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Music from the West.                   233
on a former occasion, how largely this has been neutralised, and has not passed a certain point, owing to a want of clearness and refinement in articulation. And lastly, as dealing with this portion of my subject, I must speak of our English patrons of music. We have had—we have to this day—muni­ficent upholders of the art, great amateurs. I need not recall such a man as the patron of Handel, the Marquis of Chandos; who did that utterly heterodox deed of creating a Protestant Chapel-music at his own cost, with evil fiddles in the orchestra; by whom Handel was cherished and promoted, and for whom he wrote his noble anthems. I need not mention such a series of London gentlemen as scrambled up to the garret of Thomas Britton, the small-coal man, to hear chamber-music. I need not mention such a stocking weaver of Leicester as Mr. Gardiner, who was certainly, next to Burney, among the first men in England to discern the remarkable force and fire of Beethoven as a composer; and who innocently pro­posed to the rude hermit of Vienna that he should prefix to a sort of compilation from Beethoven's works, made by the said Mr. Gardiner, an original overture; to be well paid for. These facts speak for England's taste, honour, knowledge, and prescience







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