Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/86
Psalm 92 ( = 92 Eng. Ps.)
The connection of the music of the antiphon with that of the psalm is explained by Durandus from the etymology of the term—'because antiphons are as keys and indices according to the modulation and sound of which the following canticle or psalm is sung alternately. For the tone of the whole psalm is taken from the tone of the antiphon.'
Antiphonal or alternate singing, as in the chanting of psalms verse by verse—or by half verses, as heard by Mendelssohn in Rome during the Holy Week (see his Letter of June 16, 1831)—is of very high antiquity. It was characteristic of the Hebrew and early Christian worship, and is mentioned by Philo in the middle of the first century, describing the Therapeutse (De Vit. Cont.), and has always been more or less practised in the Church.The French term 'antienne' and the English 'anthem' are derived from antiphon, probably in reference to each of the meanings given above, as an independent piece of music sung from side to side of the choir.
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A PIACERE (Ital.), 'At pleasure.' An indication to the performer to use his discretion as to time. A rallentando is almost always implied.
APOLLONICON. The name given to a large chamber organ of peculiar construction, comprising both keyboards and barrels, erected by Messrs. Flight and Robson, organ-builders, and for many years publicly exhibited by them at their rooms in St. Martin's Lane. Prior to building the Apollonicon, Messrs. Flight and Robson had constructed, under the inspection of Purkis, the organist, a similar but smaller instrument for Viscount Kirkwall, a well-known musical amateur. This instrument, being exhibited at the builders' factory and attracting great attention, induced its fabricators to form the idea of constructing a larger instrument upon the same plan for public exhibition. They accordingly in 1812 commenced the building of the Apollonicon. They were engaged nearly five years in its construction, and expended £10,000 in perfecting it.The instrument contained about 1900 pipes, the lowest (twenty-four feet in length and twenty-three inches in aperture) sounding GGG, and the highest sounding A in altissimo. There were forty-five stops, several of which gave excellent imitations of the tones of the wind instruments of a complete orchestra, viz. flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, horn, and trombone. A pair of kettledrums were inclosed within the case, and struck, when required, by curiously contrived machinery. The manuals were five in number, a central one comprising a scale of five octaves, and four others, two on either side of the central one, each having a scale of two octaves. To the central manual were attached a swell and some composition pedals, and also a pedal keyboard of two octaves. The manuals were detached from the body of the organ, so that the players sat with their faces to the audience and their backs to the instrument. The barrels were three in number, each two feet in diameter and eight feet long, and each acting on a distinct division of the instrument. In their revolution they not only admitted the wind to the pipes, but regulated and worked the stops, forming by instantaneous mechanical action all the necessary combinations for producing the various gradations of power. To secure the means of performing pieces of greater length than were usually executed by barrels, spiral barrels were introduced, in which the pins, instead of being arranged in circles, were disposed in spiral lines. The instrument, with the exception of the keyboards, was inclosed in a case twenty feet wide and deep, and twenty-four feet high, the front being divided into three compartments by pilasters of the Doric, surmounted by others of the Ionic order. Between the upper pilasters were three paintings by an artist named Wright, the central one representing Apollo, and the others the Muses Clio and Erato, all somewhat larger than lifesize. The mechanical action of the Apollonicon was first exhibited in June 1817, when the barrels performed the overtures to Mozart's 'Clemenza di Tito' and Cherubim's 'Anacreon.' In November following a selection of sacred music was played on the keys by Purkis. The mechanical powers of the instrument were for nearly a quarter of a century exhibited daily, and on Saturday afternoons Purkis performed