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. 97-9 (252 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. 97-9 (252 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

97-9

type

text excerpt

encoded value

Of this celebrated performer [Catalani] it is well known that her voice is of a most uncommon quality, and capable of exertions almost supernatural. Her throat seems endued (as has been remarked by medical men) with a power of expansion and muscular motion by no means usual, and when she throws out all her voice to the utmost, it has a volume and strength that are quite surprising, while its agility in divisions, running up and down the scale in semi-tones, and its compass in jumping over two octaves at once, are equally astonishing. It were to be wished she was less lavish in the display of these wonderful powers, and sought to please more than to surprise; but her taste is vicious, her excessive love of ornament spoiling every simple air, and her greatest delight (indeed her chief merit) being in songs of a bold and spirited character, where much is left to her discretion (or indiscretion), without being confined by the accompaniment, but in which she can indulge in ad libitum passages with a luxuriance and redundancy no other singer ever possessed, or if possessing ever practised, and which she carries to a fantastical excess. She is fond of singing variations on some known simple air, and latterly has pushed this taste to the very height of absurdity, by singing, even without words, variations composed for the fiddle. This is absolute nonsense, a lamentable misapplication of that finest of instruments, the human voice, and of the delightful faculty of song.

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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. 97-9 (252 words)

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1446744408545

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