26 AUGUST 1876, Page 2

The Wagner Festival at Bayreuth appears to have been a

great success. The composer had his own way throughout, his audi- ence included "a pit full of Kings," and all the resources of the carpenter and the scene-painter were stretched to the uttermost, with a grand result in effects. Correspondents have described the composer's dramas to all the world, and the festival has been alloted as much space in the journals as the account of a great battle. The only drawback to the festival seems to be its total want of utility. The King of Bavaria enjoyed himself, and Herr Wagner enjoyed himself, and hundreds of musical fanatics are supposed to have enjoyed themselves, but how is Art advanced by a massive ceremonial which it takes months to organise, a world to attend, and Kings to pay for? We pronounce no opinion on Herr Wagner's music, but what can the world gain from music which requires for full effect such gigantic accessories ? The sculptor who can only carve on mountains may be a great sculptor, but neither the practice nor the understanding of sculpture can be improved by him. Conceding for the moment all that Herr Wagner claims, there is something Oriental, something barbaric, in this way of taking the ears of the world by storm. It is as if a musician illustrated a new conception of the laws of harmony by a miraculously adroit use of steam-whistles, gongs. and cannon. It is music for Brobdignagians endowed with immortality, not for poor little ants, with only some 15,000 days of maturity.