Third Philharmonic Society Concert
London: King’s Theatre—Time: Evening, Eight o’Clock
Subscription Concert: 4 Guineas
|Symphony No.2 in D minor||Spohr|
|From Requiem: Quartet, ‘Recordare’||Miss H. Cawse, Mrs. Bishop, Signors Curioni, Giubilei||Mozart|
|Piano Concerto No.5 in C major (MS)||Mr. Moscheles||Moscheles|
|From Don Giovanni |
Recit., ‘In qualli eccessi’
Aria, ‘Mi tradi’
|Overture, Don Carlos||Ries|
|Symphony No.1 in C major||Beethoven|
|From Nina: Duet, ‘Son io desto’||Signors Curioni, Giubilei||Paisiello|
|From Judas Maccabæus: Air, ‘From mighty Kings’||Mrs. Wood||Handel|
|Trio for two Violoncellos and a Double Bass||Messrs. Crouch, Lindley, Dragonetti||Corelli|
|Principal Vocalists: Miss H. Cawse, Mrs. Bishops, Mrs. Wood; Signors Curioni, Giubilei|
|Principal Instrumentalists: Mr. Moscheles|
|Leader: Mr. Charles Weichsel; Conductor: Mr. Henry Bishop|
Programme Notes: Due to the indisposition of Madame de Meric, Mrs. Bishop sang instead.
Salary: £10. 10
[GB-Lbl RPS MS 299 f.20 v]
Moscheles: ‚Man hat mich zum Mitdirector der Philharmonischen Gesellschaft gemacht, und wie ich höre, ohne eine einzige schwarze Kugel. Aber wir sind im Directorium unser sieben, sechs unter diesen begegnen sich in ihren Ansichten, sie sind conservativ, für alles Althergebrachte; ich allein trachte, nach musikalischer Reform und dringe nicht durch. Symphonische Werke und Quartette werden in einem und demselben Concert gegeben; mittelmässige Sänger werden zum Gesang zugelassen. Das veraltete Trio von Corelli, das nun schon seit einer Reihe von Jahren nicht fehlen darf, wird von den alten Matadoren Cramer, Lindley und Dragonetti siegesgewiss mit selbstgefälligem Lächeln vorgetragen. Unser Einem reisst die Geduld dabei. Bei Lindley‘s unvermeidlicher Cadenz steht man zehnmal am Schluss und wird zehnmal zu dem Einerlei von Arpeggien und Flageolettönen zurückgeführt; er erinnert mich an eine Fliege, die den mit Zucker bestreuten Teller nicht verlassen will, ist mir auch so lästig wie diese. Und doch hat das Trio für gewisse alte Subscribenten seinen Reiz (?), hat grössere Berechtigung, in dies „classische“ Institut einzudringen, als Mayseder‘s neues Sextett und Neukomm‘s Septett für Blasinstrumente, die sich jedoch des grossen Beifalls halber einer zweiten Aufführung erfreuten. An Beethovens letzte Quartette wagt man sich nicht‘.AML I, 240-241.
Philharmonic Society Programme
UNDER THE IMMEDIATE PATRONAGE OF
THIRD CONCERT, MONDAY, MARCH 26, 1832.
In consequence of the sudden indisposition of Madame DE MERIC, of which the Directors were apprized this morning, Mrs H. R. BISHOP has very kindly consented, at this short notice, to sing the pieces allotted to Madame de MERIC in this evening’s Concert.
|Sinfonia No. 2 – – – – – –||Spohr.|
|Quartetto, Mrs H. R. BISHOP, Miss H. CAWSE, Signor CURIONI, and|
|Signor GIUBILEI, “Recordare” (Requiem) – – –||Mozart.|
|MS. Concerto in C, Mr MOSCHELES – – – –||Moscheles.|
|Scena, Mrs H. R. BISHOP, “Mi tradì” (Il Don Giovanni)||Mozart.|
|Overture, Don Carlos – – – – – –||F. Ries.|
|Sinfonia in C – – – – – –||Beethoven.|
|Duetto, Signor CURIONI and Signor GIUBILEI, “Son io desto” (Nina) –||Paesiello.|
|Trio, two Violoncello e Contra Basso, Messrs LINDLEY, CROUCH, and|
|DRAGONETTI – – – – – –||Corelli.|
|Terzetto, Mrs. H. R. BISHOP, Signor CURIONI, a Signor GIUBILEI,|
|“Quanto nel campo” (Gl’ Orazj ed i Curiazj) – – –||Cimarosa.|
|Overture, Idomeneo – – – – – –||Mozart.|
|Leader, MR WEICHSEL.—Conductor, Mr BISHOP.|
*** TO COMMENCE AT EIGHT O’CLOCK PRECISELY.
The Subscribers are most earnestly entreated to observe, that the Tickets are not transferable,
and that any violation of this rule will incur a total forfeiture of the subscription.
THE NEXT CONCERT WILL BE ON THE NINTH OF APRIL.
[Written note by Sir George Smart in Part II after the duet ‘Son io desto’ and before the Trio: ‘Recit & Air—Mrs. Wood—From Mighty Kings—————————Handel.’]
The Tatler. A daily paper of literature, fine arts, & public amusements (March 27, 1832): 295.
LAST evening’s Concert (the third) consisted of a choice selection the instrumental from Spohr, Mozart, Beethoven, Reis, Moscheles, and Corelli; the vocal from Mozart, Paesiello, and Handel. Particulars to-morrow.
The Globe and Traveller (March 28, 1832): 3.
The third Concert of the Philharmonic Society was given on Monday, and consisted of a miscellaneous selection from all the best composers. Madame Meric was to have sung there, but a notice was issued in the morning to the effect that that lady would be unable to sing in consequence of indisposition, and Mrs. Bishop would supply her place.
The Morning Post (March 28, 1832): 3.
The Third Concert of the Philharmonic Society took place on Monday last, previous to which the following notice was issued:—
In consequence of the sudden indisposition of Madame de MERIC, of which the Directors were apprised this morning, Mrs. H. R. Bishop has very kindly consented, at this short notice, to sing the pieces allotted to Madame de MERIC in this evening’s Concert.
|Sinfonia, No. 2……………………………………………||SPOHR.|
|Quartetto, Mrs. H. R. BISHOP, Miss H. CAWSE, Sig. |
CURIONI, and Signor GIUBILEI, “Recordare”
|MS. Concerto in C, Mr. MOSCHELES…………………||MOSCHELES.|
|Scena, Mrs. H.R. BISHOP, “Mi trade” (Il Don Giovanni). MOZART.|
|Overture, Don Carlos……………………………………||F. RIES.|
|Sinfonia in C…………………………………………….||BEETHOVEN.|
|Duetto, Signor CURIONI and Signor GIUBILEI, “Son|
io desto” (Nina)……………………………………..
|Trio, two Violoncelli e Contra Basso, Messrs. |
LINDLEY, CROUCH, and DRAGONETTI………..
|Terzetto, Mrs. H. R. BISHOP, Signor CURIONI, and |
Signor GIUBILEI, “Quando nel campo” (Gl’
Orazj ed i Curiazj)…………………………………..
Leader, Mr. WEICHSEL.—Conductor, Mr. BISHOP.
The public will easily sympathise with the chagrin and troubles of an amateur manager when they reflect on the difficulties and disappointments occasioned by the whim or caprices of vocalists, which seven professional Directors are even subject to in their sincere endeavours to serve the public. The apology for MERIC would have satisfied the audience; but rumour says that Madame was 100 miles from London at the time she ought to have been at the rehearsal! Mrs. WOOD, in breathless haste from Drury-Lane, arrived after the duetto in the second act, and sang From mighty Kings; with the exception of an absurd and very unmeaning cadence at the close, her singing was splendid beyond all her former efforts at these Concerts.
SPOHR’S Sinfonia, No. 2, contains all the beautiful effects of harmony which can be produced by a master hand, yet, as in most of his instrumental music, there wants the master-mind for something beyond the morbid, hypochondriacal feeling which pervades the whole. Those conversant with science will always be delighted in listening to SPOHR’S music—yea, even the sensitive practical amateur; but the general admirers of the art cannot derive that pleasure from it which the loftier and pictorialcompositions of BEETHOVEN and WEBER afford them. The movements were all taken too slow. Scarcely one of them was begun with anything like an ensemble, nor was the least attention paid to nuance; yet a fortnight ago the same Band was the subject of our eulogy for precision and correct performance. The Concerto of MOSCHELES, for orchestral effect, is a noble production; the passages exhibiting the powers of a player are perhaps less brilliant and more crude than those in his Concertos—E flat, E natural, and G minor. The composition and performance together was a majestic display of unrivalled powers.
RIES is an imitator of BEETHOVEN without possessing much genius for melody. Interrupted cadences, extraneous modulations, a lavish use of brass instruments without design, and, perchance, a smooth rhythm, characterize most of this author’s compositions. Though the horns and wind instruments were occasionally tame in giving the subject, Don Carlos may be considered the best of RIES’ Overtures, judging from its general effect on Monday. The Sinfonia of BEETHOVEN, the Trio of CORELLI, and the Overture of MOZART, contrasted delightfully with the rest of the pieces, and were listened to with admiration and applauded with enthusiasm.
The Tatler. A daily paper of literature, fine arts, & public amusements (March 28, 1832): 298-299.
THIRD CONCERT, MONDAY, MARCH 26.
|Sinfonia, No. 2. . . . .||Spohr.|
|Quartetto, Mrs H. R. BISHOP, Miss H. CAWSE, Signor |
CURIONI, and Signor GIUBILEI, ‘Recordare,’
(Requiem) . . . . . .
|MS. Concerto in C, Mr. MOSCHELES . .||Moscheles.|
|Scena, Mrs H. R. BISHOP, ‘Mi tradi’ (Il Don Giovanni)||Mozart.|
|Overture, Don Carlos . . .||F. Ries.|
|Sinfonia in C . . . . .||Beethoven.|
|Duetto, Signor CURIONI and Signor GIUBILEI, ‘Son io |
desto’ (Nini [sic]). . . . . .
|Trio, two Violoncellos e Contra Basso, Messrs LINDLEY |
CROUCH, and DRAGONETTI . . . .
|Terzetto, Mrs H. R. BISHOP, Signor CURIONI, and Sig- |
nor GIUBILEI, ‘Quanto nel campo’ (Gl’ Orazj ed i
Curiazj) . . . .
|Overture, Idomeneo . . . .||Mozart.|
Leader, Mr WEICHSEL.—Conductor, Mr BISHOP.
THE instrumental department of the last concert was unexceptionable. The symphony by Spohr was received—not as it ought to have been—yet with animated applause:—when it was first performed by the Philharmonic Society, it was hissed! This is as it should be: real talent, original production, has always to wedge its way—but then it sticks—mediocrity is appreciated at once, or overestimated, and, sooner or later, invariably finds its level: and thus matters are balanced in this ‘best-of-all-possible worlds.’ To us it appears incredible, that any one with a capacity to discriminate one tone from another, at all events of tracing a subject under its varied treatment of harmonies and instrumentation, should assert that Spohr is deficient in melody: every movement in the symphony in question is, in our apprehension, fraught with the most graceful subjects of melody, and they are treatd in a manner which ranks the composer with the great writers in this walk of musical structure. It was most admirably performed upon the present occasion; as was also the still finer symphony by Beethoven. The overture to ‘Don Carlos,’ by Ries, though a work of great ability, was, we must acknowledge, rather too noise to suit our tastes.
The trio from Corelli, for the two violoncelli and double bass (a departure from the original intention of the composer which we feel to be unobjectionable) was a perfect treat. In the introductory slow movement the fine chords of suspension moved on with the stately grandeur and richness of an organ voluntary, and Dragonetti’s miraculous bass was the double diapason. We could have listened for hours to the repetition of the solemn theme. The second and last movement were calculated to display the crisp and exquisite fingering of Lindley, and he amply availed himself of his opportunity.
Mr Moscheles’ piano-forte concerto is in our estimation the best composition that we have heard of that clever musician. The tutti parts, and general accompaniments, are beautifully scored; the whole of the movements are worthy of him, and the second, an adagio in the minor key, is a lovely piece of melody. The modulations into the major were easy and graceful, and pleasingly effective. This we think the best piece of writing in the concerto. In the finale we now and then had a glimpse that the composer’s thoughts were not a hundred leagues removed from the great Hummel. Mr Moscheles is beyond all question a fine performer on his instrument; yet we are forcibly reminded in his style of playing that there is too much display of effort to produce what is called ‘expression;’ and this is effected by dragging the time—a very convenient piece of finesse. Hummel, John Cramer, and that very sensible as well as great player, John Field, can all give quite as much emphasis, can lean upon, and express the same passages with the same eloquent delicacy as Mr Moscheles, and without the same parade—we do not use this term in an offensive sense. To sum up our opinion: we fully estimate Mr Moscheles’ high accomplishment, but his style of playing is not that which we should prefer for a child of our own.
The charming overture to Idomeneo closed the performance.
With very different feelings do we now turn to the vocal department of the concert.—To such personas as cannot see the intention of a composer through an indifferent performance of his work, the ‘Recordare’ from Mozart’s Requiem must have excited their wonder how such a piece of music could obtain so high a reputation: yet in its class it is perhaps as perfect a quartet as ever was written; and in public, we incline to think, never was so infamously sung. The men who we suppose were paid their ten guineas each for attempting and spoiling that which they did not know, were moreover constantly out of tune and time; Mrs Bishop, (with regret, yet with truth and justice to the others we must acknowledge) sang most frightfully and perseveringly out of tune; so that the only one who did justice at all to his heavenly piece of composition was Miss H. Cawse. How different would have been the effect had she been joined by Mrs Knyvett, Messrs Vaughan and H. Phillips! As for Signors Curioni and Guibilei they are shining examples of the luck which follows some incompetent singers. We could name persons now among the chorus at the Opera-house, working like mill-horses for weeks before they can earn ten guineas, (which these men have for spoiling two compositions in one evening) who would have sung their tenor and bass parts of this quartet infinitely better than they did. So again in the duet from Nina; they bawled it through without the slightest feeling of the music, and horribly out of tune too. Some one has given out that Signor Curioni is engaged to be paid 800 guineas for the season at the Opera House. Heaven help us! Let us not after this be told of Paganini’s exorbitant demands.
The lovely air, ‘Mi tradì,’ fine though it is—and Mozart’s to boot, we cannot feel to be the correct expression of the words. With humility do we dare to question the fact. But the sentiment suggests to our mind more abrupt expression of grief, disappointment, and even revenge; whereas the whole melody is continuous and flowing. The following words we think support our conclusion:
Quando sent oil mio tormento,
Di vendetta il cor favela.
Instead of the trio from Cimarosa’s Opera ‘Gl’ Orazj’ (the execution of which were fortunately spared), Mrs Wood sang with great applause, ‘From mighty Kings.’ Her cadence (which, perhaps, is as fair a liberty to take, as those which are granted to Mr Lindley) was not to our taste; but indeed the whole air itself was never a great favourite with us.
The Athenæum (March 31, 1832): 212.
THIRD PHILHARMONIC CONCERT.
As a whole, this third Concert was but indifferent. Spohr’s Sinfonia, No. 2, was not executed with the fine proportion of light and shade wanting for its full effect, and which we partly attribute to the incapacity of Mr. Weichsel as leader. The violas in this band are at the back of the orchestra, and sometimes quite inaudible, which prevented us following the train of conversational passages in which Spohr’s music abounds. Surely the Directors know what quartet of instruments constitute the substance
of a “Partitura”—and how essential it is to have them near together. A MS. pianoforte Concerto was performed by the author, Moscheles. The “tutti” preceding the first solo led us to anticipate a more effective and original composition. The slow movement has some good writing for the wind instruments, but the last allegro, rather “scherzo,” we think the best part of the Concerto. The piece, indeed, did not strike us as well suited for the favourable display of the powers of the instrument, and parts of it can only be played with proper character and feeling by the author, whose execution remains unimpaired, and who was deservedly and loudly applauded. ‘Don Carlos,’ an overture by Ries, was tolerably effective; there was an abundance of dissonant harmony, especially minor ninths, which this author invariably indulges in: we should perhaps relish it better on a second hearing. Beethoven’s Sinfonia in c, though, like the rest, the execution wanted chiaroscuro, was an agreeable relief to all that preceded it. Corelli’s trio in E flat was played by the inimitable Lindley and Dragonetti, accompanied by a second violincello we think that a less hacknied [sic] trio might have been chosen to exhibit the practical powers of Dragonetti to more advantage:—we observed that he put his third string a note lower, and produced some fine novel effects. Mozart’s overture, ‘Idomeneo,’ terminated the performance. An apology was made for the absence of Madame de Meric, and indulgence requested for Mrs. Bishop. We shall therefore make no other comment on the latter lady than that her intonation was again imperfect, and that her voice was too sharp in the Ricordare, from Mozart’s Requiem. Curioni was indifferent—Miss H. Cawse correct—Signor Giubilei passable—but Mrs. Wood, who at a short notice, supplied the place of Madame de Meric, added fresh laurels to her fame. The execution of Handel’s ‘Mighty Kings’ was one of the best specimens of English singing we ever heard.
The Spectator (March 31, 1832): 302.
THE PHILHARMONIC CONCERTS.
WE premise our remarks on the third Concert by stating, that the Directors were placed in embarrassment at the last minute, owing to the indisposition of Madame DE MERIC, of which they were only apprized a few hours before the performance took place. And it is necessary also to add, that, in using the word “in-disposition,” we mean to say that the lady was too unwell to be able to sing anywhere or at all; for it is often used to signify only that the singer is displeased with what she has to do, is seized with a fit of laziness, or has obtained a more pleasant and profitable engagement. In this emergency, Mrs. BISHOP consented, at the last minute, to take the pieces allotted to Madame DE MERIC; and Mrs. WOOD added the song “From mighty kings.” We therefore give the “amended bill.”
|Sinfonia, No. 2…………………………………………………..||Spohr.|
|Quartetto, Mrs. H. R. BISHOP, Miss H. CAWSE, Signor |
CURIONI, and Signor GIUBILEI, “Recordare,” (Requiem)
|MS. Concerto in C, Mr. MOSCHELES…………………………||Moscheles.|
|Scena, Mrs. H. R. BISHOP, “Mi trade” (Il Don Giovann)..||Mozart.|
|Overture, Don Carlos……………………………………………||F. Ries.|
|Sinfonia in C……………………………………………………||Beethoven.|
|Duetto, Signor CURIONI and Signor GIUBILEI, “Son io |
Desto” (Nina) ……………………………………………….
|Trio, two Violoncellos and Contra Basso, Messrs. LINDLEY |
CROUGH, and DRAGONETTI…………………………….
|Song, Mrs. WOOD, “From mighty Kings” ……………………||Handel.|
|Leader, Mr. WEICHSEL.—Conductor, Mr. BISHOP.|
Leader, Mr. WEICHSEL.—Conductor, Mr. BISHOP.
The Instrumental music deserved unqualified praise. There was abundant variety, and it was all good of its kind. SPOHR’S Sinfonia has grown to be a favourite. It was once scoffed at—spurned, hissed—in this room, when played by the same band: To the credit of their taste, the Directors persevered in its performance, and the audience begin to feel its beauty and its grandeur. We beg to assure the subscribers, that, respecting SPOHR, they have yet much to learn. They usually measure what they hear by some received standard, and, finding it unlike, condemn it. Thus it was with HAYDN, with MOZART, with BEETHOVEN, and thus it is with SPOHR. The day of his triumph is coming, but it is not yet come.
BEETHOVEN’S Sinfonia in C was an early effort. It is formed upon the received plan and model, and a glorious composition it is; but it scarcely indicated the bold and lofty range to which its author aspired in the C minor Sinfonia. There all former rules were abandoned; and instead of a composition containing a prescribed number, character, and style of movements, he gave us an instrumental drama. This was laughed at, condemned, shelved, by the same audience and band as now join in admiration of it as one of the greatest efforts of musical genius.
We hailed the return of MOSCHELES to this Orchestra (from which he has been so long and so unhandsomely excluded), with sincere pleasure. His Concerto was the effort of an accomplished musician, and his playing was marked by the force and brilliancy which always characterize it: still, to our taste, it wanted the exquisite expression of CRAMER, and the concerto might have been advantageously curtailed. We confess to being old-fashioned enough to relish a Trio of CORELLI, especially when set forth by three such players as LINDLEY, CROUCH, and DRAGONETTI; and we only hint that there is no absolute need of always having recourse to the same, beautiful as it undoubtedly is. RIES’S Overture to Don Carlos is fairly entitled to a place in these selections; and it was admirably played.
By way of contrast, we address ourselves to the Vocal music; and we shall not blame the Directors for any results which were the effect of accident, but only for such as were occasioned by premeditation and design. It was well to select the “Recordare” of MOZART for performance on the decease of the Society’s oldest, ablest member; but it was not well to select two singers who were certain to murder it. If it had been designate to burlesque this divine composition, the purpose could not have been more effectually achieved than by delivering it into the hands of CURIONI and GIURILEI. Instead of the pure, harmonious flow of equal voices, which it demands, shouting and bawling were substituted, and not a single bar was in decent tune from beginning to end. And the Duetto of PAESIELLO was a like specimen of perfect vulgarity. Instead of such a disgraceful exhibition, it would not have been too much to expect that the death of CLEMENTI should be followed, in the Philharmonic Society, by the performance of the “Requiem” of MOZART or CHERUBINI entire. Is there an English singer of eminence who would not have thought him or herself honoured by assisting in such a performance on such an occasion? We hope—we believe, not one. But it seems: as if there were a conspiracy to degrade the vocal music of these Concerts. If one good singer is engaged, her powers are sure to be paralyzed by those with whom she is associated: thus Mrs. WOOD was sunk to the level of WINTER, and Madame DE MERIC had been destined to a union with CURIONI and GIUBILEI. If the highest flight of vocal excellence which this Society aims at is the worn-out compositions of modern Italy, such singers are as good for their purpose as any others: but if they aim to reach the loftier regions of MOZART, HAYDN, SPOHR, or WEBER, they must look elsewhere. Everybody was disgusted with the exhibition to which we have alluded; but nobody was disappointed, for it only realized previous anticipations.
The Atlas (April 1, 1832): 220.
Philharmonic Society.—Monday, March 26.
ACT. I. —Sinfonia—SPOHR. Quartetto, Mrs. H. R. BISHOP, Miss H. CAWSE, Signor CURIONI, and Signor GIUBILEI, “Recordare” (Requiem)—MOZART, MS. Concerto in C, Mr. MOSCHELES—MOSCHELES, Scena, Miss H. R. BISHOP, “Mi trade” (Il Don Giovanni)—MOZART. Overture, Don Carlos—F. RIES.
ACT II.—Sinfonia in C—BEETHOVEN. Duetto, Signor CURIONI and Signor GIUBILEI, “Son io desto” (Nina)—PAESIELLO. Trio, two Violoncelli e Contra Basso, Messrs. LINDLEY, CROUCH, and DRAGONETTI—CORELLI. Terzetto, Mrs. H. R. BISHOP, Signor CURIONI, and Signor GIUBILEI, “Quando nel campo” (Gl’ Orazj ed I Curiazj)—CIMAROSA. Overture, Idomeneo—MOZART.
Leader, Mr. WEICHSEL.—Conductor, Mr. BISHOP.
THOSE symphonies which have appeared in an arranged shape for the pianoforte, invariably make the greatest, effect in orchestral performance. The reason is clear. Few musicians even possess the requisite memory, clearness of apprehension, and experience of composition, to perceive the full bearings of several subjects in a MS. Symphony of which they have never heard nor seen a note. The first movement of SPOHR’S symphony in D wants nothing but repetition and to be known in private as well as in public, to receive its due applause; one hearing in two or three years affords too slender acquaintance for those who are not composers to understand the full merit of that elaborate piece of writing. As for the andante (the passionate phrases and beautiful appoggiature of which are truly SPOHR), it speaks at once to the heart. The finale, too, its lightness and elegance, with its subjects so naturally and variously accompanied, and its parts flowing so freely and gracefully, requires no habit to recommend it. It truly represents the repose of a great musical mind; and a fine composer who embraces the easy happy hour, is sure to succeed with his audience. Upon the whole, the reception of this symphony fully indicated the favourable advancement of the public taste.
What could the directors be thinking of to commit the inestimable “Recordare” to Italian singers? GIUBILEI does well enough among the adults of the academy to sing in the melancholy comic operas of Lord BURGHERSH; CURIONI may pass as a make-weight at the Italian Opera; but to commit to them MOZART, and above all one of his finest compositions, argues an imprudence or indifference which are incomprehensible. Were we to add what one soprano was too sharp to the deficiency of the tenor’s pitch, we might balance accounts very satisfactorily to the reader; but let him who would possess his ears in patience esteem himself lucky if he were not present, for his virtue would have been tried. With respect to this composition, it may be well to take this occasion of observing, that the genuine effects of MOZART require the use of the instruments he has employed in his score: the corni di bassetto ought not to be supplied by clarionets. So self-evident a truth will, we trust, not need to be reiterated. We thank Mr. MOSCHELES for his beautiful concerto: it was an eloquent remonstrance on the injustice of the delay in electing him a member of the Philharmonic Society. There is in this composition a marked, improvement of style, and not an unfrequent [sic] approach to the excellence of HUMMEL. The features of the orchestra are both admirably conceived and effectively interwoven with the principal instrument; we do not hear first a noisy tutti, and then a clattering on the piano, and ditto ditto to the end, according to the ordinary plan, so admirably calculated to save the expense of thought. To the best of our judgment Mr. MOSCHELES’ finest writing will be found in the second part of the first movement, in the slow movement, and in the finale. In each the character is well preserved; dignity, sweetness, and solemnity, and playfulness of style, prevail in turn. The key of E minor, in which the slow movement is written, is just remote enough to give a good effect of colouring; and we must add our tribute of applause to the novelty and beauty of the disposition of the instruments in the outset. The violoncelli have a singing theme, accompanied by the low strings of the viole and the bassi pizzicati, of which the effect is admirable. In the major the horns are beautifully introduced, and delightful suspensions attract the ear. A soothing melody reigns throughout. The last movement is written in 68 time. The solos are long, and demand great power. The artist, however, had not overmeasured his strength by this production: its difficulties appeared to cost him little, and he received on all sides the applause he so well merited. The air, “Mi Tradi” was spoiled by the same fault as the “Recordare.” A good overture C minor, by RIES, concluded the first act. The minuet of BEETHOVEN’S symphony, on its repetition, and the finale, were played several degrees too fast, and the true expression of the author suffered in consequence. Quick fiddling and spirit are not exactly synonymous. It is impossible, however, to play too fast for DRAGONETTI; as LISTON would say, he can “go it” as well as any of them. The duet from Nina was a miserable affair, both as to composition and performance. CURIONI and GIUBILEI received a hissing with much outward resignation, but probably with “considerable internal damn,” to which the audience murmured a fitting response. However beautifully the trio of CORELLI was played we will not praise it, because it is made so common. We do not complain of satiety; we hope to be able to hear a good composition without fatigue as often as any concert goer; but when there are new things to be known, they ought to be selected in preference. Instead of CIMAROSA’S trio, Mrs. WOOD appeared and sung “From Mighty Kings.” This substitution was intended to compensate for the absence of Madame de MERIC, who, it appears, laboured under “sudden indisposition,” a malady incident to singers, and generally less fatal than cholera. The obliging readiness of Mrs. WOOD procured her applause—but for our part we do not much care to hear her sing HANDEL; besides, this song does not well bear transplanting—its severe simplicity and poetical character are not felt amidst a crowd of instrumental pieces and opera songs. To sum up in brief; the instrumental music was both well chosen and executed—the vocal music, though generally well selected, was mostly spoiled in performance.
The Harmonicon, vol. 10 (May 1832): 116-117.
THE PHILHARMONIC CONCERTS.
THIRD CONCERT, Monday, March 26, 1832.
|Sinfonia, No. 2. . . . . . . . .||SPOHR.|
|Quartetto, (Mrs. H. R. Bishop, Miss H. Cawse, Signor |
Curioni, and Signor Giubilei, ‘Recordare,’ (Re-
quiem) . . . . . . . .
|MS. Concerto in C, (Mr. Moscheles) . . .||MOSCHELES.|
|Scena, (Mrs. H. R. Bishop, ‘Mi tradi’ (Il Don Giovanni)||MOZART.|
|Overture, Don Carlos . . . . . . . .||F. RIES.|
|Sinfonia in C . . . . . . . . .||BEETHOVEN.|
|Duetto, (Signor Curioni and Signor Giubilei, ‘Son io |
desto’ (Nina) . . . . . . . .
|Trio, two Violoncellos and Contra-Basso, (Messrs. Lind- |
ley, Crouch, and Dragonetti)
|Song, (Mrs. Wood,) ‘From mighty Kings’ (Judas |
Maccabæus) . . . . . . . .
|Overture, Idomeneo . . . . . . .||MOZART.|
|Leader, Mr. Weichsel.—Conductor, Mr. Bishop.|
Leader, Mr. Weichsel.—Conductor, Mr. Bishop.
The symphony of SPOHR, like most of his compositions, improves upon acquaintance. It is the nature of elaborate writing to unfold itself slowly, and that Spohr is a very laborious writer no argument is needed to prove. His school is decidedly that of Mozart; but it is difficult to say whether, if his archetype had never lived, his genius, unchecked by the greatness of such a predecessor, unrestrained by the fear of becoming an imitator, would not have placed him at the head of some such school as that which now acknowledges him only as a disciple. His present work, in D, was composed for, and is dedicated to, the Philharmonic Society. The whole of the first part is a study; the andante shows great feeling, and the finale operates as a relief to the sombre character of the first movement. Beethoven’s popular symphony, airy and delightful as it is ingenious, requires no notice. Both were admirably performed.
The overture of RIES is an able composition; and that to Idomeneo is one of the few pieces, forming this opera, which bear the decided impress of its author: it is all sublimity.
Mr. Moscheles’ concerto, now performed for the first time, is a charming composition, in which musical genius and skill are most happily blended, affording mutual aid.
The slow movement, in E minor, is admirably written, and most impressive in its effect. The last movement is sportive; while it sets the heads of the unlearned in motion, it contains enough to occupy the thoughts of the cognoscenti.
The trio of Corelli operated, as it always does when so played, as a charm. It was instantly redemanded.*
After the bill had been made up and printed, Mrs. Wood was thought of, applied to, and sang ‘From mighty Kings,’ in her own brilliant manner. This was substituted for an uninteresting terzetto, ‘Quando nel campo,’ of §, which had most injudiciously been chosen.
But here our praise of this evening’s performance must terminate; the remaining vocal part was so deplorably bad, that we would willingly pass it over in silence. But the ears of critics must be open to defects as well as beauties, and ours were never more disagreeably employed in performing their functions at these concerts than on the present occasion. The beautiful ‘Recordare’ proved the most perfect concordia discors we ever heard; one singing too sharp, another too flat, nothing like an ensemble; and poor Miss H. CAWSE—the only one of the party not culpable—in a situation of the most pitiable kind. Certain sibilations, not very common here, though extremely salutary sometimes, showed how this was felt by the audience. The scena from Don Giovanni is by no means adapted to the powers of the lady to whom it was now assigned. The duet from Nina, feeble, fit only for the stage, and not potent there, in no way tended to recover the credit which the Society had lost by the vocal failures of this evening.
* We have inserted this, arranged for the piano-forte, or organ, (the latter suits it by far the best.) in our present number. When performed on violoncellos and a double base, it is played an octave lower; and the effect, even on keyed instruments is, to us, improved by this method. We believe that it is now arranged in the present form for the first time.—Editor.