excerpt from 'Music, men and manners in France and Italy, 1770 / Charles Burney' pp. 165 (305 words)

excerpt from 'Music, men and manners in France and Italy, 1770 / Charles Burney' pp. 165 (305 words)

part of

Music, men and manners in France and Italy, 1770 / Charles Burney

original language

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

in pages

165

type

text excerpt

encoded value

In the evening I went again to St Francesco’s Church and heard the performance of the scholars of another conservatorio, namely Santa Maria di Loreto... The singing was a little better, but the instruments hardly so good. The 1st air, after a smart sinfonia and chorus, was sung by an inoffensive tenor – then another by a soprano not quite so, after which a 3rd air by a base voice, the direct contrary of inoffensive, such a bawling stentor with a throat so inflexible sure never was heard before. The divisions were so rough and so strongly marked they became quite grotesk. If it had not been for the serious effect his performance had on the melancholy audience no one could possibly have supposed it to be serious – a solo on the coarsest double base that ever was played on would have been soft music to it. After him a middling counter tenor which so strong a foil could not make one relish – and then another soprano by not at all a hopeless subject, his voice was well toned and he had a little improvable shake – in short this was the only promising singer I had heard for two days. But to the poor voices, there is such a slovenly, ignorant and unfinished manner to be added that they sung the people out of church as fast as they came in. There was a young man who played solo parts in the ritenellos with a kind of clarinet they call here a vox humana, another on the trumpet, and a 3rd on the hautbois, but in an incorrect and uninteresting manner. The boys who sung had very poor cadences to their songs, which after the 2nd parts returned to the first and these were always repeated after the da capo.

 

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excerpt from 'Music, men and manners in France and Italy, 1770 / Charles Burney' pp. 165 (305 words)

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