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pieces for various instruments. For loforte solo, the dillettanti of this iniment have to thank him, not only for
origination of a new style and a new n of music, but likewise for almost inlerable specimens of his genius, that ic him to the pianist alone an oracle of ellence. There are his six books of gs without words, on which it would vain to offer a word of comment, so well >wn and so duly appreciated are their uties; his fantasia in F sharp minor, a rk -with all the regularity of construci to constitute it a sonata, and with all
refinement of beauty to make it anylg that the caprice of the composer ;ht induce him to name it. There are three cappricios, dedicated to his friend, . Klingemann, that might be named, from ir form and importance, overtures for
pianoforte; his six preludes and fugues, st admirable specimens of the free style contrapuntal writing; his seven chareristic pieces; his sonata in E; and To shorter pieces, of various form and iracter, than there is here space to emirate. Of vocal music, there are almost iless books of six songs; there are many gle songs ; there are the six two-part ags, and some other duets, all with moforte accompaniment. Of all these, is impossible to choose the loveliest, imssible to light upon one that is devoid of ;erest.
There is one thing worthy of remark out several of the sets of songs, which
that they contain many that are the raposition of Mendelssohn's sister, Fanny, hose initial being the same as her broer's, there was less of imposition than of uivoque, and very little of either, in the ipearance of her songs and his, without stinction, in the same publication, as prolctions ofv Mendelssohn Bartholdy. No gher pru-se can be given to this lady id her musical capacity, than the relation
the fact that the world is ignorant of, id unable to suppose, which are the mgs of the brother, and which of the ster.
There are a great many four-part songs, lostly for male voices alone, but some for tale and female voices, and there are lany other concerted vocal pieces, all ■ ithout accompaniment, that are all in heir particular style equally meritorious.
VOL. II. NO. III. NEW 8ERIES. 21
Before closing this extensive list, mention must be made of Mendelssohn's organ part to Handel's Israel in Egypt, a work of no less importance to the art, and perhaps of even greater truth to the composer's meaning, than the celebrated additional orchestral accompaniments to The Messiah of Mozart; and of his pianoforte accompaniment to some of the Violin Solos of Bach, a work of greater contrapuntal ingenuity and greater musical curiosity than the other, insomuch as Bach's elaborate solos are not only complete in themselves, but so full in their completeness that it would seem impossible to add a note to them, and Mendelssohn's no less intricate accompaniments not only make no inappropriate interference with the original, but greatly increase its beauty and effect; whereas the score of Handel is avowedly left imperfect, it having been the custom in his time for the organist to extemporize his accompaniment, which might have been very well when Handel was the improvisator, but in our degenerate days it is infinitely better to have the written ideas of Mozart and Mendelssohn than the extemporaneous performances of the b«st organists in the profession.
Thus we see that Mendelssohn wrote in every class of musical composition, and with equal success in each; and by the peculiar coloring of his mind, no less than by the novelties of form and detail he employed, he imparted an original novelty to all.
Having spoken at such length of the merits of Mendelssohn, it will be but justice to him and to others, and to the reader, to adduce what have been pronounced to be his faults. A very few words will dismiss them, and so the heaviest portion of the critic's labor will become the lighest of the reader's. It is true that his melodies are often more fragmentary than continuous— that his compositions abound more in detached, though beautiful, phrases, than in streaming, unbroken and unquestionable tune; and it is no less true, that he is generally less successful in the composition of slow movements than in those of a more exciting and bustling character; but there are so many brilliant exceptions to these remarks as to make it a matter of question with his enthusiastic admirers whether the pectiliarities referred to were not points of design with him rather than of inability to avoid them.
In conclusion, it may not be out of place, nor uninteresting, to state what few personal matters of Mendelssohn have come within the writer's knowledge. He was grandson of the famous Moses Mendelssohn, the Jewish philosopher, a distinguished Hebrew commentator and the author of a much esteemed German version of the Book of Psalms. Thus his father mav be said to have been a bridge between two celebrities, with no reputation of his own, but that of leading from the one to the other, which he was wont to illustrate by saying jocosely, that in his youth he was everywhere distinguished in society as "the son of the great Mendelssohn "—in advanced life he was no less distinguished as " the father of the great Mendelssohn;" but in no part of his own life did he himself enjoy any distinction whatever. The great composer of Elijah spent a large portion of his early life in Hamburg, where his nearest neighbors were Madame Duleken, the eminent pianist, and her brother Ferdiuand David, the violinist, who were his constant playmates. Mention has already been made of the precocity of his musical abilities, of which they both relate many examples. Moscheles, the distinguished pianist and composer, the intimate friend of Mendelssohn, though some years his elder, tells how the father of the then almost infant genius was incredulous of the confident predictions he made of his son's brilliant career, and that this incredulity was warranted by the modesty of the boy himself, although the wide circle of his musical acquaintance was unanimous in his admiration.
At this time, and for many years, he pursued the art only as an amateur, the wealth of his father, an opulent banker, rendering him independent of professional pursuits. It was not till the time of the great commercial panic of about twenty years ago, in which nearly all the great business establishments of Europe were shaken, that, he being then in England, his father advised him, in consequence of the condition of his own affairs, to turn to profitable account those powers which were already the source ef pleasure to all musical society. It was then, for the first time, that he applied for pecuniary emolu
ments to the London publisher* kr i works, and then, great as had bees br. cess, and rapidly growing as was his rc tation, even he was subject to some •:■: j disappointments, from which it appear-1 circumstances can exempt an author. J honors that afterwards attended Li: public and private, and the homae u was paid to him by the great of all e'-sst whether of talent or of rank, and ere i profound respect he latterly eiptoss from his publishers, must hare uxj made up to him for his early era* With all his honors, he always reutK: boyhood's modesty: no one had Vmore enthusiastic reverence for the r9 men in his own art that had preeo him; no one a more courteous deteta to the talents of his cotemporaries; Bo J a more encouraging kindness to thfeci pirin g young musicians who sough: J sunshine of his approval; and no a more manly diffidence of his own abfes With his marvellous executive po»esi would not perform any piece that k ^ not carefully studied, saying, thst"'-ever it was worth while to play, S r< worth while to understand, and undersva ing came by reflection, not by inspina He was a man of the most carefnl UH in every particular, in his composite: his hand-writing, in his correspondf^-his manners, and in his personal app-J ance; but with all this there was an « and fluency in everything that he did £ said that could only result from a. hap cultivated intelligence, and the coeife this must always inspire of eqnafity t s society and any circumstances in whki i posssessor can be placed. Besides Sjxing three or four of the living bogsv fluently as his own, he was an act'-* plished classical scholar, and on asubjects besides music evinced T«t » sua! abilities.
To conclude, whether we regard 11=' a musician or as a man, as a poet <t' a friend, as an artist or as a compsi' the world has known no one mare «wtf to laud while living, more to be regret now that he is dead, or more to be h»: ored as only a great genius can be hoc"': by the pure study and true apprecu: of his works, than Felix Mksikls^ Bartholdy.
is curious to observe how much cirstances influence the judgment. The ; individual, in a fashionably-cut suit, I appear more amiable than in a gart of shabbiness. Ladies in Broadway or look distant simply according to presence or absence of this not very evidence of gentility. So in regard thousand matters—indeed, with all :«rs of taste, we find that we arc very to be swayed and biased by what is *ether extraneous and irrelevant, his little story presents a case in point. »n the author first began to write letto the Courier and Enquirer newspa\ve remember thinking that he used uncommonly vigorous and weighty B. The contrast of his letters with the mercial articles, leading editorials, and !s&ively stupid and ill-written musical theatrical criticism, (stuff that we als wondered the readers of that journal rated so long as they did—marry, it was empered as well as stupid; the writer of :ver could keep his temper,) was so stri;, we recollect often surmising that the tior must be paid a larger sum per line n was received by any regular member the corps of hacks and reporters. We ured to ourself some individual high in ilth and station, rolling in gold and lines, and dealing in observations of :ign countries as the Rothschilds deal unds; not in small dabs, but in oceans' rth at a time. His periods rolled off h rm apparent solemnity and sonorouss that gave importance to their matter, 1 gravity and dignity to their tone, aid we have made acquaintance with proof-reader of the establishment at t time, we felt sure we should find the respondence of "A States' Man" writin a large, round hand, unlike that of nv other editors in this "unsuttn world," ich is never very plain, and sometimes
totally illegible. At a later period, also, we have marked these letters, and those of one or two other of the Courier's correspondents, as bright oases in its great tencolumn Sahara of puff and politics, and wondered how they came to find a place amidst such general aridity; how the scorching and sterile influences which prevail in that region permitted their existence.
But now that the author has dropped his incognito, and presented the American public with a story—now that he appears without the advantage of his original setting, no longer in dreary, yard-long columns, but by himself in fair pages—we are a little chagrined at the suppleness of our judgment, and from this feeling, very probably, are now in danger of under-estimating what formerly appeared under too much advantage. Now, his style, which erst seemed so full of majestic dignity, appears ponderous and inflated, even to tumidity; and the thought, which used to march with so much original, reflective strength, now moves quietly along in the beaten path of common sense. The writing of "A States' Man," in fine, has, with us, lost whatever it did possess of a poetic effect; it is rather heavy reading.
And yet there is much in it that is worthy of the highest praise. It is the language of a man of elevated feelings and purposes; and that is more than enough to make tolerable its verbosity and occasional prosiness. Besides, the thought, if not remarkably wide-ranging and beautiful, is at least clear and sensible. The author wites like a gentleman and man of experience. He is one with whom, if we do not expect much, we yet feel safe. Though his style is faulty, even to the verge of caricature, it has the great merit of showing that care has been bestowed upon it, and it is too well sustained to be other than natural. On the whole, this kind of writing is much more grateful to our oldfashioned taste, than any of the common affected chaff that is daily thrown into the public manger.
1 Edward Vernon: My Cousin's Story. By E. V. Childe, Author of Articles in the "London nes" and "New York Courier," signed "A States' Man."
Notwithstanding its many manifest defects, therefore, one may run through this little tale with considerable satisfaction. It is not very artistically put together; the incidents are too wide apart. But it is in a good school and is wrought with ability.
The principal events occur in Boston, the West Indies, and Europe. In one of the chapters depicting fashionable life in Paris there are many just observations, upon some of which it will be a service to the class for whom they were intended to confer the honor of quotation. The author is evidently, writing from actual survey, and his pictures of the extravagancies of some American residents in what used to be styled the "gay capital" are not, it is probable, much overwrought:—
"The family to whose kindness I was so much indebted on my first arrival in Paris being of the Favlmurg Saint Germain aristocracy, as is called that "portion of society which, notwithstanding it still clings to Die fallen fortunes of the elder branch of the Bourbons, is allowed to take rank of every other, I experienced no difficulty, under its powerful auspices, in gaining access to all inferior circles of fashion; and as in these there is always a most abunr' '. sprinkling of foreign residents, English am nerican above all, my curious attention was constantly engaged in ascertaining what effect transplantation and intercourse with strangers had produced upon them, and especially upon my own countrymen.
"Tne English, "for the most part, seemed to be neither of the highest nor lowest of those who lay claim to respectability and fashion in their own land, but rather men of shattered means, whose desires had outstripped their resources, or presumptuous upstarts, who, after vainly struggling to reach a more elevated place than belonged to them at home, had left their country in the hope of forcing themselves up in the world by dint of self-assurance or lavish expenditure, skillfully brought to bear upon the indifference and ignorance of strangers; and later experience has taught me that many individuals of both these classes not only succeed in gaining the position they desire, but that they contrive to fasten themselves there with leechlike tenacity, sometimes by one means and sometimes by another, but never unaided by sumptuous entertainments, where an unsparing pr* '""\ of costly wines drowns even the
whisper of censure. Long occupancy.I intruders upon real estate, gives them V a sort of title, and even should Souk ■ of their former lowly condition come it by, enviously intent upon exposing t) founded pretensions, his story is conv .disbelieved, or is washed out of an u: • remembrance at the next day's feast.
"Never having been in thecompany c bleman in their own country, except :• on a race-course or at a county meeting ever they address any of their acquaint whose name is attached the slightest \uL of rank, the title is sure to be well i out by them, particularly if an assoc^ their less prosperous days be standb; bear testimony to the exalted state at they have arrived. And yet their svc*. is very fitly rewarded by bare toleratior being no sympathy between them ai*. among whom they are permitted to Their coldness of demeanor passes for & bilityvand their bluntness of speech f.v ness, while they themselves are regr aliens, and would be treated according it not that, among the great Few, as ace . insignificant Many, gilded, if not gold-: ions are always to be had for a valuabsideration. Floating upon the sorfic>: society to which they do not rightfully • they make unceasing efforts to keep I the current of it, catering to the taApampering the appetites of thousands * ignorant sometimes even of their pervx indifferent to their merits.
"Now all this, attracting my notice it viduals of another nation than my own. 'it excited a passing feeling of pity and era did not fail in a certain degree to amubut when I perceived that nndUgnisa.'" worship had its besotted votaries among .'. icans to quite as great an extent as r" Englishmen, a sense of shame Cot mastered every other emotion." *
"But Mr. Livermore was by Do m»onlv American that laid his daily sir.' time, and gold, and self-respect before tV . ed calf of high French fashion, successfully his example, closely upon his and in advance of all others, there was • Chase, with her husband, originally rtry i people of obscure origin, whose acqwrt* had made some years before on board ■? vessel going to the West Indies.
"Before meeting him, however, in d» 1*~ capital, but not before the fame of gant dinners which prefaced his _ had reached my ea rs, I chanced one encounter Mrs. Chase in O\efogr> house on the way to her box. She recognized me that I should haw addressed her as an old acquaint not fortunately discovered, in good «h» * ■l.unt sea-captain was not a personage of cient consideration in her esteem to be doing of notice. I passed out, therefore, with rile to myself, in quest of other companions
exclusive in their humors than my fair Ury-woman, and was, an hour or two later, ding not far from the entrance of a saloon he aristocratic side of the Seine, when who lid present herself but the very lady that just shown such a convenient loss of memrespecting my identity. She had certainly pained some tact since
residence abroad, or, at least, had not left ultivated that which Nature gave her, for, lout betraying the slightest embarrassment >ur second meeting, she greeted me most lially, exclaiming,' Why, Captain Vernon!
you? I am so delighted to see you!' 'Call me Mister Vernon, if you please, lam,' said I, in a playful under-tone, not .'illing to renew our former intimacy of i-board birth, although quite aware that I ■d the lady's new-born favor to the quality he company in which she found me. 'Call
plain Mister, or I shall lose myself among many titled gentry. But, seriously speak,' I continued, 'as I have no right to dub self captain, I cannot consent to render the ie of American more ridiculous than it is ■ady made by the show of borrowed or stolen mes.'
'How absurd you are,' she replied,' not to il yourself of that which belongs to you quite much as do their titles to half of the people ■ meets on leaving our faubourg! Why, do i know that not a few of this would-be noly have no more right to the rank they ume, than I have to the little aristocratic de ut before my name, to distinguish me from
common herd of Americans which abound Paris? Do you know that there are men 1 women moving with impunity in good lety, who have attained to a marquisate of ir own creation, or even something better, dint of sheer effrontery?' '' 1 was not aware of these facts,' I answered. «t the herd of Americans, as you call it, is it ■n so great? and those composing it, are they o aspiring?'
'' I should call their name legion, were it t that the English of the same stamp far outmber them,' was her reply. 'Thoy come d go like locusts, and sometimes leave as ;a»reeable traces behind them; and as to sit aspirations, it is really amusing to see w fond Republicans are of anybody higher
rank than a commoner. If by chance, as is e case with several I know, they can claim e slightest relationship to any French family
note, one is wearied with their eternal selfonfication. Then there is no end to their donation if they are not entertained at the udleries, dined at their embassy, and caressed '1 American residents, whether known to
them or not. Their ignorance, too, of the forms of society, and their pretensions to polite accomplishments, are miraculously astounding. One, for example, leaves a card on his majesty, and another, equally erudite in the lore of courts, compliments the queen on the good looks of her husband. No offence, of course, is intended, nor is any taken, that I am aware of; but what folly it is, through stolid indifference or wilful ignorance, to violate conventional rules to which we have voluntarily subjected ourselves. I, however, am fortunate in knowing only a few of the savages, or my house would be overrun by them.'
"' Are they, then, so fond of society?' I inquired.
"' Actually ravenous for it,' she answered; 'and they fearlessly thrust themselves into any they can enter, although their knowledge of the French language hardly suffices to provide them with the common necessaries of life. But to my set, thank Heaven, they can never gain admittance; for, even with my three hundred thousand francs a year, the, difficulties 1 met with in getting into it were inconceivable, and it was only through a fortunate acquaintance which 1 made at a watering-place that I succeeded at last. To the Tuilleries, however, 1 am told, they rush in crowds, though of this 1 know nothing, as I never visit those head-quarters of vulgarity.'
"' Perhaps they go there merely as strangers to a raree-show,' I remarked.
"' I could easily believe it,' she replied,' if a first, or even a second exhibition contented them; but the truth is, they never let slip an opportunity of basking in the smiles of royalty and rubbing against nobility. Then the dresses they assume on such occasions, notwithstanding a very modest costume has been prescribed to them by custom, are sometimes fantastically absurd, and often the cause of ludicrous, if not painful consequences. It was only last year that a reverend father of holy Church, who had bedecked his time-worn person in the uniform of a general officer, was completely dumbfounded on being asked at the palace what rank he held at the termination of the last war with Great Britain. He was followed on one side by a respectable physician, enacting the character of a colonel of dragoons, and on the other by an eminent lawyer, personating a major of infantry, neither of whom, even if addressed in his vernacular, could have uttered a single sentence understanding^ in reply to the simplest question on military tactics.
"' But the man that most excited my informant's admiration, and whom he recognized as a celebrated hair-dresser of New York, surpassed everybody else in producing a scenic effect. Through pure ignorance and love of finery, he had tricked out his really handsome person in a magnificently-embroidered green suit, so much resembling the livery of a chas