Thirty Years' Musical Recollections
Ernest Newman, Henry F. Chorley
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
EPUB eISBN: 9780307830791
Original publication: 1862
Original publication w/ Ernest Newman edit: 1926
Electronic publication: 2014
Book author: Henry F. Chorley
Book editor & introduction: Ernest Newman
Thirty Years' Musical Recollections, first published in 1862, is a year-by-year commentary in two volumes on the European operas, ballets, singers and dancers popular in London from 1830 to 1859. It's author was music critic of The Athaneum for over thirty years and also wrote book reviews, novels, plays and poems. Volume 1 covers the period 1830–1847 and serves as a valuable reference work to the musical life of London during these years. Starting with his reminiscences of the opera season in 1830, Chorley takes the reader on a journey from early performances of Italian and German opera in England, via works by Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti and the first appearances of Lablache and of Mademoiselle Taglioni, through to Verdi's operas in 1846. He also describes famous opera singers including Maria Malibran, Giambattista Rubini, Madame Grisi, Madame Pasta, Madame Persiani, Rachel Felix, Signor Mario, and Mademoiselle Jenny Lind.
and quality of those I have mentioned came to full light and fair appreciation. She was not allowed to consider herself a failure; but the truth could not be long escaped from. And here I must tell that, for a past season or two, the foreign system had been introduced of fabricated applause, in the determination to force on the public what and whomsoever the opera manager adopted. Men and women, as notoriously hired for such mystification as the howlers at an Irish funeral, began to be seen in
replaced in the theatre by such lively persons as can sing no less than act—if it should prove that the humour for comic opera has not died out past revival. THE YEAR 1842 OPERAS. Norma, Beatrice di Tenda, I Puritani, Bellini; Malek Adhel, Costa; Gemma di Vergy,* Lucia, Torquato Tasso, Lucrezia Borgia, Anna Bolena, Donizetti; Le Cantatrice Villane,* Fioravanti; Elena da Feltre,* Mercadante; Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte, Mozart; Il Barbiere, Rossini. PRINCIPAL SINGERS. Mdes. Molteni,* Persiani,
confess to have been among the many imposed on. There was something fresh, intense, and original, in the ways of Signor Fornasari, whether as singer or actor, which seemed to bespeak a pleasant and honest nature. May none of us ever grow too old to welcome a young talent, nor too critical when a new appeal is made to our sympathies! Signor Fornasari’s triumph in Belisario was complete. It was the first of very many similar triumphs. There were plaudits, glowing criticisms, a full theatre, and
soprano, two octaves in compass—from D to D—having a possible higher note or two, available on rare occasions; and that the lower half of the register and the upper one were of two distinct qualities. The former was not strong,—veiled, if not husky, and apt to be out of tune. The latter was rich, brilliant, and powerful—finest in its highest portions. It can be told that the power of respiration was possessed by Mdlle. Lind in the highest perfection; that she could turn her “very long breath” to
season 1830 may be said to have rested on her shoulders. It seems hard that the popularity of artists so modest, so sedulous, so useful as she was, should bear such small proportion to their real value. The subordinate ladies who filled up the company were very poor, the absence of an efficient contralto being less felt than might otherwise have been the case, owing to the versatility of Malibran, who was able to sing either Semiramide or Arsace,2 as the case required, or as the humour took her.