Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/356

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344
CHIABRAN
CHERUBINI.

dwelling in a realm of purer thought, dropped its hold on the public. His closest tie with the French school arose from the external accident of his connection with the Conservatoire, where he had the formation of all the important French composers of the first half of the century. It was in Germany that his works have met with the most enduring appreciation. His church music, 'Medée,' and the 'Deux Journées,' still keep their hold on the German public. One of the first things Mendelssohn did after he felt himself safe in the saddle at Düsseldorf was to revive the latter opera, and to introduce the mass in C in the church. Six months later he brought forward one of the Requiems, and when he had to conduct the Cologne Festival in 1835 it is to Cherubini's MS. works that he turns for something new and good. A reference to the Index of the Leipzig Allgem. musikalische Zeitung will show how widely and frequently his works are performed in Germany. In England, too, the operas just named have been revived within the last few years, and the opera-overtures are stock pieces at all the best concerts. Cherubini forms the link between classic idealism and modern romanticism. His power of making the longest and most elaborate movements clear is very remarkable, especially when combined with the extraordinary facility of his part-writing; while his sense of form was almost as perfect as Mozart's, though he cannot compare with Mozart in the intensity of his melodic expression, or in the individuality with which Mozart stamped his characters. In the technique of composition, and in his artistic conception and interpretation, he shows a certain affinity to Beethoven, more especially in his Masses. His greatest gift was perhaps the power of exciting emotion. His style had a breadth and vigour free from mannerism and national peculiarities. It was in his sacred music that he was most free to his individuality, because he could combine the best points in his operas with masterly counterpoint. When we consider the then deplorable state of church music, it is difficult to exaggerate the importance of the change he wrought.

The latest and most complete work on Cherubini is the biography of Mr. Edward Bellasis, 'Cherubini: Memorials illustrative of his Life,' London, 1874; the preface to which contains a list of the principal authorities, including Cherubini's own Catalogue, of which the title has been already given in full. For personal traits and anecdotes—and in the case of Cherubini these are more than usually interesting and characteristic—the reader should consult the article in Fétis's 'Biographie universelle' and Berlioz's 'Memoirs,' also an article by Hiller, which appeared in 'Macmillan's Magazine,' July 1875, and afterwards in his 'Musikalisches und Persönliches,' 1876. His portrait by Ingres is in the gallery of the Luxembourg, Paris. He left one son and two daughters, the younger of whom was married to Hippolyte Rossellini of Florence.

[ A. M. ]

CHEST-VOICE. That no voice is 'produced' throughout its extent, in precisely the same manner, is certain. The results of the different manners of vocal 'production'—three in number—are sometimes spoken of in England as 'chest-voice,' 'head-voice,' and 'falsetto.' The classification and terminology adopted by the French, viz. 'first, second, and third registers,' are however much to be preferred, since the causes of the variety of timbre they indicate, of which little is known, are left by them unassumed. The average compass of each vocal register is perhaps naturally an octave; but the facility with which the mode of production natural to one register can be extended to the sounds of another renders this uncertain. By 'chest-voice' is commonly understood the lowest sounds of a voice, and any others that can be produced in the same manner; in other words, the 'first register.'

[ J. H. ]

CHEVAL DE BRONZE, LE. A comic opera on a Chinese subject, in three acts; words by Scribe, music by Auber. Produced at the Opéra Comique March 23, 1835. On Sept. 21, 1857, it was reproduced with additions in four acts at the Académie (Grand Opera).

As 'The Bronze Horse' it has been often played on the London boards since Jan. 5, 1836, when it was produced at Drury Lane.

[ G. ]

CHEVALIER, played the violin and the quint, a kind of viol, in the private band of Henri IV and Louis XIII, and composed in whole or in part between the years 1587 and 1617 no less than 34 court ballets, according to a list drawn up by Michel Henry, one of Louis XIII's 24 violins, and now in the Bibliothéque at Paris.

[ M. C. C. ]

CHEZY, Wilhelmine (or Helmine) Christine von, a literary lady of very eccentric life, née von Klencke 1783, at Berlin, married at 16, and divorced the next year; married again at 22, in Paris, to Antoine L. de Chézy, a well-known Orientalist, and was divorced again in 1810. She spent the rest of her life between Heidelberg, Berlin, Dresden, Vienna (1823–28), Munich and Paris, and died at Geneva, 1856. Her claim to notice here is her having written the play of 'Rosamunde,' for which Schubert composed his music, and the libretto of 'Euryanthe' for Weber. In neither case was the genius of the musician sufficient to save the piece from failure. See Hellborn's 'Schubert,' chap, xi; Max M. von Weber's 'Carl Maria von Weber' (1864), ii. 371, 517, 522, &c.; and her own 'Unvergessenes … an meinem Leben,' 1858.

[ G. ]

CHIABRAN, Francesco (alias Chabran, or Chiabrano), a violin-player, was boru in Piedmont about 1723. He was a nephew and pupil of the celebrated Somis. In 1747 he entered the royal band at Turin, and about the year 1751 appears to have gone to Paris, where his brilliant and lively style of playing created a considerable sensation. His compositions show that his character as a musician was somewhat superficial, and wanting in true artistic earnestness. The three sets of sonatas which he pub-