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zart immediately went behind the scenes, and, by the compliments which he paid the actors, at length prevailed upon them to go on with the piece.
Our limits oblige us to refer to the work itself for various interesting anecdotes of this extraordinary man, and for many judicious remarks on his several compositions. During the latter years of his life he felt his health gradually declining; and his disorder was increased by a deep and habitual melancholy, arising from the anticipation of future evils, and from being convinced that he had not long to live. This persuasion excited him to new efforts, which his feeble and languid frame was unable to support, and he was frequently carried fainting from the piano-forte. As his bodily health declined, his intellectual powers seemed to have gained fresh vigour; and, in the last year of his life, and thirty-sixth of his age, he composed some of the finest of his works:—The Zauberfiote; the Ctemenza di Tito, which is distinguished from his other operas, by the air of melancholy that shows the state of the composer's mind; and the Requiem, which accelerated the progress of his disorder. The circumstances attending this last composition have rather the appearance of romance than of real occurrences. A stranger, whose manner was dignified and impressive, informed him that a man of considerable importance, who did not wish to be known, was anxious to commemorate the loss of a dear friend, by the annual performance of a solemn funeral service, and therefore requested that Mozart would compose a requiem for the dead. After the stranger had departed, Mozart remained lost in thought; he soon, however, applied with great ardour to his composition.—He wrote day and night, until his constitution was no longer able to support his enthusiasm, and he fell senseless. A few days afterwards he said abruptly to his wife, 'ft is certain that I am writing this requiem for myself!—It will be my own funeral service!' Nothing could remove this impression from his mind; he was convinced that the mysterious stranger was a being connected with the other world, sent to announce his approaching dissolution. He applied with still greater ardour to the Requiem, as the most durable monument of his genius, till his hand was arrested by alarming fainting fits. The work was, however, at length completed; but when, at the appointed time, the stranger returned, Mozart was no more.
The merit must indeed be great that calls forth the unqualified praise of contemporaries and rivals.—Haydn once said to Mozart's father, ' I declare, before God, and as an honest man, that your son is the greatest composer I have ever heard of!' and, in the latter part of his life, he scrupled not to confess, 'that he was taking lessons from his pupil.' We have also seen a letter from
Haydn, in which, after declining to write a comic opera for the theatre at Prague, because, in that species of writing, the great Mozart cannot be equalled by any other composer, he continues thus :— -'
'If it were in my power to impress upon every lover of music, and especially upon our great'men, a proper sense of the inimitable works of Mozart; if I could make them feel their beauties with the same ardour and conviction with which I comprehend and feel them; all nations would rival each other to have such a jewel among them. I am vexed and angry with the world, not yet to see this great, this incomparable Mozart engaged by some imperial or royal court. Pardon my digression—I love the man too much.'
The compositions of Haydn and Mozart cannot be properly compared with each other; for although they are both distinguished by profound science, and by the variety and beauty of their melodies; by the boldness of their modulations and the free use of semi-tones; yet their characters are essentially different. Mozart excelled in operas, in the invention of beautiful airs, and the proper adaptation of his instrumental accompaniments, which are full of "race and elegance, and unexpected combinations of harmony. Haydn is unrivalled in the number and variety of his symphonies and quartetts. But it 'is a great proof of the genius of Mozart, that, even in this species of composition, which is Haydn's forte, (although Mozart has written very few quartetts, and still fewer grand symphonies,) it may be questioned, whether the best of each of them is not superior to the most favourite composition of his rival. Haydn made it the business of his long life to collect materials, which he gradually reduced to order by dint of study and meditation; while Mozart's ideas were scattered around with all the profusion of unbounded wealth, and the confidence of a never-failing source. Thus Haydn had most diligence^ Mozart most genius. It is not, however, our intention to enter into an analysis of the productions of these great composers; the works of Haydn have long been familiar to every one who 'has music in his soul;' and the manner in which operas have lately been selected, performed, and encouraged in London, will by degrees enable an English audience to understand those of Mozart, which never prodace their full effect till they have been often heard.
At present his operas labour under a great disadvantage, which we almost despair to see remedied, because it arises in a great measure from the nature of our opera establishment. The orchestra contains a host of excellent musicians, who are so delighted with Mozart's accompaniments, that, in the finales and other full pieces, each performer, particularly on the wind instruments, plays
TOl. XvIII. NO. XXXv. ft . 81
as if the whole effect of the composition depended upon his individual instrument being heard. The consequence is, that the audience cannot always heat the singers. But, until this orchestra can be taught, that it is their business to accompany, and not overpower the voices, Mozart's operas will never be properly performed in England. Ours is not a musical nation; but we are anxious that in this, as in all the fine arts, our taste should be formed by hearing the best models perfectly executed.
Haydn and Mozart have established a school of music which unites melody with scientific harmony; avoiding, on the one hand, the dry and laboured productions of the old contrapuntists, and manufacturers of fugues and canons; and, on the other, the modern compositions and compilations of mere melodies, with meagre or inartificial accompaniments. The basis of this school is science; its ornament, its enchanting attraction arises from the variety of new and beautiful melodies on which that science is employed; but whenever the pupils of this school attempt to substitute novelty and trick, or mere execution and sleight of hand for melody and science, they betray their own want of genius, by departing from the course pointed out by Haydn and Mozart.
Handel is not to be confounded with this or any other school; he stands alone; he has been aptly called 'a giant in music;' and his weapons could only be wielded by himself. His early departure from his own country, and his encouragement in England, soon gave a direction to his mighty powers, which produced a series of compositions, unimitated and inimitable, and forming a class by themselves. He has long guided our national taste in music; and it is no small proof of his excellence, that we still return with increased pleasure either to his simple pathetic melodies, or to his scientific harmonies, after the finest compositions of his successors. Haydn was present at the ' Commemoration of Handel' in Westminster Abbey, in 1791; and heard his principal works performed by more than six hundred singers and four hundred instruments; and, during the performance of his sublime oratorio of the Messiah, he said, thoughtfully, ' This man is the master of us all.' Mozart placed him above all other composers; he knew his principal works by heart; and used to say, ' Handel knows best of Us till what is capable of producing a great effect; when he chooses, he strikes like the thunderbolt!'
The length to which this Article has extended will not allow Uj to consider the Letters on the Genius of Metastasio, and on the present State of Music in Italy. We have principally confined ourselves to the biographical part of the work, because the history of man appears to us more interesting than that of music; and because
it is generally tiresome to hear described the music which it is delightful to hear performed: this has, in some measure, prevented our giving a more full and perfect view of the various matter which it contains. In conclusion, the lives of Haydn and Mozart are interspersed with so many entertaining anecdotes, so many valuable remarks on the merits and peculiarities of composers and singers, both ancient and modern, that we feel obliged to the translator for having made us acquainted with them; and fully agree with the observation in his preface, that ' the work contains more musical information, in a popular form, than is to be met with in any other of a size equally moderate.'
Art. IV. The History of Brazil. By Robert Southey. Vol. ii. 4to. pp. 718.
fTHHE former volume of Mr. Southey's History conducted us to -*- the revolution of H340, when the Portugueze shook off the yoke of Spain, and called, by popular acclamation, the Duke of Braganza to the throne. The Brazilians cordially partook in the joy of the mother-country. The Spanish garrison of Bahia was surprized and disarmed; but, with equal generosity and wisdom, suffered to depart for the colonies of their own sovereign. Joam IV. was proclaimed, and a vessel dispatched to the Dutch at Recife with intelligence of an event which was so likely to terminate the hostility between the two nations. In the meantime the new cabinet of Lisbon was engaged iu very anxious negociations with that of the Hague on the subject of Brazil and India, in both which regions some of their most important colonies were now occupied by the arms of Holland.
The Portugueze, on their side, pleaded that'they had been only engaged in war with Holland compulsorily, and in consequence of an usurpation, from which they had now freed themselves; that their connexion with Spain being for ever dissolved, the conquests which the Dutch had made from them during that connextion ought, in equity, to be rendered back.' But, however generous such a policy might have been, and however .consistent with true political wisdom in the Dutch to make very large concessioDS in favour of a new ally, and one who had followed their example in emancipating itself from the Castilian tyranny; it was plain that the Portugueze had no claim on their justice for acquisitions made in fair and open war, during which, whether willingly or not, the whole strength of Portugal had been brought to act against them. The expedient which was adopted was by no means an unfair one. A truce for ten years was agreed on between the two nations in Brazil and India, on the foundation of an ' uti possidetis, ' and reserving the discussion of their respective claims to a negotiation for a general peace, which was to be entered upon eight or nine months after this agreement. In the meantime, as in Europe they had no grounds of disagreement, the United States undertook to dispatch immediate succours to Lisbon of men, arms, and money.
By these terms, which were as favourable as the Portugueze, in their present condition, had any right to expect, the new king was spared the mortification of being obliged to commence his reign by alienating any of the ancient possessions of his crown; while a ten years' lease of their conquests was, to the Dutch, a privilege little short of a grant of them in perpetuity. Possessed, for that time, of the richest and most compact district of Brazil, it would have been in their power, (had they employed to the best advantage the means in their hands,) by conciliating the Portugueze planters; by supporting and encouraging the Jews and new Christians; by giving full scope to the labours of Protestant missionaries among the Indians, (many of whom had already shewn a disposition to improve themselves extremely encouraging,) and by favouring by all possible means those swarms of German and English colonists, which the poverty of the first of these nations, and the religious differences of the latter might have been "expected amply to furnish, to render it absolutely impossible that their present territory in Brazil should ever return under its former master. Nor would it have been difficult, as may be thought, to induce the Portugueze, at length, not only to cede, with a good grace, what they could have no hope of recovering, but to surrender also the northern provinces of Maranham and Para; for which, on the side of Paraguay and the Plata, very ample indemnities might have been obtained by the united force of the two nations, at the expense of their common enemy.
These advantageous hopes, to which Maurice of Nassau was well qualified to give reality, were defeated by the bad conduct of the Dutch West India Company. Their first and leading error was a misconception of the Portugueze character, and an opinion that it was utterly impossible that they could have the means or the courage to maintain the independence which they had asserted against the overwhelming weight of the Spanish monarchy. This is not the only instance in which the national spirit and strength of Portugal has been thus under-rated; and so strongly was the suspicion now felt in Holland, that some wiseacres were convinced that the whole revolution was nothing more than a political juggle, and that the King of Spain had pretended to lose Portugal for the