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Vol. II.]

Comparison of Ancient and Modern Music,


Stamitz is universally allowed to be a be evinced, though in a ftyle totally great improvement, is evident from the different. It would appear that the firit fact of almost all his fucceffors availing ten or twelve bars generally contained themselves of it in their compofitions, the ground work or foundation, upon and particularly in the Italian opera. which, by means of ingenious modulation, It has also been introduced, and with invertion of harmony, and the addition very great effect, in the last movement of such passages as in the progress of the but one of Handel's fifth grand concerto, Atráin naturally arise, the whole of the where, immediately after a full close, remainder of the strain (or superstructhe violins and baffes set off pianisimo, ture) is raised. It is true that canons, and gradually increase to the extreme fugues, &c. very rarely occur in their fortissimo. The improvement of this works, but the reason is evident; ir passage by these means is so striking and since the new effects produced by the obvious, that there can be no doubt but modern style of music, they are not to Handel would himself have adapted it, much attended to as they were when had it occurred to him.

air was generally made subfervient to Some of the first musical composers figurative counterpoint. It is by no means that wrote in this new style in England, to be supposed that Haydn is incapable were Bach and Abel, most of whose of fucceeding in fugues, &c.; on the concompositions were so generally admired. 'trary many of his masses and choral comOf these authors, if the works of the positions for the church, as well as some former may be said to abound with fire, of his later sets of quartettos, contain raste, and brilliancy, those of the latter as well contrived fugues, with single, douno less abound with expression, with fine ble, and quadruple subjects, both plain and and pleasing (though sometimes abstrust) inverted, as are to be met with in the modulation, and with accuracy of com, works of any other author. position. There is however in general It must however be confeffed, that since so great an uniformity in the style and these two great masters have been in Eng. plan of their symphonies, and so great a land, they have, in their symphonies and fameness in them, that it has been said concertantes written expressly for the of them, particularly of Bach's (consi. concerts at Hanover-square, in a great dering them as opera overtures, measure departed from that simplicity theatrical pieces), that the first or prin. which alone is capable of giving general cipal movements seem to be calculated for pleasure. It is impossible for any car the meridian of the pit, (where the cri- to receive and clearly distinguish the tics generally assemble), the middle ftrain effect of many parts together, unless for that of the boxes (where people of assisted by the eye in looking over the a more refined taste usually fit), and the score, at least not till after several hearlast strain for that of the galleries. ings. For though single airs, folos, and

What has been said of the uniformity music of few parts, are apt to lose their of the style of Bach and Abel will per- effect and become insipid from too frehaps equally apply to the works of most quent repetition, yet music of a compliof their contemporaries. It seems there. cated: kind has quite the contrary effect, fore probable that, on account of this as is evinced by those wh are much in sameness, the modern style (not having the habit of attending oratorios, becomin general that body of harmony and ing, after a time, tired of the airs, whilst laboured contrivance to support it that they continued to enjoy the chorusses the ancient music had) would have even more and more. As therefore the degenerated and considerably loft ground had not the great Haydn appeared. The * Such also doubtless is the reason why works of this illustrious composer in the grand choruffes in Handel's oratorios are general abound with so much eccen. apt to please less at first than after a few heartricity, ingenious modulation, and con- ings; and they constantly improve in their trivance, that it is impossible to be prer quently discovers new beauties or excel

effects on repetition, as the ear then frepared for what is to come next, though lences that had before escaped it. It is thereat the same time he manages to keep to

fore probable that the principal reason why the subject or theme as strictly as any

the chorufies in the Mesiah are fo much more author either ancient or modern. Were generally pleating than those of his other the symphonies of HAYDN and his dif- oratorios, arises from the frequency of its perciple Plevel to be published in score, , formance, in consequence of which its cho. as the works of Corelli and Handel are, ruffes have becoine familiar to almost every perhaps quite as much ingenuity would audience.



complexity of choral music is justified by effects must be likewise confined to a the number of parts necessarily occasioned small part only of an English audience, by a mixture of voices and instruments, Many of the Italian airs however it must which is not the case with mere inftru- be confessed, from their beautiful melody mental music, it seems that a great or fimplicity, or from the brilliancy of excellence of the latter should consist in their accompaniments, are well calculated its preserving a due medium between to please, independent of the words the two extremes; namely, in being nei- (which, by the bye, are frequently trither so very simply and plainly as to be fing, infipid, or ridiculous) and are therelikely soon to pall and grow infipid, fore undoubtedly a great addition and nor yer fo, intricately and complicatedly improvement to the modern concerts. as to require hearing a number of times Here then our former question again before all its excellences can be dif- forcibly recurs ; why would the vocal cɔvered, or its full effects perceived. parts of a concert consist entirely of Ita

It would therefore be well for the state lian, or entirely of English? From their of music in general, if subsequent com- difference of style they might, with proposers would adhere at all times to fim- priety and effect, be contrafted to each plicily, and not attempt to imitate those other, as I have proved in the preceding very elaborate and extravagant compofi. remarks upon ancient and modern intons, which were merely designed to ftrumental music. exhibit the powers of a modern orchestra, Therefore in conclufion I shall observe, and thew with what wonderful precision that were people in general, instead of fuch intricate pieces can be performed by bigotedly attaching theinselves wholly, a band of all kinds of inli ruments, of either to the ancient or the modern style which in their turn the principal of each of inftrumental music, or either to the have some obligato passages to perform. Italian or the English style of vocal

Having thus considered the different music, to introduce and encourage each styles of ancient and modern instrumental in its turn; and were the managers of music, it remains for me to observe, that all public subscription concerts to follow the foregoing remarks will equally apply the examples of those who have benefits, to vocal music, which has also undergone and availing themselves of every differthe same kind of revolution as the inftru- ent style of instrumental and vocal music, mental. There is full as much difference (arranging the pieces and airs so as to between a modern opera fong (whether contrast them well to each other) the English or Italian) and a song of Handel, following good effects would arise. or of any of his early contemporaries, as First, the general complaint of the between the ancient and modern styles length of our concerts would in a great of instrumental music. Each of them measure be done away by the variety also has its peculiar merits and demerits, and contrast arising from the mixture as if the ancients depended almost wholly of the two styles, and people in general upon the voice for the effect, leaving would be infinitely more pleased than little for the accompaniments besides the when they are confined to a particular bass and the introductory, intermediate style for the whole evening. and concluding symphonies; the moderns Secondly, the favourite or most pleasing may be said frequently to fall into the pieces of each author would please much opposite extreme, by making the instru- longer, or not become so foon hackneyed, mental frequently the principal part of as they necessarily must where only one the composition, and the voice part style is attended to. little more than an accompaniment. And Thirdly, people who have been

Long accompanied recitatives also are hitherto bigoted to one style, and consemuch in fashion at present; this is cer- quently have avoided hearing the other, tainly a fine and expressive species of will have an opportunity of hearing some composition, if in a language that is of the select pieces of that style against intelligible to the audience; but if unin. which they have been prejudiced; which, telligible, the whole effect of the com- from their contrast with the others (if position will be loft. As therefore this not from their own intrinsic merit) will kind of recitative is almost entirely con- perhaps afford them greater pleafure fined to Italian words, its complete than they expc&ted.

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Of Aesh or fowl, in foreign lands"esteemid,

Yet here I guess no dainties would be Imitated from CHAUCER.

deem'd. WHERE wide the plains of Tartary ex- No longer to delay, I haste to tell tend,

What wonders the admiring crowd befel. And Sarra's towers in glittering pomp ascend, Ere yet the feast was ended, while the king A monarch reign’d, who made proud Rullia Heard the rapt minstrel strike the sounding yield

string, Beneath his arm, in many a bloody field : Sudden before the hall an armed knight, Cambuscan was the mighty hero's name,

High on a brazen teed, advanc'd to light; Of yore unrival'd in the list of fame! A dazzling mirror in his hand he bore, In worth unrival'd; nature never join'd A golden ring upon his finger wore; A form more faultless with a nobler mind. Bright by his side was hung a naked sword; By fortune plac'd to rule a mighty land,

Proud thro' the hall he rode, and sought the Hebore with dignity his high command;

royal board. Pure was his faith; wise, merciful, and just, Attention now in every eye appear'd, His word was sacred, honour seal'd his trust: And not a murmur from the croud was Invincible his courage; never knight,

heard; E’en of his race, could boast such strength in Without a helmet was the knight, his breast fight;

And manly limbs in radiant armour dress’d; Around his court such wealth and splendor Such grace his mien, his speech such art beshone,

tray'd, As fortune pour'd her gifts on him alone. So high respect the royal pair he paid, This monarch by fair Elfeta his wife And all the nobles as by ranks they sate Buasted two valiant sons; ftout Algarsife, Along the splendid hall in princely state: His eldest hope ; next valiant Cambal came;

Had Gawen bade the bowers of bliss adieu A beauteous daughter, Canace by name,

On earth this folemn festival to view, Was youngest of the three; her praise to E'en Gawen must have own'd no art could speak,

teach To paint her charms, my language is too More faultless action or more pleasing speech: weak;

Each courtesy perform'd, before the throne Those charms which eloquence itself might He stood, and thus with manly voice made

known To study beauty, and to sing of love. The purport of his message.---- He who My humble niuse dares not, with timid wing,

“ reigns So bold a flight, content ’mid the low vale to “ In sovereign grandeur o'er the boundless sing

plains When twenty lingering winters now were “ Of Indus and Arabia, to display flown

“ His sacred friendship, on this folemn day, Since great Cambuscan wore the regal crown, « Commanded me, your humbleit flave, to With feasts and tournaments, and revels gay,

“ bring He hail'd, as he was wont, his patal day. « These matchless presents, worthy of a Now Phoebus had renew'd his bright career,

“ king : Andwaning March confirm’d the infantyear, And first this brazen horse, whose speed Calm was the sky, and through the che

can trace, quer'd grove

66 Safe and with ease, within a day's short The merry birds renew'd their songs of

“ space, love,

The outstretch'd earth; o'er barren deWith wild delight they view'd the tender spray

“ Or through the pathless regions of the sky; Cloth'd in fresh green, and felt the funny « Unhurt mid' ttorms and tempeft, you shall

ray, Which seem'd to tell, the snow, and wintry “The eagle's tow'ring height, or smoothly blast,

« skim the plain . And all the horrors of the year were past. • Turn but a pin, where'er you list to go, High on his throne, repos’d in kingly itate, " The conscious steed his diftin'd course Adorn'd in royal robes, Cambuícan sate,

66 shall know; This rich and splendid festival to grace And whether on his back you wake or With every folemn rite : the sacred place

« Пеер, In order to defcribe, my time would fail, « Unalter'd still his first position keep. And day be finish'd, ere I clos'd my tale. of The artist vers’d in magic long survey'd Twere needless here the customs to relate “ Each heav'nly constellation ere he made Of rude magnificence; the massy plate « The wond'rous fabric, though he knew Pil'd high and smoking with a monstrous

16 each art weight

56 Great Nature's hidden mysteries impart.

“ Within


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66 gain


« Within this polishid mirror you may fee Into a spacious court; there lighting down “ Events yet veil'd in dark futurity; He left his horfe, immovable as stone. " When gathering evils threaten to o'er. A courtly train receive him from his steed, “ whelm

And to a richly furnish'd chamber lead; “ Your private peace, or discord fhake your Rid of his cumb'rous arms; and serve the si realm;

feast, “ Here, undisguis'd by art, you may discern For splendor worthy of a princely guest: “ Your friends and foes: or ladies fair may Then the bright mirror and enchanted sword “ learn,

Apart within a lofty turret stor’d, « If still the favour'd lover's faith be true, Where lay the royal treasure:-next the ring “ If false, his wiles, and secret treason view; To beauteous Canace in Itate they bring; “ Behold to whom his flattering vows are They next essay the brazen steed to move, « made,

But far too weak their trongest engines “ By magic here in lively tints display'd.

prove " This matchless mirror, with this golden To heave the pond'rous weight--they strive

in vain, “ A present for the merry months of His glowing hoofs seem rooted to the plain; “spring,

Yet, by the knight untaught, the secret “ To your fuir daughter Canace I bring:

power « Such knowledge does this magic ring To guide at will, they gave their efforts o'er, convey,

And wait his wifh'd arrival, to vnfold « That the who owns it, whether the display What in the sequel of my tale is told. " Or bear it in her purse, shall read aright Now garbering in a throng the azing croud “ The voice of every bird that wings its Surround the house; inquisitive and loud “ flight

His mighty form they point by point explore, Beneath the expanse of heav'n; his notes And count (to fhew their skill) his beauties “ explain,

o'cr : “ And in his language answer him again. Some prais'd his height and strength, and Instinctively shall learn the name and swore the steed 6 worth

Resembled much the stately Lombard breed; « Of every plant that clothes the fruitful While others in his sprightly eye can trace " earth;

A likeness of the fleet Apulian race; " And know to cull from Nature's secret Yet all agreed he pleas'd them palling well, 66 store

Nur happielt Nature could such art excel. • The choiceft herbs, whose medicinal But much it puzzled the admiring throng power

To find how sense and motion could belong “ Can cure the deepest wounds, at once Tosluggilla metal; some among them thought « fubdue

That magicarethestrange effect hadwroughta • The force of fell disease, and life and some one opinion, fome another binds; “ health renew.

As many men, 'tis faid, have many minds. « This naked sword which glitters at my side Then like a swarm of bees they fill the air “ Such secret virtue boasts, it can divide With busy murmurs; sagely fome declare, “ The strongest armour with a single, They'd heard the like in ancient story told ; « stroke,

Relating then how Pegasus of old, “ Though forg'd far thicker than the Although a horse, with outstretch'd wings « ftoucelt oak,

could fly « Nor strength, nor skill, escape the dire- Through the vast regions of the vaulted sky. « ful shock;

Then speaking of the mighty Trojan horfe, 6 And those who chance it's fatal edge to Whose dark and hollow womb cončajn’d the (6 feel

force “ No drugs can eafe, no magic art can heal, which lurk’d perfidions, plotting to destray, « Till o'er the wound (though ne'er so deep And level with the dust, the tow'rs of Troy. 66 and wide)

Quoth one, “ My heart misgives me;

“ much I fear “ The flat smooth-blade, with foothing hand « apply'd,

" Some secret mischief may inhabit here, “ You deign to draw; at once thro' every “ Perhaps this steed an armed force may « vein

«' bear; 6. The blood Thall staunch, and not a scar • Prepar'a to issue forth and burn the town; 6 remain.”

" I think 'twere fit it's real ule were.

66 known.” When thus the stranger knight his tale had told,

Another smiling, to his neighbour crics, He turn'd his feed that shone like burnish'd “ How oft suspicion makes us dream of lies; gold

“ I deem this huge machine, by magic. Bright glistening in the sun, his way re

wrought trac'd

“ To grace this solemn feast, and hither Along the splendid hall, and came at last

á brought


Vol. II.)

Original Poetry........ The Squire's Tale.


« To entertain the court:"thus none agreed, At length loud pealing swell the choral song, But doubts, and fears, and scoffs, by turns And pour the decpfull tide of harmony along :, succeed;

To hear--the rage of phrenzy might controul Though most concluded, as the vulgar will, And lift to heav'n the yet embody'd soul. Who treat on subjects far beyond their skill, Now drawn in trim array the youth advance, And find out mcanings which were never The fair to fummon to the sprightly dance; meant,

The stranger knight, prefer'd before them all, The horse was fashion'd for no good intent. With beauteous Canace began the ball, Some wunder'd at the mirror's magic pow'r, The masking to recite, and reve's gay, Now plac'd with care within the topmost Which wure in mirth the feeting hours away; towor,

The dances mazy figure to explain, 'Twas strange, they cry'd (perhaps more The face of beauty striving ost in vain strange than true),

To hide the wines of the beating heart, That men such objects 'u a glass could view; Which stilltoo plain her speaking eyesin part; while others answer'd, such effects might rise The conscious smile, the ligh but half cunFrom nat'ral causes, which deceiv'd their ceald, eyes

The tongue denying what that figh reveald: By side reflection angles multiply'd; The trembling hand, the whisper soft and low, Then nam'd a dozen learned terms befide. The blush and every symptom lovers know: Said, that at Rome one might it's fellow view, Would ask a gallant, brisk and debonair, And vouch'd an hundred wond'rous stories Vers'd in love's wiles, devoted to the fair, true,

And free and open as the passing air; Told by old fages, who have long been dead, Like brave fir Launcelot who liv'd of yore, Whose tedious works they boaited tu have Hem ght have told you I shall say no more, . read.

But leave amid thcir mirth the jocund train Another set with equal skill explor'd Till supper fumnon'd to the feast again. The matchless temper of the magic sword, Still day-light smild; the plenteous board And told how nearly Telephus was slain

was crown'd By the same fpear that heal'd his wounds With costly fare, and pleasure hov'ring round again!

Smild in each face; their supper at an end, Achilles' spear-which like the enchanted The king and all histhronging court defcend; blade

And lords and ladies in a troop proceed, Could cure the mischief that itself had made: To gaze with wonder on the brazen Aeed : Then argu'd of the various methods us'd Not e'eu the famous Trojan horse of yore, In hard’ning metals; and of drugs infus'd Drew greater crouds orwon their praises more. Into the mass, which could pervade the steel, The monarch now commands the stranger And give the point or blade the pow'r to heal. knight And now the subject changing, they confer'd The virtues of his courser to recite, About the wond'rous ring; none ever heard And teach the secret method how to guide: Such virtues center'd in a ring before, The knight advancing to the rein apply'd Except in that

which Mofes own'd of yore, His skilful hand, the steed with active bound And the fam'd seal which Solomon once Began to spring, and rear,and paw the ground:

When thus the knight :-" Whene'er you Thus saying they withdrew ; though as they

« would ascend went,

" This wondrous steed, these secret hints The vulgar seeking still new argument,

« attend; Wonder'd how glass from alhes could be made, “ First name whatever course you wish to For glass and ashes were unlike they said ; But yet they saw it, therefore thought it true; « Then turn a pin concealed within his ear; · Thus ideot-wonder ftill finds matter new : “ And when you near approach the destin'd The cause of mift, why ocean ebbs and flows,

land, And doubts and puzzles, till it thinks it “ Bid him descend, and with a skilful harid knows.

“ Screw round this other pin-his rapid But now the sun's meridian height was past,

“ fight And his clear orb a milder rad ance cast “ At once he'll ftay—and on the ground O'er all the scene; the splendid feast is done, « alight, And great Cambuscan rises from his throne : 66 And there immovable te'il Itill reAt once the minstrels swell a folemn Arain,

“ main ; And through the hall proceeds the princely “ The strength of all the world would train,

« ftrive in vain In stately march; their monarch they attend To draw him thence, or lift him from Through richly furnish'd rooms, and now “ the plain : ascend

" But should you wish him from his place The sacred chamber; ftill the minstrels' notes In folemn concert through the palace floats; “ Turn this, he'll vanish; none shall ever A thousand iustrument. their efforts join,

06. know Now pause, then mingling in one strain “ The manner of his Aight: again demand conibine;

66 His presence, in a moment he's at hand. SUP. to MONTHLY Mac, Vol. 11.


“ Tauglae


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