Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/207

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MAELZEL.
195
MAGNIFICAT.

repurchase Kempelen's Chessplayer and to push his Metronome took him back to Munich and Vienna in 1817. Beethoven's good word was oF more consequence than any one else's, and knowing Maelzel's cleverness, Beethoven's amenability to a good companion, and the fact that the performance on which the lawsuit was grounded having taken place out of Austria, the action could not lie, it need not surprise us to find that the suit was given up, and the costs divided equally. After this Maelzel travelled much, and even reached the United States, where he passed the rest of his life, except a voyage or two to the West Indies, exhibiting the Chessplayer, the Conflagration of Moscow, and his other curious inventions[1]. He was found dead in his berth on board the American brig Otis, July 21, 1838. Maelzel was evidently a sharp, shrewd, clever man of business, with a strong propensity to use the ideas of others for his own benefit.

For the details of his Metronome see the article under that head. It was entirely different from the Stöckel-Mälzel 'Chronometer,' and it was upon the latter, and not upon the Metronome, that Beethoven wrote the catch which is connected with the Allegretto of his Symphony No. 8.

[ A. W. T. ]

MÄSSIG. 'In moderate time'; the German equivalent of Moderato, used much by Schumann, as in the sixth of the fugues on the name Bach, and constantly throughout the Album. 'Im mässigen Tempo' occurs in the fourth fugue of op. 72, 'Sehr mässig' in the Lager-scene, No. 3 of op. 76. He uses 'Mässig durchaus energisch' as the translation of 'Moderato con energia' in the second movement of the Fantasia in C, op. 17. The 'Marsch-mässig' of Beethoven's op. 101 has no relation to the above, but means in March-style.

MAESTOSO. 'With majesty,' or in a dignified way. It is used either alone, as a direction of time, in which case it indicates a pace rather slower than andante, or, combined with other indications of tempo, as a guide to the expression. Beethoven uses it frequently in both these ways. It occurs alone in the Pianoforte Sonata, op. 111, first movement, in the Namensfeier overture, op. 115, Quartet in E♭, op. 127, etc.; also in Pizarro's song at the end of Act I of Fidelio, 'Auf euch, auf euch, nur will ich bauen.' In the final chorus of that opera, 'Wer ein holdes Weib errungen,' the direction originally stood Maestoso vivace, but was afterwards changed to Allegro ma non troppo. The first movement of the Choral Symphony is marked Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso; the passage in the last movement to the words 'Seid umschlungen Millionen' is Andante maestoso; and the four bars of 3-4 time immediately before the final Prestissimo are marked Maestoso simply. Mendelssohn uses Allegro maestoso frequently, as in Elijah, 'I am he that comforteth,' and 'Be not afraid,' and in St. Paul very often. He uses Moderato maestoso in 'Then did Elijah the prophet.' Maestoso con brio occurs as the equivalent of the German 'Rauschend und festlich' in Schumann's Novelette, No. 5.

MAESTRO, master. This word is almost exclusively applied to the great classical composers, but occasionally it is used of the very highest class of executive musicians, though even in this case it may be taken as implying an appreciation of their compositions rather than of their performances. It is seldom applied to teachers as such, but refers almost always to composers of note.

Maestro di capella is the exact Italian equivalent to the German term Kapellmeister, or conductor.

Maestro dei putti (master of the boys) is an office which was founded in 1538 (not, as is generally supposed, in the Papacy of Julius II. which was much earlier), and which was first held by Arcadelt. Its duties are to teach singing to the boys of St. Peter's, in Rome, and more or less to superintend the choir arrangements. It thus represents our 'Choirmaster.' [See Arcadelt, vol. i. p. 81.]

Maestro al cembalo is an officer at the Opera, next in importance to the conductor, and occasionally taking his place. His duties consist of superintending the rehearsals of the music, and accompanying at them. This post was held by Handel at Hamburg, when he was quite young [see Handel, vol. i. p. 648], and afterwards by Matheson.

MAGNIFICAT. The 'Song of the Blessed Virgin Mary' has been used as the Vesper Canticle of the Church, from time immemorial; and the Evening Office has always been so constructed as to lead up to it as its chief point of interest.

In Plain Chaunt Services, it is sung to the same Tones as the Psalms; but, with certain differences of detail. For instance, the Intonation—except on Ferias, and a few Festivals of minor importance—is prefixed to every Verse. The Mediation is distinguished from the ordinary form by the presence of certain ornamental notes, introduced, per ligaturam, for the purpose of adding to its solemnity: but it will be observed, that, in the Roman Vesperal, the Mediation of the first Verse is altogether omitted, in consequence of the small number of syllables, the melody passing on, at once, from the Reciting-Note to the Ending, which, in all cases, corresponds exactly with the formula prescribed for the Psalm-Tones. Finally, the Tempo is infinitely slower than that used in any other part of the Service. This last peculiarity is a very important one: for, according to the Ritual of the Western Church, the Officiant and Sacred Ministers are occupied, during the singing of Magnificat, in incensing the Altar—a process, which, when full Ceremonial is used, occupies a considerable time.

After the invention of Discant, a custom arose, of singing Magnificat in alternate Verses of Plain Chaunt, and Faux Bourdon. Sometimes, the Faux Bourdon was simply a harmonised Psalm-Tone, with the melody in the Tenor, as in the following example of a very beautiful 'Use' which has long been traditional in French Cathedrals.

  1. See Prof. G. Allen, of Philadelphia. U.S.A., in the Book of the first American Chess Congress.