From 0111 Baia;iwi Correspondent A musical event of particular interest to the many English people gathered in Munich for the opera festival was a performance of Purcell's Faerie Queene in a concert arrangement. This was the first performance of Purcell's opera that has ever taken place in Germany, where the name of our greatest composer is honoured, but his music very seldom played.
The opera had been arranged by Herr Karl Schleifer and Dr. Ernst Leopold Stahl, who in an introductory speech assigned the unpopularity of this work in any country to the poorness of the libretto, a degenerate adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which makes a stage production of the work almost impossible.
"Land Without Music "
The performance of the work, under the direction of Herr Karl Schleifer, proved to the audience how unjust the general neglect of Purcell's music is. Corning before Bach and Handel, the maturity and depth of it is astounding. and is far in advance of the German music of the same period, which was ornamental and rather shallow.
Bach in Germany and Handel in England both succeeded in overshadowing their immediate predecessors, but whereas Bach at first perfected and then developed the medium of Reinken and Buxtehude, no composer ever succeeded in capturing the personal style of Purcell, and in any case would have been unable to do anything more than copy him.
The opera was preceded by pieces by Dowland. Though England, even in Germany, is still considered as the "land without music," there was proof enough to the contrary in all these works, which suggested that in the 16th and 17th centuries English music was far in advance of that of any other country.