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"The Worth Of Art Appears Most Eminent In Music, Since It Requires No Material, no Subject-matter, Whose Effect MUST BE Deducted: It Is Wholly Form And Power, And It Raises And Ennobles Whatever It Expresses" Gsthe.
SUBSCRIPTION—Stamped for Postage—20s. PER ANNUM Payable in advance by cash or Post-Office Order to B00SEY & SONS, 28 Holies Street, Cavendish Square, London, W.
AN ORIGINAL COMPOSITION FOR THE PIANO.
"An exquisite Romance, which no imitator, however ingenious, could have written—as quaint, as fascinating, and at the same time as Thalbergian as anything of the kind that has been produced for years."
THALBERG'S ART OF SINGING,
APPLIED TO THE PIANO.
No. 13.—Serenade from " II Barbiere."
14. —Duet from " Zauberflote."
15. —Barcarole from "Gianni di Calais."
16. —" La ci darem " and trio, " Don Juan."
17. —Serenade by Gray.
18. —Romance from "Otello."
"Among the hitherto unknown compositions were some selections from the 'Art of Singing applied to the Piano,'' Transcriptions' of Operatic Melodies, arranged in M. Thalbcrg's ornate and elaborate manner, invaluable to Pianists who believe that the instrument of their choice can, under skilful management, emulate the violin itself in the delivery of cantabile passages."—The Times.
B003EY & SONS, HOLLES STREET.
WELSH NATIONAL MUSIC,
SONG BY FOUR HUNDRED VOICES,
ACCOMPANIED BY A
BAND OF TWENTY HARPS.
ACONCERT to be given by Mr. JOHN THOMAS (Pencerdd GwaHa), at St. James's Hall, Friday Evening, July 4, with the kind Assistance of the Members of the Vocal Association, the West London Madrigal Society, and the Royal Academy of Music.
Vocalists: Miss Edith Wynne (Eos Cymru), Miss Banks, Miss Eyles, Mr. Wilbye Cooper, and Mr. Lewis Thomas.
Harps : Messrs. J. Balsir Chattbrton, Frederick Chattrrton, Wright, OberThur, Trust, Cheshire, Layland, Lock Wood, Ellis Rober ts, George, Weippsrt, and Aptomhas; Mesdan.es II-Him i; (late Ml** Ciiatterton), Cooper, Davibs, . ... ,. .. j Mr. *
Drydbn, and O'lkary Vinmng; Misses Bulkbley and Trust;
Conductor: Mr. Benedict.
Tickets to be obtained at Addison, RoUk>r & Lucas's, 210 Regent Street; Cramer, Beale & Wood's, 201 Regent Street; at Keith. Prows* & Co.'s, 48 L'heap.tide; at Julllen's, 214 Regent Street ; at Chappell St Co.'s, SO New Bond Street; at Cocks & Co.'s, 6 New Burlington Street; and at Mr. Austin's Ticket Office, 28 Piccadilly.
Now Ready, in Two Vols., with Portraits, 21s.
THIRTY YEARS' MUSICAL RECOLLECTIONS. By Henry F. Chorley. "Every page of these volumes offers pleasant reminiscences. No one singer of merit, or pretensions to it, no distinguished composer of the period, is without his or her portrait. Whether as a conscientious history, a graceful series of portraits, or an anecdotal record, the author must be congratulated on the work he has accomplished."—Atheneeum.
"Every one interested, whether professionally or only by sympathy, in the development of the musical taste and the musical renown of this country will peruse these volumes with the utmost avidity. As a critic of the nrt, Mr. Chorley has long held a high and distinguished position amongst us; his characteristics being immense experience, wide and catholic information, a great aptitude of expression, and a tatte somewhat absolute, though for the most part unfailingly correct. These qualities are revealed in every page of the work before us, to which we strongly recommend our musical readers to refer for an intellectual qualification of the highest order." * Time*.
Hurst & Blackett, Publishers, 13 Great Marlborough Street.
MEYERBEER'S GRAND EXHIBITION OVER
I TURE will be Performed at Mr. BENEDICT'S MORNING CONCERT,
TR. WALTER MACFARREN'S MATINEE
D'INVITATION on Saturday, July 5, assisted by Herr JOACHIM, Sig. PIATTI, Miss Banks, and Miss ROBERTINE HENDERSON,
1 Osnaburgh Street, Regent's Park, N.W.
JuVocalists: Miss BANK Soforte- Mile. Arte Quartet Associati
LTERR WILHELM GANZ begs to announce that his
TR. WALTER MACFARREN will play his " TA. ANNUAL MORNING CONCERT will take place at the HANOVER SQUARE ROOS, on THURSDAY, July 3, at 3 o'clock, assisted by the following
I RANTELLA " at his Matinée, July 5, and at Mr. CHESHIRE's Concert, eminent Artists:
Hanover Square Rooms, July 9.
MISS ELEANOR ARMSTRONG will give an Stails, 10s. 6s. ; Reserved Seats, 58.; Unreserved. 25. 6d. To be had of the principal W EVENING CONCERT, at Hanover Square Rooms, on Tuesday, July 1. To musicsellers, and of Herr Wilhelm Ganz, 15 Queen Anne Street, Cavendish Square, W.
commence at 8 o'clock.
Vocalists: Miss MESSENT, Miss ELEANOR ARMSTRONG, Miss LASCELLES, Mr. GEOROE
PERREN, Mr. SUCHET CHAMPION, and M. DE FONTANER.
Conductors: Mr. FRANK MORI, Herr ADOLPH Ries, and Mr. GEORGE LAKE o announce that her ANNUAL CONCERT will take place on Thursday Evening,
Tickets, 58.; Reserved Seats, 78. 6d. ; Stalls, 10s 6d To be had at Miss Arm.
strong's residence, 36 Osnaburgh Street, Regent's Park; at the Hanover Square Vocalists : Miss Banks and Miss PALMER, Mr. Sims REEVES and Mr. LEWIS THOMAS.
Rooms, and of the principal musicsellers.
UEEN'S CONCERT ROOMS, Hanover Square. Doors open at Seven, commence at a Quarter to Eight. Sofa Stalis, 53., Area and
MR. JOHN CHESHIRE begs to announce that his FIRST MATINEE will Balcony, 2s. 60.; Gallery, Is.
take place at the above rooms on Wednesday, Juuls 9. Tickets to be had at Austin's Ticket Office, Piccadilly; and of Mr. Headland, Vocalists : Miss BANKS, Miss PALMER; Sig. Naprl, and Mr. LEWIS THOMAS. 9 Heathcote Street, W.C.
Pianoforte: Mr. WALTER MACFARREN and Mr. BRADBURY TURNER ; Flute, Mr. R. S. PRATTEN; Harp, Mr. J. BALSIR CHATTEKTON (Harpist to Her Majesty), and Mr.
JOHN CHESHIRE, MRS. JOHN HOLMAN ANDREWS SOIREE of | Tickets and programmes to be had at all the principal musicsellers and of Mr. UT CLASSICAL CHAMBER MUSIC will take place on Wednesday, July 2,
Cheshire, 125 Albany Street, Regent's Park, N.W. ather Residence, 50 B-dford Square.
Tickets, Jos. 6d. each, may be obtained at the Music Warehouses, and of Mrs. Holman Andres.
HANOVER SQUARE ROOMS. – HERR FRANZ
1 ABT (Kapellmeister at the Court of Brunswick), has the honour to announce
that he will give a MATINEE MUSICALE, at the abuve Rooms, on Friday, July 4, M R . H. C. COOPER begs to announce that he wil) | at which the following eminent artists will appear:give a MORNING CONCERT on Thursdar, July 3, 1862, at 15 Grosvenor
Vocalists : Mlle. TITIENS, Mlle. LIEBHARIT, Mlle. ELVIRA BEHRENS, Herr REICH. Street, Grosvenor Square, by the kind permission of Messrs. COLLARD and COLLARD.
ARDT, Herr CARL FORMES.
Pianoforte: Herr ALFRED JAELL and M. RUBINSTEIN.
Violoncello : Herr LIVEL.
Accompanyists · Herr FRANZ ABT and Sig. ALBERTO RANDEGGER.
Reserved Seats, 15s.; Unreserved Seats, 10s. 6d To be had of his publishers, Messrs.
Robert Cocks & Co., New Burlington Street; and at the Rooms ; also at the princi. pal Music Warehouses.
ST. JAMES'S HALL. - MR. BENEDICT has the
DOYAL ACADEMY of MUSIC DINNER. 1862.honour to announce his ANNUAL GRAND MORNING CONCERT on R '
COMMITTEE: Monday next, June 30. To commence at Two.
Messrs. H.C. Banister, Robert Barnett, Professor Sterndale Bennett, Henry Bla. Vocalists : Mlle. TITIKNS, Mlle. TREBELLI, the Sisters MARCHISIO, Miss LOUISA PYNB, Mait. SHERRINGTON, Mlle PAREPA, Mad LEMAIRE, Mlle. GILLIES, Mile. GEOKGI,
grove. Richard Blagrove, J. Balsir Chatterton, F. R. Cox, W. G. Cusins, W. Dorrell. FRAULBIN LIEBHART, Mr. Sims REEVES, Sig BETTINI, Herr REICHARDT, Mr. SANTLEY,
Charles Harper, F. B. Jeu son, Henry Lizarus, Charles Lucas, H C. Luon, G. A. Sig GIRALDONI, M. GASSIER, Sig BELLETTI, Mr. Weiss, and Herr FORMES.
Macfarren, Walter Macfarren, M. Maggio i, George Mount, Ciro Pinsuti, Cipriani Instrumentalists: M. VIVIER, Sig. PIATTI, Mr. BENEDICT, M. ASCHER, Mr. J.
Potter. Kellow Pre. H. Regaldi, Brinler Richards, Proper Sainton, F. Schira, Dr. THOMAS, Mr. AFTOMMAS, and Herr JOACHIM.
Charle Steggall, John Thomas, J. A. Wallworth, W. Watson, and J. Williams. At the Piano'orte: MM. LINDSAY SLOPER, WILHELM GANZ, FRANCESCO BERGER,
WEDNESDAY, July 9, at the Royal Academy of Music (by permission of the RANDEGGER, HAROLD THOMAS, and GEORGE LAKE.
Directors), CHARLES LUCAS, Esq., Principal, in the Chair. The whole of the music composed for the opening of the International Exhibition,
Tickets, One Guinen each To be obtained (by Vouchers only) of Messrs. Addison including the Grand Overture de l'Exposition, en forme de Marche (Meserbeer); In
& Co., 210 Regent Street, Treasurers. auguration Ode (W. Sternidal Benne (); Grand March (Juber); and Cantata (Verdi),
1 Osnaburgh Street, N.W.
WALTER MACFARREN, Hon. Sec. solos by Mile. TITIENS, will be performed by the Full Band and Chorus Vocal Asso.. ciation, numbering 200 Voices.
PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY. - JUBILEE CONConductors : MM. ALFRED MELLON and BENEDICT. Sofa and Balcony Stalls, One Guinea each; Reserved Area or Balcony, j0s. 6d.;
CERT, Monday Evening, July 14, at St. James's Hall. Unreserved Area or Balcony, 58.; Gallery, 3s. May be obtained at the principal Music
Full particula's will be announced in a few days.
ADDISON, HOLLIER & LUCAS, 210 R gent Street, Warehouses, and of Mr. Benedict, 2 Manchester Square.
DRAULEIN LIEBHART will SING at Mr. BENEPHILHARMONIC SOCIETY. - EIGHTH CON IT DICT'S ANNUAL GRAND MORNING CONCERT, Monday, June 30. 1 CERT, on Monday, June 30.
Sinfonia in A minor (Mendelssohn); Concerto, Violin, Mr. BLAGROVE (Spohr); Overture, Egmont (Beethoven); Sinfonia in B, flat (Beethoven); Overture, Pre
MR. SCOTSON CLARK will play his new Mazurka. ciosa (Weber).
"LA MIGNONNE," on Pleyel Woelf & Co.'s Grand Piano at the French Vocal performers: Miles. MARCHISIO,
Court in the Exhibition, THIS DAY.
LERR REICHARDT will sing “A YOUNG AND Street, W.
ARTLESS MAIDEN,' from HOWARD GLOVER's popular operetta of "ONCE
TOO OFTEN," at Mr BENEDICT's Concert. MR. F. PENNA and Mid, PENNA beg to announce IT that their MATINEE MUSICALE will take place at Collards' Rooms, 16 LLE. GEORGI will sing “BY THE SAD SEA Grosvenor Street, Grosvenor Square (by the kind permission of the Messrs. Collard),
WAVES" (Benedict), and the duet "10 RESTO FRA LE LEGKIME" on Friday, July 4, at Thrre o clock precisely.
(Donizetti), with Mr. SANILEY, at Mr. BENEDICT's Concert.
MILLE. GEORGI will sing the Romanza “ DEH NON PRATTEN (Flute), and Mad. PENNA (Pianoforte).
voler COSTRINGERE," from Donizetti's ANNA BOLENA, and Fiori's Conductor : Sig. CAMPANA.
Valse" LA CONTENTEZZA," at Sig. Favilli's Concert, July 2.
MTR. GEORGE PERREN will sing ASCHER's Popular
ong A PTOMMAS'S SIXTH and LAST HARP RECITAL,
Concert, Hanover Square kooms, A on Tuesday, July 8, ar Three o'clock, at 16 Grosvenor Street (hy kind permission of Messrs. Collard).
ERR REICH A R D T will sing his Popular He will play Alvars' " Concertino" (for two Harps) with Mr. CHARLES OBERTHUR :
"CRADLE SONG” (Good Night), at HERR GANZ'S CONCERT, his own "Tarantelle" for two Harps) with Mr. JOHN THOMAS ; a Trio (for Harp, HANOVER SQUARE Rooms. Piano, and Organi) with Messrs. Kohe and ENGEL ; Irish Melodies, &c.; and will be assisted by several eminent vocalists, who will sing Rossini's “ La Charité," with Harps, Ogan, and Piano.
MISS ARABELLA GODDARD begs to inform ber Tickets, 5s. and 10s. 6d. At the Music Shops, and of Mr. Aptommas, 6 Leighton 11 Friends and Pupils that she has REMOVED to No. 26 Upper Wimpole Street, Grove, Kentish Town.
THE HANDEL FESTIVAL.
Saturday, June 21.
The last of the choral rehearsals took place yesterday evening, when nearly 2,000 singers, men and women, met together in Exeter Hall. These included a fair proportion of the " London Contingent," with the best voices from the provincial " delegations "—the flower, it may be said, without any stretch of courtesy towards our country visitors, of the Handel Festival Chorus. The area of the hall, the gallery opposite the orchestra, and the orchestra itself were so completely crowded, that not a vacant nook could be discerned. Nevertheless, the multitude of choristers, ranked in symmetrical order, and seated with the utmost comfort, were able to watch at ease the indications of the conductor's baton, to hear his voice, and profit by his counsels. Mr. Costa's desk was on a low platform, immediately in front of the orchestra, where he could see and be seen by every one—the centre of discipline, whence the vast host of musicians —whose harmony, but for the-rigorous influenco of some dictatorial band, might soon be turned to discord — was controlled. There were no instruments to aid and support the chorus ■, and indeed there would not have been room to lodge a fiddle. The organ was at hand, however, that boast of Exeter Hall, an orchestra in itself, if loudness and harmony are synonymous, and capable, under manipulation less discreet than Mr. Browusmith's, of drowning ten thousand voices. The organ, being happily (or unhappily, as hypercritical spirits insist) a fixture, on this occasion did the work of accompaniment.
The rehearsal was exclusively limited to extracts from the splendid miscellaneous programme drawn up for the second day of the festival — a programme so varied in attraction, and so unexceptionably interesting, as to be a formidable rival even to that qf Monday, devoted to one pieco —"the sacred oratorio " of the Messiah — in juxtaposition with which nothing could well stand its ground. From the Dettingen " Te Deum," Samson, and Judas Maccabaut (each of which contributes its quota to Wednesday's selection) nothing was tried ; and, indeed, nothing greatly needed trial, lor it is notorious that the choral societies of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Norfolk, Warwickshire, Worcester, Hereford, and Gloucester (to name only a few), are just as well acquainted with the music of Handel as any in the capital; and to their chosen singers, it may be readily believed, the familiar masterpieces we have named present no difficulties. An impressive chorus (with solos for contralto)," As from the power of sacred lays," from the Ode on St. Cecilia's Day (a setting of Dryden's poem), comparatively little known — one of them an impressive chorus (" The dead shall live") •, another from Hercules (" Tyrants now no more"), perhaps the least; generally appreciated of Handel's secular works; "Wretched lovers I" (Acis and Galatea), unsurpassed as a combination of the profoundly expressive with the thoroughly picturesque; "Haste thee, nymph" (from the setting of Milton's "Allegro"), with the famous laughing burden, the irresistible effect of which, from an army of voices reckoned in thousands, may be easier imagined than described; the soft and truly Orphean chorus, "May no rash intruder" (the " Nightingale," as it has been nicknamed by its admirers); "From the censer," and " Praise the Lord "—two of those double choruses which place Handel beyond the reach of rivalry, and forced the haughty Beethoven to say, " We are children to him i" "Music, spread thy voice," "Shake the dome" (double chorus), and "Draw the tear from hopeless luve"—an inimitable group of descriptive choral pieces, drawn, like the three just previously named, from the oratorio of Solomon j and last, not least, two compositions as unlike as any two creations of art could possibly be made, having no feature in common but their beauty—viz., " Envy, eldest born of hell," the terrible apostrophe from Saul, and " See, the conquering hero comes I" which has informed the whole world that at least such an oratorio as Joshua exists — were all reheatsed Tho imposing hymn, " Immortal Lord I" (double chorus) from Deborah, which also forms part of Wednesday's uncommonly rich selection, might also have been tried, but was not. The effect of the rehearsals was unanimously declared " unprecedented." This morning a very different ordeal must be braved g but, with the addition of the enormous instrumental band, and with the advantage of the newly constructed orchestra, of which the most competent judges have spoken in terms of unqualified approval, there need be little apprehension about the issue.
Monday, June 23. The result of the grand rehearsal in the Crystal Palace on Saturday, when the whole of the vocal and instrumental performers—about 4,000 in number—were assembled, may be fairly pronounced a triumph. What in 1857 was a mere essay, the experience derived from tho unavoidable defects of which served as a guide to the remarkable modifications of 1859, has now, three years later, been brought to such compara
tive perfection, that the practicability of erecting in the centre transept a permanent structure furnished with all the means and appliances, acoustical and otherwise, indispensable to the complete efficiency of an orchestra devoted to choral and instrumental performances on a scale of exceptional magnitude, is no longer matter of speculation. With the process through which this desirable result has been obtained our readers have, step by step, been made acquainted. Nothing, indeed, remains for us to add to what has already been stated, except the fact of the unequivocal success of the undertaking. The Handel orchestra, with its solid roof and lateral enclosures, is now a substantial thing—no longer a dream, but a reality.
The rehearsal began considerably later than was announced, owing to the non-arrival of many of the vocal and instrumc ntal executants, who, it would appear, had trusted too implicitly in the punctual departure from London and arrival at Sydenham of the railroad trains. About a quarter to twelve, however, the impatience of the crowds that filled the area of the centre transept, and were scattered with irregular degrees of density in and about the adjacent galleries, was allayed by the sound of our National Anthem, which, at a sign from M. Costa's baton, was struck up by the band and echoed by the chorus. Then followed, in immediate succession, three of the noblest chorus pieces from The Messiah—"For unto us a child is born," "Hallelujah," and "Amen." These, most probably, had been included in the scheme with the object of testing at once and in a convincing manner the actual strength of the 4,000 singers and players, and the acoustical capacity of the orchestra since the alterations, which have given it its present imposing and substantial aspect. If such was the case, there was good cause for satisfaction. The "consummation" so "devoutly to be wished" has .apparently been reached with signal felicity, inasmuch as the chosen choruses from the sacred oratorio — perhaps the most impressive in the whole work — never sounded more majestic and sublime.
As it would, of course, be out of place to criticise a rehearsal — even a public rehearsal, like the one under notice, the programme of which was made as attractive as possible, by the introduction not only of the most popular choruses, but the most popular airs and duets that could be thought of—we shall merely note down, with here and there, a word or two of paasing comment, the pieces that were respectively gone through. A large majority were taken from the miscellaneous programme, which invests the performance of thoBecond day (Wednesday) with such an extraordinary degree of interest. All the familiar pieces comprised in this selection are popular favourites; while those less familiar are in every instance master-works, only requiring to be as well known to enlist unanimous sympathy—to obtain, indeed, as wide a cele« brity as that enjoyed by the best of their more fortunate companions. Tn begin with these i first, and among the most noteworthy, was a fragt ment from the Ode on St. Cecilia's Day — a slow chorus interspersed with solos, for soprano ("As from the power of sacred lays"), succeeded by a fugued chorus, in somewhat quicker time, "The dead shall live, the living die." The introduction of such a truly noble composition is alone enough to confer distinction on the programme. To Mile. Titiens are allotted the solos, which afford ample occasion for the display of her magnificent voice; and wo are much mistaken if the interest awakened by this revival does not create a desire among the lovers of Handel's music to hoar the whole of St. Cecilia's Day. Next in order, and by no means inferior in merit, was a ehorus from Hercules—"Tyrants now no more shall dread "—vigorous and dignified throughout, and marked by progressions that reveal a dramatic instinct in Handel, which owing, perhaps, to the transcendant qualities of his purely sacred music, has been overlooked by all but those who have been able to devote a special study to his genius. The programme of Wednesday is welcome, if only on account of the opportunity it affords of rescuing from unmerited oblivion such things as these. Where now can Hercules be heard entire ? — where the Ode on St. Cecilia's Day f Nowhere, alas I —and yet, as we have shown, they both contain passages that may be placed side by side with the most remarkable in Handel* unlorgatten works. Among the pieces with which the present generation is better acquainted, and which, nevertheless, are still unhacknied, was the declamatory air from Alexander's Feast —" Revenge, Timotheus cried"— set down for Sig. Belletti. The second movement of this, to the words,—
"Behold a ghastly band,
These are Grecian ghosts, that In battle were slain,
conveys another even more striking example of Handel's descriptive and dramatic power. A third instance—the bass air (Mr. Weiss), with chorus, from "L'Allegro,"—
"" Haste thee, nymph, and bring with thee,
exhibits an unsuspected side of it—viz. the comic. Nor Mozart, nor j Boieldieu, nor Rossini, nor Auber, nor any composer of "opera | buffa" has left a more animated and mirth-compelling strain. The inexhaustible fertility, indeed, of Handel's inventive faculty, its singular variety and almost unlimited appliance, are set forth in Wednesday's programme with a success to warrant a belief that its compilers, in making it out, had some such purpose in view. From Dryden and Milton we pass to Gay, whose Acis and Galatea furnished the grand musician with a subject for the most genial and exquisite of his secular pieces. The delicate air of Galatea, "Hush, ye pretty warbling choir" (Mad.Lemmens-Sherrington); the pearl of all present (and future?) amatory ditties, that rapturous apostrophe of Acis to the nymph of his adoration, "Love in her eyes sits playing" (Mr. Sims Reeves); and, last not least, the eloquent, pathetic, and (again) most dramatic chorus, in which the peasants simultaneously lament the imminent destiny of the "star-crossed" pair, and quail before the approach of the monster Polypheine—the inimitable "wretched lovers "—are the excerpts, from this pastoral of pastorals, which enrich the selection and equal in genuine attraction any other features. All these (all the pieces, in short, we have named and shall name) were tried on Saturday, and left no doubt as to the result. We should have wished the boisterous lovesong of Polyphemus (" Oh, ruddier than the cherry ") added—if only in contrast to that gentle one of Acis; but "enough is as good as a feast," and to crowd a whole cycle of music into a single programme is simply out of the question. If Madame de Stael said of Napoleon I. that "he was not a man but a system," what might she have said (had she been capable of understanding him) of Handel? The extracts from Solomon alone — the most gorgeous and oriental of his oratorios, the most wonderful combination of sacred and secular ever invented by poet, painter, or musician — would have immortalised an ordinary man. These comprise the double choruses, "From the censer," and "Praise the Lord," — the first a triumph of the secular, the last of the sacred style; the choruses descriptive of the "Passions" —" Music, spread thy voice," "Shake the dome," "Draw the tear from hopeless love," and "Thus rolling surges rise," with which Solomon entertains the Queen of Sheba (solos by Mad. Sainton-Dolby, the recognised "Solomon" at Exeter Hall); and the delicious cpitbalamium, "May no rash intruder" (in the accompaniment to which Handel, taken with a prc-Handelite fit of minute detail, aims at counterfeiting the "Nightingale "). With the single exception of "Praise the Lord," all these were rehearsed ("May no rash intruder," with the first performance of which Mr. Costa was by no means satisfied, twice), to the manifest delight of the assembled "20,000," whose appetite for musical sounds appeared insatiable, and who, with obstinate persistance, succeeded in persuading the not easily yielding conductor to repeat two pieces. "Let the bright Seraphim " (Samson—sung by Mile. Titiens, with trumpet obbligato by Mr. T. Harper), and " See the conquering hero comes " (Joshua — solo trio by MesdamesTitiens, Sherrington, and Sainton), were thus distinguished; and, had the music-devouring multitude been encouraged, some others would have had equally to be given twice, and especially "Love in her eyes," by Mr. Sims Reeves, whose appearance in the orchestra was hailed with acclamations. Besides what we have mentioned, the air, "Return, O God of Hosts" (Mad. Sainton), with its choral pendant "To dust his glory they would tread," and the soaring and magnificent "Let their celestial concerts all unite" (which, with "Let the bright Seraphim," completed the extracts from the oratorio of Samson); "Immortal Lord" (Deborah), a chorus in grandeur rarely surpassed even by Handel; the soprano air, "So shall the lute," from Judas Maccabeus (Mad. Lemmens-Sherrington); and " O, had I Jubal's lyre," from Joshua (Mile. Titiens); together with the choruses, "He spake the word," and "He gave them hailstones," the choral recitative, "He sent a thick darkness," and the obstreperous (and popular) duct for basses, "The Lord is a man of war" (Sig. Bclletti and Mr. Weiss), were tried—the last-mentioned, late as it came in the day, exciting in the minds of a vast number of the audience a desire for the repetition that seldom fails to accompany it at the concerts in Exeter Hall. Mr. Costa, however,—who, with the singers and players under his control, must by this time have been nigh exhausted—very properly turned a deaf ear to the suggestion; and the rehearsal terminated, as it had begun, with the National Anthem, after — allowing for the interval between the first and second parts, during which the interior of the Crystal Palace wore the aspect of a gigantic " restaurant"—something like five hours of unremitting "work." If the audience was not as tired out as the singers, Mr. Costa, and the players, it is matter for surprise, inasmuch as the labour of hearing, under such circumstances, must, long before the conclusion, have been just as trying and difficult as that of performing.
To conclude, the rehearsal has inspired unanimous confidence in the musical success of the Festival, which, there can be little doubt, will
far and in every respect excel its predecessors of 1857 and 1859. It is scarcely requisite to add that it begins to-day, at 1 o'clock precisely, with The Messiah; that on Wednesday the miscellaneous performance will take place; and that on Friday the Festival winds up with the incomparable Israel in Egypt—the oratorio of the plagues and miracles, the delivery, the Exodus, and the thanksgiving.
Tuesday, June 24. The Messiah inaugurated the Handel Festival yesterday morning in the most brilliant manner. Between 15,000 and 16,000 persons were comfortably seated shortly after the performance had began, and never, perhaps, has the great centre transept of the Crystal Palace presented a more gay and animated appearance. The weather was most propitious — a matter of real importance on such festive occasions, when thousands meet together for the purpose of enjoyment, inasmuch as if they arrive at their destination in comfort they are all the more disposed to appreciate with hearty unanimity the treat in store for them. To hear The Messiah under such conditions as those of yesterday is a very different thing from hearing it in the atmosphere of a close and heated room. We think we may safely say that, though the oratorio did not terminate till at least one hour later than had been anticipated (5 o'clock instead of 4), no one felt in the least fatigued, no one at all regretted the four hours (allowing for the interval between the parts) spent in listening to so unprecedentcdly fine a performance of the grandest of sacred oratorios. And, certainly, the immortal masterpiece of Handel, take it for all in all, was, without exaggeration, never at any time within our experience so nobly executed as yesterday. The orchestra, now — after so many experiments, such earnest and diligent enquiry — thoroughly completed, has more than answered expectation. It is not so much that the volume of sound has increased — there was, indeed, no want of that — as that, by a most ingenious expedient, the concentration of sound has been insured. Thus, while the extensive reverberation formerly complained of is almost wholly done away with, we have, in place of it, a sharpness of definition and clearness of detail, permitting each separate part of the vocal and instrumental score to be easily and distinctly recognised. In an oratorio like The Messiah, which abounds in elaborate fugal writing, this is of the utmost consequence; and yesterday the marked improvement was the subject of general comment.
To invent words for a new description of The Messiah, under whatever conditions it may be given, is somewhat difficult, every part of the oratorio being more or less familiar to musical — and, indeed, to a large majority of non-musicul readers. Such an execution as that of yesterday in the Crystal Palace, however, could scarcely fail to offer new points for comment; and, indeed, were the space available, we might fill columns with a description of it. Not that it was faultless — that would be overstating the truth ; but that there was the freshness about it to distinguish it altogether from ordinary performances, even from the best at the great country music-meetings, and at the concerts of the Sacred Harmonic Society — the best of the best. The tone of the fiddles, in giving out and answering the fugal subject of the overture (second movement), was unprecedented in vigorous sonority. Then the brightness of the soprano voices, leading off the chorus, "And the glory of the Lord;" the multitudinous clamour of •' He shall purify the sons of Levi " — where every part is important, and which the occasional "dragging" of the basses alone prevented from being irreproachable ; and the precision, closeness, and energy which marked from end to end the delivery of that most picturesque chorus, "For unto us a child is born," alternately aroused attention, and, as one succeeded another, more and more deeply impressed all hearers. The superb execution of this last, indeed, was the theme of universal praise; not only with which all the preceding and intervening sentences were taken up — and not the least admirable, the emphatic enunciation, by the tenors, for the climax at "Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace," but for the crispness and delicacy of the passage, "And the government shall be upon His shoulder." The boisterous demand for a repetition of this chorus not being acceded to by Mr. Costa, a large portion of the "Pastoral Symphony" — descriptive of "the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night" through which George III. declared he "could see the stars shining") — was entirely lost. The choruses of the second part, The Passion — though simpler, yet grander than Bach's profound and elaborate treatment of the subject—were no less finely given. "Behold the Lamb of God," " Surely He hath borne our griefs," "And with His stripes we are healed "—surpassing instances of pathos and sublimity; "All we like sheep have gone astray "—that wonderfully spirited and continuous movement, arraigned by shallow critics as an undignified piece of word-painting, while it is, in fact, as strictly appropriate to the text as any of the series of which it forms a component part, and from which is virtually inseparable; and " The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all," with its stately, long, and measured phrase, as noble an example of full harmony as "And with His stripes" of fugue—one and all created an impression not to be effaced. Equally good but for the fact of the bass voices being rather overweighted and disturbed than aided and supported by the big and loud brass instruments, placed in the midst—no doubt with a view of keeping them in countenance—would have been " He trusted in God," which, as far as music can. convey what is presumed to be the exclusive privilege of words, is an expression of the deepest irony and scorn, "Lift up your heads," with its obstinately reiterated burden, " Who is the King of Glory?" was one of the brightest, clearest, and most splendid choral exhibitions of the day; while, singular enough, the clamorous outburst of the assembled nations, " Let us break their bonds asunder "—which, on account of its peculiar rhythm and almost (not to speak it profanely) vnvocal intervals, is invariably more or less of a failure—was given, as the phrase is, " without a hitch." One of the most characteristic choruses of the second part—" The Lord gave the word, great was the company of the preachers "—was unaccountably, and, as we cannot but think, in questionable taste, omitted. The culminating point, however, the chorus of choruses, the unequalled and magnificent "Hallelujah"—at the first familiar phrase of which, according to immemorial habit, the whole of the vast assembly rose—eclipsed everything that had gone before, and made us forget all about " the company of the preachers," all shortcomings, all objections, all criticism. This colossal hymn, and its almost equal in sublimity, while superior in complex, ingenious, and elaborate contrivance—" Worthy is the Lamb," with the stupendous "Amen," in which harmony towers above harmony, until the ear is perplexed and the mind absorbed in admiration at the genius that could conceive such n work, and with unflagging vigour and unexhausted invention climax it with such a chorus—were incontestably the "triumphs" of the day. To compare any performance of " Hallelujah" and "Worthy is the Lamb " with that of yesterday at the Crystal Palace is out of the question. It is a peculiarity of Handel that his compositions for the greater part, and especially his choruses, instead of losing, gain by accumulation of executive means; and never was this truth more thoroughly established than on the present occasion, when nearly 4,000 performers, vocal and instrumental, were engaged.
The solo singing was unexceptionable. The soprano music was shared between Miss Parepa, who took the first part, including the florid air, " Rejoice greatly," and Mlle. Titiens, who, in " How beautiful are the feet" and "I know that my Redeemer liveth," raised the audience to enthusiasm. The bass music was divided between Signor Belletti and Mr. Weiss, practised adepts in the Handclian school. Signor Belletti most particularly shone in the recitative and air, " The people that walked in darkness," to which Mozart's additional accompaniments impart such wonderful interest, and the "Trumpet shall sound," in which the obbligato accompaniment of Mr. T. Harper was, as usual, two conspicuous feature. Mr. Weiss produced an immense effect in "Why do the nations so furiously rage together?"— to which his noble voice is peculiarly suited. The contralto was Mad. Sainton-Dolby, whose "He was despised," was, as it rarely fails to be, a masterpiece of pathos, and who in the tranquil and lovely pastoral, "He shall feed his flock," was admirably supported by Miss Parepa. The whole of the tenor part was allotted to Mr. Sims Reeves, to share it with whom would not be an enviable task. Mr. Reeves has seldom thrown more devotional fervour into "Comfort ye, my people," more fire into •' Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron," or given the fluently melodious " But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell " with chaster sentiment. His greatest effort, nevertheless, was the Passion-music, his delivery of which reached the ideal of expression.
To-morrow will be devoted to the miscellaneous selection, which has created so extraordinary a degree of interest in consequence of its exhibiting Handel as a composer of secular no less than of sacred music — an innovation that promises the happiest results.
Thursday, June 26. The second day began, as it ended — in triumph. Nothing more imposing could have been selected to head the miscellaneous programme than " We praise Thee, O God," from the "Te Deum" composed in 1743 for the victory of Dettingen. It was, moreover, in all respects well rendered—the full rich tone of the immense body of altos, in the opening of the movement, "All the earth doth worship Thee," the Bonorous rejoinder of the basses (" Father Everlasting"), and the fortissimo with which the united vocal and instrumental host delivered the entire sentence, being especially worth notice. The extracts from Samson (written two years in anticipation of the "Te Deum ") commenced with "Return, O God of Hosts," the tranquil character of
which contrasted effectively with what had gone before. To this, and to the solos interspersed throughout the plaintive chorus (in the minor key)—"To dust his glory they would tread"—which is its pendant Mad. Sainton-Dolby, with her pure "devotional" voice, did all possible, justice. The whole, indeed, was admirable. "Let the bright Seraphim," —that brilliant apostrophe to the " Cherubic host," in which the obbligato trumpet plays so conspicuous and appropriate a part, came after the foregoing with exceeding brightness. This was sung with astonishing energy by Mile. Titiens, whose high tones, penetrating everywhere, rivalled the clearness and sonority of Mr. T. Harper's trumpet. So enraptured were the audience, that, at the end of the first part, without waiting for the second, they unanimously demanded a repetition, which was instantly accorded by Mr. Costa. At the "repeat," Mile. Titiens restored the omitted portion. The magnificent chorus, "Let their celestial concerts all unite"—a continuation of the air, carrying out its poetical intention with the thousand-voiced energy of the choir, was also nobly executed. The difficulty is to imagine any other climax to Samson than this superb and graphic peroration. The capital war-song in which Harapha the Philistine expresses his contempt for the Israelitish champion, although extremely well given by Sig. Belletti, a thorough master of the florid style, by the side of it was comparatively tame. It could hardly have been otherwise, even with a better singer than the Italian basso—supposing a better could be found.
Judas Maccabeus, written to celebrate the victory of Culloden and the discomfiture of the Stuarts (frequently styled the "Jewish Oratorio"), contributed the next items to this remarkable programme. The selection opened with "0, Father, whose almighty power"—the petition of the Jews for a chieftain to conduct their wars. Not a fault could be found with this, the most characteristic feature of which—as far as the delivery went—was the passage,
"And grant a leader bold and brave,'
with its emphatic reiteration of the first line—a striking example of Handel's genius in the picturesque employment of counterpoint. To Judas Maccabaeus, who responds to the vows of his compatriots, the composer of the Messiah has allotted " Sound an Alarm"—perhaps the boldest war-song ever imagined. The glorious voice and dramatic energy of Mr. Sims Reeves have, for years, been inseparably connected with this, in its style, unequalled air, with which no one but himself in the memory of the present generation has been able successfully to cope. Mr. Reeves at the Handel Festival means always Mr. Reeves, proud of his laurels, anxious to retain, and, if possible, to add to them. This was proved, for the third time, yesterday, when " Sound an Alarm" proceeded from his lips with as much enthusiasm as if he had been the veritable "Judas" urging on his followers to victory or death. Nothing could have led up more vigorously to the climax, " We hear, we hear," where the people respond with acclamations to the martial ardour of their champion. The solo and chorus, as inspiriting as ever, produced their wonted effect, and brought down a storm of applause. To encore so long and elaborate a piece was of course out of the question.
To Judas succeeded Saul—an oratorio composed eight years earlier. Saul was finished in September 1738, three days before the commencement of the immortal Israel in Egypt—or rather of the "Song of Moses'' (Exodus), which now forms its second and concluding part. From Saul was taken one of the most wonderfully graphic of all the Handelian choruses, " Envy, el .lest born of hell," which contains a passage,
"Hide thee in the blackest night.
expressive and significant enough to expel the demon of "envy" from the soul of whomsoever, not wholly callous, it might possess, and radically cure him of the fatal passion. The execution of this tremendous apostrophe may be cited among the most immaculate efforts of the "4,000." The renowned " Dead March" which followed, completing the excerpts from Saul, was indescribably touching and solemn—the more so on account of its immediate juxtaposition with a piece so opposed to it in character. The band played the march to perfection, the wind instruments and the big drums of Mr. Chipp being delicately and gratefully subdued in the softer passages; while those marked forte were, in another sense, equally impressive, because never obstreperous. This unexccptionally interesting first part concluded with the solo and chorus (or, rather, chorus with solos), "As from the power of sacred lays"—from the setting of Dryden's Ode on St. Cecilia's Day—to which we particularly called attention in our report of the rehearsal. Mile. Titiens gave the solos, if possible, with still greater purity and splendour of vocal tone than on the former occasion, producing a marked impression in the passage,
"The trumpet shall be heard'oo high," at the end,of which jihe sustained,Muring; several bars, a high " A,'