Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/138

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
126
L'HOMME ARMÉ.
LESUEUR.

'Rachel,' 'Ruth et Noémi,' 'Ruth et Booz'; a cantata for the marriage of the Emperor Napoleon; a motet for the baptism of the King of Rome; a Prière for the Emperor on airs of Languedoc; an 'O Salutaris'; several psalms and motets, among which must be specified a 'Super flumina Babylonis.'

The 5 operas previously mentioned, and all this sacred music, furnish ample materials for forming an estimate of Lesueur's genius. His most marked characteristic is a grand simplicity. No musician ever contrived to extract more from common chords, or to impart greater solemnity to his choruses and ensembles; but in his boldest flights, and most original effects of colour, the ear is struck by antiquated passages which stamp the composer as belonging to a passé school. 'His biblical characters are set before us with traits and colours so natural as to make one forget the poverty of the conception, the antique Italian phrases, the childish simplicity of the [1]orchestration.' By another critic he was said to have taken the theatre into the church and the church into the theatre. Thus, looking at the matter from a purely musical point of view, it is impossible to consider Lesueur the equal of his contemporaries Méhul and Cherubini; though the novelties he introduced derive a special interest from the fact that he was the master of Hector Berlioz.

[ G. C. ]

LETZTEN DINGE, DIE, i.e. 'the Last Things,' an oratorio in 2 parts; text by Rochlitz, music by Spohr. Composed in the autumn of 1825, and produced in the Lutheran church, Cassel, on [2]Good Friday 1826. In England it is known as The Last Judgment. This oratorio must not be confounded with 'Das jüngste Gericht,' an earlier and less successful work.

[ G. ]

LEUTGEB, or LEITGEB, Josef, a horn player to whom Mozart was much attached. They became acquainted in Salzburg, where Leutgeb was one of the band, and on Mozart's arrival in Vienna he found him settled there, in the Altlerchenfeld no. 32, keeping a cheesemonger's shop and playing the horn. Mozart wrote 4 Concertos for him (Köchel 412, 417, 447, 495), a Quintet (407), which he calls 'das Leitgebische,' and probably a Rondo (371). This shows that he must have been a good player. There must also have been something attractive about him, for with no one does Mozart appear to have played so many tricks. When Leutgeb called to ask how his pieces were getting on Mozart would cover the floor with loose leaves of scores and parts of symphonies and concertos, which Leutgeb must pick up and arrange in exact order, while the composer was writing at his desk as fast as his pen could travel. On one occasion he was made to crouch down behind the stove till Mozart had finished. The margins of the Concertos are covered with droll remarks—'W. A. Mozart has taken pity on Leutgeb, ass, ox, and fool, at Vienna, Mar. 2 7, 1 783, etc.' The horn part is full of jokes—'Go it, Signor Asino'—'take a little breath'—'wretched pig'—'thank God here's the end'—and much more of the like. One of the pieces is written in coloured inks, black, red, green, and blue, alternately. Such were Mozart's boyish romping ways! Leutgeb throve on his cheese and his horn, and died richer than his great friend, Feb. 27, 1811.[3]

[ G. ]

LEVERIDGE, Richard, a singer noted for his deep and powerful bass voice, was born in 1670. His name appears as one of the singers in Dr. Blow's Te Deum and Jubilate for St. Cecilia's day 1695. He sang in the Anglo-Italian operas, 'Arsinoe,' 'Camilla,' 'Rosamond,' and 'Thomyris,' at Drury Lane theatre from 1705 to 1707. In 1708 he was engaged at the Queen's Theatre and sang in 'The Temple of Love,' etc., and in Handel's 'Faithful Shepherd' ('Il Pastor Fido') on its production in 1712. He subsequently transferred his services to Rich, and sang in the masques and pantomimes at Lincoln's Inn Fields and Covent Garden for nearly 30 years. His voice remained unimpaired so long, that in 1730, when 60 years old, he offered, for a wager of 100 guineas, to sing a bass song with any man in England. About 1726 he opened a coffee-house in Tavistock Street, Covent Garden. In 1699 he composed part of the music for 'The Island Princess, or, The Generous Portuguese,' and in 1716 the music for 'Pyramus and Thisbe,' a comic masque, compiled by him from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.' [App. p.700 "about 1708 he wrote new music for Act. ii. of Macbeth."] In 1727 he published his songs, with the music, in two small 8vo. vols. Many others were published singly. In his old age he was maintained by an annual subscription among his friends, promoted by a city physician. He died March 22, 1758. There is a good engraved [App. p.700 "mezzotint"] portrait of him by Pether, from a painting by Fryer [App. p.700 "Frye"].

[ W. H. H. ]

L'HOMME ARMÉ, Lome Armé, or Lomme Armé. I. The name of an old French Chanson, the melody of which was adopted, by some of the Great Masters of the 15th and 16th centuries, as the Canto fermo of a certain kind of Mass—called the 'Missa L'Homme armé'—which they embellished with the most learned and elaborate devices their ingenuity could suggest.

The origin of the song has given rise to much speculation. P. Martini calls it a 'Canzone Provenzale.' Burney (who, however, did not know the words) is inclined to believe it identical with the famous 'Cantilena Rolandi,' antiently sung, by an armed Champion, at the head of the French army, when it advanced to battle. Baini confesses his inability to decide the question: but points out, that the only relique of this poetry which remains to us—a fragment preserved in the 'Proportionale Musices' of Tinctor—makes no mention of Roland, and is not written in the Provençal dialect.[4]

'Lome, lome, lome armé.
Et Robinet tu m'as
La mort donnée,
Quand tu t'en vas.'

  1. Berlioz, 'Mémoires,' chap. vi.
  2. See the account to Spohr's Selbstbiographie, ii. 177.
  3. See Jahn's Mozart, 2nd ed., ii. 26.
  4. No more information is given by Loquin, 'Melodies populaires,' Paris, 1879.