Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/334

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322
CATCH CLUB.
CATALANI.

describes her as having lost, perhaps, a little in voice, but gained more in expression: as electrifying an audience with her 'Rule Britannia;' and as still handsome, though somewhat stout. After a time, she retired to a villa which she had bought in the neighbourhood of Florence. On the stage, she is described as having always produced an unnatural impression, owing to an invincible nervousness, which made her exaggerate the effects she wished to create. She said herself, that it was as painful to her to sing in the theatre as it was delightful to perform at a concert. She never lost her simplicity and purity of manners, nor her piety, modesty, and generosity. Her charitable deeds were innumerable, and the amount of money earned by her in concerts for such purposes alone has been estimated at 2,000,000 francs. At her residence she founded a school of singing for young girls. Catalani died of cholera at Paris, June 12, 1849.

[ J. M. ]

CATARINA CORNARO, the last of Donizetti's sixty-six operas, produced at Naples in the Carnival of 1844, and performed for the last time in 1845.

[ G. ]

CATCH originally meant simply a round for three or more voices (unaccompanied), written out at length as one continuous melody, and not in score. The catch was for each succeeding singer to take up or catch his part in time; this is evident not only from the manner in which they were printed, but also from the simple and innocent character of the words of the oldest catches, from which it would be impossible to elicit any ingenious cross-reading. But in course of time a new element was introduced into catches, and words were selected so constructed that it was possible, either by mis-pronunciation or by the interweaving of the words and phrases given to the different voices, to produce the most ludicrous and comical effects. The singing of catches became an art, and was accompanied by gesture, the skill with which they were sung has become a tradition, and certainly many old specimens are so difficult that they must have required considerable labour and practice to sing them perfectly. The oldest published collections containing catches were—

1. 'Pammelia: Musicke's Miscellanie, or mixed varietie of Pleasant Roundelayes and delightful Catches of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 parts in one. None so ordinarie as musicall, none so musicall as not to all very pleasing and acceptable. 1609.'

2. 'Deuteromelia: or second part of Musicke's Melodie, or Melodious Musick of Pleasant Roundelaies. K. H. Mirth, or Freemen's songs, and such delightful catches. 1609.'

3. 'Melismata: Musicall Phansies fitting the court, citie and countrey Humours. 1611.'

Catches were most in vogue in the reign of the dissolute Charles II, and as much of the popular literature of that period was sullied by indecency and licentiousness it is not surprising that catches were contaminated with the prevailing and fashionable vice; the more than questionable character of the words to which many of the catches of that age were allied has sufficed to ensure the banishment of a large amount of clever and learned musical contrivance. In later times Dr. William Hayes, S. Webbe, and Dr. Callcott have excelled in the composition of catches: 'Would you know my Celia's charms' by Webbe is a well-known example; 'Ah, how, Sophia,' and 'Alas cry'd Damon' by Callcott are also tolerably well known, and still occasionally performed.

Dr. W. Hayes published several collections of catches, some with words by Dean Swift, and in his preface to the first set (1763) says, 'the Catch in music answers to the Epigram in poetry, where much is to be exprest within a very small compass, and unless the Turn is neat and well pointed, it is of little value.'

[ W. H. C. ]

CATCH CLUB. This society, the full title of which was 'The Noblemen and Gentlemen's Catch Club,' was formed in 1761 for the encouragement of the composition and performance of canons, catches, and glees, and the first meeting took place in November of that year, when there were present the Earls of Eglinton, Sandwich, and March, Generals Rich and Barrington, the Hon. J. Ward, and Messrs. H. Meynell and R. Phelps. These gentlemen, with the Duke of Kingston, the Marquesses of Lome and Granby, the Earls of Rochford, Orford, and Ashburnham, Viscounts Bolingbroke and Weymouth, Lord George Sutton, Colonels Parker, Windus, and Montgomery, Sir George Armytage, and Messrs. H. Penton, W. Gordon, and J. Harris, who joined in 1762, were the original members, and all subsequently enrolled were balloted for. Among distinguished persons afterwards admitted to the Club were George IV (elected when Prince of Wales in 1786), William IV (elected when Duke of Clarence in 1789), the Dukes of Cumberland (1786), York (1787), Cambridge (1807), and Sussex (1813). The professional members elected into the Society of the Catch Club included Beard, Battishill, Arne, Hayes, Atterbury, Paxton, S. Webbe, Piozzi, Knyvett, Stevens, Callcott, Danby, Greatorex, Bartleman, R. Cooke, Horsley, Goss, Walmisley, and Turle. In 1763 the Club offered its first prizes, one for two catches, a second for two canons, and a third for two glees, and they were awarded to Baildon, Marella, Dr. Hayes, and G. Berg. From its foundation to 1794 the prizes were competed for annually, and among the winners were Arne, Hayes, J. S. Smith, Danby, S. Webbe, Lord Mornington, Paxton, Atterbury, Dr. Cooke, R. Cooke, Dr. Alcock, Stevens, Spofforth, and Callcott. In 1787, in consequence of Dr. Callcott having submitted nearly 100 compositions in competition for the prizes, a resolution was passed that 'in future no composer should send in more than three compositions for one prize.' From 1794 to 1811 no prizes were offered, and after being awarded for two years they were again discontinued, until in 1821 they were once more revived, a gold cup taking the place of the medals. The rules of