William Forster died at the house of his son, 22, York St., Westminster, Dec. 14, 1808.
[ W. H. H. ]
Forster, William, (No. 2), son of the above-mentioned, and generally known as 'Royal' Forster, from his title 'Music Seller to the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cumberland.' Born 1764, died 1824. Like his father, he made large numbers of instruments, which once enjoyed a high reputation. By making the bellies of their instruments thin, and increasing the weight of the blocks and linings, the Forsters obtained, while the instrument was still new, a strong and penetrating tone, which found high favour with Lindley and his school. Being well made and finished, and covered with excellent varnish, their instruments have much that commends them to the eye. The Forsters copied both Stainer and Amati. 'Royal' Forster had two sons: William Forster (No. 3), the eldest, devoted himself to other pursuits, and made but few instruments; but the second, Simon Andrew Forster, carried on the business, first in Frith Street, afterwards in Macclesfield Street, Soho. Simon Andrew Forster made instruments of high model and no great merit. He is best known as the author (jointly with W. Sandys, F.S.A.) of 'The History of the Violin and other Instruments played with the Bow,' 1864. He died Feb. 2, 1870.
[ E. J. P. ]
FORTE, loud: an Italian word, usually abbreviated into f. A lesser degree of loudness is expressed by mf—mezzoforte; a greater one by più f and ff, and the greatest of all by fff—fortissimo, as in Beethoven's 7th Symphony (Finale), 8th ditto (ist movement), Overture, op. 115 (at end), Leonore, No. 2 (8vo score, pp. 40, 76), or at the grand climax near the close of the Finale of Schubert's Symphony in C, at the end of the extraordinary long crescendo. ffff has been occasionally used by later composers, as in the Overture to 'Charlotte Corday,' by Benoit.
Fortepiano—afterwards changed to Pianoforte— was the natural Italian name for the new instrument which could give both loud and soft sounds, instead of loud only, as was the case with the harpsichord.
fp, is a characteristic sign in Beethoven, and one which he often uses; it denotes a sudden forte and an equally sudden piano. He will require it in the space of a single crotchet or even quaver, as in the Overture to Leonore, No. 2 (8vo score, pp. 31, 43, 51—fpp). Again, he was very fond of a forte passage succeeded suddenly, without any diminuendo, by a p, as in bars 64 to 66 of the Allegro of the same work, where the sudden p on the F♯ is miraculous; or in the reprise of the subject after the trumpet fanfares, where if the p is not observed the flute solo is overwhelmed. In a fine performance of his works half the battle lies in the exact observance of these nuances. No one marked them before him, and no one has excelled them since.
[ G. ]
FORTI, Anton, distinguished baritone singer, born at Vienna June 8, 1790. He made his début at Presburg with so much success that towards the end of 1807 Prince Esterhazy engaged him almost at the same time as the tenor Wild for his celebrated band. Forti soon forfeited the favour of the Prince, who suddenly enrolled him as a soldier, and only released him at the intercession of several of the nobility. He next appeared (June 29, 1811) at the Theatre 'an der Wien' as Don Juan, a part for which his very sonorous voice, commanding presence, and elevated refined style of acting eminently fitted him. In April 1813 he was engaged at the court theatre, and speedily became a favourite. Besides Don Juan he specially excelled in Figaro (Mozart and Rossini), Telasco (Ferdinand Cortez), etc., and in French dialogue-operas. He sang Pizarro at the revival of 'Fidelio' in 1814; and Lysiart at the first performance of 'Euryanthe' (1823). When Count Gallenberg undertook the direction of the court theatre in 1829 Forti was pensioned, and made starring tours to Prague, Hamburg, and Berlin, where he also took a short engagement. On his return to Vienna his voice had lost its charm, and his increasing corpulence spoiled his acting. He retired finally from the stage after winning the first prize at one of the public lotteries, and died July 16, 1859.
[ C. F. P. ]
FORZA DEL DESTINO, LA. Tragic Opera by Verdi, libretto by Piave; in 4 acts. Produced at St. Petersburg 30 Oct. (11 Nov.) 1862, and at Her Majesty's Theatre, London, June 22, 1867.
FOUNDLING HOSPITAL. The connection of Handel with this charitable institution (founded by Captain Coram in 1739) forms a pleasant episode in the composer's life in England, and gives a signal illustration of his benevolence. Following the example of the masters of the sister art of Painting, who organised an exhibition on its behalf, and of Hogarth and others who presented paintings for its decoration, Handel on May 4, 1749, attended a committee at the Hospital, and offered a performance of vocal and instrumental music in aid of the fund for finishing the chapel. The Gentleman's Magazine records that 'Saturday 27th [May] the Prince and Princess of Wales, with a great number of persons of quality and distinction, were at the chapel of the Foundling Hospital to hear several pieces of vocal and instrumental music, composed by George Frederick Handel, Esq., for the benefit of the foundation: 1st, the music of the late Fire Works and the anthem on the Peace; 2nd, select pieces from the oratorio of Solomon relating to the dedication of the Temple; and 3rd, several pieces composed for the occasion, the words taken from Scripture, applicable to the charity and its benefactors. There was no collection, but the tickets were at half-a-guinea, and the audience above a thousand.' For this act Handel was at once enrolled as one of the governors and guardians of the Hospital, and during every subsequent year, while his health permitted, he directed the performance of the Messiah in the chapel, which yielded to the charity a net result of £7000 in all. The governors, under a misapprehension, imagined that he intended to present