Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/573

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FRASCHINI.
561
FREDERIC THE GREAT.

energy and purity of tone were undiminished, in spite of the violence of the music which he had been executing during that period, but that he had learned to sing better than before. Fraschini visited Bologna, Venice, Turin, Padua, Vicenza, London, and Vienna; and sang frequently at the later place down to 1852 with constant success. In 1847 he made his début at Her Majesty's Theatre. 'Though originally gifted with greater vocal power' than another singer, says Mr. Chorley, 'Signer Fraschini was less fortunate .... The new-comer, naturally anxious to recommend himself by the arts which had delighted his own people, seemed to become more and more violent in proportion as the "sensation" failed to be excited. But he "piled up the agony," forte on forte, in vain.' Continued to appear till a recent date, and now (1878) lives at Pavia, where the theatre is called after him, Teatro Fraschini. [App. p.642 "he died at Naples, May 24, 1887."]

[ J. M. ]

FRASI, Giulia, appeared in London in 1743 with Galli, and remained in public favour for many years. 'She was young and interesting in person, with a sweet, clear voice and a smooth and chaste style of singing, which, though cold and unimpassioned, pleased natural ears and escaped the censure of critics' (Burney). She took part that year in the revival of Handel's 'Alessandro,' and in the first performance of Galuppi's 'Enrico.' Her instructor was a musician named Brivio; but she doubtless owed much more of the formation of her taste and style to Handel and his singers, than to her first master. In 1746 she was still in an inferior position, but in 48 played a more important part in the pasticcio 'Lucio Vero,' in operas by Hasse, and in the comic operas instituted by Croza. Frasi, however, now entered on a career which will do more to render her memory lasting than any small successes she ever achieved in opera. In 1749 she sang in Handel's Oratorios for the first time, taking part in 'Solomon' and 'Susanna'; she sang in 'Theodora' in 1750, in 'Jephtha' in 53, in 'Joshua' at Oxford in 56, and in the 'Triumph of Time and Truth' in 57. She did not, meanwhile, sever her connection with the stage, but appeared in 1750 in Ciampi's 'Adriano in Siria' and Pergolesi's 'Serva Padrona.' In 1755 Frasi was called upon, in consequence of the indisposition of Mingotti, to perform her part in Jomelli's 'Andromaca,' as she had been twice in 'Riccimero,' the preceding season. Smith's 'Fairies' in this year owed its success principally to Guadagni and Frasi. At her house Dr. Burney at that time 'attended her as her master.' In 1758 she appeared in 'Issipile' by G. Cocchi. She sang also in the City at both the Swan and Castle concerts.

Dr. Burney relates that 'when Frasi told him [Handel], that she should study hard, and was going to learn Thorough-Base, in order to accompany herself: Handel, who well knew how little this pleasing singer was addicted to application and diligence, said, 'Oh—vaat may we not expect!' There is a portrait of Frasi, in mezzotint (folio), in which she is turned to the left, singing from a sheet of music held in both hands, on which is engraved a song beginning with the words 'Voi amante che vedete.' It has neither name nor date, and is very rare.

[ J. M. ]

FRATESANTI, Signora, the name of a singer who performed the part of Clito, formerly sung by Boschi or Montagnana, both basses, in Handel's 'Alessandro,' revived in 1743. Nothing else is known of her.

[ J. M. ]

FREDERIC the great (Friedrich II.), king of Prussia, a distinguished amateur, born at Berlin, Jan. 24, 1712, died at Sans-Souci near Potsdam, Aug. 17, 1786. He passionately admired German music while detesting that of Italy and especially of France, which was the more remarkable from his well-known love of French literature. He said on one occasion, 'la musique française ne vaut rien.' His first musical instructor when Crown Prince was Gottlob Hayne the cathedral organist, for whom he always retained a regard, and who presented him with a composition every year on his birthday. In 1728 he began to learn the flute from Quantz, who was a strict master, while Frederic was a docile pupil. [Quantz.] He was afterwards, however, compelled to study in secret, as his father, Frederic William I, considered music an effeminate pastime, and declined to allow him instructors or musicians of any kind. He was therefore driven to engage musical servants, and often played duets with his valet Fredersdorf, until he was able in 1734 to have a private band at his own castle of Reinsberg. On his accession to the throne in 1740, he established a court-band at Berlin, and sent Graun to Italy to engage singers. [Graun.] He also had designs made for a new opera-house, which was opened Dec. 7, 1742. An amusing account of his difficulties with Barberina the ballet dancer will be found in Carlyle (Bk. xiv. chap. 8). His expenditure on music was lavish, though it has been exaggerated. Quantz's salary amounted to 2000 thalers, besides 25 ducats for each of his compositions for flute solo, and 100 ducats for every flute he made for the king. According to Reichardt, Frederic practised perseveringly, playing the flute four times a day. It is in one of these eager practising that Gérome has represented him in an admirable picture. Quantz died in 1773 while composing his 300th concerto for the king, who completed the work. Frederic's execution of an Adagio is said by Fasch to have been masterly, but in quick movements he betrayed a want of practice, and in matter of time his playing was so impulsive and irregular, that to accompany him was an art in itself. In later years he again took up the clavier, not having sufficient breath, it is stated, for the flute. He invited Sebastian Bach to Potsdam, and the visit, of which Forkel gives an account, and the result of which was Bach's 'Musikalisches Opfer,' took place on April 7, 1747. He particularly admired Silbermann's pianofortes, and bought all he could hear of, to the number, according to Forkel, of 15. One of these is perhaps still to be seen in the Schloss at