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 54 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 54 of 194)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


rAUGHAN, Thomas, born in Norwich in
I2, was a chorister of the cathedral there under

Beckwith. In June 1799 lie was elected a
-clerk of St. George's Chapel, Windsor. On
y 28, 1S03, lis was admitted a gentleman of

Chapel Royal, and about the same time
lined the appointments of vicar-choral of
Paul's and lay-vicar of Westminster Abbey.
March 1806 he resigned his place at Windsor
. in the same year married Miss Tennant,
) had appeared as a soprano singer about
7, and from 1800 had sung at the Concert of
nent Music and the provincial festivals, and
some years occupied a good position. Be-
ling estranged from her husband she appeared
the stage at Drury Lane (as Mrs. Tennant)
econdary parts, and eventually subsided into
ihorus-singer at minor theatres. In 1813
Jghan was chosen to succeed Samuel Harri-

as principal tenor at the Concert of Ancient
sic and the provincial festivals, which position
Dccupied for more than a quarter of a century.
; voice was a genuine tenor, the deficiency of
oral power in which was concealed by purity
;one, great distinctness of pronunciation, and
itlessness of intonation. Harrison's style was
3te, refined, and unaffectedly sublime. He
w the tenor part in Beethoven's Ninth Sym-
ny on its production by the Philharmonic
iety, London, March 21, 1826. He died at
mingham, Jan. 9, 1843, ^^'^ ^^^ buried

1. 17, in the west cloister of Westminster
ley. [W.H.H.]
''AUXHALL GARDENS. In 1615 one
e Vaux, widow of John Vaux, was tenant,
'• copyholder of the manor of Kennington, of
inement situate near to the Thames. About

this house, with the grounds attached to it,

1 opened as a place of public entertainment.
> earliest mention of it as such is in Evelyn's
ry, under date July 2, 1661 : 'I went to see

New Spring Gar J en at Lambeth, a pretty
trived plantation.' Pepys at later dates fie-
ntly mentions it, and from him we learn that
re was an older place of the same name and
5ription in the neighbourhood. On May 29,

2, he says, ' With my wife and the two maids
the boy took boat and to Fox-hall. . . .

the old Spring Garden. . . . Thence to the
' one, where I never was before, which much
;eds the other.' The musical entertainment
ears to have been of the most primitive de-
ption. Pepys (May 28, 1667) says, 'By
er to Fox-hall and there walked in Spring
den. . . . But to hear the nightingale and
3r birds, and here fiddles, and there a harp,



VAUXHALL GARDENS.



233



and here a Jew's trump [Jew's Harp], and here
laughing and there fine people walking, is mighty
diverting.' Addison, in 'The Spectator,' men-
tions the place as much resorted to. Tn 1730
Jonathan Tyers obtained a lease of it and opened
it June 7, 1732, with an entertainment termed
a ' Ridotto al fresco,' then a novelty in England,
which was attended by about 400 persons. This
became very attractive and was frequently re-
peated in tliat and following seasons, and the
success attending it induced Tyers to open the
Gardens in 17.^6 every evening during the sum-
mer. He erected a large covered orchestra,
closed at the back and sides, with the front open
to the Gardens, and engnged a good band.
Along the sides of the quadrangle in which the
orchestra stood were placed coverad boxes, open
at the front, in which the company could sit
and sup or take refreshments. These boxes were
adorned with paintings byHayman from designs
by Hogarth. There was also a rotunda in which
the concert was given in bad weather. In 1737
an organ was erected in the orchestra in the
Gardens, and James Worgan appointed organist.
An organ concerto formed, for a long sei-ies of
years, a prominent feature in the concerts. On
the opening of the Gardens on May i, 1738,
Roubilliac's statue of Handel (expressly commis-
sioned by Tyers), was first exhibited.' In 1745
Arne was engaged as composer, and Mrs. Arne
and Lowe as singers. In 1749 Tyers adroitly
managed, byoflTering the loan of all his lanterns,
lamps, etc., and the assistance of 30 of his ser-
vants at the display of fireworks in the Green
Park on the rejoicings for the peace of Aix-la-
Chapelle, to obtain permission to have the music
composed by Handel for that occasion publicly
rehearsed at Vauxhall, prior to its performance
in the Green Park. The rehearsal took place on
Friday, April 21, by a band of 100 performers,
before an audience of 12,000 persons admitted
by 2s. 6d. tickets. The throng of carriages was
so great that the trafiic over London Bridge
(then the only metropolitan road between Mid-
dlesex and Surrey) was stopped for nearly three
hours. After Lowe quitted, Vernon was the
principal tenor singer. On the death of Jonathan
Tyers in 1767 he was succeeded in the manage-
ment by his two sons, one of whom, Thomas, who
had written the words of many songs for the Gar-
dens, soon afterwards sold his interest in the
place to his brother s family. In 1 774 Hook was
engaged as organist and composer, and held
these appointments until 1S20. [See HoOK,
James.] In his time the singers were Mrs.
Martyr, Mrs. Wrighten, Mrs. Weichsell, Miss
Poole (Mrs. Dickons), Miss Lear3', Mrs. Moun-
tain, Mrs. Bland (probably the most universally
favourite female singer who ever appeared in the
Gardens), Miss Tunstall, Miss Povey, Vernon,

I This statue remained in the Gardens, in various situations, some-
times in the upen air and sometimes undercover, until 1818, when it
was removed to the house of the Rev. .Tonathan Tyers Barrett, D.D.
(to whom the property in the Gardens had devolved, and who then
contemplated a sale of it), in Bake Street, Westminster, where it
remained until his death. It was purchased at auction in 1833 by
Sir. Brown, a statuary, who in 13.t4 sold it to the Sacred Harmonic
Society. It now belongs to Mr. Henrj- Littleton.



234



VAUXHALL GARDENS.



lucledon, DIgnum, Charles Taylor, Collyer, Ma-
lion, etc., etc. Parke, the oboist, was for many
years the principal solo instrumentalist. On May
29, 17S6, the Gardens were opened for the sea-
son, tor the first time imder the name of ' Vaux-
hall Gardens ' (the old name of ' Spring Garden '
Laving been continued up to that time), with a
jubilee performance in commemoration of their
first nightly opening by Tyers 50 years before.
In 1 798 fireworks were occasionally introduced,
and afterwards became one of the permanent
sittractions of the place. The favour shown by
the Prince of Wales (afterwards George IV. \
made the Gardens the resort of the fashionable
world, and the galas given during the Regency,
on the occasions and the anniversaries of the
eeveral victories over Napoleon, attracted im-
mense numbers of persons. During that period
the prosperity of the establishment culminated.
In 181 5 the celebrated performer on the tight
rope, Madame Saqui appeared, and excited uni-
versal astonishment by her ascent on the rope to
the summit of the firework tower (60 feet high),
during the pyrotechnic display. She continued
one of the principal attractions of the Gardens
for many years. In 181 8, the Gardens having
become the property of the Rev. Dr. Jon. Tyers
Barrett, who deemed the derival of an income
from them inconsistent with his sacred calling,
they were submitted to auction (on April 11),
but bought in. In 1822 however they passed
into the hands of Messrs. Bish, Gye, and Hughes.
Great changes then took place in the character
of the entertainments ; and a theatre was erected,
in which at first ballets, and afterwards vaude-
villes, were peiformed. Tlie concert however
was retained as a leading feature, and in 1823
the singers were Miss Tunstall, Miss Noel, Miss
Melville, Goulden, Collyer, Clark, and Master
Longhurst. In 1826 Miss Stephens, Mme.
Vestris, Braham, Sinclair, De Begnis, etc. were
engaged. In 1827 horsemanship was introduced
and a mimic representation of the Battle of
Waterloo (which proved attractive for several
seasons), given on the firework ground. Miss
•Graddon, T. Phillips, Horn, and Mr. and Mrs.
Fitzwilliam were the singers, and Blewitt, T.
Cooke, and Horn the composers. In 1828
■Blewitt, T. Cooke and R. Hughes were the com-
. poser.?, and Misses Helme, Knight and Coveney,
Benson, Williams and Tinney the singers. In
1829 Rossini's 'II Barbiere di Siviglia' was per-
formed in the theatre liy Miss Fanny Ayton,
Mesdames Castelli and De Angioli, and Sif>nori
Torri, Giubilei, De Angioli and Pellegrini ; the
orchestral concert being supported by Misses
Helme and P. Horton (now Mrs. German Reed),
George Robinson, W. H. Williams, and George
Smith ; Blewitt and T. Cooke continuing as
composers. In 1830 Bishop was placed at the
head of the musical department, and continued
so for 3 years. He produced during that pe-
riod the vaudevilles of 'Under the Oak,' and
'Adelaide, or the Royal William,' 1830; 'The
Magic Fan,' ' The Sedan Chair,' and ' The
Battle of Champagne,' 1S32, and many single



VECCHI.

songs, amongst which was the still popular bnl« I
lad, ' My pretty Jane,' written for the sweet-
toned alto voice of George Robinson. His
singers included Miss Hughes and Mrs. Way-
lett. Balloon ascents formed a main feature of
the attractions a few years later. As far back
as 1802 Garnerin had made an ascent from the
Gardens, but that was an isolated case. In 1S35
Charles Green ascended and remained in the air J
all night. On Nov. 7, 1S36, Green, Monck'
Mason, and Holland ascended in the large bal- ]'
loon, afterwards known as the 'Nassau,' andi!
descended next morning near Coblentz, having
travelled nearly 500 miles in 18 hours. In July,
1837, Green ascended, with Cocking attached in.,
a parachute beneath the balloon, when the latter!
WMS killed in his descent by the failure of hisf
machinery. The Gardens now rapidly declined.!
In 1S40 an attempt was made to sell them, butt
they were bought in at £20,000. In 1843 they'
were under the management of Wardell ; mas-
querades, frequented by the most disreputable™
classes of the community were given ; matters
grew worse and worse, until in 1855 they caine
into the hands of Edward Tyrrell Smith, and
reached their lowest depth of degradation. The
musical arrangements were beneath contempt;
a platform for promiscuous dancing was laid
down ; and everything lowered in quality. Thej
were not afterwards regularly opened, butspeca
lators were forthcoming who ventured to giv(
entertainments for a few nights in each year
' for positively the last nights,' until 1 S59, wliei
the theatre, orchestra, and all the fittings wen
sold by auction, and in the following year tp
trees were felled and the site handed over te
builders. Vaiixhall Gardens had a longer exist
ence than any public gardens in England, aa(
assisted in maintaining a taste for music as i
source of rational enjoyment, although they di<
little or nothing towards promoting its advnnce
ment. [W.H.H.

VECCHI,! orVECCHII, Oeazio,'^ was born, i
seems at Modena, in or about the year 1551. Hj
became the pupil of a monk named Salvator
Essenga, who was himself not unknown as ,
composer, and who published a volume of ' Ms
drigali,' containing a piece (doubtless his fin
essay) by Vecchi, in 1566. The latter enterc
holy orders and was made first, in 1586, canoi
and then, five years later, archdeacon, of Correj
gio. Soon afterwards however he seems to hav
deserted his office in order to live at his nativ
town ; and by April 1 595 he was punished f(
his non-residence by being deprived of his Ci-
nonry. Possibly the real reason of his absen(|
or of his deprivation, or both, was the singuh ^
excitability and quarrelsomeness of his dispoi;
tion, of which several stories are told. Be th
as it may, in October 1.S96 he was made chape



1 Vecchi =- old, and this may possibly mean that Orazio wa» t ■
elder ot two brothers or of the elder braucli of his family.

2 Orazio's separate compusitions are indexed in Eitner's 'BIbl
graphie des xvi. und xvii. Jalirhunderts.' pp. b!)0-)*9.T: they consist

W Italian and 44 Latin numbers; besides 4'2 (in German collectioi 1 (i
^\\^h German -nords, many of which are presumably ideutical W 4fi\
compositious diSerently entitled iu Italian or Latiu.



VECCHI.

ter of Modena cathedral ; and two years
r received the same post in the court, in
:h capacity he had not only to act as music-
ter to the ducal family, but also to furnish
sorts of music for solemn and festival occa-
s, grand mascarades, etc. Through this con-
ion his reputation extended widely. He was
moned at one time to the court of the Em-
)r Rudolf IT. ; at another he was requested to
pose some particular music for the King of
md. In 1604 he was supplanted in his office
the intrigue of a pupil, Geminiano Capi-
li; and within a year, Sept. 19, 1605, he died,
said, of mortification at his ill-treatment,
jnong Orazio's writings the work which calls
special notice, and which gives him an im-
aiit place in the history of music, is his
nfiparnasso, commedia harmonica,' which
produced at Modena in 1594 and published
Venice three years later. The 'Amfipar-
50 ' has been claimed as the first example of
eal opera, but on insufficient grounds. It
•ks, it is true, a distinct step towards the
ttion of the idea ; but it is not itself an opera,
s a simple series of five-part madrigals sung
I choir, while the dramatis personce appear in
iks on the stage and act in dumb show, or at
it sing but co-ordinate parts in the madrigal.^
the same time, the character of the work is
illy original and dramatic. The composer, in
iC of his clerical standing, is entirely secular
lis general treatment of the comedy. He has
;roi)g sense of humour and of dramatic effect ;
. if he uses his powers in a somewhat perverse
. eccentric manner, there is always imagina-
1 present in his work, and he lets us see that
madrigal style is breaking down under the
ght of the declamatory and dramatic impres-
1 which it is now called upon to bear.
)razio's other works belong to the older Vene-
1 school, which in the ' Amfiparnasso' he was
.ing the example of forsaking. They fall
ler the following heads : — (i) Canzonette a 4
: (four books, 1580-1590, afterwards collected
h some additions by Phalesius, 161 1), a 6
i (i587)> and a 3 voci (1597, 1599, *^® former
ume in part by Capi-Lupi) ; (2) Madrigali
e 6 voci (1589-1591, altogether five parts) ;
Lamentations (1587); (4) Motets, and Sacrse
itiones (1590, 1597, and 1604) ; (5) Hymns
I Canticles ; (6) Masses (published in 1607) ;
Dialogues; (8) 'Convito miisicale' ; (9) 'Le
^lie de Siena, ovvera I varij humeri della
sica moderna, a 3-6 voci ' (1604).^ [R.L.P.]
VEILED PROPHET OF KHORASSAN,
E. An opera in 3 acts ; words by W. Bar-
r Squire, after Moore ; music by C. V. Stan-
1. Produced at the Court Theatre, Hanover, .ns
jr verschleierte Prophet ' (German version by
nk, Feb. 6, 1881). The opera has not been
duced in London, but the overture and other
tions have been given at the Crystal Palace,
, and the PF. score is published by Boosey
,:o. [G.]

I se above. Opeba. vol. 11. 499 a.

!;e generally Fetis. s. v., aud Ambros, 'Geschichte der Musik,'
5-662 (l5l edition).



VELLUTL



235



VEILED VOICE (Voce velatn). A voice
is said to be veiled when it is not clear, but
sounding as if it passed through some inter-
posed medium. The definition found in some
dictionaries, namely 'a husky voice,' is incorrect.
Huskiness is produced by an obstruction some-
where along the line of the vocal cords, a small
quantity of thick mucus which obstinately ad-
heres to them, or an abrasion of the delicate
membrane which lines them, from cold or over-
exertion. But the veil is due to a special condition,
temporary or permanent, of the entire surface of
the vocal cords, which affects the tone itself with-
out producing a separate accompanying sound.
There are two distinct kinds of veil — that which
is natural, proceeding from the special aforesaid
condition of the vocal cords in a healthy state,
and that which proceeds from a defective position
of the vocal organs (bad production), over-work,
or disease. Almost every fine dramatic voice has
a very slight veil upon it, scarcely recognisable
as such, but imparting to it a certain richness
and pathos often wanting in voices of crystal-
line clearness. It is in idea like atmosphere
in a picture. The veil is therefore not a defect
in every degree ; some great singers having had
it to a considerable extent. Amongst these.
Pasta, one of the first who united classic acting
to fine singing, could never overcome a veil that
was sufficient at times to be very much in the
way, counterbalanced, however, by her other
great qualities; and Dorus-Gras, a French soprano
who flourished about forty-five years ago, was
a remarkable instance of the possession of large
powers with a veil upon the voice, that would in
most cases have been a serious impediment to
vocal display. She, however, made the most
brilliant singing pierce the impediment, like the
sun shining through a mist. The slight veil on
the voice of Jenny Lind (Madame Goldsclimidt)
gave it volume and consistency, and the same
maybe said of Salvini the actor, who has, perhaps,
the finest speaking voice that ever was heard.

Let no student of singing endeavour to culti-
vate a veil because some great singers have had
it naturally. A superinduced veil means a
ruined voice. [H.C.D.]

VELLUTI, Giovanni - Battista, born at
Monterone (Ancona) in 1781, was the last of the
great male soprani of Italy. At the age of four-
teen he was taken up by the Abbate Calpi, who
received him into his house and instructed him
in music. After the traditional six years of
solfeggi, he made his di^but, in the autumn of
1800, at Forli ; and for the next two or three
years continued to sing at the little theatres
of the Romagna. In 1S05, appearing at Rome,
he earned a great success in Nicolini's *Sel-
vaggia ' ; and two years later, in the same city,
he sang the ' Trajano ' of the same composer, by
which he established his position as the first
singer of the day. With no less eclat he ap-
peared in 1S07 at the San Carlo in Naples, and at
the Scala in Milan, during the Carnival of 1809,
in ' Coriolano,' by Nicolini, and ' Ifigenia ia
Aulide,' by Federici. After singing at Turin,



236



VELLUTI.



VENETIAN SWELL.



and again at Milan, he appeared in iSi2 at
Vienna, where he was crowned, medallised, and
celebrated in verse. On his return to Italy, he
continued to reap golden honours at Milan and
other phices until 1825, when he came to
London. Here he was the first sopranist whom
that generation of opera-goers had ever heard,
the last (Eoselli) having ce.ised to sing in 1800,
at the King's Theatre ; and a strong prejudice
was rather naturally felt against the new singer.
' His first reception at concerts was far from
favourable, the scumlous abuse ^ lavished upon
him before he was heard, cruel and illiberal; and
such was the popular prej udice and general cry
that unusual jjrecautions- were deemed neces-
sarj' to secure a somewhat partial audience, and
prevent his being driven from the stage on his
very first entry upon it. The very first note he
uttered gave a shock of surprise, almost of dis-
gust, to inexperienced ears, but his performance
was listened to with attention and great applause
throughout, with but few audible expressions of
disapprobation, speedily suppressed. The opera
he had chosen was ' II Crociato in Egitto, by a
German composer, named Mayerbeer {sic), till
then totally unknown in this country.'*

It must be remembered that Velluti at this
time was no longer young, and doubtless had
lost much of the vigour and freshness of his
splendid voice, which had formerly been one of
large compass. When he first sang in England,
the middle notes had begun to fail, and many of
them were harsh and giating to the ear, though
the upper register was still exquisitely sweet,
and he had retained the power of holding, swell-
in£?, and diminishing his tone with delightful
effect. The lower notes were full and mellow,
and he showed great ingenuity in passing from
one register to the other, and avoiding the defec-
tive portions of his scale. His manner was florid,
but not extravagant ; his embellishments, taste-
ful and neatly executed, and not commonplace.
His usual style was suave, but rather wanting in
variety; he never rose to hiavara. In appear-
ance he had been remarkably handsome, and was
still gooddooking. Velluti received £600 for his
services during that (part) season, but was re-
engaged for the next at a salarj'- of £2.300, as
director of the music as well as singer. He then
appeared in Morlacchi's 'Tebaldo ed Isolina,'
which he considered his best opera. He was much
less admired, however, in this than in the former
work ; and his favour sensibly declined. For his
benefit, he sang in Eossini's ' Aureliano in Pal-
mira,' iDut in connexion with this got into a dis-
pute about extra pay to the chorus, and the case
was decided against him in the Sherifi"s Court.

In 1829 Velluti came to London once more
and sang on a few occasions. On one of these
he was heard by Mendelssohn,* with an effect
only of intense loathing. His voice, indeed had
completely lost its beauty, and he was not en-
gaged. He returned to Italy, and died in the

1 The wits of the d»y called him'non Tir, sedveluti.'

2 This statement Is contradicted by Ebers (• Seven Tears').

3 Lord Mount Edgcumbe. 4 Letter of May 19, 129 to Devrient.



itjf



early part of February, iS6i, at the age of eighl
Velluti was a man of kind and benevolent dis-'
position, and equally gentlemanly feeling and
deportment : his private habits were of the moat
simple and inoffensive kind. In society, his
apparent meluncholy gave way to a lively and
almost playful exuberance of good humour, and
he never failed to interest. His chief amuse-
ments were billiards and whist, of which, though
no gambler, he was very fond.^ It is strange
that no fine portrait should exist of so great a
singer and so handsome a man : the only ones
known are an oval by Jiigel, after Mouron,
representing him as Trajano, and a woodcut, in [
wliich he appears as Tebaldo. [J.M.] ^

VELOCE, CON VELOCITA, VEL0CIS-»
SIMO — 'Swiftly; with the utmost rapidity.' j:
A term invented by the 'Romanticists,' gene -
rally used of an ad libiUim passage in a quick ,
movement, as, for instance, a scale-passage, or:
similar figure, in a cadenza. It indicates aD ,
increased rate of speed — not, like accelerando, a
gradual quickening of the time, but an imme-
diate access of celerity, lasting evenly until the
end of the passage or figure to which it i- :
applied. The original time is then resumec
without the words a tempo being required. Ir
the large majority of cases, the term is onl}
applied to loud passages, as frequently in tht
works of Chopin, and in the finale of Schtt
mann's Sonata in FJf minor, op. il ; but ii
one instance at least, the slow movement of hii
second concerto, the former composer applies i
to a soft passage, coupling vclocissimo with de
licatissimo. No instance of its occurrence i
to be found in the works of the 'classical
masters strictly so called ; its earliest use woul< '
seem to be -in that work of Chopin's whicl
Schumann's criticism immortalised, the ' Lh c .'
darem' Variations, where, however, it is appliei "^
to an entire variation. Under such condition !
it must be regarded as equivalent to Predo CO •
fuoco. It is worthy of notice that in Czemy':|
' Etudes de la Velocity ' the direction occurs onl '.:
once, and then in the superlative, applyinj^
moreover to an entire study. [J.A.F.Mi

VENETIAN SWELL. The first Swell Orga
produced its effect by placing the front of tlj-,
box containing the pipes under the control of tl i-
player, who by means of a pedal could raise (
lower the panel at wiU, so releasing or mufllii
the sound. This plan was first adopted in tl
organ at St. Magnus, London Bridge, built i
1712. [See Okgan.] The first Harpsicho;
Swell made its crescendo by the raising of tl
lid. These clumsy contrivances were supersedi
by the Venetian Swell, an invention patented 1
Shudi in 1762 [see Swell, Habpsichobd], ai
so called from its resemblance to the laths of
Venetian blind. This ingenious device was fii
applied to the Harpsichord, but was soon adopt
by organ builders. The louvres are generally ■ ^
horizontal rows and are so hung as to close i
their own weight ; but in very large Swell Orga I*



VENETIAN SWELL.

size and number of these shutters made
1 too heavy for control by the foot, and
are now often placed vertically and closed
spring. The old form of Swell could only



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 54 of 194)