Magazine article The Spectator

Review: Elijah with Jenny Lind

Magazine article The Spectator

Review: Elijah with Jenny Lind

Article excerpt

1855

Another great performance of the highest music was enjoyed on Monday evening, when Madame Goldschmidt Lind appeared at Exeter Hall in Mendelssohn's Elijah. It was in this oratorio that she sang for the last time in England before her departure six years ago, when she left behind her an impression never effaced during her long absence, and now again stamped more deeply than ever. By her performance in Elijah she has erected a standard of excellence by which all her rivals - if she can be said to have a rival - have been measured; and no one has been able to approach its elevation. It is in Elijah that the unparalleled combination of qualities which constitute her greatness is pre-eminently displayed; for besides those which we have already endeavoured to indicate, this work brings out that dramatic genius, that command over the language of sentiment and passion, which formerly made her the brightest ornament of the lyric stage.

It is true that no single character is given her to sustain throughout; but there are scenes of deep interest and pathos, and she has infused the dramatic element into passages in which no one else has been able even to discern it. Thus, her appearance in Elijah, though a less brilliant display of mere voice and execution than her previous performance in The Creation, was of a much grander character, and made a profounder impression.

The first passage in which Jenny Lind is heard is the episodic scene in which the Prophet, commanded to take refuge with the Widow of Zarepha, restores her dead child to life. …

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