Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/236

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
224
BENNETT.
BENELLI.

have remained much longer, had he not attacked Spontini with violence, in 1828, in the 'Allgemeine Zeitung,' à propos to his opera of 'Olimpia.' Unfortunately he had previously written a very favourable review of the same work: Spontini printed the two accounts side by side. Benelli had nothing to reply; he soon received his congé and departed, first to Dresden, where he still had his pension, then to Börnichen in the Hartz, where he died in poverty August 6, 1830. Benelli's real title to estimation is founded on his 'Gesanglehre' (1819), which appeared first in Italian, as 'Regole per il canto figurato,' and on his 'Bemerkungen über die Stimme,' in the A.M.Z. Leipzig, (1824).

[ J. M. ]

BENINCORI, Angelo Maria, born at Brescia 1779 [App. p.543 "Mar. 28"], died at Paris Dec. 30, 1821; pupil of Ghiretti, Holla, and Cimarosa. His opera of 'Nitteti' was produced in Italy, and well received also in Vienna about 1800. At Vienna he formed the acquaintance of Haydn, with whose quartets he was so delighted as to abandon dramatic composition for the time and write nothing but quartets. In 1803 he went to Paris and wrote two operas, which were accepted but never performed, and it was with difficulty that this excellent musician obtained sufficient pupils to secure him a subsistence. In 1815, 1818, and 1819, he brought out three operas without success. The end of his life was brightened by a hope he did not live to see realised. Isouard had died leaving his opera 'Aladin' unfinished, and this Benincori was commissioned to complete. A march for the first act, and the three last acts completed the work, which was enthusiastically received on Feb. 6, 1822, just six weeks after Benincori's death. Perhaps however the fact that the theatre was on this occasion for the first time lighted with gas may have had some share in the success of the opera. He left much music in MS., but his best compositions are probably his quartets.

[ M. C. C. ]

BENINI, Signora, an Italian prima donna, singing at Naples with her husband in 1784. They came to London in 1787, and sustained the first parts in comic opera. Benini had a voice of exquisite sweetness, and finished taste and neatness, but too little power for a large theatre. Though generally confined to opera buffa, yet her appearance and style seemed much more adapted to the opera seria, for which she had sufficient feeling and expression, as she showed in her excellent performance of Jephtha's daughter. During an illness of Mara, she filled with great sweetness, and much more appropriate figure and manner, her part in Tarchi's 'Virginia.' She had not indeed the gaiety of countenance nor the vivacity requisite for a prima buffa, and, though a singer of considerable merit, had to give way when Storace appeared. Of her subsequent life nothing is known.

[ J. M. ]

BENNET, John, published in 1599 a set of 'Madrigals to four voyces,' which he described on the title as 'his first works.' These are seventeen in number, and excellent examples of that style of composition. He also contributed to Morley's collection 'The Triumphes of Oriana,' 1601, the well-known madrigal 'All creatures now are merry minded,' and to Ravenscroft's 'Briefe Discourse,' 1614 (see Ravenscroft), five compositions in parts. In the preface to the latter work Ravenscroft speaks of him in highly eulogistic terms. Some anthems and organ pieces by Bennet are extant in MS., whence it may be conjectured that he was connected with one of the cathedrals.

[ W. H. H. ]

BENNET, Saunders, was organist at Woodstock, and composer of anthems, pieces for pianoforte and several songs and glees. He died of consumption in 1809, at an early age.

[ W. H. H. ]

BENNETT, Alfred, Mus. Bac., Oxon., was the eldest son of Thomas Bennett, organist of Chichester. In 1825 he succeeded William Woodcock, Mus. Bac., as organist of New College, Oxford, and organist to the University. He published a volume containing a service and some anthems of his composition, and in 1829, in conjunction with William Marshall, a collection of chants. He died, 1830, by an accident, aged 25.

[ W. H. H. ]

BENNETT, Thomas, born about 1779 [App. p.543 "The date of his birth is probably 1784, if the inscription on his tombstone may be trusted."], was a chorister of Salisbury Cathedral under Joseph Corfe, organist and master of the choristers there. He became organist of St. John's Chapel, Chichester, and in 1803 organist at Chichester Cathedral. He published 'An Introduction to the Art of Singing,' 'Sacred Melodies' (selected), and 'Cathedral Selections.' He died March 21, 1848, aged sixty-nine.

[ W. H. H. ]

BENNETT, William, was born about the year 1767 at Coombeinteignhead, near Teignmouth. He received his early musical education at Exeter under Hugh Bond and William Jackson. He then came to London, and studied under John Christian Bach, and afterwards under Schroeter. In 1793 he was appointed organist of St. Andrew's Church, Plymouth. His compositions comprise anthems, glees, songs, and pianoforte and organ music.

[ W. H. H. ]

BENNETT, Sir William Sterndale, Mus. Doc., M.A., D.C.L., the only English musical composer since Purcell who has attained a distinct style and individuality of his own, and whose works can be reckoned among the models or 'classics' of the art, was born at Sheffield April 13, 1816. Like almost all composers of eminence he inherited the musical temperament; his grandfather, John Bennett, having been lay clerk at King's, St. John's, and Trinity Colleges, and his father, Robert Bennett, an organist at Sheffield, and a composer of songs; and doubtless he thus received some of that early familiarity with things musical in the daily life of his home which has had so much influence in determining the bent and the career of many eminent composers. The death of his father when he was but three years old cut him off from this influence of home tuition or habituation in music, but his education