Herr Schmitt's New Cautata.
We have been favoured with a perusal of the cantata entitled "Art and Mind," which was originally composed by Uerr Carl Schmitt for performance at the formal opening of the Auckland Free Library and Art Gallery. Tho work is dedicated to Mr F. D Fenton (Vice-President of the Choral Society), and is not only distinctly worthy of the event which suggested ite composition, but also well sustains tbo musical reputation which Horr Schmitt has so long enjoyed both at Home and in the colonies. It ia happily conceived ; and the theme is developed in a musicuinly spirit and upon thoroughly artistic principle?. The words have been furnished by Mr William Outhwaite, and aro possessed
of no mean literary merit, while tho music to which they are wedded ia highly expressive, and at the samo time very harmonious. It is scored for a full orchestra, and a skilful use is made of these instrumental resources. The cantata opens with an orchestral introduction in quasireligious style, tho clarinette?, obooa, ard horns leading off, and tho flutO3, after a short interval, following with the hit motif.
which is cast in a minor key. This movement leads up in an effective manner to the
Angela rf licbt! descond with dowuwari sweepinj flight; Fo'd your bright pinions on thia fretted roof!
Rich treasury < f inteUejt and art, uprcand Undor the gleaming cross of the Southern sky Wide are our por ala flung—Angola! aagcla of light and grace! Enter ya now and rest!
A few bars of a spirited prolude introduce a cborua treated in free fugal style, and marked by some very fine chords. The words themaelves invite ornate musical expression. They are as follows : —
Weird as the wind in foroat pines, Loud as the da3hlng. surging se», Sweat as ihe bell-bird's matin song, Swell our preana of harmony. Limner! wave thy magic wand. Emulate the fabled Or- ek I Sculptor! carvo the silent Btone. Bid the marble live nad speak !
Tho next number is a quartette of angels, to which the clarinettes, with nn accompaniment of muted strings, lead up with impressive effect. The strain is then repeated // with full orchestral and choral power and sonority, the words being —
•'Mortals, bs grateful over to Jehovah ! Heaven mnllss upon ye with chari'y benign,— IjO ! A eofc ray strnnms from the lamp eternal, Image vi glory, ineffable, divine."
An attractive little symphony follows this quartette, and by a natural progression introduces the bass recitative—
" Scho'a- and aige, with reverent ga2o b< hold ! Tomes and scrolls ot the mighty past—relics ot
ina3ter-iuiad3~ Tims-tinted loavoa pluckod from tho tree of
knowledge, O. haopy cbildrnnl wastanot your golden hours Chafing iho frothy ebb 00 tho samls of Tlmo ; Search 10 tho unknown deprhs wirb patient toil. Dotp, deep in a sen of mystery lio pearls lot truth."
The flutes and oboo3 now aasort themselves, and usher in a charming little aria in which tho crescendo is used with marked effect. The words have a lilting rhythm—
" O'rr tha boundless ocean dark, Sailiriir in Faith's holy ark, Bumhly Beck we to explore Wisdom'a dim and distant Bhore.
! ?After this comes tho final chorus, with a decidedly exultant ring, to which the music gives adequate expression. It ia fugally treated with considerable freedom and skill, and a very effective ending is made upon the words " Hallelujah — Amen." The words aro : —
" For bounteous gifts on earth bestiwed Proiie wo tho Lord alway; In Holiness aid Righ'eoujness,
His Will l«t us obey.
The wanders of the Universe'
He made und doth control. Ha breaths^ upon the clay, and man
For bounteous Rifts on us boitowed Pi-aisi wo iho Lord alway. HallaJujah—Amen." The compoeer evidently took up the work con amove, and by his careful elaboration and scientific development of the theme he has done full justice, not only to himself, but the subject in hand. It ia matter for regret that the cantata was not prepared for the ceremonial proceedings of laat Saturday.but as noamount of regret will now avail, we trust as the next best thing to hear the composition publicly performed at no distant date. We understand that Herr Schmitt is at present engaged translating the words into German with the view of having the work published in Germany, and probably produced under the direction of hia brother, Court conductor at Schwerin.
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Herr Schmitt's New Cautata., Auckland Star, Volume XVIII, Issue 75, 30 March 1887
Herr Schmitt's New Cautata. Auckland Star, Volume XVIII, Issue 75, 30 March 1887
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