Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/325

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SCHOOLS OF COMPOSITION.

not until after Rossini retired from public life, that the degradation of which we complain began. Composers, and performers, who thoroughly un- derstand and sympathise with each other, may accomplish anything : but, what can be expected from a Singer who finds his Voice treated like a Clarinet? It is scarcely worth his while even to try to find out what his Voice can do, and what it cannot.

In summing up the results of our enquiry, we cannot fail to see that a glorious Future lies open before us, if we will only take the pains to work for it. There is a greater amount of activity in the musical world, at this moment, than the longest- lived among us has ever known before ; probably more than ever before existed. One remarkable sign of it is to be found in the unceasing demand for the works of the Great Masters, which leads to their continual republication, in every con- ceivable form, in Germany, in France, and in England. Augener's cheap editions of the Piano- forte Classics; the 8vo Oratorios and Cantatas published by Novello, and R. Cocks ; the enor- mous collection of standard works issued by Litolff, Richault, Peters, etc.; Breitkopf & Har- tel's complete editions of Palestrina, Handel, Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven ; Michaelis's of the early French Operas these, and many like collections, all have their tale to tell. If we do not play and sing grand Music, it is not from the difficulty of obtaining copies. And not less remarkable are the additions to our Musical Literature. The publication, in English, of such works as Jahn's 'Life of Mozart,' Holmes's volume on the same subject, Spitta's 'Life of Bach,' Hensel's 'Mendelssohn Family,' and other important treatises on Musical Science and Biography, is very significant.

But this is only one manifestation of energy. Whatever may be our own peculiar views, we must admit that the amount of zeal displayed by Wagner, Richter, von Billow, and other prominent members of the advanced party, in Germany, is enormous. Brahms, Raff, and Hiller, are all doing something. Liszt is busy, in his own peculiar way ; while the chiefs of the rising Dramatic School are equally so, in theirs. Gounod, Saint Saens, and Delibes, are active in France, and many clever musicians in America. [See UNITED STATES.] We do not say that all this feverish exertion will last. It cannot. Nor is it even desirable that it should. But it is a sign of immense vitality. To go no farther than our own country, the daily life of Art among us is almost incredible. In every Cathedral in England, and many Parish Churches, there are two full Choral Services every day. At Oxford, and stil] more at Cambridge, the study of Music is enthusiastically prosecuted. Not very long ago, Music was unknown at our Public Schools ; now, it is fully recognised at Eton, and Harrow, and many others. Our Provincial Fes- tivals, once brought into notice by Sir George Smart and Prof. E. Taylor, and now spread even to Scotland, are not only more numerous and suc- cessfui than ever, but are more wisely managed,

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in every way, and rarely pass without bringing forward some new work, not always of the highest order, but always worth listening to, if only as a sign that some young Composer is trying to do his best. To this must be added, the work done in London, at the two Italian Opera Houses, during the Season, and, in the Winter, by Carl Rosa's spirited Company ; the enormous amount of Orchestral and Choral Music presented to the public by the Philharmonic, the New Philharmonic, the Crystal Palace Concerts, the Sacred Harmonic Society, the Bach Choir, and the Richter Concerts ; the Performances directed by Barnby, and Henry Leslie ; the Musical Union, which, under Ella's direction, first in- troduced to London in 1845 that most instruc- tive key to the better understanding of our Classical Concerts, the 'Analytical Programme,' and has since given a hearty welcome to all the best Continental Virtuosi who have visited this country ; and the perfect Chamber Music at the Monday and Saturday Popular Concerts, Chas. Halle's Recitals, and Dannreuther's Musical Evenings. Nor do our rulers grudge the money necessary for the encouragement of Music among those who are unable to provide the luxury for themselves. We do not say that the money voted by Parliament for this purpose is so well spent as it might be. That the grant is strangely misap- plied there can be no doubt. But, these are not days in which confusion of any kind can be long continued. The matter must, and most certainly will, be carefully considered ; and the grant so used as to ensure the utmost amount of good fruit that can be extracted from it. Meanwhile, the fact remains, that, whether the result of the expenditure be satisfactory, or not, the astounding sum of 130,000 is annually voted by Govern- ment, for the purpose of elementary musical education; and the time surely cannot be far distant, when it will be so applied as to produce a proportionate result. The reports on the state of Music, in England, and on the Continent, drawn up by Dr. Hullah, for the Education Department, show the great interest with which the subject is regarded by those who have it in their power to exert a lasting influence upon the time to come. Lastly, a more hopeful sign of life than any we have mentioned is to be found in the proposal for a Royal College of Music. Discussed, then dropped, resumed, dropped again, but always advancing a little nearer to maturity, the scheme has now, for some con- siderable time, attracted the attention of lovers of Art, who are thoroughly in earnest in their devotion to its interests ; and, at last, there seems good hope of bringing the discussion to a success- ful issue. The late great meeting at Manchester, in which three members of the Royal Family took so prominent a part, has done much towards the attainment of this end. In fact, should the scheme be put into execution, on a suitable scale, as there is every reason to hope it will, our Eng- lish School will maintain itself, in such sort as not only to do credit to its early ancestry, but to bring forward a later generation capable of

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