Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/235

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BENEDICT.
223
BENELLI.

Nightingale,' with such unexampled success, during her famous American tour. On his return to England [App. p.543 "1852"] he accepted an engagement as musical conductor at Her Majesty's Theatre, and afterwards at Drury Lane, whither Mr. Mapleson's establishment was for a time transferred. [App. p.543 "In the same year he was appointed conductor of the Harmonic Union."] When in 1860 Mr. Mapleson was about to produce (at Her Majesty's Theatre) an Italian version of Oberon,' he naturally turned to the composer who, above all others, possessed the secret of Weber's style, and requested him to supply the recitatives wanting in the 'Oberon' composed for the English stage, but absolutely necessary for the work in Italianised form. Benedict added recitatives which may now be looked upon as belonging inseparably to the Italian 'Oberon.' Eighteen hundred and sixty was also the year of Benedict's beautiful cantata on the subject of 'Undine'—produced at the Norwich Festival—in which Clara Novello made her last public appearance. In 1862, soon after the remarkable success of Mr. Dion Boucicault's 'Colleen Bawn,' Benedict brought out 'The Lily of Killarney,' for which Mr. Oxenford (probably in collaboration with Mr. Boucicault) had furnished the excellent libretto. In 1863 he composed the cantata of 'Richard Cœur de Lion,' for the Norwich Festival of that year. His operetta the 'Bride of Song' was given at Covent Garden in 1864; his oratorio of 'St. Cecilia,' at the Norwich Festival in 1866; that of 'St. Peter,' at the Birmingham Festival of 1870. As 'conductor' at chamber-concerts, where the duties of the musician so entitled consist in accompanying singers on the pianoforte, and in seeing generally that nothing goes wrong, Benedict has come at least as often before the public as in his character of orchestral chief. With rare interruptions he has officiated as conductor at the Monday Popular Concerts since they first started, now some sixteen years ago. His own annual concert has been looked upon for the last forty years at least as one of the great festivals of the musical season. There is no form of music which this versatile composer has not cultivated; and though more prolific masters may have lived, it would be difficult to name one who has laboured with success in so many different styles. In 1873 a symphony by the now veteran composer was performed for the first time at the Crystal Palace; and a second in the following year; so that a complete edition of Benedict's works would include, besides ballads and pianoforte fantasias, operas, oratorios, and cantatas, compositions in the highest form of orchestral music. Sir Julius received the honour of knighthood in 1871. On the occasion of his seventieth birthday he was named Knight Commander of the orders of Francis and Joseph (Austria), and of Frederic (Wurtemberg). It was determined in the same year, by his numerous English friends, to offer him a testimonial 'in appreciation of his labours during forty years for the advancement of art, and as a token of their esteem.' In accordance with this resolution a service of silver, including a magnificent group of candelabra, was presented to Sir Julius, the following summer, at Dudley House, before a number of the most distinguished musicians and amateurs in London. Besides being a member of the before-mentioned Austrian and Wurtemburgian orders, Sir Julius Benedict has been decorated by the Sovereigns of Prussia, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Portugal, and Hanover. [App. p.543 "Add to his works the cantata 'Graziella,' written for the Birmingham Festival of 1882 (originally intended for the Norwich Festival of 1881, but not completed in time), which was subsequently produced as an opera at the Crystal Palace. He died at his residence, 2 Manchester Square, on June 5, 1885, and was buried at Kensal Green on the 11th. (Dict. of Nat. Biog., etc.)"]

[ H. S. E. ]

BENEDICTUS, the song of Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, taken from Luke i., is the canticle appointed, alternately with the Jubilate, to follow the lessons in the Morning Service of the Anglican Church. It has occupied that position from ancient times, being mentioned by Amalarius († 837) as following the lessons at Lauds. It followed the lessons in the ancient English offices, and was retained by Cranmer in his English Liturgy in 1549, at first without the Jubilate, which was added in 1582 to obviate repetition when the Benedictus occurred in the gospel or second lesson. Two chants are given for it by Marbeck in 'The Book of Common Prayer Noted,' of 1550, viz. the 5th tone with 1st ending, and the 8th tone with 1st ending. It is admirably adapted to more elaborate forms of composition, and there are two well-known ancient settings by Tallis and Gibbons.

The same canticle is also used by the Roman Church, and is mentioned by Mendelssohn in his letter to Zelter describing the music of Holy Week. But a different 'Benedictus,' which is better known to musicians, is that which occurs in the service of the Mass, after the Sanctus, which has been the occasion for much famous and beautiful music by the greatest masters; the whole words of which are only 'Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.'

BENELLI, Antonio Peregrino, born Sept. 5, 1771, at Forli. It is doubtful whether, as is said, he received instruction in counterpoint from Padre Martini, who died when Benelli was little more than 12, and was unable, for above two years before his death, to bestow much care upon his scholars. Benelli had, however, the instruction of Padre Mattel, the successor of Martini.

In 1790 he made his first appearance at the San Carlo, at Naples, as first tenor. His voice was of moderate quality; but his method was admirable, and obtained for him a succés d'estime. Benelli accepted an engagement at London in 1798, where he was received with favour. In 1801 he repaired to Dresden, and remained until the year 1822, at which time, when 51, and after singing in public for 32 years, his voice failed, and he retired with a pension.

Benelli had also made himself known as a clever composer, particularly in the Church style; but his best works are his excellent 'Method,' and his 'Solfeggi' which ran through several editions. He was a successful contributor to the 'Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung' of Leipzig. Upon his retirement, he obtained from Spontini the post of professor of singing at the Berlin Opera, which he filled till 1829. He might