excerpt from 'Remarks on antiquities, arts and letters during an excursion in Italy in the years 1802 and 1803' pp. 49-51 (226 words)

excerpt from 'Remarks on antiquities, arts and letters during an excursion in Italy in the years 1802 and 1803' pp. 49-51 (226 words)

part of

Remarks on antiquities, arts and letters during an excursion in Italy in the years 1802 and 1803

original language

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

in pages

49-51

type

text excerpt

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Florence has long been renowned for Improvvisatori. So early as the fifteenth century the two blind brothers Brandolini excelled here in singing Latin extempore. The crowned and pensioned Corilla drew lately the admiration of all Italy, and Signora Fantastici is now the improvvisatrice of the day.

 This lady convenes at her house a crowd of admirers, whenever she chooses to be inspired. The first time I attended her accademia, a young lady of the same family and name as the great Michael Angelo began the evening by repeating some verses of her own composition. Presently La Fanastici broke out into song in the words of the motto, and astonished me by her rapidity and command of numbers, which flowed in praise of the fair poetess, and brought her poem back to our applause. Her numbers, however, flowed irregularly, still varying with the fluctuation of sentiment; while her song corresponded, changing from aria to recitativo, from recitativo to a measured recitation.

 […]

Such "strains pronounced and sung unmeditated, such prompt eloquence," such sentiment and imagery flowing in rich diction, in measure, in rhyme, and in music, without interruption, and on subjects unforeseen, all this must evince in La Fantastici a wonderful command of powers; yet, judging from her studied and published compositions, which are dull enough, I should suspect that this impromptu-exercise seldom leads to poetical excellence.

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excerpt from 'Remarks on antiquities, arts and letters during an excursion in Italy in the years 1802 and 1803' pp. 49-51 (226 words)

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