Holy Week in Paris at the Cirque d'hiver, the Conservatoire, and other places, are still known by that name. In fact, in a historical point of view, the Concerts du Conservatoire must be considered as the successors of the Concerts Spirituels and of the Concerts de la Loge Olympique.
The creation of the celebrated Société des Concerts du Conservatoire was due to Habeneck, and its first 'Matinée dominicale' took place on Sunday, the 9th of March, 1828, at 2 p.m., in the theatre of the Conservatoire —the same hour and place at which they are still given. The programme was as follows:—(1) Beethoven's Eroica Symphony; (2) Duet from the 'Semiramide,' sung by Nelia and Caroline Maillard; (3) Solo for Horn, composed and executed by Meifred; (4) an air of Rossini's, sung by Mile. Nélia Maillard; (5) Concerto by Rode, performed by Mr. Eugene Sauzay; (6) Chorus from 'Blanche de Provence'; (7) Overture to 'Les Abencérages'; and (8) the Kyrie and Gloria from the Coronation Mass—all by Cherubini. The effect of this programme was extraordinary.
The concerts are held on Sundays at 7 p.m. The season originally consisted of six concerts, but by degrees the number has been increased to nine. Since Jan. 7, 1866, the same programme has been always repeated on two consecutive Sundays in consequence of a division of the subscribers into 'old' and 'new.' The seats, which originally varied from 2 to 5 francs, are now 5, 9, 10, and 12 francs. The orchestra is composed of 84 musicians, 74 of them being 'Sociétaires,' and the other ten assistant members. The following is the list of conductors:—
|Habeneck||Tilmant ainé||Mar. 9, 1828–Ap. 10, 48|
|Narcisse Girard||Ditto||Jan. 14, 40–Jan. 60|
|G. Hainl||Ditto||1864–March 17, 72|
|Deldeves||Lamoureux||May 25, 72–1877|
The choir contains 36 members, with a small number of assistants. M. Heyberger leader.
The répertoire of this society comprises all the symphonies of the classical masters, overtures of every school, oratorios, selections from operas and religious music, choruses with and without accompaniment, pieces for the orchestra alone, ode-symphonies and instrumental solos. For some years the programmes have been more varied than was formerly the case, introducing the works of Schumann, Berlioz, and Wagner, and of the young masters of the modern French school. M. A. El wart published in 1860 his 'Histoire de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire,' and the author of this article has collected materials for a 'Histoire du Conservatoire National de Musique,' which will contain a sketch of the work of that illustrious institution from its foundation by Habeneck to the present date .
[ G. C. ]
CONCERT-STÜCK, i. e. Concert-piece. A term familiar to the English reader through Weber's well-known composition in F minor (op. 79), which is to all intents and purposes a concerto for piano and orchestra. Weber's intention was to make it more dramatic than usual, and to have given the movements expressive headings, and hence perhaps the variation in the title. Schumann has left a 'Concert-Stück' for 4 horns and orchestra (op. 82), which also is a concerto under another name.
CONCERTANTE (Ital.). In the last century this name was given to a piece of music for orchestra in which there were parts for solo instruments, and also to compositions for several solo instruments without orchestra. The fine concerto by Handel in C major, for two violins and violoncello, accompanied by strings and two oboes (published in part 21 of the German Handel Society's edition) is in Arnold's old English edition entitled 'Concertante.' In the present day the word is chiefly used as an adjective, prominent solo instrumental parts being spoken of as 'concertante parts,' and a work being said to be 'in the concertante style' when it affords opportunities for the brilliant display of the powers of the performers. For example, those quartets of Spohr in which especial prominence is given to the part of the first violin are sometimes called 'concertante quartets.' His op. 48 is a 'Sinfonie concertante, pour 2 Violons avec Orchestre'; his op. 88 a 'Concertante' for the same. See also his op. 112–115, etc.
[ E. P. ]
CONCERTINA, a portable instrument of the Seraphine family, patented by the late Sir Charles Wheatstone June 19, 1829.
It is hexagonal, and has a key-board at each end, with expansible bellows between the two. The sound is produced by the pressure of air from the bellows on free metallic reeds. The compass of the treble concertina is four octaves, through which it has a complete chromatic scale.
This instrument is double action, and produces the same note both on drawing and pressing the bellows. Much variety of tone can be obtained by a skilful player, and it has the power of being played with great expression and complete sostenuto and staccato. Violin, flute, and oboe music can be performed on it without alteration; but music written specially for the concertina cannot be played on any other instrument, except the organ or harmonium. Nothing but the last-named instruments can produce at once the extended harmonies, the sostenuto and staccato combined, of which the concertina is capable. There are also tenor, bass, and double bass concertinas, varying in size and shape. These instruments are single-action, producing the sound by pressure only, and are capable of taking tenor, bass, and double bass parts without alteration. The compass of these is as follows—
- Fourteen first and fourteen second violins.