I shall endeavour to throw some light upon the characteristics of musical performances in Germany—with regard to the concert-room, as well as to the theatre. Those who have experience in such matters are aware that, in most cases, the defective constitution of German orchestras and the faults of their performances are due to the shortcomings of the conductors ("Capellmeister," "Musikdirectoren," etc.). The demands upon the orchestras have increased greatly of late, their task has become more difficult and more complicated; yet the directors of our art-institutions, display increasing negligence in their choice of conductors. In the days when Mozart's scores afforded the highest tasks that could be set before an orchestra, the typical German Capellmeister was a formidable personage, who knew how to make himself respected at his post—sure of his business, strict, despotic, and by no means polite. Friedrich Schneider, of Dessau, was the last representative I have met with of this now extinct species. Guhr, of Frankfort, also may be reckoned as belonging to it. The attitude of these men towards modern music was certainly "old fashioned"; but, in their own way, they produced good solid work: as I found not more than eight years ago [Footnote: Circa, 1861.] at Carlsruhe, when old Capellmeister Strauss conducted "Lohengrin." This venerable and worthy man evidently looked at my score with some little shyness; but, he took good care of the orchestra, which he led with a degree of precision and firmness impossible to excel. He was, clearly, a man not to be trifled with, and his forces obeyed him to perfection. Singularly enough, this old gentleman was the only German conductor of repute I had met with, up to that time, who possessed true fire; his tempi were more often a trifle too quick than too slow; but they were invariably firm and well marked. Subsequently, H. Esser's conducting, at Vienna, impressed me in like manner.