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 74 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 74 of 194)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


acknowledges that already in Morales 'there is
developed out of the vigorous stem of Netherland
art, that pure bloom of the higher ideal style,
which we are accustomed to call Roman' (Bd. iii.
588). If it were not that Palestrina has so
much overshadowed his predecessors and con-
temporaries, it would perhaps be more correct,
especially when we take Vittoria into account,
to speak of the Hispano-Ronian school. We
shall not be far wrong in attributing to Spanish
influence that particular cast of the religious
spirit which breathes out of Palestrina's music,
and in considering generally that to the happy
commixture of Spanish seriousness and gravity
with Italian grace, softness and sweetness, is
due that peculiar impression of lieavenliness and
angelic purity which has so often been noted
as cliaracteristic of the Palestrina style in its
perfection. In connexion with this, we may also
note the fact that it was the Spanish bishops, at
the Council of Trent, who by their resistance to
the exclusion of polyphonic music from the ser-
vices, obtained the appointment of that celebrated
commission which gave occasion to the composi-
tion of Palestrina's ]Missa Papae Marcelli.

It might almost be considered as a symbol
of the close connexion of the Spanish music of
the 1 6th century with Spanish religion that
Avila, the birthplace of Saint Teresa, the most
striking embodiment of the Spanish religious
spirit, was also the birthplace of Vittoria, the
noblest representative of Spanish music. The
mystic-ascetical spirit peculiar to Spain is com-
mon to both. It is the expression of this sjairit
in Vittoria's music that vindicates his claim to
an independent position of his own beside Pales-
trina, and redeems him from being considered
a servile follower or imitator. In the preface
to his edition of Vittoria's Missa pro Defunctis
;i 6 ^ Haberl casts doubt on the usually re-
ceived opinion that Vittoria was born at Avila.
Though Abulensis {i.e. of Avila) is found after
Vittoria's name on the title-pages of all his
published works, Haberl conjectures this to in-
dicate that Vittoria was a priest of the diocese
of Avila — Presbyter Abulensis — and that his
real birthplace is Vittoria, whence he took his
name, as Palestrina took his fi-om Praeneste.
But the cases are not parallel, for Palestrina's
name in all Latin titles and dedications always
appears as Prsenestinus, whereas Vittoria's name
never appears as Victoriensis, but always T. L. de
Victoria Abulensis. The cases are only parallel

1 i: X. Haberl, Domkapellmeister of Eatisbon.



VITTORIA.

if we interpret Abulensis as we interpret Pi
nestinus, as signifying the place of birth ; evei
thing rather points to the conjecture that he vj
ordained priest in Rome. It is better theref
to adhere to the received opinion that he v
born at Avila.^

The precise date of Vittoria's birth has 1
been ascertained, but the known facts of his 1
lead us to place it about 1 540. The hrst authen
information we have regarding him is his j
pointment in 1573 as Maestro di Cappella to 1
Collegium Germanicum, on its reorganisation 1
der Gregory XIII. It is evident however tl
he must have been in Rome for some years p
viously. There can be little doubt that his wh
musical training, as a composer at least, was
ceived there. Tliere is no trace of his having I
to work himself free from the trammels of Neth
land scholasticism, the stifi'ness of the ear!
style, and what Baini calls the 'fiamraii
squalore,' as Morales and even Palestrina h
to do. He appears at once to have entei
into the heritage of the new style, indicated
Morales, but first completely won by Palestri
in his Improperia and Marcellus mass. A prt
nant remark by Ambros (iv. 71), implying tl
Palestrina owed his very superiority to the fi
of his having had to struggle out of the Neth
land fetters, suggests that it would perhaps ha
benefited Vittoria also to have passed throu
this experience. It gave Palestrina so thorou
a command over all the resources of count
point, canon and imitation, as enabled him
move with the most sovereign ease and bo
ness, and to give full rein to his imaginatii
in the midst of the most elaborate complex
of parts. Palestrina, starting from scien
learned to make all science subservient to t
expression of the religious feeling ; Vittoria, sta
ing from the religious feeling, and from i
vantiige-ground won by Palestrina, only uf
that amount of science which was necessary
give expression to his own religious earnestne
In comparison with Palestrina there is thuf
certain limitation in his talent ; he has not 1
same immense variety, boldness, and originality
Palestrina, though there is often a greater def
of individual expression. We do not know w
was Vittoria's immediate master in compositio
he was no pupil of Palestrina in the ordim
sense, but Palestrina was his only real mast
and we know that he was bound to him in t
of close friendship and the greatest adniiratii
By this he must have largely profited. 1
artistic relation of the two might in soi
respects be considered parallel to that of Schubi
and Beethoven. Vittoria is a sort of femini
counterpart of Palestrina, just as Schubert is
Beethoven. But the parallel does not hold go
in other respects. There is nothing in Vittori;
case to correspond with the immense productivi
of Schubert, unless MS. works of his shoi

2 There is however the case of one prominent mnslclan wb
would lend some support to Haberl's conjecture if there were
other evidence in support of it. It has been recently ascertai
that the real name of Ludovico Viadana wat Ludovico GrossI, i
that he was born at Viadana, and not at Lodi as hitherto assumi



VITTOEIA.



VITTORIA.



315



be lying hid. Vittoria's first publication
(according to Haberl) in the year 1572, and
listed of a book of motets for 4 to 8 voices
nice, Ant. Gardane). This is not often re-
ed to, because its contents were afterwards
•inted with additions in 1583. Fe'tis does not
ition it, but mentions instead a publication of
5 to which I can find no other reference. The
! as given by hint is 'Liber primus, qui
sas, Psalmos, Magnificat, ad Virginem Dei
itationes, aliaque complectitur 4, 5, 6, 8 voc.
letiis, apud Angelum Gardanum 1576.' One
lid be inclined to think there is some con-
3n here, as two other books of Masses which
eared later, are entitled Liber Primus and
3r Secundus. It is possible that this publica-

may contain works afterwards republished
eparate collections. Albert von Thimus, in
:ing a score of Vittoria's 8-part motet 'Ave
ina,' for Schlesinger's 'Musica Sacra,' states
; he could not find a copy of this publication
ny German or French library,
'o keep to chronological order, we should
ition that in 1575 Vittoria was appointed
li-master of St. Apollinaris. According to
jerl however this was no new appointment
represented in Proske and Ambros) ; the
rch being given for the use of the Col-
um Germanicum. This post Vittoria ap-
rs to have held till 1589, during which
e he published the following works : (i) A
of Magnificats with Antiphons B. V. M.,
Qe 1581 ; original title, ' Cantica B. V.
»o Magnificat 4 voc. cum 4 Antiphones
V. per annum 5 and 8 voc' (2) A book of
ins for 4 voices to which is appended four
1ms for 8 voices, Rome 1581 ; original title,
ymni totius anni secundum S. Rom. Eccl.
suetudinem qui quatuor concinuntur vocibus,
i cum quatuor Psalmis pro praecipuis festi-
itibus, qui octo vocibus modulantur.' This
I dedicated to Gregory XIII, and would
ear to have been the first comprehensive
■k of the kind, preceding by several years
estrina's book of Hymns, which was published
[589. Proske gives five of these Hymns in
third volume of Musica Divina. If anything
.inguishes Vittoria's Hymns from Palestrina's,
5 a peculiar tenderness of expression with less
Deration. Perhaps Palestrina was stimulated
.he composition of his Hymns by the example
Vittoria ; the task must have been congenial
Vittoria, requirincr strict subordination to the
irgical melody, witli sufiicient opportunity for
) subjective expression. (3) A book of Motets
4, 5, 6, 8 and 12 voices, Rome 15S3. The
jinal title would seem to show that this book
tains all that was in the early publication of
'2 with much else, ('quae quidem nunc vero
lius excussa, et alia quaniplurima adjuncta
'iter sunt impressa ') . This book was reprinted
eral times. (4) Another book of Motets for
the feasts of the year was published at Rome
1588. Editions of both appeared later as
inuones Sacrte' at Dillinger and Frankfort.
e second volume of Prosko's Musica JJiviua



contains fourteen of these Motets, with the addi-
tion of one which had remained in MS. Ambros
remarks on the striking similarity ('doppelgiin-
gerische Aehnlichkeit ') of many of Vittoria's
Motets to those of Palestrina on the same texts,
and yet with an essential difference. He notes
in them, as Proske does, a certain passionate-
ness of feeling, kept in check by devotion and
humility. This passion is not always marked,
as in the instance referred to by Ambros, by
the almost immediate entrance of a counter-
subject at the beginning of the piece, but its
influence may be traced generally in the less
strict adherence to exact imitation of parts, and
a looser texture generally of part-writing. On
the other hand there are none of those semi-
dramatic traits and outward illustrations of
words or ideas which are to be found in
Palestrina. Vittoria is too much concerned
with the expression of inward feeling, to care
about the outward illustration of words or ideas.
It may be said generally that in Vittoria there
is a more complete subordination to purely
liturgical considerations, while Palestrina has
in view more general religious and artistic con-
siderations, and hence in Vittoria there is no-
thing corresponding to Palestrina's Motets from
the Song of Songs, or to that more animated
style ('genus alacrior') which Palestrina pro-
fessed to employ in these and other works.

To return to the enumeration of Vittoria's
works : we have, (5) A First Book of Masses,
published at Rome, 1583, dedicated to Philip
II. of Spain, and containing nine masses —
five h, 4, two a 5, and two h, 6. Of these,
two four-part masses have been published by
Proske, viz. ' quain gloriosum ' and ' Simile
est regnum'; and one by Eslava, 'Ave Maris
Stella.' (6) 'Officium Hebdoniadse Sanctse,'
Rome 1585, containing settings of the Impro-
l^eria, the Lamentations, and the ' Turbte ' of the
Passion. From this book are taken the eighteen
Selectissimae Modulationes published in vol. 4 of
the ' Musica Divina.' The works above mentioned
were published during Vittoria's stay in Rome.
Until recently it was not known for certain that
he had ever left Rome or given up his appoint-
ment there. Fetis indeed conjectured, on the
ground of his last work being published in Ma-
drid, that he had actually returned there.' But it
has since been ascertained from the Archives of
the Royal Chapel at Madrid that in 15S9 Vittoria
was appointed Vice-Master of the Chapel (just
established by Philip II.), under the Fleming
Philip Rogier. Perhaps before leaving Italy,
Vittoria had prepared for publication his second
book of Masses, which appeared in 1592. It
was dedicated to Cardinal Albert, son of the
Empress Maria, and in the dedication the com-
poser expresses his gratitude for the post of
Chaplain to the Imperial Court. This book con-
tains two masses a 4 with a 4-part 'Asperges'
and ' Vidi Aquam,' two Masses a 5, one a 6, one
a 8, and one Requiem Mass h. 4. Of these, the

1 Ambros attached no value to this conjecture (see note at loot of
p. 72. Band IV).



316



VITTORIA.



4-part * Quarti toni.' the 5 -part ' Tralie me post
te,' the 6-part ' Vide Speciosam ' are given by
Proske, as also the two Antiphons. These IMasses
are on a smaller scale, and far less elaborate in
technique than the more celebrated of Pales-
trina's. A good example for the comparison of
technique is afforded by the 6-part ' Vidi Spe-
ciosam ' of Vittoria and the ' Tu es Petrus ' of
Palestrina, the opening subjects of both, found
also in the other movements, being so similar.
Of Vittoria's Masses generally we may simply
repeat the judgment of Proske — work and
prayer, genius and humility are blended in them
to perfect harmony.

The date of Vittoria's death is uncertain. He
held his post in the Royal Chapel until 1602,
when he was succeeded by Bernard Clavijo, a
celebrated organist. He can scarcely have died
in that year, since he wrote funeral music for
the Empress Maria, who died in 1603. The
title of this his last important work is : —
' OfEcium Defunctoruni sex vocibus, in obitu
et obsequiis Sacrse Imperatricis,' Madrid 1605.
It was deilicated to the Princess Margaret,
daughter of the Empress, and consists of a
6-part ' Missa pro def unctis,' a 6-part ' Versa
est in luctum,' a 6-part Eesponsorium, ' Libera,'
and a 4-part Lectio ' Ttedet anima.' This work
is universally described as the crown of all
the works of the master, ' the greatest triumph
■of his genius.' [See further, Kequieji, vol. iii.
p. 109 b.~\ Though all the movements are based
on the liturgical Canto Fermo, the music has a
surprisingly modern character, its effect depend-
ing more on the succession of powerful and ex-
pressive harmonies than on the mere melodious
movement of the parts. Technically considered, it
is a marvellous blending of old independent move-
ment of parts, with modei-n dissonances and pro-
gressions. Spirituallyconsideredjit is a wonderful
expression of poignant personal sorrow, chastened
by religious contenqjlation and devotion. It is
the spirit of devout mourning, holy fear, reli-
gious awe before the Divine Judge, which here
comes to expression. There is no attempt to de-
])ict realistically the outward terrors of the last
day, as in some modern Requiems.^ In Vittoria's
woi'k it is simply the individual soul realising
its dependence on the Divine mercy. We may
suppose him to have composed it in something
of the same spirit in which the Emperor Charles
V. in his cloister, assisted at his own obsequies.
From this profound religious realism may have
come the unusual animation of style specially
noticeable in the Offertorium, the Cum Sanctis,
and the Trio of the Libera, 'Tremens factus
sum ' — the animation of the deepest religious
earnestness ; and it is perhaps characteristic of the
difference between Palestrina and Vittoria, that
in the one case it was the composition of the
Song of Songs, in the other of the Eequiem,



1 We are not disparaging the more realistic tendency of modern
art. for tlie sake ot exalting the purer idealism of ancient art ; for
even realism may be sublimed into the highest idealism, as in the
case ot Beethi'ven's Missa Solennis. On the other hand, in all pro-
press of art. there is a loss as well as a gain— a fact which is too
often forgotten by the leaders of so-called progressive art.



VIVACE.

which called forth a similar change of style
the two composers. Ambros says this suli!i;
funeral music vindicates for Vittoria the nean
place to Palestrina, but the effect of this juc
ment is somewhat neutralised by his afterwai
bracketing him with Anerio and Soriano, as .
much on the same level below Palestrina.
is a mistake perhaps to arrange composers sirnj
up and down, in a straight line as it were,
merit. Some composers, who come short of t
universality of spirit of the very greatest coi
posers, may yet have some conspicuous poii'
of superiority of their own, may contribute soi
new elements to the spiritual side of art, if not
the technical, which warrant their being class
with the greatest. If Palestrina is superior
Vittoria, as Beethoven is to Schubert, yet S
Schubert has many points of excellence whli
form a fitting complement to those of Beethove
so Vittoria has certain points of excellen
more characteristic and more valuable th:
those of Anerio and Soriano, which mark hi
out as the fitting complement to Palestrin
If Vittoria has not the science, the variety, tl
boldness, the perfect originality of Palestrin
yet in him depth of feeling comes to more dire
and immediate expression. In Palestrina the
may be said to be the perfect equilibrium of a
and religious feeling — an equilibrium outward '
manifested in the natural flow of his melodj', tl
pure diatonic character of bis harmony, and tl
consummate art of his part-writing — all co
veying the impression of passionless purity. 1
Vittoria this equilibrium is slightly disturbed
favour of religious feeling ; as if in the Spaniar
feeling must manifest itself, even when it saci
fices itself to art and to religion. The result
an impression of tender earnestness, so that i
as Ambros says, the strains of Palestrina a:
messengers from a higher and eternal world, tl
like strains of Vittoria are rather the respousi'
utterances of saintly souls on earth. [J.li.M

VIVACE (VIVO, VIVACISSIMO), 'Livel,
in the liveliest manner possible.' A directit
used either alone, and indicating a rate of spee
between Allegro and Presto, or as qualifyir
some other direction, as Allegro or Allegretl
Allegro vivace will be taken quicker than AUegi
b^' itself, but not so quick as Allegro assai. [Si
Allegko.] It occurs constantly in Beethoven
works in every class, and the same compost
uses the less common ' Allegretto vivace ' in tl
scherzo of the Sonata in Eb, op. 31, no. 3. Tl
word applies not only to speed, but to the mannt
of interpreting the music. The metronome mail
over two movements, one labelled ' Allegro ag
tato,' and the other, 'Allegro vivace,' might t
exactly of the same value ; the difference bi
tween the two would be entirely one of styl'
The Vivace in the latter case would imply a
absence of passion or excitement, an even rat
of speed, and a bright and cheerful charactei
The direction used by itself at the beginnin
of a movement is time-honoured ; it occurs frt
quently in Bach and the composers of his time.

In the ' Confiteor ' of Bach's Mass in B mine



VIVACE.

ises the expression 'Vivace e (sic) AUegro''
,he wonderful point beginning with the
is 'Et expecto resurrectionem mortuoruin.'
;hi3 passage thtre is a slight discrepancy
he MS. authorities, which leads to con-
•able (Lnerences of rendering. After the

delivery of these words, Adagio, the quick
ement starts with three repeated notes in
Srst soprano part, beginning at the half-bar.
jne of the two chief MSS. tlie direction
ce occurs at the beginning of the bar in
niddle of which this phrase begins, and in
other it appears over the beginning of the

bar. This latter reading has been accepted
;he editors of the Peters edition, but the
i-Gesellschaft editors are doubtless right in
ng the direction over the half-bar, so that
alteration of time takes place simultaneously

the soprano lead. This reading has been
wed in the performances of the Bach Choir,
ihumann used the terms Vivo and Vivace
•changeably, as is shown in his 6 th and
Novelettes, at the head of which the two
Is stand, both being translated by 'Sehr
aft.' Other instances of his use of the two
Is are found in the ' Etudes symphoniques,'
re also there occurs an example of Schu-
n's peculiar use of the direction, viz. as
ied not to an entire movement, indicating
peed, but to a passage in a movement, re-
Qg to the manner of its execution. In the
;h variation the bass alone of the third bar
.belled 'sempre vivacissimo,' and no doubt
omposer's intention was that the part for the
hand should be much emphasised and its
lated character brought out. The same
;tion, applied in much the same way, occurs
i than once in the Sonata in FJ minor, and
le Scherzo of that work a staccato passage
he left hand is marked 'Bassi vivi.' In the
:ture, Scherzo, and Finale, the same com-
r inscribes the second movement ' Vivo.'
eethoven uses the word ' Vivacissimamente'
he finale of the Sonata in Eb, 'Les Adieux,
bsence, et le Eetour,' op. 8i a. [J.A.F.M.]

IVALDI, Antonio, surnamed 'il prete
),' was the son of Giovanni Battista Vivaldi,
jlinist in the ducal cappella of St, Mark's at
ice, and born some time in the latter half of
17th century. Like StefFani and Lotti he
sought his fortune in Germany. He entered
service of the landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, ^
)tles3 in the capacity of violinist. On his
m to his native city in 1713 Vivaldi was
>inted maestro de' concerti at the Ospitale
b Pieta, a post which he held until his death
743. The institution, which was a foundling-
ital for girls, possessed a choir and a good
estra composed entirely of females. Vivaldi's
instrument was the violin, fur whicli he
;e very largely ; he is stated also to have
ributed something to the development of its

le prince's name is generally given as Philipp ; but Philipp was
«e-Philippsthal. Presumably Ernst Ludwig is meant, fetis
the impossible combination of 'lilecteur Philippe de Hesse-
itadt": vol. Tiii. 368 6.



VIVALDI.



SlTi



technical manipulation. [Seep. 291 a.] The pub-
lications on which his fame rests are all works in
which the violin takes the principal part. Fetis '•*
enumerates the following : —



Op. 1. 12 trios for 2 violins and

violoncello. Paris, 17,T7.
Op. 2. 12 sonatas for violin solo

with bass.
Op. 5. Sonatas for the same.
Op. 3. 'Estro armoiiico, ossia 12

concerti a 4 violiui, 2 viole.

violoncello, e basso continuo

per 1' organo.'
Op. 4. '12 concerti a violino solo.

2 violini ripieni, viola, efjasso

per I'organo.'
Op. 6, 7. Each consisting of 6 con-



certi for same instruments.

Op. 8. 'Le quattro staggioni. ov-
vera il Cimento dtli" armouia
e deir invenzione, in 12 con-
certi a quattro e cinque.'

Op. 9. ' La cetra, ossia 6 concerti '
for the same.

Op. 10. 6 concerti for flute, violin,
viola, violoncello, and organ.

Op. 11, 12. Each consisting of 6
concertos for the same instru-
ments, with the addition of
the violoncello.



Besides these ^ works, 28 operas by Vivaldi
are named, and a few cantate and even motets
will be found scattered in various manuscript
collections.

As a writer for the violin Vivaldi held apart
from the classical Eoman school lately founded
by Corelli. He sought and won the popularity
of a virtuoso ; and a good part of his writings is
vitiated by an excessive striving after display,
and effects which are striking simply in so far
as they are novel. His ' stravaganze ' for the
violin solo, which were much played in England
during the last century, are, according to Dr.
* Burney, nothing better than show-pieces. The
' Cimento ' (op. 8) illustrates another fault of tlie
composer : ' The first four concertos,' says Sir
John Hawkins, ^ ' are a pretended paraphrase in
musical notes of so many sonnets on the four
season;?, wherein the autlior endeavours, by the
force of harmony and particular modifications of
air and measure, to excite ideas correspondent
with the sentiments of the several poems.' Vi-
valdi in fact mistook the facility of an expert
performer (and as such he had few rivals among
contemporaries) for the creative faculty, which
he possessed but in a limited degree. His real
distinction lies in his mastery of form, and in
his application of this mastery to the develop-
ment of the concerto. It is thus that we find
his violin concertos constantly studied in Ger-
many, for instance by Benda and ® Quantz ; and
the best proof of their sterling merits is given
by the attraction which they exercised upon
Sebastian Bach, who arranged sixteen of them
for tlie clavier and four for the ''organ, and
developed one into a colossal concerto for four
claviers and a quartet of sti'ings. *

Bach however used his originals, it should
seem, principally as a basis of study ; as subjects
to which to apply his ingenuity and resource,
rather than as models for his own art to follow.

2 Fetis, vol. viil. p. 3G9 a.

3 A concerto and a siiifonia In 3-5 parts for viola d'amore and Inte
also exists in manuscript. A transcript is in the Britisli Museum,
Add. MS. 31.305, f. 10.

4 History iii. X\ ; 1789. 5 History, etc., ii. 837 ; ed. li^.i.
6 Burney, Present State of Music in Germany, ii. 134, 106; 2nd ed.

1775.

^ One of these, Xo. 4, is an arrangement of the same work as the
clavier concerto No. 13.

8 This has commonly been mistaken for an original work of Bach's;
seeForkel, 'Life of Bach.' p. 99, English translation. 1820. Futissays
that he possessed the manuscripts of two other arrangements by
Bach, namely, of two concerti in the ' Estro armonico.' for clavier,
2 violins, alto, and bass. These do not appear in the catalogue of the



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 74 of 194)