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the contra-basso, but it differs a little from ours in being smaller, and in having four strings, thereby rendering it less difficult to execute running passages : it is impossible to criticise the performance on such an unwieldy instrument as the contra-basso; it can only be viewed as an attempt to attract notice, by being something out of the common way. M. Muller is not very likely to become popular in England, for he has not driven from our recollection the veteran Dragonetti. Mr. Eliason played a violin solo with great precision, and was very much applauded; he also played a duet for the violin and violoncello with M. Lidel, who is by far the best violoncello player that has visited England this
M. Laporte not allowing his Italian vocalists to appear any where but in his theatre, the singing was chiefly by our own professors, and a few foreigners who have come over on speculation. The Students' Glee from Benedict's delightful opera-The Gipsy's Warning," was admirably sung by the chorus-singers belonging to Drury Lane Theatre. We regret that our limits will not allow us to say more respecting the vocalists who added so much to the success of Mr. Eliason's Concert.
Mr. Mori's Concert.
It is an undoubted fact, that Mori's Concert is always the best of the season.
From the situation which he holds as leader of the band at the Italian Opera House, and from his high connection in the musical world, he is enabled to procure the best talent, both foreign and native, in every department; and from his high character in private life, he cannot fail in attracting a very numerous audience. If there is any person who doubts it, the state of Her Majesty's Theatre on Friday Evening, the 11th ult. would convince them of their error. Boxes, pit, and gallery, were crowded; and we may safely say, that even in that large theatre, there was not one seat unoccupied. M. Doehler, who afforded such delight to the audience at Mr. Eliason's concert, repeated his performance; but owing to the enormous size of the theatre, he was not heard to so much advantage as at the Hanover Square Rooms. He already seems to have become more accustomed to an English audience, and we doubt not but that every succeeding performance will be more beautiful, and more gratifying to the public than its predecessor: the applause bestowed upon him was spontaneous and general on the part of the audience, and well merited by the performer. M. Heinemeyer played a solo; but although we attended very carefully to every note he played, fearing that upon the former occasion we might have been too hasty in our judgment, yet we did not discover the slightest reason for altering our first opinion respecting him. M. Labarre played a fantasia on the harp which was hardly above mediocrity; he received a great deal of applause; whether he deserved it we leave the public to determine. The bénéficiaire himself, played a solo—we need not say how it was played—the applause bestowed upon him was quite sufficient to prove what a high opinion his audience entertained of him. In addition to the Italian vocalists connected with the theatre, Ivanhoff, Madlle. Placci, and the chief English singers, contributed in no small degree, to the success which has once more attended our friend Mori's exertions.
Mr. Hawes's Concert. Mr. Hawes's Annual Benefit Concert took place at Willis's Rooms, King Street, on Saturday, the 12th ultimo; and we rejoice to say, it was exceedingly well attended. A debutante, in the person of Miss Isabella Prescott, daughter of Mr. Warde, the actor, of Covent Garden Theatre, appeared, and played a fantasia on the piano-forte; the subjects of which were selected from Mozart's Don Giovanni, and arranged by Thalberg. It always gives us great pleasure to be enabled to praise a debutante, and that pleasure Miss Prescott has afforded us. Notwithstanding the music had been arranged by Thalberg, she played it with a firmness and precision that showed she had been studying under a clever master; and whoever that master is, the pupil does him very great credit. We augur very favourably of Miss Prescott's future success; she was deservedly applauded. Signor Giulio Regondi played two solos—one on the guitar, and one on the concertina. "It is hardly possible to conceive anything more beautiful than Giulio Regondi's performance on the latter instrument; he was deservedly applauded. Miss M. B. Hawes is very much improved since we last heard her; she sang two or three airs very sweetly, and Seguin, E. Taylor, and Giubelei
, contributed very much to the success of the evening's performances.
The Melophonic Society. This Society has been established by some of our principal professors for the advancement of the delightful science of Music, and that all classes might be afforded the opportunity of participating in the performance of the works of the great masters of composition. The meetings, which commenced in November and terminate in June, take place every alternate Thursday, at the Music Hall, Store Street. The performances hitherto have consisted of Haydn's Creation, and Handel's finest oratorios; and Mr. J. Henry Griesbach's beautiful oratorio, " Belshazzar's Feast," has been performed on two occasions and given universal satisfaction.
REVIEW OF BOOKS.
UNFORTUNATELY we have little space left for our article on literature this month ; but as we did not intend, at present, to give any argument on the healthy or unhealthy state of this most delightful of all arts, we are sorry we shall be obliged to confine our remarks to four or five works only--and those the works of fiction—leaving History, Science, &c. for a future opportunity.
Alice. By E. L. Bulwer. 3 vols., 1838. Saunders & Otley. Though first taken, decidedly not the first in merit, for with all our admiration of this author's works, we can but say that it is prosy, tedious, and wearisome in many parts, though the language and incident in others are truly elegant and interesting. The character of Alice is true to nature, and the best of this author's females ; indeed, the only one we can recol. lect that meets our opinion of woman; the females Bulwer generally draws being love-sick, over-perfect, without any decision of character. Evelyn is one of these, though elegantly sketched. Lord Vargrave is the ... best drawn of the male characters, being somewhat of nature throughout, though his villany is deficient in depth. Of Maltravers (who perhaps ought to have been mentioned first,) we can say but little in favour; for looking at him as the representation of genius, (repeated so frequently in this work,) we think it a failure; even Caroline may boast more of nature, and in many instances is a well-told creature of fashion. The rector, Mr. Merton, is an honest country gentleman, but the vicar, Mr. Aubrey has too much romance. On the whole, however, Maltravers and Alice are great and elegant works, though they might have been with more beauty and truth, both of language and character, written in three volumes, and the incidents following closer on each other, would have made the whole more strong and forcible.
The Robber. G. P. R. James. 3 vols. 1838. Longman. This work, if not first in language, is decidedly the first in interest: in the incidents and the truth and beauty of the characters, it is pre-eminently above any other work of fiction published this year. The whole throughout is worked up with such talent, force, and skill, that the heart and feelings are entirely carried with the story, and it is impossible to lay down these volumes without the utmost regret. This interest is not caused by mere romance, but by a truly natural story, written in a most skilful and powerful style; the fine and striking characters are told with the decision they really possess ; indeed, Franklin Grey's punishment of Wiley, a member of the “ fraternity," described in a few words, well expresses the firmness, decision, and boldness of the robber Captain. Throughout the whole
of the tale these striking beauties are to be traced, and we have never before read three volumes with such delight; but as we have not space at present, for a longer description, we can only recommend our readers to peruse the work, and promise at some other time to return to the subject.
Homeward Bound. By J. F. Cooper. 3 vols. 1838. Bentley. As a nautical novel, this is an interesting and clever work, skilfully managed ; and though the interest and incident occur within a short space of time, it is well drawn through the three volumes, and the impression it left on our mind was, thát Cooper should write less of travels, &c. and more works of this description; still we do not think that Homeward Bound is equal to his Red Rover, Pilot, &c.
Outward Bound. By HOWARD; author of “ Rattlin the Reefer." 3 vols., 1838. Colburn.
This is one of the most amusing naval novels that has been published for some time. We well recollect the pleasure the perusal of “Rattlin the Reefer” afforded us; but the delight occasioned by this work is fully equal to it. It abounds with incidents and character; the language is fluent and forcible, and depicts with powerful interest the sailor's character. If we were not limited for space, we could make various extracts from these
which possess the advantage of containing amusement and instruction; but as every body will read them, we consider there is nothing left for us to do but to congratulate Mr. Howard for having written a work which could only have been equalled by Cooper or Marryatt.
The Courtier's Daughter. By LADY STEPNEY.
Like all this lady's productions, "The Courtier's Daughter" is a pleasing and well-written novel. We have not the slightest doubt but that it will be read with pleasure and be generally approved of. Lady Stepney is perfectly at home in this kind of subject, and may therefore write with a bold and daring pen.
Confessions of an Elderly Lady. By the COUNTESS OF BLESSINGTON; with Engravings by Parris. 1838. 1 vol.
This is much the same as the fair authoress's former works, having little to recommend it in incident or language; and the opinion so freely worded on Byron's beautiful works as having corrupted the taste by introducing passion for sentiment, we must remark, is a mere paltry and ridiculous opinion. Can it be possible a person of Lady Blessington's experience can feel what she has expressed in these pages of the greatest and highest of modern poets, whose mighty powers of language made all his contemporaries tremble? The work can claim neither novelty nor originality. The engravings are very poor; whether it is the fault of the artist or engraver, we cannot pretend to say,
Memoirs of the Life of William Wilberforce. By his Sons. 5 vols. Murray.
This is a well-written work, clever and amusing; but five volumes of the monotony of every-day life are too much, and must become dull and wearisome, however well told and relieved by anecdote. This is too general a fault; and we think, were the writers of these kind of works to curb a little of their voluminous descriptions, and lengthened and too-often tedious reflections, allowing their readers to form somewhat of their own judgment, they would be more amusing and generally instructive.
In order to make the literary department of our work as complete as possible, we shall give a list of the principal works announced for publication, and thereby render this work a complete register of literature.
Shakspeare and his Friends.--A new work with the above extraordinary title has been announced for publication. We understand it is an historical romance, and will contain the “sayings and doings" of nature's poet, and those who enjoyed his friendship. It will be looked for with great anxiety by every lover of literature.
De Chateaubriand's Memoirs of his Own Time.-- This work, which will include the memoirs of the contemporaries of this extraordinary man, will be published in the course of next month.
The Fanqui in China.—This work, which is not merely a traveller's guide, but a general description of the country, its habits, people, and manners, has appeared and fully equals the expectations that had been formed respecting it.
Woman's Wit and Love's Disguises. We have just looked over this splendid play, but we cannot do justice to it here; we shall give a review and copious extracts next month.
Top-Sail Sheet Blocks. — “The Old Sailor” is again upon the sea; he cannot fail in being amusing.
Memoirs of the Musical Drama. A work of this description has long been wanted: we trust that Mr. Hogarth will do justice to the subject.
Births, Deaths, and Marriages.-Theodore Hook has announced a work with the above curious title; it cannot fail in being interesting.
A variety of Theatrical Memoirs have been announced; the late Charles Mathews, John Bannister, and the Colman Family, are the subjects.
Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi, the Clown. By “Boz.”
Upon hearing of the announcement of this work, we prepared ourselves for an amusing life: we are most grievously disappointed. Cruikshank's illustrations are the best part of the work.
The M.P.'s Wife.- We have not had time to read this novel over carefully: from what little we have seen, we consider it a spirited and clever work.
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. By “ Boz.”
The author of the “Pickwick Papers" is issuing the above work in monthly parts: we hope it may be successful.
The Monthly Chronicle.- A new periodical, conducted by E. L. Bulwer, Esq. and Dr. Lardner, has reached its fourth number. The political articles are forcibly written, but we trust in future that the reviews and criticisms will be less prejudiced.