An Eighteenth-Century Musical Tour in Central Europe and the Netherlands: Being Dr. Charles Burney's Account of His Musical Experiences - Vol. 2

By Charles Burney; Percy A. Scholes | Go to book overview
CONTENTS
THE INTRODUCTIONxi
I. ST. OMER TO ALOST (6-14 July)1

Burney's poor opinion of French music confirmed. Some strolling players at the theatre. The cathedral and other churches and their organs and organists. Lille: military music. Bad singing of some music by Grétry. Influence of plain- song on popular song. Courtray: a large church organ. Ghent: its carillon and carillonneur. More military music. Fruitless research on the origin of counterpoint. Alost and its 'noble organ'.

II. BRUSSELS AND ANTWERP (15-26 July)8

An elegant theatre and its admirable orchestra. Grétry "comddie larmoyante", Zémire et Azor. Boissy Le Mercure galant and Grétry Huron. An orchestral effect: crescendo and diminuendo. Antwerp: its decline. The cathedral and its organist. The Jesuit college and two English fathers. The two organs. The early morning Mass and the High Mass. Bad playing of the serpent. Ancient musical instruments. Researches in the Jesuits' library. The Ruckers family and their successors. Brussels again. Some church music. The cathedral of St. Gedulda and its old glass. Operas by Duni and by Gossec. Characteristics of French opera. Grétry Les Deux Miliciens. The Burgundy Library at Brussels and its obliging librarian. The composer Godecharle. A woman harpist. Women in church music.

III. LOUVAIN TO DARMSTADT (27 July-5 August)22

A rich library in disorder. Competition between a remarkable violinist and an equally remarkable carillonneur. Liège and Maastricht: a military band and a dulcimer player. Aix la Chapelle. A. little philology. Juliers. Burney the heretic. Cologne: the cathedral and its organ. Bonn: a helpful British plenipotentiary. Coblentz. A royal player on the harpsichord, and an extraordinary double-bass. Over the terrible mountains of Wetteravia to Frankfurt. A magnificent inn and some symphonies from good street musicians. The cathedral organ and its peculiarities. Darmstadt. Rascally postmasters and postillions.

IV. MANNHEIM, SCHWETZINGEN, LUDWIGSBURG (6-14 August)30

Mannheim, its streets and its buildings. Grétry Zémir et Azor again -- but this time in German. The library. Schwetzingen and the Elector's musical forces there. A Sacchini opera. The performance of a new opera costs nearly £4,000Stamitz and his influence on orchestral playing. The one defect: the out-of-tune wind instruments. Ludwigsburg. The court music formerly the most splendid in Germany. The singers and dancers detailed. The Conservatorio. Schubart, the first real harpsichord player, is locally underrated. Burney shows him his plan for the History. He collects some peasants to perform national music for Burney. The wonderful astronomical machine or orrery -- a 'perpetual, accurate, and minute history of the heavens in all ages'.

V ULM AND AUGSBURG (14-15 August)41

Ulm as a city has little beauty, but a fine cathedral. Its organ described. Augsburg. Organ playing in the cathedral spoiled by crude modulation. A violin concerto in church and a flourish of trumpets at the Elevation of the Host. The city's architecture is 'whimsically pretty', the women's headdresses 'very singular'. Burney, deserted by his lazy servant, is at a loss to find his inn.

-vii-

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