Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/434

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422
CRYSTAL PALACE CONCERTS.
CRUVELLI.

her dramatic effects. In 1851 she went to Paris, where she had sung in concerts before her first appearance in Italy. She appeared with immense success in 'Ernani' at the Theatre Italien, for Verdi's music seemed made for her. She sang again in London that year, and was very successful, in spite of many faults. Beside her splendid voice, she had a very fine face and figure, and enormous energy of accent and dramatic force: her performance in 'Fidelio' was especially admirable. In Jan. 1854 she was engaged at the Grand Opéra at Paris, and appeared as Valentine in 'Les Huguenots,' when the enthusiasm of the public knew no bounds. But a violent reaction soon succeeded, and the last opera in which she preserved some of her former popularity was the 'Vêpres Siciliennes' of Verdi. In this work she exercised the greatest control of voice and action: it was her last role. In the following winter she retired, and married the Comte Vigier.

[ J. M. ]

CRWTH (i.e. Crooth) or CROWD, as far as we know the oldest stringed instrument played with the bow; probably at home in India, but in its European use apparently limited to England, and especially to Wales. It is first mentioned in some elegiacs, written about 609, by Venantius Fortunatus, Bishop of Poitiers, running thus:

'Romanusque lyra plaudat tibi, Barbarus harpa,
Graecus achilliaca, chrotta Brittanna canat.'

Page 422 (A Dictionary of Music and Musicians-Volume 1).jpg

Its oldest form was probably the 'crwth trithant,' or with three strings, pictures of which are found in manuscripts of the nth century. We first hear it mentioned again by Daines Barrington, a Welsh judge and archæologist, who relates that he knew one John Morgan, born 1711 in the isle of Anglesey, who still played the crwth. Bingley also heard it played at Carnarvon as late as 1801; but it is now entirely out of use. In its later form it was mounted with six strings, four stretched over the finger-board and played with the bow, and two, lying at the side of the finger-board, pinched with the thumb of the left hand. The strings were tuned either as (a)—according to Edward Jones, the celebrated Welsh harp-player—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 6/4 \relative g { g4^6 g'^5 c^4^"(a)" c,^3 d^2 d'^1 \bar "||" a, a' e^"(b)" e' b b' \bar "||" } }

or as (b) according to Bingley ('Musical Biography,' 1814). The sound-holes are perfectly circular, and have a diameter of 1¼ inch. The bridge does not stand straight, but inclines toward the right, and its left foot, which is 2½ inches in length (while the right foot measures only ¾ of an inch), passes through the sound-hole and rests on the back of the instrument, thus acting the part of the sound-post in the violin. The crwth is 22½ inches in length; its width near the tailpiece is 10½ inches, near the top 9 inches; the height of the sides is 2 inches.

[ P. D. ]

CRYSTAL PALACE SATURDAY CONCERTS, of orchestral and vocal music. These concerts were begun on Sept. 22, 1855, and assumed their present well-known character in 1860, after the construction of the concert-room. They have been throughout under the direction of Mr. Manns, their present conductor. The concerts begin with the first Saturday in October, and last, with an interval at Christmas, till the end of April. The orchestra consists of 16 first and 14 second violins, 11 violas, 10 cellos, and 10 double basses, with single wind, etc. The chorus, who appear only occasionally, are 300 strong. The solo players are the greatest who can be obtained. The programmes usually contain 2 overtures, a symphony, a concerto, or some minor piece of orchestral music, and 4 songs. The distinguishing feature of the concerts is their choice and performance of orchestral music. Not to mention the great works of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Spohr, Weber, and other time-honoured classics, the audience were familiar with Schumann's symphonies and overtures, and with Schubert's symphonies and Rosamunde music, at a time when those works were all but unknown in the concert-rooms of the metropolis. Mendelssohn's Reformation Symphony was first played here; so was his overture to Camacho; Brahms's Symphony, Pianoforte Concerto, Variations on a theme of Haydn's, and Song of Destiny; Raff's Lenore and G minor Symphonies; Wagner's Faust Overture; Sullivan's Tempest Music and Symphony in E; Benedict's Symphony in G