30 MAY 1829, Page 12


PASTA'S RecErrioN AT VIENNA.—The triumph of Madame Pasta here is com- plete ; it was not imagined that the power of musical sensibility could be carried so far, and this artist is proclaimed by the universal voice as the Queen of Song. A sufficient company having at length been found, the Taneredi was given entire, and received with unanimous applause. But the Semiramide, which followed, was considered as the crown of this singer's talents, and excited a degree of en- thusiasm, which it would be difficult to describe. At the head of the admirers of Madame Pasta, is the Emperor himself, who was pleased to order her to give a representation at the theatre of the court. The pieces selected expressly by his Majesty, were the first act of Tancredi, and the last of Romeo e Gialietta. At the close of the first piece, the Emperor gave the signal of applause, which was taken up by the whole audience, one of the most brilliant ever witnessed here. Between the two pieces, his Majesty quitted the royal box, which is in the centre of the house, and took his place in the Prince Esterhazy's box, close to the stage. In the part of Romeo, Madame Pasta seemed to surpass herself: the deep pathos which she threw into this most touching of Zingarelli's compositions, was commu- nicated to the whole audience. The following day she took her benefit in Semi- ramide, in which her success was complete. The receipts of the evening ex- ceeded nine hundred gold ducats. On this occasion she was presented by the Emperor with a superb diadem of brilliants, accompanied by a brevet, conveyed by the hands of his first chamberlain, appointing her first singer of the court. This fortunate artist has just set out for Milan, carrying with her, as a net result of her musical visit to the Austrian capital, the sum of five thousand gold ducats. —Harmoni: on .

SPANISH MUSIC AND POETRY:TO us, many a Spanish poem has appeared to resemble the Jews-harp, with its soft floating tones, out of which the player's imagination may make what tune he pleases within the narrow bounds of his drone-like base. A confirmed taste for the drowsy enjoyment of vague sounds, expressing rather a state of being than any thought or even sentiment, is cer- tainly a characteristic of the Spaniards, especially in the south, where they most resemble the eastern nations Their general fondness for the guitar is a natural effect of that taste. Wind 'instruments require more activity than a southern Spaniard likes as an amusement, or is indeed suitable to the climate. Those instruments, being incapable of yielding more than one sound at a time, require considerable attention and dexterity, in order to give pleasure even to the rudest ear. The guitar has three of its strings ready tuned for a perfect harmony, which the change of one or two fingers may swell and vary with good effect; and the sounds will follow the most unskilful hand passing the end of the fingers up and down across the instrument. In this manner it either lulls the player in a manner not unlike distant bells, or makes the most appropriate accompaniment to the national melo- dies, which have little variety of modulation. The asonante, or imperfect rhyme, keeps the sound of the same two vowels on the ear from beginning to end in the national ballads. The music is an unmeasured chant. which the singer m naments and varies according to his taste and the flexibility of his voice. But the preva- lent effect of both music and poetry is that of soothing into revise, or affording a quiet amusement to idleness. Even the tunes intended for dancing have a cer- tain tinge of melancholy ; an4 the heart-stirring fandango is in a minor key. Some begin with a slow, unmeasur&I strain, suddenly breaking out into a boisterous quick measure ; but we do not recollect a national Spanish air which may be called truly gay and lively ; both music and poetry are generally stamped whit a reverie which borders upon sadness when inclined to be serious, and with mis- chievous wantonness, when gay. In both moods, however, the Spaniards delight in mere sound. * * The fate of Cervantes has always appeared to us a strong proof of the nnfitness of Spanish for poetry. Cervantes wished to pour out his own great mind in verse, and found the poetical language of his country unfit to receive it.—London Review, No. II.