Gasparini, and of Argante in Handel's 'Rinaldo.' However, he preferred an engagement at the opera in Hamburg, where he obtained a most brilliant success, as also at Leipzig and Brunswick. 'During a visit at Dantzig, he played the organ in the principal church; and, after a short prelude, gave forth the full force of his stupendous voice in a solo. A sudden noise in the church interrupted both the singer and the service: the wife of one of the chief magistrates, terrified by the tremendous tones, was safely delivered of a son. Her husband, a martyr to the gout, was no sooner informed of the event, than he found himself instantly cured. Hearing the name of the artist to whom he owed this double debt and happiness, he invited Bendler to meet a distinguished company at the christening feast, when he placed on his plate a sum of 300 ducats, thanking him at the same time for the service he had rendered him, both as physician and accoucheur.' This extraordinary singer died in 1724.
[ J. M. ]
BENEDETTI, an Italian singer at the Opera in London, 1720. He is mentioned in a witty letter by Sir John Edgar in Steele's journal, 'The Theatre,' from Tuesday March 8 to Saturday March 12, 1720, as an instance of the touchiness of some artists. 'He set forth in the recitative tone, the nearest approach to ordinary speech, that he had never acted anything in any other opera below the character of a sovereign, and now he was to be appointed to be captain of a guard.'His portrait was engraved by Vertue, and is mentioned by Walpole, 'Catalogue of Engravers,' p. 221. There is a proof impression in the British Museum. It was painted by Beluzzi. Benedetti is represented in a cloak, turned to the right, oval in a frame, 8vo. It is rare.
[ J. M. ]
BENEDICITE, or the 'Song of the Three Children,' is the canticle which is used in the Anglican service after the first lesson in the morning, alternatively with the Te Deum, at the option of the minister. It is taken from the Greek continuation of Daniel, chap. iii., and is of very ancient use in the Church service, being mentioned in St. Benedict's 'Regula,' and by Amalarius as used at matins. It was also prescribed by Athanasius. The ancient Spanish and Gallican churches appointed it to come between the lessons, and in the ancient English offices it was one of several psalms with which Lauds began. It was retained by Cranmer in his 'English Liturgy' of 1549, and appointed to be used instead of the Te Deum in Lent; but this injunction was afterwards removed, and it became optional to use it at any time of the year.
In 'the Book of Common Prayer noted' which was published in 1550, the chant given for it by Marbeck is the same as that in the Sarum Breviary, but simplified, in accordance with Cranmer's wish that 'the note that shall be made thereunto, would not be full of notes, but as near as may be for every syllable a note, so that it may be sung distinctly and devoutly.'This canticle is more fitted for a chant than any other musical form, because the second half of each verse is the same throughout. Purcell set it in his double service in B flat, but garbled the words by making the burden 'Praise him,' etc. only recur occasionally.
[ C. H. H. P. ]