Autograf: Universitätsbibliothek Kassel - Landesbibliothek und Murhardsche Bibliothek der Stadt Kassel (D-Kl), Sign. 4° Ms. Hass. 287[Taylor, E.:31

Dr. Louis Spohr
Hesse Cassel
London. Sep. 20. 1842
My dear & honoured Friend.
I seize the earliest moment of my return to London to express my joy at the result of our performances of the Oratorio. Margaret gave Madame Spohr the brief result, which, I hope, reached & gratified you. Indeed I cannot speak too highly of the executions of all the performances.1 From first to last there was the most anxious attention, & as I traced the course of the Instruments & voices by the Score before me, I was not able to detect a single error. But more than this. I had carefully examined & corrected the orchestra parts, & marked all the ”pia“ ”for,“ and any other mark of expression (many of which were omitted in the copies you sent me) & I never heard such attention, from an English band to them. In all the ”ritardando” they followed me with the greatest exactness. The Chorusses were admirably sung throughout.
The first two bars of ”God of our Fathers” exhibited such a beautiful ”crescendo“ & ”diminuendo“ as I never heard. Equally beautiful was the Chor ”Lord, before thy footstool bending“ – the voices all subdued till the marked ”ever“ & ”father“ came. – As you told me in your letter, the Recitative of Belshazzar required the most rehearsing, & demanded the greatest attention: but it was sung & played at the performance with perfect exactness. Balfe is a very clever musician as well as an excellent singer & he sung with great animation. He is just about to bring out an Opera at Paris, but he came over to England in purpose to attend the Norwich Festivall. All the singers exerted themselves to the utmost – Hobbs sung his first Recit Song ”Remember, Lord,“ most beautifully, & Phillips was eminently successful in the entire character of Cyrus. The Quartet ”Strike the Harp“ was sung with the most correct intonation & perfect blending of the voices.
Before the Rehearsal began on the Monday morning I addressed the Band there ”Gentlemen, we all deeply regret the absence of the illoustrious composer of this Oratorio, but I have more reason than any other person to lament it, not only because I am deprived of the great pleasure of seeing & hearing him, but because his absence has devolved upon me the arduous duty of conducting his Oratorio. He has paid me a high compliment in allowing me the honour of producing the Fall of Babylon, but let me remember that a great responsibility is also imposed on us. If we fail in the performance of ”Creation“ the fame of Haydn will not suffer, but the disgrace will be ours. With regard to the Oratorio before us the case is very different. It is unpublished & unperformed. You will have to give the public an impression of its character & merits. The reputation of Spohr, in this country, he has this day committed into your hands. You will feel, I am sure, as I do, that this is a previous deposit, & I also feel assured that you will show yourselves worthy of it.” My speech was received with great applause by the whole Orchestra, & the result I have described.
Margaret has told you how the Hall was thronged. Every corner was filled, & hundreds could not obtain admittance. After the performance was over, the performers came in crowds to shake hands with me & congratulate me on the result. Almost all of them said, & they all felt ”Oh, Sir, what a shame that Spohr was not here!“ I left Norwich as soon as the Festival week was over, but you will hear, officially, from the Committee as soon as they meet.
My new version of ”Samson“ was very successful.2 It is now full of beauty & grandeur from first to last. I wish it could be heard in Germany, for it is worthy of Handel’s genius. I have a look of the words of all the Concerto for you from the Comittee, which I will forward, with the various reports in the Newspapers, by the first opportunity.
My brother John is not yet returned to England, but he has written to inform me of your great kindness to him & that of Madame de Malsburg.
Pray remember me, most kindly, to Madame Spohr & to Madame de Malsburg, & believe me, My dear Friend
Ever Yours most faithfully Edw. Taylor.

Autor(en): Taylor, Edward
Adressat(en): Spohr, Louis
Erwähnte Personen: Balfe, Michael
Hobbs, John William
Phillipps, Henry
Spohr, Marianne
Taylor, John
Taylor, Margaret
Erwähnte Kompositionen: Haydn, Joseph : Die Schöpfung
Händel, Georg Friedrich : Samson
Spohr, Louis : Der Fall Babylons
Erwähnte Orte: Norwich
Erwähnte Institutionen: Norfolk and Norwich Triennial Festival


Spohrs letzter Brief an Taylor vom 11.09.1842 lag offensichtlich noch nicht vor, als Taylor diesen Brief schrieb. Spohr beantwortete diesen Brief am 16.10.1842.

[1] Vgl. E.L., „Norwich Festival“, in: Musical World 17 (1842), S. 297-302, S. 299f.
[2] Vgl. ebd., S 300f.
Kommentar und Verschlagwortung, soweit in den Anmerkungen nicht anders angegeben: Karl Traugott Goldbach (24.01.2019). Herzlichen Dank für die Korrektur einiger ärgerlicher Tippfehler an Susan Owen-Leinert und Michael Leinert (27.05.2021).