excerpt from 'Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character' pp. 79-81 (300 words)

excerpt from 'Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character' pp. 79-81 (300 words)

part of

Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character

original language

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

in pages

79-81

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text excerpt

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On the following Tuesday, accordingly, I was in my accustomed stall [at the Hofoper] at seven precisely,  [for a performance of Lohengrin (Hohe-Preise)] just in time to see my friend Carl Eckert take his place at the conductor's desk and look over his acolytes with a circular and severely-inquiring glance before executing the smart double rap that never failed to concentrate their attention upon the tip of his ebony baton [...] As was, and I believe still is, always the case on a Wagner night, the house was crowded throughout; fashion in the side-boxes and dress-circle; science and dilettantism in the stalls, abundantly provided with spectacles and full scores ; various grades of the musical bourgeoisie in the three tiers of upper boxes, and a host of appreciative proletarians in the cheap and capacious gallery. By the time the overture had come to an end every place available to the general public was occupied, and the temperature had risen to its customary tropical degree of elevation. "If this," I found myself thinking, "be the result of the new ventilation system, the Emperor, save for the honour of the thing, might just as well have saved his money." Had the audience been exclusively composed of orchids they could not have been more congenially accommodated in the way of atmosphere. Henry the Fowler, however, had scarcely taken his seat under the shade of the Justice Tree, the public having meanwhile settled down to enjoy and perspire in compliance with hallowed Hofoper traditions, when suddenly piercing jets of iced air invaded the house from every direction simultaneously. The effect in the stalls was that of a lively breeze; persons located higher up in the house described their experiences to me subsequently as varying between a moderate gale and a circular wind-storm of no inconsiderable violence. 

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excerpt from 'Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character' pp. 79-81 (300 words)

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