Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/447

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DAVIDOFF.
434
DAVY.

of his own. His position among cello-players is high. His tone is expressive, his intonation certain, especially in the higher registers, and his execution extraordinary, and there is great individuality in his style. He has composed much both for the cello and piano. [App. p.819 "Date of death, Feb. 26, 1889."]

DAVIDSBÜNDLER. An imaginary association of Schumann and his friends, banded together against old-fashioned pedantry and stupidity in music, like David and his men against the Philistines. The personages of this association rejoiced in the names of Florestan, Eusebius, Raro, Chiara, Serpentinus, Jonathan, Jeanquirit, etc., and their displays took place in the pages of the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, Schumann's periodical. It was Schumann's half humorous, half melancholy way of expressing his opinions. He himself, in the preface to his Gesammelte Schriften (Leipzig, 1854), speaks of it as 'an alliance which was more than secret, since it existed only in the brain of its founder.' The Davidsbündler did not confine themselves to literary feats; their names are to be found in Schumann's compositions also. Florestan and Eusebius not only figure in the Carneval (op. 9), but the Grande Sonate, No. 1 (op. 11), was originally published with their names, and so was the set of pieces entitled 'Davidsbündler' (op. 6). The most humorous of all these utterances is the 'Marche des Davidsbündler contre les Philistins,' which winds up the Carneval, and in which the antiquated 'Grosvatertanz' is gradually surrounded and crushed by the strains of the new allies.

[ G. ]

DAVIES, the Misses Marianne and Cecilia, were daughters of a relative of Benjamin Franklin [App. p.608 "there is no evidence to support the statement that the sisters were related to Benjamin Franklin"]. Marianne, the elder, attained some distinction as a performer on the harpsichord and pianoforte, but about 1762 achieved much more repute for her skill on the harmonica, or musical glasses, then recently much improved by Franklin. [App. p.608 "Marianne was born in 1744, and first appeared at Hickford's rooms on April 30, 1751, when she played a concerto for the German flute, and a concerto by Handel on the harpsichord, besides singing some songs."] Cecilia, born 1740, won considerable renown as a vocalist. She made her first public appearance at the Concert Room in Dean Street, Soho, April 28, 1756. [App. p.608 "The date of Cecilia's birth is certainly later than 1740, and probably 1750 is the right date. Her first appearance seems not to have taken place till Aug. 10, 1767, in 'some favourite songs from the opera of Artaxerxes and Caractacus.'"] In 68 the sisters quitted England and went to Paris, and Vienna. Whilst there, Metastasio wrote and Hasse composed an ode, which was sung by Cecilia, accompanied by Marianne on the harmonica [App. p.608 "June 27, 1869"]. Metastasio, in a letter dated Jan. 16, 1772, describes the beautiful tone of the instrument, and the admirable manner in which Cecilia assimilated her voice to it, so as to render it difficult to distinguish the one from the other. From Vienna the sisters went to Milan, where Cecilia appeared in 1771, with great success, in the opera of Ruggiero, written by Metastasio and composed by Hasse, being the first Englishwoman accepted in Italy as prima donna. The Italians bestowed on her the sobriquet of 'L'Inglesina,' and confessed her to be superior to any Italian singer but Gabrielli. She afterwards sang at Florence. In 1773 the two ladies returned to London, where Cecilia appeared at the Italian Opera with the greatest success [App. p.608-9 "singing Sacchini's 'Lucio Vero,' on Nov. 20. In the following year she sang at the Hereford Festival"]. She is described as having no great power or volume of voice, but a remarkably neat and facile execution. She subsequently revisited Florence, and performed there until about 1784, when she returned to England. [[App. p.609 "She sang after her return from Florence at the Professional concert on Feb. 3 1787, and made her first appearance in oratorio in 1791 at Drury Lane, soon after which she fell into great poverty."] Marianne's nerves had become so seriously affected by her performance on the harmonica (a so frequent result of continued performance on the instrument as to have occasioned official prohibition of its use in many continental towns), that she was compelled to retire from her profession. She died in 1792, and Cecilia shortly afterwards also ceased to perform. About 1817 she published a collection of six songs by Hasse, Jomelli, Galuppi, etc. She survived until July 3, 1836, having for years suffered from the accumulated miseries of old age, disease, and poverty. [App. p.609 "During the last years of her life she was assisted by the National Fund, the Royal Society of Musicians, etc. (Dict. of Nat. Biog.)"]

[ W. H. H. ]

DAVY, John, was born in the parish of Upton Helion, near Exeter, in 1765. From his earliest infancy he discovered a remarkable propensity for music. After many other manifestations of his inclination, he was, when about six years of age, detected as the purloiner of from twenty to thirty horse-shoes from a neighbouring smithy. From these he had selected as many as formed a complete octave, and, having suspended them in an upper room, was amusing himself by imitating upon them the chimes of the neighbouring church of Crediton. By the advice of the Rev. Mr. Eastcott, he was articled to Jackson of Exeter. Some years afterwards Davy came to London, and obtained employment in the orchestra of one of the theatres and as a teacher. His ability for composition soon became known, and he was engaged to supply music for several dramatic pieces. After upwards of twenty years of such employment his frame gave way under the pressure of infirmities rather than of age, and he gradually sank until he died, in May's Buildings, St. Martin's Lane, Feb. 22, 1824. He was buried in St. Martin's churchyard on Feb. 28 following. Davy composed the music for the following dramatic pieces:—'What a Blunder!' 1800; 'Perouse' (with J. Moorehead), 1801; 'The Brazen Mask' (with Mountain), 1802; 'The Cabinet' (with Braham and others), 1802; 'The Caffres' (with others), 1802; 'Red Roy,' 1803; 'The Miller's Maid,' 1804; 'Harlequin Quicksilver,' 1804; 'Thirty Thousand' (with Braham and Reeve), 1805; 'Spanish Dollars,' 1805; 'Harlequin's Magnet,' 1805; 'The Blind Boy, 1808; 'The Farmer's Wife' (with others), 1814; 'Rob Roy Macgregor,' 1818; 'Woman's Will, a Riddle,' 1820. Also an overture and other music for Shakspere's 'Tempest,' performed in conjunction with the songs of Purcell, Arne, and Linley.

Many of Davy's songs gained great popularity. 'Just like love,' 'May we ne'er want a friend,' and 'The Death of the Smuggler,' have perhaps passed out of remembrance, but 'The Bay of Biscay' retains, and in all probability will long retain, its place in the public favour.

[ W. H. H. ]

DAVY, Richard, an English composer in the early part of the 16th century. Some of his compotiitions are preserved in the British Museum,