Great Singers, Second Series eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 209 pages of information about Great Singers, Second Series.

Jenny Lind did not remain under Mr. Barnum’s management during the whole of the season.  A difficulty having risen, she availed herself of a clause in the contract, and by paying thirty thousand dollars broke the engagement.  The last sixty nights of the concert series she gave under her own management.  In Boston, February 5, 1852, the charming singer married Mr. Otto Goldschmidt, the pianist, who had latterly been connected with her concert company.  The son of a wealthy Hamburg merchant, Mr. Goldschmidt had taken an excellent rank as a pianist, and made some reputation as a minor composer.  Mme. Goldschmidt and her husband returned to Europe in 1852, this great artist having made about one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in her American tour, aside from the large sums lavished in charity.  After several years spent in Germany, M. and Mme. Goldschmidt settled permanently in London, where they are still residing.  She has frequently appeared in concert and oratorio till within a year or two, and, as the mother of an interesting family and a woman of the most charming personal character, is warmly welcomed in the best London society.  It must be recorded that the whole of her American earnings was devoted to founding and endowing art scholarships and other charities in her native Sweden; while in England, the country of her adoption, among other charities, she has given a whole hospital to Liverpool, and a wing of another to London.  The scholarship founded by her friend Felix Mendelssohn has largely benefited by her help, and it may be truly said that her sympathy has never been appealed to in vain, by those who have any reasonable claim.  Competent judges have estimated that the total amount given away by Jenny Lind in charity and to benevolent institutions will reach at least half a million of dollars.


The Daughter of an Obscure German Pastor.—­She studies Music in Paris.—­Failure of her Voice.—­Makes her Debut at La Fenice.—­She appears in London during the Lind Excitement.—­Description of her Voice and Person.—­A Great Excitement over her Second Appearance in Italy.—­Debut in Paris.—­Her Grand Impersonation in “Fidelio.”—­Critical Estimates of her Genius.—­Sophie Cruvelli’s Eccentricities.—­Excitement in Paris over her Valentine in “Les Huguenots.”—­Different Performances in London and Paris.—­She retires from the Stage and marries Baron Vigier.—­Her Professional Status.—­One of the Most Gifted Women of any Age.


The great cantatrice of whom we shall now give a sketch attained a European reputation hardly inferior to the greatest, though she retired from the stage when in the very golden prime of her powers.  Like Catalani, Persiani, and other distinguished singers, she was severely criticised toward the last of her operatic career for sacrificing good taste and dramatic truth to the technique of vocalization, but this is an extravagance so tempting that but few singers have been entirely exempt from it.  Perhaps, in these examples of artistic austerity, one may find the cause as much in vocal limitations as in deliberate self-restraint.

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Great Singers, Second Series from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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