Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/650
His son, George, was born at Bury St. Edmunds in 1771. He was initiated in music by his father, and subsequently became a chorister of the Chapel Royal under Dr. Nares and Dr. Ayrton. On the breaking of his voice he obtained in 1787 the appointment of organist at Eye, Suffolk, but gave it up in 1789 for that at Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, which he held during the remainder of his life. His compositions include anthems, hymns, glees, duets, songs, organ pieces, and pieces for a military band. He died at Wisbech, Sept. 10, 1831.
but the love of music induced him to enter in addition the choir of Portland Chapel. After five years he removed to Bury St. Edmunds, and entered into business on his own account. From Ford, organist of St. James's Church, Bury, he learned organ-playing, and in 1805 was appointed choir-master at St. Mary's there, and later, on the erection of an organ there, its organist. He then devoted himself entirely to the profession of music. He published 'The Psalms of David,' arranged for every day in the month, retaining many of the old psalm tunes and adding about sixty new ones. He subsequently published a supplement under the title of 'Hymns and Psalms,' with music composed and adapted by him. He also composed many songs. He resigned his appointment as organist in 1822, and died, at the advanced age of 88 years, in June 1830.
[ W. H. H. ]
GUGLIELMI, Pietro, born at Massa-Carrara in 1727 [App. p.661 "May"]. His father was an accomplished musician and Maestro di Capella to the Duke of Modena. At the age of 18 he was sent to supplement his home training at the Neapolitan Conservatorio, where he had the advantage of the tutorship of Durante. Volatility of temperament rather than stupidity hindered his progress in harmony, and it only required a single incident, sufficiently exciting to induce twenty-four hours of self-concentration, to make him at once evince his superiority to all his class-fellows. As soon as he left the Conservatorio he started on a tour through the principal cities of Italy, beginning with Turin, where he brought out his earliest opera (1755). Everywhere his genius was cordially acknowledged, and his best works met with general applause. He is known however to have made a great number of failures, which were probably the result of that careless workmanship to which artists of his self-indulgent and pleasure-loving habits are prone. From Italy he went to Dresden, Brunswick, and finally to London, whither his wife appears to have accompanied him, and where his success seems to have been checked by the intrigues of a musical cabal. In 1777 he returned to Naples to find that Cimarosa and Paisiello, each in the height of his fame, had eclipsed between them a reputation which his own fifteen years of absence had allowed to wane. It is to his credit that the necessity of struggling against these two younger rivals spurred Guglielmi to unwonted effort, and that the decade during which he divided with them the favour of the Neapolitan public was the culminating epoch of his mental activity. Wearied of the stage, Guglielmi finally in 1793 accepted the post of Maestro at the Vatican, and died in harness at Rome in 1804 [App. p.661 "Nov. 19"].He was a spendthrift and a debauchee; a bad husband, and a worse father. He abandoned a faithful wife, neglected his promising children, and squandered on a succession of worthless mistresses, most of whom were picked up in the green room, a fortune which it was his one trait of worldly wisdom to have known how to amass. But he stands high among composers of the second order, and he had the fecundity as well as the versatility of genius. His operas were numerous and their style was varied, and he composed masses, motets, hymns, and psalms, for the church, besides a great deal of important chamber-music for the clavecin, violin, and violoncello. Fétis gives a list of 79 of his operas, and assumes that this number is incomplete owing to the habit then prevalent in Italy of preserving only the scores of such works as had been fairly successful. Of these by far the greater number would be uninteresting now-a-days, but his 'I due Gemelli,' 'La Serva innamorata,' 'La Pastorella Nobile,' 'La Didone,' 'Enea e Lavinia,' 'Debora e Sisera,' 'I Viaggiatori,' and 'La Bella Pescatrice,' will always hold a considerable place in the history of music. A bravura air of Guglielmi's, 'Gratias agimus,' for high soprano, with clarinet obligato, was long a favourite in English, concert programmes.
[ E. H. P. ]
[ J. M. ]