Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/287

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BREVE.
275
BRIDGETOWER.

the rate of movement this would have been perfectly possible.

[ F. T. ]

BREWER, Thomas, [App. p.564 "date of birth 1611,"] was educated at Christ's Hospital [App. p.564 "till 1626"], and brought up as a performer on the viol. He flourished in the time of Charles I, the Protectorate, and part of the reign of Charles II. He was the composer of several excellent fantasias for the viol; and many rounds and catches of his are printed in Hilton's 'Catch that Catch can.' He was the composer of the pretty three-part song 'Turn Amaryllis,' inserted by Playford in his 'Musical Companion.' In the Harleian MS., No. 6395, entitled 'Merry Passages and Jests,' compiled by Sir Nicholas Lestrange, is the following anecdote respecting him:—'Thomas Brewer, my musical servant, through his proneness to good fellowship, having attained to a very rich and rubicund nose, being reprov'd by a friend for his too frequent use of strong drinkes and sacke, as very pernicious to that distemper and inflammation in his nose—"Nay, faith," says he, "if it will not endure sacke, it is no nose for me."' The date of his death is not known. [App. p.564 "Elizabeth Rogers' Virginal Book (in the British Museum) contains two pieces by him."]

[ E. F. R. ]

BRIARD, Étienne, engraver of music, born at Bar-le-Duc towards the end of the 15th century, settled at Avignon in 1530. He replaced the square characters hitherto in use by round ones, and devised a simple means of expressing the duration of a note, instead of the complicated system of ligatures. Peignot, in his 'Diction, de la Bibliologie,' supp. p. 140, claims priority in these inventions for Granjon, also a printer; but Briard's characters are certainly better formed and easier to read. A facsimile of them may be seen in Schmidt's 'Ottaviano Petrucci.' The works of the composer Eleazar Genet, called 'Carpentras,' after his birthplace, were printed at Avignon in 1532 in Briard's characters. Jean Baptiste, a descendant of the celebrated printer, has distinguished himself as a violinist. He was born May 13, 1823, at Carpentras; gained the second prize at the Paris Conservatoire in 1843, and the first in 1844. His teachers were Clarel, Baillot, and Habeneck.

[ F. G. ]

BRIDE OF DUNKERRON, THE, a dramatic cantata; the verse by Enoch; music by Henry Smart. Written for, and produced at, the Birmingham Festival Sept. 6, 1864.

[ G. ]

BRIDE OF SONG, THE, operetta in one act; words by Henry Farnie; music by Jules Benedict. Produced at Covent Garden Dec. 3, 1864.

[ G. ]

BRIDES OF VENICE, a grand opera in 2 acts; music by Jules Benedict. Produced at Drury Lane, Monday, April 22, 1844.

[ G. ]

BRIDGE. The strings on the instruments of the violin tribe are stretched over a small piece of wood called the bridge, which transmits their vibrations to the body of the instrument. The shape and details of the bridge, as finally fixed upon by Stradivari, cannot be altered in any single respect without injury to the tone of the instrument.

Page 287 (A Dictionary of Music and Musicians-Volume 1).png

If a plain piece of wood is substituted for the bridge, the instrument has absolutely no tone; by cutting out the feet the tone is made to appear to a certain extent, and it increases in proportion as the bridge assumes its normal shape. It is generally made of spotted maple. Its height, width, and thickness depend on the qualities of the individual instrument which it is to serve. As a rule its height must not be more than two-thirds the height of the Soundpost. The thickness is of the greatest importance, for if too thick, it will not readily transmit the vibrations of the strings. The left foot must stand exactly over the middle of the bass-bar, and both feet must be at an equal distance from the f-holes.

[ P. D. ]

BRIDGETOWER, George Augustus Polgreen, a mulatto, son of an African father and an European mother, appears to have been born at Bisla [[App. p.565 "Biala"] in Poland 1779 or 1780, and to have made his first appearance in [App. p.565 "on the 19th of"] February 1790 at Drury Lane, where he played a violin solo between the parts of the 'Messiah.' This probably attracted the notice of the Prince of Wales, since on the 2nd June following he and Clement, a lad of about the same age, gave a concert under the patronage of H. R. H. In the same year he also played at the 'Professional Concerts.' Bridgetower became a pupil of Giornovichi and of Attwood, and was attached to the Prince's establishment at Brighton as a first violin-player. His name is found among the performers at the Haydn-Salomon Concerts of 1791, and at concerts of Barthelemon's in 92 and 94, where he played a concerto of Viotti's. At the Handel Commemoration of 1791, Bridgetower and Hummel sat on each side of Joah Bates at the organ, clad in scarlet coats, and pulled out the stops for him. He [App. p.565 "His father"] was known in London by the sobriquet of 'the Abyssinian Prince.' In 1802 he obtained permission to visit his mother at Dresden, where she was living with another son, a cello player. In Dresden he gave concerts on July 24, 1802, and March 18, 1803; and from thence went to Vienna, where his reputation preceded him, and where he played the sonata Op. 47—known as the 'Kreutzer Sonata'—with Beethoven, on the 17th or 24th May. After this he is heard of no more [App. p.565 "returned to England, and in June 1811 took the degree of Mus. Bac. at Cambridge, his exercise, an anthem, being performed at Great St. Mary's, on June 30. (Dict. of Nat. Biog.)"], but is believed to have died in England between 1840 and 1850, leaving a daughter who still lives in Italy.

Bridgetower has left a memorandum of the performance of the Sonata which, if it can be