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

XI
Berlin (28 SEPTEMBER-6 OCTOBER)

When I arrived at the gates of this city, about nine o'clock in the morning, Sept. 28th, I had hopes that I should have been suffered to pass peaceably to an inn, having received a passport at Trauenbritzen [Treuenbrietzen], the first Prussian town I entered on the Saxony side, where I had submitted to a thorough rummage of my baggage, at the persuasion of the custom-house officers, who had assured me that: it would prevent all future trouble upon entering Berlin. But this was merely to levy fees upon me, for, notwithstanding my passport, I was stopped three quarters of an hour at the barrier, before I was taken into the custody of a centinel; who mounting my postwagon, with his musket on his shoulder, and bayonet fixed, conducted me, like a prisoner, through the principal streets of the city, to the custom-house. Here I was detained in the yard more than two hours, shivering with cold, in all my wet garments, while every thing was taken out of my trunk and writing box, and examined as curiously as if I had just arrived at Dover, from the capital of France.

As I had long wished to visit the capital of a prince, no less renowned for his protection and cultivation of the liberal arts, than for his military skill and heroism; so I was impatient to begin my musical enquiries in a place where operas had long been established, and where both the theory and practice of music had been more profoundly treated than elsewhere, by professors of great and acknowledged abilities, who are still living; and who have published the result of their long experience and superior skill in treatises which are regarded throughout Germany as classical. Among these, The Art of Playing the Flute, by M. Quantz; The Art of Playing upon Keyed Instruments by M. C. P. E. Bach; The Art of Singing, by M. Agricola; the numerous and well-written dissertations, Practical, Historical, and Critical, by M. Marpurg; Musical Institutes, by M. Kirnberger; and The Theory of Polite Arts, by M. Sulzer, stand foremost.1

____________________
1
The original titles of the above books are as follow: Johann Joachim Quankens, Rönigl. Breukilchen Rammermuficus, Berfuch einer Unweifung die Flötetraverfier zu fpielen. Berlin 1752. Berfuch über die mabre Urt das Clavier zu fpielen, von Carl Bhilip Emanuel Bach. Berlin. This work is in two vols. of which the first was published in 1753, and the second in 1762. Unfeitung zur Gingfunft aus dem Jtaliänifchen, mit Erläuterungen und ∯uäken von Job. Friedr. Ugricola. Berlin 1757. Marpurgs Unleitung zur Gingecompafition. Berl. 1758. Traité sur la Fugue. Sanbbuch ben dem General-baffe, und der Compolition. 1762, ic. ic. Die Runft des reinen Gatzes in der Mufit

-159-

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