31 JANUARY 1852, Page 9

The performance of two of Mendelssohn's masterpieces, the Lobgesang or

Hymn of Praise, and the music of the choruses in Racine's _etthalie, drew on Wednesday evening one of the greatest crowds we have ever seen in Exeter Hall ; and the performance was one of the most perfect and magnificent we have ever heard in that building. In both works, the accuracy, vigour, and clearness of the choral singing, was such as to set criticism at defiance. The effect of the music in Athalie—the cho- ruses of the priests and priestesses, Levites, and medial defenders of the Temple, so expressive of strong and various emotion—is marred in some measure by its being deprived of dramatic situation and action, for which mere declamation of a sort of connecting poem is but a sorry substitute : but this is a necessary evil, and cannot be avoided. All that can be done is to read the play itself, and endeavour to imagine the effects of a scenic representation.