Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/197

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MACBETH MUSIC.
185
MACFARREN.

Act iv. sc. 2, of the original 'Macbeth,' before Davenant made his additions. This dance is included in 'Musick's Delight on the Cithren,' 1666. 'Witches' Dances' in manuscripts of that age are not necessarily by Matthew Lock. There are two such in Add. MSS. No. 10,444, in the British Museum, taken from some masque.

Eccles's music for 'Macbeth' is to be found in score in the British Museum (Add. MSS. No. 12,219). It was brought out at Drury Lane Theatre in 1696. As this was the year after Purcell's death, the date disposes of the myth of Purcell's having had any hand in after-improving it. As Eccles's music is not the music of 'Macbeth,' it must stand or fall upon its own merits. It was much admired by W. Linley, who edited 'Dramatic Songs' in, or for, Shakespeare's plays; but in the more trustworthy judgment of Mr. Cummings, 'it abounds in wearisome and uninteresting imitative phrases'; and again, Mr. Cummings says, 'Eccles could not have been the author of the music accredited to Lock; the former is so extremely laboured and diffuse, the latter so much more dramatic and effective in its conciseness and simplicity.' ('Concordia,' Nov. 27, 1875.)

'The music in Macbeth,' says Mr. Cummings, 'is not equal to Purcell at his best period: yet, if he composed it, as I believe, at the age of fourteen or sixteen, it adds another leaf to the laurel crown of England's greatest musical genius.' On the other hand, it may be said, that Purcell requires no borrowed plumes, and that the sole ground for attributing the music to him rests upon this manuscript. If we are to accept it as evidence that Purcell composed the music for 'Macbeth,' we must re-write the history of Purcell. It must henceforth be that, at the age of fourteen (sixteen is inadmissible) he appeared as a juvenile prodigy, having composed the music for 'Macbeth,' which met with an enthusiastic reception, but this meteor at once disappeared; Purcell preferred retirement for eight years, and during that period did nothing more than favour Mr. Priest with music for young ladies and gentlemen to perform, until he chose once more to shine upon the stage in 1680. The inferences drawn by Mr. Cummings in his able article show his enthusiasm for Purcell, and perhaps he had then in his mind the founding of the Purcell Society which he has since succeeded in establishing. No writer could have stated the evidence more fairly, whether the inferences to be drawn from it were for or against his opinion.

Of Richard Leveridge's claim, it is sufficient to say that he composed new music for the 2nd act of 'Macbeth' in or about 1708. It has since passed completely into oblivion, and there is no need to say anything more about it.

[ W. C. ]

MACCHERINI, Giuseppina, the wife of a good tenor [Ansani], was born at Bologna in 1745. In 1781 she arrived in London, whither a great reputation had preceded her, but never was expectation more completely disappointed. Her voice was a mere thread, scarcely audible in the orchestra. She was soon put aside, and a fine opera, called 'Giunio Bruto,' in which her husband and Pacchierotti played, necessarily abandoned. She retired to her native town in 1788, and died there Sept. 19, 1825.

[ J. M. ]

MACE, Thomas, one of the clerks of Trinity College, Cambridge, was author of a remarkable book published (in small folio, 272 pp., beside 18 pp. of prefatory matter) in 1676, entitled 'Musick's Monument; or, A Remembrancer of the best Practical Musick, both Divine and Civil, that has ever been known to have been in the world,' the first part of which treats of the then condition of parochial psalmody and cathedral music and the means of improving their performance; the second of the lute, including directions for choosing, tuning, repairing, performing on and composing for the instrument, with a full explanation of the tableture and numerous lessons; and the third of the viol and of music generally, with other curious matter. The book is written in a quaint, familiar style, intermingled with a profusion of strangely compounded terms, and produces a striking impression of the author's love of his art and his devout and amiable disposition. It was published by subscription at 12s. per copy in sheets. A lengthy epitome of it is given in Hawkins's History, pp. 727–733, Novello's edition. A few scanty biographical particulars are culled from it, viz. that Mace married in or shortly after 1636; that before the marriage his wife resided in Yorkshire, he in Cambridge; that in 1644 he was in York during the siege of the city by the Parliamentary army; that in consequence of having broken both arms he was compelled to make a shake upon the lute in an irregular manner; that he invented a 'table organ' (described in his book, with an engraving) to accompany a 'consort of viols'; that in consequence of partial deafness rendering the soft tones of the lute inaudible to him, he in 1672 invented a lute of 50 strings, which he termed the Dyphone, or Double Lute; that he had a family, and that his youngest son, John, learned in 1672 to play well upon the lute almost solely by the perusal of the MS. of his book [see Immyns, John]; that the writing of the work was not commenced until after Christinas, 1671, and it was licensed for publication May 5, 1675; and lastly that owing to his increased deafness, which we may presume prevented him pursuing his profession, he was in somewhat straitened circumstances. Hawkins asserts that Mace was born in 1613, evidently arriving at that conclusion from the inscription beneath the portrait (engraved by Faithorne after Cooke) prefixed to his book, 'Ætat. suæ. 63.' But it is probable that the portrait was painted at an earlier date than the year of publication. The date of his death is not known.

[ W. H. H. ]

MACFARREN, George Alexander, Mus. Doc., son of George Macfarren, dramatist, was born in London, March 2, 1813. In early life he displayed partiality for music, but did not regularly commence its study until 1827, when