Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/526

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514
FESCA.
FERREL.

a small pamphlet 'A savoir que les maistres de dance, qui sont de vrays maistres larrons à l'endroit des violons de France, n'ont pas royale commission d'incorporrer ès leur compagnie les organistes et austres musiciens, comme aussy de leur faire païer redevance, démonstré par J. F. Ferrel, praticien de musique a Paris, natif de l'Anjou' (Paris, 1659). This was the signal for a contest lasting for 100 years, between the French musicians and the dancing-masters, whose chief, the 'roi des ménétriers,' claimed jurisdiction over all musicians. Hard words were exchanged on both sides, and after several law-suits, a decree of the Paris parliament in 1750 settled the question in favour of the musicians. Some of the pamphlets had curious titles; for example, 'La cloche felée, ou le bruit faict par un musicien qui ne veult être maistre de dance parce qu'il ne sait sur quel pied se tenir,' and 'Discours pour prouver que la danse dans sa plus noble partie n'a pas besoin des instrumens de musique, et qu'elle est en toute indépendante du violon.' [See Fétis.]

[ M. C. C. ]

FERRETTI, Giovanni, born at Venice about 1540, composed five books of 'Canzoni' in 5 parts (Venice 1567–91), 2 books in 6 parts (Venice 1576–86), and another of 5-part madrigals (Venice 1588), all excellent examples of their kind. A madrigal of his, 'Siat' avertiti,' for 5 voices, is included in Webb's madrigals.

[ M. C. C. ]

FERRI, Baldassare, one of the most extraordinary singers who ever lived, was born at Perugia, Dec. 9, 1610. He owed to an accident in his boyhood the operation by which he became a sopranist. At the age of 11 he entered the service of the Bishop of Orvieto as a chorister, and remained there until 1625, when Prince Vladislas of Poland, then on a visit at Rome, carried him off to his father's Court. In 1665 he was transferred to Ferdinand III, Emperor of Germany, whose successor, Leopold I, loaded him with riches and honours. This prince had a portrait of Ferri, crowned with laurels, hanging in his bed-chamber, and inscribed, 'Baldassare Perugino, Re dei Musici.' At the age of 65 he received permission to retire to his native country, with a passport, the terms of which indicated sufficiently the consideration in which he was held. He reached Italy in 1675, and died at Perugia, Sept. 8, 1680.

Ferri was made a Knight of S. Mark of Venice in 1643; and, therefore, probably visited Italy at that time. He aroused the greatest enthusiasm wherever he appeared; hundreds of sonnets were written in his honour, he was covered with rosss in his carriage after simply singing a cantata, and at Florence a number of distinguished persons went three miles out of the town, to escort him into it. (Ginguené.) He is said also to have visited London, and to have sung here the part of 'Zephyr': but this must be a fable, as Italian opera did not begin here till 1692,—12 years after his death. It is true that in M. Locke's 'Psyche' (1671) there is a character called 'Zephyr'; but he has only four lines to speak, and none to sing. Ferri had, nevertheless, made one journey (before 1654) to Sweden, to gratify Queen Christina's wish to hear him. Ginguené says that his portrait was engraved with the inscription 'Qui fecit mirabilia multa'; but such a portrait (as far as the present writer knows) has never been seen. A medal was struck, bearing on one side his head crowned with bays, and on the other the device of a swan dying by the banks of Meander. Ferri was tall and handsome, with refined manners; and he expressed himself with distinction. He died very rich, leaving 600,000 crowns for a pious foundation.

His voice, a beautiful soprano, had an indescribable limpidity, combined with the greatest agility and facility, a perfect intonation, a brilliant shake, and inexhaustible length of breath. Although he seems to have surpassed all the evirati in brilliance and endurance, he was quite as remarkable for pathos as for those qualities. (Bontempi, Historia Musica.)

[ J. M. ]

FERTÉ, Papillon de la, became in 1777, by purchase, 'Intendant des Menus-plaisirs' to Louis XVI, and as such had the direction of the 'Ecole Royale de chant' founded by the Baron de Breteuil, and of the opera after the municipality had given up the administration of it. In 1790 he published a reply to a pamphlet by the artists of the opera—'Mémoire justificatif des sujets de l'Académie royale de musique'—in which they demanded a reform of the administration. His son occupied the same post after the Restoration.

[ M. C. C. ]

FESCA, Friedrich Ernst, composer, born at Magdeburg, Feb. 15, 1789. His father was an amateur, and his mother a singer, pupil of J. A. Hiller, so he heard good music in his youth, and as soon as he could play the violin had taste enough to choose the quartets and quintets of Haydn and Mozart in preference to Pleyel's music, for which there was then a perfect rage in Germany. Having completed his elementary studies, he went through a course of counterpoint with Pitterlin, conductor of the Magdeburg theatre. On Pitterlin's death in 1804 he became a pupil of August Eberhardt Müller at Leipsic. Here he played a violin concerto of his own with brilliant success. In 1806 he accepted a place in the Duke of Oldenburg's band, but in the following year became solo violinist under Reichardt at Cassel, where he passed six happy years and composed his first seven quartets and first two symphonies, interesting works, especially when he himself played the first violin. In 1814, after a visit to Vienna, he was appointed solo violin, and in the following year concert-meister, to the Duke of Baden at Carlsruhe. During the next eleven years he wrote 2 operas, 'Cantemir' and 'Leila,' overtures, quartets, quintets, chorales, psalms and other sacred music. He died at Carlsruhe May 24, 1826, of consumption, after many years' suffering, which however had not impaired his powers, as his last works contain some of his best writing. His 'De profundis,' arranged in