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in the songs we have above cited, and in such glees as, “Who comes so dark "and" Peace to the souls of the heroes." Mr. Srevens in “ Some of my heroes are low” bas gone along nearly passibus équis with the Doctor, and Mr. Horsley has, since that, exceeded almost every other writer in the delicacy of expression, and the fine flowing melody of his glces.* But it is to be observed, that this is a species of composition, in which the English have eminently excel. led, and which has about it, really more of the true unborrowed na. tionality, than any other. In these pieces the bass appears almost uniformly in liis new character, and in the commanding place and authority now conceded to him.
· But while the English music has thus attained a rank not before known, and does indeed owe to these, its later preservers, all the distinction that remains to national composers in our concerts, novelties at present, perhaps the most fashinable, have made their way to the orchestra. These are the songs and concerted pieces of the Italian Comic Opera. For the last two or three years scarcely a miscellaneous bill has been seen in the metropolis, that has not drawn ncarly a moiety of its contents from this source. At the moment we are writing, a newspaper lies before us, announcing the monstrous anomaly of SIGNOR AMBROGETTI singing the song of “Non piu andrai” from Mozart's Comic Opera of Figaro, in the course of an Oratorio at Drury-lane Theatre, while this amusement is substituting for the regular drama, during the season of Lent.We cannot select a case, which so pointedly marks the growing taste, for nothing can be more repugnant to the propriety and feeling, wbich we should be induced to pre-suppose, would govern the selection upon such an occasion.t These songs and duetts are generally for a bass voice, and they have been rendered more popular by the delightful conjoint execution of Mr. and Mrs LACY. We sny more popular, for while we confess the prejudice, we cannot but admit that there is undoubtedly a consentaneous feeling of enjoyment, that never fails to accompany our attention to a fellow
e may instance " By Celia's arbour” a composition, which in the expressive as well as scientific management of the parts, and in the attributes we have rited, is certainly not excelled by any writer, ancient or modern.
+ This reminds us that at a sacred performance in a Country Church in Suffolk, given more than 20 years ago, at the opening of a new organ. RICHARDS, Tate of the Bath theatre, played a violin concerto upon the well known air of Corporal Casey. The writer was present.
countryman, in preference to foreigners. We have a sort of
vague impression, that we are less removed from native habits, that we are: more at home, more at ease. Mrs. Lacy has long been esteemed for her beautiful pronunciation of Italian, and her purity of manner, Mr. Lacy has, however, by study in Italy, so entirely mastered both the language and the style of singing, that he has appeared to superior advantage, even by the side of the most approved Italiang who have visited our shores. *
Such have been the varieties which have contributed to transmute the originally heavy, and in this sense monotonous tone of bass singing, into the polished, affecting, and graceful manner, which at present enables the performer to introduce almost every species of ore nament in use, where such ornament was never heard before, and the legitimate bass voice may now add pathos to solemnity, lightness to power, and passages of elegance to the divisions, to which we can assign no other name than mechanical. But in the progress of these metamorphoses, there has been no small danger of the real and genuine bass voice disappearing altogether. For inasmuch as the passages of expression and execution, which composers, consulting a pleasing, more perhaps than the natural defect, have now allotted to these parts, requires a facility which at first appears unattainable, so lighter voices have been substituted, and almost all the singers who have sustained bass parts of late years with reputation, have been Barytones, or of a compass which gives the high notes with greater sweetness and ease, and the low notes more feebly,t a voice in short between tenor and bass.
* We do not think the Opera has for the last 25 years been at all famous for its basses. MORELLI was about that time in high repute, but he could not be said to be a good orchestra singer. ROVEDINO was powerful, but coarse and unfinished, and Naldi had almost as little to recommend him in concert.
+ In the works of PURCELL and CROFT, we find the bass parts descending to E D, and in some anthems even lower notes are, we believe, to be found, Now we observe, that even where the low F occurs, the composer generally appends a little note an octave higher in the staff, thus tacitly admitting the probability of the singer not being able to sustain the lower tone. One of the anthems to which we allude was produced by a very curious series of incident, which Sir John Hawkins thus relates :
The King (Charles the second) had given orders for building a yacht, which, as soon as it was finished, he named The Fubbs in honour of the Duchess of Portsmouth, who, we may suppose, was in her person rather full and plump.The sculptors and painters apply this epithet to children, and say, for instance, of the boys of FiamMENGO, that they are fubby. Soon after the vessel was
The change of the pitch in Concerts has also contributed in a measure to this substitution. There a very few real basses that could touch, much more sustain, the per F, which is constantly required, in the natural v ice. Porcell in" Let the dreadful engines ascends to G. HANDEL constantly carries his bass to F, HAYDN very rarely indeed, and never but upon a passage where force can be employed. Shield, for Bannister, often uses F and G, the former in long holding passagrs, as in ““As burns the charger" and STORACE, writing for SEDGEWICK, employs an A in one of his songs in the Pirates. Paer introduces a G also in 0 come e buono (Agnese) a song not to be matched, except from Purcell, in the spirit, pathos, and transitions. In concerts, MR. Welch, MR. BELLAMY, and even MR. BARTLEMAN himself must be classed under this description. Upon the stage, Mr. SedGEWICK* indeed, for whoin STORACE principally wrote, had a most wonderful voice, whether we regard tone, compass, or power. Mr. Denman also was remarkable for natural endowment. MR. TINNEY who now assists in the Oratorios, has a sound bass voice, but neither of these latter can be said to have reached any very high degree of public estimation. The only legitimate bass singer who has appeared
launched the king made a party to sail in this yacht down the river, and round the Kentish coast; and to keep up the mirth and good humour of the company, Mr. Gostling (a public singer of great repute) was requested to be of the number. They had got as low as the North Foreland, when a violent storm atose, in which the King and the Duke of York were necessitated, in order to preserve the vessel, to hand the sails, and work like common seamen; by good providence, however, they escaped to land: but the distress they were in, made an impression on the mind of Mr. Gostling, which was never effaced. Struck with a just sense of the deliverance, and the horror of the scene which he had but lately viewed, upon his return to London he selected from the psalms those passages which declare the wonders and terrors of the deep, and gave them to Purcell to compose as an anthem, which he did, adapting it so peculiarly to the compass of Mr. GostLinG's voice, which was a deep bass, that hardly any person but himself was then, or has since been able to sing it, but the King did not live to hear it: this anthem, though never printed, is well known. It is taken from the 107th psalm ; the first two verses of the anthem are the 23d and 24th of the psalm. “They that go down to the sea in ships, and occupy business in great waters. These men see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep."-(Sir John Hawkins' History of Music, vol. 4
* We once heard a professional singer now occupying the very first rank in the public favor, and one whose experience exceeds that of any other living performer in England, affirm that this maa's voice was far superior to any he had ever heard in any country.
during the period, the events of which we are reciting, and who has risen to high regard, is Mr. Lacy. No other singer has the smallest title to a comparison with Mr. BARTLEMAN : their merits how, ever, rest upon very distinct grounsls, and without instituting any invidious comparison, we shall conclude our article by an examina, tion of their several excellencies, after the manner in which we have before analyzed the powers of the greatest Tenor and Soprano singers of this oui age.
It will not be disputed, that a singer who could win his way to the enjoyment of so great a share of public applause by the side of Mr. HARRISON, MR. BRAHAM, and Mr. VAUGHAN, persons so richly gifted by nature, and so eminently accomplished in science, who in despite of the weight which nature lays upon a bass singer, could venture to maintain, during a period of between 20 and 30 years, his full portion of reputation in the same orchestra, with all the finest female singers in Europe by turns, it will not be disputed we think, that such a performer must possess qualifications of no ordinary excellence. And such is the fact of MR. BARTLEMAN, who began his career among the choristers in the King's chapel, wlio became at once the most esteemed bass singer of his age, and who to this hour retains the same extensive public favor he has always possessed whenever his impaired health will suffer him to appear. He is a member of the royal choirs at St. James's and Windsor, he is engaged at the Ancient Concert, he is one of the proprietors and cons ductors of the Vocal Concerts at the Hanover-square rooms. No man in this country has the same means of constantly standing before audiences so polished, and of enjoying the assistance and support of instrumental accompanists sọ carefully selected and so severely disci. plined. MR. BARTLEMAN therefore adds to those greatendowments, which are his own, advantages which no other bass singer enjors, and a station where he is enabled to command the choice of whatever is best adapted to his genius and his powers. Thus he has had the good fortune to be placed in a glowing lighi, and in a situation where every means that could ripen or inprove his natural gilt-, facilítate his acquaintance with the highest resources of his art, and set before him the most perfect examples, have been from his first eņ,
trance into life accessible to him. MR. BARTLEMAN's intonation was formed by early practice, as his later proficiency, not less than the school from whence he comes gives us a right to suppose, upon legitimate principles. In truth no one can sing more accurately in tune, and such is his fixed power of just intonation, that we heard him aver be considers the accompaniment to afford him little more aid than he attains from hearing the pitch during the symphonies. It is a fact that singers of great volume of voice rarely hear the in. stuments that are going while they are singing; that is while the voice is actually passing through the mouth; and the reason is very obvious. The communication with the organ of hearing is most direct and complete from withinside the mouth. If we strike a tuning fork and apply it to a tooth, the sound appears much louder tban we bear it, if the end of the fork be applied to any other external body. When any one listens attentively he will be observed to open his mouth.* But the fact will be found to be as we have stated it, and we adduce it only to prove the perfection to which MR. BARTLEMAN must by constant practice have brought the action of the throat Even the long indisposition with which he has been visited, has not diminished this grand faculty. His tune was last winter as ringing and as correct as in the moments of his most vigorous bodily health. We consider no small portion of the pleasure his singing affords to be attributable to this accomplishment, for it bestows a brilliancy upon his tone, which, for reasons we shall liereafter give, we should rather be induced to think does not belong to its essential quality.
Mr. Baştleman's conception is quick, bold, and apprehensive; it illuminates whatever it glances upon; it lights up his whole manner with the energy that has struck so impressively upon the general imagination, and (in conjunction with his beautiful intonation) is the characteristic to which, we should say, he owes his vocal supremacy. Mr. BARTLEMAN commenced his career in the church. A fancy lively to an extreme degree, there received a chastening and a tem.
Seamen during an action are accustomed to tie a handkerchief over the mouth to prevent the sound of the guns from affecting the organs of hearing through that channel, and we know a gentleman, a bye-stander during the proof of some large pieces of ordnance in Holland, who being noticed by one of the gunners in the moment of attention to stand with his mouth opened, was cautioned to close it as he valued his sense of hearing.