excerpt from 'Musical Reminiscences: Containing an Account of Italian Opera in England, From 1773. The Fourth Edition, Continued to the Present Time, and Including The Festival in Westminster Abbey.' pp. 211-13 (336 words)

excerpt from 'Musical Reminiscences: Containing an Account of Italian Opera in England, From 1773. The Fourth Edition, Continued to the Present Time, and Including The Festival in Westminster Abbey.' pp. 211-13 (336 words)

part of

Musical Reminiscences: Containing an Account of Italian Opera in England, From 1773. The Fourth Edition, Continued to the Present Time, and Including The Festival in Westminster Abbey.

original language

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

in pages

211-13

211-3

type

text excerpt

encoded value

The real first woman did not appear till the second opera, when Beethoven’s Fidelio was produced for the début of Madame Schroeder Devrient. She was indeed a very superior performer, with a voice less sweet perhaps than powerful, capable of great exertion and strong expression. She was a capital actress (considered in Germany as by far the best in opera, as is her mother, Madame Schroeder, in tragedy), and one of the most striking and effective performers I ever saw. Though by no means a pretty woman, and without marked features, such as produce most effect on the stage, she had the power of great expression and change of countenance. In Fidelio she was throughout in male attire. I was present at her first appearance, and so charmed by her performance that I not only went to see that opera a second time, but never failed afterwards going to hear, once at least, every other that was acted during that season and the next. The whole opera was throughout well sung and well acted, by the tenor Haitzinger, who had a very beautiful voice, very much like in tone, and almost equal, to Tramezzani’s; a bass named Pellegrini, and the second woman Schneider. But it was in the chorusses especially, that the excellence of the German singers was most displayed. These were performed in a manner quite new to an English audience. Those in the Freyschütz had made a most favourable impression, from the perceptible difference from all former performances of them. Those in Fidelio were still finer; especially one of prisoners, so strikingly fine, and well acted as well as sung, that it was always repeated every night. The cause of this greater excellence is the very superior knowledge of music possessed by the Germans, who study it more scientifically than any other nation. Nobody who has not heard the chorusses of Weber, Beethoven, and other great composers, sung by native performers, can have an idea of their perfection.

The real first woman did not appear till the second opera, when Beethoven’s Fidelio was produced for the début of Madame Schroeder Devrient. She was indeed a very superior performer, with a voice less sweet perhaps than powerful, capable of great exertion and strong expression. She was a capital actress (considered in Germany as by far the best in opera, as is her mother, Madame Schroeder, in tragedy), and one of the most striking and effective performers I ever saw. Though by no means a pretty woman, and without marked features, such as produce most effect on the stage, she had the power of great expression and change of countenance. In Fidelio she was throughout in male attire. I was present at her first appearance, and so charmed by her performance that I not only went to see that opera a second time, but never failed afterwards going to hear, once at least, every other that was acted during that season and the next. The whole opera was throughout well sung and well acted, by the tenor Haitzinger, who had a very beautiful voice, very much like in tone, and almost equal, to Tramezzani’s; a bass named Pellegrini, and the second woman Schneider. But it was in the chorusses especially, that the excellence of the German singers was most displayed. These were performed in a manner quite new to an English audience. Those in the Freyschütz had made a most favourable impression, from the perceptible difference from all former performances of them. Those in Fidelio were still finer; especially one of prisoners, so strikingly fine, and well acted as well as sung, that it was always repeated every night. The cause of this greater excellence is the very superior knowledge of music possessed by the Germans, who study it more scientifically than any other nation. Nobody who has not heard the chorusses of Weber, Beethoven, and other great composers, sung by native performers, can have an idea of their perfection.

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excerpt from 'Musical Reminiscences: Containing an Account of Italian Opera in England, From 1773. The Fourth Edition, Continued to the Present Time, and Including The Festival in Westminster Abbey.' pp. 211-13 (336 words)

excerpt from 'Musical Reminiscences: Containing an Account of Italian Opera in England, From 1773. The Fourth Edition, Continued to the Present Time, and Including The Festival in Westminster Abbey.' pp. 211-3 (336 words)

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1448540487155

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