Symud i'r prif gynnwys

JOHN ORLANDO PARRY AND FRANZ LISZT IN SCOTLAND (PLATE XII. 10) The history of music as it is created in theatre and concert hall is rich in original and colourful personalities. One of these we find in a gifted Welshman, who made a successful career and exhibited his talents in several directions. I refer to John Orlando Parry (1810-1879), variously described as harpist, pianist, singer, composer, entertainer, comic imitator of celebrities, church organist, teacher and adept at drawing. Obviously he was as versatile as Figaro and, fortunately for us, like Pepys, he kept a diary. As a whole this unique document would provide a most interesting subject on which to dwell, but the part of it attractive to Scots readers is the one which tells what happened between the 17th and 24th January, 1841, during a tour made by Parry and others, beginning at Reading and ending at Leeds. The party consisted of several artists now, alas, forgotten, but-and this will be surprising to many-included the famous composer and pianist Franz Liszt. Brief mention has been made now and then of a possible visit to Scotland by Liszt. The story, however, so far as I know, has not been told in detail and is now, I believe, in its main features published for the first time. The party travelled chiefly by coach, the heavy baggage being stacked in some sort of van. On the first date above mentioned Parry and his friends arrived at Port Patrick from Donaghadee. They had to walk a quarter of a mile to the inn up to the ankles in mud owing to the heavy rain. At the inn they ordered dinner, dried their clothes and had a dram. Then they went to Stranraer and on to a place which Parry calls Lochraen. There not a fresh horse could be found. So everyone got out of the carriage. An intelligent postboy pointed out that a packet was due to leave at four a.m. from Stranraer. This packet sailed to Ayr, from where they might travel by train to Glasgow. After some heated argument- Liszt in a passion'-it was decided that they should turn back, which they ultimately did. The place where they put up Parry describes as 'a la Wilkie or Landseer', with its large kettle, great fireplace, and meat hanging about. The dialect he found odd in comparison with the Irish. After much deliberation they retraced their way to Stranraer. Settling at an inn, they saw the agent of the 'Sir William Wallis', which was to sail at five o'clock in the morning, and had a meal of tea with Scotch honey and ham-beef, noted by the dutiful commentator. After tea Liszt went into the carriage, which was in the coach house, and promptly fell asleep. At half past one the next morning they ate some sandwiches washed down with whisky and water. The carriage was brought to the door, Liszt being still inside. As it was only a quarter of a mile to the quay, all lent a hand in hauling the carriage there without the aid of horses, the great pianist slumbering inside quite oblivious of what was happening. At length the quay was reached where they found the vessel discharging her cargo-no work on Sunday. They managed