excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 127-128 (214 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 127-128 (214 words)

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Reminiscences of Michael Kelly

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The Venetians are in general adorers of music, and Venice, one of the first cities in Europe for the cultivation of that art. It is famous for its female conservatories, of which there are four, which are in fact foundling hospitals, supported by wealthy citizens, &c. where the girls are maintained and educated ; some are married from them, and those who display strong talent for music are instructed by the very best masters. They gave concerts every Sunday evening, and on festival days ; I heard two, one at La Pietà, the other at La Mendicant! the former celebrated for its fine orchestra, the latter for its singers. At La Pietà there were a thousand girls, one hundred and forty of whom were musicians : all the instruments were charmingly played by girls. The churches were crowded on those occasions ; and while the performance was actually going on, the most perfect silence was observed ; but at the conclusion of a piece of music, which excited their approbation, the audience expressed it in the most extraordinary manner, they coughed aloud, and scraped their feet on the ground, for some moments, but did not utter a word ! which seemed to me a practical mode of pointing out the beauty of concord in opposition to the horrors of discord.

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 127-128 (214 words)


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