excerpt from 'Thirty Years of Musical Life in London, 1870-1900' pp. 16-19 (243 words)

excerpt from 'Thirty Years of Musical Life in London, 1870-1900' pp. 16-19 (243 words)

part of

Thirty Years of Musical Life in London

original language

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

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16-19

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text excerpt

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Among the great prime donne who sang in Norwich during the "sixties" and 
"seventies," none was more deservedly popular than Theresa Tietjens. Those of
my American readers who saw her when she appeared with Mr. Mapleson's troupe at the Academy of Music, New York, in 1876, cannot fail to have a vivid
recollection of her genius both as a singer and an actress. Then, however, she
was just approaching the tragical climax of her brilliant career. When I first
heard her, at one of the general rehearsals for the festival of 1866 (some eight
years after her début in England), her voice was not only fresh, powerful, and
penetrating, but it possessed in a greater degree than then that sympathetic
charm that curiously dramatic "human" quality which was perhaps its most
notable attribute. Her style was marked by the same rare individuality. Her
phrasing offered a curious blending of vigor and grace; and she had a trick of
employing the portamento when approaching a high note, which in any other singer
might have been thought almost ugly, but in Tietjens seemed both natural and
artistic. At the same time, her attack was superb. Never have I heard the
opening phrase of the "Inflammatus" in Rossini's "Stabat Mater" delivered with
such magnificent energy and such absolute purity of tone. To hear Tietjens in
those days sing "Let the bright Seraphim" (especially to the trumpet obbligato
of Tom Harper) was a treat never to be forgotten.

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excerpt from 'Thirty Years of Musical Life in London, 1870-1900' pp. 16-19 (243 words)

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