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

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irector at the Durham Theatre, and was en-
■aged by the Duke of Northumberland to collect
'Northumbrian airs. He subsequently came to
jondon, was employed in the Opera band, and
7as music director at Drury Lane, the Hay-
larket, Olympic, and Adel])hi Theatres suc-
essively. After the death of Nadaud in 1864
e was appointed conductor of the ballet music
t the Royal Italian Opera. In 1843 he com-
osed the music for 'A Book of Ballads,' one of
/hich, ' The Sunny Days of Childhood,' was very
opular ; also many songs, violin solos, and in-
strumental trios. He was for some time music
ritic to the ' Pictorial Times,' ' Literary Gazette,'
nd ' Court Circular.' Besides music he culti-
ated poetry and painting, and in 1872 published

volume of poems. He died June 15, 1875.

His daughter and pupil, Annie, a soprano
inger, first appeared at the National Concerts,
Cxeter Hall, in 1855. On Feb. 4, 1856, she
jst performed on the stage at the Strand Thea-
re, whence she removed to the Olympic, Oct. 1 2,
856. In Oct. 1859 she joined the P^Tie and
Inrrison company at Covent Garden. A few
ears afterwards she became the leading member
f an English-Opera company which performed
n the provinces, and retired in 1876. [W.H.H.]

THOINAN, Ernest, the nom de plume of
ilmest Roquet, a distinguished amateur and col-
ector of works on music. From collecting he
dvanced to writing, first as a contributor to ' La
""ranee musicale,' 'L' Art musical,' and others. His
ssays in these peiiodicals he has since pub-
ished : — 'La Musique a Paris en 1862 ' (Paris,
863); ' L'Opera des Troyens au Pere La chaise'
1863); 'Des origines de la Chapelle musique
les souverains de France ' (1864); 'Les deplora-

tions de Guillaume Crestin' (1S64) ; ' Mangars'
(1S65); ' Antoine de Consu' (i8b6); 'Curiosity
musicales' (1866); ' Un Bisaieul de Molifere :
recherche? sur les Mazuel ' (1878); Louis Con-
stantin, roi des violons' (1878); 'Notes biblio-
graphiques sur la guerre des Gluckistes et des
Piccinnistes ' (1878). These pamphlets contain
much curious information, and many corrections
of F^tis's mistakes. He has also republished
the very scarce ' Entretien des musiciens,' by
Annibal Gantaz (1878), with notes and ex-
planations. He has in preparation a book on
Lully, said to embody many unpublished docu-
ments. [G.C.]

THOMAS, Aethue Goetng, born at Eatton,
Sussex, in November, 1851, was educated for
another profession and did not begin to study
music seriously until after he came of age. In
1875 he went to Paris, and studied for two years
under M. Emile Durand. On his return to
England he entered the Royal Academy, studied
there for three years under Massrs. Sullivan and
Prout, and twice gained the annual prize for
composition. His principal compositions are an
opera in 3 acts (MS.), libretto by Mr. Clifford
Harrison, on Moore's poem ' The Liglit of the
Harem ' ; four Concert-scenas, two of which have
been performed in London and one at the Crystal
Palace ; an anthem for soprano solo, chorus, and
orchestra, performed at S. James's Hall in 1878 ;
some detached pieces for orchestra ; ballet music,
etc. ; a number of songs ; and a cantata, 'The Sun-
worshippers,' given with success at the Norwich
Festival in 1881. His 4-act opera, 'Esmeralda,'
words by Randegger and Marzials, was produced
by Carl Rosa at Drury Lane, March 26, 1883,
with gTeat success, and has since been reproduced
at Cologne. [W.B.S.]

THOMAS, Chaeles Ambeoise, eminent
French composer, bom at Metz, Aug. 5, 181 1.
The son of a musician, he learnt his notes with
his alphabet, and while still a child played the
piano and violin. Having entered the Paris
Conservatoire in 1828, he carried ofiF the first
prize for piano in 1829, for harmony in 1830,
and the Grand Prix in 1832. He also studied
the piano with Kalkbrenner, harmony with Bar-
bereau, and composition with the venerable Le-
sueur, who used to call him his ' note sensible '
(leading-note), because he was extremely sensi-
tive, and the seventh of his pupils who had
gained the Prix de Rome. His cantata ' Her-
mann und Ketty ' was engraved, as were also
the works composed during his stay in Italy,
immediately after his return. The latter com-
prise a string-quartet and quintet; a trio for
PF., violin, and cello ; a fantasia for PF. and
orchestra ; PF. pieces for 2 and 4 hands ; 6
Italian songs; 3 motets with organ; and a
' Messe de Requiem ' with orchestra.

Early works of this calibre gave promise of
a musician who would work hard, produce much,
and by no means rest content with academical
honours. He soon gained access to the Opi^ra
Comique, and produced there with success ' La
double Echelle,' i act (Aug. 23, 1837); ' Le



Perruquier de la R^gence,' 3 acts (March 30,
iSsS') ; and ' Le Panier fleuri,' i act (May 6,
1839). Ambition however prompted him to
attempt the Academic, and there he produced
'La Gipsy ' (Jan. 28, 1S39), a ballet in 3 acts, of
which the 2nd only was his ; ' Le Comte de
Carmagnola' (April 19, 1841) ; 'Le Guerillero'
(June 2, 1842), both in 2 acts; and 'Betty'
(July 10, 1846), ballet in 2 acts : but it was hard
for so young a composer to hold his own with
Auber, Halevy, Meyerbeer, and Donizetti, so
Thomas returned to the Opt^ra Comique. There
he composed successively ' Carline,' 3 acts (Feb.
24, 1840) ; 'Ang(^lique et Me'dor,' i act (May 10,
1843); 'Mina,' 3 acts (Oct. 10, 1843); ' Le
Caid,' 2 acts (Jan. 3, 1849); 'Le Songe d'une
nuit d'et^,' 3 acts (April 20, 1850") ; 'Raymond,'
3 acts (June 5, 1851); 'La Tonelli,' 2 acts
(March 30, 1853); 'La Cour de C^limfene,' 2
acts (April 11, 1855) ; 'Psyche,' 3 acts (Jan. 26,
1857, revived with additions May 21, 1878)
*Le Carnaval de Venise,' 3 acts (Dec. 9, 1853)
'Le Roman d'Elvire,' 3 acts (Feb. 3, i860)
'Mignon,' 3 acts (Nov. 17, 1866) ; and 'Gille et
Gillotin.' 1 act, composed in 1861, but not pro-
duced till April 22, 1S74. To these must be
added two cantatas composed for the inaugura-
tion of a statue to Lesueur at Abbeville (Aug, 10,
1852), and for the Boieldieu centenary at Rouen
(June 13, 1875) ; a ' Messe Solennelle' (Nov. 22,
1857), a ' Marche R^ligieuse ' (Nov. 22, 1865)
composed for the Association des Artistes
Musiciens ; and a quantity of part-songs and
choral scenas, such as 'France,' 'Le Tyrol,' 'L'At-
lantique,' ' Le Carnaval de Rome,' ' LesTraineaux,'
' La Nuit du Sabbat,' etc. The life and dramatic
movement of his unaccompanied part-songs for
men's voices showed the essentially dramatic
nature of M. Thomas's genius, which after en-
larging the limits of opera comique, found a
congenial though formidable subject in ' Hamlet,'
5 acts (March 9, 186S). The Prince of Denmark
was originally cast for a tenor, but there being
at that time no tenor at the Op^ra capable of
creating such a part, Thomas altered the music
to suit a baritone, and entrusted it to Faure.
The success of this great work following im-
mediately on that secured by ' Mignon,' pointed
out its composer as the right man to succeed
Auber as director of the Consei-vatoire ^ (July 6,
1871). The work he has done there— daily in-
creasing in importance — has been already de-
scribed. [See CoNSERVAToiKE, vol. i. 393.] A
post of this nature leaves scant leisure for other
employment, and during the last twelve years M.
Thomas has composed nothing beyond the solfeg-
gios and exercises for the examinations, except
one opera ' Fran9oise de Rimini ' (April 14, 1882),
the prologue and fourth act of which are en-
titled to rank with his * Hamlet.'

The musical career of Ambroise Thomas may
be divided into three distinct periods. The first
period extended to 1848, and, taking 'Mina'
and ' Betty ' as specimens, its main characteristics

I He h«4l been Professor of Composition since 1852, and a member
of the lustituie from 1851.


were elegance and grace. The second b^
with the opera bouffe ' Le Caid,' the refined
of which was a protest against the hackne;
phrases and forced declamation of the Ital
school, and continuing with ' Le Songe d'l
Nuit d'^te,' 'Raymond,' and 'Psyche,' all wo
novel in form, and poetic in idea, ended in 18
The last 20 years include ' Mignon,' ' Haml
and ' Frangoise de Rimini,' all full of earn
thought, and showing continuous progress.

Carrying forward the work begun bj-^ H^n
he brings to his task an inborn instinct for
stage, and a remarkable gift of interpret
dramatic situations of the most varied and
])o»ite kinds. His skiU in handling the orches
is consummate, both in grouping instrument
different timbre, and obtaining new effects
sound ; but though carrying orchestral colour
to the utmost pitch of perfection, he never all(
it to overpower the voices. With a little m
boldness and individuality of melody this acc<
plished writer, artist, and poet — master of
moods and passing in turn from melanch
musings to the liveliest banter — would rank
the leaders of the modern school of compose
as it is, the purity and diversity of his st
make him a first-rate dramatic composer.

Ambroise Thomas is one of the few surviv.
of a society of eminent artists — Gatteaux, Balta
Hippolyte Flandrin, Alexandre Hesse, and ma
others — who gathered round Ingres as their hei
Intimate from his youth with the family
Horace Vernet, he was much in good socie
though it would be unfair to call him devot
to it. Tall, slender, and fond of physical eX'
tion, he enjoys country life, but he is also kno'
as a connoisseur of old furniture and hric-a-hrt
and an assiduous frequenter of the Ho
Drouot. Indeed his rooms at the Conservatoi
his viUa at Argenteuil, and his island retrf
at Zilliec in Brittany, may almost be call
museums. M. Thomas was made a Grand Cr<
of the Legion of Honour in 1880.

There is a fine oil-painting of him by Hippol)
Flandrin, a terra-cotta bust by Doublemard, a:
a marble bust and medallion, the last a striki
likeness, by Oudin^. [G.(

THOMAS, Harold, born at Cheltenha
July 8, 1834, a favourite pupil of Stemds
Bennett, under whom he was placed at the R03
Academy of Music at a very early age. B
other masters were Cipriani Potter (theory), aj
Henry Blagrove (violin). He made his first a
pearance as a pianist at a Roykl Academy Co
cert. May 25, 1850, and after this appear
frequently at the same concerts, both as pian
and composer. In 1858, Mr. Thomas play
before the Queen and Prince Consort at Winds(
and in 1 864 played Bennett's First Concerto
the Philharmonic. A few years later, he retir
from public life and devoted himself to teachin
Mr. Thomas is now Professor of the piano at i.
Royal Academy of Music, and the Guildhi
School of Music. His compositions include niai
original piano pieces, some songs, many arrang
ments, etc., and three overtures for orchestra :•


)Verture for a Comed3' ' ! * -^s you like it,'
•oduced by the Musical Society of London in
564 ; and ' Mountain, Lake, and Moorland,'
•oduced at the Philharmonic in 1880. The
8t two works have been frequently played with
•eat success. [W.B.S.]

THOMAS, John (known in "Wales as ' Pen-
rdd Gwalia,' i.e. chief of the Welsh minstrels,
title conferred on him at the Aberdare
isteddfod of 1861), a very distinguished harpist,
IS born at Bridgend, Glamorganshire, on St.
ivid's Day, 1826. He played the piccolo when
ly four, and when eleven won a harp at an
steddfod. In 1840 he was placed by Ada,
luntess of Lovelace (Byron's daughter), at the
jyal Academy, where he studied under J. B.
latterton (harp), C. J. Kead (piano), and Lu-
13 and Cipriani Potter (composition). He re-
lined at the Academy for about eight years,
ring which time he composed a harp concerto, a
tnphony, several overtures, quartets, two operas,
;. On leaving the Academy he was made in
ccession Associate, Honorary Member, and
•ofessor of the Harp. In 1851 he played in
'e orchestra of Her Majesty's Opera, and in the
i(ne year went a concert tour on the continent,
jractice he continued during the winter months
* the next ten years, playing successively in
lance, Germany, Kussia, Austria, and Italy. In
[62 Mr, Thomas published a valuable collection
t Welsh melodies, and in the same year gave
'th great success the first concert of Welsh
jasic in London. In 1871 he was appointed
Saductor of a Welsh Choral Union, which for
I : years gave six concerts annually. In 1872,
j the death of Mr. J. B. Chatterton, he was
pointed Harpist to the Queen, and is now
icher of the harp at the Royal College of

Mr. Thomas has always taken a deep interest
the music of his native country. There
i scarcely been an Eisteddfod of importance
Id during the last twenty years at which
has not appeared as both adjudicator and
rformer, and he has recently (18S3) collected
arge sum with which he has endowed a per-
.nent scholarship for Wales at the Royal
ademy of Music. In 1866, at the Chester
iteddfod, he was presented with a purse of
D guineas in recognition of his services to
elsh music. Mr. Thomas is a member of
i Academies of St. Cecilia and the Philhar-
•nic of Rome, the Florentine Philharmonic,
i the Royal Academy, Philharmonic, and
■yal Society of Musicians, of London. His
npositions include a large amount of harp
'-sic, amongst which are 2 concertos, one of
lich was played at the Philharmonic in 1852 ;
lewelyn,' a cantata for the Swansea Eisteddfod
^63) ; and 'The Bride of Neath Valley,' for
,J Chester Eisteddfod (1866). [W.B.S.]

THOMAS, Lewis William, bom in Bath, of
elsh parents, learnt singing under Bianchi Tay-
\; and in 1 850, when 24, was appointed lay-clerk
I Worcester Cathedral. In 1852 he was made
ister of the choristers, and during the next few



years sang frequently at Birmingham, Gloucester,
Hereford, and Worcester. In 1854 ^^ made his
first appearance in London, at St. Martin's Hall;
in 1855 I16 sang at the Sacred Harmonic, and
in 1856 settled in London, with an appoint-
ment at St. Paul's. In the following year
Mr. Thomas left St. Paul's for the choir of the
Temple Church, and in the same year was ap-
pointed a gentleman of Her Majesty's Chapel
Royal. In 1857 he had lessons of Mr. Randegger,
and appeared under his direction on the operatic
stage, which however he soon abandoned for the
concert-room, where he is chiefly known as a
bass singer of oratorio music. During the last
few years Mr. Thomas has been a contributor
to the press on matters connected with music
and art. [W.B.S.]

THOMAS, Theodore, born Oct. 11, 1835, at
Esens, in Hanover ; received his first musical
instruction from his father, a violinist, and at
the age of six made a successful public appear-
ance. The family emigrated to the United States
in 1845, and for two years Theodore made fre-
quent appearances as a solo violinist in concerts
at New York. In 1851 he made a trip through
the Southern States. Returning to New York
he was engaged as one of the first violins in
concerts and operatic performances during the
engagements of Jenny Lind, Sontag, Grisi, Ma-
rio, etc. He occupied the position of leading
violin under Arditi, and subsequently, the same
position in German and Italian troupes, a part
of the time officiating as conductor, until 1861,
when he withdrew from the theatre. In 1855
he began a series of chamber-concerts at New
York, with W. Mason, J. Mosenthal, Carl Berg-
niann, G. Matzka, and F. Bergner, which were
continued every season until 1869. In 1864 Mr.
Thomas began his first series of symphony con-
certs at Irving Hall, New York, which were
continued for five seasons, with varying success.
In 1872 the symphony concerts were resumed
and carried on until he left New York in 1878.
Steinway Hall was used for these concerts, and
the orchestra numbered eighty performers. In
the summer of 1866, in order to secure that effi-
ciency which can only come from constant practice
together, he began the experiment of giving
nightly concerts at the Terrace Garden, New
York, removing, in 1868, to larger quarters at
the Central Park Garden. In 1869 he made his
first concert tour through the Eastern and Western
States. The orchestra, at first numbering forty
players, was, in subsequent seasons, increased to
sixty. The programmes presented during these
trips, as well as at New York, were noticeable
for their catholic nature, and for the great number
of novelties brought out. But it was also notice-
able that the evenings devoted to the severer class
of music, old or new, in the Garden concerts
at New York, were often the most fully at-
tended. Thomas's tendencies, it was plainly seen,
were towaid the new school of music; but he
was none the less attentive to the old, and he
introduced to American amateurs a large num-
ber of compositions by the older masters. The



repertory of the orchestra was very large, and
included compositions in every school. In 1878
Thomas was appointed director of the new Col-
lege of Music at Cincinnati. In April, 1879, he
was unanimously elected conductor of the New
York Pliilharmonic Society, a position which he
had occupied in the season of 1877-7^- The
concerts by the Brooklyn Philharmonic Society
were in his charge during the seasons of 1862,
1866 to 1870 inclusive, and have been since his
last election. May 26, 1873. He has directed
several festivals at Cincinnati and New York
since 1873. In 1883 he went from New York
to San Francisco with an orcliestra and several
eminent singers, giving, on his way, concerts in
the principal cities. In some cities embraced in
this tour, notably Baltimore, Pittsburg, Chicago,
Milwaukee, St. Louis, Denver, and San Fran-
cisco, festivals, in which were included perform-
ances of important choral works, were given
with the aid of local societies under his direction.
Mr. Thomas withdrew fi'om the College of Music
at Cincinnati in 1S80. At present (18S3) he
is director of the Philharmonic Societies of
Brooklyn and New York, and of the New York
Chorus Society. [F.H.J.]

THOMSON, George, born at Limekilns,
Edinburgh, Mar. 4, 1757 or 1759, died at Leith,
Feb. II, 1 85 1, was for fifty years 'Secretary to
the Board of Trustees for the Encouragement
of Arts and Manufactures in Scotland.' His
place in musical history is that of the most en-
thusiastic, persevering and successful collector
of the melodies of Scotland, Wales and Ireland,
a work begun in his youth and continued for
forty j'ears or more.

I. (i) Scotland. He proposed to rescue from
oblivion, so far as it could possibly be accom-
plished, every existing Scotch melody, in all its
forms and varieties. Being in oorresjoondence
with and knowing personally gentlemen in every
part of Scotland, no man had greater facilities
for the work. He proposed, further, to publish
' all the fine airs both of the plaintive and lively
kind, unmixed with trifling and inferior ones.'
The precise date at which he began the publi-
cation in ' sets ' does not appear ; but the preface
to the second edition of the first volume — con-
taining 25 songs — is dated Edinburgh, Jan. i,

(2) Ireland. At first he included 20 favourite
Irish airs in his ' sets,' denoting them in the
index by an asterisk. Burns persuaded him to
undertake a separate publication of Irish me-
lodies, and ofl^ered to write the new texts. This
was the origin of the two volumes under that
title, for the collection of which Thomson was
indebted especially to Dr. J. Latham of Cork,
and other friends in various parts of Ireland, who
are responsible for whatever faults of omission and
commission they exhibit. [See Irish Music,
vol. ii. p. 22.]

(3) Traces. Meantime he undertook to collect
the melodies played by Welsh harpers and adapt
them to the voice. The project found favour
in Wales, and friends in all parts of it sent


them to him as played by the harpers ; '
the anxiety he felt to have a complete and
thentic collection induced him to traverse Wj
himself, in order to hear the airs played by
best harpers, to collate and correct the ma
scripts he had received, and to glean such
as his correspondents had omitted to gath
There was of course no deciding as to
original form of an air on which no
harpers agreed, and Thomson could only ad
that which seemed to him the most simple i
perfect. Very few if any had Welsh texts,
were at all vocable. To make them so, he
some cases omitted monotonous repetitions;
some repeated a strain; in most discarded
ornaments and divisions of the harpers ; but
changes were made in the tunes except such
were absolutely necessary to 'make songs
them.* '

II. In regard to their texts, these three
lections of melodies consisted of four class
(i) without words ; (2) with none in Engli
(3) with English texts, silly, vapid, or indec
not to say obscene ; (4) a few with unimpeach?
words, even in which cases he mostly thougl
well to add a new song.^ In fact, in the J
24 Scotch airs, 16 have 2 songs each, mos
not all written expressly for the work,
large number of eminent authors were empio
by Thomson for this purpose.

When the melody was known to the poet, tl
was no difficulty in writing an appropriate so
when not, Thomson sent a copy of it with
character indicated by the common Italian tei
Allegro, etc., which were a sufficient gn
Burns was the principal writer. Allan Cunn:
ham, in his ' Life and Works ' of the poet, let
the impression that Thomson was niggardly
parsimonious towards him. Thomson disdaine
take any public notice of Cunningham's charf
but in a copy of the work in possession of his 1
in-law, George Hogarth (i860), there are a
autograph notes to the point. Thus in J
1793, Burns writes :

'I assure jou, my dear sir, that you truly 1
me with your pecuniary parcel. It degrades
in my own eyes. However, to return it wc
savour of affectation ; but as to any more tn
of this debtor and creditor kind, I swear by i
HONOUR which crowns the upright statue
Robert Bukns's integrity — on the least mo'
of it I will indignantly spurn the by-past tn
action, and from that moment commence en
stranger to you ! ' ^

Thomson writes, Sept. I, to Burns : —

'While the muse seems so propitious, I tl B
it right to inclose a list of all the favours I hjP
to ask of her — no fewer than twenty and thi If
. . . most of the remaining airs . . . are of 1 1
peculiar measure and rhythm that they musi*(
familiar to him who writes for them.'

A comparison of dates removes the doubl^

1 This of course detracts largely from the value of his labour. Jf

2 The same leaven of interference, ■ -

3 This protest evidently refers to all songs written or to be Tvrl ■• ■
and thus disposes of Cunningham's arguments.


elation to Moore, raised in the article on Irish
Icsic. True, the completed volumes of Thom-
)n's ' Irish Melodies' are dated 1814 ; but they
rere completed long before, except as to the
istrumental accompaniments. Messrs. Power
Qgaged Moore to write songs for their rival
lubUcation in 1806, at which time the poet was
ittly known in Edinburgh as a young writer of
idecent and satiric effusions. (See ' Edinburgh
i^view' of July 1806.)

I III. As to the instrumental accompaniments,
ihomson's plan was as new and original as it
las bold. Besides the pianoforte accompani-
iicnt each song was to have a prelude and coda,
[ad parts ad libitum throughout for violin, or
ate, and violoncello, the composition to be
itrusted to none but the first composers.
In the years 1 79 1-3 , Pleyel stood next to Haydn
id Mozart ; they in Vienna, he at that time
uch in London. Thomson engaged Pleyel for the
ork, but he soon ceased to write, and Thomson
as compelled to seek another composer. Mo-
rt was dead ; Haydn seemed to occupy too
fty a position ; and Kozeluch of Vienna was
igaged. But the appearance of Napier's Collec-
Dn of Scotch Songs with pianofoiie accompani-
ents, written by Haydn during his first visit to
Dndon, showed Thomson that the greatest living
mposer did not disdain this kind of work,
bomson applied to him ; and Haydn worked for
m until about 1806. The star of Beethoven
\d now risen, and he did not disdain to continue
e work. But he, too, died before Thomson's
Jrk was completed, and Bishop and George
ogarth made up the sixth volume of Scotch
ngs (1 841).

The following list exhibits each composer's
are in the work : —

Scotch Songs.

Vo\. I. originally all by PleyeL

^ol. II. „ „ Kozeluch (?).

In the second edition of these (1803) Thomson substi-
tuted arrangements by Haydn for several which
■were ' less happily executed than the rest.'

Tols. III., IV. all by Haydn.

/■ol.V. (Pref. dated June 1,1818) Haydn . . . 4

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 24 of 194)