History of the opera, Volum 2

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Side 19 - ... please more than to surprise ; but her taste is vicious, her excessive love of ornament spoiling every simple air, and her greatest delight (indeed her chief merit) being in songs of a bold and spirited character, where much is left to her discretion (or indiscretion), without being confined by the accompaniment, but in which she can indulge in ad libitum passages with a luxuriance and redundancy no other singer ever possessed, or if possessing ever practised, and which she carries to a fantastical...
Side 172 - Beauty's mind, and that, seeing before her loyalty, bravery, truth, and devotion, they became in her eyes lovely, and that she hugged her Beast with a perfect contentment to the end. When ugly Wilkes said that he was only a quarter of an hour behind the handsomest man in England ; meaning that the charms of his conversation would make him in that time at a lady's side as agreeable and fascinating as a beau, what a compliment he paid the whole sex ! How true it is (not of course applicable to you,...
Side 123 - How can you conduct the King's Theatre perpetually in durance as you are ? ' remarked a friend. ' My dear fellow,' replied the manager, ' how could I possibly conduct it if I were at liberty ? I should be eaten up, sir, devoured. Here comes a dancer, " Mr. Taylor, I want such a dress ; " another, " I want such and such ornaments.
Side 155 - ... having nothing to do with each other, and if a satisfactory air is for a moment introduced, which the ear would like to dwell upon, to hear modulated, varied, and again returned to, it is broken off before it is well understood or sufficiently heard, by a sudden transition into a totally different melody, time, and key, and recurs no more : so that no impression can be made, or recollection of it preserved.
Side 256 - Catania, will cherish an imperishable recollection of this generous conduct. I shall never cease to remember how much you did for my son. I shall make known everywhere, in the midst of my tears, what an affectionate heart belongs to the great Rossini, and how kind, hospitable, and full of feeling are the artists of France.
Side 154 - The construction of these newly-invented pieces is essentially different from the old. The dialogue, which used to be carried on in recitative, and which in Metastasio's operas is often so beautiful and interesting, is now cut up (and rendered unintelligible if it were worth listening to) into pezzi concertati, or long singing conversations, which present a tedious succession of unconnected, everchanging motivos, having nothing to do with each other...
Side 19 - It were to be wished she was less lavish in the display of these wonderful powers, and sought to please more than to surprise; but her taste is vicious, her excessive love of ornament spoiling every simple air, and her greatest delight...
Side 253 - ... destined to be quite as popular as the duet for the two soprani in ' Norma.' As regards the spirited concluding movement in the military style, with its vigorous accompaniment of brass instruments, Rossini, writing of the opera from Paris to a friend at Milan, observed: 'It is unnecessary for me to describe the duet for the two basses ; you must have heard it where you are.
Side 134 - every lady possessing an opera box considered it as much her home as her house, and was as sure to be found there, few missing any of the performances. If prevented. from going, the loan of her box and the gratuitous use of the tickets was a favour always cheerfully offered and thankfully received, as a matter of course, without any idea of payment. Then, too, it was a favour to ask gentlemen to belong to a box, when subscribing to one was actually advantageous. Now no lady can propose to them to...
Side 251 - Sonnambula,' says an English critic, ' so full of pure melody and of emotional music of the most simple and touching kind, can be appreciated by every one ; by the most learned musician and the most untutored amateur — or rather, let us say, by any play-goer who not having been born deaf to the voice of music hears an opera for the first time in his life.

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