(CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK'S PAPER.)
but this is rendered impossible in such a mei,' as this programme Behold thy sereant in distress."
They had higher aims and nobler objects in view. familiarized to their topsytorvy position; and, feeling that their It is worth while to notiee the different spirit in which the Ger- own reputation was in a degree compromised, gave up the hope- mans conduct a musical festival. Take the last Rheinische Musik less task of taking the time from the Conductor, and stuck to Feste as aa example. There is a growing admiration of HANDEL their Leader. among his countrymen; but how is this manifested ? Not in the The evening concerts we need not notice. They consisted of the everlasting lazy reiteration of a single oratorio, still less in songs which Graisf, RUBIN', and L AD LACH E, had been singing mangling and mutilating the rest. One by one they produce his in town during the past season, interspersed with, now and then, oratorios: first the Messiah, then Israel in Eirypt, Judas Marra- a song, glee, or other concerted piece from the English singers. lueus. Samson, and this year, at Cologne. Solomon was brought out. We have before acquitted the Conductors, Messrs. KNYVETT The translation is made with great care (that of Solomon we have and CAM IDGE, of the authorship of this extraordinary scheme. It beard is the work of a gentleman resident in this country, of well- is quite impossible that any musician could have plotted and con- known musical taste); and so deeply do the Germans reverence a trived the perpetration of such an act of suicidal folly. No—the work of HANDEL, that nothing is omitted. Perhaps this is car- Abbey scheme and the York scheme must have been the work of
tying reverence to the verge of superstitious idolatry— the same hand : there is the same reckless stupidity, the same
and HANDEL occasionally nods in his Solomon, as in his other the same jobbing.. It is deplorable to see such an array of first- oratorios. But this feeling is cherished by the most enlightened rate instrumental talent, congregated in one of the finest buildings Germans, to an extent that seems to us extraordinary. GOETHE in the world, sunk into the mere agents and tools of drivelling lot- makes his hero, Wilhelm Meister, stipulate, as the condition of becility, and to witness outward deference and e servility, his consenting to turn actor, that " Hamlet should be played where nothing but scorn and contempt is felt. What is the entire and unmutilated." This were, in some cases, to manifest a remedy ? Musical education — the musical education of the greater regard for an author's words than for his fume. But if it People. When this is accomplished, musical quacks, patrician be admitted that there are few plays of SI! Alis PE ARE which are as well as plebeian, will find their proper level.
not improved in representation by judicious curtailment, it never After having tecorded our own impressions, perhaps it is but enters our heads to splice scenes and scraps of different plays to- fair that we should give the opinions of other critics on the merits gether, and to bring Julius Ctesar and Falstaff, Hamlet and of this Festival. They, unfortunately, often differ from our own; Beatrice into the same act, but they are too good to be lost. Such "morsels of criticism " as
It would seem that reasoning were unnecessary in a matter so these deserve general circulation, and ought to be read far beyond plain; yet every day's experience shows that it is not so ; and it is the confines of Yorkshire. They are chiefly culled from the news only by repeatedly exposing the havoc which ignorance, conceit, papers of that county. Our critics enter upon their labours even and folly, make with works of genius, that it can be stopped. before the commencement of the performance—
Before we leave the subject, there is one act of wanton barbarism
that must be especially noticed. It occurred in the selection from " The work of tuning commenced ! This, in the absence of more harmoni- the Last Judgment. Those who are acquainted with this oratorio, oils sounds, was a source of amusement tit the spectators ; but soon the rough and dashing noise of the unequal torrent subsided into the smooth and liquid know that it is a succession of scenes in which the sublime nar- tones of the peaceful gliding river." rative is followed out in the order indicated in the Apocalypse, " Haydn's ' hymn to the Emperor' displayed the grandeur of a simple and that each of these is linked to the other by " hidden chains ody performed with such a chorus. It had a very touching effect (that is, of harmony," beautiful as original. By a perverseness of inge- the praise of Emperor Francis) w" nuity, of which we will defy all the records of music to produce "The second part opened with an introduction and chorus from Joshua, one o a parallel instance, the pieces were placed in the following order— f Handel's oratorios, composed in l747, immediately after Judas Maccabaws. The instrumental part of this chorus is good."
tided. So that the first piece, ending on the chord of E min oa was folloWel
by that of G flat, in which the quartet L00 begins closed o iosandteindthse;
THE YORK FESTIVAL. then came the chord of C sharp, and the chou : quartet. The chord of D Slat, the dominant of the key of the
figures annexed to the several pieces indicate that succession in TnuasnAY morning exhibited as pretty a mescolanza under the the oratorio. with what motive, or for what end ti:ie devastation the name of a Selection as the wit of man ever devised : look was committed, it were vain to conjecture; but the only way to at it whichever way you will, and all is distortion and confusion. prevent a similar outrage is to give this proem publicity. It ia possible so to arrange a selection that its component parts The only novelty of the Festival was produced this morninee—S sball blend—that there shill be a congruity of' style and cha- Chorus by Net:ewe:a—which gave no indicatioo3 of sufficient racier between the different pieces ; and no rule can be at once merit to entitle it to such an honour. It is a respectable cone- safer and more easy of application than to place them in chrono- position, and no more, abundantly loaded with brass iostruments. logical succession. Thus to the bold and simple outline of Pll I LLI PS had only a recitative, introductory to a chorus, appor- II ANDEL, BACH, and Al/therm:Ai, would have fitly succeeded the tioned to him. GRISI, we know not why, declined to sing." Deli snore adorned and graceful proportions of IlAvies; and Moe %ET, the parlate :" her place was exceedingly well supplied by Mrs. BISHOP. sweet mehely of CIA! AROSA, and the deep, heart-searching sub- To Miss MAssoN, the best female singer of HANDEL in the or- limity of Seone. But in the present case all was tossed together chestra, was allotted only one song in the coarse of the Festieal, in utter confusion ; or if any thought, any care was given to the and that immediately preceding the concluding chorus of a very arrangement, it was perversely employed to injure the effect of tedious morning's performance. She, very properly, declined the every piece by collocation with its neighbour. honour of singing the comyany out. The choruses went in the Again, there is no necessity (us in the present case) to group same faltering, undecided way, as on previous mornings ; several the fragments of a selection so as to jumble and mix events and times we expected a complete break down. In a Sanctus by Dr. narratives of distant countries and ages. First, a thanksgiving for , , a.,ANT I DGE, three times were going at once.
presents, where, after the "judgment of the great day," we are NOW, if we are to suppose this song to have been sung by its immediately called, not to " the new heaven awl new earth," but original character, it is proper to a.,k by what art of magic are we to to sy mpathize with the sorrows of Sarah, and thenca directly transport Mirah into the land of Egypt, and make him the coin- summoned to "break forth into songs of .joy " for the overthrow panion of Nloses and Aaron, soma centuries befOre he was burn? of the Babylonian monarch. From such an outrage upon common But, if we take the other alternative, and suppose these words to sense and propriety there is no escape but by shutting our books, have been sung by one of the personages in the oratorio of Israel giving no heed to the words that are uttered, disearding from our in Egypt, it is equally proper to ask which:—NIoses, Aaron, minds who it is that addressor; us, and to what purpose and Miriam, or Pharoali? The name, " God of hosts,- would only be on what occasion, and treating the whole as a mere affair used by a Jew ; but luses and his brethren were at this thue of the ears. But is this the cod awl desiga of vocal music ? is in no circumstances of " distress." The chorus immediately pre- it for this that HANDEL and lIvynN and Senna have depicted ceding had told us of their deliverance, had proclaimed that " the the stupendous events of past and future times? Have they waters had overwhelmed their enemies," and that " there was laboured to bestow unity, symmetry, grace, splendour, for no other not one of them left." Such are the absurdities perpetrated whoa purpose than that their gorgeous hibries might be battered to persons utterly- destitute of any qualification for the task under- pieces by children and fools, in order to pile up from their scat- take the office of musical director. The same want of steadiness tered fragments a shapeless mass of deformity ? We believe not. was apparent to-day, but in a less degree : the band had become " Aligando home. dormitat Homerus : " unblushing ignorance. There is, too, the saute favouritism and
when sung as a quartet.
Not so, we presume, the vocal ; although some critics, among whom we are not ashamed of being numbered, have been accus- tomed to regard "Ye sons of Israel" (the piece referred to) as a very toleraVe specimen of choral writing.
" This was followed by the trio, ' Fallen is thy throne, 0 Israel,' the words of which, by Moore, have been adapted to a pretty Italian romance, in which plaintive sortow is the chief motivo."
" The performance concluded about five o'clock ; and on leaving the sacred edifice it formed a matter of regret to find that the charming weather of the preceding day, and which indeed had continued until towards noon, had changed into rain and gloom."
" Rubini's voice is one of great compass and force, which was more particu- larly manifested in his singing during the evening ; and the soft aod delicate
manner in which it falls from the alto to the piano elicited considerable applause." " Mr. Lindley brought such sweet and slender tones out of his powerful iustrument as astonished many of the company present, and called birth reiterated shouts of • Imam, it
" Betithoven'a pastoral avmpliony on Thursday es tin' was remarkable for the imitation of cows, sliceia chickens, ducks, turkica, gu;nea-fowls. the cuckoo, &e. Ike. Imitation of sounds by sounds is certainly quite posaible ; but whe-
ther the voices of the farm-yard denizena be le9itimate subjects of descriptive music or not, we leave to others to determine. Brabant was mad enough to
piing ' Mad Tom,' reason or none, lie broke down a little more than once ; but his wonderful tact and taste got him through wander:Idly. Mr. Italic's new sung, ' Away to the sands,' has been unworthily likened to sodden blancmange;' but we believe it was a very pretty piece, and, after all, boiled milk and isinglass art' no bad thing."
Non pin di fun,' from La Clemenza di Tito, by Miss Masson, was ac- companied on the corm, bassetto by Mr. Willman ; but we conceived that the music was too long for her voice. Immediately on her concluding the com- pany retired, the band playing the Overture to Guillaume Ted in fine style."
A secret worth knowing !
" Dragonetti, with his double bass, is an admirable auxiliary. In the ae- onmpaniments to many of the solos, the fine performance of those two old com- panions in the orchestra, Dragonetti and LiudIe; , with his violoncello, were much admired."
" In the chorus ' Glory to God, the strong cemented walls,' the soft aspira- tion of praise to Cod which forms the solo, and which Mr. Bennett gave with ravishing sweetness, finely contrasts with the tottering towers."
The roar of the valley,' a glee of great beauty, was sung with pathos by Mrs. Kilvvert, and Messrs. Hawkins, Bennett, and Phillips ; the long thrill on the concluding words, withered away,' was particularly admired. ' Tanti affetti,' from •La Donna del Logo, was sung by Mademoiselle Grisi.Tlw trombones by Mr. Smithies, Mr. Albrecht, and Mr. Smithies junior, falling in with the voice, had a fine effect."
" We were struck with the pathetic melody in the words ' The house of night '—it went to the heart's core. Miss Kemble was accompanied on the pianoforte by Mr. Richard Andrews, of Manchester, which formed a valuable
auxiliary to her singing." • " 6 11 rival salver,' from Ii Puritani, by Signors Lablache and Lablache junior, fell with a rapid and mellifluous flow on the ear." " II mio tesoro,' by Signor Rubini, and ' i.e facchio un inchino,' from D Matrimonio Septet°, by Mademoiselle Grisi, Mrs. Bishop, and Miss Postaus, were given in a flippant and pleasant style."
" ' Di pioeer. and La Garza Ladra called Mademoiselle Grisi to appear In the °relit:arra. We have before expressed our opinion on the merits of this highly-popular lady ; anti shall therefore merely add, that at the solemn festival and the pleasing concert, in the strength and flexibility of sound, in the deep and net voua expression of the passages, in full tyre' berating chorus and the exqui- site delicacy of the grace notes, he stands in majesty unrivalled."
" Time, which brings to a close enjoyments however valued and pleasures however inspiring, has led to the period when for the last time at this Festival our feet must pass the sacred portals and listen to those sublime accents of praise which in their powerful effect are well calculated to draw the thoughts from tea restrial objects and bring the imagination to dwell in some antechamber of heaven."
" The performance concluded with the magnificent chorus of ' The horse
and his ihler ;' the solo parts being taken by Madame Grisi and Mr. Braliam ; and when its magnificent reverberations were dying into silence, the otherwise merry peal of the cathedral bells, which took up the strain as if wishful to pro- long the joyful echoes, seemed to assume a more than plaintive tone. They reminded us of the certain close of all terrestrial enjoyment."