George Grove.

A dictionary of music and musicians (A.D. 1450-1889) by eminent writers, English and foreign : with illustrations and woodcuts (Volume 4) online

. (page 131 of 194)
Online LibraryGeorge GroveA dictionary of music and musicians (A.D. 1450-1889) by eminent writers, English and foreign : with illustrations and woodcuts (Volume 4) → online text (page 131 of 194)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

speare himself: my Nerone compared to his is
mere child's-play).



In later years Boito became a fervent admirer
of Wagner, and particularly of 'Lohengrin ' and
the ' Meistersinger,' but he was not in the least
influenced by the German master's work : he
admired but did not follow him. The only
influences that acted strongly on him were those
of Beethoven and Marcello, and a careful and
diligent study of ' Mefistofele ' will corroborate
this assertion. Aboutthe time when 'Mefistofele'
was given in Bologna, he began to devote him-
self to the works of Sebastian Bach, who has since
then reigned supreme in his estimation. Only the
future will show what influence this study has
brought to bear on his musical conceptions.

As we said above, all Boito's best poems are
to be found in '11 libro dei Vers!,' a little book
of less than two hundred pages. With the ex-
ception of ' Ee Orso ' they are short poems, full
of originality and character. Opinions differed
widely on their merit, but admirers and de-
tractors agreed that either as an ornament or
as a blemish they stand by themselves in Italian
literature, and that he 'is no imitator. ' La
mummia' 'George Pfecher ' and 'Ad Emilio
Praga ' have always been considered the best,
and ' King Orso ' a fiaba, in two legends, an
intermezzo and a moral, stands like asphinx in
the way of learned critics. What the poet
meant by it no one knows, but leaving apart
the drift of the poem there are in it flashes
of light, dazzling, wild and sweet. The fifth
number of the second legend, where the author
narrates the thirty years' wandering of the worm
that by fate had to enter the sepulchre of King
Orso, is a marvel in its kind, and the trou°
badour's song (legend i, no. 7) is unsurpassed
in gentleness of thought and sweetness of ex-
pression, so much so that it is a wonder that
song-writers have not yet seized upon it.

Boito is the author of several librettos or,
better, of dramas for music, as it would be
unfair to rank these literary gems on a line
with the old-fashioned librettos of Italian operas.
They are:— 'Mefistofele,' 'Nerone,' 'Orestiade,'
set to music by himself : ' Ero e Leandro ' (Bot-
tesini), ' Amleto' (Faccio), ' Gioconda ' (Ponchi-
elli), ' Alessandro Farnese ' (Palumbo), ' Tram '
(Doniiniceto), ' Otello ' (Verdi). Of these, only
'Mefistofele,' 'Gioconda,' 'Amleto,' 'Otello' and
' Ero 6 Leandro ' have as yet been published,
and each of them constitutes a perfect work of
art by itself, independently of the musical
.setting. _ He is likewise the author of several
translations, which include Wagner's ' Tristano
ed Isolta,' 'Rienzi,' and ' Cena degli Apostoli,'
Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and some smaller
works by Schumann and Rubinstein.

Arrigo Boito has, since 1867, resided in Milan,
where he lives with his brother Camillo. He
does not occupy any official position, and leads
a quiet and retired life. Though he is good-
humoured, a pleasant companion, and of a kind
and cheerful disposition, he carefully shuns
fashionable society. The Italian government
lias conferred upon him first the title of 'Cava-
liere, then of ' UflSciale ' and lately of ' Com- I


mendatore'; but though he does not ma
a cheap show of pompous independence
refusing these titles, he does not like to
addressed otherwise than by his simple nan
and even on state occasions he is never kno\
to have worn the decoration to which he
entitled. Once, upon arriving at Venice,
went with a couple of friends to hire a piar
Having agreed on the instrument and on t
price, he gave his name and address to the she
keeper : reading the well-known name the go
man began to 'Cavaliere' him at every oth
word, much to the annoyance of Boito. ' I d
not know it was you, signer Cavaliere, I li;
the honour to serve,' the man proceeded, 'b
being for you, signer Cavaliere, I shall nial
it five francs less a month." ' My good fellow
interposed one of the two friend.s, ' make it fi
francs more and don't call him Cavaliere, and
will be all right for both.' [G.i\l

EORD, Antoixe, pianoforte-maker, of Pari

was born at Toulouse in 1S14. Apprenticed

the age of 13 to a cabinet-maker he soon learm

the use of tools, and the small weekly payiue

he received from his master had to go into tl

family purse, Bord's parents being in straiten*

circumstances and he the eldest child of seve ,

The apprenticeship of three years over, he four

employment in a larger business, and it so ha]

pened that he was required to make a pianofort

case (on the model of Poller et Blanchet) for a

amateur who was himself to complete the insid

His assisting in the internal work brought aboi

the idea of his becoming a pianoforte-maker. A

there was no business of the kind in Toulouse h

father unwillingly let him go to Marseille

where he obtained work as a kej'-maker. H

desire to learn more than this led him to Lyon:

where he was employed by a maker who we^

a Saint-Simonien, and who left Bord almost t

his own resources in making a piano throughou

However, this instrument has become of a certai

importance in musical biography, as Bord

master gave it to the composer F^licien Davie

who took it with him to the East. From Lyoni

Bord, now 19 years old, went to Paris, and cor

structed a square piano for a pianino-maker, on

M. Mercier. While in this employ he acquire^

as much proficiency in tuning as enabled him t

' rough up,' the technical term for the first tunin;

of a pianoforte. At 20 he began to manufactur

upon his own account, but an engagement a

Pleyel's soon after offeiing itself, he became ;

regulator, and afterw-ards travelling repairer fc

that firm. In 1843, Bord began that business ii

Paris which is now universally known by his name

and early introduced inventions, the more im

portant of which are recorded under PianofobTJ

and Pianette. He died Mar. 10,1 888. [A.J.H.'

BORGHI, Adelaide, formerly a celebrata
mezzo-soprano singer, well known as Borghi
Mamo, was born in 1829 at Bologna. Sh<
showed as a child great aptitude for singing, anc
received instruction or advice from Pasta, anc
was also later advised by Eossini to adopt s


Kiusical career. She made a successful debut in
il 846 at Urbino in ' II Giuramento ' of Merca-
ii ante, and was engaged there. She sang next
it Malta, where in '49 she married Signor Mamo,
^. native of that place ; she sang also at Naples,
i^o^ence, Leghorn, etc.

i Madame Borghi-Mamo appeared in Italian
jlpera from 1854 to '56, at Vienna in the spring,
ind in the winter at Paris, and was highly suc-
lessful. In Paris, on Dec. 23, '54, she played
.^ucena, on the production there of ' II Trova-
are,' Leodato on revival of Pacini's 'Gli Arabi
elle Gallic,' Jan. 24, '55, Edoardo ('Matilde di
habran '), Arsace, Kosina, La Cenerentola, etc.
Vom '56 to '59 she sang with the same success
t the Grand Opera, among other parts Azucena on
reduction of ' Trovatore ' in French, Jan. 12, '57,
lelusine (Halevy's 'Magicienn©'), March 17,
38, Olympia (Felicien David's 'Herculanum'),
larch 4, '59, in the production of those operas ;
nd as Fidfes, Leonora, and Gatarina on the
aspective revivals of ' Le Prophfete,' ' La Favou-
ite,' and ' La Eeine de Chypre.' (Lajarte,
Jibliothfeque de I'Opera.) She went back to the
Italiens ' and played the title part in the pro-
uction of Braga's ' Margherita la Mendicante,'
)ec, 20, '59, Desdemona, etc.

On April 1 2., '60, Madame Borghi-Mamo first
ppeared in England at Her Majesty's as Leonora
' La Favorita '), and sang during the season as Des-
emona, Eosina, Azucena, Maffio Orsini, Zerlina
' Don Giovanni '), and Urbano (' Les Huguenots' ) ,
nd was generally well received both by press and
ublic. ' She is not only one of the most accom-
lished singers, but also one of the finest actresses
f the lyric stage.' (Musical World, May 5, '60.)
he also sang with great success at the Phil-
armonic, New Philharmonic, at the Norwich
'''estival, and in opera in the provinces. She never
leappeared in England, but returned to Italy
[nd sang at Milan, afterwards at Paris, Lisbon,
^tc. She is now living in retirement at Florence.
[ A daughter Erminia, a soprano, has sung with
luccess in Italian opera, in Italy, Paris, Madrid,
nd Lisbon, and in '75 played Margaret and
'lelen of Troy in the reproduction of Boito's
Mefistofele' at Bologna. [A.C.]

\ BORTNTANSKY. Correct date of death to
,)ct, 28, 182S (Paloschi). Add that his complete
ompositions have been published in 10 vols.,
dited by Tschaikowsky (Bernard, St. Peters-

bwing societies, which give, or have given,
ioncerts regularly for the edification of the public
a Boston (U.S.A.), are described in the order of
heir age.

Haxdel and Hatdn Societt. [See vol. i.
'• 659-] Since that article was prepared the
ociety has produced the following works : —

Berlioz's Flight into Egypt0879);
ullivan's Prodigal Soa (1S79) ;
iandel's Utrecht Jubilate (18S0) ;
(endelssohns Psalm xliii (18j30) ;
aint-iaens'Deluge(lS«OJ; Graun's
'eath of Jesus (1882) ; Gounod

leJemption (1863); Bubinsteia's (18s7>,

Tower of Babel 0883); Paine's
Xativity (1883) ; Cherubiui's D
minor Mass (1883) ; Bruch's Ar-
minius (1883): Bach's Ein' feste
Burg (1883); Gounod's Mors et
Vita (1886) ; Bach's B minor Mass


The fifth triennial festival was given in May,
1880, and the sixth in May, 1883, The bicen-
tenary of Handel's birth was celebrated on Feb.
22, 18S5, by a concert of selections from several
of Handel's oratorios. Mr. Carl Zerrahu has
remained as conductor, and Mr. B. J. Lang as

Harvard Musical Association. [See vol. i.
p. 693.] The fifteenth and sixteenth seasons of
symphony concerts were given in the Music Hall,
in 1879-S0 and '80-81 respectively, and the
seventeenth in the Boston Museum (a theatre)
in '81-82, since which the Association has with-
drawn-from the concert-field, it being found that
the Boston Symphony Orchestra furnished all
the high-class orchestral music that the public
demanded. Mr. Carl Zerrahn remained as con-
ductor until the end.

Apollo Club. Formed in July, 1 87 1 ; incor-
porated by act of the State Legislature in March,
1873. It is composed of male voices, and is
supported by assessments levied on associate
members, among whom the tickets for the con-
certs are divided, none being sold to the public.
Membership as an associate is perpetual so long
as the assessment is paid. Most of the concerts
have been given in the Music Hall, and Mr. B. J.
Lang has been conductor from the beginning.

BoTLSTON Club. Formed in 1872. Sup-
ported after the manner of the Apollo Club. It
was originally intended for male voices, but
shortly after the retirement, in April, 1875, of
the first conductor, Mr. Joseph E. Sharland,
and the election of a successor, Mr. George L.
Osgood (who is still in charge) female voices
were added, though the male chorus was retained
for portions of each programme presented.
Nearly all of the concerts have been given in
the Music Hall.

The Cecilia. Formed in 1874, under the
patronage of the Harvard Musical Association,
for the purpose of presenting choral works for
mixed voices at the sjTiiphony concerts. In
1876 it becamean independent organisation and
has been supported on the associate system,
Mr. B. J. Lang has been conductor since the
formation of the club.

The Euterpe. Formed in December, 1878,
' for the encouragement of music' Its concerts
so faj", given in various small halls, have con-
sisted of chamber music by string hands of from
four to eight. Tickets are distributed among
subscribing members, whose rights are secured,
after election, by annual payment of assessments.
At the concerts the players occupy a stage in the
centre of the apartment, the audience being
seated .so as to face the stage from all points.

Arlington Club. Fonned in October, 1879.
Male voices and supported on the associate
system. In the first three seasons, 1879-82,
Mr. William J. Winch was conductor. For the
two succeeding seasons Mr. George W. Chad-
wick served. The concerts were given in the
Horticultural Hall. Of late the club has given
few signs of life.

Boston Philharmonic Society. Formed in


iSSo. Devoted to concerts of symphonies and
other high-class orchestral music. Mr. Bernhard
Listemann was the conductor for the first season
(iSSi), Dr. Louis Maas for the second (i 88 1-82)
and Mr. Carl Zerrahn for the third (1882-83).
The Society has since followed the example of
the Harvard Musical Association, and for the
same reason. The concerts were all given in the
Music Hall, and tickets were distributed among
subscribing members, after the system described
in the account of the Euterpe. Tickets for the
public rehearsal which preceded each concert
were, however, sold to the public.

Boston Symphony Oechestra. See vol. iv.
p. 43. And add that after the third season
Mr. Wilhelm Gericke of Vienna succeeded JNIr.
Henschel as conductor; and atthebeginningofthe
fifth season Mr. Franz Kneisel, also of Vienna,
took Mr. Listemann's post of leading violin.

Boston Okchestkal Club. Formed in 1S84
for the purpose of encouraging the study of
orchestral works by young players, professional
and amateur, who form a complete orchestra.
Support of the enterprise comes from associate
members (as in the case of the Apollo Club\ to
whom the orchestra gives in return several con-
certs in the course of a season. The concerts
have been given in the Horticultural Hall under
tlie direction of Mr. Bernhard Listemann.

Boston Chamber Mcsio Society. Formed
in 1586. Supported by subscriptions exactly as
described in the case of the Euterpe. The con-
certs so far have included examples of chamber
music in the larger forms and for instruments
other than the string quartet, and have been
given in Association Hall.

Orpheus Musical Society. Formed in 1853,
and consisting chiefly of German members : that
has been the tongue employed in the concerts.
Of late the chorus of tlie Society (male voices)
has only appeared in public for charitable pur-
poses or on other special occasious. The So-
ciety has apartments fitted and furnished like
a club house, and as the social element is now
most prominent, this description is separated
from the accounts of the other musical organ-
isations, the chief purpose of which is, or°has
been, the cultivation of some peculiar branch of
the art of music,

_ The Clefs. A social club, formed in 1S81,
limited at first to sixty, afterwards to a hundred
members, three fourths of whom must be pro-
fessionally connected with music. It holds
monthly meetings during the six months be-
ginning in November. The only permanent
officer is that of secretary. At the beginning of
each season the club elects six members to serve
in turn as Masters, one for each social meeting.
The Master is endowed with autocratic powers.
Men only are eligible to membership.

Concerning the clubs supported on the asso-
ciate membership principle it should be under-
stood that the foUowing have supplied the per-
tonners from their ranks of active members:
Apollo, Boylston, Cecilia, Arlington, and Orches-
tral Club. The others (Euterpe, Philharmonic,


and Chamber Music Society) have hired tl
performers for their concerts. The associate men
bership in each organisation is limited. [F.H.J

BOTE UND BOCK, a firm of music pul
lishers m Berlin, founded by Eduard Bote ar
Gustav Bock Jan. 27, 183S. The former retire
at the beginning of 1847, leaving Gustav Boc
alone in the business untU his death, Apr. 2
1863. His ^vidow became the proprietor, an
his brother, E. Bock, undertook to direct th
affairs of the firm.

Among the music issued by the house, th
works of Neithardt, Hoffmann, Eebelincj, vo
Hertzberg, etc., and in particular the collectio
of 'Musica Sacra,* edited for the use of th
Domchor, deserve mention. The latter is
compilation of the most prominent composition
a capella, by Italian, Netherlandish, and espe
cially German masters of past time. The pul
Ushers' catalogue contains also a number (
original works by the best composers, and th
firm has done much to disseminate a knowledc
of the masterpieces of Handel, Gluck, Bad
Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, by the publica
tion of cheap editions ; attention has also beei
given to modern operatic music, especially tha
of Gounod and Offenbach.

Gustav Bock established the ' Neue Berlin
Musikzeitung,' and succeeded in obtaining th
help of all the more eminent writers on music
and in maintaining practical relations with them
In 1S61 his brother Emil Bock became editor
It now appears weeklj-, and contains, besides :
leading article on the science, theory, or histor'
of music, numerous notices from all importan'
towns ; but in recent times its importance has
become somewhat lessened.

The present owner of the publishing business is
Herr Hugo Bock, into whose possession it passec
in February i873. FA D '

BOTTESINI, Giovanni, a veiy celebratec
virtuoso on the double bass, also an excellent;
conductor and composer, was bom on Dec. 24,
1 82 2, at Crema in Lombardy. He is the son oi"
a good musician and clarinet plaj-er of his native
town, and as a boy sang in the chapel choir. He
early displayed such a remarkable talent for music
that at the age of eleven application was made
for him to be admitted into the Conservatorio at
Milan. It so happened that there was only one
vacant place, and that for a contrabassist. Bot-^
tesini accordingly commenced the study of the ;
double bass, was admitted at the Conservatoire 'i
and, it is said, before long played almost as well
as he did afterwards, when his marvellous com-
mand over this unwieldy instrument excited the
admiration of the whole musical world of Europe.
His masters were Eossi for the double bass,
Basili and Vaccai for harmony and composition.
On leaving the Conservatorio he travelled with
his fellow pupil Signor Arditi (then a violin ft
player) and afterwards went to America.
Eventually he accepted a lucrative engagement
at the Havana as principal double bass in the
orchestra, which he retained for many years.


Eere his first opera, ' Christophe Colombe,' was
jiven in 1846.

His first appearance in this country was on
June 26, 1849, ^*' ^^^ Musical Union, where he
ulayed the violoncello part of one of Onslow's
quintets, which, it will be remembered, contain
orominent solo passages for that instrument. By
bis performance of this and of a solo he aston-
shed all j^resent, and at once won for himself
;he reputation which he has ever since enjoyed,
if being the most accomplished virtuoso on the
louble bass in the annals of musical history,
rhose alone who have heard him play can realise
ihe beauty of the performance. It is not only
narvellous as a tour de force, but the consum-
nate skill of this great artist enables him to
i)n)duce a result delightful even for the most
astidious musician to listen to. Extraordinary
■ygility and strength of hand, dexterous use of
he harmonics, purity of tone and intonation,
I)erfect taste in phrasing — in fact all the re-
juisites of a great solo placer — are exhibited by
ijottesini on this cumbrous instrument. It can
inly be regretted that such exceptional powers
hould not have been devoted to an instrument
nore worthy of them. It may be mentioned
hat Bottesini plays upon a three-stringed bass,
vhich he prefers as being more sonorous, and
vith a bow made and held somewhat lilie that
if the violoncello, whereas tlie curved bow gen-
rally employed in the orchestra was used by
)ragonetti. (The relative merits of these two
orms of bow were the subject of an enquiry by
k committee nominated by the Paris Conser-
'atoire at the time of its foundation. Dragonetti
vas consulted and the pattern of his bow adopted
or the orchestra of the institution.) Bottesini
s also distinguished as composer and conductor.
n this latter capacity he presided over the
rchestra of the Italian Opera in Paris from
855 to 1857. H® ■''^'^s afterwards director of
he Italian Opera at Cairo. He has written
everal pieces for his instrument, among which
lis fantasia on Sonnambula, the Carnival of
7'enice, and duets which he played with Signori
iivori and Piatti, will long be remembered
—also the opera of 'L'Assedio di Firenze'
iroduced in Paris in 1856, ' Ali Baba,' written
or and performed in London with considerable
uccess in 1 87 1 , ' Ero aLeandro' (produced success-
ully at Turin in 1S79), and one or two quartets.
Tor some time he has paid, with more or less
egularity, an annual visit to England. At the
Norwich Festival of 1887 an oratorio by him,
o words by Mr. Joseph Bennett, entitled ' The
Jarden of Olivet,' was performed for the first
ime. It only remains to be added that Bottesini
3 as amiable as a man as he is excellent as an
.rtist, and that he enjoys the universal goodwill
f the musical profession. [T.P.H.]

BOUCHER, A. J. Add days of birth and
eath, April 10, and Dec. 30.

BOUFFONS, Les. SeeMATASSiNS,vol.ii. 236.

;EBT, French composer, born at Nantes Feb. 2,



1840, is a member of a family in easy circum-
stances, and is nephew of BUiault, the famous
minister of the second empire. Having gone
through a complete course of classical studies,
and entered the legal profession in 1859, he
was received into Ambrcise Thomas's class
at the Conservatoire, and in 1862 he carried
off the first prize for composition. Though
devoted to his art, Bourganlt-Ducoudray has not
produced much. His chief works are a Stabat
Mater, performed at St. Eustache Apr. 5, 1S6S,
and at the Concerts Populaires, Good Friday,
Apr. 3, 1S74, a work written in an archaic style,
having in it something of the manner and the
vague tonality of plain chant without being re-
stricted to its rules ; an orchestral suite in four
movements, entitled 'Fantaisie en Ut mineur'
(Concerts Populaires Dec. 27, 1874), a well
orchestrated composition, but too long, and built
on subjects of no interest ; and finally', a little
'satiric ' drama, ' La Conjuration des Fleurs,' of
which he also wrote the words, and which was pro-
duced under his own direction at the Salle Herz,
Jan. 27, 1883. Having never written for the stage
and very rarely for the concert-room., Bourgault-
Ducoudi-ay has turned his attention towards the
works of the older masters of the ' primitive '
school, and towards the popular songs of all
countries. In 1S69 he founded in Paris a.n
amateur choral society, and gave in a most ex-
cellent manner such works as Handel's 'Alex-
ander's Feast ' and ' Acis and Galatea,' cantatas
by Bach, Clement Jannequin's ' Bataille de
Marignan,' selections from Kameau, choruses by
Palestrina, Orlando Lasso, etc. A nervous dis-
order obliged him to give up the direction of this
society, which soon came to an end. Ordered
to a warmer climate on account of his health, he
went to Greece on a kind of musical mission, and
brought back some interesting notes on the
music of that country, which he published in a
pamphlet entitled ' Souvenire d'une mission mu-
sicale en Grece et en Orient' (1876). He pub-
lished some piano duets, ' LeCarnaval k Athbnes,'
on popular Greek airs, and an important collection
of songs, ' Trente Melodies populaires de la Grece
et de rOrient,' collected and harmonised with
Greek, Italian, and French words. Since 1S78
he has lectured on the history of music at the
Conservatoire. He undertook recently a musical
journey into Brittany, and published on his re-
turn ' Trente Melodies populaires de la Basse
Bretagne,' collected and harmonised with a
French translation in verse by F. Coppee (1885).
Though little known to the public, and having
produced little original work, Bourgault-Ducou-
dray occupies an honourable position in the mu-
sical world, and is an enthusiastic musician,
with ardent convictions and a constant and
earnest devotion to art. [A.J.J

BOUEGEOIS, Louis. To the article in vol. i,
p. 263, add the following notice.

This musician, the son of Guillaume Bourgeois,
was born in Paris at the beginning of the 16th cen-
tury. In 1 541 he was invited to Geneva about
the time of Calvin's return fromStrasburg. On the



removal of Guillaume Franc to Lausanne in 1545
[see Fkanc in Appendix] his place was given
to Bourgeois jointly with a Genevan named
Guillaume Fabri, the former receiving 60, the
latter 40 florins of the salary of 100 florins

Online LibraryGeorge GroveA dictionary of music and musicians (A.D. 1450-1889) by eminent writers, English and foreign : with illustrations and woodcuts (Volume 4) → online text (page 131 of 194)