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In addition to the circumstances we have enumerated, there is (in the choir more especially,) a greater necessity for the student's regard to the mechanical part of singing in this style, than in any other. The time should be regularly observed, since every relaxation is apt to disturb that fixity of attention which the singer ought to be most studious to preserve in his auditory. In this respect there is a singular natural and artificial constitution as it were, formed. Every one suffers disturbance from breach of time, after the uniform motion has been regulated and imprinted upon his memory, by the repetition of a few bars; and to persons whose ears have been technically habituated to strict time, it is impossible to describe the uneasiness which any casual breach occasions. I not only speak of the general time affixed to an entire movement, but to those occasional liberties with single passages or notes, which, under the license of tempo rubało, singers are apt to allow themselves. As a general rule, stu. dents should carefully abstain from all such indulgencies. It is perfectly true, that there is a period when the education being as it were, finished, a performer can determine the limitations placed upon his acquirements; and when, if ever, he must exercise the right to increase the effect of his singing by such accommodations. But if we yield to any such deviation in the early stage of our practice, a habit of changing passages and of consulting our own ease, to the great injury of the composition and our own attainments, is sure to be contracted. We ought to lay it down as a maxim, that the composer best understands his own intentions; and if we find that we fail to convey the sentiments as they are set down, we should either overcome the difficulty or relinquish the attempt, for something more within the reach of our competency. Such ought to be the rule of every young singer's practice.

We may now speak of the Oratorio, which we have said we consider to hold a sort of middle place between the solemnity of the music used at divine service, and the lighter and more ornamented manner of the orchestra. The Oratorio, we conceive, exhibits the most perfect models of THE GREAT Style, and demands the most extensive and elevated powers of any species of vocal excellence. In conjunction with all the dignified expression required by the church, it claims all the elegancies of the art; and in proportion as the materials are more diversified, the taste and the forbearance of the possessor in the use of them is the more indispensible. HANDEL and Haydn are

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almost the only masters from whom English singers lave hitherto been much accustomed to draw their illustrations; and we may assert, without fear of contradiction, that the Oratorios of HANDEL, The Messiah in particular, contain music more difficult to execute worthily than any other compositions of any kind, except perbaps certain very complicated and rapid songs of agility. Soprano, tenor, counter-tenor, and bass will there find the most useful as well as the finest exercise for their powers. Haydn's music will, in a measure, sing itself; none but a really superior performer can attempt Handel with the slightest chance of success.

The sacred compositions of this master are, it is true, very various, but there is throughout the whole a majesty that is not to be found in

any other. Perhaps it will be maintained, that his subjects are in strictness more deserving the appellation of fine air than those of any other author. Nothing surely can combine grandeur of design with the highest species of elegance, so perfectly as The Messiah. But it is strictly sublime; and, to be at all effective, must be supported by the singer with parallel magnificence-the most difficult of all possible attainments. HAYDN's grace and sweetness, on the contrary, impart a lightness which is nearer the grasp of mind, that is the common property both of performers and of audiences.* HANDEL, in the multitude of his Oratorios, is certainly far more varied than HAYDN, but there is the same presiding distinction over all his works. I have anticipated these remarks in my first letter, and to that I refer the reader, as explaining with sufficienti fullness the nature of the intellectual faculties required to give propriety to the exccution of these great and delightful com positions.t

There is only one rule to guide us to the just execution of compositions of this standard excellence. The style of the composer must regulate exactly the manner of the singer. We must consider the elevation at which his mind has fixed the point of attainment, and we must steadfastly and faithfully believe, that the purity of his

* In proof of this opinion, we may quote the almost universal imitation of HAYDN, direct and indirect, which is to be found in the works of later composers. Whereas, the style of IJ ANDEL wus so intrinsically his own, so grand and musterly, and so far above ihe vulgur reach, that no instances of such attempts remain on record, to our knowledge.

+ See page 39, (No. 1.)

conceptions are never to be violated. Almost the only additions the compositions of Handel will admit, are appoggiaturas, and the mode of inserting these have been transmitted by a sort of tradition, from Handel bimself, through his first scholars, and (next to him. self,) the most admirable judges of his writings, the late Mrs. BATES, MADAME MARA, to the last living representatives of his strong and pure style, Mrs. LACY, MR. VAUGHAN, and MR. BARTLeman. These singers have handed down to us perfect models of the true style of singing Handel, and which, there is too much probability, will perish with them. They have at this moment no successors; and the introduction of the compositions of modern masters, to the gradual exclusion of Handel's Oratorios, is daily more observable.

Custom has rendered the addition of cadences at the conclusion of Oratorio songs indispensible. It is a worn-out observation, that cadences should accord with the song, although it is the most accurate and concise rule for their formation. To us, however, the cadence appears to have been a singular invasion (at the outset of the custom) of the rights of the composer, and no very slight or prudent assumption on the part of the singer, for he thus undertakes to give the last and strongest touches, when he attempts to engage the feelings by passages uncombined with words. It seems to us to have been the height of presumption to have arrogated the power by such means, of further exciting the sensibility, and leaving a last impression at the close of such a song as “ I know that my Redeemer liceth.But custom has now established the usage, and it is no longer a matter of choice. The world will have it so. We therefore submit to the maturest consideration of vocalists, the single fact above stated that the cadence is designed to heighten the effect of the song, and to leave the last impression upon the mind of the hearer. It follows, that the notes should be so chosen and so executed, as not only to assort with, but to transcend all the other parts. The same custom hath ordained that the cadence shall be concluded by a shake. For this reason, if there were no other, it is necessary to inform this ornament with sentiment, which all who have heard MARA, or who have noted the pathetic use the Italians sometimes (though it must be confessed very rarely) make of the shake, know not only to be possible, but to be the true property of this ornament. This is a general remark. Of the particular mode of exer.

cise and attainment I may come to speak hereafter, should I be permitted to complete my intentions of giving to the public an en. tire series of essays on the eleMENTS OF VOCAL SCIENCE.

TO THE EDITOR.

SIR,

I Have always considered music as a language, the principal object of which is to communicate sentiments to the hearers by means of appropriate sounds, arranged according to the laws of harmony.

To consider it merely as an amusement (as it too commonly is by the volatile and the ignorant,) intended only to relieve the listlessness of a vacant hour, is, in my opinion, to degrade it from the rank which it is so justly entitled to hold among the liberal arts. When properly understood and justly appreciated, it will be found not only to gratify and captivate the ear, but to have a nobler object, to administer (to those, at least, who have improved and refined their taste by study and reflection), an intellectual pleasure.

According to this enlarged and liberal view of music, its peculiar province may be properly defined to be the faculty of addressing itself, through the medium of the sense of bearing, to the fancy, the understanding, and the heart. As, in fine writing, the sound is the echo of the sense, so in music, particularly that of the higher class, the notes ought constantly to correspond with, and be, as it were, the echo of the very words to which they are set by the composer. If we analyze the best works of the principal composers, both foreigners and our own countrymen, we thall find that they all endea your to construct them upon this idea, though with very unequal success. Among these, it is by all acknowledged, that no man ever yet possessed this faculty of adapting his music to the occasion, in such an eminent degree as Handel: and in spite of that capricious changeling, popular taste or fashion, we still find that the works of this great master always hold the highest place in the estimation of competent judges.

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To point out from them some of those parts which would strikingly illustrate the truth of these observations, would be an agreeable and not a difficult task : the only difficulty indeed would be in the selection-for where all is excellence, which shall we prefer? I will, however, endeavour to draw the attention of

your readers, for a few moments, to some of his pieces, which have always appeared better to shew, in a remarkable manner, the wonderful and various powers of his mind. I say various powers, for he knew both how to move the tender passions and how to rouse the soul; and, like Milton, to elevate its conceptions beyond the boundaries of this present world. Milton is in poetry, what Handel is in music. Who, for example, can hear the pastoral symphony in his Messiah, without feeling the most delightful emotions, which notes so suited to the occasion, so smooth and pleasing, are adapted to inspire? The mind is soothed into tranquillity, and transported, as it were, into Arcadian scenes, the land of pastoral simplicity and innocence. Or, if we hear that charming passage in the same oratorio, He shall feed his flock like a shepherd;" or, the air in Samson,How willing my paternal lote," (which MR. BARTLEMAN sings with so much sensibility and expression,) the sentiments of parental tenderness soften and subdue the mind, and melt it down to kindred affection. If, again, we turn to subjects of a melancholy cast, we shall find him equally great and impressive. Perhaps there is nothing to be found in the whole compass of music, that appals the heart with deeper awe, or overwhelms it more with horror and mourning, than the dead march in Saul. Every note is responsive to those gloomy and solemn ideas which, while they awaken our sorrowful recollection of those who are separated from us by the hand of death, inculcate this most important moral—they remind us, in warning accents, (which we should want the sensibilities belong. ing to our nature not to feel), of our own mortality.

If we pursue our remarks still further, and consider some of his passages that are remarkable for loftiness and sublimity of style, and take for our subject the Hallelujah chorus, we shall then find all that is grand and magnificent in lauding the glories of the Supreme Being. All creation scems joining in the general chorus, and in strains of rapturous adoration; chaunting Hallelujahs and Hosannas, to him who sitteth on the everlasting throne. In short, Handel's mind is so rich and abundant, that it always appears to be full of the

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