23 MARCH 1844, Page 12


Emma this title Mr. LOVER has commenced a series of popular illus- trations of the music and ballads of Ireland. The first of his " Irish Evenings " was held on Wednesday, in the Concert-room of the Princess's Theatre ; which was crowded on this occasion with the friends and admirers of Mr. LOVER, eager to cheer him at the outset of his adventure. The assemblage was animated by a cordiality of feeling and a lively sense of enjoyment characteristic of an " Irish evening ": it had more the appearance of a large party entertained by a friendly bolt than of a miscellaneous audience attracted by the announcement of a public lecture. The unstudied ease and con- versational gayety of Mr. LOVER'S style contributed to preserve this agreeable impression ; and for nearly three hours were the company amused by anecdotes related and ballads sung in a manner that elicited either laughter or applause continually. We shall not allow the critical mood, thus happily dispelled, to encroach upon this brief announcement of Mr. LOVER'S entertainment ; but rest content with recording the effect it produced, and indicating its nature. To convey an idea of the character of Irish melody, illustrating the subject by historical sketches of the national music and national pecu- liarities of the Irish people, is the purpose of Mr. LOVER ; and to effect this in a popular and amusing way, he selects particular airs, to which be himself writes the words in some instances; introducing them with pertinent remarks and droll stories, which he tells with a felicitous union of pathos and pleasantry. He commenced with an account of the Irish harp and harpers ; quoting some grave authorities for the an- tiquity of music in Ireland : but dates were soon discarded, as too dry for so seducing a theme, and numerals gave place to more harmonious numbers. Once afloat on the stream of song, Mr. LOVER glided on- ward in his devious course, fancy-led; two sweet syrens, Miss COBITT and Miss Rol a.° DICKSON, accompanying him with melodious strains. ?dr. LOVER'S voice is unequal to great exertion; but his taste and feel- ing supply what is of more value than vocal power—expression.