18. March in G Major (spur: c by C. P. E. Bach)

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I prefer to leave without quotation the series of passages in which the pleadings of Orpheus alternate with the lessening oppo- sition of the Furies. One incident must be illustrated from the passage which the Furies interrupt with cries of No. Further musical illustrations do not seem necessary. Berlioz, in his generous jealousy for Gluck, protested indignantly at the use of trombones elsewhere than to support the No of the Furies.

So also can the exquisite Elysian ballets upon which the curtain rises again. The flute solo which serves as a kind of trio to the first air de ballet gives that Undine of instruments such a soul as only Bach had hitherto granted to it. Fu - rie, lar - vc, om - - bre sde-gno - se.

The Happy Shades disperse, and Orpheus enters upon the scene alone. The wonderful arioso during which he gazes around might well deserve another quotation, but defies reduction to much less than the full score, which is remarkably elaborate as judged by the standards of any period.

16 march in d major spur c by c p e bach Manual

In the original Italian version it was still more elaborate, and there is no doubt that the Parisian version has eliminated unnecessary and disturbing fea- tures of the scoring. The history of the Paris version of Orfeo is very sad, and its consequences threaten to be sadder still. Every piece of music that Gluck added for Paris, and every alteration in the essential musical rhetoric, was an incalculable improvement. But it was all vitiated by the fact that the part of Orpheus was transposed from contralto to tenor.

This involved dislocating the whole key-system of the scene with the Furies; and the dislocation is one of the most ghastly pieces of mangling that could be conceived. Many people see the obvious objections to representing Orpheus by a woman. The great but unfortunate artists who sung him with a contralto voice represent a disgrace to civilization which only the most hateful of racial prejudices could have the criminal audacity to revive.

The version performed in London somewhere about by the sisters Ravogli was ideally in the spirit of Gluck in every respect that I can recall, except in the fact that the bravura aria with which Gluck ends the first act in defiance of all his own propaganda, was retained.

I cannot verify the date of this wonderful performance, though I can remember most of the details and can certify that the version was as it stands in my own excellent Peters full score, which was given to me in February GLUCK. The sisters Ravogli were duly commemorated in early editions of Grove's Dictionary. My up-to-date one has removed them to make room for names not necessarily in the same part of the alphabet which I might not feel inclined to consider equally worthy.

But piety towards the French text seems to me rather superfluous. Calzabigi was no such fool. What he said was Euridice gid riprende la primiera sua beltd. The latest, and almost the most infuriating, stage in the history of Orfeo is that editions are now being published of the pure ' Italian text minus all the substantial improvements with which Gluck made the chief roles worthy of the genius of the sisters Ravogli.

I have no use for a purism and a scholarship which refuses to make the compromises necessary for such an end.

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While I am writing this analysis an eminent colleague is stimulating the musical intelligentsia of Harvard by inveighing against reverence for the classics; which in some forms does, in- deed, as he says, clutter up the minds of people whose opinions might otherwise become independent and valuable. Accordingly, it cannot be said to do any harm so far as it goes, since it goes nowhere.

But I know nothing that can clutter up the mind more ruinously than a preoccupation with the squalid conditions to which all artists, great and small, accommodated themselves with more or less difficulty or complacence in periods that have become classical. Some ingenuity may be wasted in imputing psychological thought to Shakespeare when he is producing inconsistencies which are more completely explained as crass accommodation to inartistic conditions, or even as carelessness.

The more we know of such things the better, so long as we realize that a man of genius cannot suppress his real self, however much he may try; unless, indeed, he stops working altogether. Under mundane conditions, art may attain three heavens: one, the highest, which is above all conflicts; the second, where an artist enjoys accommodating himself to his world and is above consciousness of his irony; and the lowest, but still a heaven, in which he writes with his tongue in his cheek.

Below this lies hell, into which Mozart did not descend even in his church music. Of purgatory I have no official information. We Protes- tants have our limitations. For Parisian audiences needed repetitions pf phrases on the spot as much as the audiences of any mob orator.

To this day French composers tend, like Couperin and brilliant and colourful Russians like Rimsky-Korsakov, to say each sentence twice over: sometimes in other words, like the parallelism of Hebrew poetry, but more often in the same words. Another instruction which amused Mozart very much was that every symphony should begin with a grand coup d'archet. Mozart obeyed instructions, and, before the symphony was played, was well satisfied that it would please the few French people whose opinion was worth anything.

A friend told him that an excellent musician, Dal Abaco, was asked whether he had been at Paris and heard a Concert Spirituel , and what did he think about the premier coup d'archet? But you will notice: first, that the coup d'archet has found its organic and thematic answer in the rhythm of the wind instruments, whose every note is so significant that the second flute is an individual who prepares for the entry of the first flute.

Moreover, the repetition expands. There is not a note without its permanent value, and Mozart is able to use the stupid Parisian conventions as a means of educating the Parisians out of them. Then came the forte, and at the same moment a burst of applause; whereupon Mozart, who had been in deadly anxiety at the horrors of the rehearsal, went with feelings of great relief to the Palais Royal and ate an excellent ice.


List of compositions by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

I need not quote many of the twenty or thirty other themes with which the symphony is comfortably packed. As far as I can see, Ex. All the audience were charmed by it, and there was great applause, but as I knew when I wrote it what an effect it would make, I brought it round an extra time at the end of the movement, with the same result, and so got my applause da capo. The andante pleased me and all connoisseurs and amateurs, and most of the audience, best of all.

Each is right in its way, because each has its own character, but I like the second still better. Mozart took unusual pains over the second andante, revising it so much that he had to clear it up by writing an extra fair copy. Tf TT Trumpets. Aha I Loud and pro- longed applause.

Grateful as the Reid Orchestra is for all evidences of public recog- nition, we are glad that the music-lovers of Edinburgh are not so immediate in the expression of their opinions as the public of the Concerts Spirituels in For the orchestra it has a characteristic advantage: like the rhythmic figure of the initial coup d'archet Ex. He reformed it because, though, as all Italians averred throughout most of the nineteenth century, his genius was melancholy, he was an inveterate comedian and sinfully fond of music.

The first opera which brought about the reform was Die Entfuhrung aus dem SeraiL The librettist of that work meant to produce a harmless Singspiel with some Turkish local colour, but Mozart ran away with both ends of the project. On the other hand, Mozart had a shocking facility of his own in rhymes for patter-singing, the Rabelaisian tendencies of which he could, under dire necessity, keep within bounds producible before a public less squeamish than ours. This, again, is disguised by the fact that Mozart is an immeasurably greater musician than any previous opera writer, so that it is difficult to say that his most reactionary procedures have not some element of progress in them.

In Die Entfiihrung , where the dialogue is spoken and the mixture of serious heroics and farcical comedy is extreme, we find ourselves able to acquiesce in anything Mozart is kind enough to give us. His music is so inveterately dramatic that it was bound to reform the music drama, even if it flew in the face of every principle that Gluck held sacred.

Mozart is seized with a violent combined attack of character-portrayal and music. The result is a quadruple concerto for flute, oboe, violin, and violoncello which serves as background and framework to a heroic coloratura aria displaying the character of Constanze, the noble English wife imprisoned in the house of a not less noble Turk and defying him when he threatens to insist upon his rights of conquest. Away with all minor problems of what the poor man is to do with his hands or his gestures while the heroic woman presumably walks round the room or poses as a statue until the ritornello of the quadruple concerto is over!

Probably the best thing is to pose the whole group as a waxwork and listen to the music. Immense as this aria is, and often as it is cut even in concert performances, the autograph shows that Mozart had already cut from it one passage of 12 bars and another of His own account when he later apologized for the aria was that he simply could not stop when he was writing it; and why should he?

There are times when a dramatic situation is static enough for good music to be more important. To which she replies in a noble tirade — but not just yet. The six themes of the quadruple concerto must be exposed and concluded after a cadenza before Constanze can begin. The Last Word Whose? For this reason. The history of this special instrument is unknown. There is an unfinished clarinet quintet, the sketch of which breaks off soon after Mozart has betrayed a manifest absence of mind as to the downward compass of the instrument.

The plan of this work, as revealed by its opening, became gloriously realized in the Clarinet Quintet which we possess. I respectfully submit that, on the con- trary, the end of the first act of Tito is theatre music of the highest quality ; and that Mozart is not to blame if the appropriate lugubrious chords of the chorus behind the stage inspired the Reverend John Bacchus Dykes to reproduce it in church before the altar.

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I have my own weakness for treacle in season. Tan - to affan-no sof-freun co-re, ne si mo - re di do - lor? Obviously it can, with a tune like that! This use- less pity which you feel seems to me mighty like cruelty. Vitellia is now alone with her thoughts.


During the first act of the opera she has been keeping her lover Sesto at a distance, until he has executed his promise to her that he will assassinate the Emperor. As soon as she has sent Sesto about his business, she learns that the Emperor has dismissed her rival Berenice, and has sent for her to make her his Empress.

Bach: March in G Major, BWV Anh. 124 (Urtext Edition)

She can- not recall Sesto, and the Capitol is fired to the strains which inspire Dykes. In recitative she meditates as follows: Now is the moment, O Vitellia, to test thy firmness. Hast thou the courage to see thy faithful Sextus lifeless?

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Sextus, who loves thee more than his life, who became a criminal only through thy fault, who obeyed and adored thee through all thy cruelty and injustice, who has been so faithful to thee in the presence of death? Alas, I shall see Sextus before my eyes. I shall fear lest the very stones and winds betray my secret to Titus. My crime shall at least diminish the crime of Sextus, if it cannot excuse it.

Fare- well, all hopes of empire and espousals.