Obrazy na stronie

fell upon that gentleman, all the musical connoisseurs said that it was fortunate we had, at last, a really fine performer. His position in Paris and among foreign critics was ably discussed and justified. The musical connoisseurs were enchanted with his bowing, and with many other excellencies for which they knew the proper technical terms; and after dinner they repaired in a body to—Ole Bull's concert. M. Vieuxtemps never kindled any popular enthusiasm. He was irreproachably good, -true, delicate, classical, finished, and, as a few asserted with acrimony, free from clap-trap. Yet M. Vieuxtemps failed, while Ole Bull's first visit to the country is an era in our musical annals.

We are strongly reminded of these facts of nine years since, by the relative positions of Alboni and Sontag; except that every thing is reversed with them. This time it is the Vieuxtemps style that bears the palm ;—it is the elegant cultivation, the classical purity, the elaborate finish to which we are all paying homage, and for which we thronged Niblo's for the thirty opera-nights of Lent. While we write (very early in Alboni's season), Sontag is the success, and Alboni the failure. With that rare voice, and cultivation none the less exquisite because it does not challenge attention before the voice itself; with a fresh bonhommie of manner quite as attractive as the elaborate artificiality of Madame Sontag, and certainly with no less, if very different, dramatic power; with Salvi, the best tenor we have had, and Marini, on the whole the best basso, and Rovere, a genuine, extravagant Italian buffo, and the brave Beneventano, with exuberant voice, and exhaustless good-humor and accuracy ;with all this imperial front to conquer success, Alboni has failed.

6 'Tis sad,” cried Paul Pry.

We have recently heard it stated that she never “drew." The audience might be delighted, and single songs produce great enthusiasm, but it was spasmodic, not continuous. Neither in London, nor Paris, nor Madrid, did Alboni “draw," said our intelligent informant.” It is not quite true, as we remember in Paris. There Alboni was sure card. The houses were always full, if not crowded: but none of her impersonations made a mark, ;-as personations. Alboni never “created" parts. The engravers and designers never issued prints of M’lle Alboni as this or that; or if they did so, it was a very limited circle that knew of those pictures and felt any special propriety in them. Grisi’s Norma was a subject universally recognized like Rachel's Phedre, or Mrs. Siddons' Lady Macbeth.

with Madame Garcia as Fides in Le Prophète. These singers and actresses were identified with those rôles. But the delicious contralto was equally at home everywhere. She took all parts, and sang the songs in them delightfully, transposing the music if it lay out of her range, and not caring to raise an eyelid in the way of dramatic action. And the voice was so satisfactory, that the acting was suffered to pass. The general conclusion was that if large masses of animate matter could sing in this way, it was the height of ingratitude to expect them to move, also. As we said in a former article, several of the best critics longed to see Alboni break out of this apathy, and assert her full power. Hector Berlioz, especially, believed that she was an actress, if only she would choose to discover the fact. But she never did choose. She went from London to Madrid, --indolent, tropical, luxuriant,---refreshing England, France and Spain with ample libations of that cool, fresh, musical voice.

Alboni made a mistake in her first concerts in New-York, and it seems as if she were not to recover from that unfortunate prestige. When she sang at the Broadway Theatre, we certainly thought she had done so; but it was temporary only. It was the novelty of hearing a great voice in its prime at one of our theatres. There had been no such opportunity since Malibran, who sang at the Park Theatre before the days of this generation of theatregoers. The Broadway was thronged every opera-night for a fortnight or more. Then the Prima Donna went to Boston, where she had good success—for the same reason, perhaps; then to Philadelphia, where, we are told, she failed, possibly on account of miserable support. Meanwhile Sontag was serenely triumphant at Niblo's. It was fortunately Lent, and society, as usual during that period of mortification, was stagnant. The opera, therefore, took the place of all other dissipations. Every body went to the opera, because they were sure of pleasant companions, of pleasant singing, of Sontag, Badiali, and Eckert's orchestra. Moreover, the Prima Donna was a countess. It was "a nice thing” to assist at an entertainment where a "real lady” performed. Had we not met her at dinner? Was not her fate romantic? Was she not the most perfect singer, actress, countess, that ever was known? Beside, we had had no opera all winter, and were ready, during the husks of Lent, for any kind of succulence. In fact the operaseason of Madame Sontag was managed as well as all the rest of her career (excepting the ridiculous quarrel with the Albion),



and, as we heartily hope, was eminently was very uncertain, and evidently passé. successful. Somehow the house was al Marini was no favorite, although a valuways full: excepting two or three very able basso ; Rovere was a true Buffo; stormy evenings, there were no seats to but we were too serious to appreciate spare. It is not our province to inquire the caricature-Benjaminventano was by what means this array of auditors was not Badiali, -San Giovanni labored ununiformly secured; whether it was anxiety der a want of voice.-Signor Arditi and to pay two dollars, and one dollar, to hear his orchestra were not so well drilled as her, or willingness to accept tickets for Herr Eckert and his,-all these facts were that purpose, that filled the house. The recklessly left out of our consideration. house was nightly full. If some of the We abandoned ourselves to unbridled antickets were given away, it was a good in ticipations. The trumpets were blown, vestment. The public is gregarious. If the evening arrived, the curtain rose, and the head sheep jumps over a stick, we all Don Pasquale commenced. piously follow on, and jump over in good Don Pasquale was mistake No. 1. It order and regular succession. Madame was necessary to make a very great hit Sontag herself did not falter. Once only, the first evening. If the triumph did not we believe, was the course of the opera extinguish the prestige of Sontag's career interrupted, although during much of the upon the same boards, the battle was half time the Prima Donna was a serious suf lost. To secure that triumph, an opera ferer. We have in previous articles suffi should have been selected in which Alboni ciently described the mitigated raptures had a great deal to do,—a great many we all experienced. But she closed her positive scenas to sing, arias in which she season with La Sonnambula, before could have displayed her voice and her "an overflowing house;"—and was lost cultivation in the most brilliant manner, amid the shower of bouquets at the close. -some opera whose melodies were famiAfter the second act she was recalled four liar to the audience, that they might have times, by the unmistakable unanimity hung upon the notes in happy comparison of the house. Sontag's last night was an with all who had sung them before.—an ovation.

opera of interest and action also, and elaUpon all this brilliant success came the borated in orchestra and chorus to the “ Grand Combination Italian Opera," — last degree of care,—that first stroke was uniting Alboni and her tenor and basso, infinitely more important than the manto Max Maretzek, with Stefanone, Salvi, agement seems to have been aware. It is and Marini. It was a fine promise, and sadly true that Alhoni lost the trick. the eyes of those who were skeptical of The house was full, but not as crowded Sontag's success, until she succeeded, be as upon many of Sontag's nights. Pergan to twinkle and enlarge again. Now, haps it was a "paying” house. We trust said they--unconsciously repeating the it was.

But it should have been an imVieuxtemps-iana of nine years since mense throng. The opera itself is one of now we shall see what good singing is. Donizetti's buffo trifles. There is pretty Our preferences have been already express music in it, but as it is sung without cosed. In the very glowing crisis of Son tume or scenic effect, and as there is not tag's triumph, we had declared that one the slightest interest in the story, every rich song of Alboni’s would please us thing depends upon the singing and the more than a whole opera by the countess;

humorous acting. and, in our weakness and eager assur At the best, when we have seen Grisi, ance, judging from Alboni's success at Lablache and Ronconi in Don Pasquale, the Broadway, in January, with so mis it was pleasant enough, and pretty enough, erable a setting, we dreamed of a triumph

but no more. On this occasion - enough" at Niblo's, in April, with an unequalled was much too little. Alboni sang as well troupe, so resplendent, that even jaded as ever she sang; but the old languid Parisian fenilletonists might lay down nonchalance had returned. The imprestheir pens before it, crying, "pyrami- sion she gave of Norina is the true imdale."

pression of the character as we conceive Unhappily, we omitted several facts it, an impudent, simple baggage; not a from our programme of probabilities. fine lady, for fine ladies never conseni to Lent was over. We had done eating fish, that kind of intriguie. But this was not and might fall upon the patés again. fully developed. It seemed, as usual, as That was an iminense distraction to opera if she were too lazy to complete the pergoing. Then we had enjoyed thirty nights sonation. of opera, and were a little bit cloved. Marini, upon whom, as Don Pasquale, Then it was a Countess's opera. —which falls so much of the weight of the piece, was much. Then we had all heard Alboni is the most serious buffo, the most soleinn in her rôles at the Broadway. Then Salvi basso, we remember to have seen. He is

dry and hard. There is no geniality in trous fortunes of the day. Our opinion his expression, no humor in his action. of the relative merits of the singers reHe seemed to be trying to be funny against mains unchanged. But other things than his will; and the only laughable point in a fine voice and exquisite singing are eshis performance was his coming forward sential to operatic success. with that ruesul countenance, the head And will an opera-house secure that slightly bent, and the thumb and fore success? We hope so, since, at last, definger of the right hand raised, to take termined that Boston shall not monopopart in the trio. Don Pasquale, like lize all the musical glory, New-York has Don Bartolo in the Barber of Seville, is subscribed $150,000 to build an operathe creation of the Italian opera buffo, house. It is to be situated at the corner and exists nowhere else. He is essen of Fourteenth street and Irving Place. tially a caricature, an extravagance, a butt, Now it is comparatively easy to build a and, so it be done with fun, there is scarce good house; but to have a good operaly any thing he does, which can be con that gives us pause. We have always demned as excessive. Lablache under believed that if Mr. Barnum should unstands this, because nature intended him dertake the management it would succeed. to play Don Pasquale. Lablache is “a Of course we join in the chorus of tun of a man," and he drowns all his au humbug; but we shall never be tired of ditors in a tun of fun. It is indescribable. repeating that Jenny Lind was a very It is broad, and long if you choose. It agreeable humbug, and that Mr. Barnum lies in movements, in expressions, in tones, probably found the humbug of two or it is every where, and every where very three hundred thousand dollars equally funny. Lablache always leaves his au agreeable ; nor have we found any perdience in such excellent humor, that, what son who regrets the money expended ever has been done, the evening seems at those memorable concerts. Mr. Bardelightful. Marini has no idea of fun. It num is our candidate for manager of flies before him. His Leporello is not the new opera-house. We boldly spread Mozart's Leporello, as we discovered last that banner to the breeze. Ile underyear, and his Don Pasquale is not Doni stands what our public wants, and how zetti's. He was even badly stuffed. His to gratify that want. He has no foreign corpulence was all one way. Salvi did antecedents. He is not bullied by the admirably, as usual. He sang carefully remembrance that they manage so in Lonand exquisitely, and the serenade was a don, and so in Naples, and so in St. Petersbeautiful performance. Beneventano has burgh. He comprehends that, with us, too fine a voice, too great a willingness the opera need not necessarily be the luxto oblige, is always too accurate in his ury of the few, but the recreation of the music, to allow us to find fault with him. many. We shall watch the experiment, In fact we never wish to do so.

His mer

and record its progress with great interest. its are so eminent, and his demerits so ob Mr. Lumley has evacuated “Her Mavious, that it would be useless. Beneven- jesty's," and stage appointments, wardtano—and his opponents will not deny it robes, &c., have just been sold at auction. -always does all that one man can do to The great operas in Paris, Berlin, Madrid, prevent the opera from falling dead. In and St. Petersburgh, feed upon the state the Burbière how manfully he struggled, treasury. There is scarcely an independent, with Rovere, to bear it up against a small money-making opera in the world. Perhouse, and the universal feeling of disap- haps it is the mission " of New York to pointment and failure.

show that some things may be done at the Don Pasquale was not a brilliant suc corner of Fourteenth-street and Irving cess. Alboni sang superbly. That was Place which are impossible in the Hayagreed before we went. But when every market, at the Académie Royale, and man asked himself, is this, on the whole, Unter den Linden. We certainly hope so superior to what we have just had ; the But it will require very cunning mainstinctive reply, despite the unquestioned nagement. superiority of Alboni to Sontag, was, no. The rehearsals of the Philharmonic SoThere was something wanting. We have, ciety and of Eisfeld's Quartette Concerts, perhaps, already indicated some of the are pleasant occasions for studying the reasons of this want. The fact itself was fine German works. The Philharmonic too evident. Immediately after the first have been hard at work upon the great evening Signor Salvi fell ill. The operas symphony of Schuman's, which they playwere changed, the evening also, in one in ed at their last concert. It is a work more stance; and one evening the house was skilful and elaborate, than interesting. It closed.

has passages of great power and beauty, We are hoping, while we write, that it which quite vindicate the claim of the may not be too late to repair the disas composer to a high rank; but they alter


nate with commonplace movements. The ever its daughters are serenaded by the mere fact of elaborately learned treatment same strains. It was not hard work for (however interesting and pleasing to the Mozart to write Don Giovanni, nor for amateur, who, himself versed in music, Michael Angelo to design St. Peter's. It traces the nimble mastery of difficulties in is never very hard to do a thing well, ala composition), is nothing to the public. though all the labor of all the years would The very greatest works, in every kind, are never enable a man to do it. those that every man who runs can read. We say this, because we observe in some We cannot, of course, require that the valuable musical criticisms in the Tribune, work of every master should be the great an occasional disposition to quarrel with est; nor can he, on the other hand, require the public for not supporting that which us to like, or even appreciate, what we costs a great outlay of time, talent, and cannot read. This we say, not so much money. And if there be any dangerous in reference to the particular symphony creed, it is, that true excellence in art can in question, as to the critics who complain possibly be achieved without original power that the public are continually crying out in the artist, although he took the prize for more.

If you do not propose to feed at all the academies. the public, you may justly complain of Madame Sontag continues her triumphal their importunity ; but, if you do offer to career at Philadelphia, wending southfeed the public, they certainly are entitled ward. In Boston, orchestral and chamber to a voice in the matter. Signor Doni concerts charm the town. We remark zetti, if you please, thinks fit to devote nothing especially new there. But we many years of patient study to music, and observe that Dwight's Journal of Music, then to write sixty-nine operas, which it published in Boston, has commenced its is his unquestioned privilege to do. He second year, and we commend it unreservmay score his operas carefully, he may edly to our readers, as a record of all the superintend rehearsals, and alter and interesting events in the world of music, adapt; may struggle with a thousand ma and indeed of the other arts, with the nagerial difficulties and conquer them, most valuable and just criticisms from its vira Donizetti!-but what then? All this accomplished editor upon local musical is no reason that we should like his operas, matters, and translations from all the most or be silenced when we find his instru striking contemporary works concerning mentation thin, his melody scarce and music and musicians. In the first volume feeble, his dramatic conception false, by it published the Life of Chopin, by Lisztthe assertions of severe critics, that it takes a work of singular and unique interest. a great deal of talent, patience, and hard It keeps us informed, also, of iFagner and study to write and score a poor opera.

Schuman, and the other continental leaders Tant pis. Mozart's melodies came to him in the revolution of music, which now in the night, and he jumped out of bed to interests Germany. It is a weekly mirror jot them down. And now a fascinated of the musical world. public jumps out of bed to listen, when

NOTE ON “OLD IRONSIDES." Our introductory note to " Old Ironsides" by Cooper, is not strictly correct; or at least does not gtre the whole particulars in rela:ion to its composition. We learn since the article was in print that the narrative was commenced by Mr. Coopmor beveral years before his death, and the MS. appears to have been written at considerable intervals since-how lacry, we are not informed. Although it was solicited and expected for publication during his life, it was withheld for the purpose of adding dates and facts, and probably, also, of ascer taining the truth of several doubtrui passes, among which are the mutinous conduct at Malaga, p. 486_be reasons for the slow sailing of the vessels, p. 457-the passage between Hull and Malcolm, p, 480-and the change of stowage in the Constitution by Harraden, p. 457; inost of which, on subsequent information, it is beliered. would have been omitted. In the scene between Preble and the English captain, p. 478, and in the aflair of the deserters from the Constitution and the likvannah, p. 456, corrections and additional particulars of interest will heretter be published. After Mr. Cooper's death, the MS. was found incomplete and without his usual revision. It was intended as a supplement to bis volune of " Lives of Naval Officer" and except his additions to the Naval History, now in preas, is his only unpublished work of which we are informed.

The portion of the article in our present number was prematurely printed from an uncorrected copy of the original MS, which contained several errors. Some few mistakes of the press will be apparent to any reader: other more important errors of fact are mentioned in the following erratu :

Page 474, 2d column, 25th line, for “Charlestown Neck," read “Breton."

477, 9d column, 9d line, after “her," insert "As a French vessel."
480, 2d columo, 7th line, for “twenty-four," rend "thirty."

%d column, 17th line, from bottom, for "forty tive," read " fifeen."
481, 1st column, 4th line, omit the sentence " The nearer a vessel," &c.
483, 1st column, 23d line, for "Constitution,” read "squadron."
461, 1st column, 26th line from bottom, for " Wasp," read "Homet."

lat column, 16th line from bottom, for " Gibraltar," read " Malaga."
485, 1st column, ist line, after " Boston,” and 12th line after “ pori," read “except Hampton Roads."

1st column, 20th line, for "point," read “port.

1st colume, 4th line from bottom, for "On Waggoner," read “Old Waggon." " %d coluinn, 10th and 11th lines, omit names of Morgan ” and “ Wadsworth."

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A Magazine of Literature, Science, and Art.

VOL. I.-JUNE 1853.-NO. VI.



Concluded from page 437.

UMORS of an approaching war began Hull, who had joined in the river, was or-

to circulate freely before the Constitu dered to carry the vessel round to Newtion got fully equipped, and she soon York. On the 5th of July the anchor was dropped down as low as Alexandria. This weighed, and Old Ironsides proceeded was about the beginning of June, 1812. down the bay and to sea on the 13th to At this time the ship had about two hun cruise in the third and last of her wars. dred and fifty men on board her, that had At this time the principal officers of been collecting for a few

weeks previously, this well-known frigate were Isaac Hull, and some of her late officers rejoined her. Esq., captain ; Messrs. Charles Morris, She was still off Alexandria when the news Alexander Wadsworth, George Campbell came down that war was actually declared Read, Beekman Verplanck Hoffman, John against Great Britain. Read was the old Templer Shubrick, and Charles W. Morest lieutenant then on board, and he had gan,* (acting) lieutenants; Messrs. Bush all hands called and made them a speech. and Contee, lieutenants of marines; Wm. When he had ended, the men asked per C. Aylwin, master; T. J. Chew, purser ; mission to cheer; a request that was and Amos A. Evans, surgeon. Among granted of course, and nine hearty cheers the midshipmen were Messrs. Gilliam, succeeded. This demonstration of feeling, Beatty, Madison, Salter (now a captain), however, was scarcely over, when several German, Gordon, Field, Baury (lost in of the crew came forward, and stated that the Wasp), Cross, Belcher, W. Taylor. they were English deserters, and they Eskridge, Delany, Greenleaf, Griffin, and were afraid to serve against their native Tayloe. Morris, Read, and Wadsworth country. The case was stated to Hull, are still living, as commodores; but Shuwho ordered them all discharged. This brick and Hoffman are both dead. done, the remainder of the people were The Constitution got under way, from perfectly ready to engage. About this her moorings off Annapolis, July 5th, 1812. time Beekman Verplanck Hoffman joined or sixteen days after the declaration of war. as one of the lieutenants.

The intermediate time had passed in comThe frigate gradually dropped down pleting the crew and the equipments of lower, receiving stores, and was joined the ship. A draft of men having arrived again by Morris and Wadsworth, the for only the previous evening, Morris was mer as her first, and the latter as her sec occupied in stationing them, as the vesond lieutenant. Shortly after she went sel was leaving the bay. Many of the up the bay to Annapolis, where the equip guns even had been taken on board low ment of the vessel was completed. Here down in the Potomac, and a vast deal of John Shubrick and Aylwin, a new mas necessary work had been done between ter, joined, and a draft of men came on also. the time when the ship left the Potomac This nearly filled up the complement; and and her day of going to sea. Much also

* Morgan died, a captain, Jan. 5th, 1853.

+ Walsworth died, a captain, April 5th, 1851, since the above was written. VOL. 1.-38

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