Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/22

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10
ACCADEMIA.
ACADEMIE DE MUSIQUE.

at its zenith, the foundations were laid in Paris of a new Académie, designed on a scale, as respects magnitude and luxury, unprecedented in any age or country. Its progress, from the first slow, was altogether stopped by the Franco-German war and the political changes accompanying it. The theatre in the Rue Le Peletier having meanwhile, after the manner of theatres, been burnt to the ground, and the works of the new one resumed, the Académie, installed in its latest home, once more opened its doors to the public on Jan. 5, 1875. In some respects the new theatre is probably the most commodious yet erected, but the salle is said to be deficient in sonority.

Since the foundation of the Academie in 1669, its relations with the Government, though frequently changed, have never been altogether interrupted. The interference of the state with the entrepreneur has been less frequent or authoritative at one time than at another; but he has always been responsible to a 'department.' Before and up to the Revolution the ultimate operatic authority was the King's Chamberlain; under the Empire the Steward of the Imperial Household; under the Restoration the King's Chamberlain again; under Louis Phillippe the Minister of Fine Art; and under Napoleon III (after the manner of his uncle) the Steward of the Imperial Household again. The arbitrary rule of one of these officers, Marshal Vaillant, brought the working of the Académie to a complete standstill, and the Emperor was compelled to restore its supervision to the Minister of Fine Art. From the foundation of the Académie to the present time its actual management has changed hands, in the course of two centuries, nearly fifty times, though many managers have held office more than once; giving an average of only four years to each term of management. In the present year (1875) the entrepreneur, subject to the Minister of Fine Art, is M. Halanzier, who receives from the state a yearly allowance (subvention) of £32,000, the principal conditions of the enjoyment of which are that he shall maintain an efficient staff, open his theatre four times a week, and give favourable consideration to new works by native composers. [App. p.571 adds "that MM. Ritt and Gailhard are at present entrepreneurs (1887)."]

The facts in this article are drawn from the following works, amongst others:—'Histoire de la Musique dramatique en France,' Gustave Chouquet, 1873; 'Histoire de la Musique en France' Ch. Poisot, 1860; 'Notice des Manuscrits autographes de la Musique composée par Cherubini,' 1845; Koch's 'Musikalisches Lexicon,' edited by von Dommer; 'Critique et littérature musicales,' Scudo, 1859; 'Mémoires pour servir a l'histoire de la Revolution opérée dans la Musique par M. le Chevalier Gluck,' 1781.

[ J. H. ]

ACADEMY OF ANCIENT MUSIC. This association was formed about the year 1710 at the Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand, by a body of distinguished instrumentalists, professional and amateur, including the Earl of Abercorn, Mr. Henry Needler, Mr. Mulso, and other gentlemen, for the study and practice of vocal and instrumental works, and an important feature in the scheme was the formation of a library of printed and MS. music. The Academy met with the utmost success under the direction of Dr. Pepusch, the gentlemen and boys of St. Paul's Cathedral and the Chapel Royal taking part in the performances. In 1728 Dr. Maurice Greene left the Academy and established a rival institution at the Devil Tavern, Temple Bar, but this only existed for a few years, and the old Academy continued its work, with Mr. Needler as leader of the orchestra, among the members of which was the Earl of Abercorn. In the season of 1731-2 the Academy performed Handel's 'Esther,' the members appearing dressed in character, and its success is said to have led Handel to consider the desirability of establishing oratorio performances at Covent Garden. In 1734 there was a second secession from the Academy, Mr. Gates retiring and taking with him the children of the Chapel Royal. After passing through one season without any treble voices the Academy issued invitations to parents to place their children under the instruction of Dr. Pepusch, one of the conditions being that they should sing at the concerts. A subscription list was also opened to provide the necessary funds, and among those who supported the Academy were Handel and Geminiani, the latter of whom frequently played at its concerts. The death of Dr. Pepusch in 1752 was a serious loss to the institution, but the doctor bequeathed to it the most valuable portion of his library. The Academy closed its career in 1792 under the conduct of Dr. Arnold, who had been appointed its director in the year 1789.

[ C. M. ]

ACADEMY OF MUSIC, NEW YORK. This is not an academy in the European sense of the word, but is the name of a large building employed for the performance of operas and concerts, opened in 1854, burnt down in 1866, re-opened in Feb. 1867. The chief public institution in New York for teaching music is the New York conservatory of music.

A CAPELLA, or ALLA CAPELLA (Ital., 'in the church style'), is used in three senses, (1) as showing that the piece is for voices without accompaniment; or (2) where instruments are employed, that these accompany the voices only in unisons or octaves and have no independent parts; or (3) as a time indication, in which case it is equivalent to Alla breve.

A CAPRICCIO (Ital.). 'At the caprice' or pleasure of the performer, both as regards time and expression.

ACCADEMIA, an institution which flourished all over Italy in the 16th and 17th centuries, and, speaking generally, was founded for promoting the progress of science, literature, and art. Il Quadrio ('Storia e Ragione,' i. 48-112) gives an account of all the Italian academies from the earliest times, and the mere alphabetical list would fill several pages. Even from his volumi-