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 21 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 21 of 194)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

enough : though instruments have from time to
time been made somewhat larger than usual, and
that by eminent makers [see Stradivari], play-
ers have never adopted them ; and it is practi-
cally found that one-seventh longer than the
ordinary violin is the outside measurement for
the Tenor if the muscles of the arms and hands
are to control the instrument comfortably, and to
execute ordinary passages upon it. The Tenor
is therefore by necessity a dwarf : it is too small
for its pitch, and its tone is muflled in conse-
quence. But its very defects have become the
vehicle of peculiar beauties. Every one must
have remarked the penetrating quality of its
lower strings, and the sombre and passionate
effect of its upper ones. Its tone is consequently
so distinctive, and so arrests the attention of the
listener, that fewer Tenors are required in the
orchestra than second violins.

Composers early discovered the distinctive
capabilities of the Tenor. Handel knew them,
though he made but little use of them : they
were first freely employed in that improvement
of the dramatic orchestra by Gluck and Sacchini,
which preceded its f uU development under Mozart.
Previously to this, the Tenor was chiefly used
to fill up in the Tutti. Sometimes it played in
unison with the violins ; more frequently with
the violoncellos : but in general it was assigned
a lower second violin part. Handel employs the

Tenor with strikingeffect in' Revenge, Timotheus
cries.' The first part of the song, in D major,
is led by the violins and hautboys in dashing
and animated passages ; then succeeds the trio
in G minor, which introduces the vision of the
' Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain.' Here
the violins are silent, and the leading parts, in
measured largo time, are given to the tenors in
two divisions, each division being reinforced by
bassoons. The effect is one of indescribable gloom
and horror. It is noteworthy that the composer,
whether to indicate the theoretical relation of
the two parts, or the practical employment of
the larger Tenors by themselves for the lower
one, has written the first part only in the alto
clef, and headed it ' Viola,' the second part being
written in the Taille or true tenor clef, and
headed 'Tenor' : but the compass of the parts is
identical. The climax will serve as a specimen :—

Viola e Basson 1 mo. ^ bW^ "•flS '

J Sell


v^TTT '^ ^ h


J J J j-^-r-^ E^

p=P=i r




- glo-rious on the Plain





Berlioz, who overlooks tliis passage in Handel,
umerates among the early instances of the em-
ioyment of its distinctive qualities, the passage
' 'Iphigenia in Aulis,' where Orestes, over-
■tiehned with fatigue and remorse, and panting
r breath, sings 'Le calme rentre dans mon
3ur'; meanwhile the orchestra, in smothered
litation, sobs forth convulsive plaints, unceas-
!gly dominated by the fearful and obstinate
'iding of the Tenors. The fascination, the
nsation of horror, which this evokes in the
idience, Berlioz attributes to the quality of
e note A on the Tenor's third string, and the
acopation of the note with the lower A on the
isses in a different rhythm. In the overture to
phigenia in Aulis,' Gluck employs the Tenors
r another purpose. He assigns them a light
S3 accompaniment to the melody of the first
)Iins, conveying to the hearer the illusion that
( is listening to the violoncellos. Suddenly, at
e forte, the basses enter with great force and
rprising effec fc. Sacchini uses the Tenors for the
rne effect (pour preparer une explosion) in the
r of (Edipus, * Votre cceur devient mon asyle.'
'his effect, it may be observed, is also to be
rand in Handel.) Modem writers have often
ed the Tenor to sustain the melody, in antique,
tigious, and sombre subjects. Berlioz attributes
I use in this way to Spontini, who employs it
give out the prayers of the Vestal. M^hul,
ncying that there resided in the Tenor tone a
culiar aptitude for expressing the dreamy cha-
cter of the Ossianic poetry, employed Tenors
r all the treble parts, to the entire exclusion
violins, throughout his opera of ' Uthal.' It
\a in the course of this dismal and monotonous
'lU that Gr^try exclaimed ' Je donnerai un louis
jiur entendre une chanterelle ! '
'Berlioz, in 'Harold en Italie,' and Bennett, in
3 Symphony in G minor, have employed the
:snor with great effect to sustain pensive melo-
;ss. When melodies of a similar character are
.trusted to the violoncellos, the tone acquires
eat roundness and purity if reinforced by the
jmors — witness the Adagio of Beethoven's Sym-
•iony in C minor. In chamber music, the Tenor
':ecutes sustained and arpeggio accompaniments,
casionally takes up melodic subjects, and em-
joyed in unison is a powerful supporter of either
i its neighbours. Mozart's Trio for piano, clari-
it, and viola, one of the most beautiful and
ifective works in the whole range of chamber
iUsic, affords admirable illustrations of its gen-
al capacities when used without a violoncello.
Brahms's Quintet in Bb, and one of his
ring quartets, will afford good examples of the
•ominent use of the viola, and the special effect
•oduced by it. It is interesting to observe that
16 modem chamber string quartet, of which
16 Tenor is so important a member, is based,
)t on the early chamber music, but on the
ringed orchestra of the theatre. Corelli, Pur-
iU, and Handel employed the Tenor in their
•chestral writings, but excluded it from their
lamber music; nor was it until the orchestral
aartet had been perfected for theatrical pur-

poses by Handel, Gluck, and Sacchini that the
chamber quartet settled into its present shape in
the hands of Haydn, Abel, J. C. Bach, and their
contemporaries. Mozart marks the period when
the Tenor assumed its proper rank in both kinds
of music.

The Tenor is essentially an ancillary instru-
ment. Played alone, or in combination with the
piano only, its tone is thin and ineffective : and
the endeavours which have been made by some
musicians to create an independent school of
tenor-playing, and a distinctive class of tenor
music, are founded on error. It is simply a large
violin, intended to fill up the gap between the
fiddle and the bass ; and except in special effects,
where, as we have seen, it is used for purposes
of contrast, it imperatively demands the ringing
tones of the violin above it.

Competent musicians, who are masters of the
piano, attracted by the simplicity of the tenor part
in most quartets, often take up theTenor with but
little knowledge of the violin. This is a mis-
take : it is usually found that the Tenor can only
be properly played by a practised violinist. The
Violin and Tenor make an effective duet ; witness
the charming works of Haydn, Mozart, and
Spohr, and the less known but very artistic'
and numerous ones of RoUa, by the aid of which
any competent violinist will soon become master
of the Tenor. Mozart wrote a concerto for Vio-
lin, Tenor, and Orchestra. The trios of Mozart
and Beethoven for Violin, Tenor, and Violoncello
are too well known to need more than mentioning.

Owing, probably, to the structural peculiarities
that have been explained above, what is the best
model for the violin is not the best for the Tenor.
It would seem that the limitation which neces-
sity imposes upon its length ought to be com-
pensated by an increase in height : for Tenors of
high model are undoubtedly better than those of
flat model, and hence Stradivari Tenors are kept
rather to be admired than played upon. The best
Tenors for use are certainly those of the Amati
school, or old copies of the same by good English
makers : in this country the favourite Tenor-
maker is undoubtedly Banks. New fiddles are
sometimes fairly good in tone : but new Tenors
are always intolerably harsh, from the combined
effect of their newness and of the flat model which
is now universally preferred. If, however, makers
of the Tenor would copy Amati, instead of Stra-
divari, this would no longer be the case.

Mr. Hermann Ritter, a Tenor-player resident
in Heidelberg, in ignorance of the fact that the
large Tenor was in use for more than a century,
and was abandoned as impracticable, claims a
Tenor of monstrous proportions, on which he is
said to play with considerable effect, as an inven-
tion of his own.* If all Tenor-players were of the
herculean proportions of Mr. Ritter, the great
Tenor might perhaps be revived : but human

1 See 'Die Geschichte der Viola Alta, und die GrundsStze ihres
Baues. VonH. Kitter' (Leipzic, Weber, 1877); 'Hermann Kitter und
se'.ne Viola Alta, Von E. Adema ' (Wttrzburg, Stuber, 1881). The prac-
tical violin-mailer may estimate the value of instruments coastructed
on Mr. Bitter's rules from the fact that he takes as his guide the
'calcolo ' of Bagatella !



beings of ordinary stature are quite incapable of
wrestling with such an instrument : to which it
may be added that tlie singular and beautiful
tenor tone, resulting from the necessary dispro-
portion between the pitch and the dimensions of
the instrument, is now too strongly identified
with it to admit of any change.

The following is a list of special music for the

Methods :

Bruni, Mabsh, Fickert, LUtgen (recom-

Campagnoli — 41 Caprices, op. 22.
Katsek — Studies, op. 43, op. 55.

Tenor and Orchestra :
F. David— Concertino, op. 12.

Tenor and Piano :

Schumann — op. 113, 'Mahrchen Bilder,' 4-

W. Hill — Notturno, Scherzo, and Romance.

Joachim — Op. 9, Hebrew Melodies ; op. 10,
Variations on an original theme.

Kalliwoda — 6 Nocturnes, op. 186.

LuTGEN — Barcarole, op. 33.

Taglichsbeck — Op. 49, Concertstiick.

HoFMANN. C. — Reverie, op. 45.

Wallner — Fantaisie de Concert.

Herr H, Ritter has also edited ' Repertorium
fiir Viola Alta ' (Niirnberg, Schmid), containing
twenty-two pieces, mostly classical transcriptions
with pianoforte accompaniment. [E. J.P,]

Scherzo. Presto.



In Beethoven's (dictated) letter to Moscheles
acknowledging the £100 sent by the Philhar-
monic Society, and dated Vienna, March 18,
1827, eight days before his death, there occur
the words ' A Symphony completely sketched
is lying in my desk, as well as a new Overture
and other things.* This therefore was the
'Tenth Symphony.' It should however be re-
marked that a large part of the letter con-
taining the words quoted is struck through with
the pen. Two days afterwards, says Schindler
(ii. 142), 'he was greatly excited, desired to
have the sketches for the Tenth Symphony
again brought to him, and said much to me
on the plan of the work. He intended it abso-
lutely for the Philharmonic Society.* Some
sketches — whether those alluded to or not —
were printed in the ist no. of Hirschbach'a
' Musikalisch-kritisches Repertorium,' for Jan.
1844, with an introduction which we translate : —

' From Beethoven's sketch-books. Herr Schind-
ler on his return from Berlin to Aix la Chapelle,
not only showed many very remarkable relics of
Beethoven to his friends at Leipzig, but has
been good enough to allow us to publish some
of them in this periodical. The following are
some of the existing sketches of the Tenth Sym-
phony and of an Overture on the name of Bach,^
all belonging to the summer months of the year
1824, and in the order in which they were noted

'From the sketches for the Tenth Sym-
phony : — *







-#-^ - «


•^1 ri I





Finale of the first piece.




Andante. A flat.

Some further scraps of information have been
kindly furnished by Mr. Thayer. 'Carl Holz
told Otto Jahn that there was an Introduction
to the Tenth Symphony in Eb major, a soft
piece ; then a powerful Allegro in C minor.
These were complete in Beethoven's head, and
had been played to Holz on the piano.' Con-
sidering that the date of Beethoven's death was
1827, nearly three years after the summer of
1824, and considering also Beethoven's habit

of copious sketching at works which were in
his head, it is almost impossible but that more
sketches than the ti-ifles quoted above exist in
some of the sketch-books. And though Notte-
bohm is unhappily no more, some successor to
him will doubtless be found to decypher and
place these before us. [G.]

1 rossibly for the overture mentioned above. These are omitted In
the present reprint.

2 We have no clue as to wliichof the words attached to the skelchei
are Beethoven's, and which bchiudler's.


I TENUTO, 'held'; a direction of very frequent
^occurrence in pianoforte music, though not often
"used in orchestral scores. It (or its contraction
ten.) is used to draw attention to the fact that parti-
cular notes or chords are intended to be sustained
For their full value, in passages where staccato
phrases are of such frequency that the players
might omit to observe that some notes are to be
played smoothly in contrast. Its effect is ahnosfc
jxactly the same as that of legato, save that this
last refers rather to the junction of one note with
inother, and tenuto to the note regarded by itself.
Thus the commoner direction of the two for pas-
sages of any length, is legato : tenuto however
iccurs occasionally in this connection, as in the
5I0W movement of Beethoven's Sonata, op. 2, no.
2, in A, where the upper stave is labelled ' tenuto
sempre,' while the bass is to be played staccato.
Another good instance is in the slow movement
of Weber's Sonata in Ab, op. 39. [J.A.F.M.]

TERCE (Lat. Officium (tel Oratio) ad Jioram
teifiam. Ad tertiam). The second division of
the Lesser Hours, in the Roman Breviary. The
Office consists of the Versicle and Response,
'Deus in adjutorium'; the Hymn 'JSTunc Sancte
nobis Spiritus'; 48 Verses of the Psalm, 'Beati
immaculati,' beginning at Verse 33, and sung
in three divisions under a single Antiplion ; the
Capitulum and Responsorium for the Season ;
and the Prayer or Collect for the Day. The
Plain Chaunt Music proper to the Office will
be found in the 'Antiphonarium Romanum,' and
the ' Directorium Chori.' [W.S.R.]

TERPODION. A musical friction-instrument,
.invented by Buschmann of Berlin in 1816, and
iimproved by his sons in 1832. The principle ap-
pears to have been the same as that of Chladni's
clavicylinder, except that instead of glass, wood
was employed for the cylinder. [See Chladni.]
; In form it resembled a square piano, and its keys
embraced 6 octaves. Warm tributes to its merits
by Spohr, Weber, Rink and Hummel are quoted
(A. M. Z. xxxiv. S57, 858, see also 634, 645;
and 1. 451 note), but notwithstanding these, the
instrument is no longer known. [G.]

TERZETTO (Ital.). Generally a composition
for three voices. Beyond one instance in Bach,
and a few modern examples consisting of pieces
not in sonata-form, the term has never been
applied to instrumental music. It is now be-
coming obsolete, being superseded by Trio,
which is the name given to music written for
three instruments, and now includes vocal music
as well. It would have been wiser to preserve
the distinction.

A Terzetto may be for any combination of three
voices, whether for three trebles — as the imac-
companied Angels' Trio in 'Elijah,' those of the
three ladies and three boys in 'Die Zauberflote,'
and that for three florid sopranos in Spohr's
' Zemire und Azor' — or for three male voices, like
the canonic trio in the last-named opera. More
frequent, naturally, are Terzetti for mixed voices,
the combinations being formed according to the
exigencies of the situation. There is nothing to



be observed in the forro of a Terzetto different
from that of any other vocal composition ; but as
regards harmony it should be noticed that when
a bass voice is not included in the combination
the accompaniment usually supplies the bass
(where 4-part harmony is required) and the three
upper parts, taken by the voices, must be so
contrived as to form a tolerable 3-part harmony
themselves. Such writing as the following, for
voices —








though sounding well enough when played on the
piano, would have a detestable effect if sung, as
the bass would not really complete the chords of
6-3 demanded by the lower parts, on account of
the difference of timbre.

We may point to the end of the 2nd act of
Wagner's ' Gotterdammerung ' as an example of
three voices singing at the same time but cer-
tainly not forming a Terzetto. [^•^'•]

TESI-TRAMONTINI, Vittoria, celebrated
singer, born at Florence in 1690.^ Her first
instructor was Francesco Redi, whose school of
singing was established at Florence in 1706.
At a later date she studied under Campeggi, at
Bologna, but it is evident that she sang on the
public stage long before her years of study were
over. F^tis and others say that her debut was
made at Bologna, after which nothing transpires
about her tUl 1 719, in which year she sang at
Venice and at Dresden, and just at the time
when Handel arrived there in quest of singers
for the newly-established Royal Academy in
London. It seems probable that he and Vittoria
had met before. In his Life of Handel, Dr.
Chrysander suggests, and shows good reason for
doing so, that Vittoria Tesi was the young prima
donna who sang in Handel's first Italian opera
' Rodrigo,' at Florence, in I'joj, and in his
'Agrippina,' at Venice, in 1708, and who fell
desperately in love with the young Saxon
maestro. Her voice was of brilliant quality and
unusual compass. Quantz, who heard her at
Dresden, defines it as 'a contralto of masculine
strength,' but adds that she could sing high or
low with equally little effort. Fire, force, and
dramatic expression were her strong points, and
she succeeded best in men's parts : in florid
execution she did not greatly excel. Her fame
and success were at their zenith in 1719, but it
does not appear that Handel made any eSbrt to
secure her for England. Perhaps he objected to
her practice of singing bass songs transposed
alV ottava. La Tesi sang at Venice in 1723, at
Florence and Naples in 1 7 24-5, at Milan in
1727, Parma 1728, Bologna 1 731, Naples (San
Carlo Theatre) from November 4, 1737, till the



end of the ensuing Carnival, for which engage-
ment she received about 500?., a large sum in
those days. In 1748 she was at Vienna, where,
in 1749, she played in Jommelli's 'Didone.' The
book was by Metastasio, who wrote of this
occasion, ' The Tesi has grown younger by
twenty years.' She was then fifty-five. Barney
met her at Vienna in 1772, and speaks of her
as more than eighty. Hiller and F^tis say she
was only that age at her death, in 1775. But
if Gerber's date and Clirysander's theory are
right, Burney was right. Her nature was
vivacious and emporti to a degree, and many
tales were told of her freaks and escapades.
Perhaps most wonderful of all is the story of her
marriage, as told by Burney in his ' Musical
Tour' ; in which, to avoid marrying a certain
nobleman, she went into the street, and ad-
dressing herself to a poor labouring man, said
she would give him fifty ducats if he would
marry her, not with a view to their living to-
gether, but to serve a purpose. The poor man
readily consented to become her nominal hus-
band, and they were formallj' married; and
when the Count renewed his solicitations, she
told him that she was already the wife of anotlier.
Among the pupils of La Tesi were the ' Teube-
rinn,' and Signora de Amicis, who took a friendly
interest in the boy Mozart, and sang in his
earliest operatic efforts in Italy. [F. A. M.]

TESSITURA (Italian), literally texture, from
tessere, to weave. A term, for which there is no
direct equivalent in English, used by the Italians
to indicate how the music of a piece ' lies ' ; that
is to say, what is the prevailing or average
position of its notes in relation to the compass
of the voice or instrument for which it is written,
whether high, low, or medium. ' Range ' does not
at all give the idea, as the range may be ex-
tended, and the general tessitura limited ; while
the range may be high and the tessitura low,
or medium. In place of a corresponding word
we say that a part 'lies high or low.'

' Vedrai carino,' ' Dalla sua pace,' ' Dove sono,'
are examples of high tessitura, fatiguing gene-
rally to voices that are not highly developed.
Indeed, there are many who would prefer sing-
ing the 'Inflammatus' from Rossini's 'Stabat
Mater' to such a piece as 'Dove sono.' Many of
the old Italian composers wrote music of a high
tessitura, though it is true that the pitch was
lower in their day than it is now. ' Deh ! vieni,
non tardar,' is an example of moderate tessitura,
though it has a compass of two octaves. The tes-
situra of the vocal music in Beethoven's 9th Sym-
phony is justly the singers' nightmare. [H.C.D.]

TETRACHORD (Gr. rerpaxopSov). A system
of four sounds, comprised within the limits of a
Perfect Fourth.

It was for the purpose of superseding the cum-
brou s machinery of the Tetrad) ords u pon which the
old Greek Scale depended for its existence,' that

1 A description of the Oreek Tetrachords would be quite beside the
purpose of the pre eiit article. Those who wish for a closer ac-
quaintance with the peculiarities of the Greek Scale will do well to
consult a little tract, h.r General Perronet Thompson, called 'Just
lutuuatlou ' (Luiiiiua, ElSugbam Wilson, U Itojral Exchange).






Guido d'Arezzo invented the series of Hexa
chords, which, universally accepted by the Poly
phonic Composers of the Middle Ages, remainec
in constant use until the Ecclesiastical Modei
were finally abandoned in favour of our present
Scale ;* and it is only by comparing these Hexa
chords with the divisions of the older system thai
their value can be truly appreciated. It is not
pretended that they were perfect ; but modem
mathematical science has proved that the stepMJj
taken by Guido was wholly in the right direo 1,
tion. The improvement which led to its aban-
donment was, in the first instance, a purelj
empirical one ; though we now know that i(
rests upon a firm mathematical basis. TheP'*
natural craving of the refined musical ear for
a Leading Note led, first, to the general employ-
ment of a recognised system of 'accidental'
sounds'; and, in process of time, to the un-
restricted use of the ^Eolian and Ionian
Modes — the prototypes of our Major and Minor
Scales. These changes naturally prepared the
way for the unprepared Dissonances of Monte-
verde ; and, with the introduction of these, the
old system was suddenly brought to an end, and
our present Tonality firmly established upon its

Our present Major Scale is formed of two
Tetrachords, separated by a greater Tone : the
Semitone, in each, occurring between the two
highest sounds.


Our Minor Scale is formed of two dissimilar
Tetrachords, also disjunct (i. e. separated by a
greater Tone) ; in the uppermost of which the
Semitone occurs between the two gravest sounds, ;
as at (a) ; while, in the lower one, it is placed
between the two middle ones ; as at (b) (&).



This last Tetrachord maintains its form un-
changed, whether the Scale ascend or descend ;
but, in the ascending Minor Scale, the upper
Tetrachord usually takes the form of those em-
ployed in the Major Mode.



Devil's Country-house). A comic opera in 3 acts,
by Kotzebue, music by Schubert; composed be-
tween Jan. II and May 15, 1814, and re-written
in the autumn. Act 2 was afterwards burnt. Acts
I and 3 of the 2nd version are in the collection
of Herr Nicolaus Dumba of Vienna. The overture
was played by the London Musical Society, June
17, 1880, and at the Crystal Palace on Oct. 23
following. It contains a singular anticipation of
the muted violin passage in the overture to

2 gee HEXAcnoBO.



Euryanthe.' The work will form no. 6 ot
eries XV, in the complete critical edition of
chubert, annomiced by Messrs. Breitkopfs. [G.]

TEUTSCHE. Mozart's way of spelling Deut-
ihe, i.e. Deutsche Tauze — little German waltzes
1 3-8 or 3-4, of which he, Beethoven, and
shubert, wrote many. For Schubert's 'Atzen-

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 21 of 194)