Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/578

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566

��ORCHESTRA.

��did not use them enough, and therefore introduces them into an infinity of passages in which he did not permit them to be heard. In ' Le Nozze di Figaro ' he did not use them at all ; yet they are played in all the loud passages in the Opera, just as in ' Israel in ^Egypt ' they are played in nearly all the Choruses. The weakness of the pioneers of Art was manifested in cautious attempts at effects as vet untried : that of the present age betrays itself in a restless impatience of repose ; a morbid desire to achieve some new and striking success at every turn ; an utter absence of that sublime self-control which enables the great Poet, the great Orator, the great Painter, or the great Composer, pur- posely to tone down a large proportion of his work, in order that it may not diminish the effect of certain passages to which he desires to attract attention as the crowning points of the whole. If there is to be a crowning point, all lesser details must be kept in subjection to it. The last three centuries have not produced ten Musicians capable of managing an anticlimax. Those who tamper with the Scores of the Great Masters think nothing of all this. It is to their forgetfulness of it that we owe nine-tenths of the spurious Instrumentation that is daily foisted upon us in the name of Handel, or Bach, or Mozart ; and it is to this also that we are in a great measure indebted for the pernicious system, now so prevalent, of enlarging our Orchestras at the wrong end of filling them with noisy Brass Instruments, originally intended for, and only endurable in, a Military Band played in the open air, instead of increasing the fulness of their tone by augmenting the strength of the Strings, and doubling, or, if necessary, even quadrupling that of the Wood Wind. The number of large Orchestras free from this defect is exceedingly

��ORCHESTRA.

small, in England, as well as on the Continent ; but an exception must be made in favour of Orchestras enlarged for a special purpose. Some years ago, Berlioz produced some gorgeous orchestral effects by means of combinations which rendered a disturbance of the normal balance abso- lutely necessary. Wagner constantly does the same. In ' Lohengrin ' he uses, in addition to the usual stringed Band, 3 Flutes, I Piccolo, 3 Oboes, I Corno Inglese, 3 Clarinets, I Bass Clarinet, 3 Bassoons, 3 Trumpets, 4 Horns, 3 Trombones, i Bass Tuba, 3 Kettle Drums, Side Drum, Cymbals, Triangle, Tambourine, anil Harp ; and, on the Stage, or behind the Scenes, 2 Flutes, I Piccolo, 3 Oboes, 3 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons, 4 Trumpets, 3 Horns, 3 Trombones, Kettle 'Drum, and Cymbals. In ' Tannhiiuser* the Wind Instruments employed are, 3 Flutes, i Piccolo, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, I Bass Clarinet, 2 Bassoons, 2 Horns, 2 Valve Horns, 3 Trum- pets, 3 Trombones, and I Bass Tuba, with i Pair of Kettle Drums, Bass Drum, Cymbals, Triangle, Tambourine, and Harp ; and, on the Stage, 4 Flutes, 2 Piccolos, 4 Oboes, 6 Corni Inglesi, 6 Clarinets, 6 Bassoons, 1 2 Trumpets, 1 2 Horns, 4 Trombones, Cymbals, Triangle, and Tambourine. These, however, are exceptional cases, and, as such, must be taken for what they are worth. Since the death of Mozart, the normal form of the Orchestra has undergone no important change whatever, apart from the abuses we have condemned, save in its numerical proportions ; and in order to give the reader ;i fair idea of these, we shall conclude our article with a list of the Instruments contained in some of the most celebrated Orchestras of the present day, beginning with that of the Philharmonic Society.

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