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90 National Music of the World.
music, are very few and restricted in their scope It will be found that in opera the amount of descriptive music, as compared with that of sentiment and passion, is a mere nothing. Whereas Handel tried to represent in opera and oratorio, birds, fountains, the sun standing still, the darkness which might be felt, the Red Sea cleft by a miracle;—the composers of the South painted in sound with great timidity. There maybe descriptive music in Cimarosa's operas, but they were rather devoted to stilted classical declamation, or the threadbare buffoonery of Harlequin's book. His galloping horse in the well-known air, 'Pna che spunti' from 'II Matrimcnio ' is hardly in any known equestrian step. There is little descriptive music, strictly to speak, in Signor Rossini's Italian operas, save in ' La Donna del Lago,' in the last act of 'Otello,' and the ponderous introduction of ' Mose,' where a thick darkness broods over the scene. That the greatest of modern composers had an acute and real appreciation of the peculiarities of national music, was proved in his French opera, ' Guillaume Tell,' in which the local colour and the use of the national melodies of the hill-country are perfect and unique. There is nothing in opera comparable to the second act of that opera; but it was