excerpt from 'Musings and Memories of a Musician' pp. 165-166 (221 words)

excerpt from 'Musings and Memories of a Musician' pp. 165-166 (221 words)

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Musings and Memories of a Musician

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With wonderful rapidity I found myself in the midst of the whirl of London society, and it was with considerable regret that, even for a few weeks only, I quitted the scene […] in order to sing at the Nether-Rhenish Music Festival which in that year, 1877, took place at Cologne and was particularly distinguished by the first performance in Germany of Verdi's great Manzoni Requiem under the conductorship of the composer. Many German musicians at that time affected rather to look down on the Italian maestro with a sort of condescending superiority, wondering how in the world Ferdinand Hiller, the conductor-in-chief of the Festival and an excellent musician, could have chosen for performance at one of their classical institutions a work by the author of Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, Traviata, and other operas of street-organ popularity. Hiller, however, knew what he was doing. Already at the first rehearsal Verdi's fine musicianship and powerful personality made a great impression upon chorus, orchestra, and soloists, of which latter I had the honour of being one. From hour to hour we felt more and more strongly the fascinating influence of a master - mind, and both the beautiful, deeply felt work and its genial creator at the end of the excellent performance—Lilli Lehmann was the soprano—met with a most enthusiastic reception.

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excerpt from 'Musings and Memories of a Musician' pp. 165-166 (221 words)


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