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MUSIC AND THEATRES IN PARIS.

Dec. 6, 1860.

At last the long-talked of new ballet, due to the invention of the celebrated ex danseuse Mad. Taglioni—Le Papillon, as it is called, — has emerged from its chrysalis state, and expanded its bright wings before an admiring multitude. Never in the annals of insect life was butterfly doomed to more tribulations than the heroine of this pantomimic drama, who, by the way, is no butterfly at all, but a beautiful human being of the female sex. Some account of the story may interest your readers, especially as the new ballet will no doubt be mounted on one or other of your great operatic stages—perhaps on both. The scene is in Circassia. Farfalla is a charming young creature in the service of the wicked fairy Hnmzn, of whom the young prince Djalraa, nephew of the Emir Ismael Beg, grows enamoured. She thus becomes the rival of the fiery Hamza, who employs her supernatural powers against her. By a wave of her wand, she changes her into a butterfly, in which shape Farfalla is captured by the prince, who, with the cruel indifference of a Kirby or a Spence, pins her up against the bark of an oak tree. Immediately, by an optical device of the most charming effect, the butterfly is transfigured, and, detaching herself from the tree, is seen to sail through the forest amidst a swarm of winged sisters. Djalma recognises the young girl with whom he had fallen in love, and hastens in pursuit'of her, but the wicked fairy again intervenes with her magic wand, and entangles the butterfly in a net. A woodman however succeeds in robbing the old fairy of her wand, and Farfalla is thus delivered from her captivity, while Hamza is herself caught in her own trap. The captive fairy is brought before the Emir Ismael, who has a long amrterrible reckoning to gettle witli her. She it wag who years ago had carried off his beloved daughter, and that daughter is Farfalla herself. Hamza is frightened by the threats of the Emir, and as Biio has recovered her magic wand, she promises to restore his daughter to him. Accordingly, Farfalla is presently seen preceded by a brilliant procession, and seated in a palanquin. Ismael is transported with joy, and presents his daughter to Djalma, whose bride he had destined her to be. Djalma at first rejects the offer, but recognising Farfalla, he throws himself at the feet of his cousin. Just as he is about to imprint a kiss on the cheek of his betrothed, Hamza steps between them and intercents the kiss to her own advantage. At the same instant her^wrinkles, hoary locks, and decrepid figure vanish, and sbe appears dazzling with youth, beauty, and magnificent attire. Farfalla resumes her butterfly shape and flutters away, while the Prince fulls down in a swoon, fascinated by the magnetic glance of Hamza, who strikes the earth with her wand, and transports herself with him to her enchanted garden. Djalma on awaking, imagines he has been dreaming, and while he is gazing in wonder around him, he hears a slight rustling as of wings, and beholds Farfalla approaching him as she hovers above a bed of flowers. He seizes her and places her in safety in the midst of a cluster of roses, ilamza reappears surrounded by a brilliant retinue, and preceded by a lovely child bearing a lighted torch,—the torch of hymen. The light attracts the butterfly; she flutters restlessly round it, and at last burns her wings. Immediately the spell is broken. The magic wand of the fairy is shattered in her grasp, and Farfalla resumes the form of a lovely maid, to the great joy of the prince, of his uncle, and in fact of all Circassia.

Mile. Emma Livry, on whom the filmy mantle of the renowned Taglioni has airily descended, plays the heroine of this graceful fiction, and has completely fullilled the highly-wrought expectations of the public. The marvellous grace and agility with which she sustains her butterfly attributes are really admirable. The air seems her natural element, and when she touches the earth, it is only to bound up from it with renewed buoyancy. Mile. Louise Marquet distinguished herself not a little also as the fairy Hamza. To veil her natural pifts under the semblance of age and decrepitude, must have been a mortifying task, but she amply repaid herself in the second act by appearing twice as radiant -with youth and beauty, as if her charms had never suffered the temporary eclipse. M. Jacques Offenbach's music is graceful, lively and rhythmical, as ballet music should be. The melodies are of the popular and catching sort, and one air in particular, that of

j the Valte del Rayons, made a vivid impression, and is destined no I doubt to be done to death by wandering organs. Mile. Livry was enthusiastically called for at the fall of the curtain, and appeared leading by the hand her theatrical sponsor, Mad. Taglioni, the once adored executant and now ingenious inventress of ballets. The Emperor was present on the first night, and seemed gravely to enjoy the performance. By the way the recent ministerial changes which have placed Count Walewski in the position of M. Fould, also invest him with the control of the Imperial Opera. This is a curious conglobulation of attributes, to concert measures of imperial policy with the head of the state, and dispose of the destinies of cantatrices and ballerinas. Figaro was not more versatile in the service of his patron than the supple Count Walewski. If the minister is allowed a benefit after the manner of other operatic managers, he might increase its attractions by effectively making his debut in the part of the accommodating barber. His "Largo almfactotum" would be irresistibly natural, and Ronconi would have to look to his laurels.

Drawing-room operas again promise to be in vogue this season among the wealthy patrons of musical art, and Mad. Gavaux Sabatier, the fauvette des salons, who so enchanted London some ten or eleven years ago, having resumed her profession, will be the reigning star of these performances. She sang the other evening at Mad. Orfila's' in an operetta entitled La Perruque du Baillt, with brilliant success. The words and music of this little book, both of which are charmingly graceful, are by Mile. Fauline Thys, now Mad. Sebault.

A new and important phase in the musical pitch movement has just occurred. At the last sitting of the Royal Academy of Belgium, in the Fine Arts class, M. Fetis read a report on the question whether it was expedient that Belgium should imitate France in adopting the measures which have there been taken with respect to the new diapason. The learned professor came to the conclusion that the diapason should be fixed as it at present exists, but not lowered. M. Fetis probably wishes that the C sharp, "de poitrine" of certain exceptionally gifted tenors, should lose none of its marvellous character

Mad. Carvnlho is now at Nantes, where, after singing at a concert given by the Socicte des Beaux Arts, she is giving a series of performances at the theatre. There is an excellent operatic troupe there to assist her, under the direction of M. Solie.

The opera balls, under the direction of Strauss, whose orchestra will be employed, are to commence on the 15th of this month, previous to which there will be a ball for the pension fund of the establishment.

I suppose you have already heard of the death of poor Louis Lurine, the director of the Vaudeville. It was quite sudden, and he was in the prime of life. He was a very amiable and a very clever fellow, and is much regretted by his friends, of whom he had many. They buried him last Sunday; the funeral service was performed .at Notre Dame de Lorette.

December 12, 1860. It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. The new opera of M. Offenbach, Darhonf, which has been put off on account of Mile. Saint Urbain's illness, has caused the manager of the Opera Comique to bring unexpectedly forward a little opera called I'EveiUail, which its authors had given up all hope of seeing performed before next year, if at all. The words are by MM. Barbicr and Carr6, and the music by M. Ernest Boulanger. In plot it resembles not a little Alfred de Musset's Caprices de Marianne, except as regards the dennuetnent. A young widow, who is growing tired of her lone condition, is beloved by a poet, but being both cruel and a coquette, she has him driven away with cudgels when he attempts to serenade her. The poet confides his sorrows to a friend, a military gentleman of swaggering and tavern-haunting propensities. He attributes the poet's failure to his romantic nonsense, takes his mandoline ft-oin him, and promises to show him how to win a woman's heart. The captain places himself under the widow's balcony, and trolls forth a jolly ditty, with a slight spice of satire about it. The lady truly answers to the appeal, and shows herself at the balcony,—but it is to throw the minstrel a penny. The captain is exasperated at this treatment, and joins the poet in a scheme to mortify the proud beauty. In carrying it out, the captain, however, really falls in love with the widow, while the poet is quickly prompted to console himself with the affection of her sister, which he discovers he has won. A double match terminates the little comedy, in which a fan passed from hand to hand has much to do with bringing about a satisfactory settlement of affairs. The music is not deficient in melody, which is made the most of by skilful treatment, and the ^success of the work was as complete as could be desired.

M. Offenbach's opera will, it is said, be produced on the 20th inst., and Mile. Mamnon will take the part intended for Mile. St. Urbain.

The new ballet Le PapiUon proceeds in its career with increasing success. The Emperor has been twice to see it since the first night. Whether he seizes eagerly at anything that will momentarily draw his mind from the care of his present anxious position, or whether he desires to give a fillip to the fortunes of the establishment under the immediate superintendence of his prime minister, I know not. Perhaps both motives weigh with him.

At the Italian Opera Marta has been revived, and Mad. Alboni has made with her brilliant singing and consummate acting in the part of Nancy, a complete sensation.

In the theatrical department, there has been a new comedy in five acts at the Odeon, by M. Louis Bouilhet, entitled L'Oncle Million, which has proved successful, and at the Palais Royal two amusing little pieces have been equally fortunate. One is called Le Passe de Nichette, the other Le Serment a"Horace. The latter is by M. Henri Murget, and does not belie its authorship, for it abounds in pleasant and witty sallies. The Vaudeville, until a new manager is appointed, is being carried on by a committee composed of MM. Laf'ont, Brindeau, and Saint Germain.

THE ENTERPRISING IMPRESARIO.

CHAPTER III.

Wodijo you sec the impresario in trouble—a cloud of thunder on his brow—the victim of despair? Watch him when he hears that his popular primo tenorc, or the favourite prima donna is indisposed. The opera which is drawing crowded houses has to be changed, or sung by a substitute not attractive to the public. The manager may for a while have thrown the reins of government carelessly aside, a flourishing account from the box office having increased his appetite for the good dinner at which he is comfortably seated. A delicate little note is handed to him (whether from a tenor or prima donna does not signify; they both indulge in similarly diminutive sized envelopes). It is opened ; the manager turns pale as he peruses the contents; a few incoherent sentences escape his lips; his dinner and peace of mind for four and twenty hours are irremediably ruined. The delicate little note informs him that a change of opera is unavoidable. The soup is left untouched; he hastens to the theatre; his secretary is forthwith despatched to summon other artists; the call-boy runs for his life to the printer; instructions are given to the doorkeepers, scene shifters, in fact, to the entire establishment, to prepare for the emergency. A bill is drawn up, expressing the regret of the "management" (why the impresario of an Italian Opera insists upon calling himself the "management," I know not) in being obliged to announce a change in the performance of the evening, Signora So-and-so being unable to appear. The secretary returns, having had a furious drive to all the outskirts of London (singers, strange to say, in this country, always manage to live as far away as possible from their place of business, the theatre), and finds the manager pacing his room in an agony of disappointment and uncertainty. Sometimes the secretary has been .successful, and tranquillises his chief with words of consolation. Sometimes, however, it is otherwise; and he is the bearer of anything but satisfactory intelligence: the artists he has sought may not have been to be found, or, if -found, are equally unable to appear as the singer whose illness is the cause of all the difficulty. The impresario is now in what is popularly called a " quandary," and uncertain whether to open the theatre or not. Generally matters are so arranged that it is unnecessary to resort to the last alternative; but the impresario's appetite and dinner are spoiled, and his temper pretty considerably ruffled. The chances are,

moreover, that he is abused by the aristocratic habitues of the stalls, and the democratic frequenters of the pit, for not keeping faith with the public, neither aristocrat nor democrat considering for one moment that it is the singer's throat that is sore, and not that of the impresario, who would willingly sing soprano, contralto, tenor, and bass, were it in his power to do so to the satisfaction of the aforesaid grumblers. Strange contretemps will sometimes happen on such occasions. Artists who were not to be found when wanted will arrive at the last moment, after others have been persuaded to sing for them. I remember such an occurrence at Covent Garden some years ago. Illness had necessitated a change of opera, and H Barbiere was to be given instead of the one originally announced.

The alteration was made at a very short notice. Ronconi, who, according to a stipulation in his engagement, had the part of the Barber allotted to him, was out of town. No other opera, under the circumstances, being practicable, Tamburini, after much coaxing, consented to sing the Figaro, and repaired to the theatre at the usual time. A few minutes before the opera was to begin Ronconi made his appearance, and insisted upon his right to the part Tamburini had undertaken. He went to his room and dressed. As the curtain was about to be drawn up, there was Ronconi on one side of the stage andTamburini on the other, both in thewell-known costume, and ready to appear as the vivacious Figaro. Here was a chance of a Barbiere after the fashion of the Corsican Brothers. It was truly a momentous question. Had the curtain been raised, the Figaro would have had a "double," which would have puzzled the audience more than even Charles Kean's celebrated impersonation of the De Franchis. The commencement of the opera was for a short time delayed while the matter was explained to Tamburini, who, to his honour be it said, relinquished the position with the politeness of a gentleman and good feeling of a true artist.

When it is considered how entirely the fulfilment of the announcement of an Italian opera depends upon the health (and sometimes, with all deference be it said, the caprice) of the sensitive soprano or tenacious tenor, it is, perhaps, surprising that disappointments are not more frequent, and that an enterprising impresario can at any time enjoy his dinner undisturbed.

A.NTEATER.

OTTO JAHN'S "MOZART."
(From the Morning Post.)

SECOXD ARTICLE.

Mr. Otto Jahn, having duly acknowledged the effort* of preceding biographers, and informed us that such new sources of information have been opened up to him as to make it his doty "to erect an entirely new building upon a new ground" (" auf neum grund ein ganz neues gebiinde aufzufuhren ") proceeds at once to his work.

The first book, embracing a period of twelve years, from 1756 to 1768, treats of Mozart's boyhood, and naturally includes an account of the composer's family, especially of his father, Leopold Mozart, the violinist and composer, who exercised so very great an influence over his son's career.

Mr. Jahn gives Leopold Mozart a very high character; but here we cannot quite agree with the generous biographer. May it not be gravely questioned whether the terrible illnesses of which lie speaks (four desperate struggles for existence within a short space of time) were not brought on in a great measure by the unnatural exertions and constant excitement to which Wolfgang was subjected in being at a very tender age carried from court to court for exhibition as a prodigy? Were such proceedings beneficial to any one but the father who pocketed the pecuniary rewards?

In an artistic point of view, this eternal locomotion and interruption to study could be of no use to the little tcunderhind; and it was difficult not to ascribe, the early death of the immortal composer, which deprived the world of many a masterpiece, partly at least to the forced premature development of his powers. Had Leopold Mozart been the sensible, honest, and amiable person Mr. Jahn supposes, he would have felt that a young, delicate creature like Wolfgang, whose nervous system was so exquisitely sensitive that the mere blast of a trumpet once threw him into a state of mo9t violent excitement, whose soul-felt passion for ideal beauty, for the abstract loveliness of sound and form, rendered him tremblingly alive to any manifestation of it, and who was so impressionable with respect to outward influences, that things unheeded by others would act upon his being like the wandering wind upon the iEolian harp—thrilling him with music—was not fit to bear the enormous amount of downright hard work and constant excitement thrown upon the earliest years of his career, and acted accordingly.

Would a really sensible man have risked the permanent value of his stock-in-trade—which in Leopold Mozart's case was a son's life—without some pressing, immediate, and personal motive? We would wish to consider Leopold Mozart as the reverse of sensible, because by so doing—in relieving him from great responsibility— we should protect him from great blame; but such worldly shrewdness and diplomatic caution are exhibited in the later portion of his career that we cannot certainly set him down as a fool.

Did Leopold calculate upon the amount of mental and physical labour his son might possibly endure for so long a time as he might be serviceable to the paternal interest, without care for a future, which, according to the ordinary course of things, might probably relate to others rather than to himself? Such hypotheses are proposed quite a contre-cceur, but we must take them as they occur to us. Mr. Jahn himself suggests them by the " inexorable logic" of his facts, the real bearing of which upon Leopold's character appears to have escaped him.

In October, 1762, we find Wolfgang laid on a sick bed for fourteen days with the scarlet fever. In August, 1764, an inflammation of the throat again placed his life in jeopardy. Passing through Lille in 1765, he was equally in danger—four weeks confined to his room; and in the same year the child had one more terrible trial, namely, an attack of malignant fever, which nearly carried him off; and all this time he was being hawked about from country to country, from town to town, and made to display his genius in public as often as he was able, the sensible and amiable father profiting thereby.

To us, we must confess, all this looks doubtful, and more especially as the sister of Wolfgang, also a wunderhind, who accompanied the expeditions, and was exhibited with her brother in the concerts, suffered likewise from constant excitement; and once indeed, up the Hague in 1765, was in such imminent danger that, despite all the efforts of Professor Schunnckel, physician to the Princess Wulburg, sister of the Prince of Orange, the young artist's life was despaired of.

. With Mr. Jahn's estimate of Leopold Mozart's moral worth we cannot agree; neither in the proceedings of the father with respect to his son's early career, nor in later events can we discover any of his acts untainted by selfishness.

f titers to % Gtidox.
—i—

VERSUS "PETIFACE."

Sir,—Your periodical of the 8th instant contained a contribution of mine, as it has done many before; but you have not previously found it necessary to make additions, and to adapt my communications for what they were not intended. My object for sending you occasionally such thoughts as were suggested was not for the sake of playing the fool with an art which seems to be the principal object of one of your contributors—but for the purpose of calling attention and exciting discussion on certain points which appeared to me defective; and for the amelioration of which in all departments of science nnd art such journals as the present are, I presume, specially called into existence. Now, to come to the point; I am at a loss to know by whose authority your eccentric and incomprehensible friend "Petiface" alters and adapts according to his peculiar whims, the contributions whose authors he knows nothing of, and who know nothing of Mr. "Petiface." My contributions arc doubtless of but little value; but I should imagine that the Musical World found it difficult in a couutry

like this to obtain matter worth printing for nothing. Certainly, however low my contributions may be valued, I cannot suffer such impertinence to be again practised, which I think on the part of any one is a great familiarity. Had Mr. "Petiface" affixed my proper name, I should have been extremely disgusted, as I have not the pleasure of knowing Mr. Horace Mayhew, nor the least wish to criticise his recent performances.

You will oblige me by inserting this, as I consider by altering or adapting the occasional contributions of your supporters, is no' only the way to lose their support, but that of others, to say nothing of its being an act of unprovoked familiarity.

I am, Sir, your obedient Servant,

A Crump.

[The signature of the first communication was unintelligible. "Crumb" was the nearest guess that could be made, and the Socratic irony that distinguished the style of our correspondent warranted its acceptance as genuine. Nevertheless, Petipace—not "Peti/iice"—apologises to Messrs. Crump and Mayhew; although had Mr. Crump affixed his (Petipace's) proper name, he (Petipace) might have been "extremely disgusted."—Anguish.]

A SUGGESTION FOR FACILITATING THE READING OF MUSIC.

Sir,—If printers would use red ink for the first and fifth lines,

they would greatly facilitate the execution of difficult and crowded

passages. Hawk. .—+_—.

'Birmingham, Bee. 7th, 1860. Sir,—If you can possibly get through it, read the enclosed, and mark the taste, style, musical knowledge and critical acumen displayed by the Brummagem critic. Oh for a " Petipace ", to pickle such an idiot. Your constant reader,

Musicas.

"In the allegros, as a rule, notwithstanding the invariable cvidence'of earnest thought and high musical capacity, Beethoven's genius is less thoroughly at home than in the andantes. He writes them frequently in evident compliance with the exigencies of the sonata form rather than the instigation of his fancy, and appears to find in a solemn adagio, a plaintive andante, or a wildly sportive scherzo, more congenial expression for the teeming visions of his mind. The first allegro of the No. 3 quartet is nevertheless a long, richly instrumented and symmetrical movement, and thanks partly to the admirable execution of the before-named gentlemen was warmly applauded. The second allegro, a short graceful movement, and the concluding presto, with its fiery tarantula measure, experienced in a minor degree the sunshine of popular favour, and the performers retreated from the platform amid a shower of plaudits."

[ Chacun a son gout, est notre gout.Anguish.] —t—

DANCING-MUSIC, OR MUSIC-DANCING.

To Horace Mayhew, Esq.

Gentleman,—In the Musical World of the 8th instant, appears an article of mine, headed "New school of Dancing Music," to which the editor has added under the title, "To the joined Authors of the Goose with the Golden Eggs;" and at the end of the article, "Yours, Gentlemen and Wits." As no such expressions were in my copy, will you oblige me by exerting your interest at head-quarters in procuring the insertion of this reply in the next number, that I may be free from the imputation of having begun or concluded the article with two such ridiculous absurdities? The plan of dancing to music of a higher class than that now in use is not by any means impracticable; but in offering something new to the public, tho author has to contend with the class of narrow-minded persons who may be the arbitrators on its merits, as remarkably exemplified in the two following instances:—Haydn, ou entering his career in instrumental composition, presented himself on the lists with six trios. The peculiarity of tho style and tho novelty of the thing gave them immediately the greatest celebrity; bat the grave German musicians warmly attacked the dangerous innovations with which they were filled. The charming thoughts of the young musician, the warmth of his style, called forth against him all the invectives of the Vienna musicians, particularly the amateurs, who would not have hesitated, had the idea crossed their minds, to have designated this new school, the Goose with the Golden Eggs. The other is an instance in the career of the engineer Stephenson, who in endeavouring to get an Act of Parliament passed through the House of Commons to enable him to lay down the first railroad he accomplished, on asserting to some of the members that he would obtain a speed of twenty miles per hour, these gentlemen (like the writer of the two witty expressions in my recent article on a new school of dancing-music), replied, "Your mind, Mr. Stephenson, is deranged through too much application to your railroad.or you would not talk of a speed of more than fourteen miles per hour." When, in order to pacify them for the time being, to avoid retarding the passing of the Bill, he deemed it prudent to say fourteen instead of twenty, when they were satisfied ; otherwise, like the author of tho lofty expression added to my heading, emanating (no doubt) from a mind equally as lofty as the sublimity of the two additions—the members would probably have designated Mr. Stephenson's scheme, the Goose with the Golden JEygs. The articles I have furnished to the Musical Wobu) were not written expressly for it, but merely copied from one hundred and fifty in prose and verse, filling three books composed by your humble servant during the last ten years; and, whatever maybe their "shortcomings," as my motive is good, the editor might refrain from endeavouring to turn into ridicule, what is intended to advance one of the popular accomplishments of the day, and no doubt will be carried out at some future period, or something approaching it, when the present music will not have sufficient variety to meet the improved taste of the dancing class.

Craving your excuse for troubling you with this communication,
I ascribe myself, Gentleman, yours respectfully,

Bee. nth, 1860. Haydn Wilson.

Vienna, Nov. 15, I860.—{From our own Correspondent.)—The rehearsals of Rubenstein's opera, Les En/antes des Land.es, have been suddenly discontinued. It appears the tenor Wachtels is in litigation with the direction of the court theatre at Hesse Cassel, having failed to fulfil his engagement last year for some cause, whether sufficient or otherwise, to be decided by the lawyers. An official request has been made by the legal authorities of Prussia, that Wachtel, pendente lite, should not be allowed to ting in Vienna, which request has been acceded to by the Austrian Government, and Rubenstein's opera postponed in consequence. It is a question whether Wachtel s salary will be suspended, but I should hardly suppose the Viennese authorities will so far take part in a quarrel, in which others only are concerned. It is bad enough that they have prevented his appearing, and acted courteously to a neighbour to the detriment of an artist. Refusal of payment would be the most unjustifiable and discreditable proceeding, as evincing decided partiality in a dispute, the rights of which nave yet to be determined.

Madbtd.—In a recent number of the Madrid Correro there appears the following critique respecting the debut of an artist who for some years held an honourable position in the Royal Italian Opera Company :— "The great novelty of the evening was Mad. de Me"ric Lablache, who was making her debut in our theatre. Every one was anxious to see and bear the celebrated contralto, who had sung for ten consecutive seasons at the Imperial Theatre of St. Petersburg, and has been so well received in all the capitals where Bhe has appeared. Expectation was not disappointed; and the part of Orsino was sung by Mad. de Meric in a style thoroughly worthy of an artist of her reputation. She possesses a magnificent and fresh contralto voice, an excellent method of singing, and a fine presence. She acts with consummate talent, and is, in fact, gifted with all the qualities which may be expected from an artist of her reputation. Our public saw immediately what kind of lady had to be judged, and soon pronounced in favour of the talented and comely contralto, covering her with applause both in the course of the opera and in the well-known brindisi. This last Mad. de Meric sang in the best style possible, giving proofs of a rare talent, and that exquisite taste which is peculiar to great singers. Mad. de Mfric dresses with such gracefulness and propriety that she won for herself general approval, and she wears the male attire in a fine and very engaging manner. The reception which this artist met at the hands of the public could not be more brilliant; it was, in fact, in keeping with her merit. From this great success we areled to look forward with much pleasure to further performances,

such as Arsace and others of the same kind, wherein Mad, de Me"ric will have an opportunity of displaying all her powers. M. Bagier, the manager, could not have secured a better artist, and we congratulate him with as much warmth as several of our contemporaries have done before us."

Mad. De Vaucheban, the pianist, gave an evening concert in the new Vestry Hall, Chelsea, on Monday last, under the patronage of Lord Ranelagh and the officers of the South Middlesex Rifle Volunteers. As a matter of course the room was well attended, and a great number of the "force" were present. Among the vocalists were Miss Clari Fraser, Fraulein Von Kettler, Mr. Leonard ; Ilerren Goffrie and Schmidt were the violins; Mr. R. Blagrove was concertina, and Herr Oberthur harp. The fair concertgiver, played several times during the evening, her best performance being Herr Oberthur's duet for harp and pianoforte, on Lucreziu Borgia, which she gave in capital style. She was ably assisted by Herr Oberthur in the barp part. The latter also played in his usual elegant manner 9ome pieces of his own composition. Mr. R. Blagrove's solo on the concertina (airs from Lurline), was equally successful. Among the Jbest| vocal performances were those of Miss Clari Fraser in "John Anderson my Joe," and " Where the bee sucks," (both of which delighted the audience) ; of Fraulein Von Kettler, in an Italian cavnlina, and some German lieder; and of M.Leonard, in " Largo al factotum," which he declaimed and sung with infinite spirit, obtaining well merited applause at the conclusion. Macfarren's charming trio, "The Troubadour," might have had more pains bestowed upon it than it received, the vocalists evidently not having rehearsed it. Mr. Thomas accompanied the vocal music on the pianoforte.

Miss Whittt.—A letter from a friend in Milan, speaking of Miss Whitty, says—" La Signora Vitti, as she is called here, is a great favourite—and no little merit as a singer is required to please a Milanese audience. An engagement here is an affair not easy of attainment, and an honour greatly coveted, as, if successful, the fortune of a vocalist is made. Miss Whitty is, moreover, an excellent actress, and, although not strictly handsome, is very sweet\ looking, graceful, and ladylike. In Florence she created quite a furore.—Another young countrywoman, Mary Beati, daughter of the late Dr. Davey of London, made her debut a few weeks ago at Lugano with great success: she played thirteen or fourteen times in succession, and was on each occasion more warmly received. She has been very much spoken of in the papers, and very favourable opinions are entertained of her voice and style of singing."

Dr. M. V. Blt. — Necromancy in some shape or other is one of the fashions of the day, now descending into the prosaic card-triek, now soaring into the more mysterious region of spirits and mediums (Priscian would have preferred "Media"); now boasting that it can restore a burnt pocket-handkerchief without the aid of a doublebottomed casket, now more awfully pretending to maintain an intercourse between the living and the dead. The gentleman who years ago would have been burnt for a wizard now finds the black art a very convenient source of revenue; and really this art is splitting into so many departments, that we may in time have a numerous body of conjurors, who will all thrive merrily without jostling one against the other. Among necromancers of the more mystical school. Dr. M. V. Bly, a newly-arrived American professor, who displays his wonders at the New York Hotel, Leicester Square, is likely to take a conspicuous place. Indeed, he has already puzzled many connoisseurs, accustomed to all the marvellous illusions of the las twenty years; not only docs ho abstain from the use of apparatus, but he oven refuses the advantage of distance, the person to whom he displays his proficiency being invited to sit with him at the same table—an ordinary piece of mahogany, with its legs perfectly visible, and consequently as far above suspicion as the required reputation of Caspar's wife. Thus brought face to face with the magician, the visitor writes with a pencil the names of a number of persons on some scraps of paper, which ho immediately crushes up into little pellets, without giving Dr. Bly the least chance of seeing the inscription. The learned doctor is at once seized with a convulsive trembling of the true Pythian kind; and, frantically snatching up a pencil, writes backwards a short note, signed with one of the names contained in the pellets. He also orders his visitor to put the pellets into scaled envelopes, and picks then out by name, when repeated crumpling has rendered the inscriptions almost illegible to the writer himself. The information contained in the notes written by the doctor is not of a very exciting description; bat bow he acquires knowledge of the names, hastily written ns they ore, and crushed up immediately—this is really a mystery, especially as the feat is performed nnder circumstances which seem to preclude the possibility of collusion. Indeed, the exhibition ordinarily takes place in the presence of a very select few, any one of whom is at perfect liberty to take the post of honour at the table, and test the professor to his heart's content. Sometimes an imposing variety is given to the exploit by the appearance of the name in red letters on the doctor's wrist. Details of this kind, as well as the convulsive movements of the magician, and the noises occasionally elicited from the table, will be set down by the sceptical ns belonging to the hocus-pocus of the art; but how did the" name get into the doctor's head? That's the real question.

Mb. Sims Reeves Accepting An Encobb.—"Mr. Sims Reeves, who was in the fullest possession of his incomparable voice, added to his long list of artistic triumphs by his exquisitely beautiful rendering of Dussek's charming, quite Mozartian, canzonet, which elicited unanimous applause of the warmest kind. This can scarcely fail to become a stock piece at concerts. Of Mr. Sims Reeves' version of'Adelaide,1 what can we find to say that has not been said a hundred times already? Such singing as this, with the pianoforte accompaniments of Miss Arabella Goddard, is indeed an executive triumph, which we believe no other two artists in Europe could achieve. The 'Adelaide' was so overwhelmingly redemanded, that Mr. Reeves, despite his objections to the 'encore system,' obliged the audience by singing the second movement again."— Morning Post.

Mb. Weiss At The Monday Populab Concebts.—" To Mr. Weiss, firstly, belongs the praise of having been the first to let the public know what Mr. George Macfarren really means by the very fine song from 1 Robin Hood' entitled, 'The monk within his cell,' which we may safely assert was never sung in public before last night, however well it may have been acted. Mr. Weiss did ample justice to this admirably characteristic composition. It suits his noble voice exactly, and he sung it with all the musical skill and dramatic expression it demands. Secondly, our famous English basso must be unreservedly eulogised for his inimitable rendering of Mendelssohn's ' I'ani a roamer;' but, as Mr. Weiss's version of this capital comic song is thoroughly familiar to the musical world, we need only record that it was heartily encored, although the singer merely returned to the orchestra and bowed his acknowledgments of the compliment."—Morning Post.

Miss Arabella Goddard At The Monday Popular Concerts. —" To those who are curious to know how our eminent English pianist, Miss Arabella Goddard, acquitted herself—who would learn whether she has been progressing backwards or forwards since last she appeared in a London orchestra—we can say at once that the young lady never achieved a greater triumph, or more richly deserved the homage of musicians. The symmetry, chasteness, and dignity of Miss Arabella's style, her full, sympathetic tone, and solidly brilliant agility, might doubtless have been more profitably employed than in the execution either of Steibelt's or Haydn's sonate (the latter of which, by the way, is but an arrangement of one of the author's string quartets), though both these works are highly interesting, and far too good for oblivion. Miss Arabella Goddard might have selected a solo sonata by Beethoven—for instance, the long 106, which she plays better than any one. The audience, we feel convinced, would have been delighted to hear it again from her, if only because no other pianist ever attempts it. However, the accomplished artist, if she did not show all she can do on this occasion, at least vindicated her claim to the laurel crown that graced even her baby-brow, and which she has worn unblemished lor many years in spite of rivalry by no means despicable. Miss Arabella Goddard was most enthusiastically received, warmly applauded on every possible occasion, and unanimously recalled into the orchestra at the termination of Steibelt's sonata, which she played to perfection."—Morning Post, Dec. 17th.

Dr. Wylde gave his annual Christmas performance of the Messiah in St. James's Hall, on Thursday evening, before a large audience. The Messiah is more attractive at Christmas than at any other time, since many look upon it as a duty to attend a performance of Handel's sublime oratorio at this season of the year. The soloists were Miss Parcpa, Miss Spiller, Miss Lascelles, Mr. G. Perren and Mr. Santley. Miss Parcpa sung her very best, and

Miss Spiller, who shared with her the soprano music, acquitted herself exceedingly well. Miss Lascelles was most effective in "He was despised. Mr. G. Perron sang the tenor music very artistically, and Mr. Santley's fine voice and admirable delivery were highly appreciated in that allotted to the bass. The chorus was not quite so steady, in many pieces, as we could have wished, though Dr. Wylde conducted with his accustomed vigour and ability.

Spohr And The Violin.—Of Spohr's distinguished merits as a composer of quartets, enough has been said in the analytical programmes of the Monday Popular Concerts. The reproduction of a few sentences will suffice to explain, to such as have not hitherto been in the habit of attending these performances, the opinion entertained of the late Kapellmeister of Hesse-Cassel as a fertile and ingenious producer in this particular branch of his art. As a composer of quartets—it was urged—and indeed of all varieties of chamber music,—for stringed instruments,] Spohr eminently excelled. Only Hadyn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn can be said to have surpassed him; while, on the other hand, he produced in this department almost as much as the last three in common. Here, however, his darling instrument was at command, and none will refuse to admit that, as a writer for the violin, Spohr was unrivalled. No predecessor or contemporary has done so much or so well for the first of orchestral, as it is the first of solo, instruments. His compositions for the violin (as a performer on which, in many respects, he equally transcended all competitors) form one of the most important and valuable bequests that genius has made to art. He represented, moreover, and pre-eminently, the great German school of playing, the most solid, legitimate, and classically pure, if not the most graceful, impetuous, and brilliant. "AH the composers for the violin put together, since legitimate music was provided for that instrument, would not," says a modern critic, "make one Spohr." This was the domain in which he knew no rival, and in which, whether as producer or executant, he distanced all competitors. Spohr was the rock against which the so-called virtuosity of his time could make no head. In an age of semi-charlatanism he retained for his darling instrument its classic character, and dedicated works to the fiddle which are likely to survive while music continues to be cultivated. Violinists, indeed, of every category, those alike who aim at mere display and those who entertain a worthier ambition, are infinitely his debtors; since, through the method he inculcated, and the writings he published, he not only regulated taste and developed style, but, more than any predecessor or contemporary, helped to advance the mechanism of the instrument, and thus to multiply its resources and vary its means of effect. His quartets (of which he produced about three times as many as Mozart, and twice as many as Beethoven), his quintets, and other examples of what is termed chamber music, form a library of themselves.—Programme of the Monday Popular Concerts.

Food Tor Babes.(In Words of not more than Two Syllables.) —Once up-on a time, a hawk had a num-ber of lin-nets in a tree, who sang so sweet-ly that the pas-sers by gave the hawk bits of meat. But the pas-sers by did not want to hear all the lin-nets at once. So the hawk sent some of them a-way from the tree, which stood in a large Mark-et for Hay, to a gut-ter near Der-by Round, that o-ther pas-sers by might give bits of meat to hear them. But when the lin-nets came back to the Mar-ket for Hay, the passers by (who were call-ed swells) would not hear the lin-nets who had been sing-ing in the gut-ter. So all the lin-nets flew a-way, and the hawk had to go with-out his meat.—Shoulder.

Staines.—On Thursday evening, December 6th, a concert was given in the Literary Institution. The artists were Miss Eleonora AVilkinson, Miss Louise Jarrett, Mr. Dyson, and Mr. Lambert; Mr. W. Goss Custard presided at the pianoforte. The programme was miscellaneous. The inclemency of the weather prevented many families from attending.

Rotal Academy or Music.—The nomination for the two King's scholarships vacant at this time of the year took place on Monday the 17th inst. The board of examiners consisted of Mr. Charles Lucas (chairman), Mr. John Goss, Mr. Henry Blagrove, Mr. G. A. Macfarren, Mr. W. H. Holmes, Mr, Frank R. Cox, and Mr. Walter C. Macfarren. The number of candidates examined was

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