26 SEPTEMBER 1840, Page 15

held. and the names ait,l ages of' the heirs. l'or

practical lair- • l/t a.notiee of the last Nora id; . :he ex-


Its works in a more convenient size (octavo); that they w.cri. in certain. donations .I.a.12 : ;rough'

general much better edited, and sometimes better selected: the the hands of the l'esli■ al ... 'ttee. , and

tlmk>i'iituth. large one. Out 110•Aecer. I- : rkiee

This Commission was appointed in 183 1 ; Lord Bitola:11Am being in the 'hill than ..:1 the

mmaging II itO I, mid, according to his wont, promising largely--onania balance-MR.0 • Alta "t art' cts1111"'Ilt-‘1 c musical

arrangoimitts and general c1 the sIll III. time same evident:0s of lialiceility aro "::Icst as .:::: -.1t the last.

These will continue --thev must coot ,..,., s., s intc in- fluence:: are at 'filth' cc as cc he:: 1 ;sham Festival

summoned the lovers of the art from the Metropolis and from every would have been aware that the majority of the engagements are secured by the influence of a certain clique, who had once suffisient power to exclude Basnsst from the orchestra in the days of his prime, and who still accomplish the retention of the venerable remnant of the oil Ancient Concert party. part of the kingdom; but that time is past. It used to be in ad- vance of—it is now far behind the public taste. We are among the number of long-accustomed auditors now absent, and absent for the simple reason that the Festival presented seareely a novel feature.

The .1Iessiah—and selections from Israel in Egypt, Joshua, and jephtha—were the chief ingredients in the bill. 'rho interstices in the scheme were filled up by the same threadbare and worn-out songs which used to figure in ASHLEY and SMART.S Covent Garden Oratorio bills forty years ago,—" Martin Luther's Hymn," " Let the bright Seraphim," " Gratias agimus," and such sort of ware; Harns's Creation cut up into slices—a bit to-day and another to- morrow ; PALESTR1NA elbowed by GUGLIE1.511, and HANDEL and MOZART elternating like the squares on a chess-board; a hash compounded of ancient and modern, foreign and, English, Latin and Italiqn, frothy and solid. To such "base uses" is the divine art prostituted, and to such mutilations are the works of immortal genius subjected.

It is lamentable to see all the advantages which Birminghain possesses thus thrown away—to witness the presence of a noble band and then to bear it thus employed. That the Festival pos- sessed some attractive power, it is almost as unnecessary to say as it would be f'oolish to deny ; but on our minds the repulsive power was the stronger. If' the scheme had little of novelty, the list of singers had less; and we felt no desire to be satisfied by the evi- dence of our senses, that Mrs. Keavierr, Mr. Baausst, and :Mr. VAUGHAN, cou1.1 not sing as they sang thirty years ago.

Any notice of such a performance, therefore, is almost a work of supercroption—another review of a book reviewed before, and that not once but times already numberless. We shall, on the present eccasion, merely avail ourselves of the labours of the daily press, with a few occasional continents. The reporter of the Morning Chronicle is, evidently, the only one at all entitled to as- sume the character of a musical critic : " the Times are out of joint," and the Pust is out at sea. The Times relates, that "Israel in Egypt WaS performed entire,"—ignorant even that the oratorio consists of two acts, front which a selection of one act was per- formed at Birmingham. Into the very midst of this act was thrust an organ-prelude and fugue by Ssussaass Baeu! What must Mt:Noes:eons have thought of the taste of the Birmingham con- ductor, or of' his respect for this matchless oratorio of Hamm., to bare witnessed and even been compelled to assist in such an exhi- bition ? be Times further remarks, in connexion with this ora- torio, that " Miss Birch gave the air 'Thou didst blow' with great simplicity. and produced a corresponding epet,"—mcaning, we presume, that the young lady rendered her auditors as simple as herself. 'Ile discoveries of the Post are marvellous.* " The Town-hall of Birmingham is a magnificent structure, modelled upon one of the ancient temples et' Greece. A rustic basement supports a series of noble Coriethitte columns," &c. &e. " The front pipes of the organ are of' brass." " I don't know whether Mr. Knyvett scored his composition or not : I am sure he is a clever, deserving, and experienced musical professor; but I protest altogether ageinst his being employed as a conductor." [If so— why ?] " .Mendelssohn's organ-playing is distinguished by the purest and clearest intonation." " Overtures, not Sinfonias, are the legitimate instrumental pabulum of the Birmingham people."

The ilirminghtun Festival always suffers fronts want of rehearsal. The absurd attempt to get through seven performances with a few hours' practice, inevitably gives a slovenly character to every thing that is attempted to he produced there. The reporter of the

Chronicle justly remarks, that such a preparation is e weeny inedequate to the purpose of bringing it large hand into a state of

complete and of securing the smoeth and satisfactory performance of

such en immettee get:laity of compecated and ditiieult music, with a great deal of wild, the pert'ormers were revionsly quite tonotyr‘itited. Of course the greatest attention was bestowed on Mentlel,sohn's ' Hymn of Praise ; ' and,

t honeh I was delighted with the admirable elearness and tact with which he

Con veyed his ieretitier.e to the performers, the proloptitude with which he cor- rected their unavoidable mistakes, and the iutelligeece it lilt which they caught his remarks and directior.s, still it tins esident that much remained undone, and that he was conqalled to rest satisfied isti, the mere execution of his note?, leaving many of the delicacies of capes, -hut owl !ethical chiar 'a3cnro to shift for the tosel vet. • • * I have on f•trmer a c•hi•Ins regretted this want of adyptate rehear,el as St) Unavoidable cdl Mu:mines movincial festivals; and, in some dee ree, the VS ii I, IlhaVlitiable. But tla, arrangements of the Nor- which Festil,al, thi.§ time twelvemonth showed that it iites capable of being re- ined el to a very conseh rattle extent. I then Meerihed those arrangements,

and ventured to recommend them very earnestly to the considenttion of the

directors of future Fe-tiyale. I shall only sly at present, that, by their means, 810)11ri CrUC;.11.1;1" It iiork of enormous difficulty, was performed with a clear- ness, a precison, ;,:td an attention to the minutia of light and shade, which wield La Se ti1MI1 i!ttiSil■ble with the slight and hasty preparation usual at otio.r ran ;Ira! bAtivals."

Tilt: remarks of the same writer on the engagcanents of the princips1 ,,iSgers merit the at of those whom they may con- cern. If' he had known the musical polities of Birmingham, he • lifers is a arbp;r.-, " Birmingham, Tuesday /If fri'll0011. The grand Festival tf Pstet hits it leogth OnfillielleCd, awl I write le you from the very focus of bustle alA exvit,rto,o. I left I feretOrd tIlt aterday, after forwardit;g Inv last despatch ; ai,d, as pin st p r c',:, !t were out id the tpleStiell, I joined a friend in obtaintree the soU3,'Alrit, :Ind tar pleasanter conveyance of ft phaeton, which, it, the eood tori of \S" orreoce. I was dot.; nnabkil to cross the Mat,, ti, rny:...,:f with the magnificent 1,ro.pects ohmic tr,,•14 t.fr nT, tor.; i•. the world, We )01 with na a sort of furl', a in"t ii1,1 every he:end of tile land by heart, and wig, MN IA every Hems about everybisly pass-d along. We Made t wit litage% of tier jourree; • 0,/plo;fc! in the fir.d mstabee at the Feathers, at Li:worry; ert•r•! Ut tle• r.,te ,,f ahoot It sh..11ing ti uit,ututu for the At here the accomentda- " On the list of principal singers I shall only remelt, that it is by far too numerous. With half the ntnnber of principal singer.; the businese of the Festival would have been better done, and much needles; expense svoubl hese been saved.It is absurd to cut up the business h m i a great many fragmelde in order to give mouthfuls to 6.Terent perfitrinere of the s:cao ; Vic consequence of which is, the generation of ill-Idoed and jealetteieseheiSes ths inferior manner ie which parts of the music tined matte,. nely h.! performed. It is nonsense to talk of saving the greatest Nrfor tiers from too much feigue; I never yet heard of any singer, however great, complaining of having to much to do, though the opposite complaint is of &illy occurrence."

The mischief and folly of such engagements were apparent very early in the Festival.—. ,' 'rite recitative from The Creation, And God created men in his own linage,' and the air, • In native worth and [moue Oath' were sung by :iris Pearsall, a young %mt.:dist of much promise. He has a line tenor voice, and ids performance was correct and intelligent. But this is on of those thing.; which Braham has madeIi k own ; and, without any divirag....m.mt to Mr. Pearsall, It was provoking to see that mighty master sittiog by, while one of his fillet things was taken by an inferior performer. Title: who rememhcr the inexpres- sible energy which Braham threw into the wor And to ia b...e.ttwt a hying soul,' could feel nothing but disappointmeat from the comp tratiye f:e:tleuess of :11r. Pearsall, TM; was one of the consequenes: 'Pl. the supailuity osimeers. Braham, I know well, would have been delighted toeing a piece with %Odell for many years he has enchanted many an andience. This air, mereover, is by no inenns suited to display the talents of a secombrete performer." Mrs. KNYvErr, we presume, had heard that at the Norwich Fes- tival and at Exeter Hall some songs were introduce:1 into .I-sruel in Egypt, selected from other works of ilsesner., and adapted to words taken (like the rest of the oratorio) from the Old 1'c:eminent, and connected with its subject, and thought it right to do something of the sort. Lo the result- " The airs of this oratorio are not only very few hi number, but of inferior quality. Ou some of the most remarkeble eve isietH when it hee teem per- Rimed, airs of a higher class, selected from the e i:mpser's MILT works, have been introduced with great advantage, as a relief treat the (tepee:4'0e I at almost unbroken series of immense double cletru me, %%hese VOQ' gr.tIld,Or rens ders them the more overpowering, and leaves the lis eller, at the conclusion, full of admiration indeed, hut overwhelmed with exhansthin and fatigue. Tide kind of relief was administered, hut to a very small extent, on the preseot oceasion. Mrs. Knyeett introduced the famous song • H y, holy,' W1.4111:113' in one of Handers Italian operas; and :Mr. Phillips intrtebneel Wave from wave but neither of these introductions were happy. Hely, holy,' in its straiu and sentiment was at variance with its situetion ; a al as to ' Wave lot wave,' its excellence is not such as to render it an vequisition. The e:r is tithe! with stiff, formal divisions; and the ivords are a rich specimen cf the jr .4.1.-y whiell Handel, in his ignorance of the English language and literature, had palmed mien hint by the worthies ivho did his oratorios for him."

The only novelty of the Festival was a Hymn by -..NIeNere.ssonsr. lie has published several compositions of this elves and all of con- siderable excellence, ills skill in fugal counterpoint is well known, and it is a style of writing to which he applies con amorr. 'rhe following eulogistic notice of' it is from the 21,raing Chronicle- " The title [Lohgcsaay, or Hymn of Praise] deels to an erroneous notion of the structure of this work. Mendelssolin himself, in 11:s manuscript score, which I have had the advantage of perusing, cells it a septeZtonie for the or- chestra and voices. It is not a cantata, in which the velees are inertly aveowt- /milled by the instrumental orchestra, but a work in which one grelt iien is accomplished by the agency not of vocal musie only, but of tousle portly in- strumental. a * * The first part of this new work of Slendeksolin, and which occupies nearly one-half of its length, is in orchestral symplemy, ia three regular and highly-wrought movements. It oee ielth ito eltegro macs., toso c vivace ; ' which, from its imposing coin wee., seot, at once enchains the attention, and is itelicative of a noble and maje- tie el -orftilness. It paeees into allegretto agihtto;' and thence into on adazi■t relioloso ' aran expression

. and beauty truly divine. One of these transitioue is moue in it most uncommon

and remarkable t tanner; but it is impessible to deserihe it withoet the use of notes. The is hole chorus then bursts into grand stroles of praiss. end jubi- lation, in which there is intermingled a beantiful sob, pessege, to whieh great effect was given by Miss Birch's clear and flexible cite. Then fidlowed an

accompanied retitative, which affonled Brahain tIii st room Inr the display

of all his powers of voice, energy, and lofty hid ti ion. 'Inc thief, ' I waited for the Lord,' sung by Madam Caradori and l 5. Kay v,t t, i perky:: the gent of the piece. In its melody, expression, the exquisite combination or the ho) voices, and the soft breathing of the chorus with wit lilt the-e %mire: are ho ittime to time accompanied, it is exquisite. * * * Without ;mime into finther de- tails respecting this great and heautifid work, I Anil olverve in general, that tt itossesscs in the highest degree the characteristics of Alendels:hilin',.. sublimity of thought, clearness and unity of &Agit, harmony in which (as in a Gothic cathedral) massive grandeur is emhellideel hy the %nest ex mistte beauties of detail, and melody full or t null,, iuttithiuiuy, and feeling."

The favourite singers at 1.3irmingham seem to have bcpn DORUS GRAS, CARADORT, aitul BR AM M. The Evening concerts were made up of very hackneyed or trashy materiels. The Chronic/0 eneerly advocates the incesant repetition of the Messiah; and argues, because it attractel the lar4c,,t audience at Birmingham, that it will always do ',ft, tool tlit'XIOre °light to be " constantly repeated." We admit the fict es regards Birming- ham, but dispute its geueral correctness. And at Birmingham it only establishes the prefiTence of the audience for an ree;re work of known reptuntion, over the inferior cempositioes whish have

been produced there, amt over mere seleetions. itt seem Fes- tivals the result is wholly dinliTent. A Festival usually com-

prises three sacred perthrmance,, and no loom ir mu; „rihese is habitually given to the same «anposition SDEL, it Wind Of fleet:MS.1V Operate to time eXeltiSi011 01111 till ire Oratorios, and reduce the compositions of other musicians of the highest eminence to the leitheretts handling mid vile mutilstiott they have roceived at this Festival. We desire to eve the Birmingham arid every Festival nettle available to I he ad vaneemetil or the art as well as to the stole -is or it charily ; mid Ibis, surely, will not be accomplished by the constant repetition or 4/ile great NVOI k and the mutilation of every other.