ever to be satisfactorily answered. The further description and history of belly will be found under Pianoforte.
[ A. J. H. ]
BELMONTE UND CONSTANZA, Oder die Entführung aus dem Serail, an opera in four acts, words by Bretzner, music by Johann Andre; produced at Berlin May 26, 1781. It is only worth mention because the libretto, as altered by Stephanie, was set by Mozart under the title of 'Die Entführung,' etc. [See p. 66 a.]BELSHAZZAR. An oratorio of Handel's, occurring in the series between 'Joseph and 'Hercules'; words by Jennens, much reduced by Handel. Dates on autograph (in Buckingham Palace)—at beginning, August 33, 1744; at end of first part, Scored Sept. 15, ditto; end of second part, Sept. 10, ditto. First performance at the King's Theatre on Wednesday March 27, 1745, announced as Belteshazzar. The oratorio was revived by the Sacred Harmonic Society on March 19, 1847.
[ G. ]
BEMETZRIEDER, born in Alsace in 1743, came to Paris, and was engaged as teacher of music to the daughter of Diderot, whose patronage was of great service to him. In 1782 he left Paris for London, and there he died in 1817. He published both in London and Paris several didactic works on music, one of which, 'Leçons de claveçin' (Paris, 1771), was often republished in France, Spain, and England. In the contest between the Gluckists and Piccinnists he wrote on the side of toleration. Diderot rewrote the work just named—a questionable benefit, except as far as style is concerned.
BENDA, Hans Georg, a weaver, and wandering performer on several instruments, belonged to the village of Alt-Benatka in Bohemia, and was the head of a celebrated family of artists. His four sons, Franz, Johann, Georg, and Joseph, all devoted themselves to music.
(1) Franz Benda. Born Nov. 25, 1709, remarkable as the founder of a special violin school. He was brought up under Graun and Quanz, and on the death of the former became (1771) concertmeister to Frederick the Great, whose flute concertos he thereafter accompanied. In his manner of playing he especially affected the cantabile. His published (posthumous) works consist of twelve solos for the violin (Paris), 'Etudes de Violon, ou Caprices,' 2 books, and 'Exercises progr. pour le Violon,' 1 book (Leipzig, Kühnel). He died at Potsdam, March 7, 1786. His second daughter, Caroline, married Capellmeister Wolff, and his fourth, Julianne, Capellmeister Reichardt. His eldest son, Friedrich, born 1745, was esteemed as an excellent player on the violin and clavier, and his compositions—the cantatas 'Pygmalion' and 'Die Grazien,' an oratorio 'Die Jünger am Grabe des Auferstandenen,' an opera 'Orpheus,' and various works for clavier and violin—found much acceptance. At his death, at Potsdam, in 1814, he was kön. preuss. Kammer-musikus. His brother Carl, born 1748, approached nearest to his father in the style of his playing. He was teacher of music to Wilhelm III, and left six adagios, with remarks on the mode of executing the adagio (Berlin, Hummel).
(2) Johann, the second son of Hans Georg, and the least eminent of the brothers, was born 1713, and died as Kammermusikus at Berlin 1752.
(3) Georg, born 1721, was the most distinguished of the four, renowned as an able clavier-player and oboist. In 1748 he was appointed Capellmeister to the Duke of Gotha, after which he studied in Italy, and on his return wrote his first Duodrama, 'Ariadne auf Naxos' (1774), a work which excited much attention for its novelty and ability, became widely known, and entitled him, notwithstanding the claims of Rousseau's 'Pygmalion,' to be called the inventor of the melodrama. Full and compressed scores of the work, with German and French words, quickly appeared, and a second melodrama, 'Medea,' had an equal success with the first. Georg visited Vienna and Paris for the performance of his works, and at length settled himself in the hamlet of Küstritz in Thuringia, where he died in 1795. Besides the compositions already mentioned he was the author of many instrumental works, of the operettas of 'Der Dorfjahrmarkt' (1776), 'Romeo und Julie' (1778), 'Der Holzbauer,' 'Lucas und Bärbchen,' and 'Orpheus,' also of 'Pygmalion,' a monodrama. His son Friedrich Ludwig, born at Gotha 1746, was music-director of the Hamburg theatre, and published in Leipsic an opera, 'The Barber of Seville,' three violin concertos, and a 'Narren-ballet.' While in Hamburg he married a singer named Felicitas Agnesia Rietz, with whom he visited Berlin and Vienna, but from whom he very shortly separated. He died as director of the concerts at Königsberg, March 27, 1793. [App. p.543 "Paloschi gives the place of his birth, Jungbunzlau, and says that he died at Kosteritz, Nov. 6, 1795."]
(4) Joseph, the last of the four, a clever violin player, held the post of Concertmeister to Friedrich Wilhelm II. at Berlin, where he died in 1804. His son Ernst Friedrich, born at Berlin 1747, was one of the founders of the Berlin amateur concerts, and died there in 1785.
(5) Anna Franziska, the only sister of the above four brothers, born 1726, was one of the best singers of her time. She married a musician of Gotha named Hattasch, and died there in 1780.Of this family of artists, which thus lasted through three generations, the most remarkable on the whole were Franz and Georg, the latter of whom, by his melodrama and operettas has obtained a lasting position in musical history.
[ C. F. P. ]