The Great Italian and French Composers

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D. Appleton, 1895 - 248 páginas
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Página 124 - French is indeed very properly adapted to their pronunciation and accent, as their whole opera wonderfully favours the genius of such a gay airy people. The chorus in which that opera abounds, gives the parterre frequent opportunities of joining in concert with the stage. This inclination of the audience to sing along with the actors, so prevails with them, that I have sometimes known the performer on the stage do no more in a celebrated song, than the clerk of a parish church, who serves only to...
Página 20 - ... variety of scenes painted and contrived with no less art of perspective, and machines for flying in the air, and other wonderful motions ; taken together, it is one of the most magnificent and expensive diversions the wit of man can invent.
Página 20 - This night, having with my Lord Bruce taken our places before we went to the Opera, where comedies and other plays are represented in recitative music, by the most excellent musicians, vocal and instrumental, with variety of scenes painted and contrived with no less art of perspective, and machines for flying in the air, and other wonderful...
Página 29 - Parisians, though the Gluckists sneered at it as pretty concert music. The retort was that Gluck had no gift of melody, though they admitted he had the advantage over his rival of making more noise. The poor Italian was so much distressed by the fierce contest that he and his family were in despair on the night of the first representation. He could only say to his weeping wife and son : " Come, my children, this is unreasonable. Remember that we are not among savages ; we are living with the politest...
Página 98 - From his youth up," says his biographer Mould, " Vincenzo's eagerness in his art was such as to keep him at the piano night and day, till he was obliged forcibly to leave it. The ruling passion accompanied him through his short life, and by the assiduity with which he pursued it brought on the dysentery which closed his brilliant career, peopling his last hours with the figures of those to whom his works owed so much of their success.
Página 60 - is essentially different from the old. The dialogue, which used to be carried on in recitative, and which in Metastasio's operas is often so beautiful and interesting, is now cut up (and rendered unintelligible if it were worth listening to) into pezzi concertati, or long singing conversations, which present a tedious succession of unconnected, ever-changing motives, having nothing to do with each other...
Página 125 - Alpheus, instead of having his head covered with sedge and bulrushes, making love in a fair fullbottomed periwig and a plume of feathers ; but with a voice so full of shakes and quavers, that I should have thought the murmurs of a country brook the much more agreeable music. I remember the last opera I saw in that merry nation was the rape of Proserpine, where Pluto, to make the more tempting figure, puts himself in a French equipage, and brings Ascalaphus along with him as his valet de chambre.
Página 202 - Julian, (alias George Brown\ comes to his paternal castle unknown to himself. He hears the songs of his childhood, which awaken old memories in him ; but he seems doomed to misery and disappointment, for on the day of his return his hall and his broad acres are to become the property of a villain, the unfaithful steward of his own family. Here is a situation full of gloom and sad foreboding. But Scribe and Boieldieu knew better. Their hero is a dashing cavalry officer, who makes love to every pretty...
Página 125 - The shepherds are all embroidered, and acquit themselves in a ball better than our English dancing-masters. I have seen a couple of rivers appear in red stockings ; and Alpheus, instead of having his head covered with sedge and bull-rushes, making love in a fair full-bottomed periwig, and a plume of feathers...
Página 94 - The procession was composed of the numerous clergy of Bergamo, the most illustrious members of the community and its environs and of the civic guard of the town and the suburbs. The discharge of musketry, mingled with the light of three or four thousand torches, presented a fine effect ; the whole was enhanced by the presence of three military bands. The young gentlemen of Bergamo insisted on bearing the remains of their illustrious fellow townsman, altho the cemetery was a league and a half from...

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