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Rue des Lombards, whose shop bore the sign which gives its title to the piece. Here he has lived all his days, and made a handsome fortune; but on surrendering the establishment to his successor, who is his son-in-law, he finds with horror that the young man is one of the “new school.” The old dirty respectability of the boutique is changed to that of modern display; and, finally, things go on so badly, that the old proprietor is, to his great joy, obliged to quit his cabbages and villa, and take his post once more behind the counter, in order to preserve the concern from bankruptcy. With a change of manners and ideas this piece might, in Mr. Webster's hands, be made to succeed in London.
At the little Théâtre Ambigu-Comique, situate in the Boulevard du Temple, a melo drama, entitled Fabio, is receiving great applause. The piece turns on a struggle between the maternal and the connubial feelings in the breast of the heroine, who ultimately gives her husband up to the scaffold, in order to preserve her son. The incidents and situations are well imagined, and the acting highly creditable.
GERMANY. LEIPZIG.-.The Spring Concert season commenced some time since, but only two attractive concerts have been given. Mme. Clara Schumann, better known by her maiden name of Wieck, gave a concert in aid of the fund for decayed musicians, at which this talented pianist reaped new laurels -even Mendelssohn, who presided, expressed his admiration ; but the most attractive feature was the first performance of a new symphony by Dr. Robert Schumann. This composer had never produced any great work, his compositions being chiefly songs and concerted pieces for the pianoforte. This symphony is said to exhibit great taste, judgment, and originality, and to be free from those boisterous and extravagant forle movements which deface the modern school of music. MM. Regondi and Liddel, just arrived from London, assisted at the concert, and performed a duo in a very effective manner.
At the second concert, given on 23 April, in aid of the poor at the Gewandhouse, two novelties from a new composer, Julius Rietz, of Düsseldorf, were successfully produced. The first was a MS. overture to Hero and Leander, and the second an ancient German War Song with an effective chorus. Both pieces exhibited great talent.
Mlle. Cæcilie Kreutzer has successfully appeared as Julia, and as Alice in Meyerbeer's Robert the Devil.
AGRAM.-M. Mareczek, the Jewish composer, and author of the opera of Hamlet, has been appointed maitre de chapelle in this town-he has a new opera founded on the celebrated “ Nibelungenlied” in a forward state.
WEISBADEN.- Benedict's opera of the Gipsey's Warning was most successful on its first representation in this town— the translation of the libretto into German, is by Herr Gollmick.
Riga.-Dorn, the composer, has nearly completed a new opera, entitled Das Banner von England (The Banner of England), of which report speaks highly.
RADOM, IN POLAND.—Thalberg, on his recent visit to this town, was received with such marks of public favour, that the governor gave a splendid supper, at which he presented him with a silver tankard in the name of the principal inhabitants, as a token of the regard in which he was held by the town,
His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, Duke Maximilian of Bavaria, and Lapinsky, have been elected honorary taembers of the “Deutschen National Musik Verein," of Stuttgart.
The third musical festival of the Northern Germans will take place at Hamburg on the 5th, 7th and 8th July. On the first day they will perform Handel's Messiah, under the direction of Dr. F. Schneider; on the second day, Weber's overture to Euryunthe, an overture of Beethoven's, and his Sinfonia eroica, will be performed ; and on the third day, a performance of sacred music will take place at St. Michael's Church under the direction of F. W. Grund; the number of performers is limited to five hundred.
DRESDEN.- The new theatre has at length been opened with Torquato Tasso, aud Weber's Euryunthe is in preparation at the Theatre Royal.
BERLIN.-Three new operas are in preparation at the King's Theatre : Hans Sachs by Lortzing, Genoveva by F. Huth, and the Hirtin von Piemoni (The Shepherdess of Piedmont) by A. Schäfer. Goethe's Egmont and Schiller's Iilliam Tell, which were prohibited in the late monarch's reign, have been performed in Berlin; some striking passages have, however, been omlited, tending to weaken the moral force of each of these beautiful dramas.
An Italian company has taken the Königstädter Theatre for thirty-sis performances. The first production was Donnizetti's Lucrezia Borgia, in which Signora Felicita Forconi as Lucrezia, was received with loud applause; Donnizetti's Gemma di Vergy followed; but the only successful production was Rossini's Barber of Seville, here was music the audience could appreciate, and the singers found themselves at home. Paltrinieri has a fioe barytone voice, and was most effective as Figaro. Lucia di Lammermeur is to follow.
M. Mendelssohn has entered on the duties of his office as deputy traitre de chapelle, and is now superintending the reproduction of Die Hugenotlen at the Grand Opera llouse : bis salary is about 430l. per annum; that of Meyerbeer's, the muitre de chapelle, is considerably more.
A very amusing piece, entitled Des Königs Befehl " The King's Order," or “ The Order of the Day," has been very successful in the principal towns in Germany. As Frederick the Great is a principal performer, the piece is performed in Prussia under the title Des Herzogs Befehl (“The Duke's Order,') although the dress and portrait of the great king are preserved, it being contrary to Prussian etiquette to allow so near an ancestor of the reigning sovereigo to appear on the stage.
VIENNA.-The new oratorio of Saul and David, by Assmayer, has been repeated several times with great applause at the Hofburg Theatre under the composer's direction. Nicolai has returned from Italy in order to superintend the production of his new opera Il Templurio; at present it is not known how far the story coincides with Marschner's Templer. 'Malle. Luizer has accepted a lucrative engagement at La Scala at Milan rather than incur the risk she was likely to run of ever getting her money if she performed with the German company in London.
M. Eisner, a celebrated Russian horn player, has been attracting great attention by the extraordinary combination of tones he produces from the simple hunting horn.
SPAIN AND PORTUGAL. The musical horizon of these two countries has been long overshadowed. At Madrid, Donizetti's Lucia de Lammermeur and Rossini's liilliam Tell were performed without eliciting any marked applause; the role was somewhat inditterent, from the want of encouragement or inducement for good singers to visit this remote capital. At Barcelona, Auber's La Muelle de Portici has been a great favourite at the Lycée or Grand Theatre. Herold's hupa was performed six nights. At Valencia, an indillerent company, possessing a single star, a Malle. de Franchi, have been giving a series of the most popular of Mercadante's and Donizetti's operas ; the former's Giuramento had a long run, but the Valencians prefer comedy to the lyric drama. At Lisbon, the only really successful opera has been Coppolas's Giovanna Prima Regina di Napoli, in which Madame Boccabadati created some applause; two of Mercadante's operas were performed, but they did not pay the expense of production. The building of a new theatre has been commenced, the expense of erection being defrayed by a lottery of shares; it is much needed, the present national theatre being little better than a barn.
The Drama -At Madrid a new drama, from the pen of Signor Ribot, a youthful poet of great promise, has been performed upwards of twenty nights; it is entitled Christoval Culon, o las Glurias Espanolus.
• DENMARK. Music is but little cultivated in Copenhagen. The only recent novelty is the visit of M. Prume, the violinist, wlio gave two concerts at the Court, and three at the Royal Theatre; and, although his first performance was but tamely received, yet he gained so completely on the Danish public, that he was afierwards received with an enthusiasm almost unparalleled in this kingdom. As a second-rate performer he has good reason to be delighted with bis visit to Copenhagen. Nide Gade has been declared, by the decision of Spohr and Reissiger, the successful competitor for the great prize of the Danish Musical Society, for the best overture by a Danish composer.
AMERICA. New York.- The Park Theatre is closed, and is to be offered at public auction. The National has just been burned down, for the second time within the last two years, and will not be built up again on the same spot. Neither of the other city theatres are doing much business, except the Chatham and Olympic, which have both realized considerable sums of money for their managers during the past year.
PailAPELPHIA. -The Chesnut, Walnut, and Arch-street Theatres are open, but we doubt if either of them is paying expenses.
Fanny Ellsler is on her way up from the south. She is by this time probably at St. Louis, and may be in New York next month. Her trip to Havanna and New Orleans has been the most successful that was ever made by any one individual.
Braham, when last heard of, was in Richmond. He has been very successful in giving concerts, and his southern tour has been a source of great emolument and pleasure to him. Sinclair has just played a tolerable engagement as llenry Bertram, Prince Orlando, &c. with the pretty Milton and the homely Latham, at the Arch-street, Philadelphia. Giubilei, wife, Miss Poole, Seguin, wife, Manvers, Miss and Master Wells, have been playing and dancing in Don Giorunni, Zampa, Elixir of Love, La Gazza Ladra, &c. at the Chesnut, with middling results.
Buckstone, Mrs. Fitzwilliam, Brown, &c. have been playing for some months past at New Orleans, Natchez, Mobile, &c. with capital success. W. H. Williams . has permanently located himself in Philadelphia. Jim Crow Rice has just returned from playing a good engagement in Boston; Jim says that he always gets paid in Boston, but never in Philadelphia. He is desirous on making a trip to England. Forrest has been murdering Jack Cade at the Park,
Mrs. Sutton has been giving concerts with great éclat in this city, she will probably give concerts throughout the country this summer, and spend the ensuing winter in Havanna, playing at the grand opera there.
Progress of Music in the United States. A great revolution in the musical character of the American people has begun, and is, we trust, to go forward, like other revolutions, till its ultimate object be attained. If its progress continue to be as rapid as it has thus far been, it will be another signal instance of the railroad velocity with which the Americans are apt to convert a seemingly distant futurity into a present reality. Thirty years ago, all the music that
could be heard in Boston, was from half-a-dozen instruments in the orchestra of the theatre, and the so-called singing of the several church choirs, with the accompaniment of the violoncello. It was a deplorable noise, but was the nearest approach to music that was to be heard in most of the congregational churches, one or two onty of which possessed an organ. The first public efforts at reform, and the introduction of a better taste, were made by the late lamented Buckminster, who took great and successful pains to make this part of public worship generally interesting in his own church. His efforts, however, were limited to that object, setting an example that was slow to be followed by the other churches. It is nearly thirty years since “ The Handel and Haydn Society" was formed, and collected all the persons in the city and vicinity who were able to perform Handel's music; and we recollect very well that it was thought a great achievement to sing the “ Hailstone Chorus" through without stopping.
Twenty years ago, another Boston congregation followed the example of Buckminster, and a better style of music was introduced at the West Church by the personal efforts of one, who, had he lived longer, would doubtless have effected much more for the cause of music. But the early death of W. H. Eliot deprived the community of a zeal and efficiency, the loss of which was felt in more than one department of the public welfare.
In 1832 a deep and lasting impression was made on the public mind and heart by the exhibition of the musical attainments of a class of juvenile performers, who had acquired their skill under the direction of L. Mason and G.J. Webb. These juvenile concerts were the precursors of the Boston Academy of Music, the object of which was to promote musical education in the community in every way which was within the reach of the association.
In 1835 the Odeon was opened and concerts were given the succeeding winter, and have been kept up every year since, with a great variety in the kinds of music performed, and with a manifest improvement, in many respects, in the style of performance. No large choir had previously been so well-trained in Boston.
The next prominent step in the progress of the Academy was the formation of a class of teachers of music, who have found it for their advantage to assemble annually, and hear lectures on the more important branches of the profession. A musical convention has sprung from this annual assembly, of which others are members besides the pupils of the Academy, and which will doubtless serve to extend the influence and the utility of the profession. It is one of the promising and satisfactory signs of the times, that the number of those who are induced to devote themselves to music as a means of subsistence is constantly increasing, thus proving the increase of the number of pupils.
The next, and the most important step taken by the Academy, was the introduction of vocal music, as a branch of elementary education, into the public schools. By this measure, not only is every child in the schools (two-thirds of the whole juvenile population of the city) receiving a valuable and delightful addition to his stock of knowledge and means of happiness, but every parent of every child is acquiring an interest in the art; although they may know little about it, yet they feel that their children are made happier and better by it, and they become attached to it from their natural fondness for their offspring. We consider this as the most important thing done by the Academy, or which can be done to promote the progress of music among us. By giving elementary instruction to all the children of the city,and nearly all enjoy it now,-the whole musical talent of the place will be discovered ; and those who have the best powers for the study, and the strongest inclination for it, will have the means to cultivate the talents which, but for these early opportunities, would long have continued unknown to tbemselves as well as others. The taste of all will likewise be somewhat cultivated; and those who do not prove proficients in
the practice, will still have knowledge enough to understand what kinds of music are best worthy of attention, and who is best able to perform them. We sball therefore, in a few years, it is to be hoped, overcome the Boeotian ignorance on the subject of music, which, we lament to say, has hitherto characterized our community, and which we fear still prevails in many parts of the country.
Vocal music has been introduced into the schools on the systematic plan laid down by Mr. Woodbridge, who translated some of the best German elementary works on the subject, and Mr. Mason's Manuel of the Academy. In the begioning of 1838 vocal music was ordered to form part of the regular system of instruction in the public schools, in the same year Mr. Eliot presented the Academy with a translation of Schiller's “ Sony of the Bell," with Romberg's score of music. In short, the activity of the Academy was great, and it excited a corresponding activity in others. The spirit of competition was roused, and it would have been well if the spirit of jealousy had not been roused with it. But, from whatever reason, new societies of various kinds were formed, and some of them gave private concerts, as they were called, though attended by a thousand people or more, and the older societies were stimulated to new efforts in the cause. The evidence of increased interest in music in the public generally, is the greatly increased attendance on the vast number of concerts dow given. The little corps of Italian singers, Montresor and others, who were here five or six years ago, the Brothers Hermann, Mrs. Wood, Caradori, and Braham have given specimens of exquisite skill in the vocal department, while Seitz, and Rakeman, and Kossuwsky have given us an idea of what is meant by brilliant, fiuisbed and expressive performance on various instruinents. The Prague band and the Rainer family have shown how much can be effected by mere precision in the performance of music of either kind, without any remarkable degree of refinement or expression. The popular favour which attended the dramatic performances of Mrs. Wood, in particular, gave many persons an interest in the art which she practised with such great effect.
Another circumstance which we regard as having been at once an indication and a means of progress, is the establishment of several musical periodicals. All have contributed, or are likely, we think, to contribute, their share towards directing the public interest to the subject, and forming the public taste. We cannot but esteem Mr. Hach's Musical Magazine, however, as the most important, as it has been longest established, and is edited by a gentleman of rare and thorough acquaintance of the theory and practice of music, and conducted with an independence as honourable to him as it is important to the cause. The criticisms are doubtless somewhat stern; and sometimes, we think, too little allowance is made for peculiar difficulties, and too little encouragement given for attainments actually made. But it is far better to err on this side than on that of complaisance to individuals or societies.
Mr. Davis, the author of a highly interesting and somewhat lengthy report of the School Committee of Boston, says :-"If vocal music were generally adopted as a branch of instruction in these schools, it might be reasonably expected that in at least two generations we should be changed into a musical people. The great point to be considered in reference to the introduction of vocal music into popular elementary instruction is, that thereby you set in motion a mighty power, which silently, but surely in the end, will humanize, refine, and elevate a whole community. Music is one of the fine arts. It therefore deals with abstract beauty, and so lifts man to the source of all beauty, from fioite to the infinite, and from the world of matter to the world of spirits and to God. Music is the great handmaid of civilization, and should no longer be regarded as the ornament of the rich.
The ancient oracles were uttered in song. The laws of the twelve tables were set to music, and got by heart at school. Minstrel and sage are, in some