Page images
PDF
EPUB

devoted his life to a diligent study of the works of that wonderful genius-Monsieur Verdi. Certainly Verdi is a very great man; he has founded a school-the claptrap school of music! There is a great deal of talk about "the Age" just now. Some call it the age of Iron; some, the age of Paper; some, the age of Bronze. Were I to give it a name, I should call it the "Age of Noise." Noise, noise, everywhere-from the heights of Sevastopol, to the boards of La Fenice. The highest praise that can be bestowed upon the crack scholar of a public school is the magniloquent prophecy-" That's a fine boy! one of these days he will make a noise in the world!" But nowhere have the disastrous influences of this all-pervading feature of the present age been more apparent than in its effect upon that science, which is called, "the Science of Sounds," but which bids fair ere long to become the Art of Noise."

[ocr errors]

The story of Signor Appolloni's opera is taken from Bulwer's novel, "Leila; or the Siege of Grenada." The argument is briefly this:

Issachar is a Jew; has a daughter named Leila, in love with Adel Muza, a general in the army of Boabdil el Chico, king of the Moors. Said Issachar betrays the Moorish king to Ferdinand of Arragon, and leaves his daughter in the Spanish camp as a pledge of his fidelity. Leila becomes a convert to Christianity, and Issachar, happening, by one of those inconvenient chances common to operas, to be prowling about the Christian tents just as she is about being baptized, rushes in, and in the midst of an uproar perfectly indescribable, considerately stabs her to the heart-thus putting an end to her sufferings and those of the audience together. Of course the Odalisques, composing the harem of Boabdil el Chico, divert that monarch by dances. An Opera is nothing now-a-days without an interpolated ballet; which being generally performed by a set of incapables, who dare not appear in the regular ballet for fear of being hissed off the stage, is particularly agreeable and æsthetic in the highest degree. Of course Adel Muza sings a serenade behind the scenes. The part of the said Adel Muza was performed by Signor NIGRINI, the only individual on the stage whose voice was audible, except at intervals. How hoarse he must have been after the opera was over, I shudder to think! Of course Issachar curses his daughter upon discovering her affection for the Moorish general. It is the regular thing. Basso fathers always curse their daughters; it shows off the low notes. Of course Leila sings a bravura song after she has been mortally wounded. Of course there is a mysterious chorus of conspirators under ground. One could'nt be let off from that; it made too great a hit in Ernani. For the same reason it was imperatively necessary that the troops of the king of Arragon sbould march upon the stage, accompanied by a crashing, clashing, thundering military band, at the entrance of which I heard an unfortunate Frenchman behind me exclaim, "Mon Dieu, quel tapage!" O dear, it makes my head ache to think of it! Of course the orchestra drowned the singers upon every possible occasion. Of course the basso was inaudible-the prima donna spasmodic. Poor BARBIERI-NINI! how she struggled, and screamed, and threw up those ridiculous arms of hers in vain attempts to appear young and graceful! Of course every act closed in inexpressible noise and confusion.

Ah! the blessing of coming out into quiet moonlit Venice, and listening to the plash of the oars of the soft-rocking gondolas, after all that noise and glare! O, beautiful are those moonlight nights in Venice, and sweet is the sound of the Vesper chimes across the sea; -but never seems the white moonlight so soft and pure, and never is the sound of the Vesper bell so sadly sweet, as when the head is ringing, and the eyes swimming with the uproar and confusion of a modern opera!

There is one branch of music cultivated in Italy, which is sadly neglected everywhere else where I have ever been*- that of chiming bells. O how soft, how clear, how rich, how beautiful they are! especially in Venice, where they sound amid that ghostly silence, across the sleeping sea. In Genoa they are beautifully clear; in Pisa wonderfully wild and deep; in Milan, soft and melancholy; but nowhere are they so lovely as in that strange, sea-girt city of silence, where they seem to sing an everlasting requiem for splendors dead, and for

* Has our fair correspondent never been in England?

power and glory forever passed away! Listening one night to their wild music, I fancied I could trace the notes which suggested to BEETHOVEN that wondrous strain with which his last and greatest Symphony opens. Indeed that whole Symphony is full of the sound of bells. And so I have wandered home again, like a stray sheep, from Verdi and his clattering crew to Beethoven.

Poor Beethoven! how he would grieve could he hear the so-called music, which is now rife in Vienna, within hearing of the spot where his ashes rest.

O that miserable Don Giovanni at Vienna! How it was murdered! How the audience talked and chattered; how the orchestra-one trumpet excepted-went one way, and the singers another; while the trumpet aforesaid squeaked and howled entirely independent of both! How STRAUSS, Jr. played MENDELSSOHN'S Scherzo from the "Midsummer Night's Dream," to an accompaniment of talking, drinking, clattering of glasses and rattling of spoons, which would have driven the least musical frequenter of Liebig's raving mad! J. went off in a perfectly incoherent rage. I didn't mind it-it only made me laugh-until the Scherzo came; then I grew desperately angry certainly. Poor Beethoven! it is well he sleeps. No sound can awake him now. Better so.

I am afraid the Viennese are hopeless. Verdi is better than Strauss, at all events. However, the military music in Austria is irreproachable. The most beautiful brass bands 1 ever heard, I heard in Prague, Venice and Milan. The band which used to play on Thursdays in the Piaza San Marco, belonged to a Hungarian regiment, and played Mazurkas and Chardaschis in the most exquisite style. The music of the Hungarian dances is of the most enlivening character. Far different from the Russian music, in which there is always a hidden wail-however quick the movement may be. It is an oft repeated remark that the music of slaves is always sad.

I fear I am transcending your patience-so about an opera which 1 heard in the Carlo Felice, at Genoa, another time. I remain, truly yours,

[ocr errors]

Musical Chit-Chat.

The Courier des Etats Unis, (which, by the way, is one of the most agreeable journals in the country,) has been publishing some very pleasant feuilletons on Contemporary Celebrities," by M. Eugène de Mirevoix. From a very entertaining paper on SCRIbe, we extract this amusing sketch of the way in which the modern opera marries its perfect music" unto "noble words." It would be wrong, says Mirevoix, to suppose that music and poetry, these harmonious sisters, live on good terms with each other. Music rules poetry with a rod of iron, she maltreats her, clips her wings, cuts and slashes her, like a very Cinderella, till the poor thing has to run away and give place to vile prose, who puts on the spoils of the fugitive, and marches about like one of Macbeth's witches in the robe of a Muse.

Your great musician wants no poet, but rather a prose writer with a "Rhyming dictionary" under his arm, who will dock off his verses or spin them out at the maestro's sovereign will and pleasure. By working with Cherubini, Meyerbeer, Boildieu, Rossini, Herold, Auber, and Carafa, Scribe has earned a round million of money: but that is really poor pay for the tortures to which those gentlemen have put him.

He used to say of Meyerbeer: "Confound him, he treats me like a she-ass! "

His hair has grown grey at this work, for he generally has to destroy on one day all that he had done the day before, and so on to the end of the chapter. Here," Meyerbeer would say to him, turning down a leaf of the libretto, "here, we must have a ballad!" Very well!" answers Scribe. In what mea

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

sure?"

"I should like octosyllabic verses, of four lines in a verse."

Scribe goes to work, writes the ballad and sends it to the Maestro, who sends it back with a note:

"These four-lined verses are absurd, I want ten syllables to a line, to suit my music.”

It was a long piece of business they were upon, and as Scribe was a maker of metre, he must submit. He works over the ballad once, twice, twenty times, consumes a whole week at the work, and when he hands it to Meyerbeer is gratified at seeing it torn to pieces.

"What the devil is this! What made you imagine we wanted a ballad here?"

"I! I! why you imagined it!"

"Did I? Well then, we have made a mistake!" Again, meeting Scribe on the boulevard, and taking his arm, Meyerbeer whispers mysteriously"I had a splendid idea, last evening, for an opera!"

"Yes! What was it?"

"I should like to have all the chief persons brought together in the fourth act, so as to have a Septuor!" "The first But that's impossible!" cries Scribe. three acts are already written. When you want such a situation as that, you must prepare the way for it from the beginning."

"Oh! of course! It's a tremendous thing to write it all over! But my Septuor! I must have the Sep

tuor!"

"Well! well! I will arrange it," says Scribe, with a sigh.

He gave six weeks to retouching the play. Meyerbeer took the libretto, kept it three years, and then handed it back to his friend: "On the whole, after reflecting upon the matter, I think our septuor won't do!" I prefer a monologue!"

For the third time the whole piece must be recast! That day Scribe thought seriously of suicide.

All the other composers have treated him in like manner. Auber cutting the sense of a strophe clean in two, Boildieu inverting the rhymes, and putting prosody to the rack, Hérold dislodging the cæsuras, and Carafa recklessly swelling a hexameter into fourteen feet.

The friend who has kindly furnished us the following extract from a letter from the sculptor, CRAWFORD, and who ought to know, assures us that the Statue of BEETHOVEN, intended for the Boston Music Hall, is an original work, and not a copy from the one in Bonn, (!) as lately stated in some of the papers. "It was finished two months ago. A musical fête' is to be held at Munich, in honor of the event of the Statue's going to America. The Statue will be taken to the Odeon, placed upon a proper pedestal, and receive a certain inauguration by having some of Beethoven's finest works performed for the occasion. This has been already announced in the Augsburg Gazette, and will create quite a sensation. The Statue will be sent, immediately after the cere mony, to Bremen, and thus reach Boston in the summer."

It is unnecessary to point out the absurdity of the idea, that a man of Mr. Crawford's fertility of imagination would set himself to work to make a copy of a modern German statue; and the still greater absurdity of supposing that an artist would receive such a commission from any person or persons. Mr. Crawford made four or five sketches for this statue before fixing upon one which satisfied him. They were very different one from the other, and none of them in the least resembling the Statue in Bonn.

Our old friend CARL BERGMANN walked into our sanctum yesterday, as fresh as life. He had come by lightning train from Chicago, sick enough of the West, and is engaged to conduct the last of the Phil harmonic concerts for this season in New York, on the 21st instant, in place of Mr. EISFELD, who, we grieve to learn, is seriously ill. If Boston does not mean to yield its favorite conductor up to New York, Boston music-lovers must be stirring. Meanwhile

we congratulate the Philharmonic.-Mr. WILLIAM SCHULTZE sailed last week for Europe, to revisit his friends in Germany. He intends to return to us in about three months.

English papers state that Sir HENRY R. BISHOP, husband of ANNA BISHOP, and composer of all those fine glees and English operas, is now living in a state of indigence, at the advanced age of three-score ten and odd. This, if true, is justly made a matter of reproach to so musical a country.

GUSTAV SATTER, whose piano-playing is just

now all the talk, was born at Vienna in February, 1831, and is consequently but twenty-four years old. His father is a distinguished physician there, and he too would have been trained to that profession, but that his ruling passion, Music, battled hard against it, and with the aid of friends, prevailed. He had a very early love of the music of Mozart and Beethoven, and studied hard, even trying his hand at the composition of Sonatas, &c. The last time that LISZT played in Vienna. in 1846, our young pianist was inspired to new exertions, and practised with an assiduity that nothing but a severe illness could suspend. After the Revolution in '48, he visited France, England, Ireland, Belgium, and the principal cities of Germany, studying the compositions and the styles of playing of the renowned pianists. In Paris he made the acquaintance of CHOPIN, whose influence strengthened him in the determination to study to express the poetry of music, rather than to perform mere feats of miraculous execution. In 1851 he began his public career by the production of a Mass, Graduale, and Offertorium of his own composition, in the St. Charles Church in Vienna. Indeed he seems to have been extremely enterprising in early efforts at original composition. His first concert as a pianist was given in Vienna, on the 16th of May, in the same year, with a programme entirely of his own works, including, 1. Overture to "Julius Cæsar," for orchestra; 2. Trio, for piano, violin and 'cello; 3. Fantasia on the Prophète; 4. Overture to Schiller's "Ode to Joy." This successful debut was followed by concerts in Gratz, Klagenfurt, Laibach (where the Philharmonic Society gave him the honorary diploma), Trieste and Venice. A second visit to Paris was cut short by the imprisonment of his father for participation in the revolution in Vienna. In the year 1853-4 he composed a variety of works, both in classical and smaller forms, which were published in Vienna and met with a large sale. In the Summer he gave his farewell concert in Vienna, at which he played Beethoven's Sonata appassionata, Liszt's transcription of the "Tell" overture, and his own fantasia on the Freyschütz, and left Europe in September last for New York, where he has remained entirely quiet and unheralded, until his recent debut in the concert of the Philharmonic Society.

Dwight's Journal of Music.

BOSTON, APRIL 7, 1855.

Mr. Gustav Satter's Concert. The assembly at Chickering's on Monday evening, though of the most appreciative, was not so numerous as it should have been. This was in a measure owing, no doubt, to the freezing blast which swept through all our streets so violently all that day and night, and which even beleagured the concert room, rattling the windows and moaning round the house with a wild and crazy sort of music, that vied in noise with the noisiest passages

of the Liszt fantasia within. Doubtless too, it had its exasperating effect on the nerves of the young artist, lashing him into a more furious fortissimo and a more lightning-like velocity toward the conclusion of several of his pieces, sufficiently exciting in themselves. But it was nevertheless a very delightful and successful concert. The programme was remarkable, introducing the audience to more of the notable piano compositions, that were wholly new to them, than almost any concert that we can remember. It was indeed purely a piano-forte concert, no other instrument or voice intervening, except the strings in a single Trio. But with MOZART, BEETHOVEN, SCHUBERT, SCHUMANN, CHOPIN, LISZT, for composers, with so accomplished a virtuoso for interpreter, and so telling and tractable an instrument as that last noble Grand of the Messrs. Chickering, to do his bidding, there was spiritually and materially enough for a rare feast of Art.

Mr. Satter's playing satisfied us best that evening in the first two pieces. The first was in the Eb Trio of FRANZ SCHUBERT, which he played

with the brothers FRIES. This is the last of Schubert's two Trios, his hundredth work, written but soon before his early death, (Nov. 1828.) The other, in Bb, (which was intended to be given, and was so set down in the programme,) is supposed to have been written shortly before, and was posthumously brought to light. That is graceful, tender, dreamy in its character; but this more fiery and impetuous. Especially so the first movement, which is full of short, decided rhythms, in full chords, giving fine scope for the strong and crisp staccato of Mr. Satter, who certainly played it with the utmost neatness, clearness, and emphatic accent. The Adagio, too, is a deep, solemn, march-like movement, full of marvellous surprises in modulation, and surcharged with that strange magnetism, (as indeed the Allegro also,) with which Schubert's music seizes upon you almost as remarkably as Beethoven's. The Finale, in grandeur of sentiment, somewhat disappoints; it opens with a Haydn-like cheerfulness, and runs out to great length, with a continual return by all possible processes of modulation of a very bright and pleasing theme, which sang as sweet as silver bells in the exquisite upper octaves of that piano. The whole composition, however, is extremely interesting, and abounds with every variety of image and expression, (save that it has scarcely any slow cantabile,) so that Mr. Satter's mastery in execution and interpretation was displayed to the highest advantage. Schumann says of the Eb Trio, that it is more active, manly, and dramatic, while that in Bb on the contrary is passive, feminine, and lyrical.

[ocr errors]

rogeneously by the Coronation March from the Prophéte, a very brilliant and orchestrally crowded arrangement of Mr. Satter's own, which he made extremely effective.

Then came the grand piece of the evening, the Sonata appassionata of BEETHOVEN, in F minor, op. 57. SCHINDLER, in his life of the composer, says: "I asked him one day for a key to the two Sonatas, op. 57, and the one in D minor, op. 29, and he replied: read Shakspeare's Tempest.'" They certainly are alike in atmosphere and feeling, and are such music as one could fitly hear while reading or remembering the "Tempest." But the other is in a more gentle, graceful, feminine vein (we wish Mr. Satter would play it at his next Soirée); this, as its name denotes, is fiery, and impassioned to the last degree, a most exciting piece to play, or listen to. We thought the first movement was superbly executed, and it is immensely rapid, difficult and crowded. You feel all the lightnings and commotions of the elements in its wild and

angry onsweep, and its fitful pauses; and every little episode suggests the mingling of human tenderness with imaginations marvellous and awe-inspiring. The Andante, with its deep, wise, solemn theme, in manly, low chords, (Prospero, shall we fancy ?), and its naturally evolving variations, might, it seemed to us, have been made more impressive; we could not feel sure that feeling and conception quite kept pace with execution there; and the wild, wind-like finale Presto was taken so extremely fast, although with perfect evenness and exactness, that the outline was hard to seize; besides that in strength, in vehemence, in loudness, it seemed also somewhat overdone. We could not but feel too, on the other hand, that some of the finer passages were treated with a little overniceness of style, rather than the downright earnestness of Beethoven. But we shall not have many chances to hear such great tone-poems of Beethoven rendered with such power and such independence of their extreme mechanical difficulties. It is only that acquaintance with Beethoven makes one's ideal terribly exacting. We should be but too glad to hear Mr. Satter play this Sonata again and repeatedly.

The next piece bore the following strange description on the programme.

Carneval. Scenes mignonnes, on four notes.....SCHUMANN. 1. Preamble; 2. Pierrot; 3. Arlequin; 4. Valse noble; 5. Eusebius; 6. Florestan; 7. Coquette; 8. Replique; 9. Sphinxes; 10. Papillons; 11. Lettres dansantes; 12. Chiarina; 13. Chopin; 14. Estrella; 15. Reconnaissance; 16. Pantalon et Columbine; 17. Valse Allemande; 18. Paganini; 19. Aveu; 20. Promenade; 21. Pause; 22. March des "Davidsbündler " contre les Philistines.

This must not be understood to be written lit

But the most perfect of all Mr. Satter's renderings so far, was that of the little Minuet and Trio from Mozart's Symphony in Ep. It is compara-erally on four notes. It is a queer medley of tively a simple thing; but it required an artist to reproduce so faultlessly, so genially, the smooth, cool, limpid, even flow, and June-like atmosphere of that most Mozartean Allegretto. His playing, to say nothing of its exquisite mechanical perfection, expressed all that was in the music. Not so entirely with the Beethoven Minuetto, from the Sonata in Eb, (No. 3 of op. 29.) It seemed to us too fast, and not to contain all that we have whilom felt in connection with that music. We speak rather of the melodious Minuetto than of the Trio, with its smiting, flashing chords. The triplet of little pieces was completed rather hete

little pieces, of various styles and personal allusions, which Schumann in some freak of his younger days strung upon the chance suggestion of the four letters composing the name or residence of one of his lady friends. The letters are A, S, C, H; the H in German standing for our B natural, and S or es for E flat. Of course few of the allusions and little of the point of the joke can be understood here and now, and it seems hardly a piece for the concert room. Yet in so much as can be traced it possesses a certain historical interest, and illustrates a significant period in the recent developments of German

66

music. The Leipzig Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, which was founded and for ten years edited by Schumann, grew out of a club of young musical protesters like himself, who used to meet almost every evening in the latter part of 1833, "ostensibly for social pleasure, but quite as much for the interchange of thoughts about that Art which was meat and drink to them-Music. The then musical state of Germany," (we quote from Schumann's preface to a collection of his writings,) was not very edifying. Upou the stage still reigned Rossini, on the pianos almost exclusively Herz and Hünten. And yet only a few years had flown, since Beethoven, Weber and Schubert lived among us. To be sure, Mendelssohn's star was in the ascendant, and wonderful things were whispered abroad of a Pole, Chopin, - but these first acquired a lasting influence later. One day the thought passed through our young hot heads:-Let us not look idly on; take hold, and make it better; take hold, and let the poesy of Art be held in honor once more. Hence arose the first sheets of the New

Journal," &c. &c. Left alone in his editing, Schumann introduced criticisms from different points of view upon the same matters, under the assumed signatures of "Eusebius," and "Florestan," and a certain mediating "Meister Raro." These were supposed members of a certain more than secret Bund (or confederacy), since it existed only in the brain of its founder," called the David Bund; a league in fact against the Philistines, which is the general term among German students, artists, poets, &c., for prosaic, narrow, hard, ungenial, commonplace respectabilities. This explains some of the allusions in the scenes mignonnes, especially the march at the end, which is as much as to say: Down with the old fogies! Chiarina (No. 12) is his own artist wife Clara, of whom he says in the preface above quoted: "These not unwelcome comrades (Eusebius, &c.) finally vanished altogether from the Zeitschrift, and ever since a 'Peri' led them off to climes remote, there has been nothing more heard of their literary labors.”—Many of the little pieces too are quite piquant and charming in themselves, and passing in such rapid contrast, under the fleet fingers of such a player, who seemed quite to enter into the humor of the thing, they gave no little pleasure.

The Ballade by CHOPIN, in G minor, one of the most florid, dreamy, passion-fraught, and difficult of his compositions, was played with wonderful ease and brilliancy; but suffered, as we thought, somewhat like the Sonata, in being wrought up to too vehement a pitch toward the close. To say that this performance was so truly steeped in the delicate peculiar spirit and sentiment of Chopin, as some that we have heard, would be saying too much. Mr. Satter is as yet a very young man, exuberant with power, and enterprising, ready talent; ambitious too to take a high and really artistic stand; impressed❘ with good maxims, and a zealous student of the real classics of his Art; but it would be too much to expect of him all that earnest depth of feeling, and of inward experience, all that maturity of conception, which should leave nothing to be desired in his interpretations of such poets as Chopin and Beethoven.

The Concert closed with another performance of Liszt's prodigious fantasia upon Mendelssohn's "Midsummer Night's Dream" music, which was

indeed an amazing specimen of strength, delicacy, rapidity, and clearness in execution, and brought out the remarkable power and brilliancy of the instrument, in a manner that electrified the audience even more than at the concert of the Quintette Club. In those aerial fairy tremolos the peculiar beauty of the upper octaves of the piano was very striking. This was really music of the "prodigious school," and was well enough for once, since our young virtuoso would play all schools. Mr. SATTER, it will be seen, announces two more concerts, for Tuesday and Friday next, with equally rare programmes. No one should lose these opportunities to hear such compositions played by one so very able.

MUSICAL EDUCATION SOCIETY.-The sixth and last of the pleasant miscellaneous Concerts by this Society was given on Thursday evening, in the Tremont Temple. The selections were as usual mostly from Oratorio music. Mr. KREISSMANN conducted and accompanied the solos on the piano, and Mr. MUELLER presided at the organ in the choruses. We were sorry to lose

the "Hailstone" and another chorus from HANDEL'S "Israel in Egypt;" but we listened with great pleasure to the correct, clear, and effective rendering of the two choruses from "Jephtha": No more to Ammon's God, and In glory high, which in its suggestion of the rolling sea is truly sublime. Also to two from "Joshua": May all the host of heaven and We with redoubled rage return.-See! the conquering hero comes, was progressing, as it seemed to us, too slowly, when we were obliged to leave, losing Mendelssohn's song: 0, rest in the Lord, and two more choruses from "Joshua."

We have been often pleased, but this time were surprised, by the very effective singing of Miss DOANE; particularly in the pleading and impassioned song: Jerusalem! thou that killest, &c., from "St. Paul." Her pure soprano tones were more telling and penetrating than ever; really splendid sometimes was the emphatic note on the top of an ascending and dramatic passage. And what was best of all, we never in past times have heard her sing so uniformly true; this is a great gain, to which she adds another, of a pervading chaste expression.

In the other exquisite song by MENDELSSOHN, from his Forty-second Psalm; For my soul thirsteth for God, there were the same excellencies of voice and manner; but was not the piece taken much too slow?-The old air of STRADELLA, Pietà, Signor, was sung in English by Miss IDE, in some respects well, with even and distinct delivery, but coldly, and with a continual tendency to swerve from true intonation. We heard but the last strains of Mr. BROUGHTON's Lord, remember David;-enough to recognize a light, flexible, high tenor, of very sweet quality. The song about "The Church of our Fathers," sung by Mr. DRAPER, seemed to us rather a sentimental affair in itself, but it was very well sung and had to be repeated.

RUBINSTEIN. We are tempted to translate part of an article by the distinguished Berlin critic, RELLSTAB, upon this young Russian virtuoso and composer, who is now causing something of a stir in Germany, and who seems to have made a great impression on our "Diarist." Rellstab says:

"The concert of Herr RUBENSTEIN was in some respects the most significant of the whole winter, since it made us acquainted with the ripe development of a talent, which we had already known in its first bud of great promise. It presented us an artist, who already has an estimable and a brilliant Present, and to whose Future we attach the greatest hopes . . . and fears! In the first part, we may say, that only the hopes smiled to us from the blossoming Present; in the second, for his Symphony, fears rose on the horizon. Yet is the sum of our impressions joy and thankfulness, that we once more may greet a genuine artist; not merely an astonishing virtuoso, but also a productive artist, whose creative power, if it does not strike into an unfortunate direction, will raise him, perhaps does already raise him, higher than the colossal height of virtuosity he

now commands.

"He is the Hercules of the piano-forte, the Jupiter Tonans of the instrument, who however wears the majesty of repose, and guides the gleaming lightnings. Not always growls he from his stormy sky; O no, thou lovely blue, and thou mild sun, ye have your full Olympian rights with him. To speak somewhat more technically: His power in playing chords and passages is astonishing. Although the orchestra tried hard to drown him, yet he was heard above all in his penetrating chords. Yet we cannot say that there was any offensive overdoing; he preserves proportion, beauty, even with colossal strength. The hearers felt fresh and buoyant, only the instrument trembled under the hand of the strong master. I would rather be anything else than ever so wonderful a Sötcker Flügel under those hands! But no! After the ruler had shown his strength, he let his gentleness prevail. He did not draw, but literally sucked the sweetest singing tone from the piano, or let it sound out with the clear ring of silver bells. . . . .

[ocr errors]

...

In his grand Etude he reached the highest height as a virtuoso, and perhaps also as composer, in this particular department. The work is written with a splendor and a fire that carry you quite away, and the artist played it with the storm-sweep of the eagle, and yet with calm, controlling majesty. . . . . All the pieces in the first part (his own compositions) filled us with joyful astonishment, that here again was born to us a really creative talent, which does not have to stretch itself upon the rack, to get up a semblance of genius. The Concerto is written in grandiose style; it was too richly instrumented for us, but so brilliant and genial, that we could only recognize in it a youthful exuberance of power, too lavish of its means. And in the thoughts themselves, with all the composer's fondness for the serious, the dark, the wild, for the sombre depths and piercing lightnings of dissonance, there is still perfect healthfulness, freshness and even heroic strength. The only weakness of the artist seemed to us his over-fulness, and that is a fault which time will cure.

"But in his Symphony, Ocean,' in the last movements, the false squandering of this power was too obvious, not to disturb again our fairest hopes. Until the close of the first part, we had the feeling that here stood an artist, capable some day, after earnest study, of becoming not an unsuccessful rival of MENDELSSOHN. But on the path which he had entered in this Symphony, we found that every step was carrying him far

ther from this high goal. Yet through this work too there flow rich and copious artistic veins. The only fault is that of over-much-ness, both in thought-combinations, and in the instrumentation especially; but it has this fault in the extremest degree. The instrumentation is no longer beautiful, because it tries continually to present the most beautiful. We have no contrasts, no alternation of light and shade, because the composer cannot deny himself enough to abstain from using all colors and all lights at once.”

MUSIC IN NEW YORK.-Our usual New York correspondence has not come to hand in season for this week's paper. But we believe little of importance has occurred, although there is much in prospect. The German Opera at Niblo's, (our correspondent's account of which we were compelled by crowd of matter to cut short last week,) since the three representations of Der Freyschütz, with the continued success of Miss LEHMANN, has been suspended during Passion-Week. Meanwhile the various opera troupes, all of which seem to have found their way back at once to New York, have been giving concerts. Mlle. NAU, with Messrs. ST. ALBYN and IRVING, and the pianist GoCKEL, gave operatic and sacred miscellany at Niblo's on Thursday. For Monday last and Monday next the PYNE and HARRISON troupe have had concerts announced, the programme of the next including a new operetta, "The Marriage of Georgette." Miss PYNE has fortunately recovered from the consequences of her fall in Philadelphia, and, it is said, will soon be in Boston for another round of English opera.

At the Academy of Music, Lucrezia Borgia was performed on Wednesday, by STEFFANONE, VESTVALI and Signori BRIGNOLI and BADIALI; and a sacred and miscellaneous concert by the whole troupe will take place to-night under the direction of MARETZEK. Among its attractions, says the Tribune, will be “an entirely new manuscript Oratorio, entitled the Stabat Mater, or The Crucifixion of Christ, in which several hundred performers will take part.-On Monday evening, ROSSINI's masterpiece, "William Tell," will be produced for the first time in America, at the Academy. We trust it will be done well enough to have a good run.

Madame the Baroness DE LA GRANGE, of whom we gave an account some time ago, as the most brilliant florid bravura singer perhaps now in Europe, is expected to arrive next week in the Baltic, and to commence immediately an engagement at Niblo's, in Italian and German Opera. This, if we are rightly informed, is Mr. ULLMAN'S enterprise.

The Other Side.

NEW YORK, April 2, 1855. MR. DWIGHT: Dear Sir,-I am a constant reader of your paper, and generally it pleases me; but when I read that part of your New York correspondent's letter which speaks of Mr. MASON's playing of Chopin's Impromptu, I did not like that at all. I know that it is not a true account: I am well acquainted with this piece, and have heard it played many times, (tried it myself, and how I wish I could play it!) but never heard it so beautifully played as it was by Mr. Mason on that evening. More than this, my piano teacher, who has heard all the best Pianists abroad, says he never heard it played more distinctly and beautifully. The "confusion of sounds" must have been in your correspondent's own brain; for I am sure no one else felt it who was present, and I for one am confident I heard every note. As for

the "looseness" complained of in Mr. Mason's playing, it is that freedom from stiff, solid, iron, mechanical precision, that pleases me so much when I listen to him. It is like a pleasant dream or delightful vision; I feel that I am not listening to a machine, but to a living soul. I excuse your correspondent somewhat, it is so natural for New Yorkers to be unwilling to appreciate native talent; but he (or she, is it not? I think the writer must be of my own sex) should not have found fault with what was really the best performance of the evening. Yours truly, JUSTICE.

We gladly give place to the above, (although it is a better plan in such cases for writers to let us know their real names); because we like to hear good things, rather than the contrary, of all men, and especially of a young artist who has given us so much pleasure as William Mason; and because two honest statements, though of opposite impressions, help us to know the truth. If "Justice" has the right of it, it is not because our New York correspondent's tone of criticism is not as uniformly kindly as it is candid, but doubtless owing to some accidental difference in their listening conditions at the time referred to. Justice must remind "Justice," also, that said correspondent pronounced very high praise upon some of the other performances of Mr. M.

BOUND VOLUMES of the past three years will soon be ready for purchasers.

PARTICULAR REQUEST. -Our supply of No. 4, Vol. V., and No. 15, Vol. VI., has nearly run out. Any of our friends who do not file their Journals, and who can send us either number, will confer a very great favor.

Musical Intelligence.

Local.

CONCERTS AT HAND. This evening, at the Boston Music Hall, a Benefit Concert is to be given complimentary to Mr. J. P. GROVES, a young American violinist, who has grown up among us, his musical talent having been first recognized and put in the way of due improvement while he was a pupil at the Warren Street Chapel. For several years Mr. Groves has uniformly held a place in our best orchestras, and has sometimes played a concert solo very creditably. He is evidently a favorite among the musicians, from the fact that so many of them have volunteered their aid to make this concert a substantial benefit. The overtures and accompaniments are to be played by an orchestra of fifty performers, and Mrs. WENTWORTH and Mr. MILLARD also have volunteered to sing. The proceeds are to swell the sails that shall waft the young artist over to the old world, where he goes to seek improvement in kis art under the best German masters. He is worthy of encouragement and furtherance in this design.

On Tuesday evening there will be two concerts, one by PAUL JULIEN, in the Music Hall; and one by Mr. SATTER, at Chickering's Saloon. Mr. S. will then show us Liszt's remarkable power of arranging a Beethoven Symphony for the piano, even for two hands, by playing his arrangement of the Pastorale. He will also play what may be called the companion piece to the Sonata appassionata of Beethoven, namely the one in D minor, op. 29. His last concert will be on Friday. On both these occasions he will be assisted by that sweet young singer, Miss LOUISE HENSLER.

Mr. E. BRUCE, organist of the Bowdoin St Church, announces for Thursday evening a repetition of a concert recently given by him with his choir and pupils, which seems to have been very popular, consisting of choruses, &c., from different operas. And for the 19th inst. he announces a performance of HAYDN'S Mass in D. Mr. WILLCOX to officiate as organist on both occasions.

MUSICAL FUND SOCIETY.-The proposed Benefit Concert, which ought to enlist the efforts of all friends of good music, is fixed, we understand, for Saturday, 21st of April. There is some chance that Mr. SATTER the pianist, will assist and play the E flat Concerto of Beethoven. He certainly will do so, if his own concerts justify his stay.

BANGOR.We are happy to learn, as we do by the following note, that we have two to credit instead of one, for the "Excellent Example" of which we spoke a fortnight since.

Bangor. Me., March 20, 1854.

Mr. Editor:-In the Journal of last week I observed a very friendly notice of musical affairs in this city. I cannot, however, claim to have accomplished all that for which you gave me credit. Mr. HORACE R. STREETER has been heart and hand in the work, and to him should be accorded an equal share.

Although the number interested in our Concerts is above 300, still, owing to the want of a proper room, the attendance has never been as large as stated by you. Very respectfully yours.

JOHN W. TCFTS.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

YOUNG LADIES' VOCAL MUSIC SCHOOL.

E. R. BLANCHARD, Teacher.

This School is designed for those who wish to acquire the ability to read music readily at sight, and is particularly adapted to the wants of those who desire to fit themselves to teach singing in schools, or to receive instruction, from the best masters, in the Cultivation of the Voice, Style, &c. Address, care of Geo. J. Webb & Co., No. 3 Winter street.

F. F. MÜLLER,

DIRECTOR OF MUSIC AND ORGANIST at the Old South Church; Organist and Pianist of the Handel & Haydn Society, Musical Education Society, &c. &c. Residence, No. 3 Winter Place, Boston.

NEW AESTHETIC JOURNAL.

THE CRAYON,

A Weekly Paper devoted to ART, offers itself to the attention of all who are interested in the elevating and refining influences of Beauty. Among the contributors to THE CRAYON already are BRYANT, LOWELL, STREET, REMBRANDT PEALE, A. B. DURAND, President of the National Academy of Design, DANIEL HUNTINGTON, HENRY K. BROWN, and amongst those engaged are LONGFELLOW, BAYARD TAYLOR, GEO WM CURTIS, Rev. H. W. BEECHER, Rev. SAMUEL OsoooD, Rev. H. W. BELLOWS, Hon. CHARLES SUMNER, and others of our most eminent writers. A series of papers by RUSKIN, and essays left by the eminent sculptor, HORATIO GREENOUGH, add to the interest of The Crayon.

From the Christian Inquirer.

The first five numbers of this promising (and thus far performing) paper are now out. We look for its weekly issue with high and never disappointed expectation. Its leaders are laded in a double sense-weighty with thought as well as with typographical distinctness. They carry metal We are much impressed with the seriousness and instructive aim of the editorial columns. Manifestly it is not to tickle the ear or please the fancy, but to enlighten the mind and improve the taste, that the leading article always aims. The writer has a real, well-considered, distinct, and decisive thought to convey to his readers' minds, and he goes about it patiently, unambitiously, and earnestly, and succeeds not in winning our admiration-a poor victory-but in leaving us wiser than he found us.

The Crayon has, we hope, a special mission-to purge and soberize the style of our journalizing, as well as the taste of our people in general. The heated, gaseous, and scintillating style of our public press is becoming intolerable. The Crayon uses a cool, quiet and unobtrusive style, which is truly refreshing.

[blocks in formation]

C. H. CLARKE, TEACHER OF MUSIC, 259 Washington St.

RESIDENCE....13 SHAWMUT STREET, BOSTON.

JOB PRINTING neatly and promptly executed at this Office.

W. J. PARKERSON,

NO. 3 LA GRANGE PLACE, BOSTON.

NATHAN RICHARDSON,

282 WASHINGTON STREET, Has just received a large invoice of FOREIGN MUSIC, Comprising the latest works of all the distinguished European composers.

-JUST PUBLISHED,Richardson's Collection of National and Operatic Melodies,

Very easily arranged for the Piano, and fingered after the method of the Modern School. In twenty numbers. Price from 15 to 25 cents each. They are excellent for young pupils. Sixty-Six Interludes in the Major Keys, By J. H JONES, for the Organ, Melodeon or Piano. They are easy, and very interesting. Every musician should have a copy. Price 50 cents.

Third Book of Concone's Vocal Exercises, For the middle register of the voice, the only complete edition in the country. Just published. They will be found indispensable to all Teachers of Singing. Price $2.

All the above will be sent free of postage on the receipt of the above prices. Our Catalogues are sent gratis to any address.

NATHAN RICHARDSON, MUSICAL EXCHANGE, 282 Washington St., BOSTON.

MR. HARRISON MILLARD,
(TENORE,)

TEACHER OF ITALIAN VOCALIZATION,
No. 6 Tyler St.........Terms $50 per quarter.

HEWS'

PATENT AMERICAN ACTION

PIANO-FORTE,

Manufactory, 379 Washington Street,
BOSTON, MASS.

B. D. ALLEN, TEACHER OF THE PIANO-FORTE. Letters directed care of Nathan Richardson, Esq. 282 Washington Street. REFERENCES-Otto Dresel, E. Hamilton, I. I. Harwood, Esqs.

MR. J. C. D. PARKER,

Having resided thirteen years in Europe with a view of adap-BEGS to announce that he is prepared to commence instruc

ting the Italian style of Singing to the English voice, and of remedying weakness of the voice, and thoroughly correcting harsh, guttiral, nasal, or other unpleasant peculiarities, proposes to give lessons on the Voice, and in Singing, in the Italian French, and English Languages.

Many who have spent years of severe study to attain musical excellence, after struggling to conquer some guttural, nasal, or other unpleasant mannerism, abandon the pursuit from the belief that they are afflicted with a natural defectiveness: when, with a fractional part of the application which they bestow on the other branches of their musical education, and with much less physical effort (if properly directed) than they have been accustomed to use, their voices might be rendered comparatively beautiful.

To singers of eminence he would say, with a just appreciation of their high attainments, that a brief practical examination of his system will convince the most sceptical, that he can afford them such assistance in beautifying the voice, as might delight the most fastidious.

"Being acquainted with the course of vocal discipline pursued by Mr. W. J. PARKERSON in forming and developing the voice, I take pleasure in bearing my testimony to its excellence; believing it to be far preferable to any other method known to me. GEO. J. WEBB. BOSTON, OCT. 7, 1854."

[blocks in formation]

tion in Piano-forte and Organ playing, Harmony and Counterpoint, and will be happy to receive applications at No. 3 Hayward Place, on and after Oct. 1st. REFERENCES-R. E. Apthorp, C. C. Perkins, J. S. Dwight, Esqs Sept 23

tf.

G. ANDRÉ & CO.'S Depot of Foreign and Domestic Music,

19 s. NINTH STREET, ABOVE CHESTNUT,

(East side,) PHILADELPHIA.

A catalogue of our stock of Foreign Music, and of our own Publications, has just been published. Music and Music Books imported to order, as heretofore, from Germany, Italy, France and England.

MR. J. Q. WETHERBEE,

VOCALIST,

(BASSO CANTANTE,)

No. 18 TREMONT TEMPLE, BOSTON.

CARL GÄRTNER, TEACHER OF MUSIC, May be found at No. 20 Dover Street, every forenoon between 9 and 10. Oc 14

NEW COURSE OF HARMONY,

BY L. H. SOUTHARD. The Publishers call the attention of the musical profession to this work, as one eminently calculated to lighten the labors of the teacher, and rapidly advance the pupil. It is emphatically a PRACTICAL work, serving both as a Manual of instruction on the one hand, and a Text-book on the other; and it is believed that the peculiar arrangement of the work, together with the very large number of exercises and examples, presents great advantages, to both scholar and teacher, over any similar work yet published. Price $1,50.

GEO. P. REED & CO., 13 Tremont St.

ADOLPH BAUMBACH, TEACHER OF THE PIANO-FORTE. Application can be made at Reed's Music-Store, or at the Norfolk House, Roxbury. Sept 9

J. TRENKLE, TEACHER OF THE PIANO-FORTE, Residence No. 56 Kneeland Street.

MUSIC AND JOB PRINTING OFFICE,

[blocks in formation]

MASON & HAMLIN.

HE attention of the musical public is invited to the newly improved MODEL MELODEONS made by us. We believe them to be unsurpassed, in all the essential points pertaining to a good instrument, especially in regard to Equality, Power, Sweetness of Tone, Promptness of Action and Style of Finish. Our prices vary from $60 to $175, according to the size and style of the instrument. Recommendations from LOWELL MASON, WM. B. BRADBURY, GEORGE F. ROOT, L. H. SOUTHARD, EDWIN BRUCE, SILAS A. BANCROFT, and many other distinguished musicians, may be seen at our ware-rooms.

The opinions of the above gentlemen give them a decided preference to all other Melodeons.

[blocks in formation]

A GOOD TIME TO SUBSCRIBE!

DWIGHT'S JOURNAL OF MUSIC, A Paper of Art and Literature, Published every Saturday, at 21 School St. Boston. Two Dollars per annum, in advance. During the thsee years since it was established, this Journal has met with continually increasing favor, and it will enter upon its SEVENTH VOLUME with the number for Saturday, April 7th.

Its contents relate mainly to the Art of Music, but with glances at the whole World of Art and of Polite Literature; including, from time to time-1. Critical Reviews of Concerts, Oratorios, Operas; with timely Analyses of the notable Works performed, accounts of their Composers, &c. 2. Notices of New Music. 3. Musical News from all parts. 4. Correspondence from musical persons and places. 5. Essays on musical styles, schools, periods, authors, compositions, instruments, theories; on Musical Education; on Music in its Moral, Social, and Religious bearings; on Music in the Church, the Concert-room, the Theatre, the Chamber, and the Street, &c. 6. Translations from the best German and French writers upon Music and Art. 7. Occasional Notices of Sculpture, Painting, &c. 8. Original and Selected Poems, &c. Back numbers, from the commencement, can be furnished. Address (post-paid)

J. S. DWIGHT, 21 SCHOOL ST. BOSTON. From the New York Daily Tribune. There is no better musical critic in the country than John S. Dwight, of Boston, and few men are able to express what they have to say about music in a manner at once so poetic and precise. His articles are sure to please the learned in music, and to delight its lovers. We commend his journal unreservedly to our musical friends as a work which will be an able running commentary upon musical events, extracting from each its significance, varying its critical notices of music and musicians, both new and old, with biographical and entertaining details; and always true to what is most interesting and commanding in this noblest of the Arts.

From the Boston Evening Transcript. Wherever there is a piano-forte, this Journal ought to be lying on it.

From the Boston Atlas. We need just such a paper. One which is subservient to no particular clique of book-makers, or society agents, or managerial interests. One which tells truly what is good and what is bad, in the honest convictions of the writer..... Mr. Dwight unites more qualifications to hold the judge's chair than any other writer with whose powers we are acquainted. His genial warmth of feeling is united to an acute perception of the beauties of executional Art; while a long and earnest study of the great composers of the world has rendered him familiar with, and an appreciator of, their noble works.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »