Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/574

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562
FRENCH HORN.
FREDERIC THE GREAT.

Potsdam. Frederic was also a composer. The Hohenfriedberg March was nominally by him, as well as a march inserted in Lessing's play, 'Minna von Barnhelin.' He also composed a 'Sinfonia' for 'Galatea ed Acide' and one for 'Il Rè pastore'; an Aria for 'Il trionfo della fedeltà'; another for Graun's 'Coriolano' (of which he wrote the libretto); and added fioriture for Hubert the singer to an air in Basse's 'Cleofile.' In 1835 a search was instituted by King Frederic William III, and 120 pieces composed by Frederic the Great were found, but they were interesting only from their history, and not suited for publication. He had an eye to the improvement of the singing in the public schools, and an official decree of his, dated Oct. 18, 1746, contains the following passage: 'Having received many complaints of the decline in the art of singing, and the neglect of it in our gymnasiums and schools, His Majesty commands that the young people in all public schools and gymnasiums shall be exercised more diligently therein, and to that end shall have singing-lessons three times a week'—a command which has doubtless materially contributed to the prevalence of music in Germany. (See 'Friedrich d. G. als Kenner und Dilettant' ..... by C. F. Müller, Potsdam, 1847.)

[ F. G. ]

FREE REED. Organ stops of the Free-reed class are more frequently made by continental than by English artists. The sound-producing part of a pipe of this species is formed thus:—A surface of metal or wood has a vertical opening made through it as a passage for the wind: in front of this a strip or tongue of metal—in some large examples wood—is adjusted, fastened at the upper end and left at liberty at the lower, which is so slightly smaller than the opening as almost exactly to fit into it. This tongue is by the current of air carried a short way through the opening, when it springs back from its own elasticity; and the sound results from the periodical and regular beats which the tongue, vibrating to and fro, imparts to the passing air. The 'vibrators' of a harmonium are really free reeds; but in the case of an organ-pipe the tongue is furnished with a tube, which, upon the principle of a speaking-trumpet, greatly augments and amplifies the sound produced. There are some free-reed 16- and 32-feet posaunes in the pedal organ of Schulze's fine instrument at Doncaster parish church.

[ E. J. H. ]

FREGE, Madame (née Livia Gerhard), was born at Gera, June 13, 1818, received her musical education at Leipzig, and was taught to sing by Pohlenz. She made her first appearance in public on July 9, 1832, when just entering her 15th year, at a concert given at the Gewandhaus by the still more juvenile Clara Wieck, then only 13. She had at that time a cultivated voice of lovely quality, especially in the upper register, perfect intonation, and good style. She was engaged for the next series of Gewandhaus Concerts, and began with a very large repertoire, as is evident from the pieces ascribed to her in the reports of the concerts. She first appeared on the stage at Leipzig, in Jessonda, in March 1833. A residence in Dresden enabled her to profit by the example and advice of Schröder Devrient. In 35 she entered the regular company of the theatre royal of Berlin. After delighting the public by a large range of characters, in which her acting was equal to her singing, she made her last appearance on June 25, 1836 (as Elvira), and left the boards to be married to Dr. Frege of Leipsic. Since that time she has sung only at concerts. Her house has always been a centre of the best music. She had a singing society there of 50 voices, with a select band, led by David, and conducted by Lange, at which the best and least known music, old and new, was performed in perfection. Mendelssohn was her intimate friend, often consulted her on his music, and took her his songs to try before making them public. 'You don't know my songs,' said he to a friend in London; 'come to Leipzig and hear Mme. Frege, and you will understand what I intended them to be.' A letter to the 'Frau Doctorin Frege,' dated London, Aug. 31, 1846, and describing the first performance of 'Elijah,' is printed in the second volume of his Letters. It was at her house, on Oct. 9, 1847, in trying over the songs which form op. 71, that he was struck with the first of the attacks which ended in his death on Nov. 4.

Mme. Frege's characteristics were delicacy and refinement—not a large voice, but a great power of expression in singing her words, a perfect style, and the highest musical intelligence.

[ G. ]

FREISCHÜTZ,[1] DER. Romantic opera in 3 acts, words by Kind, music by Weber (his 8th opera); completed, as 'Die Jägersbraut,' May 13, 1820. Produced at Berlin June 18, 1821; at Paris as 'Robin des Bois,' with new libretto by Castile Blaze and Sauvage, and many changes,[2] at Odéon, Dec. 7, 1824, but with accurate translation by Pacini, and recitatives by Berlioz, at Académie royale, June 7, 1841, as 'Le Franc Archer.' In London, as 'Der Freischütz, or the seventh bullet,' by Hawes, at English Opera-house, with many ballads inserted, July 22, [App. p.640 "July 23"] 1824; in Italian as 'Il Franco arciero,' at Covent Garden, March 16, 1850 (recitatives by Costa, not by Berlioz) ; in German, at King's Theatre, May 9, 1832. [App. p.640 "given at Astley's Theater, with a new libretto by Oxenford, April 2, 1866."]

FRENCH HORN. The designation of 'French' is commonly added to the name of the orchestral Horn, from the fact that a circular instrument of this nature, without crooks or other appliances, was, and still is, used in France for hunting. It is carried over one shoulder, and beneath the arm of the other side, usually on horseback. The great length of tube enables a long series of harmonic sounds to be obtained;

  1. Frei-schütz, say the dictionaries, = free-marksman, one who shoots with charmed bullets. There is no equivalent English term.
  2. 'Assassiné' is Berlioz's word for this outrageous proceeding (no singularity in France, nor indeed in London, half a century ago), by which he states that Castile Blaze made more than 100,000 francs (Mémoires de Berlioz, 57, 61). There were Divertissements made up of the Dance music in Preciosa and Oberon, and of the Invitation to the Waltz scored by Berlioz for the purpose.