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province , and can be more easily renderedintelligible in criticism , I will lot down myimpressions of her representation of ^ orwa . _ With her impetuosity and energy , with her commanding figure and fine tragic eyes , aided by a perception of theatrical effect far surpassing that of ordinary singers , she cannot take up so grand a partas JVc ^ a , and fail in producing an effect j but her . acting is characterized by the one abiding fault of displaying the strings which move the puppets , and making ug pamfully aware ' of her intentions ratherthan . of the character to be represented . It is as if the actor inlieu of putting on the mask and speaking through it , were to hold up the mask with one hand , while with the other he pointed . out touts the expression meant to be conveyed . With all her impetuosity she does not abandon herself to the feeling ; she is vehement but not passionate—she is loud but not moved . Her admirers
declare that she ruins the effect of the second motive in the trio when Norma discovers that her faithless lover is the lover of Adalgisa , though allowing herself to be " carried away" by the first . I distinctly say that vehement as she was in that scene she was perfectly unmoved—not a muscle of hei * face quivered—her hands trembled , but her body was calm : oh ! how unlike the anguish and rage of Grisi iii that scene ! Very false , undrainatic , and elaborately intentional Was the sudden interruption of her torrent of imprecation against JBollio , by the whining and pathetic reference to bis children . Nonna bids him tremble for his own sake and for his children ; the woman maddened by jealousy is only desirous of terrifying her lover , not of softening him ; but Cruvelli seeing the words tremaper ie , fellone , e joei Jlglituoi , and deeming it correct for a mother to be pathetic when speaking of her children , interrupts by this reflective
and remote consideration the strong current of her wrath . At that moment , the mother thinks of her children only as another source of vengeance—another weapon with which to strike the faithless heart of Pollio ; at that moment she is not a mother but an outraged-wife ; and like a panther ready for its spring she glares lipon her wronger ! I dwell on that example because it is a striking . one ; but the defect from which it springs is risible ahnost throughout—viz , that instead « f being the character > she exhibits her intentions with regard to it : and those intentions are not always acceptable . Grisiis the character ; Cruvelli stands beside it , and calls upon us to admire her conception of it—which I don't admire . The consequence is , that her performance is elaborate , artificial , untrue , and riot up to the required standard .
If I seem , hostile to a young and remarkable artiste in . the severity of this crlticiSnl , it is ; because the standards set -up by her admirers are too high . When those " sitting in authority" tell me she is a great artist , I feel bound to disclaim my allegiance to her royalty . But she has magnificent gifts , and may yet reach the crown she aspires to , and her friends try to p lace on her brows . On Thursday she played JEtosina in the Barber of Seville , and played it charmingly ; not perhaps with all the girlish freshness and archness of sweet , wicked eighteen , but with infinitely more life and charm than Sontag . In Normct , Cruvelli has to contend against the inextinguishable remembrance of Giulia Grisi ; in JRosina , she has " the Countess" to contend against : after that , you will not wonder at my
feeling very dissatisfied with her Druid Priestess , and delighted with her Spanish coquette ! Indeed , comparisons apart , it was a remarkable performance . I never heard her sing so effectively , so carefully , or with so little imperfection . Her execution was brilliant , novel , inventive , and startling ; her voice always under control * and her fioritnre prodigal and tasteful . Una voce jpocofa roused a storm of enthusiastic approbation , arid Bode ' s air with variations fairly took the house by surprise . But in the lovely duet with Figaro she fell short of her own standard . Lablache was in high spirits and glorious voice . His Eartblo became colossally grotesque , the fat humour running over into all kinds of extravagances . Belletti sang the music of Figaro with great spirit , but as an
actor he wants the entrain and gaiety requisite for the part ; his fun was conventional , and not funny . Ferlotti—the " great artist "—played Basilio ; and , like other " artists , " sang badly and over-acted ; " barring that , " as the Irish say , his performance was not without its fine points . Altogether it was a charming evening—the first thoroughly delightful evening we have had for the season . Bossini ' s gay and brilliant music , running over with lifo and grace , and gaiety and Southern passion , caresses the oar with such " a concord of sweet sounds , " that I can never tire of it ; and , for once , the performers were equal to their parts .
FRENCH PLAYS . After all there is no such agreeable place as the little theatre in King Street , St . James ' s , with its varied attractions , its " stara , " and its quick succession of pieces . The petulant echoes of the voice of Fretillon-Dejazet are not yet completely silent—the fjrotesqucness , phantasy , tears , explosions , and manifold graces of Frederic are still the subject of conversation in a society which so rapidly forgets everyone and everything ; and now we have Regnier , the briglit comedian , trenchant as steel , gay as exuberant youth , reflective as cautious age ; Mdllo . Donain the handsome , and Mdlle . Marquet the young and candid : looking as fresli as innocent eighteenbeing as quick and ruse ' e as experienced eight and twenty . I share the universal admiration for B-epnicr ; for Mdlle . Denain I have a long standing account of agreeable reminiscences ; and Mdllo . Marquot has besides her youth , beauty , pleasant truthfulness , and archness—the peculiar interest of strongly reminding me of Georgo Sand ' s daughter oolange . Those three , with Lafont and Paul Laba , wore more than enough to draw good audiences to Mdtle , de la Sti g lihre , an agreeable comedy , the 'story of which has already been mado familiar to the public in Webster ' s version , The Man at Law ; but the finesse and elegance of the acting make the French comedy quit © another thing ; and what was dull at the Haymarket , sparkled at the St . James ' s . I will not put such an insult upon Regnier as to mention the acting of the English marquis , nor will I compare Lafont with Howe . If Webster ' s JDestournelles was a much better performance than Borer ' s , it is the only superiority in the piece . The naivete" and charm of Mdlle . Marquet , the quiet elegance and finesse of Mdlle . Denain , especially in her bye play , were enough to render insignificant characters perfectly oharming . JRegnier did not play his original part of De 8 tour >
nelles , but preferred that of the old Marquis . It was so faithfully amusing that I am almost ashamed to say I wish he had kept to his original part ! His performance of Figaro in Le Sarbier de Seville was postponed till too late in this week for notice j next week I may have something to sav Ofit , , ¦¦ . ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ . ' ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ' ¦ ¦ ¦/¦ ¦ ¦ . '¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ' . . .. : •¦ . ¦ V ^
ELIA'S MIJSICAL UNIO ^ . The eighth season of these delightful concerts - commenced on Tuesday with Sivori , Moralt , Oury , Webb ; , and Piatti , for the quintet , arid Itfdlle ! Clauss , the Bohemian pianist , for the solos . Place aux dames ! the fair deserve precedence , and I begin with Mdlle . Clauss , who made her dSbtit in England on this occasion . Camilla Pleyel was announced to play ; and I felt very disappointed bri entering the room , arid learning that "indis . position" robbed us of her . It was in vain that a gentle voice assured me Mdlle . Clauss was a beautiful player . I am something of a spoiled child ; and as I went to hear Camilla Pleyel , I was not to be pacified by any other player . But no sooner had Mdlle . Clauss made her appearance ; than those fine grey eyes , and the delicate sensitive face ; soothed iny impatience , and prepared my nerves for the trembling delight they Were i movement
destined to receive , one pjayea encnantingjy ^ . a . irom one of Beethoven ' s grand sonatas , a fugue of Bach's , and a movement from one of Mendelssohn's most charming sonatas , were the three pieces chosen to exhibit the resources of her style , arid thelast was sufficient to convince every one in the room that a genuine artist was before them- —a player with feeling , power , brilliancy , and colour . I do not find it easy to describe musical effects , but if you will let me borrow an image from Science I think j . shall succeed better . Bo you happen to know what figuration is ? I niean that sudden brightening of the melted gold arid silver when the last film of vitreous lead and copper leaves tb . e surface of the metals in the assayer ' s cupel . Well , Mdlle . Glauss plays with sudden and enchanting fulgurations . I will not presume to draw comparisons between her playing and that of other pianists , but the sum total of my
impression is , that I long to hear her again ! . The rest bf the concert was devoted to Beethoven ' s quartet ( op . 18 , No . 6 , B flat ) , Mozart ' s quintet in D , and Mendelssohn ' s trio in ~ D minor . They were lulequall y played . J . am not certain whether the fault lay with the second violin and the over modesty of the " modest viola , " or whether Sivori ' s sensuous and effeminate style affected the rest , but the result was that Beethoven was not played with , the requisite vigour and relief . Nothing can be much more beaxttiful than / the introduction to the finale * -- ^ the melancholy wail of some anguished spirit— -nor was there a fault to be found with its execution ; but the peculiar rhythm of the adagio was less Successfully given than I have heard it : and the whole of Mozart ' s quintet , except the finale , was hurt by the want of weight in the second violin and viola . I notice the defect : a column would be insufficient to record all the beauties—but they are notorious ! . ¦ . " ¦ ' "¦ ' ¦ ' Vivian .
The Joanna Wagner controversy , which has kept London in a fever of expectation for the last fortnight with a cross-fire of rival announcements and electric despatches , is finally solved by the appearance of the prima donna at Covent Garden . Her father has addressed a very satisfactory statement to the daily papers , of which the following analysis is from the Times . — " Herr Wagner declares that the director of the Boyal Italian Opera , as early as 1850 , made several propositions to his daughter Mademoiselle Wagner , which her continental engagements prevented her from accepting , and that in the autumn of last year these propositions were renewed , hut that owing to circumstances wholly uninteresting to the public , Mademoiselle Wagner was induced to give the preference to Her Majesty ' s Theatre , with the director of which
establishment she signed a treaty for the present season . Herr Wagner further states , that in the courso of last month , his daughter received several letters from the director of the Royal Italian Opera , to which , considering herself bound to the other theatre , she did not reply . An important stipulation , however , in the engagement with her Majesty ' s Theatre , which was to have been carried out on the 15 th of March , not having been fulfilled , Mdlle . Wagner , on the 5 th of the present month , regaining the old contract as null and void , concluded a new one with the director of the Royal Italian Opera . The object of Herr Wagner ' s letter is to defend his daughter , who throughout acted under the
advice of himself and her most intimate friends , from the charge of having acted inconsiderately towards the director of the theatre for which she signed her first treaty . Instead of one day between the date agreed upon for the fulfilment of the stipulation alluded to and its absolute tender by an authorized agent of Her Majesty ' s Theatre , Herr Wagner states thatjiot le » 8 than four weeks had elapsed before Mademoiselle Wagner signed a contract \ yith the rival establishmentalthough , on the 7 th of April , a formal notice had been transmitted to the director of Her Majesty's Theatre , in which Mdlle . Wagner declared that she considered herself no longer bound to that establishment . "
Mdlle . Wagner was in a box at Covent Garden at the first performance of I Martiri , and every lorgnette was upon the ^ heroine of the mystification . To-night , as Fides to Mario ' s Prop / ibte , she encounters the ordeal of her own great fame , and we have no doubt she will achieve that success which has already been " thrust upon" her . Mario and Formes we shall be glad to welcome back again on so interesting an occasion .
LONDON WEDNESDAY CONCERTS . . The Fourth Concert on Wednesday last restorod to us once more Jetty TrefFz , the true darling of the English public -, wo had sadly feared this charming singer had loft us " for good and all ; " and wo could ill spare her . Well ! hero she is again , more gentle to look upon , more sweet to listen to , than ever . JSTo one sings a tender or playful ballad like Jetty TrefFz : her heart seems to be in her eyes and in her voice ; and with thac pure , bright look , and touching , artless simplicity of manner , she trills away the hearts of her audience ; how crnelly andliow delicioualy I Need . ¦ Vre recount how many encores she received on "Wednesday evening r Old Braham , who makes his last appearance at each of these concerts , was in great force : and Bottesmi and Sivori were- —themselves .
402 JHI LIABll :- ; : ; .. ; .- ;^ - ^^ Cg ^^ g ^ ir ^ '' . .
Leader (1850-1860), April 24, 1852, page 402, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1932/page/22/