Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/250

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238
BESSEMS.
BERTON.

two pamphlets, 'De la Musique mécanique et de la Musique philosophique' (1822), and 'Epitre à un célèbre compositeur Français, précédée de quelques observations sur la Musique mécanique et la Musique philosophique' (1829). The celebrated composer is Boieldieu, who was by no means pleased with the dedication of a book so little in accordance with his own views. Berton survived all his children, and died as late as 1842 [App. p.545 "Apr. 22, 1844"].

[ F. H. ]

BERTONI, Ferdinando Giuseppe, born at Salo near Venice 1727 [App. p.545 "Aug. 15, 1725"], died at Desenzano near Brescia 1810 [App. p.545 "Dec. 1, 1813"], pupil of Padre Martini, and a celebrated composer in his time. In 1750 [App. p.545 "1752"] was appointed organist of St. Mark's, Venice, and seven [App. p.545 "five"] years later choir-master at the Conservatorio 'dei Mendicanti,' which post he held till the suppression of the Conservatoires on the fall of the Republic in 1797. His first opera, 'Orazio e Curazio,' appeared in Venice (1746), but it was not till the production of 'Orfeo' (1776) that he attracted attention. He composed it to the libretto which Gluck had set, and the same singer, Guadagni, took the part of Orfeo in both operas. In 1778 Bertoni was summoned to London with his friend Pacchierotti, and brought out his 'Quinto Fabio,' which had been successfully produced at Padua in the same year, and was equally well received here, owing in great part to Pacchierotti's performance of the part of Fabio. Bertoni visited London again with Pacchierotti, but the rage for Sacchini made it difficult for any one else to gain a hearing, and he returned finally to Venice in 1784. In the following year, on the death of Galuppi, he succeeded him as conductor at St. Mark's, the most honourable and lucrative post then open to a musician in Italy. Burney (Hist, iv. 514, 541) describes him as a man of ability and taste, but no genius. His works (of which Fétis gives a list) comprise 33 operas and oratorios, besides instrumental compositions. Little of his music has been published.

[ M. C. C. ]

BERTRAND, Gustave, born at Paris Dec. 24, 1834, educated at the Ecole des Chartes, where he devoted himself to the study of ancient music and history of the organ. This learned and clever writer has contributed to Didot's 'Complément de l'Encyclopédie,' and has published many articles on music in 'Les Débats,' 'La Revue moderne,' 'Le Nord,' 'Le Ménestrel,' etc. His chief works are a pamphlet on Ancient Music (Didot, 1862); 'Les Nationalités musicales, étudiées dans le drame lyrique' (1872); and 'De la réforme des Etudes du Chant au Conservatoire' (1871). M. Bertrand has original views as a critic, and fills the department of musical archæology in the 'Commissions des Travaux historiques.'

[ G. C. ]

BERWALD, Johann Friedrich, a violinist, son of one of the chamber musicians of the King of Sweden, born at Stockholm July 23, 1796, travelled as an infant prodigy, composed a symphony, and was famous in Russia, Poland, Austria, and Germany before he was ten years old. His second symphony was finished in Leipsic in 1799. In 1817 he again travelled, but in 1819 returned to Stockholm, and remained there as capellmeister till his death, April 3, 1868. His three daughters were singers of some repute. [App. p.545 "The dates of birth and death belong to the cousin of the subject of the article, Franz Berwald, who was director of the Conservatorium in Stockholm. Johann Friedrich was born in 1788, and died in 1861, having held the appointment of capellmeister since 1834."]

[ F. G. ]

BERWILLIBALD, Giorgio Giacomo, a German singer in the service of His Serene Highness the Margrave of Brandenburgh-Anspach, was in London in 1716, singing in Nicolini's opera 'Clearte,' with Bernacchi, Nicolini, Schiavonetti, and other great artists.

[ J. M. ]

BESLER, Samuel, born at Brieg-on-the-Oder, Dec. 15, 1574; was in 1605 rector of the Gymnasium 'zum heiligen Geist' at Breslau, and died there, during an epidemic, July 19, 1625. The library of St. Bernhardinus at Breslau contains a vast collection of his compositions for the church, in which he was very prolific. Amongst them is a Passion after St. John, printed by Baumann at Breslau, 1621.

[ F. G. ]

BESOZZI, an Italian family of distinguished wind-instrument players, (1) Alessandro, a very remarkable oboist; born at Parma in 1700, and died in the service of the King of Sardinia, at Turin, 1775. (2) His brother, Antonio, also a celebrated oboist; born at Parma 1707, and afterwards resided at Dresden. On the death of Alessandro he took his post at Turin, and died there in 1781. (3) Antonio's son Carlo, born at Dresden 1745, was also a renowned oboist. It is he, according to Fétis, whom Burney heard at Dresden, and of whom (ii. 27, 45) he gives so detailed and favourable an account, comparing him with Fischer. (4) A third brother, Hieronimo, a famous bassoon player, born at Parma 1713, was the special associate of Alessandro. Burney's account of the two brothers, and his criticism on their remarkable duet performances, will always be read with interest (Present State, iii. 69). He died at Turin shortly after the death of Antonio. (5) Gaetano, the youngest of the four brothers, born at Parma 1727, also an oboist, first at the Neapolitan and then at the French court, and lastly in London in 1793, where, notwithstanding his age, he was much admired for the certainty of his playing and its exquisite finish. (6) His son, Hieronimo, played the same instrument as his father; Burney (iii. 24) heard him at the Concert Spirituel at Paris in 1770. He died in Paris as early as 1785, leaving however (7) a son [App. p.545 "Henri"] who was flautist at the Opéra Comique. (8) His son, Louis Désiré, born at Versailles April 3, 1814, carried off many prizes of the Conservatoire, and in 1837 the Grand Prix de Rome [App. p.545 "died Nov. 11, 1879"].

[ F. G. ]

BESSEMS, Antoine, violinist, born April 4, 1806; in his sixteenth year composed motets and church music, and in 1826 was a scholar of Baillot's at the Conservatoire, Paris; in 1829 one of the first violins at the Théâtre Italien. After this he travelled, returned to Antwerp for a time, and finally settled in Paris as a teacher. He composed much for the voice (both solo and chorus) and for the violin.

[ F. G. ]