Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/649

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GUARNIERI.
637
GUEST.

the advantage of that splendid Venetian varnish which astonishes the beholder in the work of Montagnana. His violins, though of high model, have a fine rich tone, and are in their way complete masterpieces. But all the Guarnieri family yield in fame to the celebrated

5. Joseph del Geso, so called from the I.H.S. which is added to his name on his tickets. Sometimes erroneously said to have been a pupil of Stradivari, with whom his work has nothing in common, he was probably a pupil of his cousin and namesake. His attention seems to have been early diverted from the school of the Amati, in which all his relatives, and Stradivari himself, imbibed their first ideas. He fixed on the works which the early Brescian makers had produced before the Amati family brought into fashion geometrical curves, extreme fineness of finish, and softness of tone. Whoever may have been the instructor of Joseph Guarnerius, his real master was Gaspar di Salo. He revived the bold and rugged outline, and the masterly carelessness, and with it the massive build and powerful tone, of the earlier school. Perfection of form and style had been attained by others: tone was the main quality sought by Joseph, and the endless variety of his work, in size, in model, and in cutting of sound-holes, probably merely indicates the many ways in which he sought it. He was sedulous in the selection of sonorous wood. He is supposed to have obtained a piece of pine of vast size, possessing extraordinary acoustic properties, from which he made most of his bellies. The bellies made from this wood have a stain or sap-mark running parallel with the finger-board on either side. This great block of wood, says Mr. Hart, 'he regarded as a mine of wealth.' He often finished an instrument more carefully, perhaps to special order: the finer examples are well characterised by Mr. Hart as 'a strange mixture of grace and boldness.' These finer examples predominate in what has been termed the 'second epoch' of his life: but the truth is that throughout his career he worked with no uniformity as to design, size, appearance, or degree of finish, and without any guide but his own genius, and the scientific principles he had wrought out by experiment. The story of Joseph Guarnerius making rude instruments while in prison out of chance pieces of wood provided by the daughter of his gaoler, who 'sold them for what they would fetch, in order to alleviate the misery of his confinement,' rests upon no satisfactory evidence. Joseph Guarnerius made instruments often of very rude appearance, and he may or may not have been at some time imprisoned: but the story of the 'prison Josephs' has probably been invented to explain the hosts of spurious instruments which have found their way all over Europe since the middle of the last century. The great tone-producing powers of the 'Joseph' were thus early very well known; but the softer quality of the Amati and the Stradivarius violin was usually preferred by amateurs until the present century, when Paganini's extraordinary performances on an unusally fine 'Joseph' sent them up at once three-fold in the market. The value of a good 'Joseph' now varies from £150 to £400, according to size, power of tone, finish, and condition. Only extraordinary specimens fetch higher prices.

No contemporary copyist imitated Joseph Guarnerius with much success. Landolfi was the best: the productions of the Testores and of Lorenzo Storioni could never be mistaken for their original. No violoncello of Joseph Guarnerius has ever been known to exist.

[ E. J. P. ]

GUERRERO, Francisco, one of the chief representatives of the early Spanish school of composers, was born at Seville in 1528, and received his education first from an elder brother, and then from the great Morales. At the age of 18 he was made chapel-master at Jaen, a few years afterwards obtained a similar position at Malaga; and finally succeeded Fernandez in the cathedral at Seville. At the age of 60 he undertook a pilgrimage to Palestine, an account of which was afterwards published with the title 'El viage de Jerusalem que hizo Francisco Guerrero,' etc. (Alcala 1611). Guerrero died in 1599 at the advanced age of 81. His most important works were published under the title, 'Liber primus Missarum F. Guerero Hispalensis Odei phonasco autore' (Paris, Du Chemin 1566). This contains 4 masses in 5 parts, viz. 'Sancta et immaculata'; 'In te Domine speravi'; 'Congratulamini mihi'; 'Super flumina Babylonis.' 5 masses in 4 parts, viz. 'De B. Virgine'; 'Dormendo un giorno'; 'Inter vestibulum'; 'Beata Mater'; and 'Pro Defunctis.' Also the motets 'Ave virgo sanctissima' (5 parts), 'Usquequo Domine' (6 parts), and 'Pater Noster' (8 parts).

There is a copy of the book in the Imperial Library at Vienna. Sandoval, in his life of Charles V, tells us that Guerrero presented this volume to the Emperor, and that monarch's musical reputation chiefly rests on the fact that, after hearing one of these compositions, he called Guerrero 'a thief and a plagiarist, while his singers stood astonished, as none of them had discovered these thefts till they were pointed out by the Emperor.' But they may possibly have discovered, notwithstanding their respectful astonishinent, that Guerrero was guilty of nothing more than using the ordinary mannerisms of a particular school.

The Vienna library also possesses a collection of Magnificats by Guerrero, printed at Louvain, by Phalesius in 1563. Eslava has printed in his 'Lira-sacro-Hispana' the Passion according to St. Matthew for 4 voices, for Palm Sunday, and that according to St. John (5 voices) for Good Friday. Also 3 motets for 5 voices and a 4-part mass, 'Simile est regnum cœlorum.' [Eslava.]

GUEST, RALPH, was born in 1743 at Basely, Shropshire. At a very early age he became a member of the choir in the church of his native place. On attaining his majority he came to London and engaged in commercial pursuits;