Postcard of the week ending
Saturday, 6 June 2009

Vasco (fl. late 19th/early 20th Century),
'The Mad Musician,'
at the Hippodrome, Brighton, England,
week beginning Monday, 22 February 1909



(photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin, circa 1908)

This real photograph postcard, probably dating from about 1908, is without a publisher's credit.

Hippodrome, Brighton
'Vasco may be a ''mad musician'' - it seems a mad thing to fly from one instrument to another and he has played a score or more; but undoubtedly there is method, and very clever method, in his madness. One of the maddest things he does is to play an aria on the flute as he lies on his back, whilst furnishing a rapidly executed sleigh bell accompaniment with his feet. At other times Vasco makes an ophicleide gambol sportively and and comically in abysmal depths, and he will turn from that to play on a miniature piping instrument that will trill like a bird. He strums on a banjo and sweeps his bow deftly over the strings of a violin. He passes easily from the bagpipes to the grandfather bassoon. He can raise the echoes with the post horn; he can evoke inspiriting music from the trombone; and with musical taste and expression he can draw the sweetest, most plaintive strains from the oboe, the saxophone and other of the instrumental family. And when he is not playing one one or other of these instruments Vasco is breaking into snatches of song in a way which serves to suggest that if he were not a mad musician, dashing from instrument to instrument amidst scenery representing a maze of staves of music, he might have been a very passable tenor singer. Vasco's is certainly the most astonishing display of versatile musicianship that one has known. In turn he could evidently go through an entire orchestra.'
(The Brighton Herald, Brighton, Sussex, Saturday, 27 February 1909, p. 7a)

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© John Culme, 2009