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CURIOSITIES OF THE OPERA.              361
The overture to " William Tell" had been play­ed from its first representation, August 3,1829, for more than thirty years, with a major trill in the violincello at the cadence of the first part; (the andante at the beginning of the work), but on the 16th of ^November, 1861, the piece was played before the composer, who stigmatized as " a great fault," the major trill in the third measure of the cadence.* " It should be minor" he said. since that date it has been played so. But it ia very uncertain whether the abrupt remark was not a mere whim of the composer. The trill is more satisfactory with G sharp, than with G natural; the earlier editions have none of them any mention of a minor trill and it is scarcely possible that " a great fault" like this, should have escaped notice so long.
Meyerbeer, was in all respects, a person well calculated to popularize opera. He knew how to work up dramatic effects, in which he was well seconded by his French librettists, and he did not hesitate at any innovation to ask if it were classi­cal, or belonged to pure art; and he succeeded fai better than the martinets who condemned him.
At the first representation of his " Bobert U Diable," an accident occurred which nearly result­ed in disaster. In the last act, Bertram, the tempt­er, has to descend to the infernal regions, alone; Levasseur (who performed the character) leaped down the trap, and Robert (represented by the tenor Nourrit), who should have remained on
* Delderei. Curioeitea Musicales, p. 216

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III