excerpt from 'Journal entry, 12 August 1828' pp. 334–335 (286 words)

excerpt from 'Journal entry, 12 August 1828' pp. 334–335 (286 words)

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Journal entry, 12 August 1828

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Mr. Kalkbrenner gave me a seat in his box this morning, to hear the pianoforte pupils of the Conservatoire play for the prizes before a full audience in the theatre of that establishment, which is called the Ecole de Musique. The performance began at nine o’clock, and the great Cherubini sat in state as the harmonic judge, surrounded by a kind of jury of other mighty dons. The first batch of pupils were seven girls, who each played the same piece, and then read an MS. at sight. The piece was Kalkbrenner’s, and the MS. was Cherubini’s. Monsieur Adam, the old man who for many years has been pianoforte master to the Conservatoire, and who was Kalkbrenner’s master, sat by the side of the pupils. It became tedious and monotonous to hear the same thing played over so many times, and, as a matter of etiquette, all applause was withheld. At last the first act of this exhibition came to a close by a vase being handed round among the judges, and their placing therein little things similar to our balls in ‘blackballing’ at clubhouses, when three of the young ladies were called on, and severally addressed as best, second best, and so on for the prizes; and on Cherubini finishing his short oration to them from the grand box, there was a great burst of applause. The next part of the exhibition was to be young men playing a concerto of Kalkbrenner’s; sat out three of them, but when I heard there were to be five or six more, I could weather it no longer, so took the liberty to ‘bolt.’

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excerpt from 'Journal entry, 12 August 1828' pp. 334–335 (286 words)


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