THE PHILHARMONIC CONCERTS.
SECOND CONCERT—MONDAY, MARCH 12. - THE vocal selection of this concert offers a complete contrast to that of the first. The Directors seem sensible Of their error, and desirous to atone for it; as the following scheme will sluisv-
Sinfonia in C minor Beethoven. Song, Mr. PHILLIPS, "Oft from the steep" The Chevalier Neultomm. , Sextuor, two Violini, two Viola, Violoncello e Contra' Basso, MCSS[S.TOLBECQUE,WATTS, MORALT, LYON, HOUSSELLOT, and DRAGONETTI Mayseder. Scena, Mrs. H.R. ItisuoP, "Ah unombradi speranza"
(Pietro von "Maw.) •Spohr. Overture, Oberon C. H. von Webe):.
Sinfonia. letter Q Haydn. Aria, HIPIRMC STOCKHAUSEN, "Non mi dir" (Ii Don Giovanni) • Mozart. Fantasia Coneertante (MS.) composed for the Phil- harmonic Society ;—Flute.Oboe, Clarinet,Bassoon, Horn, Trumpet, and Double Bass ;—Messrs.: , CHOLSOX, G. COOKE,• WILLMAN,ACKIXTOSH, PLATT, HARPER, and DRAGONETTI The Chevalier Ne Torten°, Madame STOCKHAUSEN,MIS. H. R. BISHOP, and Mr. PARRY jun. " Coraggio! " (Fidelio) Beethoven.
Overture, Tamerlane TT inter.
Leader, Signor SPAGNOLETTI—Conductor, Sir GEORGE SMART. • The Vocal music of the first concert was all Italian—of this all German ; the former•gave us neither novelty nor excellence—this combined both. There are degrees of excellence, but nothin". '- which approaches the absolute worthlessness of three pieces of the former concert. And yet we suspect that the vocal engagements . of that evening were, by far,-the most expensive. The Chevalier NEuxomivi's song is a masterly piece of instru- mentation : the words are from the Fourth BoOk of Paradise Lost, and describe, with all MILTON'S musical as well as poetical feeling, " Celestial voices to the midnight air
Sole, or responsive to each other's note, Singing their great Creator." .
The words seem more fitly to suggest a vocal than an instru- mental accompaniment, like CROTCH'S motett, " Methinks I hear the full celestial choir ;" and hence, the effect of the composition, however skilful as a piece of writing, is rather disappointing. The voice part, of course, is subordinate : the singer is a mere describer, not a producer of musical effect; his part is a quiet piece of recitation; and the feature of the song is, necessarily, the, heavenly music of which he speaks. In the singing, therefore, • there was nothing to criticise. PHILLIPS, very properly, contented. himself with accompanying the band, who played the song de-. lightfully.
Mrs. BisHop's song was the most striking feature of the even- ing. It is pregnant with the author's extraordinary power and genius. He is, beyond all question, the greatest living master of. harmony; and perhaps we might go further—like MOZART and. BEETHOVEN, lie is in advance of the musical capacity of his con- temporaries, and the time is not yet come for his compositions take the due and proper rank. But it assuredly will come ; and we tender Mrs. BISHOP our best thanks for her courage and good taste. We say courage, because she must have been very well aware that the beauties of such a scena' as " Ah un ombra" would be fully understood ' and appreciated by a minority only of her. hearers. It is a song of great difficulty, both as to execution and expression; and in both she was eminently successful. There is a class of Mozaafs songs, to which, although Madame STOCKHAUSEN has selected but few, she is by nature and education enabled to do ample justice. In songs of power and energy, she fails ; in those of tender expression, she is at present unrivalled. Who has not been charmed with her " Dove sono?"
"Non mi dir" is an air of the same exquisite finish ; and the rap- ture with which it was received u-ill, doubtless, encourage her to produce others of the same class. To our surprise, she transposed it a note lower : such an experiment never should be hazarded with MOZART besides, it is unfair to the band, as mistake in such cases is sure to be blamed, and correctness to be unpraised; and after all, the song in its original key would have better suited her voice. • - The full Instrumental pieces have been so often played by this band, that we may be excused from again expressing our delight at their performance. They were admirably groUped,—all. in dif- ferent styles, yet all good ; and such, at the Philharmonic Con- cert, it ought always to be. The Sextuor of MAYSEDER did not disappoint us, for we ex- pected nothing. He is a showy writer for his instrument, but
that is all. The selection of this piece was a descent which there was no need to have made. MOZART, HAYDN, and BEETHOVEN alone will furnish abundant variety of this class of music for years to come. Let MAYSEDER, as a writer of concerted music, be put in Schedule A. ROUSSELLOT is an excellent orchestra-player, but, like most foreign performers, he has cultivated execution more than tone; and, therefore, as a quartett-player, especially, must rank far below LINDLEY. But, in truth, who does not, in every thing that is required of a violoncello-player? 'The Fantasia Concertante was the appropriate offering of a man of genius to the Philharmonic Society. We always expect from the pupil of HAYDN, excellent writing for wind instruments, and we have never yet been disappointed. It is a delightful composi- tion, and was played with such consummate skill as to command an almost universal encore.