12 JANUARY 1850, Page 11


The performance of St. Paul at Exeter Hall, last night, may be called a revival ; this oratorio having never been repeated, in London at least, since the appearance of Mendelssohn's later and much more original work, the Elijah. On the present occasion it was most carefully executed, under the able direction of Costa ; who was of course thoroughly acquainted with the composer's own intentions, and who if he had any fault, was only a little too anxious to mark them distinctly, thus giving occasionally too much prominence to small points and a forced emphasis to delicate inflections. The orchestra, too, was sometimes too strong ; especially in the fine chorales, which, being essentially of the nature of psalm-tunes, or congregational harmony, ought, of all kinds of vocal music, to be the most lightly accompanied. The solo parts were well sung by Miss Hayes, Miss Dolby, Mr. Lockey, and Herr Formes ; but the recitatives were, as usual, made heavy by being too slow ; Miss Hayes only being (probably from her Italian edu- cation) faultless in this respect