THE STATION ORCHESTRA, conducted by JOSEPH LEWIS NICOLAI'S early home life was not happy, so he ran away. He was befriended by a lawyer, who helped him to obtain a period of musical study in Berlin. Then he became Organist at the Prussian Embassy in Rome, and some years later Conductor of the Vienna OperaFinally he received the appointment of Court Music Master at Berlin, in which city The Merry Wit'es of Windsor was produced in 1849, only a couple of months before the Composer's death. It is a little curious that almost all Composers of Opera have ignored this, the gayest of Shakespeare's comedies. Nicolai and Verdi, however, both treated Falstaff's comical adventures with conspicuous success. The Overture to Nieolai's Opera is as nimble as Falstaff's wits. It has charming vivacity, and a lightness of touch that the composer probably acquired through living in Italy.
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