Rossini and his School by Henry Sutherland Edwards

By Henry Sutherland Edwards

Henry Sutherland Edwards (1828-1906) wrote this quantity in Francis Hueffer's 'Great Musicians' sequence, released through Novello, in 1881. It was once strange for this sequence as a result of addition of 'the School': many of the different books handled someone composer, yet Edwards discusses Bellini and offers chapters on Donizetti and Verdi (still alive, and on the peak of his powers, on the time this publication was once released) in addition to his major topic. The publication covers Rossini's lifestyles and bargains intimately with what the writer considered as his most important works - a range that may shock or maybe outrage Rossini fans this present day.

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A popular prima donna told him one day, on arriving at the San Carlo Theatre, whither she had been borne in a sedan-chair, that one of the carriers had been very negligent in his duty, and had allowed her several times to be bumped on the ground. Barbaja called the porters to his room and, giving each a box on the ears, exclaimed, " Which of you two brutes was in fault ? " For the sake of teasing Barbaja, a few of the subscribers to the Scala Theatre agreed one night to hiss Eubini in one of his best parts.

In Italy, where Mozart's works were at the time unknown, Eossini may well have appeared a perfectly original genius, not only by his richness of melodic invention, but also by the novelty of his forms. But it is strange that an amateur, acquainted, as Lord Mount-Edgcumbe was, with the works of Mozart, should not at once have perceived that Eossini, in introducing so much which was new only to the Italians, was making no bold experiment, but was merely following in the wake of a greater inventor than himself.

Writing for a Trench public Eossini showed, in William Tell, that he was as much a master of the simple dramatic style in which the singer has not to display vocal agility, but to express human emotion, as he was already known to be of the highly decorative style admired by the Italians. " Eossini," says Stendhal, in his interesting account of the first representation of Aureliano in Palmira, which he claims to have witnessed, " followed in his first works the style of his predecessors. He respected the voices, and only thought of bringing about the triumph of singing.

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