5 MAY 1838, Page 20


If the current be strong, and in certain quarters irresistible, in favour of what is the least worthy of regard in vocal music, it is some conso. lotion to find that there is also an under-current setting in a contrary direction. The Italian Opera-house ceases to echo the universal pub- lic opinion in matters of musical taste, as it did in days of yore. The lovers of music no longer frequent it except to gratify occasional curi- osity : for permanent and refilled enjoyment—for the higher kinds of gratification which the art can display—they are driven to look else- where. Time vvas when the fashionable songs of the day were the best songs : the music of FAISIELLO, SACCIIINI, CIMAROSA, WINTER, was in everybody's hands—its intrinsic excellence recommending it to some, its frequent performance at the Opera-house to other purchasers. But now these several classes of customers are compelled to resort to different markets. He who is able to judge of music for himself, and to estimate the difference between good and bad, cannot find the supply he needs in such ware as I Puritani, and Lucia di Lammermoor: be must look beyond : and it is the demand for this class of customers that has occasioned the publication of such works as the Lyra Germanica. The contributors to the present volume are Smile, Lowe, Scar- BERT, MENDELSSOiIN, MARSCHNER, and BEETHOVEN; Men not of equal eminence, but all essentially musicians—that is, men in whom poetry generates worthy and corresponding thoughts—in whom the spirit of music lives, moves,and breathes, and not mere music.mongers. The publication of a third volume of a work to which such men are contributors, is a gratifying symptom of the success of the former ones. The stock of good materials is far from being exhausted ; and the publishers will find no difficulty in sustaining through future volumes the present reputation of the Lyra Germanica.