excerpt from 'Music and Friends: Or, Pleasant Recollections of a Dilettante' pp. 866-867 (347 words)

excerpt from 'Music and Friends: Or, Pleasant Recollections of a Dilettante' pp. 866-867 (347 words)

part of

Music and Friends: Or, Pleasant Recollections of a Dilettante

original language

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

in pages

866-867

type

text excerpt

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When Baillot was in Leicester, he gave me a description of the horn-music which he heard at Moscow thirty years ago. It was at Prince Potemkin's, where two hundred performers executed a sinfony of Haydn, each with a trumpet that gave only a single note. It was a new idea to me, the advantages of which I apprehended would confer a power of accent unattainable by the ordinary way in which music is performed.... In 1817 I alluded to some of these effects in the 'Lives of Haydn and Mozart,' but none of my preconceived notions have been illustrated, and confirmed to me, till I heard the band of Germans conducted by Strauss. This philosophical composer has pressed into his service a variety of instruments, and even certain noises, with wonderful effect. It is evident that there is no sound in nature which he cannot apply to some purpose in the orchestra. In the upper notes of the scale we find no deficiency in power. The notes of the octave flute in altissimo are ten times louder than the same notes on the violin ; but in the lowest notes of the scale the ear is greatly disappointed.... The faint roll of the deep long drum in some measure compensates for the loss of these notes, and by it M. Strauss adds great sublimity to his band. It forms a pianissimo bass scarcely discernible, upon which all his instruments repose. The captivating motion of the waltz is is marked by the accuracy and sharpness of the accents. The sticcato, castanets, bells, and tingling instruments are ingeniously introduced, and form pleasing experiments in sound. The vast volume of tone from the trombone is new; it is the voice of a giant, and, when the accent is suddenly shifted from the strong to the weak part of the bar, it is like the false step of a Polyphemus bringing down his ponderous body to the ground. The battle-piece, in which the troops return from victory, the cannon, the church-bells, the crack of the postillion's whip, are master-strokes of the author.

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excerpt from 'Music and Friends: Or, Pleasant Recollections of a Dilettante' pp. 866-867 (347 words)

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