Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/168

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156
BATTON.
BATTEN.

before he was born. Nor did he correct any of the errors in accent with which former times abounded.' This criticism is hardly just. Batten's anthem, 'Hear my prayer,' is, in point of construction and effect, equal to any composition of his time. He composed a Morning, Communion, and Evening Service in the Dorian Mode, and a large number of anthems; the words of thirty-four may be found in Clifford. Six are printed in Barnard, two more in Boyce, and 18 others are comprised in Barnard's MS. collection in the library of the Sacred Harmonic Society.

The date of Batten's death is uncertain. He was living in 1635, when he made a transcript of some anthem music, to which the following note is appended:—'All these songs of Mr. John Holmes was prickt from his own pricking in the year 1635, by Adrian Batten, one of the vickers of St. Paul's in London, who sometime was his scholar.' He is supposed to have died in 1640. (Burney, Hist.; MS. Accounts of Westminster and St. Paul's.) [App. p.532 "He probably died in 1637, as on July 22 in that year letters of administration of the estate of Adrian Batten, late of St. Sepulchre's, London, deceased, were granted by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury to John Gilbert, of the city of Salisbury, Clothier, with consent of Edward, John, and William Batten, brothers of the deceased."]

[ E. F. R. ]

BATTISHILL, Jonathan, the son of Jonathan Battishill, a solicitor, and grandson of the Rev. Jonathan Battishill, rector of Sheepwash, Devon, was born in London in May 1738. In 1747 he became a chorister of St. Paul's Cathedral under William Savage, and on the breaking of his voice his articled pupil. On the expiration of his articles he officiated for Dr. Boyce at the organ of the Chapel Royal, and composed some songs for Sadler's Wells Theatre. Soon afterwards he was engaged to play the harpsichord at Covent Garden Theatre, an early result of which engagement was his marriage in 1763 to Miss Davies, a singing-actress at that theatre, and the original performer of Madge in 'Love in a Village.' On her marriage Mrs. Battishill retired from the exercise of her profession. In 1764 Battishill composed, in conjunction with Michael Arne, the music for the opera of 'Almena.' The piece, owing to the poverty of the dialogue, was soon withdrawn, but for proof that want of merit in the music had nothing to do with the withdrawal it is only necessary to refer to Battishill's songs 'Thus when young Ammon march'd along' and 'Poised in Heaven's eternal scale,' written to display the fine bass voice of Samuel Champness. In the same year Battishill composed the music for the pantomime 'The Rites of Hecate.' At a later period he abandoned the theatre and devoted his attention to the composition of church music, and produced several anthems (including that beautiful one 'Call to remembrance'), in which melody and skilful treatment of the parts are admirably combined. In 1771 he gained the Catch Club prize for his fine Anacreontic glee 'Come bind my hair.' About this time he was appointed organist of the united parishes of St. Clement, Eastcheap, and St. Martin, Orgar, and soon afterwards of Christ Church, Newgate Street. In 1775 [App. p.532 "1777"] he lost his wife, and her death so affected him that he desisted from composition, and devoted much of his time to his books, of which he had collected between six and seven thousand volumes, chiefly classical works. He died at Islington Dec. 10, 1801, aged sixty-three years, and was buried, pursuant to his dying wish, in St. Paul's Cathedral, near the grave of Dr. Boyce. Battishill published two collections of songs for three and four voices, and a collection of favourite songs sung at the public gardens and theatres. Several of his glees and catches are printed in Warren's and other collections. Four of his anthems are included in Page's 'Harmonia Sacra.' In 1804 Page edited 'Six Anthems and Ten Chants,' with a finely engraved portrait of the composer prefixed. In the same year Page also inserted in a collection of hymns twelve psalm tunes and an ode composed by Battishill. The popular song 'Kate of Aberdeen' was composed by Battishill for Ranelagh Gardens. Battishill's compositions are distinguished by an uncommon combination of energy and vigour with grace and elegance.

[ W. H. H. ]

BATTLE OF PRAGUE, THE. A piece of military programme-music describing the engagement between the Prussians and Austrians before Prague, in 1757. It was composed by Kotzwara—a native of Prague—for Piano, with Violin and Cello ad libitum, and was published at Hamburg and Berlin (according to Fétis) about 1792, and in London in 1793 [App. p.532 "Line 8 of article errs in giving 1793 as the date of the London publication, as the piece appears in Thompson's catalogue for 1789"]. The piece had an immense success at the time and for a quarter of a century after, and was the precursor of the 'Siege of Valenciennes,' and many others of the same kind—culminating in Beethoven's 'Battle of Vittoria.' The English editions contain 'God save the King,' as the Hymn of triumph after the victory, and a drum-call 'Go to bed Tom.' Now as 'Heil dir in Siegerkranz,' which has become a kind of Prussian national hymn, to the tune of 'God save the King,' was not produced till 1799, it seems probable that the tune and the name have been put into the English editions for the English market, and that if the German edition could be seen (which the writer has not been able to do) it would be found that some Prussian air and call were there instead of those named.

[ G. ]

BATTLE SYMPHONY. The ordinary English name for Beethoven's 'Wellingtons Sieg, oder die Schlacht bei Vittoria.' It was first performed in London, under the direction of Sir George Smart, at Drury Lane Theatre on Feb. 10, 1815.

BATTON, Désiré Alexandre, born in Paris 1797, died there 1855; the son of an artificial flower maker. Was a pupil at the Conservatoire (including counterpoint under Cherubini) from 1806 to 1817, in which year he won the 'Grand Prix' for his cantata 'La mort d'Adonis,' entitling him to travel for five years in Italy and Germany at government expense, and he accordingly started in 1818, after the performance of his comic opera 'La Fenêtre secrète' at the Théâtre Feydeau. During his tour he composed