Divina. These three editions differ from each other very considerably. That of Proske,
copied from the Altämps-Otthoboni MS. preserved in the Vatican Library, may fairly be assumed to represent the work exactly in the condition in which Palestrina left it: but the varied readings of Burney (1771),
and of Alfieri (1840),
are both valuable and interesting, as records of the abellimenti used in the Pontifical Chapel at the time of their transcription. Burney's version was reproduced, by Choron, among his examples of the Great Masters, in 1836; and again, in 1840, by Vincent Novello, in 'The Music of Holy Week,' which is still in print.
[ W. S. R. ]
IMPROVISATION, an equivalent term for Extempore Playing or Extemporising. Moscheles has left a curious account of the way in which Mendelssohn and he used to amuse themselves by improvising à quatre mains, a feat already mentioned in respect to Beethoven and Wölffl under Extempore. 'We often,' says he (Life, i. 274), 'improvise together on his magnificent Erard, each of us trying to dart as quick as lightning on the suggestions contained in the other's harmonies and to make fresh ones upon them. Then, if I bring in a theme out of his music, he immediately cuts in with one out of mine; then I retort, and then he, and so on ad infinitum, like two people at blind man's buff running against each other.'
Nottebohm remarks in his 'Beethoveniana' (p. 54) that of all Beethoven's string quartets that in C♯ minor (op. 131) has most the character of an Improvisation, but at the same time he quotes alterations from the sketchbooks (15 of one passage only) which show that the work was the very reverse of an impromptu, and the result of more than ordinary labour and vacillation, thus corroborating the remark made in the article on Beethoven in this Dictionary (p. 174a) that the longer he worked at his phrases, the more apparently spontaneous did they become.
[ G. ]
INCLEDON, Charles Benjamin,—the second of which names he despised and seldom used,—was the son of a medical practitioner at St. Kevern, Cornwall, where he was born in 1763. At 8 years of age he was placed in the choir of Exeter Cathedral, where he received his early musical education, first from Richard Langdon and afterwards from William Jackson. In 1779 he entered on board the Formidable, man-of-war, 98 guns, under Capt. (afterwards Rear-Admiral) Cleland. On the West India station he changed his ship for the Raisonable, 64 guns, Captain Lord Hervey. His voice had now become a fine tenor, and his singing attracted the attention of Admiral Pigot, commander of the fleet, who frequently sent for him to join himself and Admiral Hughes in the performance of glees and catches. Incledon returned to England in 1783, when Admiral Pigot, Lord Mulgrave, and Lord Hervey gave him letters of introduction to Sheridan and Colman. Failing to obtain an engagement from either manager he joined Collins's company and made his first appearance at the Southampton Theatre in 1784 as Alphonso in Dr. Arnold's 'Castle of Andalusia.' In the next year he was engaged at the Bath Theatre, where he made his first appearance as Belville in Shield's 'Rosina.' At Bath he attracted the attention of Rauzzini, who gave him instruction and introduced him at his concerts. In 1786 he made his first appearance in London at Vauxhall Gardens with great success, and during the next three years he was engaged there in the summer and at Bath in the winter. On Sept. 17, 1790, he made his first appearance at Covent Garden Theatre as Dermot in Shield's 'Poor Soldier,' and from that time for upwards of 30 years held a high position in public favour, singing not only at the theatre and Vauxhall, but also at concerts, the Lenten oratorios, and the provincial music meetings. In 1817 he visited America, and made a tour through a considerable part of the United States, where he was received with great applause. During the latter years of his life he travelled through the provinces under the style of 'The Wandering Melodist,' and gave an entertainment which was received with much favour. Early in 1826 he went to Worcester for the purpose of giving his entertainment, where he was attacked by paralysis, which terminated his existence on Feb. 11. He was buried at Hampstead, Middlesex. Incledon's voice and manner of singing were thus described by a contemporary:—'He had a voice of uncommon power both in the natural and falsette. The former was from A to G, a compass of about fourteen notes; the latter he could use from D to E or F, or about ten notes. His natural voice was full and open, neither partaking of the reed nor the string, and sent forth without the smallest artifice; and such was its ductility that when he sung pianissimo it retained its original quality. His falsette was rich, sweet and brilliant, but totally unlike the other. He took it without preparation, according to circumstances either about D, E, or F, or ascending an octave, which