23 MAY 1840, Page 13


TEE vigour, as yell as the extent of Spoil a's genius, are yet led par- tially made known to the English piddle. his fame, it is tree, has been extending year by year : his power is acknowledged more ;eenerally, because it is mere widely felt ; and every fresh display of it :emus to stamp him as et once the greatest instrumental, sacred, and dramatic composer, now living. In the last character he is almost unknowa ie this country ; and, for the first thee, his opera or l'aust was performed by the German company on Thursday night. These who have studied this extraordinary piss7 action in their closets, will have ht en aware of the fertility of genius sthich it displays—its fund of striking melody— its baldness—its originalit3s But those only who have witnessed its perfect representation can estimate its author's power over his art When employing it on the stage, or the truth and Three of his music regarded as a language. All is tributary to this grcat end : the singers eppear to express the feelings and parsions of their respective characters, rather thau to inalw a display of their vomit abilities ; while the accompaniment sustains and harmonizes with the tone and character f each Leperate piece, with the most ncearate fide- lity, and at the same time with an extent a variety and originality

perfectly marvellous. In truth, to hear itliasf once, is to grasp its general outline, and to acquire sonic knowledge of its character as a whole ; but its numberless beauties will only reveal themeelves after repeated hearings. It is a work which invites and will repay the closest study of the musician, although it probably will not reach the popularity of many operas of far inferior pretensions. An accomplished critic, speaking of SPOHE'S compositions, remarks—" Such is the common fide of every writer who deviates from or outruns the ttverage musical knowledge of the public :lie who transcends the judgment of the mil- lions must not wonder that they lag behind him."

Faustus, like Dun Juan, has been a favourite hero with dramatists in all countries and ages. Ma »sow, and, more than a century afterwards, Ilicm introduced to the English stage; the latter making him the hero of an opera, to which GaLtaAno supplied some very good music. The stories resemble each other, and had, probably, a common origin. In Faustus, the Evil Spirit appears, in propria persona, and urges his vic- tim to crime after crime, the consequence of a compeet openly anti audibly made with his smite:or. Don Juan perpetrates similiar crimes, but without the palpable and personal instigation of a dannon. Long before the celebrated Faust of GOETUE appeared, its story bad been dramatised in Germany ; and various plays and operas have been since founded upon it. We copy the Horning Chronicle's account of the present opera- " The principal characters, of course, are Faust and his familiar fiend :VT

top/ides. Gum-he's beautiful Margaret Ints suggested the character of Rear/ass a tradesman's daughter, who is seduced by the magician, and being cast oil by bins, drowns herself in despair. But the most prominent female character is Ifehif/unde, of whom no prototype is furnished by Goethe. She is a lady who has fallen into the hands or a ferocious baron, front whose castle Fans! assists Mat over eon et Dot!: iii delivering her. The pair me married ; and Faust, who i 1rri mit at t 1,e ti.stivities, conceives an unhallowed passion Mr the bride, which, l Ids nbal intluenee, she is seduced to return, lie makes violent love to her, and site listens to his addresses, h. lore all the asseaddial company, ineluding the hiohntd; who, resenting this freedom, is re.: throul: the hedy by the pdramour The untlirtunate lady mess mad, stet kill- 1,s self; and, tile 1110:1!“11.0 of the reprobate's iniquity being ;tow lull, the fiend, in 1.1s proper giti.e, eomes to fetch him."

This versh in, the prodnetion of BI:TIN.1111), gives abundant scope to the composer, and demands a combination of no ()raillery vocal end in- strumental talent to produce the drama at all ; while to perferm it with full effect, every aid that the orchestra can supply, Ef that first-rate vocal ertists eau give, 1.s:tether with all the table:Ida of sernery, ballet, and display, are requir..d. In all that regards the depute m211t of the machinist, the gettieg- up sir:, wretched; mid the piece depended fbr its success on the music alone.

The first net abounds with beauties of various kinds. Many pieces from this and other pert:; of the opera heve long beets lam:tier to our orchestras ; indeed, almost every detadahle portion has hoe:1 taken out and so used—some with English, others with Italian transliiions. Bat, thus employed, they are separate and solitary gems—ape Ci-. iii ig with in- tense brightness, but sperkling alone. The splendid scene in the first act, better known in England by its Italian title, " Si, lo sin to,'' has been an especial favourite with all our great singers ; and slut that has

heard it will evt r ferget LAELACHE's perform:Ince " Vusaetintualo

quegli ardor; " But, in addition tit these, the thiiiking-:ding and

ehorus—the bold and spirited Martial air sung by Jicj riv24a1 duet, here known by its English title, " Dearest, let thy ite seeps fol- low "—are so many evidences of the variety es well as hettuty whieh Saone has thrown into this opera. The fact of their having been thui employed, sufficiently mulls its high character. The usual progress is from the stage to the coecert-rtann; and Faust is almost time solitarv Instance of ins opera havinst been performed piecemeal before it was heard entire. But our opinion of the merits of this work is only an echo of the judgment of every composer of eminence. 'Hie success of' the opera WI1S greater than we anticipated. It was heard with the mute attention which such music demands, and almost every piece was welcomed with warm approbation at its close. Many Were encored; and at the conclusion of the opera the opinion of the

audience was unequivocally given, despite its unusual termination. The sulject precludes the usual assemblage of the principal characters, of whom most are dead or departed to a nameless place ; and the composer lias to wind up his opera with second-rates. Noise, in our theatres, is usually only to be engendered by noise; and a thundering finale is the surest and safest appeal to the hands of the pit and gallery. The suc- cess of Faust was much more decided than that of' Der Friesehiitz at its first performance in Loudon, where in every thing of the ad eaptan- dam kind the greatest care and skill were employed.

The mitsittal part of the performance was excellent. Madame nscnun SCHWA itzi:ocrt displayed great energy and power both as a singer and ass actress, althongh suffering under a severe cold, and therefore unable to vanquish ell the difficulties of the part of Kiln/gawk with her accus- tomed ease. Maclaine Seill"MANN was an interesting representative of Rosehen ; and every character was sustained with ability. The choral stie ngth of the company was in frequent requisition, and contributed by its varied and successful employment to the general suc- cess of the piece.