Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

In the abbreviation expressed by strokes, as above, the passage to be abbreviated can of course contain no note of greater length than a quaver, but it is possible also to divide a long note into crotchets, by means of dots placed over it, as in Ex. 3. This is however seldom done, as the saving of space is inconsiderable. When a long note has to be repeated in the form of triplets or groups of six, the figure 3 or 6 is usually placed over it in addition to the stroke across the stem, and the note is sometimes, though not necessarily, written dotted (Ex. 4). 3.

viated by the repetition of the cross strokes without the notes as many times as the group has to be repeated (Ex. 7); or the notes forming the group are written as a chord, with the necessary number of strokes across the stem (Ex. 8). In this case the word simili or segue is added, to show that the order of notes in the first group (which must be written out in full) is to be repeated, and to prevent the possibility of mistaking the effect intended for that indicated in Ex. 1 and 2.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

The repetition of a group of two notes is ab breviated by two white notes (minims or semibreves) connected by the number of strokes ordinarily used to express quavers, semiquavers, etc., according to the rate of movement intended (Ex. 5). The duration of the whole passage should be at least a minim, since if a crotchet were treated in this manner it would present the appearance of two quavers or semiquavers, and would be unintelligible. Nevertheless, a group of demisemiquavers amounting altogether to the value of a crotchet is sometimes found abbreviated as in Ex. 6, the figure 8 being placed above the notes to show that the value of the whole group is that of a crotchet, and not a quaver. Such abbreviations, though perhaps useful in certain cases, are generally to be avoided as ambiguous. It will be observed that a passage lasting for the value of one minim requires two minims to express it, on account of the group consisting of two notes.

5.

Another sign of abbreviation of a group consists of an oblique line with two dots, one on each side (Ex. 9); this serves to indicate the any length, and even of a passage composed of repetition of a group of any number of notes of several groups, provided such passage is not more than two bars in length (Ex. 10). 9.

IO.

6.

A more usual method of abbreviating the repetition of a passage of the length of the above is to write over it the word bis (twice), or in some cases ter (three times), or to enclose it between the dots of an ordinary repeat

Passages intended to be played in octaves are often written as single notes with the words con

A group of three, four, or more notes is abbre-ottavi or con 8vi placed above or below them,

according as the upper or lower octave is to be added (Ex. 11). The word 8ra (or sometimes 8va alta or Sva bassa) written above a passage does not add octaves, but merely transposes the passage an octave higher or lower: so also in clarinet music the word chalumeau is used to signify that the passage is to be played an octave lower than written (Ex. 12). All these alterations, which can scarcely be considered abbreviations except that they spare the use of ledger-lines, are counteracted, and the passage restored to its usual position, by the use of the word loco, or in clarinet music by clarinette.

[blocks in formation]

In orchestral music it often happens that certain of the instruments play in unison; when this is the case the parts are sometimes not all written in the score, but the lines belonging to one or more of the instruments are left blank, and the words coi violini or col basso, etc., are added, to indicate that the instruments in question have to play in unison with the violins or basses, as the case may be, or when two instruments of the same kind, such as first and second violins, have

to play in unison, the word unisono or col primo is placed instead of the notes in the line belonging to the second.-Where two parts are written on one staff in a score the sign a 2' denotes that both play the same notes; and 'a 1' that the second of the two is resting.-The indication 'a 3''a 4' at the head of fugues indicates the number of parts or voices in which the fugue is written.

An abbreviation which is often very troublesome to the conductor occurs in manuscript scores, when a considerable part of the composition is repeated without alteration, and the corresponding number of bars are left vacant, with the remark come sopra (as above). This is not met with in printed scores.

There are also abbreviations relating to the theory of music, some of which are of great value. In figured bass, for instance, the various chords are expressed by figures, and the authors of several modern theoretical works have invented or availed themselves of various methods of shortly expressing the different chords and intervals. Thus we find major chords expressed by large Roman numerals, and minor chords by small ones, the particular number employed denoting the degree of the scale upon which the chord is based. Gottfried Weber represents an interval by a number with one or two dots before it to express minor or diminished, and one or two after it for major or augmented, and André makes use of a triangle, ▲, to express a common chord, and a square, ☐, for a chord of the seventh, the inversions being indicated by one, two, or three small vertical lines across their base, and the classification into major, minor, diminished, or augmented by the numbers 1, 2, 3, or 4, placed in the centre. [F. T.]

ABEILLE, JOH. CHR. LUDWIG, born at Bayreuth Feb. 20, 1761, composer, pianist, and organist. Studied at Stuttgart, and in 1782 became a member of the private band of the Duke of Würtemberg. On Zumsteeg's death in 1802 he succeeded him as concert-meister, and was shortly afterwards made organist in the court chapel and director of the official music. In 1832, having completed a period of fifty years' faithful service, he received the royal gold medal and a pension, shortly after which he died, in his seventy-first year. Abeille's concertos and trios for the harpsichord were much esteemed, but his vocal compositions were his best works. Amongst them are several collections of songs (e.g. 'Eight Lieder,' Breitkopf and Härtel) which are remarkable for simple natural grace, and a touching vein of melody. Some of these still survive in music-schools. His Ash-Wednesday hymn for four voices, and his operettas of 'Amor und Psyche,' 'Peter und Annchen,' were well known in their day, e id were published, in pianoforte score, by Breitkopf and Härtel. [C. F. P.]

ABEL, CLAMOR HENRICH, born in Westphalia about the middle of the 17th century,

chamber musician to the court of Hanover. His work Erstlinge Musikalischer Blumen' appeared first in three vols. (Frankfort, 1674, 1676, and 1677), afterwards united under the title Drei opera musica' ' (Brunswick, 1687). [M. C. C.]

ABEL, KARL FRIEDRICH, one of the most famous viol-da-gamba players, born at Cöthen in 1725. He was brought up at the Thomas-school at Leipsic under Sebastian Bach. In 1748 he obtained a post under Hasse in the court band at Dresden, where he remained ten years. In 1759 he visited London, and gave his first concert on April 5 at the great room in Dean-street, Soho,' when, in addition to the viol-da-gamba, he performed a concerto upon the harpsichord, and a piece composed on purpose for an instrument newly-invented in London, and called the pentachord,' the whole of the pieces in the programme

being of his own composition. His facility was remarkable: he is reported to have performed more than once on the horn, as well as on 'new instruments never heard in public before.' From the year 1765 however he confined himself to the viol-da-gamba. He was appointed chambermusician to Queen Charlotte, with a salary of £200 a-year. On the arrival of John Christian Bach, in the autumn of 1762, Abel joined him; they lived together, and jointly conducted Mrs. Cornelys' subscription concerts. The first of their series took place in Carlisle-house, Sohosquare, on January 23, 1765, and they were maintained for many years. The Hanover-square Rooms were opened on Feb. 1, 1775, by one of these concerts. Haydn's Symphonies were first performed in England at them, and Wilhelm Cramer the violinist, father of J. B. Cramer, made his first appearance there. After Bach's death on Jan. 1, 1782, the concerts were continued by Abel, but with indifferent success. In 1783 he returned to Germany, taking Paris on the way back, where he appears to have begun that indulgence in drink which eventually caused his death. In 1785 we find him again in London, engaged in the newly established 'Professional Concerts,' and in the Subscription Concerts' of Mr. Salomon and Mme. Mara at the Pantheon.

At this time his compositions were much performed, and he himself still played often in public. His last appearance was at Mrs. Billington's concert on May 21, 1787, shortly after which, on June 20, he died, after a lethargy or sleep of three days' duration. His death was much spoken of in the papers. Abel's symphonies, overtures, quartetts, concertos, and sonatas were greatly esteemed, and many of them were published by Bremner of London and Hummel of Berlin. The most favourite were A fifth set of six over

[ocr errors]

tures, op. 14' (Bremner), and 'Six sonatas, op. 18.' Abel's playing was most remarkable in slow movements. On the viol-da-gamba,' says the European Magazine,' 1784, p. 366, he is truly excellent, and no modern has been heard to play an Adagio with greater taste and feeling.' Burney's testimony is to the same effect, and he adds that 'his musical science and taste were so com

plete that he became the umpire in all musical controversy, and was consulted like an oracle.' He was accustomed to call his instrument the king of instruments,' and to say of himself that there was one God and one Abel.' Among his pupils both in singing and composition were J. B. Cramer, Graeff, and Brigida Giorgi (Signora Banti). His friend Gainsborough painted a three-quarter-length portrait of Abel playing on the viol-da-gamba, distinguished by its careful execution, beauty of colouring, and deep expression. It was bequeathed by Miss Gainsborough to Mr. Briggs, and was sold in London in 1866. Gainsborough also exhibited a whole-length of Abel at the Royal Academy in 1777, and a very powerful portrait of him by Robineau is to be found at Hampton Court. [C. F. P.] ABEL, LEOPOLD AUGUST, born at Cöthen 1720, death unknown; elder brother of the pre

[ocr errors]

ceding, violinist, and pupil of Benda. He played in the orchestra of the theatre at Brunswick, and was successively conductor of the court band to the Prince of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen (1758), the Margrave of Schwedt (1766), and the Duke of Schwerin. He composed six violin concertos mentioned in Böhme's catalogue, but never rose to the reputation of his brother. [M. C. C.]

ABELL, JOHN, a celebrated alto singer and performer on the lute, was born about 1660, and probably educated in the choir of the Chapel Royal, of which establishment he was sworn a gentleman extraordinary' in 1679. He was greatly patronised by royalty, and between the years 1679 and 1688 received bounty money' amounting to no less than £740. (See Moneys received and paid for secret services of Charles II and James II'-Camd. Soc.). Charles II sent him to Italy to study, and after his return Evelyn thus describes meeting him: Jan. 24,

1682-3.

After supper came in the famous treble, Mr. Abel, newly returned from Italy. I never heard a more excellent voice, and would have sworn it had been a woman's, it was so high and so well and skilfully managed, being accompanied by Signor Francisco on the harpsi chord.'

He remained in the service of the

chapel until the Revolution of 1688, when he was dismissed for his supposed leaning to the Romish religion. After this he travelled abroad, visiting France, Germany, Holland, and Poland, leading a vagrant sort of life, and depending for latter end of the reign of Queen Anne, Abell his support upon his voice and lute. About the returned to England, and occupied a prominent position on the stage. Congreve, in a letter dated Lond. Decem. 10, 1700,' says 'Abell is here has a cold at present, and is always whimsical, so that when he will sing or not upon the stage are things very disputable, but he certainly sings beyond all creatures upon earth, and I have heard him very often both abroad and since he came over.' (Literary Relics, 1792, P. 322).

[ocr errors]

In 1701 Abell published two works, 'A Collection of Songs in Several Languages,' which he dedicated to William III, and A collection of Songs in English.' The latter contains a very curious poem of some length, addressed to All lovers of Musick,' in which he describes some of his doings on the continent. His death is not recorded, but it was after 1716, when he gave a concert at Stationers' Hall. (Hawkins, Hist. ; [E. F. R.] Cheque-Book Chap. Roy., etc.).

ABOS, GERONIMO, born at Malta in the beginning of the 18th century, died at Naples about 1786, a composer of the Neapolitan school, and pupil of Leo and Durante. He was a teacher in the Conservatrio of 'La Pietà' at Naples, and trained many eminent singers, of whom Aprile was the most famous. He visited Rome, Venice, Turin, and, in 1756, London, where he held the post of maestro al cembalo at the opera. His operas are La Pupilla e 'l Tutore,' La Serva Padrona,' and 'L'Ifigenia in Aulide' (Naples),

'L'Artaserse' (Venice, 1746), 'L'Adriano' (Rome, 1750), ` Tito Manlio,' and 'Creso' (London, 1756 and 1758). His church music includes seven Masses, two Kyries, and several Litanies to the Virgin, preserved in manuscript in Naples, Rome, Vienna, and the Conservatoire in Paris. The style of his composition somewhat resembles that of Jomelli. [M. C. C.]

ABRAMS, The Misses HARRIET, THEODOSIA, and ELIZA, were three sisters, vocalists. Harriet, the eldest, was a pupil of Dr. Arne, and first appeared in public at Drury Lane theatre, in her master's musical piece, May Day,' on Oct. 28, 1775. She and her sister Theodosia sang at the opening of the Concert of Ancient Music in 1776. Harriet possessed a soprano, and Theodosia a contralto voice of excellent quality. The youngest sister, Eliza, was accustomed to join with her sisters in the pieces which were sung at the Ladies' Catch and Glee Concerts. The elder two sang at the Commemoration of Handel, in Westminster Abbey, in 1784, and at the principal London concerts for several years afterwards, when they retired into private life. They both attained to an advanced age; Theodosia (then Mrs. Garrow) was living in 1834. Harriet Abrams composed several pleasing songs, two of which, The Orphan's Prayer' and Crazy Jane,' aided by the expressive sing. ing of her sister, Theodosia, became very popular. She published, in 1787, A Collection of Songs,' and A Collection of Scotch Songs harmonized for three voices,' besides other pieces at later dates. [W. H. H.] ABT, FRANZ, born at Eilenburg in Prussian Saxony, Dec. 22, 1819. His father was a clergyman, and Franz, though destined to the same profession, received a sound musical education, and was allowed to pursue both objects at the Thomas-School and University of Leipsic. On his father's death he relinquished the church as a profession and adopted music entirely. His first residence was at Zürich (1841), where he acted as capellmeister, occupying himself more especially with men's voices, both as composer and conductor of several societies. In 1852 he ` entered the staff of the Hof-theater at Brunswick, where since 1855 he has filled the post of leading capellmeister.

Abt is well known by his numerous songs for one or more voices, which betray an easy fluency of invention, couched in pleasing popular forms, but without pretence to depth or individuality. Many of his songs, as for instance 'When the swallows,' were at one time universally sung, and have obtained a more or less permanent place in the popular repertory. Abt is a member of a group of composers, embracing his contemporaries Truhn, Kücken, Gumbert, and others, who stand aloof from the main course taken by the German Lied as it left the hands of Schubert, Schumann, and Franz,-which aims at the true and living expression of inward emotion. In reference to this the composers in question are somewhat in the background; but it

cannot be denied that in many dilettante circles Abt is a prime favourite for his elegance and easy intelligibility. His greatest successes in Germany and Switzerland have been obtained in part-songs for men's voices, an overgrown branch of composition unfortunately devoted to the pursuit of the mere superficial enjoyment of sweet sounds, and to a great extent identified with his

name.

The list of Abt's compositions is enormous, and contains more than 400 works, consisting chiefly of 'Lieder' of the most various kinds for one, two, or three solo voices, as well as for chorus, both female and mixed, and, as already mentioned, especially for men's voices. Of the

solo Lieder,' a collection of the less-known ones has been published by Peters under the title of 'Abt-Album.' The part-songs are to be found in many collections. In the early part of his life Abt composed much for the pianoforte, chiefly pieces of light salon character. These have never had the same popularity with his vocal works, and are now virtually forgotten. [A. M.]

ABYNGDON, HENRY. An English ecclesiastic and musician. He succeeded John Bernard as subcentor of Wells on Nov. 24, 1447, and held that post till his death on Sept. 1, 1497, when he was succeeded by Robert Wydewe. (Beckynton's and Oliver King's registers at Wells.) In addition to the succentorship at Wells Abyngdon held the office of Master of the Song of the Chapel Royal in London, to which he was appointed in May 1465 at an annual salary of forty marks, confirmed to him by a subsequent Act of Parliament in 1473-4. (Rimbault, Cheque book of Chapel Royal,' p. 4.) He was also made Master of St. Catherine's Hospital, Bristol, in 1478. (Collinson, ii. 283.) Two Latin epitaphs on Abyngdon by Sir Thomas More have been preserved (Cayley's Life of More,' i. 317), of which the English epitaph quoted by Rimbault from Stonyhurst is an adaptation. In these he himself is styled nobilis," and his office in London cantor,' and he is said to have been pre-eminent both as a singer and an organist :

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

'Millibus in mille cantor fuit optimus ille,

Praeter et haec ista fuit optimus orgaquenista.' More's friendship is evidence of Abyngdon's ability and goodness, but the acquaintance can only have been slight, as More was but seventeen when Abyngdon died. None of his works are known.

[G.]

ACADEMIE DE MUSIQUE. This institution, which, following the frequently changed political conditions of France since 1791, has been called in turn Royale, Nationale, and Impériale, has already entered its third century. In 1669 royal letters patent were granted by Louis XIV to the Abbé Perrin, Robert Cambert, and the Marquis de Sourdéac, for the establishment of an Académie wherein to present in public operas and dramas with music, and in French verse,' after the manner of those of Italy, for the space of twelve years. Nearly a century prior

to this, in 1570, similar privileges had been accorded by Charles IX to a Venetian, C. A. de Baif, in respect to an academy 'de poesie et de musique,' but its scheme does not appear to have included dramatic representation. In any case it failed utterly. The establishment of the existing institution was however also preceded, and therefore facilitated, by a series of performances in Italian by Italian artists, beginning in 1584 and continued with little interruption till 1652, and by rarer though not less important ones by French artists, beginning from 1625, when Akébar, roi du Mogol,' was produced in the palace of the bishop of Carpentras. This has frequently been spoken of as the earliest veritable French opera; but that title is more justly due to the 'Pastorale en musique' of CAMBERT-the subject of which was given to the Abbé Perrin by the Cardinal Legate of Innocent X-first performed at Issy in 1659. Two years after, Cambert followed this opera by 'Ariane,' and in the following year by Adonis.' The Académie was opened in 1671 with an opera by the same master, Pomone,' which attained an enormous success; having been repeated, apparently to the exclusion of every other work, for eight months successively. The 'strength' of the company engaged in its performance presents an interesting contrast with that of the existing grand opera, and even of similar establishments of far less pretension. The troupe consisted of five male and four female principal performers, fifteen chorus - singers, and an orchestra numbering thirteen! The career of the Académie under these its first entrepreneurs was brought to an end by the jealousy of an Italian musician then rising in court favour, J. BAPTISTE LULLY, who, through his influence with Mme. de Montespan, succeeded in obtaining for himself the privileges which had been accorded to Perrin and Cambert. The latter, the master-spirit of the enterprise thus wrecked, notwithstanding his hospitable reception by our Charles II, died in London shortly afterwards, at the age of forty-nine, of disappointment and home - sickness. By this disreputable proceeding Lully made himself master of the situation, remaining to the time of his death, in 1687, the autocrat of the French lyric drama. In the course of these fourteen years he produced, in concert with the poet QUINAULT, no fewer than twenty grand operas, besides other works. The number, success, and, more than all, the merit, of these entitle Lully to be regarded as the founder of the school of which Meyerbeer may claim to have proved the most distinguished alumnus; though, as we have seen, its foundation had been facilitated for him by the labours of others. In the course of his autocracy, Lully developed considerably musical form in its application to dramatic effect, and added considerably to the resources of the orchestra; though, in comparison with those of more recent times, he left them still very meagre. He is said to have first obtained permission, though in spite of great opposition, for the appearance of women on the stage; but

as the troupe of his predecessor Cambert included four, his claim to their first introduction there needs qualification. Probably he got prohibition which had ceased to be operative exchanged for avowed sanction. The status of the theatrical performer at this epoch would seem to have been higher than it has ever been since; seeing that, by a special court order, even nobles were allowed, without prejudice to their rank, to appear as singers and dancers before audiences who paid for admission to their performances. What it was somewhat later may be gathered from the fact that, not to mention innumerable less distinguished instances, Christian burial was refused (1673) to Molière and (1730) to Adrienne Le Couvreur. Lully's scale of payment to authors, having regard to the value of money in his time, was liberal. The composer of a new opera received for each of the first ten representations 100 livres (about £4 sterling), and for each of the following twenty representations, 50 livres. After this the work became the property of the Académie. The theatre was opened for operatic performance three times a week throughout the year. On great festivals concerts of sacred music were given. The composers contemporary with Lully (many of them his pupils) could only obtain access to the Académie by conforming to his style and working on his principles. Some few of these however, whose impatience of the Lullian despotism deprived them of all chance of a hearing within its walls, turned their talents to account in the service of the vagrant troupes of the Foire Saint-Germain; and with such success as to alarm Lully both for his authority and his receipts. He obtained an order (more suo) for the suppression of this already dangerous rivalry, which however proved itself far too supple for legislative manipulation. The 'vagrants' met each new ordonnance with a new evasion, and that of which they were the first practitioners, and the frequenters of the Foire the first patrons, subsequently grew into the most delightful, because the most truly natural, of all French art products, the Opéra Comique. The school of composition established by Lully did not die with its founder; nor for many years was any serious violation of his canons permitted by his adopted countrymen. Charpentier (16341702), a composer formed in the school of Carissimi, was unsuccessful in finding favour for the style of his master: Campra (1660-1744) was somewhat less so; while Marais, Desmarets, Lacoste, and Monteclair were gradually enabled to give more force, variety and character to orchestration. The last of these (1666-1737) first introduced the three-stringed double-bass, on which he himself was a performer, into the orchestra. But a condition of an art on the whole so stagnant as this was sure eventually to become insupportable, if not to the public, to the few who at all times, consciously or unconsciously, direct or confirm its inclinations. Their impatience found expression in the Abbé Raguenet's 'Paralléle des Italiens et des Francais,

« PoprzedniaDalej »