excerpt from 'Musical letters from abroad' pp. 206-8 (273 words)

excerpt from 'Musical letters from abroad' pp. 206-8 (273 words)

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Musical letters from Abroad

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The general rehearsal was on the day previous to the commencement of the Festival, at which the band, the chorus, and the solo singers were brought together. The former took their places in the orchestra, but the solo singers came into the body of the Hall. This gave us a fine opportunity of seeing them all, and of shaking hands with some of them.


The rehearsal commenced at 11 o’clock, and (with the exception of the necessary intermission for refreshments) continued until nearly 12 at night. Such pieces only were taken up as were new, or not generally known. A part of Samson, a new posthumous motette by Mendelssohn, his fragment of an oratorio, Christus, and also of

Lorelie. Beethoven’s great 9th, and various other pieces belonging to the evening performances, were more or less rehearsed. Beethoven’s Choral Symphony occupied about two hours. It was evidently the piece for the success of which Mr. Costa felt the greatest anxiety — since it is the most difficult composition on the programme; and he spared no effort to make its performance perfect. It was originally written for the London Philharmonic Society; but it was not performed with any success until long after its production.

This rehearsal-day was full of interest and instruction, and afforded us an opportunity of standing a little behind the curtain, and of seeing something more of the principal vocalists than we otherwise could have done. Though tedious, the result was satisfactory; and when it was nearly 12 o’clock, and the company parted, there seemed to be a general assurance of a successful performance on the morrow.

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excerpt from 'Musical letters from abroad' pp. 206-8 (273 words)


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