excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 148-9 (268 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 148-9 (268 words)

part of

Reminiscences of the Opera

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

148-9

type

text excerpt

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On Tuesday the 12th of March, "I Lombardi," another opera by Signor Verdi, was given for the first time, with the names of Grisi, Mario, and Fornasari, and was illustrated by scenery and dresses, which at this period were considered unsurpassed. Here was again a success- nay, a great and noisy success — but yet a doubtful one. After the comparative unanimity with which "Nabucco" had been received, it seemed necessary for the forces of the opposition to recommence the attack against a school which now threatened to make its way with the town. Party spirit on the subject was again rife. Whilst, by the Anti-Verdians, "I Lombardi" was declared to be flimsy, trashy, worthless ; the Verdi party, and the adherents of the modern Italian school, pronounced it to be full of power, vigour, and originality. The one portion asserted that it was utterly devoid of melody — the other, that it was replete with melody of the most charming kind; the one again insisted that it was the worst work of the aspirant — the other, that it was the young composer's chef-d'oeuvre. And in the midst of this conflict — so analogous to the old feud between the partizans of Gluck and Piccini — public opinion, as usual, seemed undecided and wavering, uttering its old formula of "Well! I don't know!" The music, too, was weighed down by a rambling, ill-constructed, uninteresting libretto ; and it is really difficult, under such conditions, to sunder the merit of the musical "setting" from the demerit of the text. "I Lombardi," however, was played frequently, and even to crowded houses.

On Tuesday the 12th of March, "I Lombardi," another opera by Signor Verdi, was given for the first time, with the names of Grisi, Mario, and Fornasari, and was illustrated by scenery and dresses, which at this period were considered unsurpassed. Here was again a success- nay, a great and noisy success — but yet a doubtful one. After the comparative unanimity with which "Nabucco" had been received, it seemed necessary for the forces of the opposition to recommence the attack against a school which now threatened to make its way with the town. Party spirit on the subject was again rife. Whilst, by the Anti-Verdians, "I Lombardi" was declared to be flimsy, trashy, worthless ; the Verdi party, and the adherents of the modern Italian school, pronounced it to be full of power, vigour, and originality. The one portion asserted that it was utterly devoid of melody — the other, that it was replete with melody of the most charming kind; the one again insisted that it was the worst work of the aspirant — the other, that it was the young composer's chef-d'oeuvre. And in the midst of this conflict — so analogous to the old feud between the partizans of Gluck and Piccini — public opinion, as usual, seemed undecided and wavering, uttering its old formula of "Well! I don't know!" The music, too, was weighed down by a rambling, ill-constructed, uninteresting libretto ; and it is really difficult, under such conditions, to sunder the merit of the musical "setting" from the demerit of the text. "I Lombardi," however, was played frequently, and even to crowded houses.

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of the Opera' pp. 148-9 (268 words)

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