Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/446

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DAVIDOFF.
DAVID.

violin concertos, a number of variations, and other concert pieces for the violin hold the first rank. He also published for piano and violin 'Bunte Reihe,' 'Kammerstücke,' etc. Besides these, two symphonies, an opera 'Hans Wacht,' a sextet and a quartet for strings, a number of songs and concert pieces for trombone and other wind instruments, deserve to be mentioned. His 'Violin School' is certainly one of the best works of the kind, and the publication of the 'Hohe Schule des Violinspiels' (a collection of standard works of old violinists) marks an epoch in the development of modern violin-playing.

[ H. ]

DAVIDDE PENITENTE. A 'cantata' for 3 solo voices, chorus, and orchestra, to Italian words by an unknown author, adapted by Mozart in 1785 from his unfinished mass in C minor (K. 427), with the addition of a fresh soprano and fresh tenor air, for the widows' fund of the Society of musicians (Tonkünstler-Societät); and performed on March 13 and 15, 1785, in the Burgtheatre at Vienna.

DAVIDE, Giacomo, a very great Italian tenor, better known as 'David le pere,' born at Presezzo, near Bergamo, in 1750. Possessing a naturally beautiful voice, he made the best use of it by long and careful study. To a pure and perfect intonation he joined good taste in the choice of style and ornament. Having studied composition under Sala, he was able to suit his fioriture to the harmony of the passage he wished to embroider; but he was even more distinguished in serious and pathetic music, and that of the church, than in bravura. Lord Mount-Edgcumbe heard him at Naples in 1785, and thought him excellent in opera. In that year he went to Paris, sang at the Concert Spirituel, and made a great sensation in the 'Stabat' of Pergolese. Returning to Italy, he sang during two seasons at the Scala. In 90 he was at Naples again, and in 91 he came to London. Owing, however, to the Pantheon having been licensed as the King's Theatre, it was impossible to obtain a licence for the Haymarket Theatre, at which Davide was engaged, except for concerts and ballets. This, and the want of good singers to support him, prevented him from becoming as well known here as he deserved. 'He was undoubtedly the first tenor of his time,' says Lord Mount-Edgcumbe, 'possessing a powerful and well-toned voice, great execution as well as knowledge of music, and an excellent style of singing. He learned to pronounce English with tolerable correctness, and one of his last performances was in Westminster Abbey, at the last of the Handel festivals.' In 1802 he was at Florence; and, although 52 years of age, had still all his old power, and was able to sing every morning in some church, and at the opera every evening. He returned in 1812 to Bergamo, where he was appointed to sing at the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. It is said that he sang at Lodi in 1820; but he was then no more than the shadow of his former self. He formed two pupils, one of whom was his son, and the other Nozzari. Davide died at Bergamo December 31, 1830.

2. His son Giovanni was born in 1789, and long enjoyed the reputation in Italy of a great singer, though his method of producing his voice was defective, and he frequently showed want of taste, abusing his magnificent voice, with its prodigious compass of three octaves comprised within four B flats. He had, however, a great deal of energy and spirit, and his style was undoubtedly original. He made his début at Brescia in 1810, and sang with success at Venice, Naples, and Milan. He was engaged at the Scala for the whole of 1814. In the autumn of that year he was first employed by Rossini in his 'Turco in Italia.' Rossini then wrote rôles for him in 'Otello' (1814 [[App. p.608 "1816"]), 'Ricciardo e Zoraide' (1818), 'Ermione' and 'La Donna, del Lago'(1819). In 1818 he sang at Rome, Vienna, and London. Ebers had made overtures to him in 1822, and his engagement was on the point of completion, when he was engaged for seven years by Barbaja, who at that time directed the operas of Naples, Milan, Bologna, and Vienna. Davide appeared here in 29, singing, among other operas, with Mrs. Wood in Pacini's 'L'Ultimo giorno di Pompei'; but he was passé, and his voice so unsteady that he was obliged to conceal its defects by superfluity of ornament. He arrived in Paris in the same year. His voice had now become nasal, and his faults of taste and judgment more apparent. Yet, with all these faults, he was able occasionally to rise to a point that was almost sublime. Edouard Bertin, a French critic, said of him, 'it is impossible for another singer to carry away an audience as he does, and when he will only be simple, he is admirable; he is the Rossini of song. He is a great singer; the greatest I ever heard.' After his return into Italy, Davide sang at Milan and Bergamo in 1831, at Genoa and Florence in 32, at Naples in 32, 34, and 40, at Cremona and Modena in 35, at Verona in 38, and at Vienna in 39. He retired in 41 to Naples, where he founded a school of singing, which was not much frequented. A few years later he accepted the post of manager at the Opera of St. Petersburg, and is said to have died there about 1851.

[ J. M. ]

DAVIDOFF, Charles, eminent cello-player, born at Goldingen in Courland March 15, 1838, received his first musical instruction from H. Schmitt at Moscow. His bent was to mathematics, which he studied in the Moscow university from 1854 to 58, but at length decided to embrace music as his profession, and then learned the cello under C. Schuberth at St. Petersburg, and composition under Hauptmann at Leipzig. His first appearance in public was at the Gewandhaus Dec. 15, 59, after which he at once became leading cello in that orchestra and Professor at the Conservatoire, vice Grützmacher. In 1862 he was appointed solo cello to the Emperor of Russia, and professor at the new music school and Conservatoire of St. Petersburg. Davidoff made his first appearance in London at the Philharmonic on May 19, 1862, in a concerto