Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/291

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BROSSARD.
279
BRUMEL.

of church music he made his mark. He gave his valuable library to Louis XIV in consideration of an annuity of 1200 francs. His MSS. and notes for a universal history of music are preserved in the national library in Paris. [App. p.566 "he prefixed a short Dictionary of Musical Terms to his 'Prodromus Musicalis,' published as early as 1701."]

[ F. G. ]

BROWNSMITH, John Leman, was born in Westminster in 1809, and received his musical education as a chorister of Westminster Abbey under George Ebenezer Williams and Thomas Greatorex. On quitting the choir he pursued the study of the organ, and in a short time became not only an excellent player but acquired so perfect a knowledge of the structure of the instrument as to be able to build a small chamber-organ for himself. In 1829, on the death of Benjamin Jacob, Brownsmith was appointed his successor as organist of St. John's church, Waterloo Road. In March 1838 he was appointed a lay vicar of Westminster Abbey. In October 1848 he succeeded William Miller as organist to the Sacred Harmonic Society, in which capacity he officiated at the Handel Festivals at the Crystal Palace in 1857, 1859, 1862, and 1865. In 1853 he resigned his appointment at St. John's on being chosen organist of the then newly-erected church of St. Gabriel, Pimlico. He died Sept. 14, 1866.

[ W. H. H. ]

BRUCH, MAX, one of the most eminent living German composers, was born at Cologne on Jan. 6, 1838. His father was in government employ, his mother came of a well-known and gifted musical family of the Lower Rhine. Herself a distinguished singer, she carefully watched the early development of her son's musical talents. He received his theoretical instruction from Professor Breidenstein at Bonn, and soon began to give extraordinary promise. In 1852 Bruch gained the scholarship of the Mozart foundation at Frankfort-on-Maine for four years, during which time he continued his studies under Hiller, Reinecke and Breuning at Cologne, at the same time making himself gradually known by his compositions. His further development was promoted by long visits to Leipsic, Munich, and other musical towns. His stay at Munich was of special importance through the personal acquaintance of the poet Geibel, whose 'Loreley,' written for Mendelssohn, Bruch had composed while at Cologne. He at length obtained the poet's consent for the performance of the opera, and proceeded to Mannheim, where it was first given, and where he occupied himself with studying the requirements of the stage. He then produced many of those works which have associated his name with the best of the present time. In 1865 he accepted the post of musical director of the Concert-Institution at Coblenz, and in 1867 became Kapellmeister to the Prince of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen. This post he resigned in 1870, since which time he has lived independently, first at Berlin and now at Bonn, devoting himself exclusively to composition. The first work with which he came before the public was an operetta, 'Scherz, List und Rache,' to Goethe's words; then followed various chamber compositions, a trio (op. 5), two string quartets (op. 9, 10), songs, and pianoforte works. For the present, however, Bruch has abandoned these branches, and devoted his whole strength to the larger forms of orchestral and choral music. His first step in this field was taken with the opera 'Loreley' (op. 16), already mentioned, which met with considerable success; but his most important and most successful work, and that which established his fame, was his 'Scenes from the Frithjof-Saga' (op. 23), for male voices and orchestra—a work of the freshest invention and consummate technique. Amongst his instrumental works the more important are two Violin Concertos, the first in G minor, and the second (1877) in D minor, as well as two Symphonies. His chief vocal works, with orchestra, are: 'Die Flucht der heiligen Familie' (op. 20), 'Römischer Triumpfgesang,' 'Römische Leichenfeier,' 'Salamis' (these last three for men's chorus), 'Schön Ellen,' 'Rorate Cœli,' 'Kyrie, Sanctus, and Benedictus,' 'Odysseus,' and various smaller works of the same kind. He also wrote a second opera, called 'Hermione' after Shakespeare's 'Winter's Tale,' but this had no success. Bruch's real field is concert music for chorus and orchestra; he is above all a master of melody, and of the effective treatment of the masses. These two sides of his artistic activity, so to speak, play into each other's hands, and have brought him deserved success. Bruch's melody is not drawn from the hidden depths of innermost feeling, but rather from the upper surface of his nature; yet it is true, unconstrained, natural, and excellent in structure, broad, impressive, and vocal. He thoroughly understands how to clothe his thoughts in the most favourable and effective forms. In the elaborate and complicated machinery of the modern orchestra and chorus he is thoroughly at home. While on the one hand we admit that the effect of his more important works is perhaps greatly dependent on the brilliant clothing of the musical ideas, we must on the other hand insist that this skilful use of external means is always accompanied by a keen artistic feeling for external harmony, with a delicate estimation of the proportionate effect of the separate parts in comparison to the whole. This artistic sense of proportion saves him from losing himself in that mere outward show which we sometimes find among the modern realistic school.

[App. p.566 "In 1878 he became director of the Stern Singing Society in Berlin, succeeding Stockhausen. In 1880 he was offered the direction of the Liverpool Philharmonic Society, and for three years England became his home. At the end of that time he undertook the direction of the Orchesterverein at Breslau. To the list of his more important works should be added three choral works 'Arminius,' 'Lied von der Glocke,' 'Achilleus,' as well as a third symphony, in E♭, op. 61. His 'Kol Nidrei,' for violoncello, op. 48, has become a favourite at the Popular Concerts and elsewhere, and his most important work, 'Odysseus,' has been given by the Bach Choir, under his own direction."]

[ A. M. ]

BRUMEL, Antoine, a Flemish musician, one of the most distinguished of Ockenheim's pupils. He flourished in the epoch (1480–1520) which may be distinguished as the period of Josquin des Prés. Nothing is known of his personal history, but his compositions have been handed down to us in sufficient number to prove the justice of his great reputation. There is a perfect copy of five of his masses, printed in one volume by Petrucci of Venice in 1503, preserved in the royal library at Berlin. There is also a collection of masses of various authors by the same printer, and containing one of Brumel's, in the British