excerpt from 'A Memoir of Baron Bunsen Volume II' pp. 35-36 (271 words)

excerpt from 'A Memoir of Baron Bunsen Volume II' pp. 35-36 (271 words)

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A Memoir of Baron Bunsen Volume II

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Letter from Bunsen to his wife, Carlton Terrace: Tuesday 20th September, 1842; 8 a.m. - 'The days spent at Norwich (Monday we travelled thither through the night, and Saturday we came back in the day) were rich in interest.' .... 'The music was very fine — ' the Creation,'—Spohr's ' Fall of Babylon' (a musical drama, called oratorio) —and 'Samson.' The text of the latter had been modified by Mr. Edward Taylor, so as to coincide with and comprehend that of Milton almost entirely, incorporating the newly-introduced portions by interspersing other Handelian passages, selected from his forgotten works, whether operas, or small and little noticed oratorios. According to Mr. Taylor, Handel had adopted a movement from Palestrina, and worked out a passage of ' Samson ' upon that guiding-thread : this suggested and gave occasion for the introduction of a hymn, founded upon an inexpressibly fine conception of Palestrina's. Nobody was aware of this, and all declared it to be the most striking part; the Bishop caused it to be repeated, and the whole assembly (above 2,000 in number) rose and remained standing, as during devotional pieces. After this piece, the greatest effect was produced by a short chorus, which no one had heard before : and that was, equally from the Septime, borrowed from Carissimo. This system of intercalation is in itself indefensible : but I must confess that the text, as it is, has a fine effect : the action progresses dramatically, and nothing could be easier than to make a representation with entire dramatic effect of this ' Samson' : an idea for which I sought to obtain acceptance.'

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excerpt from 'A Memoir of Baron Bunsen Volume II' pp. 35-36 (271 words)


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