Charles Burney

The Present State of Music in France and Italy (2nd, corrected edition)

London: T. Becket and Co., 1773


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ther serious or comic; so that England,
where we have both in great perfection,
in the Italian language, composed and
performed by Italians, may be said to be
a better school for a young composer
than France; at least his taste, if already
formed upon that of Italy, is less likely
to be vitiated and depraved in a country
where good singing may frequently be
heard, than in one where it is hardly too
much to say, it is never to be heard at
the theatres.


From the vicinity of this place to
Italy, it was natural to suppose that the
music would have been tinctured rather
more with the Italian gusto than at Paris;
but, on the contrary, what is bad at
Paris, is worse here. At the theatre,
which is a very pretty one, the singing
is detestable: I was entertained how-
ever at a coffee-house by an Italian
family, who, I am certain, were never