Conried, however, obtained his parts elsewhere, and gave a stage performance that winter. 24시출장안마 Since then the copyright on “Parsifal” has run out and it has been produced all over the world.

During my search for modern works I endeavored also to keep alive the interest in the old oratorios. I owed much to them, and their dignity and genuine expression of religious feeling had been a most important factor in my early and earliest education. As a boy I sang alto in the Oratorio Society chorus and at sixteen was promoted to the dignity of accompanist at rehearsals. At this work I became quite an expert, and if my father stopped at a certain place to correct the chorus, I would, of course, know beforehand what he wanted, and would hammer out the right note for the altos or the tenors—it was usually the tenors—or would resort, even while they were singing, to all manner of expedients, such as playing the critical intervals an octave higher in order to keep up the pitch or to define them more clearly. As both my mother and Tante Marie sang in the chorus, there would be the four of us going home together after a rehearsal, discussing this or that point which needed more drilling, or a weakness that needed bolstering up, or we would express mutual enthusiasm over some chorus particularly well sung that evening. Naturally the refrain after almost every rehearsal was: “How can we get ten more first tenors?” America did not seem to grow them, and as even basses were not as plentiful as they should have been, it seemed almost as if the future American composer should write choruses for women only. If at the voice trial of new applicants, which usually took place before or after rehearsal, that rara avis, a tenor, was found, we glowed with delight and speculated as to whether he would really turn up at the next rehearsal and become a regular member. It cannot be claimed that tenors are to be found in profusion even to-day, but there has been an immense development in the quality of choral singers. Their voices are better trained, they read better at sight, and the general increase of interest in music manifests itself very strongly in this direction.

In 1892 I gave a Handel festival in honor of the one-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of the first performance of Handel’s “Messiah” in Dublin under his own direction, in 1742, followed by the one which King George II and his court attended, and when the crowd was so great that the management requested the gentlemen not to wear their swords nor the ladies their hoop-skirts, in order to enable as many as possible to hear the work of “Mr. Handel.” At this performance, when the Hallelujah chorus began, with its mighty climax, “King of Kings, Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” King George, overcome with emotion, arose and remained standing until the end. Naturally the entire audience rose in imitation of their royal master, and Great Britain has continued this custom ever since. As this was a fitting homage both to the Almighty and to the composer who in this chorus so marvellously voiced man’s adoration for him, my father introduced the custom at his own first performance of the “Messiah,” in 1874, and the Oratorio Society audiences have followed it to this day.

An interesting account of the kind of orchestra Handel may have employed is given in a description of a memorial service of the “Messiah,” sung in Westminster Abbey shortly after his death. I decided to reproduce such an orchestra as far as possible at our festival performance. The main characteristics consisted in the doubling up of the string parts in the choruses with oboes and bassoons and in duplicating the trumpets and kettledrums in the choral climaxes. The effect of this was most remarkable. I had placed an additional oboe with every three violins and an additional bassoon for every three violoncellos, with a few contrabassoons and contrabass clarinets to strengthen the double-basses and to take the part of the serpent—an instrument which has become obsolete. The doubling up of trumpets and kettledrums in the climaxes did not make them sound louder, but more full. For the first time in my experience the sound of the orchestra was not completely buried in the avalanche of tone from a large chorus of three hundred and fifty voices. The orchestral accompaniments supported and supplemented the chorus in a way that perhaps only a very large and mellow church organ might.

In Handel’s time he himself usually sat at the organ and filled in with masterly improvisations many of the harmonies for which in his score he had written only the bass, with figures indicating the harmonies which the organist should improvise. Since then various musicians have endeavored to supply these harmonies in permanent fashion by writing them for other instruments in the orchestra, principally for clarinets and bassoons. As most concert-halls are but poorly supplied with organs, these arrangements offered a kind of substitute, and the one most in use was that of Robert Franz. He was a German composer of very lovely songs, and a great admirer of Handel, but, curiously enough, his arrangements were very bad and not in keeping with the Handelian spirit. Mozart also had written accompaniments to supply the missing harmonies for a performance of the “Messiah” in Vienna at a hall in which there was no church organ. His additions, especially in the air “The people that walked in darkness,” are of such transcendent beauty that when I proceeded in my work of restoring the Handelian