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The guitar and mandolin : biographies of celebrated players and composers for these instruments online

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ordinary interest in his talented pupil, the mandolin virtuoso, and
had shown his appreciation of the musical value of the
instrument, by employing it in the score of his opera, The
barber of Seville, which had been composed a few years previously
in St. Petersburg.

Delia Maria, resided in Italy for about ten years, during the
latter part of which period he was engaged in writing light works
for numerous secondary Italian theatres. He produced while in this
country, six operas, three of which were fairly successful, and one
of the remainder, // maestro di capella, exceedingly so, its
popularity bringing fame to its author. In 1796, Delia Maria


returned to Marseilles, and arrived the same year in Paris, being
absolutely unknown ; but in a very short time his reputation was
such that he found himself the guest and friend of the most
renowned, in literary and musical circles. Fate seems to have
shortened and smoothed for him the rugged paths by which men
ascend the heights of fame. The poet, Alexander Duval, wrote a
complimentary article in the Decade Philosophique, concerning the
young artist, and a few years later the two were most intimately
associated. Duval mentions that one of his personal friends, to
whom Delia Maria had been introduced, requested him to write
some poem for the musician, and Duval acting upon the earnest
suggestion of his friend, made an appointment with Delia Maria.
This interview proved to be the commencement of an intimate
friendship, for, in Duval's words, Delia Maria's classical, soulful
countenance and his natural and original demeanour, inspired a
confidence in the poet that was found to be entirely justified. At
this juncture, Duval had just completed The prisoner, which had
been commissioned for the Theatre Francais, but the ardent desire
to gratify the request of Delia Maria, had ere long decided him to
write an opera, so after a few alterations and additions, he had
transformed the work to a lyric comedy. Within eight days after
receiving the libretto, Delia Maria had composed the music, and
the artists of the opera, manifested such an enthusiasm and delight
in the work during its rehearsals, that upon its production, its
success was assured. This was performed in 1798, the opera was
published by Breitkopf & Hartel, Leipzig, and it established the
name of Delia Maria throughout France, as an operatic composer
of repute, for he immediately brought out six other operas, his
works being now great favourites with Parisians.

The brilliant success of The prisoner, was due to two primary
causes, the first of which was the melodiousness and simplicity of
the vocal parts, under a duly subservient and subdued skilful
orchestration, while the second factor was his most fortunate choice
of artists responsible for the principal characters. The actresses,
Mile. St. Aubin, and Mile. Dugazon, found in the opera, parts
analogous to their natural dispositions, and their names were
popularized throughout France by their interpretations. In this
opera, Delia Maria did not rise to extraordinary powerful con-
ceptions ; but his style was original, and this individuality was
noticeable in all his compositions. Unfortunately, his style tended
towards weakening in several of his later operas, but the following
enjoyed an amount of success: The uncle valet, one act; The
ancient castle, three acts ; but Jacquot (The school of mothers),
three acts, the first representation of which was given in 1799, and
also The house of Marais, three acts, were both short lived; La
fausse dnegne (The false wife), an opera in three acts, was left
"unfinished by the sudden death of Delia Maria, and in 1802
Blanghu was commissioned to complete the work. All the above-


mentioned, with several others, were written within the space of
four years, and in this brief time, Delia Maria seems to have
exhausted all his natural resources. Being of a genial and sociable
disposition, this young and brilliant artist made many friends.
Duval, the poet, was one of the most sincere — they had only
completed arrangements for retiring to the country together,
intending to write a new opera, when Delia Maria, returning to his
home, March 9, 1800, was seized by an illness and fell in the Rue
St. Honore. He was assisted to an adjacent house by a passing
stranger, where he expired a few hours later without regaining
consciousness. As no trace of his identity could be obtained, the
police instituted enquiries, and several days elapsed before his
friends could be informed of the sad event, and thus perished at the
age of thirty-two, a young and brilliant musician. Delia Maria
was a mandolin virtuoso, who wrote much for his instrument, and,
like his master, Paisiello, made frequent use of it in his
orchestral scores. Several of his church compositions were
published by Costallat, Paris, and he left many unpublished works,
consisting of church and instrumental pieces, and mandolin sonatas,
which, with his mandolin and violoncello, were preserved in the
home of his parents in Marseilles.

Denis, Pierre, or as sometimes designated, Denies, Pierre, born
in Provence, France, during the early part of the eighteenth century
was a renowned French mandolin virtuoso and teacher, who estab-
lished himself in Paris. In 1780 he was engaged as music master
in a ladies' seminary in Saint Cyr. Denis was a highly educated
man, a thorough musician, and the author of several musical treatises.
He wrote a Method for the mandolin, which was published in Paris
in 1792, and was the author also of the following which appeared in
Paris : Four collections of airs for the mandolin; a New system of
practical music, issued in 1747, and a Treatise on com-
position, published by Boyer, Paris, 1773. Denis also wrote a
French translation of Tartinfs Tratto delle appogiature si asceudenti
che discendeiiti per il violino, under the title of Traite des agremens
de la musique, compose par le celebre Giuzeppe Tartini a Padua,
et traduit par le Sigr. P.Denis. This volume was published by
M. de la Chevardier, Paris.

"A musician of the eighteenth century, Pierre Denis, born in
Provence, and who was music master to the ladies of Saint Cyr,
about 1780. He devoted himself to the popularization of the
mandolin, of which instrument he was a consummate artist, and with
this intent published a method for learning the instrument, and also
four collections of little airs for it." — Encyclopaedia Larousse, Paris.

Denza, Luigi, an Italian musician, born near Naples in 1846, who
settled in London as a teacher of singing. He won renown as a
song writer, and in 1899 was appointed professor at the Royal
Academy of Music, London. Denza was an able mandolinist and


guitarist, and has published the following compositions among others
for these instruments : Ricordo di Quisisana, a serenata for solo
voice and chorus, with accompaniments of first and second mandolins,
mandolas and guitars, dedicated to the Marchioness Laura di
Noailles, and published by Ricordi, Milan ; Come to me, valse for
two mandolins, mandola and guitar, also published by Ricordi ;
Nocturne for mandolin and piano, published by Ascherberg, London;
and several other compositions for mandolin and piano, originally
published by R. Cocks, London.

Derosiers, Nicolas, a French musician, who settled in Holland
towards the end of thfi seventeenth century. In his later years he
was engaged as chamber musician to the Electress Palatine, at the
palace in Mannheim. Very little is known concerning his life, but
among his compositions are to be found several for the guitar :
Twelve overtures for guitar solo, Op. 5, published in 1688 at The
Hague, and Method for learning the guitar, which was translated
in French and published by Ballard, Paris, in 1689, under the title
of Nouveaux principes de la guitare. Derosiers was the author
also of several collections of solos for the guitar accompanied by
other instruments.

Derwort, George Henry, a German guitarist and musician, who
came to England during the commencement of the nineteenth century
and remained in this country for many years, where he enjoyed a
reputation as a guitar soloist and popular teacher. He was living
in London in 1824, and giving guitar recitals there in 1830. He made
several visits to his native land where he appeared in concert ; but
was again teaching singing and his instrument in London as late
as 1835. Derwort was the author of numerous easy guitar solos
and arrangements, which enjoyed a certain amount of popularity
during his lifetime. The following were the most favoured of his
compositions: Op. 7, 11, 12, 13, 16, 22 and 27, Themes with varia-
tions for guitar solo, published by Falter and also Sidler, Munich ;
Paez, Berlin ; and Paine and Hopkins, London. Eighteen pieces
for solo guitar, entitled : Dolce et utile, were issued amongst many
others by Wessell, London; Progressive guitar accompaniments to
favourite Italian, French, German and Spanish songs, published by
Paine and Hopkins, London, who also issued his New method for
learning the Spanish guitar. Derwort also arranged innumerable
popular compositions of the day for guitar and piano, and also edited
and arranged many trios for flute, violins and guitar, and songs with
guitar accompaniment, which were published by Baumgartner,
Leipzig, and Ewer and Johanning, London.

Diabelli, Anton, born September 6, 1781, at Mattsee, near
Salzburg, and died in Vienna, April 7, 1858. He was an eminent
guitarist and pianist, a very popular composer for both these
instruments, and also of church music. He received his first


musical instruction as a choirister in the Monastery of
Michaelbeurn, and continued his studies some years later in the
Cathedral of Salzburg. Being intended by his parents for the
priesthood, he was sent to the Latin School of Munich, and in 1800,
entered the Monastery of Raichenhaslach. Michael Haydn had
superintended his first attempts at musical composition, and
Diabelli benefited largely from his association with, and study
under this master. His talent for composition was manifested at a
very early age, and he had attracted considerable attention by his
works for one or more voices, before he had reached his twentieth
year. The guitar was his principal instrument, and these early
vocal compositions were written with guitar accompaniments.
When the monasteries of Bavaria were secularised in 1803, he
abandoned his intention of taking holy orders, and decided to
devote himself entirely to music and composition, and for this
purpose he visited Vienna, where he was already known by his
vocal compositions, and was warmly received by Joseph Haydn.
In a comparatively short time, Diabelli had established a wide
reputation as a popular and able teacher of the guitar and piano,
and he soon acquired both wealth and fame. He associated with
the most celebrated musicians of Vienna, chief of whom was
Joseph Haydn, brother of his teacher, Michael Haydn, of Salzburg,
who manifested a kindly interest in the young composer, and the
advice he received from this celebrated musician was of inestimable
advantage to him in after years.

About the year 1807, Diabelli became acquainted with Mauro
Giuliani, the guitar virtuoso, soon after the latter arrived in Vienna,
and the two artists became warm friends, they were of about the same
age, both intensely musical and devoted to the guitar. Giuliani
had already distinguished himself in the musical world by his
extraordinary skill upon the guitar, and his mastery on this
instrument far exceeded that of Diabelli ; but the latter possessed
a most thorough knowledge of music, and was also an excellent
performer on the pianoforte. The two friends were soon engaged
upon compositions for guitar and piano, and they appeared in
public, performing their duets for these two instruments. The
guitar at this period was the instrument par excellence, it was
played in the royal courts, and by the musical populace, and all
vocal compositions at this period met with limited success, unless
written with guitar accompaniment. At this time, Giuliani
introduced a new guitar to the public — the terz-guitar. This
instrument was constructed upon the same principles and model as
the ordinary guitar, but was somewhat smaller. By shortening the
length of the neck of the instrument, it was capable of being strung
to a higher pitch — a minor third, hence the name " terz," the capo
d'astro being used at the present time on the ordinary guitar to
obtain the same effects. The tone of the terz guitar was more
brilliant, the length of string being shorter, and the labour of


execution was considerably lessened. Diabelli and Giuliani were
the recipients of popular admiration for their combined talents on
the piano and terz guitar, and during the period of these public
performances, Giuliani wrote his most beautiful and brilliant
Concertos for guitar and orchestra, Op. 30, 36, and 37, which
were published by Diabelli, and these are among the choicest
works ever written for the instrument. Arrangements of these
were also published for guitar and piano, although originally
composed and performed by the author with orchestra ; ^ they
attracted considerable attention at the time, not only in Vienna,
but throughout Europe. The list of Diabelli 's compositions is
enormous, he has written a great quantity of music for the piano,
and an equally large quantity for the guitar. His twenty-nine solo
sonatinas, and twenty-three charming duet sonatinas, are still very
popular, while his thirty -six books of variations, and four hundred
and twenty-six books of potpourris, were also in great request.
Diabelli's studies, which were written primarily for the use of his
own pupils, are still popular amongst teachers and students, and
these piano compositions are at once graceful and good study, while
both his original works and arrangements for the piano display
good taste. In fact, the merits of Diabelli, as an educational
composer are unquestionable. His masses, and particularly the
Landmessen, are widely performed throughout Austria, being for
the most part easy to execute and interesting, if not particularly
solid. Diabelli, as stated previously, composed numerous songs,
and an operetta, Adam in der Klemme. His compositions for the
guitar display the same qualities and characteristics as his piano
works, and are quite as numerous, many of these being published
simultaneously in Vienna, Paris and London. These compositions
are not the work of, nor written for, the virtuoso ; but are admirably
suited for the amateur and student of the guitar. They lack the
brilliancy of other celebrated guitar composers, but they are well
written, lie under the hand, and they proved a profitable source of
income to their author by their popularity. Diabelli was a keen
man of business, and in 1818, having acquired sufficient wealth by
piano and guitar teaching, and composing, he purchased an interest
in the music publishing business of Peter Cappi, in Vienna, the
firm being afterwards known as Cappi and Diabelli. In 1824 he
bought out his partner Cappi, and he became sole proprietor and
owner under the title of Diabelli & Co. Riemann states: " Diabelli
was Schubert's principal publisher — he paid the composer badly,
and in addition, reproached him for writing too much." Diabelli
published the first compositions of Franz Schubert, when he was
unknown as a musical composer, and these first publications were
his songs with guitar accompaniment. Schubert was a guitarist,
and wrote all his vocal works with guitar in the first instance.
Some few years later, when the pianoforte became more in vogue,
Schubert, at the request of his publisher, Diabelli, set pianoforte


accompaniments to these same songs. In 1854, Diabelli sold his
copyrights and business to C. A. Spina ; he had at this time printed
over twenty-five thousand works, and it was one of the largest and
most important music publishing businesses in the world. Diabelli
had published the majority of the compositions of Czerny, Strauss, and
Franz Schubert, and he had purchased at various times, the copy-
rights of the publications of other eminent firms in Vienna, those
of Artaria, Leidesdorf and Mecchetti in particular.

During the latter part of his life, Diabelli was brought in daily
contact with the most renowned artists, his establishment being
the rendezvous of the musicians of Vienna, and he enjoyed the
friendship of Beethoven, and was in constant attendance upon
him during his last illness in 1826. Diabelli died on April 7, 1858,
leaving behind the record of a successful musician and business
man, qualities very rarely found together. His quiet, unassuming
life, made him many friends, some of whom erected a tablet to his
memory in 1871, on the house at Mattsee in which he was born.
Beethoven has immortalized his friend by using a waltz, composed
by Diabelli, as a theme for his thirty-three variations.

Diabelli's published compositions for the guitar alone, with other
instruments, and with the voice, number hundreds, of which we
enumerate only the following : Grand serenades for violin, alto
and guitar; Op. 36, 65, 95 and 105, and Six volumes of grand
serenades for the same combination of instruments, all published
by Haslinger, Vienna ; Serenades and nocturnes for guitar and
flute, Op. 67, 99 and 128 ; Nocturne for two horns and guitar,
Op. 123 ; Grand trio for three guitars, Op. 62 ; Sonatas and other
Duos for guitar and piano, Op. 64, 68, 69, 70, 71, 97, 102;
Divertimento for guitar and piano, Op. 56 (vol. ii., Diabelli
dedicated to his friend the publisher, Haslinger) ; issued by Ricordi,
Milan ; Preludes, waltzes, rondos, and variations for guitar solo,
Op. 103, 127, 141 ; many arrangements and transcriptions for
guitar solo, and Twelve Alpine dances, published by Joseph Aibl,
Munich, without opus numbers ; a series of six books of duets for
two guitars, entitled : Orpheus ; Six waltzes and twenty duets
concertante for piano and guitar, Johanning, London; and
innumerable smaller pieces for guitar, published by various
editors in London ; Twelve songs with guitar accompaniment,
George and Manby, London ; a collection of songs with guitar,
entitled : Philomele, Diabelli & Co., Vienna ; Songs with guitar
Op. 114 and 115, Bachmann, Hanover; Three Italian duets with
guitar, Mecchetti, Vienna ; Songs with guitar and flute, Simrock,
Bonn, and in addition to the above-mentioned, there are more than
fifty transcriptions of operatic melodies for guitar and piano,
several collections of pieces for guitar and violin, and guitar and
flute, and nearly a hundred miscellaneous pieces for two guitars.

Dickhut, Christian, a virtuoso on the 'cello, horn, and guitar, and
an instrumental composer, who was Court musician at Mannheim


in 1812. He devoted much time experimenting with wind
instruments, and in the year 1811, he improved the horn by
extending its tubes, thereby producing a clearer and more sonorous
tone. Dickhut is the author of the following compositions which
are regarded as of more than ordinary merit : Serenades for flute,
horn, or alto, and guitar, Op. 3, 4, and 6, published by Schott,

Doche, Joseph Denis, born August 22, 1766 in Paris, died
July 20, 1825 in Soissons, France. He was a dramatic composer,
a skilful guitarist, violinist and double bass player, and celebrated
as a writer of vaudeville. Grove states that the flowing and
charming inspirations of Doche (father and son) were the most
interesting from a literary, philosophical and musical point of view,
during their period. Among Doche's compositions we find
Op. 4, Collection of forty melodies and romances with guitar
accompaniment .

Doisy, Charles, or Doisy Lintant, as he has sometimes been
erroneously named, was a Frenchman, who died at Paris in 1807.
He was a contemporary of C. Lintant, a guitarist and violinist of
Grenoble and Paris. For many years Doisy enjoyed an enviable
reputation as a professor of the guitar in Paris, and during his
later years he established a music and musical instrument business
in this city, being thus occupied at the time of his death. He had
the advantage of a thorough musical training and education in
harmony and composition, as his published works prove, and he
wrote for the guitar in its capacity as a solo instrument, for
accompaniment, and in combination with almost every other
instrument. His published compositions number more than two
hundred, and during the early part of his career, the guitar was
strung with but five strings tuned as at present, but without the
sixth or lowest E, and Doisy's early compositions are therefore
more limited in scope and compass. It was not until the close of
the eighteenth century that the sixth string was added to the guitar,
this being at the suggestion of Capellmeister Naumann of Dresden,
and proving of great advantage it was immediately used by all
guitar makers, and thus became universal. Doisy adopted this
additional string, and wrote for it in his later method and com-
positions. He is the author of several methods for the guitar, one
of which entitled : General rudiments of music and method for
the guitar, was published in 1801 by Naderman, Paris. He also
wrote another, which included original airs for violin with guitar
accompaniment, and six romances with guitar accompaniment.
This was published by Breitkopf & Hartel, Leipzig, and was a most
excellent method for its period, it contained three diagrams
displaying the guitar with but five strings. Doisy was a voluminous
composer, who has written several concertos for the guitar with
accompaniment of string quartet, serenades for guitar, violin and


alto, grand duos for guitar and violoncello, guitar and piano, guitar
and oboe, and the guitar in duos with the horn, bassoon, viola,
flute and another guitar. There are also published under his name
many collections of pieces for guitar solo, including Les folies
d'Espagne being fifty variations by " Doisy, Professeur, Paris," and
many collections for violin and guitar, and flute and guitar. Op. 15
and other duos for guitar and violin were published by Simrock,

Dorn, James, born January 7, 1809, at Lichtenau, Germany, and
living as late as 1853, at which date he gave instruction on the
guitar to his nephew, Charles James Dorn. James Dorn was cele-
brated as a virtuoso on the horn and an excellent guitarist, and was
for some years a member of the Royal Chapel of the Grand Duke
of Baden. He received his first musical education when a boy,
under Schunke, and when he was sixteen years of age joined a
military regiment, where he continued his musical training as a
member of the band, playing the horn. In 1832 he made a concert
tour through England as horn virtuoso and won much praise by his
performances, and then returned to his native land, being appointed
court musician in Carlsbad. Dorn published only a few com-
positions but among them we find, Six polkas for guitar solo,
issued by Andre, Offenbach. These light dances met with
considerable popularity, and passed several editions.

Dorn's brother, Valentine, was also a French horn player who
settled for a time in Boston, America, as a member of important
orchestras in that city. His son, Charles James, born in Boston,
October 29, 1839, died there about 1910, returned with his parents
to their native land when he was fourteen years of age, and in
Carlsbad he received lessons on the guitar from his uncle James, the
court musician, and so proficient did he become on this instrument
that in a short time he appeared in public as a soloist, and upon his
return to America was regarded as one of the finest performers in
the United States. During his last years he rarely appeared in
public as a guitar soloist, but devoted himself almost entirely to
teaching and arranging music for the instrument. Dorn was par-
ticularly fond of the compositions of Giuliani and Mertz, and
possessed a remarkable library of guitar music. Quoting from a
musical periodical at the time of his decease we read " In
more than one branch of his chosen profession Mr. Dorn attained
an enviable reputation. As a composer of music for the guitar his
name will long be perpetuated, for several of his best compositions
are genuine classics, and can be found in the repertoire of many of
our most celebrated guitarists. As an arranger, his work invariably

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