2 JULY 1831, Page 16


HUMMEL'S visit to London has, this year, been a failure. His first concerts were scarcely attended by sufficient numbers to pay

the expenses even of the very meagre band which he provided ; and though the last had the appearance of a larger audience, we suspect it was not a much more profitable one. He has either been ill advised, or, which is rpore probable, acted without any other counsel than his own. We • have not detailed the successive fea- tures of his concerts, for they werenearlyrepetitions of those of last year, on which our opinion was fully given. To that opinion we strictly adhere; but much as we admired his pianoforte-play- ing, and the rich and brilliant fancy which characterized his ex- tempore performance, it could scarcely be expected to lay hold of

the public attention for more than a • season. As a player, he moves in the same orbit with CRAMER and MOSCHELES; and in the power of extemporizing, we have heard nothing which far surpasses that which SAMUEL WESLEY has been wont to display. Hence, considered as a mere pianoforte-player, HUMMEL was not likely to insure a succession of auditories. Yet in this character he has universally chosen to exhibit himself—why, it would he dif- ficult to say. HUMMEL stands in the same relation to MOZART in nearly all the various branches of his art; or if lie approaches his great master more closely in one than another of them, it is in his Sacred Music. His Mass in E I) is more elaborately written, and displays greater power, than many of MOZART'S; that in D (dedicated to the King of Saxony) is full of vocal and instrumental beauty, while parts of it (see IT. 98, 49) rival the greatness of HANDEL as a fugueist. 'Were we called upon to name''Huivirasis chief excellence, we should place it in his vocal writing. Here he has few contemporary rivals : and yet in this character he has not chosen, even on a second visit to London, to exhibit himself. We suggested the expediency, last year, of calling into action his various powers; he has ,chosen to confine himself to one, and has failed. His concerts, this year, ought to have exhibited selections from his music for the Church and the Theatre, in which his playing might have been advantageously introduced as one feature of the scheme. These would have pos- sessed a stronger and less expensive attraction than the " Ah come rapida" of Madame PASTA, or the trash which Signor Ru- BINS is accustomed to sing. The vocal selections of Mr. HUM- MEL'S concerts have, throughout, been on a level with those of mere Italian benefit-makers. He has been either wholly regard- less of them, or, which is equally discreditable, has chosen the songs as foils to his own compositions. We make these remarks because we could not suffer so great an artist to leave our shores without notice, and because we wish to point his attention to the real cause of that failure for which he has nobody to blame but himself. Should he revisit London, his direct interest, as well as a regard to his reputation, will prompt a different line of conduct.