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Manner
MANNER is one of the principal external graces of character. It is the ornament of action, and often makes the commonest offices beautiful by the way in which it performs them. It is a happy way of doing things, adorning even the smallest details of life, and contributing to render it, as a whole, agreeable and pleasant.
Companionship Of Books
A MAN may usually be known by the books he reads, as well as by the company he keeps; for there is a companionship of books as well as of men; and one should always live in the best company, whether it be of books or of men.
Healthy Homes
HEALTH is said to be wealth. Indeed, all wealth is valueless without health. Every man who lives by labor, whether of mind or body, regards health as one of the most valuable of possessions. Without it, life would be unenjoyable. The human system has been so framed as to render enjoyment one of the principal ends of physical life. The whole arrangement, structure, and functions of the human system are beautifully adapted for that purpose.
The Last
We have only one way into life, and a thousand ways out of it. Birth and death are but the circling of life in itself. God gives us our being, and gives us the custody of the keys of life. We can do, and labor, and love our fellow-creatures, and do our duty to them. The way to judge of religion, says Jeremy Taylor, is by doing our duty.
Orfeo
ACT I. - After the short overture in C-major, the curtain rises, showing an open plain with the tomb of Eurydice. A chorus of shepherds and shepherdesses carrying myrtle boughs and flowers are present with Orpheus (contralto) prostrate.
Le Nozze Di Figaro
THE overture shows in the most striking way what instrumental music can be made to do. The second title, La folle journęe, given by Beaumarchais to this work, seems to have been in Mozart's mind here. After settling upon his principal themes, he changed his mind in one respect.
Don Giovanni
THE overture, written in one night, is built on two figures, one supported by the wholestrength of the orchestra, the other simply by the first violins. The vicissitudes ofthe struggle between these two anticipate the course of the opera, wherein the majority of the characters are banded against the licentious Don Giovanni. Towards the end of this magnificent overture, the uproar dies away and calm succeeds.
Die Zauberflote
THE overture, one of the most perfect and famous of all overtures with regard to form, melody, and instrumentation, begins Adagio, with' three chords for full orchestra and a short theme given to the bassoon and strings. On the sixteenth bar the brilliant, insistent theme of the fugue is announced by the second violin, and is then taken up by the first violin...
Fidelio
THE curtain rises on the court-yard of the State Prison, near Seville. In the back-ground, a high wall, over which trees are visible ; a large gate pierced by a wicket for foot-passengers ; near the gate, the Porter's Lodge ; to the left, the cells of the prisoners, the windows barred with iron gratings and all the doors numbered and bolted...
Il Barbiere Di Siviglia
THE orchestra must be noticed throughout the work; it not only cleverly enlaces the themes, but it chatters and prattles with audacity, caprice, raillery, wit, and charm, sometimes with and sometimes about the characters. The overture originally belonged to Aureliano in Palmira (1814), and also did duty for Elisabetta regina d'Inghilterra (1815).
Der Freischutz
THE unusually beautiful overture is an epitome of the work. It begins with an Adagio in C-major, of thirty-six bars, the horn taking the principal part and evidently describing the cheerful serenity of the forester's life. At the twenty-fifth bar, the strings begin a low tremolo, which gradually forms a fine crescendo and diminuendo.
Euryanthe
THE overture opens with a short movement, fiery and highly figured, and strongly accentuated as to its bar-divisions, which accustoms the ear to the fundamental harmonies of the piece. Then comes the powerful melody which indicates the knight's confidence in God, and in the woman he loves.
Oberon
FROM first to last the overture is in the most intimate sympathy with the subject. Every picture of the drama is mirrored in it : the world of elves, fays, mermaids, and elemental spirits ; the pomp and pride of chivalry and romance; glowing love struggling against slavery, elemental night, separation, and death; and the might and glamour of oriental enchantment. The opening notes of the Adagio are given to Oberon's magic horn, notably alone and taking us at once into the realm of enchantment.
La Muette De Portici
THIS work is a mixture of the French, Italian, and German styles. The orchestra has so important a part that it may be said to have a dramatic rôle of its own. The overture is original, clearly written, and brilliant. ACT I. — This opens in the royal gardens of the palace of the Duke of Arcos, Viceroy of Naples, decorated for the nuptials of his son, Alphonse, and Elvire, a Spanish princess.
Guillaume Tell
THE overture — Rossini's only dramatic overture — Berlioz said was really a symphony in four parts instead of the ordinary opera prelude in two movements. The first part, beginning with five solo violoncellos, accompanied by the other violoncellos, pizzicato (divided into firsts and seconds), and double basses, expresses the solitude and silence of nature, as well as the repose of human passions.
Robert Le Diable
ACT I. — The stage represents the Lido and Port of Palermo. Several splendid tents are in the shade of some trees. On the right of the stage, Robert (tenor) and Bertram (bass) are seated at a table, attended by esquires and many pages. Opposite is another table at which knights are seated. All are carousing, and the effect is already visible.
Les Huguenots
THE short overture begins Andante, with a Lutheran chorale announced by the clarinets and bassoons and elaborated by the other instruments. It ends Allegro con spirito. The organ is wonderfully imitated. The curtain rises on a hall in the Comte de Nevers's castle in Touraine.
Der Fliegende Hollander
THE overture begins with the motiv of the curse hanging over the Dutchman. It is several bars longs and is rhythmical rather than melodious, moving exclusively on the tonic and dominant. Here, too, by the union of horns and bassoons, unassuageable grief speaks. A tremolo of the violins high up on the tonic and dominant also depicts the agitated waters and carries us away to the open sea.
Don Pasquale
AFTER a short, but pleasing overture, formed of the principal melodies of the opera and beginning with the theme of the serenade in the last Act, the curtain rises on a room in Don Pasquale's house in Rome. Don Pasquale (baritone) an old bachelor, economical, credulous and obstinate, but kind-hearted, is alone, in his dressing-gown and velvet cap.
Tannhauser
THE overture is cast in the regular form ; it is an epitome of the opera. First comes the Pilgrims' Chorus, grave and majestic, announced on the wind and reinforced by the strings, and developed with striking rhythmical ornaments on the violins, gradually dying away. The Venusberg abruptly follows, introduced on the viola, fantastic and fiery.
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