excerpt from 'Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character' pp. 144-146 (279 words)

excerpt from 'Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character' pp. 144-146 (279 words)

part of

Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character

original language

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

in pages

144-146

type

text excerpt

encoded value

Another curious musical reminiscence of Belgrade dates from the year of the great Servian rebellion (1876), during the greater portion of which it was my duty to abide in the Principality as a chronicler of current events. Whilst in Belgrade, awaiting permission to join the Russo-Servian headquarters at Parachin, I became acquainted with all the members of the Diplomatic Body, which had undergone a complete change of personnel since my last previous visit, and was no less surprised than delighted to find amongst them one of the finest amateur pianists and ablest sight-readers in Europe. This was Count Joannini, the chief of the Italian Mission, a pupil and worshipper of Franz Liszt, whose compositions he played with great facility and infinite relish. Upon paying my first visit to this accomplished musician — whom I had hitherto only known by reputation as a particularly well-informed diplomatist — I found him seated at one of two grand-pianos, arranged head and tail in the approved concert "form,"... I have seldom seen anybody look so pleasurably astonished as he did when I mentioned that "il suonare a prima vista " was a favourite musical recreation of mine. Two minutes later we were both " in position," with a thick cahier of Liszt's Symphonic Poems facing us ; and, before we parted that afternoon, had worked our way through Tasso, Mazeppa, Hamlet and the Todtentunz. He was, indeed — alas! that I should have to speak of him in the past tense — a brilliantly intelligent pianist, gifted with that quick perception of a composer's meaning which is only exhibited by elect musical natures, and deeply versed in all the most approved methods of dealing with technical difficulties.

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excerpt from 'Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character' pp. 144-146 (279 words)

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