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 132 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 132 of 194)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

which had been paid to Franc. Of the personal
history of Bourgeois we know nothing beyond
what may be gathered from some notices of him
in the registers of the Council of Geneva. These
are curious as illustrative of the place and the
time. In 1547 the Council admitted him gra-
tuitously to the rights of citizenship 'in con-
sideration of his being a respectable man and
willing to teach children.' Shortly afterwards,
to enable him the better to pursue his studies,
they exempted him from duties connected with
the town guard and the worlds of the fortifi-
cations, and presented him with a small china
stove for his a2oartment. Before long his salary
was for some reason reduced to 50 florins. On
his petitioning that it should be restored to its
former amount, or even slightly increased in
consequence of his poverty, the parsimonious
Council gave him two measures of corn ' for
that once, and in consideration of an expected
addition to his family.' To a second petition,
even though supported by Calvin, they turned
a deaf ear. On Dec. 3, 155 1, Bourgeois was
thrown into prison for having ' without leave '
altered the tunes of some of the psalms, but
through the intervention of Calvin obtained his
release on the following day. The alterations,
however, were sanctioned and adopted. Another
innovation proposed by Bourgeois fared better
with the Council. His recommendation to sus-
pend a printed table in the churches to show
what psalm was to be sung was approved of and
rewarded by a donation of sixty sols.

In 1557 Bourgeois returned to Paris and was
still living in 1561. His chief claim to notice at
the present day arises from his connection with
the Genevan Psalter. The authorship of the
melodies in this remarkable collection has been
long a subject of controversy. It has been
attributed, wholly or in part, to several musicians
of the time, to Bourgeois, Franc, Goudimel,
Claudin Le Jeune and others. The claims set
up for Goudimel and Le Jeune are easily dis-
posed of. Neither of these composers ever visited
Geneva or had any direct relations with Calvin.
In 1557, when the greater part of the Genevan
psalter had been already published, Goudimel
was still a member of the Church of Rome. The
Genevan psalter was completed in 1562, and it
was not until that year that Goudimel published
his ' Seize Pseaumes mis en musique a quatre
parties, en forme de motets.' This was followed
by the entire psalter, first in 1564 hannonized in
double counterpoint, then in 1565 in simple
counterpoint (generally note against note), and
lastly in 1565-66 when Goudimel produced an-
other arrangement of the psalms for three, four,
or more voices in the foim of motets.

Le Jeune was but 12 years of age in 1542
when the first edition of the Genevan psalter
was published, and not above 21 in 1551 when


the whole of Marot's and the first portion c
Beza's translations had already appeared. Ii
1564 he published 'Dix Pseaumes de Dauii
nouuellement composes k quatre parties, en form'
de motets . . .' reprinted in 1580. The psalm
are Marot's, but the music is entirely original
Le Jeune died in 1600, and his harmonized ai
rangements in four and five parts, of the Genevai
melodies were not printed until the foUowin.
year, nor that in three parts (Book I) until 1602.
But long before the psalms of Goudimel and L
Jeune appeared. Bourgeois had himself harmon
ized the tunes up to that time included in the Ge
nevan Psalter. In 1547 he published ' Pseaulme
cinquante de Dauid . . . traduictz . . par Clemen
IMarot, et mis en musique par Loys Bovrgeoys
a quatre parties, k voix de contrepoinct ega
consonnante au verbe. Lyon, 1547.' In the samt
year he also published ' Le premier liure de
Pseaulmes de- Dauid, contenant xxiv. pseaulmes.
Compose par Lo3-s Bovrgeois. En diuersite d(
Musique : k scauoir familiere ou vaudeuille
aultres plus musicales .... Lyon.' In the lattei
the words of the p.=alms are those of Marot
but the melodies are original and wholly differeni
from those of the former work. All these
harmonized psalters were intended only foi
private use. Down to the present century
nothing bej-ond the melody of the psalms was
tolerated in the worship of the ReformedChurches,
and it was not improbably the aversion of Calvin
to the use of harmony that compelled Bourgeois
to print his psalters at Lyons instead of Geneva."

Before we consider more particularly the au-
thorship of the melodies in the Genevan psalter,
a brief account of the origin and development oi
that important collection must be given.

When Calvin, expelled from Geneva, went to
Strasburg in 1538 he resolved, after the example
of the Lutherans in Germany, to compile a
psalter for the use of his own church. This, of
which th« only known copy has but recently
come to light in the royal library at Munich,
contains eighteen psalms, the Song of Simeon,
the Decalogue, and the Creed, to each of which
a melody is prefixed. Of the psalms the words
of twelve are by Marot (i, 2, 3, 15, 19, 32, 51,*
103, 114, 130, 137, and 143) ; of five (25, 36, 46,
91 and 13S) with the Song of Simeon and the
Decalogue, by Calvin himself, and of one (113)
in prose. These psalms of Marot exhibit vari-
ations from the text first published by the author
three years later, and must therefore have been
obtained by Calvin in MS. from some private
source. Calvin and Marot certainly met in
1536 at the court of Ferrara, but there is no 1
evidence that any intimacy was then formed,
or that any communication passed between them,
until Marot fled to Geneva in 1542. The first
translation made by Marot was Psalm 6, written
and published in 1533 in 'Le Miroir de tres ■:

1 Book I was reprinted in 1607, and was followed by the SeconS
and Third Books in ICOS. The latter books apparently had not been
published in 1601. 2 in lour parts.

s Specimens of the psalms as harmonized by Bourgeois. Goudimel,
Le Jeune. and others, are tiven by Douen in his work cited belon.

4 Numbered L, after the nuiceratiou of the Vulgate.




hretienne Princesse Marguerite.' By 1539 he
'lad completed his first instalment of thirty psalms,
•lut up to that time they circulated in manuscript
^nly. They are all found in a psalter published
|,t Antwerp in 1541, and their text is there
[lie same as that published by Calvin. Douen
[hinks that the varied readings are due to Pierre
[ilexandre, editor of the Antwerp Psalter, but
It seems equally if not more probable that they
epresent, largely or wholly, the original text
f Marot's manuscripts, revised by him when he
•ublished the ' Trente Pseaulmes,' about the
•eginning of 1542- The tunes to Calvin's own
ranslations are German, four by M. Greiter and
neby W. Dachstein. Calvin returned to Geneva
a Sept. 1541, and shortly afterwards, in Feb.
542, a psalter (professedly printed at Rome by the
ommand of the Pope^) was published at Stras-
•urg, containing, besides the psalms and other
■ieces of the collection of 1539, together with four
>salms by other writers, the eighteen remaining
)salms of those which Marot bad translated up
o that time (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14,
2, 24, 37, 38, 104, 113, and 115) and his Pate r-
loster. To the Paternoster and to eight of the
>salms (4, 6, 9, 22, 24, 38, 104, and 113) new
nelodies were added. On these two collections
he first edition of the Genevan Psalter was
)ased, and was published at Geneva in 1542.
"t contains the thirty psalms of Marot with his
Pater and Credo (a different one from that in the
5trasburg edition of 1539 which is in prose), the
ive psnlms of Calvin, and his Song of Simeon and
Decalogue. Of the tunes, seventeen (i, 2, 3, 15,
!5, 36, 46, 91, 103, 104, 114, 130, 137, 138, 143,
lie Song of Simeon and tbe Paternoster) are
alien from the preceding Psalters, but all except
hree (36, 103, and 137) are more or lessmodified ;
wenty-two tunes are new, thirteen of them (4,
», 8, 9, 13, 19, 22, 24, 32, 38, 51, 113, aud
he Decalogue) are substituted for the former
nelodies, eight (5, 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 37, and
15) are set to the psalms left with music in the
weudo-Roman Psalter, and one is adapted to
Marot's Credo. In Nov. 1542 Marot arrived at
jeneva, and there translated nineteen other
ijsalms (18, 23, 25, 33, 36, 43, 45, 46, 50, 72, 79,
|36, 91, loi, 107, 110, 118, 128, and 138) and
jihe Song of Simeon, which, with the thirty
previously published, make up what are commonly
spoken of as the ' Cinquante Pseaumes.' These,
with Marot's Decalogue, Ave, and Graces before
and after meat, all with music, were added to
the psalter in a new edition published at the
end of 1543.

In this edition the text of Marot's earlier
psalms was corrected by the author, and the
Calvin's Song of Simeon and five psalms were
replaced by Marot's new versions of the same.

In 1544 Marot died at Turin, and the Psalter
remained unfinished until the woi-k was resumed
by the publication in 155 1 of thirty-four ad-
ditional translations by Beza, which were united
in the following year to the forty-nine by Marot
already in use. In 1554 six more psalms ap-
1 Hence knomi as tbe pseudo-Boman Fsalter.

peared, soon followed by another, and the Psalter

was completed in 1562.

The following lists show the order in which
the psalms were published in successive editions
of the Genevan Psalter : —

1542. I, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, II, 12, 13,
14, 15, 19, 22, 24, 32, 37, 38, 51, 103, 104, 113,
114, 115, 130, 137, 143, the Pater, and Credo,
bj- Marot. 25, 36, 46, 91, 138, Song of Simeon,
and Decalogue, by Calvin.

1543. The seven versions by Calvin were
omitted, and the following by Marot added — 18,
23, 25, 33, 36, 43, 45, 46, 50, 72, 79, 86, 91,
loi, 107, 110, 118, 128, 138, Song of Simeon,
Decalogue, Ave, and Graces.

1551. 16, 17, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31,

34> 35. 39' 40. 41, 42, 44, 47, 73> 9°. "9, 120,
121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 129, 131, 132,
133, 134,- all by Beza.

To these psalms the tunes were almost cer-
tainly adapted at the same time, but no copy of
the Psalter containing them is known of a date
anterior to 1554.

1554. The six appendix psalms of this year
(52, 57, 63, 64> 65 and iii), and- the additional
one of 1555 (67) appeared without tunes.

In 1562 the psalter was completed by the
addition of the remaining sixty psalms, proper
tunes were assigned to thirty-eight of these as
also to psalms 52 and 57, while the others, as
well as the remaining appendix psalms of 1554-
5 (63, 64, 65, 67 and III) were sung to the
melodies of other psalms.

The psalms thus added in 1-562, with tunes,
were— 48, 49, 54, 55, 56, 58, 59, 60, 61, 74, 75,
80, 81, 83, 84, 85, 87, 88, 89, 92, 93, 94, 96, 97,
99, 102, 105, 106, 112, 135, 136, 141, 145, 146,
147, 148, 149, 150. Without tunes — 53, 62, 66,
68, 69, 70, 71, 76, 77, 78, 82-, 95', 98, 100, loS,
109, 116, 117, 139, 140, J42, 1-44. Including,
therefore, the Song of Simeon and the Decalogue,
the Genevan Psalter contains in all 125 tunes,
of which eighty-five were selected or adapted
between 1542 and 1554, the rest in- 1562.

The story which ascribes to Franc the editor-
ship of the Genevan Psalter will be noticed in a
separate article, but recent investigations in the
archives of G eneva have clearly shown that the
task of selecting and arranging the tunes was
entrusted to Bourgeois, and an entry in the
registers of the Council, dated July 28, 1552,
which- wall be found quoted at length in the
notice of Fkanc in this Appendix, distinctly states
that Bourgeois had set to music the psalms of
Beza, published the year before, and had ar-
ranged those already published- in the earlier
editions of the psalter.

A minute collation which M. Douen has made
of these earlier editions enables us to see what
Bourgeois did. In 1542 he adopted, with modi-
fications, seventeen tunes from the Strasburg
Psalters and added twenty-two new ones. In or
before 1549 seventeen tunes were more or less
altered aud eight replaced by others. In 155I

2 The tune to this psalm is that known in England as the ' Old




four were altered and twelve new melodies sub-
stituted, some for earlier ones of Bourgeois
himself. In several instances therefore the tune
is of later date than the psalm.

These last changes were final and mark the
time since which the tunes adopted before 1562
have remained unaltered. The old Strasburg
tunes of 1539 which still survived were those to
Psalms I, 2, 15, 36, 91, 103, 105, 114, 130, 137
and 143, two of which (36 and 137) retained
almost their primitive form, and 103 remained
unaltered. M. Douen considers these Strasburg
melodies to possess more of a German than a
French character, and according to Kiggenbach
36 and 91 are by Matthaus Greiter, a member
of the choir of Strasburg Cathedral.

How far the other tunes adapted by Bour-
geois are original it is impossible to determine.
A few can be traced to a German origin, some
are constructed out of fragments of earlier
melody, while others are adapted irom secular
songs popular at the time. It is not improbable
that every tune in the Genevan Psalter belongs
to one or other of the above categories. ^

Bourgeois left Geneva in 1557, and undoubt-
edly had no connection with the Genevan
Psalter after that time. The fort}' tunes of 1562
were added by another and a less skilful hand.
In June 1561 an entry in the ' Comptes des
recettes et depenses pour les pauvres ' records the
payment of ten florins to ' JNIaltre Pierre ' for
having set the psalms to music. This person is
conjectured by Becker to be Pierre Dubuisson, a
singer who in 1565 was admitted gratuitously to
the rights of citizenship at Geneva, but nothing
certain is known on the subject.

It only remains to add that in 1550 Bourgeois
published ' Le droiet chemin de musique, com-
l)os6 par Loys Bourgeois auec la maniere de
chanter les pseaumes par vsage ou par ruse,
comme on cognoistra, au xxxiv,- de nouveau mis
en chant, et aussi le cantique de Simdon. Genfeve
1550.' This treatise, in twelve chapters, is the
first in which a proposal is made to abandon the
method of the musical hand and to teach music
by the employment of the solfeggio. An analy-
sis of it will be found in Fetis, Biogr. des
Musiciens, ii. 42. The last known work of
Bourgeois shows him still employed in working
on the Genevan melodies. It is entitled ' Quatre-
vingt-trois Psalraes de Dauid en musique . . .
a. qufttre, cinq, et six parties, tant a voix
pareilles qu'autrement, etc. Paris 1561.'

For full details respecting Bourgeois and the
history of the Genevan Psalter see the exhaus-
tive work of Douen entitled ' Clement Marot et
le Psautier Huguenot,' 2 vols. Paris, 1878-79.
The following works may also be consulted : —
Bovet, ' Histoire du Psautier des eglises refor-
mees,' Neuchatel et Paris, 1872 ; G. Becker,
' La Musique en Suisse,' Genfeve et Paris, 1874;
Riggenbach, ' Der Kircheugesang in Basel' ; and

1 A composer of that day employed his talents on harmony rather
than on melody, and used fur his subjects any material that suited
Ins purpose. A difference in style between sacred and secular music
Hardly existed, and ■ composing ' was often literally ■ compounding.'

» A misprint for xiiv.



six articles in the Musical Times (June
Nov. 1881) by the present writer. [G.A.C.

BOYCE, William. Line 15 of article, ad
that in 1,734 he set Lord Lansdowne's masqu
of ' Peleus and Thetis.' Line 30, for 1 740 rea
1736, and for 1. 33 read and it was given b
the Apollo Society, and subsequently, in 174c p;i)
at Covent Garden Theatre. In 1 749, when th ^b
JMasque of Lethe was revived at Drury Lane |ij
Blow wrote new songs for Beard. P. 267 1
1. 22, for setting read reviving (Diet, of Nat
Biog.). Line 2S, for 1750 read 1751, am
1. 31, for 1675 read 1755. At the foot of th
same column add that Blow's last theatrica
work was Garrick's pantomime, ' Harlequin'
Invasion,' 1759. To the list of works given oi
p. 26S a, add ' Noah,' an oratorio. [W.H.H.

BRADE, William. There is no evidence a
to the date of his death.

BRAHAM, John. P. 269 a, last line bu
one, after opera-house insert the Oratorios, am
the Three Choir Festival. P. 269 6, 1. 3
read Florence was the first Italian citj^, etc
He had pre\'iously given concerts in Paris
with Nancy Storace. Line 24, add ' The Siege
of Belgrade,' 1802. Line 25, for 1S02 read
1803. Line 28, add ' Nareusky,' 1S14, and
' Zuma ' (with Bishop), 1818. At the Lyceum
he appeared in ' The Americans,' 1811 ; ' Isidore
de Merida,' i &2 7, and ' The Taming of a Shrew,'
1828. In the third paragraph of the same
column, add that an American tour, undertaken
with his son Charles in 1S40, was unsuccessful,
and that his last appearance took place at the •
Wednesday concert in March 1S52. [M.]

BRAHMS, Johannes. Line 4 of article,/or
March read May. Line 29 from bottom, for
1873 read 1872, and in list of works read D for
the key of op. 73. (Corrected in late editions.)
Add the following supplementary article : —

This master, whose music during the last nine
years has slowly and surely gained in the esti-
mation of the musical world, may now justlv be
described not as 'one of the greatest living,' but
as the greatest living of German composers.

Popularity, in the ordinary sense of the word. ,'
his music has not acquired ; nor can it be expected '
to do so, for his compositions, with few excep- '
tions, are written for cultivated audiences only.
His influence will always be deeply rather than '
widely felt. There is, if we may say so, some-
thing impalpable about his creations ; at first
hearing their beauties seem to elude our grasp ;
we are deeply moved, but we cannot clearly
discern the influences which affect us. ' Brahms,'
says Dr. Louis Ehlert, ' does not stand before us ■
like Mozart or Schubert, in whose eyes we seem
to look, whose hands we seem to press. Two
atmospheres lie between him and us. Twilight
suriounds him ; his heights melt in the distance,
we are at once lured onward and repelled.' But
as we approach, in a spirit of conscientious J
investigation, the mist which hangs over his .art
seems to roll away ; the outlines of his sublime I
creations are revealed more clearly, we recognise '




he grandeur of these masterpieces and feel tliat
hey exist for all time.

■ Brahms's published works have now reached

'he opus-number 102 ; of these twenty-eight

^ave appeared since 1878.

] During this important period of full maturity
t is noticeable that Braljms's style has under-
one no very marked change. He has kept to
hose conservative principles which have governed
is creations almost from the beginning of his
areer. He has added to every branch of art in
/hich he has been previously successful ; but the
jama seems to offer no attraction to his genius.
By far the larger part of Ins later composi-
ions consist of vocal pieces for one or more
"oices ; indeed no less than seven books of songs
lave appeared since 1880, exclusive of quartets
nd romances for mixed chorus. In these songs
Irahrns's personality is very prominently dis-
layed. A power of intense expression, a pro-
usion of melody of the highest order, a subtle
reatment of popular sentiment, in its lighter as
n its more serious aspect, and, finally, a sure
udgment in the selection of his words — all these
[ualities are even more noticeable in the later
han in the eai'lier songs. Goethe, Heine,
Jliickert, Platen, von Schenkendorff, Siegfried
tapper — and more rarely Geibel — these are
ome of the poets whose words he uses most
requently ; always investing them with deep
Dusical purpose, and, where the sentiment
equires it, employing the most elaborate means-
if expression. As a song-writer he stands alone ;
le cannot be classed with Schubert, Schumann,
r Robert Franz.

The relentlessness of fate forms the subject of
he two greater choral works of this period : — a
etting of Schiller's 'Nanie,' and the 'Gesang
erParzen' from Goethe's Iphigenia. They areno
tnworthy companion-pieces to the earlier ' Song
f Destiny,' though they will not readily attain an
qual popularity with that most perfect work.

The compositions for piano — Brahms's own
nBtrument - are not very numerous. The eight
ieces for piano, op. 76 (Capriccios and Inter-
nezzos) are highly characteristic of the master,
loth as regards inspiration and scientific treat-
nent. Some of the Intermezzos, simple and
ouching, contrast pleasantly with Capriccios
yhich offer almost insurmountable difficulties to
he most skilful virtuoso. The two Rhapsodies
op. 79) are admirable instances of how success-
ully well-established forms may, in the hands of a
aaster, be used to convey the most original ideas.
Finally we come to the orchestral works, on
vhich Brahms's claims to one of the highest
lositions in the musical world must be based.
i?hese include two delightful concert-overtures
op, 80 and 81), a Pianoforte Concerto in Bb
op. 83,) a voluminous work in four movements,
,nd a Violin Concerto (op. 77) written for Joachim.
)f the two later Symphonies, No. 3, in F (op. 90),
eems to combine something of the grandiose and
leroic character of the first Symphony in C minor
vith the more graceful and delicate features of the
econd in D. Deep and manly feeling expressed

with terseness and energy, skilful construction
and powerful development, orchestral colouring
at once sombre and effective, these are the chief
features of the first and last movements of this
symphony ; while the Andante and Allegretto,
though they hardly sustain the lofty and epic
character of the work, charm every hearer by
their exquisite melody and easy grace.

On so important and elaborate a work as the
Fourth Symphony, in E minor, it is as yet too
soon to pronounce a very definite judgment. To
many hearers it will seem laboured, and lacking
in spontaneity ; and there is no doubt that the
prominence given to musical erudition may be
held to detract from the emotional interest
of the work. The last movement, consisting of
a passacaglia — a novel form for the finale of
a Symphony — is highly interesting, but chiefly
to those able to appreciate its excellent work-
manship. On the other hand, only prejudice
could lead any one to overlook the splendid
qualities of this last symphony. It is nobly
and solidly planned, and, in spite of intricate
thematic details, is carried out with conciseness
and self-restraint — virtues by no means common
among contemporary composers. It bears the
unmistakable impression of Brahms's indivi-
duality in all its wholesome vigour and manli-
ness ; dr^'ness and harshness may occasionally
disfigure it, but it is as free as the rest of his
works from anything weak or trivial. Taken as
a whole, this symphony seems to display, more
completely than any one of the later composi-
tions, those rare combinations of intellect and
emotion, of modern feeling and old-fashioned
skill which are the very essence of Brahms's style.

The last additions to the chamber-music con-
sist of a sonata for violoncello and piano in F,
a sonata for violin and piano in A, and a trio for
piano and strings in C minor, all of which are
intensely interesting and full of vigorous beauty.
A concerto for violin and violoncello with or-
chestra was played by Joachim and Hausmann
at Cologne in the autumn of 1887, and at one
of the London Symphony concerts in Feb. 1888.

There is little or nothing to be added to the
biography of Herr Brahms. He enjoys the
unchanging esteem and admiration of his
countrymen, and wherever the production of his
works may lead him he is sure to meet with the
most enthusiastic receptions. Early in 1887
the Emperor of Germany, in recognition of his
genius, appointed him Knight of the Order ' pour
le mi^rite ' for Arts and Sciences.

The following is a list of Brahms's published
compositions from June 1878 to March 1887 : —

7-i. Two Motets.

75. 2 Ballads for 2 Toices.

76. 8 Piano pieces fCapriccios and


77. Concerto for Violin.

78. Sonata for PF. and Violin


79. Two Khapsodies for PF.

80. Academical Festival Over-


SI. Tragic Overture.

82. ' Naenie.' for Chorus and Or-

. PF. Concerto in B h.

, Koraances and Songs tor 1 or

2 voices.
. Six Songs for 1 voice.
. Six Songs for 1 voice.
, Trio for PF. and Strings.
, Quintet for Strings in F.
. Oesangder Parzen,for6-Part

Chorus and Orch.
. Symphony in F, No. 3.

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 132 of 194)