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the Rocio-square, which has recently acquired some political celebrity from the assemblage of the troops who complied with the call of their comrades at Oporto. Here too stood the structures in which the Inquisition and the Regency had fixed their respective seats. The dungeons of the former are demolished, and with their ruins the Rocio-square has been levelled; even the statue representing Faith has been taken down from the building, after long preparations. A few days before its removal, I was looking at these preliminary operations, when a person behind me remarked to another, “Christian Charity is already gone, Faith is going; so that we shall have nothing left us but Hope.” In the middle of the square, the soundation has been laid for a monument commemorative of the regeneration of Portugal”; but unluckily the subscriptions have not come in so freely as to allow the work to be carried on with activity; neither have I yet seen the plan for this monument, but as a national concern, it will of course be the work of a native artist. A member of the Cortes even proposed that the iron railing, by which it is to be surrounded, should be brought from San Paolo, in Brasil. Near these two squares there are several other regular streets; but the old town presents a spectacle equally irregular and disgusting. The nastiness of the streets of Lisbonisknown all the world over, and there is no
* As these letters were written previously to the last political revolution in Portugal, there can be no doubt that the monument in question, if completed at all, will be devoted to a purpose the very reverse of its original destination.—EDITOR,
sort of filth but is allowed by the police regulations to be thrown out of the windows.after ten o'clock at night. How often this operation is performed without the three warnings required by law, or how frequently it may take place at an earlier hour than it ought, may be conceived by those who are acquainted with the supineness of the police. Dead dogs, cats, and even asses and horses, may be seen lying in the streets for days together. Some of the streets have sewers, and others none. Troops of dogs without owners rove about in quest of food; and when they meet with a scanty supply, you are disturbed the whole night by the howling of the hungry creatures. The French killed thousands of these beasts; but in the present filthy state of the streets, the Portuguese consider them as necessary animals; so that at every open shop you see a bucket of water placed for these destitute creatures, lest they should perish with thirst. About ten o'clock the streets of Lisbon become quite dull, and in this particular it forms an exception to all the large cities of the south of Europe. All the shops without distinction, all the taverns and coffeehouses must then be shut up, agreeably to the regulations of the police; universal silence pervades the streets at the hour of ten, and during the rest of the night, it is only here and there that you meet persons returning from the theatre or from private parties. Robbery and murder are not rare, especially in winter. The town is tolerably well lighted. The pavement is throughout wretched, and the public squares are not paved at all: in some of them, previously to the entry of the French, there were mountains of dirt. be it observed, that out of the contribution of two hundred millions of crusadoes which they imposed, they expended two hundred thousand on cleansing the city. The dwelling-houses are commodious; but as for specimens of beautiful architecture, Lisbon has nothing of the kind to produce. Whoever has seen the churches and convents in Italy, can derive little gratification from those of this capital. In number indeed it may equal any city of Italy; but for architecture, sculpture, paintings, and works of art in gemeral, the Portuguese edifices are far inferior. One of the most spacious convents in the heart of the city is S. Francisco de Cidade, or as we might justly transpose the name, Cidade de S. Francisco, because it is almost large enough for a city. The poor mendicant monks have collected by begging money for building a church, that is to equal, as they say, St. Peter's at Rome; but which, with the exception of the bare walls and the façade, will probably remain for ever unfinished; for the monks have lost all their influence under the new system, and few persons will now lend money in expectation of receiving it back with interest in the next world. The largest of the churches is that of St. Domingo, but besides its magnitude I have not been able to find in it anything worthy of notice. The newest church and convent is that of Estrella, erected by the late queen, Donna Maria I. and dedicated to the Heart of Christ; because all the saints were supplied with churches, and a more worthy object could not be found for a patron to so pious a
To their credit
holiness the consecration of a festival to the “Heart of Christ;" and she expended millionsmore upon a church and convent, which are still unfinished, and not worth the sums lavished upon them. Upon the whole, there are very few public buildings in Lisbon which are completed; and it is a trait in the character of the Portuguese, to begin every thing on a grand scale, and to leave it unfinished. Thus in Pombal's time a building was begun with magnificent subterraneous vaults, and carried up a few feet above the surface of the ground: it was intended for the public Treasury, and a large sum was spent upon it; but the whole is now covered with rubbish, and its completion is never thought of. It is to be sure much wiser to leave it as it is; for no such magnificent exterior is required for an exchequer so empty as that of Portugal now is. The new royal palace of Ayuda— out of Lisbon—is begun upon a very large scale, but not more than about a third of it is yet finished. They have been working at it God knows how many years; and 400,000 crusadoes are allotted annually to the works, not for the purpose of providing the king with a magnificent residence, but that thousands of persons may not be destitute of bread. Situated on an eminence above the castle of Belem, this palace commands a noble view; but it has evident faults in the architecture, which cannot fail to strike the spectator who has seen any edifices of the kind. In the entrance and fore-court, situated on the east side, Portugal purposed to display the talents of her
pended millions in obtaining from his |
foundation. The good queen ex-jsons in sculpture; but unluckily these
artists engraved their names on the pedestals of the statues, in order to render themselves immortal together with their works. In my opinion, it would have been much more judicious, if, instead of their own names, they had favoured the public with those of the deities whom they designed to represent, for some of them absolutely require this sort of explanation. At the foot of the palace is situated the old Gothic tower of Belem, at a place where the Tagus is narrowest, and where of course it may the more easily command ships with its cannon. Here the age of barbarism established dungeons, which are an everlasting disgrace to humanity.
Some of them are not only under
ground, but constantly under water; and here state-prisoners languished out their lives, and died a lingering death. In the city there is nothing further worthy of notice, but out of it, the beautiful aqueduct of Alcantara, which conveys water to Lisbon from the distance of some leagues, must not be omitted. Over the last two. hills arches of free-stone, the middlemost of which is, I believe, 350 feet high, conduct the water to a spacious. reservoir, which is adequate to the supply of the city for several months. This aqueduct is built with such solidity, that not a stone of it was displaced by the earthquake of 1755. (To be continued.)
taisie pour le Piano-forte, dedite a M. Catel, Professeur au Con
servatoire à Paris, par Fred. Kalkbrenner. Op.68–(Clementi and Co. and Chappell and Co.) Mr. KALKBRENNER, we believe, is a pupil of Monsieur Catel, as far as relates to the science of music at least, and he has here brought an offering to his master, which is highly honourable to both parties. If we were to give an opinion in general terms upon this fantasia, we should say, that it exemplifies in a striking manner the wonderful degree of perfection to which execution on the piano-forte has been carried by the present generation, and by Mr. K. individually: it also exhibits a pretty complete epitome of most of the Vol. III. No. XIII.
REVIEW. higher harmonic combinations which we are accustomed to expect in the productions of the masters of the art, Mr. Kalkbrenner having concentrated here the essence of the best of the kind from the purest sources, and infused over it the charm of his own manner of treatment. In these gleanings and recollections and imitations (of harmonic combinations of the first order) we have recognised several old friends, Mozart in particular: the plaintive accents in Donna Anna's great recitativo are occasionally distinguished in the first movement; the awful notes of the spectre resound more decidedly p. 13; and Rossini's vivacious style has probably had some influence on the presto, p. 22. In a fantasia an author does as he pleases, and if a critic asks a question, he has a right to answer, “I have done the thing so, car telest notre plaisir.” In the present case, therefore, if we sought for a greater quantum of melody than Mr. K.'s fantasia exhibits, he might with justice say, that his object was to write a fantasia of deep and varied modulation, and of scientific texture; and that if now and then a cantable line or two is given, such as in p. 8 (which did our heart good after so much serious and complicated harmony), the critic has no reason to complain. Mr. K. besides, might fairly refer us to the fine adagio, p. 14, and justly ask whether that was not melody the most attractive, the most delicate, and sensitive? This it certainly is for a little while; but then the fantasification soon comes over it, and, with the most consummate artifice, renders it highly seasoned for our plain palate. We had better be contented with Mr. K.’s labour, such as it is ; for in its kind it is excellent, nay, wonderful: it would quite suffice, had he written nothing else, to establish his fame in every musical country, and it will, vigorous as his days yet are, outlive the author, we are sure. That a fantasia of this description will put the greatest executive powers to the test, may easily be imagined. It is one of those pieces concerning which Woelfl observed to us, “Let dem learn it; I have been oblished to learn it myself after I wrote it.” As a work for practice and study, the fantasia deserves the notice and unwearied diligence of the higher proficients. They will find double parts for one hand, fugues, counterpoints, and innumerable digital niceties in abundance. A work of this description ought to be carefully
read, and considered by portions, before a finger is put to the instrument. A new Divertimento for the Pianoforte, by Mayseder. Pr. 2s. 6d. —(Boosey and Co. Holles-street.) A seasonable relaxation to us from the intense study which the consideration of the preceding work required. Mr. Mayseder is more of a violinplayer than a “pianiste.” So much the better, plenty of melody and less intricacy; for a composer seldom is found to write any thing more difficult than what he can master himself. This divertimento indeed is all melody, clear as daylight, graceful and unaffected, and of easy execution. It consists of an adagio and an allegretto in D major; the former full of tender expression, and the latter in a playful polacca style, with abundance of pretty attractive ideas. Mr. M. however, has evidently drawn freely upon Rossini, at least as to manner. The “minorizing” his cadences for instance, and the whole plan of the gradual accumulation of bustle (from “piu mosso,” p. 7), are obvious Rossinisms. Manus manum lavat. The gran maestro is not over scrupulous either in these matters. Cramer's favourite Serenata, originally composed for the Harp, Piano-forte, &c. arranged for the Piano-forte, and dedicated to Mrs. John Austin, by G. Kiallmark. Pr. 4s.—(Chappell and Co.) This being merely a compressed adaptation of a serenata sufficiently known, all that can be required of us is, to say that Mr. K.'s arrangement appears to be satisfactory and effective. As the composition ingratiates itself with the ear, and the extract by Mr. K. is not difficult, his labour no doubt will meet with a fa
“The Lisle,” a French March, adapt- |
ed for the Piano;forte, with a Coda and Rondo, composed by J. M“Murdie, Mus. Bac. Oxon. Pr. 2s. 6d.—(Clementi and Co.) The march in E b, and trio in A b, are fairly brought forth, except that their bass is a little stiff and unvariedly monotonous. In the coda, two or three well-chosen chords produce effect. The rondo is but a variation (with some digressive portions) of the march itself, and hardly that, for time and melody very nearly are the same. In the form of rondo, however, the air tells well. The rondo has also a part in A b, into which it slips rather by a licence. In the 7th page the modulations do not possess sufficient clearness of plan and diction. The portions in C minor, and Ab , p. 8, and the winding up, p. 9, are quite satisfactory.
PIANO-FORTE WARIATIONS. Of the compositions of this class, numerous in the extreme as usual, the following claim our notice: Brilliant Variations for the Pianoforte to the favourite Air “ Ma Fanchette est charmante,” dedicated to her Serene Highness Mademoiselle d'Orléans, by Henry, Herz. Op. 10. Pr. 6s.-(Boosey and Co.) If our critical labours were to be directed to none but variations of this stamp, our dislike to this class of compositions would soon be subdued: indeed we then should probably be but seldom called upon to review variations at all; for such as these do not present themselves every month. Mr. Herz, we understand, is a German professor, at present residing at Paris; this is the first work of
his Muse that has come under our cognizance, and it is quite sufficient to enable us to know our man. He belongs to the few of the great school. Without fatiguing our readers with any analysis of excellencies, we content ourselves with assuring them, that those whose skill is adequate to the task—for there are difficulties to be overcome—will find these variations equal probably to the best in their collection. They abound in every feature which we expect to meet with in works of classic pretension: more we need not say. Mr. Herz, we observe, has interposed a Tutti between each variation; a practice which, in some few instances, has recently been adopted by other composers of his rank, and which is attended with excellent effect, even if the piano-forte alone should becompelled to execute that which, properly speaking, is intended for a full band. These Tutti afford a fine relief, and have the further advantage of presenting us with an additional portion of the composer's own invention. They should, of course, be all of varied import, yet possess some features of general resemblance, akin in some measure to the theme — unity and variety. Mr. Herz's Tutti are of this description: they are beautiful; and, like those of Mr. Moscheles, may be looked upon as models. No. XXIV. “ Scots wha' hae' wi' Wallace bled;” a celebrated Air, with Variations for the Pianoforte, Flute, and Wioloncello; conposed, and inscribed to her Grace Caroline Duchess of Richmond, by J. Mazzinghi. Pr. 3s.—(Goulding and Co.) The accompaniments are ad libitum. The variations, ten in number,