[Paris—Monday, 28 November 1859]

Monday 28th Were to have gone to Compiègne to see the hunt but the weather has changed & it “raineth every day”. Took a long walk about the city to see Notre Dame and the architectural points. In the evening heard Madame Viardot in the “Orphée” of Glück. Incomparable music, incomparable artists!! The music came to me with the loving voice of an old friend and while I thought what can this mystery mean, the lofty aisles of St. Eustache and the vision of St. Cecilia came back to me bringing all the lovely aspirations wh. the music breathed upon my soul that day. Ignorant of my happiness I had heard Viardot herself singing to me. Ignorant, except in the knowledge that I was happy and that the rapture was that of an immortal spirit translating to me its joy. I never saw a person before to whom music was the natural expression. While she is silent with her lips her face speaks to you interpreting with the truthfulness of a spirit all that lives within and when she speaks the words burst out in song because the instruments of our simple senses will not go far enough and the soul must find its way in music. Such is Viardot, and such she is to Glück; a rapturous interpreter of his inspired tones. Purely classic and also purely human she preserves supreme command of her audience in spite of the distracting accessories of the stage which are very fine and the decay of her own beautiful voice.


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