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THE LATE HORACE POUSSARD.

SOME MUSICAL REMINISCENCES. M. Horace Fonssard, whoso death, was announced in a o»ble message from Sydney, -was well remembered by the " old identity" ia New Zealand, with whom he had made his acquaintance long before kia return to meet the " new iniquity," eight years ago. Poussard, who was born in i-t. Malo, in Brittany, and completed his education at the Paris Conservatoire, nnder the direction of the famous Alard, had not long left that institution when be was advised by Catherine Hayes, the Irish prima donna, to visit Australia, where Bhe had bad already a season which resembled more than anything else a triumphal march through the country. Iu company with his friend. Rene Douay, the violoncellist, also from the Paris Conservatoire, Poaaoard landed in Melbourne eariy m the sixties. The two Frenchmen, who conld speak barely a word of English, had brought with them an Erard pianoforte, au Alexandre harmonium, and a female eoak; fer popular report had told them that they could not count upon obtaining a y of these articles in Ausir-ia. Ure long they discovered that such things were very much in the way in the hurly-burly of life in the colonies in those days, and accordingly they sold the musical instru* ment*, and translated the oook, an honest, hardworking Devonshire girl, into the service of Dr Short, Bishop of Adelaide. The young musicians then toured the Australian oolonies, and became everywhere: the favourites of the hour. In the midst of their successes, thej received a splendid offer from a speculator in New Zealand. The Otago goldfields had jast been discovered, and Penssard and Douay were received wi;h open arms by the diggers, ss well as by the Scottish people, who until then had formed almost the entire community of Otago* After visiting Christchurch, Wellington, and Nelson, they returned to Chrtstchirch, where an unf eraeen dinst.tr* happenned. M. Douay suddenly lest his reason. Poussard hurried back to Australia with his friend, and as Douay seemed to have benefited by the trip acrosi, the two gave a series of concerts in Sydney. In Melbourne, where they were engaged by Barry Sullivan, Douay, who "n execution is aaid te have rivalled the great Piatti, was playing an encore piece when he began a series of variations, continuing these for fully a qaarter ef an hour, and himself joining with the audieace in tha laughter eaused by his own masterly ttricks -with the bow. What has happened was only too evident. The curtain -was lowered in front of the performer, and be was .carried off the stage a hopeless maniac, Thus darkly closed a brilliant career. Poor Doubj was afterwards taken to Europe in the hope that the sea voyage would beaefit him, but the hope was vain. At intervals ha played with all his old power. One day he enchanted the Empr. bb Eugenie, who visited him at the asylum, but in half au hour his intellect became clouded, and the Empress was hurried uway whilst Doaay'a shrieks rent the air. Poussard, deeply afflicted by the fate of his friend, was quite uui.blo to resume his artistie work for a long period. Then be toured India and afterwards the Gape; and having realised a competency, returned to France ia 1869. He was a familiar figure in the musical world of Paris for sixteen years, until aa unfortunate speculation rendered him Manilas*. In renewed tciroh of fortune he came back to Australia, aad from there revisited New Zealand in 1890 with the concert company organised by Madame Marian Burton.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NEM18980921.2.26

Bibliographic details

THE LATE HORACE POUSSARD., Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXXII, Issue 218, 21 September 1898

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594

THE LATE HORACE POUSSARD. Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXXII, Issue 218, 21 September 1898

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