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have the soul as well as the beauty; and when we found how she was depreciated as a singer of soul, we could not but fancy that she must be a waxen beauty of the first order. The fact is, she is a proper womanly creature, both face and figure, the figure buxom without grossness, and well turned; the face more interesting than beautiful, with a genial mouth, a nicely-turned oval cheek, and a pair of eyes, of whose efficiency she is as well aware as any one else. · How can it be otherwise ? Twenty thousand German students have conspired to tell her she has them; and all women who have fine eyes, know it, and reasonably value them as much, though they may not equally show us they do so. Singers and performers are so praised and worshipped, that the wonder is they retain any modesty of pretension; not that they occasionally roll their eyes a little too consciously, or turn round as if they took ours along with them. There is a lurking archness at the corners of Mademoiselle Sontag's mouth, which looks more comic than tragic; and we have been told on good authority, that comedy is her forte. Upon the whole, we should sum up the description of her person and manners, at first blush, as those of a domestic charmer, by no means unconscious of her powers of pleasing, but deserving and desirous to be pleased; and we doubt not, that a persuasion to this effect, in addition to her power of singing, is the secret of the uproar she has made abroad, and the passion she is said to have caused in a German prince. There are two things beyond all others that put men in a state of transport with a woman; one is, the power of pleasing, united with a great readiness to be pleased; the other, such truth of nature, that where pleasure is evinced, you can be certain of every particle of it. In these two things, we should say, consist the charm which multitudes feel without being able to define it, when they speak of Sontag and Pasta as women.
But Mademoiselle Sontag is also a fine singer. Her singing (though from what we heard of it, is not so true to the heart as Pasta's) is a great deal more true to the senses, than any instrumental warbling can be. Clear, correct, and voluble, she rains, it is true, thick showers of pearl; but a soul tinges and swells them, when she likes. She threw forth, the other night, a set of notes, one after the other, in such a way, that she seemed to push them as they went, and make each of them speak a double and a tenderer note.
We do not like to ay more, till we see her again ; which wę mean to do in spite of our abjurations of theatres and late hours. There is no rule, it is said, without an exception; and far be it from us to do a rule a disservice, and deprive it of its property,
[“ A Ramble among the Musicians of Germany, giving some Account of the
Operas of Munich, Dresden, Berlin, &c. with Remarks upon the Church Music, Singers, Performers, and Composers ;" and upon the surface of society in that
country. By a Musical Professor.) We have no hesitation in recommending this book to our readers, though written by a friend, and published by others. It would be hard indeed if we could not recommend a good book for those very, reasons; and as we know that it is not in us to speak what we do not think, we have the pleasure of discharging at once an office of
xi : friendship and a duty to the public.
The reader will find novelty in this book, for the subject has not been handled these fifty years; and he will find truth in it, and gusto. The writer, like a proper musician, is inclined to relish all things harmoniously, whether music, or painting, or society, or a green solitude, or his “ease at his inn;" and the south of Germany rewards him. He gives a very pleasant, and to us in great measure unexpected picture of the lively state of existence in that country, with its social and enthusiastic inhabitants, its population, who learn music as they do their A B C, and its celebrated composers living in green neighbourhoods of their chapels, with a competent salary from some good-. natured prince, and no compulsory lessons to give to little misses. Something of the colour given to all this may be attributed to his own enthusiasm; and there is also the Rhenish wine, a thing. highly conducive to satisfactory observations; and our author, though old enough to be a good critic, and to know that truth is the great relish of what one writes, is not past the enthusiastic period of life. It is however, if we mistake not, is an enthusiasm
likely to last. He has informed us of some points, which besides the musical education they receive, govery materially to account for the liveliness of the southern Germans; to wit, that they are early risers, and great livers in the open air. The cheapness of living is another, and none of the least; a consideration, which ought to make our exemption from being the seat of war very precious to us, seeing what a load of poverty, over-taxation, and bad spirits, we have consented to bear, in order to dictate to our neighbours. Having secured our melancholy thus far, we take all the remaining methods of completing it, which late hours and in-door habits can supply; and then wonder that our freedom (which was none of our getting, but our ancestor's) does not enable us to be more comfortable than these subjects of petty despots. Now freedom is only a means by which we could make all the world more comfortable, not the end of that means, nor a licence for brow-beating and thinking ourselves better than everyone else. But we must not introduce gloomy reflections in the midst of this musical paradise; or we shall be falling, like proper Englishmen, into the fault we cut up. Our author writes a style remarkably scholar-like, for a man who may
be detected to be no scholar. He sometimes reminds us in that respect and one other) of a real scholar, who wrote the other day that book full of wit and pleasantry, the Two Hundred Days on the Continent. But the spirit of scholarship is in him, and he is bound to complete the letter of it, and not let the real enjoyment he takes in the use of eclectic words and other learned pamperings of a joke be confounded with an affectation, which it certainly is not. He relishes it as truly as he does his music and his glass. He has been accused of being too learned in his musical taste, and redolent of the dust of cathedrals.
cathedrals. We apprehend something of this kind ourselves, and yet hardly know why; except that musical professors, whatever they may feel, seem to think themselves bound to be supra-learned, when they come to criticise; but it was an agreeable surprise to us to find that he did so much justice to fancy and feeling as well. Indeed it would have been unnatural in one of his temperament, had he not done so; and the respect he has for science and Sebastian Bach will do him no harm, supposing even this Bach is only what he is taken to be by the unlearned, and that his great river of harmony is a mere jumping and dashing of uncond nected sounds, -instead of having a thousand under-currents of melody in it, fresh and flowing. If our author likes passion and feel ing, he may like science. The union of the two is understood to constitute the style of Mozart and the other great German come posers; and perhaps northern genius has not pute animal spirit enough to be satisfied without something to act on its teflective as well as sensitive organs, and shew a difficulty overcome in addition to a sentiment expressed. The critical, and the non-creative, must be added, to see fair play to their melancholy. An angel singing in the air is not enough for it. The choirs of the hierarchy must join, and furnish a ground for the etheriality, a darkness for the light. Babilist
Deep from their vaults the Hosean murmurs flow,
And Pythias awful organ peals below.”. We must say, for our part; that we are of their faction, if faction it is to be called, and if we have a right to speak on such a subject; for after all it becomes critics, who are no musicians, to speak unpre sumptuously on the question. But to descend from these shadowy metaphors ;--We concede that our author sometimes overdoes his style; but it is an excess arising out of enjoyment, and not of pretension. Occasional inaccuracies in words are more objectionable, but will easily be corrected by the time he writes another book, which we exhort him to do as soon as he has read and relished everything that comes in his way for the next two years. There is no such person in English literature as a good musical critic; and if he has any ambition to set the example of one, we think he may do it, and write books which poets and painters will be glad to read, as well as musicians; which is the only proper way; for the business in these things is to extend enjoyment, and show the links of art and nature one with another, in as universal a spirit as possible. And this is what we particularly like in our author's debut. He is earnest, social, and unmercenary. The only serious fault we are inclined to find with him, is a tendency we observe once and away to coarseness. We do not mean voluptuousness, which is not a thing to quarrel with in a musical taste ; but a cons descension to certain associations of ideas, anything but pleasurable,
though too often to be found in the writings of the men of wit, whom he otherwise knows so well how to admire. With the exception of this little jarring, we have sailed with him down his river of song and Rhenish, with unmingled enjoyment.
We proceed to notice some points in the journey, which he has touched
in his best manner. In the following passage we have some new atoms of information respecting Mozart, very precious; and a good summary of the author's feelings about him.
Every music lover who visits Vienna will like to know that Mozart lived in the Rauhenstein Gasse, a narrow street leading down to the cathedral, in a house now a tavern or drinking-house, which, by some remarkable coincidence, wears on its front a badge of fiddles and other musical instruments. No one must be so deluded as to imagine, that when Mozart arrived at his own home he knocked at a street door as ordinary mortals do; no, he walked under a gateway, and thence up stairs to his ordinary apartments. That Mozart gave his Sunday evening concerts, and enchanted people in a room on the first floor with a bow window to it, is a fact not to be despised; for if we fancy the human being, we must give him a local habitation, else he is a spirit, and not one of ourselves. We do not wish to know the great performances of great men; we wish to know their little actions, how they walked, looked, and spoke, their crooked habits and peculiarities, and to know that Mozart had a restless and nervous fidgetiness in his hands and feet, and seldom sat without some motion of them; makes him more present to us than the most laboured picture. And here lived Mozart; he who has thrown a fresh grace around the ideal of womanliness, who could paint the rose and add perfume to the violet ;' and in love, while the subtle and metaphysical poets are trying to get at the heart of its emotions, gives us straight a language for sighs and tears, for tenderness and rapture. The difference between Mozart and other great composers, such as Haydn for instance, is, that while the latter economize their subjects, he could ever trust to the wealth of his feelings, he saved nothing on paper; he took rural excursions, not to look for thoughts but to enjoy sensation, and began to write when the throng of ideas became insupportable to him. Music was with him, as a certain poet said of verses, a secretion. There is one melancholy of the style of Gluck, and another melancholy of Mozart: that of the first seems like the despondency of a lover who parts with his mistress for ever, the other has more of the caressing pensiveness which one may imagine in a being who enjoyed in a summer arbour by moonlight the song of nightingales, with his bead all the time resting in the lap of his mistress. What an enviable perfection must have been Constance Weber's in filling such a mind as Mozart's with beautiful images, in suggesting such an air as · Porgi Amor,' or in creating the bitter sweet regrets of * Dove sono.' Almost the whole of the songs in Mozart's operas are a continuation of the same spirit which made him in infancy ask his friends, Do you love me?? and they show that he who asked for affection could return it with interest. As the excess of the passion in a man of genius ever helps him in the completion of the greatest designs, it be to the praise of women, that besides that one element in which he reigned supreme, Mozart was of all musicians at