excerpt from 'Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character' pp. 331-332 (234 words)

excerpt from 'Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character' pp. 331-332 (234 words)

part of

Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character

original language

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

in pages

331-332

type

text excerpt

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But Viennese opera-goers and concert-frequenters alike, though constituting in many respects ideal audiences from the artist's point of view, have one extremely unpleasant and objectionable characteristic in common. They become fidgety and fussy shortly after nine o'clock p.m. Up to that hour their demeanour is exemplary. The singer or player, at least, if expert in his function, has no reason to complain of it; for his hearers are attentive, sympathetic, and ever ready to give tongue to their approval at the opportune moment. But, with a few exceptions — the sum total of which does not amount to five per cent, of an average musical audience — they are bond-slaves to a baneful tyrant who rules the middle-class Viennese with an inflexible and undisputed sway. Their bondage begins to weigh upon them with peculiar oppressiveness at the hour I have referred to ; they become more and more nervous and uneasy with every minute added by the clock-hand to the record of fleeting time ; no spell of music's magic has power to restrain them from making rustling noises, shuffling their feet, and scraping their chairs along the floor, and finally, if the performance be protracted for as much as a quarter of an hour beyond the time-limit in question, from quitting their seats and hurrying out of the theatre or concert-room with a precipitancy that is manifestly prompted by dread of their dire despot.

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excerpt from 'Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character' pp. 331-332 (234 words)

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