly falls into the clutches of the terrible Griffin. Tho wife, anxious for nothing but peace and quietness, is perpetually concealing her innocent but timid visitor from her enraged husband; but, as the unfortunate Jujubes never hides without leaving behind him some light article, such as a stick, a hat, or a shoe, he forms an ever-lengthening" chain of presumptive evidence which renders Griffin more frantic than ever, till at last, discovering the innocence of Jujubes, he becomes equally extravagant in his demonstrations of friendship. The harmless, timid, civil nature of the persecuted Jujubes is represented with much characteristic humour by Mr. Horace Wigan (the adapter of the piece), and there is a blunt, bustling abigail, loyal in the service of her mistress, who is very well played by Mrs. Emden. But the jealous husband, who is, after all, the main personage of the piece, is scarcely to be rendered palateable by any artist who lacks the genius of a Robson, and Mr. F. Hobinson in essaying a part altogether out of his line makes an exhibition of mere force that is neither natural nor effective. The success of the piece is moderate.
Strand Theatre.—Messrs. Yates and Harrington have concocted an obstreperous little piece which, with the title Hit him—he has no Friends, brings the entertainments at the Strand Theatre to a noisy conclusion. Mr. James Rogers enacts a gentleman of extremely nervous temperament who has fallen into dire misfortunes from the fact that he bears the samo name as a wicked personage whoso desertion of his wife and children is recorded in the daily papers. The lady to whom he pays his addresses indignantly rejects him, her brother is ever watchful to exterminate him in single combat, a magistrate is prompt with a warrant for his apprehension, and the people of tho country inn where he seeks a refuge from persecution attribute to lunacy the excited state of his feelings. The force of the piece consists in the reckless oddity of the dialogue and the hearty self-abandonment of Mr. James Rogers to his manifold miseries. It was completely successful.
Dinner To Mr. Bcckbtone.—The members of tho Haymarket company, in return for a similar invitation given to them a few weeks ago, invited their esteemed and respected manager to a dinner on the 9th inst Mr. Chippendale, stage-manager, was in the chair, with Mr. Charles Mathews facing him, and amongst the few visitors invited were Mr. Benjamin Webster and Mr. Robert Keeley. As tho dinner was entirely of a private nature, wo need only record that the numerous toasts and speeches pleasantly commemorated the harmony that has reigned throughout the establishment for so long a period, and that the health of Mr. Buckstone elicited one of the heartiest responses of the evening. The festal accompaniments reflected the highest credit on the taste and judgment of Mr. Wylde, Proprietor of the Caft de TEurope, and showed to every advantage the excellent cuisine and vinous resources of that popular refectory.
The Liberator Anb The Leveller.—We hear from Paris that great preparations are being made for the production of Tannh&user at the Grand Opera. The only person in Paris, to judge from the newspapers, who likes Herr Wagner's music (of
which specimens, it may be remembered, were presented to the
POETRY v. PROSE.
1 This class of professionals, when master of their line of business, are of more importance than the public seem to be aware, who have to accompany the singers and sometimes prop them up, anticipating what they are going to do; while so much depends on a good accompanyist that a finished singer has reason to almost dread singing to one not up to the mark, that cannot humour by waiting or retarding the time to afford the other every chance of displaying bis taste and energy. Although he has to accommodate vocalists in many ways, and be everything to them, whether comic or sentimental, between the first or second verse of _ a song the public avail themselves to applaud while he is playing the symphony; and whatever effects he throws into the accompaniment, when done with judgment, so as not to encroach on the vocal part, it passes away unnoticed. In some rooms this functionary