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Yankee Doodle (search for this): chapter 22
ret far beyond the sentimental lament of Moore's song. Not a movement disturbed the flow of the melody. The quiet of sadness seemed to hold the listeners. The music ceased, she bowed once more, but the audience would not permit a withdrawal. She seemed unwilling, at first, to respond to this encore,--this tribute often more tiresome than flattering. But, after a minute's indecision, the violin went up to her shoulder again, and the very genius of fun seemed to possess it. She played Yankee Doodle, but the spirit of the monotonous old tune was surely transmigrated into a robin, drunk with the intoxicating air of some June morning. It was surely a bird who took up the quaint refrain, and repeated it again and again with mocking variations in frolicsome abandonment. The audience, a few minutes ago half ready to weep, laughed and applauded by turns, in full sympathy with the versatile artist. Players often execute tricks with the strings that are laughter-provoking, mere legerdema
Jenny Lind (search for this): chapter 22
rvices were not forthcoming, and the engagement was hastily broken. The Germania Society now offered an engagement, and the little Urso played for them a year, meeting everywhere with great applause and admiration. At the end of the year she joined Madame Alboni, who was then singing in this country, and performed at six concerts with her in Trippler Hall, New York. In 1852 Madame Henriette Sontag, Countess Rossi, came to this country to make a trial of the public which had received Jenny Lind with such enthusiasm and generosity. She won honors everywhere by her dramatic talent and marvellous voice. Hearing of Camilla Urso's success, she proposed to add her to her own concert-troupe. At the conclusion of his daughter's engagement with Alboni, Signor Urso accepted the overtures of Sontag, and Camilla joined her at Cincinnati, in December, 1853. Brief as was their connection, the most tender relations were established between them. Nothing could be more beautiful than the
her usual time of practice, and in the long summer days, when other artists seek change or diversion, she finds her recreation in her beloved instrument. On being asked whether she composed for her violin, she answered, Yes, some little pieces,--the Mother's Prayer, the Dream,--but they are nothing. It is enough for me to render the works of the great masters. In her childlike devotion to the genius of Beethoven, Chopin, and Mendelssohn, she reminds one of Hilda, the girl-artist of Hawthorne's Marble Faun, whose life was spent in study of Raphael and Michael Angelo. It is better, thinks this earnest woman, to render vocal the great conceptions of the past, than to win a cheap reputation by fleeting musical mediocrities. Her remarkable memory retains all the music she plays, the orchestral parts as well as her own. Madame Urso's stay in this country is now uncertain. Her latest performances have been in the New England cities, and in New York. She has accepted an engag
t steadily works her way to new laurels. Seven and eight hours a day is her usual time of practice, and in the long summer days, when other artists seek change or diversion, she finds her recreation in her beloved instrument. On being asked whether she composed for her violin, she answered, Yes, some little pieces,--the Mother's Prayer, the Dream,--but they are nothing. It is enough for me to render the works of the great masters. In her childlike devotion to the genius of Beethoven, Chopin, and Mendelssohn, she reminds one of Hilda, the girl-artist of Hawthorne's Marble Faun, whose life was spent in study of Raphael and Michael Angelo. It is better, thinks this earnest woman, to render vocal the great conceptions of the past, than to win a cheap reputation by fleeting musical mediocrities. Her remarkable memory retains all the music she plays, the orchestral parts as well as her own. Madame Urso's stay in this country is now uncertain. Her latest performances have been
Marble Faun (search for this): chapter 22
me of practice, and in the long summer days, when other artists seek change or diversion, she finds her recreation in her beloved instrument. On being asked whether she composed for her violin, she answered, Yes, some little pieces,--the Mother's Prayer, the Dream,--but they are nothing. It is enough for me to render the works of the great masters. In her childlike devotion to the genius of Beethoven, Chopin, and Mendelssohn, she reminds one of Hilda, the girl-artist of Hawthorne's Marble Faun, whose life was spent in study of Raphael and Michael Angelo. It is better, thinks this earnest woman, to render vocal the great conceptions of the past, than to win a cheap reputation by fleeting musical mediocrities. Her remarkable memory retains all the music she plays, the orchestral parts as well as her own. Madame Urso's stay in this country is now uncertain. Her latest performances have been in the New England cities, and in New York. She has accepted an engagement in Cali
Carl Zerrahn (search for this): chapter 22
, her complete repose of manner; largeness of style; broad, full, and vigorous attacking of difficulties; utmost delicacy of sentiment and feeling; wonderful staccato; remarkable finish in trills, with an intonation as nearly perfect as the human ear will allow. When to these are added a comprehensive mind, with a warm musical soul vibrating to its work, we have an artist who may be nearly called a phenomenon in the womanly form of Camilla Urso. Signed by the whole orchestra, namely, Carl Zerrahn, William Schultze, William Wieser, Stephen A. Emery, Carl Meisel, Otto Dresel, Thomas Ryan, Wulf C. J. Fries, B. J. Lang, Ernst Perabo, etc. The outside world of mere lovers of music sometimes give their opinions of Camilla's playing in remarks equally earnest, though hardly scientific. One auditor, after listening to her in wide-mouthed amazement, declared with a most emphatic gesture, that she was woman enough to vote. At a concert in Chicago, an admirer, who was asked
Salvator Urso (search for this): chapter 22
followed the violins in the orchestra, as their penetrating and aerial tones completed for us the harmonic pictures or the wordless songs! And in the hands of a genius whose thoughtful brain and ardent heart have comprehended and mastered its powers, what a magical shell is this crooked, stringed, sonorous thing of wood! The brain and heart of a true violinist came into the world one summer-day in the city of Nantes, France. This beautiful old Huguenot city was then the residence of Salvator Urso, a musician from Palermo, Sicily, and his Portuguese wife, whose maiden name was Emilie Girouard. Signor Urso was an organist and flutist of rare merit, educated thoroughly in all the principles of his art by his father, who had dane hearty service to music in younger days. On the 13th of June, 1842, Camilla Urso was born,--the first child of a happy union. Though four brothers followed her, the little daughter was most passionately beloved by her father, who gloried in her inheritan
aprice of Vieuxtemps. From Paris she went to Arras, Boulogne, Valenciennes, and Cambray. At Boulogne she appeared at two successive concerts given by the Musical Society of that town,--a circumstance almost unknown in the records of the society. After spending fourteen months abroad, she returned to America, where she has remained ever since. Her life since then has been the same story of travel, study, and concerts. She has become a great favorite both in the East and West. What Boston thinks of her may be understood from the fact that she has given more than one hundred concerts in that city. There she feels herself entirely at home, surrounded by sympathetic and appreciative friends. One of the sincerest and most highly prized of all tributes to her musical accomplishments is a letter, which was addressed to her, after a concert in Music Hall, by the musicians of the orchestra of the Harvard Association: -- We, the undersigned, members of the musical profession in
Charles Auchester (search for this): chapter 22
Camilla Urso Mary A. Betts. The violin is the violet, says the Chevalier Seraphael in that most imaginative and fantastic of musical novels, Charles Auchester. How came the fancy to the writer's brain? Was it because the violet, with its trembling blue petal and its evanescent fragrance, reminds one of the woods, the mingling harmonies of brook and bird-voice, of wind-swept trees and restless wind? Or, was it because to the artist the violet was the most perfect of flowers and the violin of instruments? An instrument it certainly is of torture and delight. How we have all groaned at the melancholy squeaks of a poor fiddle in the street! With what a rapture have we followed the violins in the orchestra, as their penetrating and aerial tones completed for us the harmonic pictures or the wordless songs! And in the hands of a genius whose thoughtful brain and ardent heart have comprehended and mastered its powers, what a magical shell is this crooked, stringed, sonorous th
Louis Napoleon (search for this): chapter 22
well-organized child might play after a certain period devoted to study, but, indeed, with a skill truly prodigious. Her pose, her energy, her bowing, reveal the consummate artist. But what is most surprising is the sentiment of her execution; she excels in that essential expression which comes wholly from the soul, and which the composer, from lack of means to note and write out, abandons to the discretion and intelligence of the executant. At the age of nine she performed before Louis Napoleon, then President of the National Convention. He was greatly delighted with her playing, and promised that, if he should ever advance in position and influence, she might claim his protection, and he would be happy to do her any favor in his power. The wily Man of destiny, whose ambition was even then planning the renewal of the empire, and an attempted mastership of Europe, has probably forgotten the pledge. Camilla has never reminded him of it, preferring to depend on her own powers
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