A Century Of Ballads 1810-1910, Their Composers & Singers

With Some Introductory Chapters On Old Ballads And Ballad Makers - online book.

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opposite of Balfe, slow and heavy-looking, and very deliberate in his movements, whereas Balfe was all fire and energy. Wallace was brought to Fitzball by Heyward St. Leger, who intro­duced him as "an Irishman, a compatriot of Balfe's, who wants a libretto." Fitzball was at that moment putting the finishing touches to Maritana, and after hearing Wallace play some of his own music handed him the book without hesitation. Some of the songs in Maritana have almost rivalled Balfe's in popularity, notably " Alas, those chimes, so sweetly stealing," "There is a flower that bloometh," " 'Tis the harp in the air," "In happy moments," and " Yes, let me like a soldier fall."
The popularity of Balfe's songs is due in large measure to his wonderful gift for easy and flowing melody, a quality that was noticeable even in his "Young Fanny," or "The Lover's Mistake," composed when a boy. "There has hardly been a great singer in Europe," says Mr. Chorley in his Musical Recollections (1862), "since the year 1834, f°r whom Balfe has not been called upon to write ; hardly a great and successful theatre in which his works have not been heard. He has the gift—now rare in late days — of melody ; his tunes are in our streets."
Balfe has been accused of a want of con­scientiousness, and of being contented with the
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