Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/59

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AIR.
47
ALBANI.

proportion one to another. In the 16th and 17th centuries air represented popularly a cheerful strain. The English word glee, now exclusively applied to a particular kind of musical composition, is derived from the A.S. [gligge], in its primitive sense simply music. Technically an air is a composition for a single voice or any monophonous instrument, acccompanied by other voices or by instruments. About the beginning of the 17th century many part-songs were written, differing from those of the preceding century in many important particulars, but chiefly in the fact of their interest being thrown into one, generally the upper, part; the other parts being subordinate. These other parts were generally so contrived as to admit of being either sung or played. The first book of Ford's 'Musike of sundrie kinds' (1607) is of this class. Subsequently to its invention, arias were for a considerable time commonly published with the accompaniment only of a 'figured bass.' The aria grande, great or more extended air, has taken a vast variety of forms. These however may be classed under two heads, the aria with 'da capo' and the aria without. The invention of the former and older form has been long attributed to Alessandro Scarlatti (1659-1725); but an aria printed in the present writer's 'Lectures on the Transition Period of Musical History,' shows that it was used as early as 1655, i.e. four years before A. Scarlatti was born, by the Venetian, Francesco Cavalli, a master in whose opera 'Giasone' (1649) the line which divides air from recitative seems to have been marked more distinctly than in any preceding music. The so-called 'aria' of Monteverde and his contemporaries (c. 1600) is hardly distinguishable from their 'musica parlante,' a very slight advance on the 'plain-song' of the middle ages. The aria without 'da capo' is but a more extended and interesting form than that of its predecessor. In the former the first section or division is also the last; a section, always in another key and generally shorter, being interposed between the first and its repetition. In the latter the first section is repeated, often several times, the sections interposed being in different keys from one another as well as from the first, which, on its last repetition, is generally more or less developed into a 'coda.' The aria grande has assumed, under the hands of the great masters of the modern school, a scope and a splendour which raise it to all but symphonic dignity. As specimens of these qualities we may cite Beethoven's 'Ah, perfido,' and Mendelssohn's 'Infelice.' The limits of the human voice forbid, however, save in rare instances, to the aria, however extended, that repetition of the same strains in different though related keys, by which the symphonic 'form' is distinguished from every other. But compositions of this class, especially those interspersed with recitative, though nominally sometimes arie belong rather to the class 'scena.'

[ J. H. ]

AIRY, Sir George Biddell. The present Astronomer Royal, and late President of the Royal Society, the author of one of the latest works on acoustics, 'On Sound and Atmospheric Vibrations,' London 1868. The most important portion of this work is its elaborate mathematical treatment of the theory of atmospheric soundwaves, a subject first discussed by Sir Isaac Newton in the 'Principia.'

[ W. P. ]

A'KEMPIS, Florentino, organist of St. Gudule, at Brussels, about the middle of the 17th century; composed three symphonies (Antwerp, 1644, 1647, and 1649), 'Missae et Motetta' (Antwerp, 1650), and another mass for eight voices.

AKEROYDE, Samuel, a native of Yorkshire, was a very popular and prolific composer of songs in the latter part of the 17th century. Many of his compositions are contained in the following collections of the period: 'D'Urfey's Third Collection of Songs' 1685; 'The Theatre of Musick,' 1685-1687; 'Vinculum Societatis,' 1687; ' Comes Amoris,' 1687-1694; 'The Banquet of Musick,' 1688-1692; 'Thesaurus Musicus,' 1693-1696; and in 'The Gentleman's Journal,' 1692-1694. He was also a contributor to the Third Part of D'Urfey's 'Don Quixote,' 1696.

[ W. H. H. ]

ALA, Giovanni Battista, born at Monza about the middle of the 16th century, died at the age of thirty-two; organist of the Church dei Servitori, in Milan, and composer of canzonets, madrigals, and operas (Milan, 1617, 1625), 'Concerti ecclesiastici' (Milan, 1618, 1621, 1628), and several motetts in the 'Pratum musicum' (Antwerp, 1634).

ALARD, Delphin, eminent violinist. Born at Bayonne, March 8, 1815; shewed at an early age remarkable musical talent, and in 1827 was sent to Paris for his education. At first he was not received as a regular pupil at the Conservatoire, but was merely allowed to attend Habeneck's classes as a listener. He soon however won the second, and a year later the first prize for violin-playing, and from 1831 began to make a great reputation as a performer. In 1843, on Baillot's death, he succeeded that great master as professor at the Conservatoire, which post he still holds (1875). Alard is the foremost representative of the modern French school of violin-playing at Paris, with its characteristic merits and drawbacks. His style is eminently lively, pointed, full of élan. He has published a number of concertos and operatic fantasias which, owing to their brilliancy, attained in France considerable popularity, without having much claim to artistic worth. On the other hand, his 'Violin School,' which has been translated into several languages, is a very comprehensive and meritorious work. He also edited a selection of violin-compositions of the most eminent masters of the 18th century, 'Les maîtres classiques du Violon,' etc. (Schott), in 40 parts. [[App. p.819 "date of death, Feb. 22, 1888"]

[ P. D. ]

ALBANI, Mathias, a renowned violin-maker, born 1621, at Botzen, was one of Stainer's best pupils. The tone of his violins, which are generally very high in the belly, and have a dark