excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 223-224 (369 words)

excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 223-224 (369 words)

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Reminiscences of Michael Kelly

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He gave me a cordial invitation to his house, of which I availed myself, and passed a great part of my time there. He always received me with kindness and hospitality. He was remarkably fond of punch, of which beverage I have seen him take copious draughts. He was also fond of billiards, and had an excellent billiard table in his house. Many and many a game have I played with him, but always came off second best. He gave Sunday concerts, at which I never was missing. He was kind-hearted, and always ready to oblige ; but so very particular, when he played, that if the slightest noise were made, he instantly left off. He one day made me sit down to the piano, and gave credit to my first master, who had taught me to place my hand well on the instrument. He conferred on me what I considered a high compliment. I had composed a little melody to Metastasio's canzonetta, " Grazie agl' inganni tuoi," which was a great favourite wherever I sang it. It was very simple, but had the good fortune to please Mozart. He took it and composed variations upon it, which were truly beautiful ; and had the further kindness and condescension to play them wherever he had an opportunity. Thinking that the air thus rendered remarkable might be acceptable to some of my musical readers, I have subjoined it. Encouraged by his flattering approbation, I attempted several little airs, which I shewed him, and which he kindly approved of; so much indeed, that I determined to devote myself to the study of counterpoint, and consulted with him, by whom I ought to be instructed. He said, " My good lad, you ask my advice, and I will give it you candidly ; had you studied composition when you were at Naples, and when your mind was not devoted to other pursuits, you would perhaps have done wisely; but now that your profession of the stage must, and ought, to occupy all your attention, it would be an unwise measure to enter into a dry study. You may take my word for it, Nature has made you a melodist, and you would only disturb and perplex yourself.

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excerpt from 'Reminiscences of Michael Kelly' pp. 223-224 (369 words)


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