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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

n8            Handel and Music

The former of these two extracts is from the chorus
"Venus laughing from the skies " in Theodora; the other is
from the air " Wise men flattering " in Judas Maccabceus.
I know no better examples of the way Handel sometimes
derives his melody from the natural intonation of the speak-
ing voice. The " pleasure " (in bar four of the chorus)
suggests a man saying " with pleasure" when accepting
an invitation to dinner. Of course one can say, " with
pleasure " in a variety of tones, but a sudden exaltation on
the second syllable is very common.

In the other example, the first bar of the accompaniment
puts the argument in a most persuasive manner; the second
simply re-states it; the third is the clincher, I cannot under-
stand any man's holding out against bar three. The fourth
bar re-states the clincher, but at a lower pitch, as by one who
is quite satisfied that he has convinced his adversary.

Handel and the Wetterhorn

When last I saw the Wetterhorn I caught myself involun-
tarily humming:

Alto

And the government shall be up-on his shoul    -             .....der.

The big shoulder of the Wetterhorn seemed to fall just like
the run on " shoulder."

" Tyrants now no more shall Dread "

The music to this chorus in Hercules is written from the
tyrant's point of view. This is plain from the jubilant
defiance with which the chorus opens, and becomes still
plainer when the magnificent strain to which he has set
the words " All fear of punishment, all fear is o'er " bursts
upon us. Here he flings aside all considerations save that
of the gospel of doing whatever we please without having
to pay for it. He has, however, remembered himself and
become almost puritanical over " The world's avenger is no
more." Here he is quite proper.