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Music from the East.                      47
sudden burst of Rachel's dramatic lire was when she rushed on the stage in Corneille's ' Polycuctc,' with the enthusiastic '/c crois/' which proclaimed her ready for the rack and flames of Christian martyrdom.
It is true that certain modern German critics and historians, with an ingenious subtlety in torturing speculation, have permitted themselves to use such a phrase as 'tic Ilcbraique,' applied to the works of musicians of Hebrew origin : and this they assume as a national characteristic, to be discerned in the music of two men, in their art as opposite as the poles—Mendelssohn and Meyerbeer. The vivacity of the former, as evidenced by the rapidity of certain of his movements, and his frequent and happy employment of staccato phrases, is ascribed to a feverish, uneasy restlessness, ever in search for illicit effect. The only analogous manifestation I can recall in the works of Meyerbeer lies in the theme of his overture to ' Marguerite d'Anjou,' which I have heard contemptuously styled 'Jews' music.' A more ridiculous piece of prophecy after the fact, of forcing a definition to fit circumstances, could hardly be cited. Of all the animated artists who ever lived, Mendelssohn, when need was, was the most placid,







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