excerpt from 'Thirty Years of Musical Life in London, 1870-1900' pp. 13-14 (268 words)

excerpt from 'Thirty Years of Musical Life in London, 1870-1900' pp. 13-14 (268 words)

part of

Thirty Years of Musical Life in London

original language

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

in pages

13-14

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text excerpt

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ONE of the proudest moments that I can recall in my early Norwich life was my 
being presented to Mr. (afterward Sir) Julius Benedict, who officiated as
conductor of the festivals from 1842 until 1878, when he was succeeded by the
present conductor, Mr. Alberto Randegger. By the light of subsequent experience,
I learned to realize that Benedict was one of the worst conductors who ever held
a baton. His head was invariably buried in his score; his arms were ever
uplifted, as though seeking a higher level than the shoulder-joints naturally
permitted. He rarely gave a cue until it was too late to be of practical value;
and he entirely lacked the magnetic power and the sense of ensemble that should
be the primary gifts of a good conductor. But at the time I am speaking of these deficiencies were noted only by the few. The vast majority of East Anglian
amateurs, including my youthful self, were satisfied to look upon Sir Julius not only as a great conductor, but as a musician whose cooperation brought
honor and glory to the festival. Was he not the favorite pupil and friend of
Weber? Had he not, when a young man of twenty-three, seen and shaken hands with
the immortal Beethoven? I have been introduced to Verdi and Gounod; I have known and spoken with Wagner;
but, great as those privileges undoubtedly were, I do not think they aroused in
me the same feelings of mingled pride and awe that I experienced when, as a boy,
I was first addressed by a man who had stood face to face with Beethoven.

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excerpt from 'Thirty Years of Musical Life in London, 1870-1900' pp. 13-14 (268 words)

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