23 OCTOBER 1841, Page 20


Fairer the Meads.} F. MENDELSSORN BARTHOLDY. The Garland.

Opprest with grief. BEETHOVEN. Love and Courage. &soma.

THESE are all English versions of German Songs, of which it has be- come the fashion to attempt an introduction far too indiscriminate. Let it not be supposed that every German musician is a genius, or that MOZARTS and BEETHOVENS abound even in the land of music : on the contrary, there is a very large quantity of trashy writing afloat there ; and the modern catalogues of the Vienna, Frankfort, Berlin, and Bonn publishers, are singularly barren of great works, and especially of vocal compositions bearing either the evidences of genius or of well-con- structed vocal writing. Among the popular song- writers of Germany are SCHUBERT and LOEWE ; both of them clever, but unequal. MEN-. DELSSOHN has little of the faculty which above all others the lyric com- poser ought to possess : his themes are unmelodions ; he wants the gift of producing a vocal melody sufficiently striking to impress itself on the memory. The words of the first song enable us to judge of his talent as a melodist by comparison ; for they are MOORE'S "By Celia's arbour all the night," and when compared with HORSLEY'S beautiful setting of the same poem, the inferiority of the German artist is palp- able. There is a total absence both of the grace and the feeling which form the great charm of HORSLEY'S glee. The melody of the second song is little more than a succession of scales.

BEETHOVEN'S song is an effort worthy of his great mind. The first movement is full of expression, deep and heartfelt ; the second is a melody of singular beauty, continued through two verses, and enriched with a brilliant and appropriate piano accompaniment. The melody of SPOHR'S song is at once original and beautiful; one of those airs which charm at once, and haunt the memory.