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

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eft either quite open or completely closed:
icent years a balanced Swell has been intro-
d which allows the shutters to be left at
angle. In almost all cases the control is
Q to the foot of the player — generally tlje
t foot. This arrangement has had disas-
s effects upon the pedalling of many players,
iral ingenious attempts have been made to
lie the organist to open and close the box by
r means. In the large organ built by Mr.
is for the 1S62 Exhibition, a crescendo could
Qade by blowing into a small pipe. This
2ver was liable to inconvenient sudden sfor-
.03. Mr. E. H. M. Bosanquet uses a move-
back attached to the seat by a hinge. A
) fastened to this is passed over one shoulder
under the other arm of the player. When
player leans forward he puUs on the back of
seat, and this opens the Swell. The action
le back Swell and Swell Pedal are distinct,
lat acting on the former may not depress the
:r. [W.Pa.]

tinted, in the Roman Breviarj', to be used
espers on the Feast of Pentecost, when the
verse is sung kneeling : —

■Veni creator Spiritus
Mentes tuomm visita,
Imple supema gratia
Quse tu creasti pectora,

is also sung at Ordinations, and on all other
sions introducing a solemn invocation to the
f Ghost. The Latin text is supposed to have
. written about 800, and is often ascribed
harlemagne. The English version, by Bishop
'n, in the Book of Common Prayer — ' Come,
f Ghost, our souls inspire ' — is in Long ilea-
, answering, so far, to the eight syllables
le original hymn, and susceptible of adapta-
to the melody (see 'Hymns Ancient and
cm,' no. 157). The second version — ' Come,
7 Ghost, Eternal God ' — being in Common
sure, is, of course, less manageable.-'
16 PLain Chaunt Melody will be found in
Antiphonarium, the Vesperal, and the Di-
irium Chori. Among polyphonic settings,
finest is that by Palestrina, in the ' Hymni
sanui' (Rome, 1,589). A beautiful move-
' ; from a ' Magnificat ' by Palestrina, was

1 ted, many years ago, to the English version,
i published by Messrs. Bums & Lambert ;
i 8 now out of print. TaUis has also written
'tie setting, in the form of a very simple

Im Tune, adaptable to the English Common
iure version. [W.S.R.]

fSNITE. The name familiarly given to the
|| Psalm — in the Vulgate 'Venite exulte-
^ Domino' — which in the Anglican Service is

I ' Hjmn, ■ Come, Thou Holy Spirit, come.' is not ' englyshed '

2 le • Venl Creator,' but from the Sequence for Whit Sunday,
RSancte Spiritus,' to which, indeed, the Common Measure
fl bears quite as much resemblance as it does to the ' Veni
W ' itself.


sung immediately before the Psalms of the day
at Matins. For some time after the introduction
of the English service the Venite was set to
music in the same manner as the Te Deum or
Jubilate. Instances of this are found in the
services by Tallis, Strogers, Bevin, Byrd, Gib-
bons,- Mundy, Parsons, and Morley, in Bar-
nard's Church Music. The custom was;, how-
ever discontinued, and Dr. Giles, who died 1633,
was probably the last composer to do it.^ Since
then the Venite has been chanted like an ordi-
nary psalm, thus returning to the practice of the
Roman church ; a practice which indeed must
have been partly followed from the first, since in
Tallis's service a chant is given for it in addition
to the other setting. [G.]

VENOSA, Carlo Gesualdo, Peince of,
nephew of Alfonso Gesualdo, archbishop of
Naples, was born about the middle of the i6th
century. He became the pupil of Pomponio
Nenna of Bari, and excelled both as a composer
and performer on the organ, clavichord, and lute :
on the last he is said to have had no equal in
his day. Of his history nothing is recorded ; we
only know that he was living in 1613. His
compositions are contained in a single volume of
madrigals published at Genoa in parts, 1585, and
in score, 161 3. The latter bears the following
title: 'Partitura delli sei libri de' madrigali a
cinque voci dell' illustrissimo et eccellentissimo
principe di Venosa, D, Carlo Gesualdo.'

The prince of Venosa is mentioned by *Pietro
della Valle in company with Peri and Monte-
verde, as one of those who followed a new path
in musical composition and as perhaps that one
to whom mainly the world was indebted for the
art of effective singing, ' del cantare affectuoso.'
This judgment is sustained by modem examin-
ation of the prince's works. Barney indeed
found them almost repulsive in their irregularity
of form and rhythm, and their want of conformity
with the strict canons of part-writing. But it is
this very irregularity which attracts more recent
critics. By swift transitions of keys and bold
modulation, Gesualdo produced a singularly rich
eflfect, fuU of surprises and highly individual. His
style is peculiarly distinguished by its pathetic
vein. But it is the change of method in his pro-
ductions that calls for special notice. Gesualdo,
in fact, as a skilful instrumental player, was able
to use his voices in a freer manner than had
commonly been allowed ; and, though a brilliant
contrapuntist when he chose, he preferred to
work consciously on lines which brought him
near to the discovery of a genuine harmonic
treatment.^ [R.L.P.]

which has given its name to a street and a lyric
theatre in Paris, is a village in the Limousin,
created a duchy in 156S in behalf of Gilbert de
Levis, whose descendants have since borne the
name of Levis de Ventadour. The Rue Venta*

2 Keprinted by Ouseley in his ' Collection of the Sacred Compor
sitions of Orlando Gibbons.' Boyce has not given the Venite iu his
edition of Tallis, Byrd. or Gibbons. 3 Jebb, p. 2C9.

* Ambros, ' Geschichte der Uusik,' iv. 248 note,

5 See especially Ambros, iv. 23G— 248.


dour, opened in 1640 as the Rue St. Victor,
took the name it still bears in 1672.' The
Theatre was built to replace the Salle Feydeau,
atid a new street being planned to run from the
Rue des Petits Champs to the Rue Neuve St.
Augnstin, and to bd called the Rue Neuve
Ventadour, it was decided to place the theatre
in the middle of the street and call it by the
same name. The street in which the principal
facade stands is now called Rue Mehul, and that
at the back Rue Monsigny. The building was
erected by the architect Huve, superintended by
M. de Guerchj', and cost, including site, 4,620,000
francs (£184,800) which was paid for out of the
Civil List, and it was sold to a company of
speculators for 2,000,000 francs (£So,ooo) ;
a disastrous transaction, in keeping with much of
the financial history of the Thuati-e Ventadour.

The company of the Opera Comique left the
old Salle Feydeau for its new quarters on Easter
JNIonday, April 20, 1S29. The audience, a very
distinguished one, expressed great satisfaction
with the luxury and comfort which pervaded the
new Theatre Roj-al. The programme on the
opening night included ' Les deux Mousque-
taires,' by Berton ; Mehul's overture to 'Le
jeune Henri,' and 'La Fiancee,' a three-act
opera by Scribd and Auber. In spite of this
happy commencement the theatre was destined
to frequent collapses, and after two years of
vicissitudes the company were obliged to move
to the Theatre des Nouveautt^s in the Place de
la Bourse, where they performed for the first
time Sept. 22, 1832. During the two years they
played a considerable number of new works,
such as Boieldieu's last opera, ' Les deux Nuits '
(May 20, 1S29); 'Fra Diavolo,' fu-st given as
' L'Hotellerie de Terracine' (Jan. 28, 1830),
and 'Zampa' (May 3, 1S31). The theatre
reopened June 10, 1S34, ^^ the Theatre Nautique,
with 'real water' on the stage. The Theatre
Nautique came to an end early in 1S35, ^^^ t^^
Theatre Ventadour was resuscitated (Jan. 30,
1838) for an Italian company cast adrift by
the burning of the Salle Favart, and com-
I^rising Rubini and Zamboni, Lablache, Tam-
burini, Morelli, Grisi, Persiani and Albertazzi ;
but only one opera new to the French, 'Parisina,'
■was given before the season closed (March 31).

"With the autumn of 1838 the theatre again
changed its name, and entered on a new but
still struggling existence as the Theatre de la
Renaissance. Antenor Joly, the new director,
■aimed at maintaining a third French lyric theatre
•in Paris, and produced during two j'ears, be-
siides plays by Victor Hugo, Alexandie Dumas,
and Casimir Delavigne, 'Ladj' Melvil' (Nov.
15, 183S), Albert Grisar's first opera: Doni-
zetti's ' Lucie de Lammermoor' (Aug. 6, 1839),
translated into French by A. Royer and G. Vaez ;
and 'La chaste Susanne' (Dec. 27, 1839), ^^^'^
best work of Monpou. The charming Anna
Thillon, who had a brilliant career in France
before returning to her native England, appeared

1 It twelns at Xo. 26 In the Avenue de rOpira, and ends at No. 57
In tbe Buedes Tel Us Champs.



in all three operas with striking success,


From Oct. 2, 1S41, to the 'ann^e temble,*
1S70-71, the Theatre .Ventadour became the
rendezvous of the Paris plutocracy, as well as of
the amateurs of Italian music. The building,
rearranged by Charpentier, was perfect and most
commodious, the pit was converted into orchestral
stalls, and open to ladies as well as gentlemen,.
Many an impresai-io looked to making a fortunaj
by this Italian theatre, and among those who!
made the attempt we may mention Lumley,
Calzado, Bagier, and Strakosch. The list of dis-
tinguished singers heard here during twenty
years of more or less continuous prosperity em-i
braces the great artists of that time almost with-
out exception. Besides the old repertoire, tliese
artists introduced to the Paris world all Verdi's
operas, the favourite works of Mercadante^
Donizetti, and other modern masters, and a fe^
complete novelties. Among the latter, writtei|
or translated expressly for the TheStre VentiW
dour, we will only specify Rossini's ' Stabal
Mater ' (Jan. 7, 1842) ; ' Don Pasquale ' (Jan. 4 '
1S43; Flotow's ' Marta' (Feb. II, 1S58), ani.^
'Stradella' (Feb. 19, 1863). Here, too, Vieus-
temps, Sivori, Liszt, Mme. Pleyel, Emile Prui
dent, and other celebrated artists gave their bes ^
concerts ; Berlioz produced his ' Harold ei^
Italie,' the 'Francs Jiiges,' and ' Carnaval Eo
main' overtures (M.ay 3, 1844) ; Felicien Da^
conducted the 'Desert' (Dec. 28, 1844) wjjj
enormous success ; and Wagner produced fin^
ments from ' Tannhjiuser,' ' Tristan und Isol(i|
and 'Lohengrin ' (Jan. 25 and 31, i860). ^

From the war of 1870-71 till its iinal 1
on Jan. ii, 1S79, the Theatre Ventadour h
hard struggle against the indifference of &
public. Several fruitless attempts were madelij
resuscitate the taste for Italian music. The ma j~
interesting events of this last period were tl.;.
rival performances by the French Opdra (begii j'
ning Jan. 19, 1S74) and the Italian artists, afb,|
the burning of the Salle Le Peletier; thefir^
performance of 'Aida' (April 22, 1876); and ,.
Verdi's 'Requiem' (May 30, 1876) ; the tran |^
formation of the Italian theatre into the Frenij
Theatre Lyrique, and the representation of tl 1
Marquis d'lvry's opera ' Les Amants de VeroDJj'
(Oct. 12, 187S). On Jan. 20, 1879, the Th«J(|:
Ventadour was sold to a financial company, aij|
its pediment, still decorated with statues oftT
Muses, now bears the words ' Banque d'escomii^
de Paris,' a truly exasperating sight. ,,

There is an excellent 'Histoire du Th^l(^
Ventadour' (large 8vo, 162 pp., 1S81), by t,^
lamented Octave Fouque (bom 1844), who di j,
in 1883. just as he had attained the first w j
among French musical critics. [G.' ^

VENTIL is the German term for the v» j
in brass instruments. ' Ventilhorn ' and 'Ven *
trompet ' are therefore equivalent to Valve-hi «
and Valve-trumpet. [See Valve; p. 215.] [' i

5 acts; libretto by Scribe and Duveyrier, mi i
by Verdi. Produced June 13, 1S55, at t


id Opera, Paris. It was translated into
in as ' Giovanna de Guzman,' and produced
le Scala, Milan, Feli. 4, 1S56, for Mad.
iere Nini ; at the Royal Italian Opera,
y Lane, London, July 27, 1859, as 'I
iri Siciliani.' [G.]

ER ACINI, AxTO>!io, a violinist and com-
: who lived during the second half of the

century at Florence. According to Fetis
ablished three sets of sonatas. His nephew

LANCESCO Maria Veracint, a celebrated
list and composer, was born at Florence
t 1685, and was known as ' II Fiorentino.'
appears to have settled early at Venice,
e Tartini was so much impressed by his style

leave Venice without appearing in public,
retire to Ancona for further study after the
;1 of Veracini. [TAr.TiNr.] He visited Eng-
for the first time in 1714, acting as leader of
talian Opera band, and appearing as soloist
een the acts. He was then 'regarded as the
est violinist in Europe ' (Burney, Hist. iv.
In 1720 he accepted an appointment as
player to the Elector of Saxony at Dres-

There he threw himself out of a high
ow, and in consequence was lamed for life,
rding to one version he did this in a fit of
lity; but another report goes to the effect
Pisendel, the leading German musician at
den, in order to prepare a humiliation to
cini, who by his conceit and arrogance had
■red t)ie hostility of the Germans, asked
to play a concerto at sight before the
t, and afterwards made a violinist of the
istra repeat the piece. As the latter had
ully prepared his music, the audience,
eracini's mortification, gave the preference
s performance and applauded him greatly,
his as it may, Veracini left Dresden for
ue (1723) and Italy. In 1735 we find him
I in London, where he achieved a signal
:ss as a composer. His opera 'Adriano'
performed 17 times during the winter of
-36, an enormous run in those days. As a
list Geminiani, then a rising star, appears to
impaired his success. He is reported to have
in reduced circumstances at Pisa in 1750.
Pacini's general success in Italy, England and
lany, and the special testimony of Tartini, are
ient proofs of his eminence as a player. At
iame time, his compositions, though few of

have been published, show him to have

a musician of remarkable originality and

attainments. His style is much more
•rn than that of Corelli and even of Tartini.
pathetic element so predominant in the
s of these masters, although not entirely
it in his works, is yet much less prominent
vivacity, grace, and piquancy. His forms
ometimes very extended, his modulations
haiinonies not only rich and varied, but

so unusual and bold that it is not sur-
ig to find that 'his compositions were too
and flighty for the taste of the English at
time' (Burney).



He published two sets of 12 sonatas each
(Dresden and Anasterdam, 1721; London and
Florence, 1744). For London he composed the
operas ' Adriano,' 1 735 ; ' Roselinda,' 1 744 ;
'L'Errore di Salomon e,' 1744. A number of
concertos, sonatas, and symphonies for 2 violins,
viola, violoncello and basso have remained in
manuscript, and some of them are in the public
libraries of Florence and Bologna. Some of his
sonatas have been edited by Ferd. David (Breit-
kopf & Hartel) and von Wasielewski (Senff,
Simrock), and have been played by Joachim
and others. [P-D.]

VERDELOT,* Philippe, a Flemish composer
of the early part of the i6th century, appears
to have settled in Italy when young, since his
first work — a motet — was printed in the ' Fior
de' Motetti e Canzoni ' published, as is believed,
at Rome in 1526, and since he is found to have
resided at Florence at some time between 1530
and 1540, It is certain however that he was,
either now or from an earlier date, attached to
the singing staff of the church of S. Mark at
Venice, and we have the authority of *Guicciar-
dini for the statement that he was already dead
by the year 1567, His last publication is dated

Verdelot is commemorated by Cosmo Bartoli,
and by Vincenzo Galilei, who printed two lute-
pieces by him in ' Fronimo.' His works had
reached France and were printed in French col-
lections as early as the year 1530. The great
Willaert thought so highly of him as to arrange
some compositions of his in tabulature for lute
and a solo voice. The two Venetian masters
indeed, together with Arcadelt, may be taken
as the representative madrigalists of their time,
and ranked among the earliest writers and chief
promoters of that style of composition. ^Ver-
delot's remarkable skill in the science of music
is well shown in the fifth part which he added
to Jannequin's ' Bataille.' But his distinction
is not simply that of a learned writer : his pro-
ductions also display a certain feeling for beauty
and appropriateness of expression which is his
highest characteristic* His works consist exclu-
sively of madrigals, motets, psalms, and masses,
and are enumerated by Fetis and Eitner. [R.L.P.]

VERDI, Giuseppe, one of the greatest and
most popular operatic composers of the 19th
century, born at Roncole, Oct. 9, 1S13. Though
very often called 'il maestro Parmigiano,' and
' il cigno di Busseto,' in point of fact neither
Parma nor her smaller sister town Busseto, can
boast of having Verdi's name in the rolls of
their inhabitants ; and the good luck of having
been his birthplace fell to a cluster of labourers'
houses, called ' Le Roncole,' some three miles
from Busseto, and, before the unification of Italy,
in the Duchy of Pavma, The following certificate

1 Two notices cited by M. vander Straeten, La Musique aux Pays-
bas vi.SJJ. suggest that the name 'Verdelot' is an appellative: it
so. we are ignorant of the composer's real name. One of the cases
referred to is connected with the town of Bruges.

- Quoted by VandtT Straeten. i. 44.

3 Ambros. Geschichle der Musik, vol. ii. 513.

4 See generally Fetis, vol. viii. 319-321 ; Ambros, TOl, 111. 293 f. ;
vander Straeten, vol. vi. 3'21 f., 360.



will settle once for all the questions 60 often
raised concerning the place and the date of
Verdi's birth.

Anno Dom. 1813, die 11 Octobvis.— Ego Carolus ISIon-
tanaii Praepositus Ruuculariiiu baptizavi lufantcm
hodie vespere hora eexta natum ex Carole Verdi q'".
Josepho et ex Aloisia Utini filia Caroli, hujus Parocciae
iugalibus, ciii nomina imposui— Fortuninus, Jnsepli,
Franciscus.— Patrini fuere Dominus Petrus Casali qtl.
Pelicis et Barbara Bersani filia Angioli, ambo hujus

In the long run of Verdi's life — which happily
bids fair still to be preserved for an indefinite
number of healthy and vigorous years — we do
not meet with any startling and romantic inci-
dents : everything seems to have gone with him,
though not smoothly, yet with the common
sequence of good and bad turns to which all
mortals are liable, let their calling and station
in life be what they will. Verdi's biography
exhibits nothing heroic or startling, as some
would have us believe it does. The connecting-
link between his life and his works is indis-
soluble : the man and the artist proceed abreast,
hand in hand toward the same goal, impelled and
guided by the same sentiments and emotions.
' Homo sum et nihil humanum a me alienum
puto' is the proper motto for the gate of his
villa at S. Agata, and the title-page of each of
his works. This * humanity ' of his is the reason
and explanation of his life, as well as the key to
the perfect understanding of his works, and to
their popularity wherever there are ears to hear
and hearts to feel.

M. Pougin, who, together with other difficult
achievements, has successfully continued Fetis's
' Dictionnaire des Musiciens,' has written a bio-
graphical sketch of Verdi in the right spirit,
confining himself within the strict limits of the
plain facts. Of this sketch an Italian translation
was made by a well-known Paris correspondent
of the Italian papers, under the noni de plume of
'Folchetto,' with notes and additions, forming
altogether a volume of more than 1 50 pages, full
of accurate and valuable information. Through
the combined shrewdness and skill of 'Folchetto'
and M. Giulio Ricordi we are enabled to pre-
sent to our readers the most important period
of Verdi's career, in words that are almost the
great composer's own. A conversation that he
had with Giulio Ricordi was by the latter faith-
fully put on paper the very night following the
interview, and sent to ' Folchetto ' for publica-
tion. Such is the basis of the following article.

Unlike many musicians that have passed their
infancy and chddhood amongst artistic surround-
ings, Verdi's musical genius had to fight for its
development against many difficulties. Nothing
that he could hear or see was fit to give him
the slightest hint of anything grand and ideal:
the two hundred inhabitants of Le Roncole were
poor and ignorant labourers, and the very nature
of the country — an immense, flat, monotonous
expanse — however gi-atifying to a landowner,
could hardly kindle a spark in the imagination
of a poet. Carlo Verdi and his wife Luigia Verdi
Utini kept a small inn at Le Roncole, and in


addition a little shop, where sugar, coffei
matches, tobacco, spirits, and clay pipes wei
sold at retail. Once a week the good Car]
walked up to Busseto with two empty basket
and returned with them full of articles of h
trade, carrying them on his strong shoulders &
all the three miles of the dusty and sunny wa]
His purchases were chiefly made from a M. Bj
rezzi, dealer in spirits, drugs, and spices, a pro;
perous and hearty man who was destined j
serve as a bridge to Giuseppe Verdi over max
a chasm in his glorious way. |

Giuseppe, though good and obedient, vi
rather of a melancholy character, never joinii
his playmates in their noisy amusements ; oi
thing only, we are told, could rouse him from b
habitual indifference, and that was the occasion
jjassing through the village of a grinding orgai
to the chUd who in after years was to affo
an inexhaustible repertoire to those instrumei
for half-a-century all over the world, this was f
irresistible attraction — he could not be ke;
indoors, and would follow the itinerant play
as far as his little legs could carry him. Th
slight hint of his musical aptitude must ha'
been accompanied by others which the traditio
of Le Roncole have not transmitted, since
know that even in early childhood the boy w,
possessed of a spinet. For an innkeeper of .
Roncole, in 1820, to buy a spinet for his ch'
to play on, is an extravagance which we coi
hardly credit if the author of 'Aida' had i
preserved to this day the faithful companion
his childhood. M. Ghislanzoni, who saw it
S. Agata, thus speaks of it : —

At the villa of S. Agata, I saw the first instrument
which his little fingers had first practised. The spi
emeritus, has no strings left, its lid is lost, and
keyboard is like a jaw with long and worn-out tei
And yet what a precious moniunent ! And how mi
recollections it brings back to the mind of the ar
who diiring his unhappy childhood has so often wet
it with bitter tears ! How many sublime emotions
caused by the siglit of it !

I have seen it and have questioned it. I took out
of its jacks, on which I thought something had I
wi'itten, and indeed I found some words as simpli
they are sublime, words that while revealing the )
attention of a good-hearted workman, contain sc
thing of a prophecy. My readers will be {n'atefti
me for setting before them the inscription in itsorig
simplicity. It would be a profanation to correct f
mistakes in its orthography. 1

'Da me Stefano Cavaletti fu fate di nuovo qil
Saltarelli e impenati a Corame, e vi adatai la pedag! j
che io ci ho regalato: come anche gratuitamente cl
fato di nuova li detti Saltarelli, vedendo la buona j
posizione che ha il giovanetto Giuseppe Verdi < j
parare a suonare questo istrumento, che questi i
basta per essere del tutto sodisfatto. — Anno do (

a quaint inscription which cannot be transl]

literally: —

I, Stephen Cavaletti, made these jacks anew, I
covered them with leather, and fitted the ^ pedals ; f
tliese together with the jacks I give gratis, seein
good disposition of the boy Giuseppe Verdi for 1 j
ing to play the instmment, which is of itself re j(
enough to me for my trouble.

How the spinet happened to be in such a i
dition as to require the workmanship of M. ( <
letti to set it right, is thus explained by

1 The mention of ' leather ' and ' pedals ' seems to show f b J
' spinet ' was some kind of pianoforte.


letto,' who had it from an old friend of Verdi's

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 55 of 194)