excerpt from 'Recollections of an old musician' pp. 32-34 (493 words)

excerpt from 'Recollections of an old musician' pp. 32-34 (493 words)

part of

Recollections of an old musician

original language

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

in pages

32-34

type

text excerpt

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In the summer of ’88, I spent a part of the season in Paris. Sivori was still alive, and, like the majority of artists who lead the lives of virtuosi, had made Paris his home. I determined to do myself the honor of calling on him, and had an opportunity to do so in company with a Boston friend who knew him well. Sivori was living on the fourth or fifth story of a very modest hotel, having a single room, with space for an upright piano and an alcove for his bed. It was a charming, cosy little room, just such a one as the majority of bachelor artists occupy in Paris, no matter how ample their income; and in these quarters they receive the visits of princes and people of the haute noblesse.

I let my friend, who was intimate with Sivori, do the talking for some time, while I watched all the artist’s motions. He was a rather small-sized man, and had very small hands for a violinist, at which I marvelled, for his distinction was based on his being a Paganini player; and we all know that the music of that composer requires the fingers of a prestidigitator. As we progressed in our call I nudged my friend (according to previous agreement) to tell Sivori I was a member of the Mendelssohn Quintette Club of Boston, and that I wanted very much to see the famous “ Strad,” the inheritance from Paganini. Sivori was amiability itself.

[…]

Sivori took out the violin from its case. It was a perfect “ Kohinoor ” of an instrument, just the right color, and perfectly preserved,— not a scratch or a crack,—with the great seal of red sealing-wax on the under part of the violin where the neck begins. I told Mr. Sivori that I heard him in his first concert given in the old Masonic Temple in Boston (where R. H. Steams & Co.’s store now is), that I was an enthusiastic boy at the time, and that his playing had made such an impression on me that I could name the pieces he played in that concert, though there was an interim of about forty years. I named them,—the E-flat concerto (his own composition), La Campanile by Paga¬nini, and the Most in Egitto, also by Paganini.

The old artist opened his bookcase, took out a book containing an itinerary of musical tourndes made in his younger days, and turned at once to Boston. I had named the pieces exactly, and he was highly pleased. He played for us a great deal, and it was a joy to hear the tone of that violin; it was also impossible not to be affected by the sentiment connected with it. Paganini’s violin! the instrument of that strange and wonderful player, the wizard of the concert stage, who had conquered all musical Europe

In the summer of ’88, I spent a part of the season in Paris. Sivori was still alive, and, like the majority of artists who lead the lives of virtuosi, had made Paris his home. I determined to do myself the honor of calling on him, and had an opportunity to do so in company with a Boston friend who knew him well. Sivori was living on the fourth or fifth story of a very modest hotel, having a single room, with space for an upright piano and an alcove for his bed. It was a charming, cosy little room, just such a one as the majority of bachelor artists occupy in Paris, no matter how ample their income; and in these quarters they receive the visits of princes and people of the haute noblesse.

I let my friend, who was intimate with Sivori, do the talking for some time, while I watched all the artist’s motions. He was a rather small-sized man, and had very small hands for a violinist, at which I marvelled, for his distinction was based on his being a Paganini player; and we all know that the music of that composer requires the fingers of a prestidigitator. As we progressed in our call I nudged my friend (according to previous agreement) to tell Sivori I was a member of the Mendelssohn Quintette Club of Boston, and that I wanted very much to see the famous “ Strad,” the inheritance from Paganini. Sivori was amiability itself.

[…]

Sivori took out the violin from its case. It was a perfect “ Kohinoor ” of an instrument, just the right color, and perfectly preserved,— not a scratch or a crack,—with the great seal of red sealing-wax on the under part of the violin where the neck begins. I told Mr. Sivori that I heard him in his first concert given in the old Masonic Temple in Boston (where R. H. Steams & Co.’s store now is), that I was an enthusiastic boy at the time, and that his playing had made such an impression on me that I could name the pieces he played in that concert, though there was an interim of about forty years. I named them,—the E-flat concerto (his own composition), La Campanile by Paga¬nini, and the Most in Egitto, also by Paganini.

The old artist opened his bookcase, took out a book containing an itinerary of musical tourndes made in his younger days, and turned at once to Boston. I had named the pieces exactly, and he was highly pleased. He played for us a great deal, and it was a joy to hear the tone of that violin; it was also impossible not to be affected by the sentiment connected with it. Paganini’s violin! the instrument of that strange and wonderful player, the wizard of the concert stage, who had conquered all musical Europe

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excerpt from 'Recollections of an old musician' pp. 32-34 (493 words)

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