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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

132                Handel and Music

At a Philharmonic Concert

We went last night to the Philharmonic and sat in the
shilling orchestra, just behind the drums, so that we could
see and hear what each instrument was doing. The concert
began with Mozart's G Minor Symphony. We liked this
fairly well, especially the last movement, but we found all the
movements too long and, speaking for myself, if I had a
tame orchestra for which I might write programmes, I should
probably put it down once or twice again, not from any
spontaneous wish to hear more of it but as a matter of duty
that I might judge it with fuller comprehension—still, if
each movement had been half as long I should probably have
felt cordially enough towards it, except of course in so far as
that the spirit of the music is alien to that of the early Italian
school with which alone I am in genuine sympathy and of
which Handel is the climax.

Then came a terribly long-winded recitative by Beethoven
and an air with a good deal of " Che faro " in it. I do not
mind this, and if it had been " Che faro " absolutely I should,
I daresay, have liked it better. I never want to hear it again
and my orchestra should never play it.

Beethoven's Concerto for violin and orchestra (op. 61)
which followed was longer and more tedious still. I have
not a single good word for it. If the subject of the last move-
ment was the tune of one of Arthur Robert's comic songs, or
of any music-hall song, it would do very nicely and I daresay
we should often hum it. I do not mean at the opening of the
movement but about half way through, where the character
is just that of a common music-hall song and, so far, good.

Part II opened with a suite in F Major for orchestra (op. 39)
by Moszkowski. This was much more clear and, in every
way, interesting than the Beethoven; every now and then
there were passages that were pleasing, not to say more.
Jones liked it better than I did ; still, one could not feel that
any of the movements were the mere drivelling show stuff of
which the concerto had been full. But it, like everything
else done at these concerts, is too long, cut down one-half it
would have been all right and we should have liked to hear
it twice. As it was, all we could say was that it was much