excerpt from 'Recollections of an old musician' pp. 193-195 (425 words)

excerpt from 'Recollections of an old musician' pp. 193-195 (425 words)

part of

Recollections of an old musician

original language

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

in pages

193-195

194-5

type

text excerpt

encoded value

 

Mr. Gilmore was a modest and a wise man, and conducted but little of the music himself; but that little was great,—for did he not direct the “Anvil Chorus ” ? Will Boston, or at least its Jubilee participators, ever forget the sensation it had when the one hundred firemen—each in his belt, helmet, and red flannel shirt, carrying a long-handled blacksmith’s hammer at “ right shoulder shift ” like a musket—marched into the hall and on to the stage in two files of fifty, and then separated far enough to form a red frame for two sides of the orchestra, which meanwhile was playing the introduction to the “Anvil Chorus ” ? Reaching their special, real anvils, the firemen faced the audience, lifted their hammers to the proper position, and at the right musical moment played and sang the melody.

If ever “the welkin rang” it did then !

In addition to the sounds from a hundred anvils there was the great organ, military band, drum corps, all the bells in the city achime, and a cannon accompaniment. This last came from two batteries of well served guns stationed at a short distance from the building, and a gun was fired off by electricity on the first beat of each measure. A small table was placed on the stage, close to the director, with a set of electric buttons, each having a wire leading to a gun. Mr. John Mullaly was the artist who pressed the button; the gun did the rest. These guns were similarly used for all national airs.

At the termination of the “Anvil Chorus ” there was enormous applause. The whole mass of people rose to their feet, jumped up and down, and nearly dislocated their arms by waving handkerchiefs, fans, hats, parasols, even babies. I am sure that I was never in any great assembly where such wild, almost frantic cheering and applause was heard. Fifty thousand people in a wooden building can make some noise.

The dear, wonderful old maestro, Verdi, did certainly furnish a great opportunity for P. S. Gilmore. It is equally certain that Verdi never dreamed of the possibilities contained in the “ of time began to pound the anvils,—right, left, right, left,— while the great orchestra and chorus slam-bang ” popular melody. When the piece was ended, the gentlemen firemen would march out; and, the applause continuing, they would march back again and go through the whole exciting performance once more.

 Mr. Gilmore was a modest and a wise man, and conducted but little of the music himself; but that little was great,—for did he not direct the “Anvil Chorus ” ? Will Boston, or at least its Jubilee participators, ever forget the sensation it had when the one hundred firemen—each in his belt, helmet, and red flannel shirt, carrying a long-handled blacksmith’s hammer at “ right shoulder shift ” like a musket—marched into the hall and on to the stage in two files of fifty, and then separated far enough to form a red frame for two sides of the orchestra, which meanwhile was playing the introduction to the “Anvil Chorus ” ? Reaching their special, real anvils, the firemen faced the audience, lifted their hammers to the proper position, and at the right musical moment played and sang the melody.

If ever “the welkin rang” it did then !

In addition to the sounds from a hundred anvils there was the great organ, military band, drum corps, all the bells in the city achime, and a cannon accompaniment. This last came from two batteries of well served guns stationed at a short distance from the building, and a gun was fired off by electricity on the first beat of each measure. A small table was placed on the stage, close to the director, with a set of electric buttons, each having a wire leading to a gun. Mr. John Mullaly was the artist who pressed the button; the gun did the rest. These guns were similarly used for all national airs.

At the termination of the “Anvil Chorus ” there was enormous applause. The whole mass of people rose to their feet, jumped up and down, and nearly dislocated their arms by waving handkerchiefs, fans, hats, parasols, even babies. I am sure that I was never in any great assembly where such wild, almost frantic cheering and applause was heard. Fifty thousand people in a wooden building can make some noise.

The dear, wonderful old maestro, Verdi, did certainly furnish a great opportunity for P. S. Gilmore. It is equally certain that Verdi never dreamed of the possibilities contained in the “ of time began to pound the anvils,—right, left, right, left,— while the great orchestra and chorus slam-bang ” popular melody. When the piece was ended, the gentlemen firemen would march out; and, the applause continuing, they would march back again and go through the whole exciting performance once more.

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excerpt from 'Recollections of an old musician' pp. 193-195 (425 words)

excerpt from 'Recollections of an old musician' pp. 194-5 (425 words)

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