Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/644

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632
GRISI.
GRIFFIN.

one of the Gresham Committee), he was appointed Professor of Music in Gresham College in the room of Charles Gardner, deceased. He seems to have been totally incapable of performing the duties of the office, since we learn from a contemporary newspaper that on Jan. 29, 1763, the day appointed for his first lecture, John Potter, who had acted as deputy to his predecessor, appeared to lecture for him, but the audience refused to hear him, and compelled him to retire; that on Feb. 12 following Griffin himself appeared, apologised for his absence on Jan. 29, which he assured the audience was owing solely to his not having had sufficient time to prepare a proper lecture, and then retired without saying more; and that he soon afterwards delivered a lecture, which lasted 11 minutes, in an almost inaudible tone of voice. He died in 1771. Hawkins asserts him to have been a barber. He was more probably of the Barber-Surgeons' Company.

[ W. H. H. ]

GRIMALDI. See Nicolini.

GRIMM, Julius Otto, German pianist and composer of some note; born 1830 at Pernau in Saxony [App. p.658 "Livonia"]; was a pupil of the Conservatorium of Leipzig. When Grimm had finished the course of instruction there, he found employment at Göttingen, and was subsequently appointed conductor of the Musikverein at Münster, where lie is still living as a teacher of singing and pianoforte playing. He has hitherto published pieces for the pianoforte, songs, and a few orchestral compositions, of which latter his 'Suite in canon-form' has made the round of German concert-rooms successfully, and in point of clever workmanship deserves all the praise it has met with.

[ E. D. ]

GRISAR, ALBERT, born at Antwerp, Dec. 26, 1808, was intended for commerce, and with that view was placed in a house of business at Liverpool. The love of music was however too strong for him, and after a few struggles with his family he ran away to Paris, and reached it only a day or two before the Revolution of July 1830. He began to study under Reicha, but the revolution spread to Belgium, and Grisar was obliged to join his family in Antwerp. His first public success was 'Le Mariage impossible' at Brussels in the spring of 1833. It attracted the attention of the government, and procured him a grant of 1200 francs towards the completion of his musical education. He returned to Paris and henceforward gave himself up almost entirely to the theatre. His first appearance there was at the Opéra Comique with 'L'an mil.' Though not unsuccessful he was dissatisfied with himself, and in 1840 or 1841 went to Naples to study composition under Mercadante; and there he remained for several years. In 1848 he was again in Paris, and did not leave it till his death, which took place at Asnières on June 15, 1869. Nineteen of his comic operas were produced on the stage, and a dozen more remained in MS. A list will be found in Pougin's supplement to Fétis. He also published more than 50 melodies and romances. His statue, by Brackeleer, is in the vestibule of the Antwerp Theatre, and a Life of him by Pougin has been published by Hachette. With the Parisians he was a great favourite. 'A charming delicate natural musician, several of whose works will remain to attest the rare excellence of his talent' is the judgment of a French critic in the Menestrel. On an Englishman however—and one who knew him and liked him—he made a different impression; 'His music,' says Mr. Chorley, 'leaves not the slightest trace on the memory. I cannot recall from the whole list a melody, a touch of instrumental novelty, an indication of character or local colour.' M. Chouquet (Musique Dramatique, 286), while praising his fresh and graceful melody and his sympathy with the scene and the situation, will not allow him a place above the second rank.

[ G. ]

GRISI, Giulia. This famous operatic vocalist, daughter of Gaetano Grisi, an officer of engineers under Napoleon, was born at Milan in 1812; others say 1810, others even 1806. She belonged to a family of artists. Her maternal aunt was the celebrated Grassini; her eldest sister, Giuditta (born at Milan, July 28, 1805 [App. p.658 "died May 1, 1840"]), was a singer of high merit; and her cousin, Carlotta Grisi, originally educated as a singer, became, under the tuition of Perrot, the most charming dancer of her time. Probably her mother, like the rest of the family, had before marriage made music her profession. If so, with a soldier for a father and a singer for a mother, it may be said that the future 'dramatic soprano' came indeed of suitable parentage. Her earliest instructors were successively her sister Giuditta; Filippo Celli, afterwards resident professor in London; Madame Boccabadati; and Guglielmi, son of the composer of that name. At the age of seventeen she made her first appearance in public as Emma in Rossini's 'Zelmira.' In 1830 Mr. C. C. Greville saw her at Florence with David in 'Ricciardo,' and says, 'She is like Pasta in face and figure, but much handsomer. She is only eighteen.' Rossini took a great interest in the young and promising Giulietta, for whom he predicted a brilliant future. 'Youth, uncommon personal attractions, a beautiful voice, and indications already of that stage talent afterwards so remarkably developed, combined,' says one who speaks with authority on the subject, 'to obtain a reception for their possessor more hearty and more unanimously favourable than often falls to the lot of a débutante.' One of Giulia's warmest admirers was Bellini, who, composing at Milan the opera of 'Norma' for Pasta, recognised in the young artist all the qualifications for a perfect Adalgisa. Strangely enough, when the opera was first brought out, the first act proved almost a fiasco; and it was not until the duet for Norma and Adalgisa in the 2nd Act that the audience began to applaud. Dissatisfied with her engagement at Milan, and unable to get herself released from it by ordinary means, the impulsive Giulia took to flight, and escaping across the frontier reached Paris, where she found her aunt, Madame Grassini, her sister Giuditta, and Rossini,—at that