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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 5, page 41, September 14, 1852

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Identifier: DX01197722

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 5, page 41, September 14, 1852

Description: Describes hearing Marietta Alboni sing at Metropolitan Hall.


Hall, there to hear [Marietta] Alboni, [Thomas] Powell having given me a ticket. The great hall was very full; — the pieces selected chiefly from modern composers, [Gaetano] Donizetti, [Giaocchino] Rossini, [Daniel] Auber &c. Two male singers, [Agostino] Rovere & Sangiovanni, & Alboni formed the attractions of the night; — an opera chorus accompanying. Alboni is a fat comely woman with a handsome Italian face. But how shall I speak of her most delectable, rich, sweet voice; — the most exquisite one I have ever chanced to hear. The fulness, the luscious melody of her lower notes are indescribable. Old [Richard] Crashaw who described the contest twixt musician & nightingale might have done it. Let him help me

The panting murmurs still’d out of her breast,

“lubric throat

That ever-bubbling spring, the sugar’d nest

Of her delicious soul, that there does lie

Bathing in streams of liquid melody.”

That “Ah non guinge” from Somnambula, — wouldn’t the Composer [Vincenzo Bellini] have fallen in love with Alboni could he have heard her sing it. The heaven-on-earth rapture of the village girl — so happy in her love & lover, so deliciously given! / Either the crowd who rave of Jenny Lind just go as sheep do, sans reflection, or I’ve some defect in my musical organization, — for to my mind I prefer Alboni. I’m somewhat loth to think it, but I

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1852-09-14

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Concerts


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