excerpt from 'Letter from Anna Seward to Mrs F Evans, 11 December 1794' pp. 31–33 (253 words)

excerpt from 'Letter from Anna Seward to Mrs F Evans, 11 December 1794' pp. 31–33 (253 words)

part of

Letter from Anna Seward to Mrs F Evans, 11 December 1794

original language

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

in pages

31–33

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text excerpt

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Last night was our Cecilian anniversary. Lichfield concerts used to be charming; but since Mr Saville’s impaired and uncertain health has induced his declining, as much as possible, to sing in public; and since his syren daughter has wholly renounced it, great indeed is the falling off. Those who remember well their golden vocalities sigh over their present comparatively leaden ones. Mr S. intended singing one song last night, but found himself at the time too much indisposed to attempt it, for it was an Italian opera song, of very animated exertion, in which Armida reproaches Rinaldo in strains of blended indignation, love, and despair. One of the present candidates for the choral stall in our cathedral, vacant by the death of poor young Spray, a Mr Claburn of Cambridge, sung a lovely song of Handel’s, with elegance and expression; and Birch, with his noble bass tones, gave us the sublime strain of that great master—“He layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters.” Spray, whose voice is so fine in church-music, does not shine in concert-singing; besides, his song was silly, and ill adapted to his voice, though the air wanted not beauty. The audience were by no means sparing in their applause; but the breaking of an old bench which supported the musicbooks, letting them all drop in the midst of a concerto, was honoured with vollies of manual thunder—a most invalidating peal of plaudits to the previously applauded singers.

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excerpt from 'Letter from Anna Seward to Mrs F Evans, 11 December 1794' pp. 31–33 (253 words)

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