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other particulars we have so largely described above. His tone is pure, sweet, rich, and, for a bass, it is very brilliant. It is susceptible of every sort of various expression, without departure from the original principle of its production ; it is capable of allowing the singer to blend the most perfect articulation of words either with its largest volume or its most attenuated reduction ; and, finally, none of these principles are disturbed by the most rapid execution. In glees it forms a sound and delightful foundation. Almost every individual auditor indulges himself in imagining the possible effects of tone, and this excursive property of the fancy rather than the judgment, is encouraged and fed by the recollection of the effects produced by all sorts of singers. Thus, withont reflection, we are apt to linger for the brightness and ductility of a soprano, or for the force of a tenor, even while we are listening to the grave round and full tones of a bass-and it is not without an effort that these illusive and impossible desires are banished. With an exception for this ideal extravaganza, which we believe is not peculiar to ourselves, (for who does not build castles in the air ?) we may safely say, that MR. LACY's tone has always satisfied us, whether in English or Ita. lian music—whether in Handel, ARNE, Guglielmi, Haydn, or MOZART-in the solemn magnificence of “ Shall I in Mamre's fertile plains," in the more fervent description of “ Now Heaten in fullest glory shone," through the elegant and fanciful playfulness of “ Vedete la vedete," or the powerful though mixed expression of “ Non piu andrai,” down to the direct levity of “ S'inclinassi prender moglie," of Rossini, (a thing by no means easy of execution by the way) or the broader comedy of “ Se fiato in corpo avete." These several compositions, which are essentially contrasted each to the other in syle, afford a diversity neither less nor lower than the sevo. ral various gradations in Mr. BARTLEMAN's select performances; and it is no derogation to that eminent singer to say, that Mr. LACY is in none of these second to that eminent singer, even in his most successful performances.
One of the main though almost inseparable ingredients in the portion of satisfaction which this gentleman's singing affords, is bis articulate and beautiful pronunciation, more particularly of the Italian tongue. Here he gives legitimate employment to his discrimination and to his imitative powers, which must have contributed vastly to facilitate his acquisition of all the niceties of Italian Orthoopy.
We must fairly avow, that nothing has done so much towards liberalizing our honest English predilections, as hearing the Italian singing of Mr.* and Mrs. Lacy. An Englishman bas much to unlearn as well as to learn before be can be completely gratified by Italian singing. At the Opera his prejudices are not unfrequently strengthened and confirmed by the theatrical vehemence with which the features of every thing are enlarged. It is not, we must repcat, until we have become tolerably familiar with the points in which the Italian differs from the English expression of sentiment and passion, that we are so reconciled to new impressions, as to be able to allow admission to a just sense of the beauties of Italian execution. The songs and duets of Mr. and Mrs. LACY are certainly freed froin all the redundancies of the Italian stage, while the sweetness, congruity, finish and delicacy of ornament, peculiar to the Italian school, are preserved in their pristine excel. lence. Hence, the parts at first most obnoxious, (the frequent use of Portamento for instance, to which English ears are least accustomed and learn to bear the latest) are softened down, and we are gradually led to delight in the smooth lubricity, luxuriant elegance, and voluptuous tenderness, which court our senses into intense and delicious satisfaction. Nothing can be more marked and more distinct than the elementary parts of Mr. Lacy's singing English and Italían, yet each is chastened and refined by the other. We have now and then observed a tendency to the introduction of vowels between consonants in his English, after the manner of the Italians; as " for I am in a trouble" instead of " for I am in trouble ;” such a lapsus is, however, very rare indeed, and it is the only error we ever observed in his enunciation. But what constitutes the highest order of this department, his general cast of expression is truly superior, is greatly various, and even when most forcible, preserves a purity and subdued temper, which shews his understanding of his art to be at once vigorous and sensible, and that he blends the tact of a gentleman with the enthusiasm of the musician. This distinction is observable through all his deportment in an orchestra.
In science Mr. Lacy is generally informed. He is a superior player upon the pianoforte and thoroughly understands accompani
So considerable were Mr. Lacy's attainments thought by the Italians, that he was offered engagements at the Operas of Florence and Milan. Since bio return, he has also declined an engagemeut at the King's Theatre.
ment. We do not mean to confine this phrase to the mere application of chords, but to extend it to all the expedients for setting off the composition to the best advantage. He is thoroughly conversant with the business and detail of an orchestra, and can, we believe, play on a stringed instrument. He reads music with the surest facility, and is perfectly acquainted with the limits which the laws of harmony impose upon the use of ornament. He is, however, so unfortunately near sighted, that the best printed music is almost illegible to him by candle light. This impediment at once embar. rasses and distresses him, for it occasions a never ceasing dread of error, from which nothing frees him, but committing every thing be sings to memory, a labour, which were it to be overcome by indus. try, is often impracticable from circumstances.
Much of what we had to say of his EXECUTION has been gathered from the preceding notices. His facility is, however, extraordi. nary, and we can assure our readers, from private observation, that this facility ministers to a fancy not less exuberant and fertile than is his power of rapidly running through passages. In public, Mr. Lacy generally confines himself to bass singing, and except in such air as those of Crescentini, we have seldom witnessed any exbibition of that volatility which we know he possesses. We have heard him in private sing some of MR. BRAHAM's songs of agility with as rapid, neat, and articulate execution as that gentleman him. self. But such excursion is not even yet allowed to bass singers in an orchestra, although the former boundaries upon the imagination have been removed, and the domain is enlarged by modern authori. ty and practice.
To conclude our article, we can only repeat what we said at its commencement, that we regard Mr. Lacy, in point of power, finish, and variety, to be the finest bass singer that has yet appeared. We estimate his Italian something more highly than his English singing. But his numerous excellencies can only be discovered by such a series of performances, as we enjoy during those provincial meetings called Musical Festivals.
The principles upon which he has been taught and upon which he has studied, any judge of vocal art will perceive before he has given half a dozen notes, as well as the rare extent of his natural endowments, These constitute the superiority, and principally, we should say the first, the excellent rudiments of instruction, to which he has submit
ted himself. We regret exceedingly for this reason his departure from England, at a moment when bad taste is propagating in all directions; when the prominent defects of Mr. Braham's violencies and extravagancies, and when the radical error of MR. Bartleman's school have made, and are making lamentable havoc with the rising generation of singers. The beautiful, elegant, and graceful propriety of MR. VAUGHAN goes far to abate the vehement proneness to imitation of the former in every class above the vulgar, and we bad formed hopes that Mr. LACY would have assisted to demonstrate the justness of the principles we have endeavoured to describe and establish. But it has happened otherwise, and therefore it remains to ús only to bid this gentleman farewell, and to wish him, as we do, with a sincerity of heart, not less warm than our admiration of his public quaTifications demands at our hands, every good that those qualifications, great and various as they are, give him the fullest title to expect from the new world into which he is about to cast himself. It is in sorrow, that we say to him, and to the admirable and affectionate partner of his life and his voyage-Vite Valeque.
THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY.
we were desired on the sudden to give the most striking and satisfactory proof, not only of the aclvancement of high musical science and practice, but also of the propagation and reception of the love of fine music amongst the public of England, we should, without a moment's hesitation, adduce the institution and performance of the Philharmonic Society; and for the following reasons.—The association of so many pre-eminent professors upon a common principle of the most perfect equality, who yield and occupy by turns the highest and the lowest situations in the orchestra, affords a test, not to be disputed, of an universal determination to carry perfection to its utmost pitch; and since competition must excite the highest possible emulation amongst men of genius so contrasted and measured against each other, it should scem as it all were impelled to lay aside every
feeling that could impede the progress of science in the utmost stretch of attainment. So far as the profession is concerned, this evidence appears to us conclusive, for active and strong indeed must that motive be, which can allay the inevitable irritation excited by the struggles of personal qualities for personal precedency. When the ungifted part of the world affect to wonder and to laugh at the morbid jealousies which riot round the circle of talent, " they talk of pangs they never felt"—they sport with an evil they never can feel. But to be thrust in a manner down from the pinnacle of estimation to a lower place, to hear the plaudits, which are the sentence of extrusion, ring in the car without a sigh, is a trial not to be sustained by common philosophy, particularly when we remember that with fame are here connected place, dignity, and estcem, no less than the means of life. When, therefore, we perceive professors not only consenting to such admeasurement, but presenting themselves voluntarily to the standard, and giving place to each other with a condescension as graceful as it is honorable, we can but consider that all meaner passions have been stilled and absorbed in the love of the art to which their lives are devoted, rather than stimulated by the hope of gain or the desire of applause. In the second instance (the eagerness with which these concerts are sought and attended) we say we read the more general diffusion of the love of science ; for when the habits of affluence, when the thirst for light amusements, prevalent in high life, are taken into the computation, a surpassing degree of musical taste is certified by crowded audiences of such persons desiring to listen in perfect stillness to compositions for instruments, during an uninterrupted interval of three quarters of an hour, and the calling for a repetition. Nothing, we think, can speak more decisively the real love and understanding of music amongst the orders we describe. And when again the attention is protracted through six entire evenings the testimony is complete. Such, however, are the phænomena which attend the institution we are about to describe.
Concerts sustained by professors may be found in the musical history of this country for more than a century back. Of such a kind was that held originally at Haberdasher's Hall, afterwards at the King's Arms, Cornhill, and which expired in 1774. We allude to this more particularly, because perhaps, it may have had some influ. eace in cstablishing the Philharmonic, as we observe the name of MR.