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167 adding another laurel to his own left him little power or inclination fame, and to the wreath which en- to re-enter the orchestra. circles the brow of Purcell. But In the following concerts of the his greatest triumph was to come. same season he sung, with Harrison, At the ninth concert he revived the duet of To arms,' from Bonor rather caused to be heard for the duca; and the song of Thy genius, first time- Let the dreadful engines lo! from his sweet bed,' in the play of eternal will.' This song, written of The Massacre of Paris; having for the character of Cardenio, in thus, in the course of a few weeks, Purcell's opera of Don Quixote, de- displayed to his admiring hearers mands a combination of powers on the unrivalled and long-forgotten the part of the singer which few, if talents of their illustrious country. any, songs require in a like degree. man. Rage, hatred, scorn, pity, love, and This season established Bartlecontempt, in swift and sudden alter- man's reputation as a singer, but it nation, find their most vivid and also served to develope his character. ardent expression in this extraordi. The habits of those by whom he was nary composition, throughout which surrounded in the orchestra of the the singer has the accompaniment Ancient Concerts were those of pasof the pianoforte or violoncello only. sive obedience. Whatever noble The whole effect must be produced, directors commanded them to sing, if it be produced, by his unaided they sung-never questioning their powers; and it was a test to which ability, never impugning their judgfew had cared, and few will care, to ment. Their creed was quiet subsubject themselves. The result must serviency, but such was not that of always be complete success or entire Bartleman. He had the manners failure. Bartleman felt that he was of a gentleman, but his opinion in equal to his self-imposed task. He matters connected with his art he had prepared his auditors for his never condescended to compromise. grandest exhibition of Purcell's Here, unlike his associates, he was genius, and he was himself prepared no respecter of persons; he would to display it. In the course of his argue with a chorus singer, but he career many critics sat in judgment would not truckle to a lord. With upon him, but he was the severest him art levelled all distinctions ; of them all. He studied his song whoever cordially pursued what he as an actor would study one of regarded as its best interests, he Shakspeare's characters; he became welcomed as a friend; whoever opthe person that he represented; he posed them he withstood to the face. entered into every feeling, thought, The influence of such a mind was and emotion of his mind, finding for soon perceived in the future season each the most emphatic expression of the Ancient Concerts. The Engin Purcell's music; and the result lish school found in him an enlightwas, that the song was his, and his ened and able champion; its comalone : with Bartleman it was born positions, sacred and secular, so long -with him it died. The mental as excluded from public notice, were well as bodily exertion which this again allowed to take their deserved song entailed upon him can scarcely place and rank, and the courtly inbe estimated except by those who Huences which had secured a monoknew him. A lady of fashion, who poly of attention to a single comhad engaged him for a concert at poser were counteracted. Bartleman her house, having heard of his name felt his power, but used it to his in connexion with this song, ad- own advancement only as far as it dressed him in the course of the was connected with the best interests evening, as if asking for some po- of his art. His copious store of inpular ballad, with Pray, Mr. Bartle formation was poured out to this man, will you favour us with Let end; his influence was directed to the dreadful engines P' Madam,' it; his exertions had this in view as said Bartleman, do you know what their chief object, and wherever you ask-do you know that it is an these could be rendered available to illness to me to sing that song P' In the purpose at which he aimed, they fact, whenever he did sing it, it was were cheerfully given. usually his last effort, and one that This was apparent whenever he
appeared as a public performer, and, after novelty, good or bad, and in next to the Ancient Concerts, chiefly order to keep afloat, to go with the in the provincial musical festivals. stream. For some years, and so These were sometimes mere trading long as Mrs. Billington was the speculations of London musicians, prima donna of the concert-room as but in the triennial meetings of the well as the Opera House, the vocal Worcester, Gloucester, and Here concerts were performances of classiford choirs they were under cal music of all kinds ; but in 1807, taken for the benefit of some local music was identified in England charity. Such a periodical per with the singing of Catalani. When formance had existed at Birming. she was absent, the theatre or the ham since the year 1776, by which concert-room was deserted; but her several hundred pounds had always presence sufficed to crowd it. Her been obtained for the General Hos. engagement at the vocal concerts pital there. In 1799, Bartleman followed of necessity, and with it the was first engaged there as one of the songs of Pucitta, Portogallo, and principal singers, and his influence the inferior Italian composers whom was speedily felt, not only in his she especially, patronized.
Then public performance, but in every came harmonized airs instead of thing connected with the arrange glees, and the compositions of Sir ment of the festival-in the choice John Stevenson and Dr. Clarke were of the music-in the business of announced as among the attractive reheareal, and in everything that features of a scheme. The Vocal tended to stamp upon it the charac Concerts were evidently tending ter of excellence. The profits in downwards and approaching their that year rose to 14701., and at the end. Every concession of this kind triennial recurrence of the festival, was distasteful to Bartleman, whose to 23801.
contempt for all these puny prettiIn 1801, the vocal concerts were nesses was supreme.
Meanwhile revived by the same party as had his exertions to support the characundertaken the former concerts ter of the Ancient Concerts of necesunder that name.
The field was
sity relaxed. now more open, for the Ancient was The Vocal Concerts were a private, the only established concert in acti and to a certain extent a rival specuvity; and Harrison, Bartleman, and lation, and demanded of him constant Knyvett, profiting by former expe exertion as a manager and a singer. rience, enlarged their establishment His library, his judgment, bis exer. by the addition of a complete tions, had been at the command of orchestra and chorus, thus enabling the directors of the former concerts, themselves to give their audience or rather, as they were for a time, the the most popular pieces of the An directed. During a single season cient Concerts, and adding many different madrigals of Ford, Lawes, compositions which were there in. Angelini, Pietro Philippi, Giovanadmissible. Among these were the nelli, and Orlando di Lasso were per, songs which Dr. Callcott wrote for formed at the Ancient Concerts, and Bartleman, in which the aim of the all selected by Bartleman from his composer and that of the singer was own valuable library. To every to give to poetry of a high order just class of the vocal composition which musical expression. Bartleman never he regarded as worthy of admiration condescended to lower his style to he directed the public attention, a vulgar standard, but, like a true and the Ancient Concerts never preartist, sought to raise the taste of sented so varied an amount of exhis hearers to his own; and some cellence as during the seven years times when, on the first performance in which he first assumed a principal of a song of which he knew the ex place in the orchestra. After the cellence, it was coldly received, he commencement of the Vocal Concerts would say, . They don't understand the quiet routine of former years it, I must sing it till they do. But, returned. A certain number of as the manager of a series of metro favourite pieces of Handel formed politan concerts, he had to encoun. the staple of the entertainment from ter, like all his predecessors and year to year, and for many succes. successors, the constant craving sive seasons the concert books were
1853.] Establishment of the Philharmonic Society.
169 nearly the same. In the season of the town was now attracted. The 1811, the Ancient Concerts were de managers of the Vocal Concerts mainprived of their most efficient vocal tained the unequal strife for a few support, Mrs. Billington having years longer, but with a constantly declosed her public career, (singing as creasing list of subscribers, and after her last song Purcell's 'Mad Bess,'*) 1820 they quitted the field. Bartleand Bartleman being unable, from man's last song at these concerts severe and protracted indisposition, was, Ye twice ten hundred deities.' to appear in any orchestra.
His At the second concert of this season place was supplied at the Ancient Madame Mara, almost infirm and and Vocal Concerts by Mr. Bellamy, voiceless, was unwisely, permitted and the following year he was able to sing. She was heard with grief to resume his usual professional by those whom she had once dearocations.
lighted, and with surprise by the In the course of this year he lost generation who had grown up since his friend Harrison, in conjunction her departure from England. At the with whom he had sung and acted fourth concert, Spohr, then known as fellow-manager for so many years, only as an unrivalled performer The Vocal Concerts were continued on the violin, played a concerto. under the direction of Bartleman, These were the principal events atC. Knyvett, W. Knyvett, and Grea tending the last season of the Vocal torex. But with endeavour to Concerts. keep their former hold on the public After the death of Harrison, Barfavour, Bartleman was reluctantly tleman's place was supplied at the compelled to engage singers with Ancient Concerts by Vaughan, and whom he never cordially acted, and that of Mrs. Billington by Miss his colleagues Greatorex and Kny. Stephens, Mrs. Salmon, or Mrs. vett to substitute their harmonized Vaughan. In 1818 he was frequently airs for the legitimate glee. Various unable to take his place in the symptoms indicated a change in the orchestra, and in 1819 he was absent public appetite, and it was evident during the entire season. In the folthat the singers of the English lowing season he rallied sufficiently school had seen their best days. to resume his place, and for the last They had for many years been su time to appear in that orchestra of preme, and the instrumental com. which he had once been the real positions even of the greatest Ger director, and long one of the brightman masters were rarely tolerated est ornaments. His admiration of in their entire form, while those of Purcell continued unchanged, and Beethoven were proscribed as the the last song he sung was Thy effusions of a madman. The instru. genius, lo! mental performers and composers
His life was now approaching its of London were at length roused termination. The disease under from their lethargy, and in 1813 which he suffered, and which for a the Philharmonio Society was whole season had incapacitated him formed, 'the chief object of which, from the discharge of his public as stated in its rules, was per duties, though yielding for a time formance in the best style possible
to medical treatment was never subof the most approved instrumental dued. His ardent spirit struggled music. The list of its members against its attacks, and often while included not only all the most emi. delighting crowded audiences the nent instrumental composers and
dew of bodily agony stood upon his performers of the day, but several brow. Every alleviation that friend. leading vocal writers and singers ; ship could offer or medical skill among the former, Bishop, Horsley, suggest was given, for few men had Attwood, and Shield, and of the a circle of sincerer friends or more latter Bartleman and W. Knyvett. ardent admirers; these, and above But Bartleman had neither me, all the consolations of that religion health, nor inclination to engage of which he had early learned the in the direction of the Philharmonic value, supported him during a state Concerts, to which the attention of of protracted suffering, which ter
• This was also the last song that Miss Stephens sung in public. !
minated on the 15th April, 1822. that the charge is in a certain degree He was buried in the cloisters of true. But it must also be admitted Westminster Abbey, near the re that without a decided preference for mains of his master, Dr. Cooke. The that style of vocal writing which he inscription on the monumental tablet regarded as most worthy the atten. near the spot is prefaced by the first tion of an English singer, the public notes of Pergolesi's air, O Lord! would have remained in ignorance of have mercy upon me,' and it re even the existence of those composi. cords with perfect truth, that he tions which especially distinguish and possessed qualities which are seldom ennoble the English school. Purunited-a lively enthusiasm and an cell's finest bass songs were written exact judgment.'
not for the display of any existing - Bartleman stood alone in that singer's powers, but rather to afford branch of the profession to which he fit employment for the talents of one belonged. The musical records of of future generations. They awaited our country afford no similar in the coming of Bartleman, and then stance of a concert singer acquiring for the first and the last time the the reputation and the influence unrivalled genius of their author apwhich he acquired. Nor were these peared. Aided by his talents the attained by unworthy means. He English school displayed all its never sought popularity by descend characteristic excellences, and when ing to the level of his hearers, but these were withdrawn it declined. obtained it by elevating their tastes It is true that he never willingly to his own. Singers are usually appeared as a public performer exeither passive instruments in the cept with his own select companions, hands of others, or if they have but the result was a more perfect power it is too often used with a exhibition of that style of vocal sole reference to their own advan music which they especially cultitage. Bartleman was the real head vated than has ever been heard since. and chief of every orchestra that he Associated with Harrison, Knyvett, entered ; and he obtained the defer and Vaughan, to whom his will was ence which was paid him not only law, no composition in which they by his superior attainments as a were jointly engaged was ever heard musician and a singer, but because in public while the slightest imperit was well known that these were fection of any kind remained. As always subservient to the interests long as this polish was given to the of his art. He was accused of being English glee it retained its populaintolerant, bigoted, dogmatical, and rity, but it declined after Bartleexclusive, and it will not be denied man's death.
THE DEMON CHAIN.
A Legend of the Swedish Counts of Piper. THE family of Piper, in Sweden, possess a curious antique chain, to 1 which the following tradition is attached. It was given by the Devil to their founder, in a remote age, as the price of his soul and of those of his descendants, and a promise of worldly prosperity was united to it, while it should be faithfully worn. In the seventeenth century the army of Sweden lay before Copenhagen, under King Charles X. The chief of the Piper family had his station in the trenches, while his brother and heir was posted at Helsingborg, on the Sound, opposite Elsinore. Late at night the latter received an order from his brother, by an unknown messenger, charging him, by the demon's chain, to hurry to Copenhagen. He obeyed, but, on his arrival, the Count declared that he had never despatched the messenger, and that mysterious person disappeared. The mind of the Count became filled with the fear of a supernatural interference, and of coming calamity. His anticipations were realized. He was killed the same night, and, with his last breath, delivered the chain to his brother, declaring that the demon had, by this timely interposition, preserved the infernal pledge to their posterity. It is still worn by the head of the
171 house, with superstitious care, and its influence is thought to be in no wise impaired. The story was related to the author by Count Piper, of a col. lateral branch, now Secretary to the Swedish Mission at St. Petersburgh.
Hark! thou dread Power, of midnight hour, who grimly reigns below,'
Yet many a year of mirth and power shall gaily pass away Ere I wing the chilling summons to call thee to my sway; And all thy glory and thy gains shall cleave unto thy line, While steadfastly they trust upon this magic gift of mine. Nor shrank that lord from such weird word, but claspt the cursed spell, Whose wondrous virtue swiftly proved as swiftly wrought him well. The fiend again, from mortal ken, hied to his shadowy realm ; When flashed the dawn Count Piper laid his gauntlet on the helm. Long, by the infernal angels fanned, his flag victorious flew, And widely o'er the western flood its crimson shadow threw. He recked him ne'er of holy rood, nor shrift nor penance made, But, dying, like a vassal true, the demon's call obeyed !
Part H. Now winter's breath o'er all the straits had laid its icy thrall, The Swedish drum had waked the Dane by Copenhagen's wall, And, marching forth, King Charles had set a watch beside the shore, Where Helsingborg defies the guns of castled Elsinore. The faggot blazed upon the hearth, the cavaliers around, With Alagon and with festive speech their martial leisure crowned; The trooper burnished, as he sang, the carbine or the blade, And shrilly at the forage rack the fretful charger neighed.