Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/222

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210
MARCELLO.
MARA.

occasionally on the stage, and even in English ballad operas, she was more frequently heard in concerts and oratorios. For these she was better suited, as her figure was not good enough for the theatre, nor was she a good actress. It is, indeed, not impossible that her stage-presence was still to some extent spoiled by the disease which crippled her as a child; and there is a caricature in which she is shown, singing at a 'Wapping Concert' seated (Feb. 28, 1766 [App. p.710 "1786"]), with the following apology below:—

Madam Mary ……… begs her Polite Audience will excuse her sitting during the Performance, as she contracted in her infancy a Disorder called Le Genoue Inflexible, or (Stiff Knee) which prevents her standing, even in the most Sacred Pieces of Music—her Enemies call it Pride, but must appear only malice, when she could not rise before their Majesties; or at the Sacred Name of Jehovah.

There is, again, a letter of Mara's extant,[1] in which she apologises for not being able even to sit on a platform throughout a concert, a thing she had never been able to do, owing to the heat and fatigue, which she could not bear. Her health was, in fact, never strong. She had, however, the advantage of knowing our language, which she had learnt in childhood, during her first visit to England; and she is said to have gained large sums here by her oratorio-singing.

In 1788 she was singing in the Carnival at Turin, and the following year at Venice. She returned to London in 1790, and went to Venice again in 1791. Coming once more to London in the next season, she remained here for ten years. After this time, she found her voice losing strength, and she quitted England in 1802, after enjoying a splendid benefit of over £1000 at her farewell concert. She sang without effect at Paris, where she had the misfortune to come after Grassini; and then, after passing through Germany, Mara retired to Moscow, where she bought a house.

Her worthless husband, and her numerous lovers,—among whom the last was a flute-player named Florio,—had helped her to spend the immense sums which she had earned, until she found herself without means, and compelled to support herself by teaching. By following this occupation, she acquired a small competence, which was again lost to her (1812) in the fire of Moscow, which destroyed the merchant's house in which she had placed it. Forced to begin once more to seek a means of subsistence, when almost 64 years old, Mara travelled in Livonia, where ehe was kindly received, and settled in Revel. She now supported herself again for about four years by teaching, and then formed the strange desire to revisit London, the scene of her former glory. Here she arrived in 1819 (according to Fétis), though Lord Mount-Edgcumbe puts her visit before the burning of Moscow. In any case, the poor old woman, announced in a mysterious manner by Messrs. Knyvett as 'a most celebrated singer whom they were not at liberty to name,' appeared at the King's theatre, when it was discovered that not a shred of her voice remained,—and never appeared again. She returned to Livonia, and died at Revel, Jan. 20, 1833, at the advanced age of 84, soon after receiving from Göthe a poem for her birthday, 'Sangreich war dein Ehrenweg' (Weimar, 1831).

A life of Mara, by G. C. Grosheim, was published at Cassel in 1823, and a more interesting one by Rochlitz in his 'Für Freunde der Tonkunst,' vol. i. The best portrait of her was engraved (oval) by J. Collyer, after P. Jean, 1794.

[ J. M. ]

MARCATO. 'In a marked, decisive manner.' The principal use of this direction is to draw the attention to the melody or subject when it is in such a position that it might be overlooked, as for instance, 'Il basso ben marcato,' in Chopin's Krakowiak, op. 11; or when there are two subjects both of which are to be brought prominently forward, as in the 9th Symphony of Beethoven (last movement) where the two subjects come together in 6-4 time, the words being 'Freude, schöner Götterfunken,' and 'Seid umschlungen,' etc.; and in the Études Symphoniques of Schumann, No. 2, 'Marcato il canto' and 'Marcato il tema.' Beethoven also uses 'Queste note ben marcato' in the string quartet, op. 18, No. 6, slow movement, and 'Melodia marcata,' in the Trio, op. 9, No. 2.

'Marcatissimo' is used by Chopin, Étude, op. 25, No. 11, at the end, and by Schumann in the last movement of the Sonata in F♯ minor, op. 11, and in No. 8 of the Études Symphoniques. The latter composer is the only one of note who uses this direction at the beginning of a movement, to denote the character of the whole. This he does frequently, as 'Allegro marcato,' in the third of the Intermezzi, op. 4; and 'Ben marcato,' in Nos. 1 and 3 of the Romances, op. 28. As a rule Marcato is coupled with a certain degree of force, as in Schumann's first Novelette, 'Marcato con forza (Markirt und kräftig)'; but in the grand Sonata, op. 14 (last movement), we find 'Leggiero marcato,' and near the end, 'Leggierissimo marcando.' The sign which is equivalent to Marcato is Music-crescendo.png over the separate notes, but this refers to the notes themselves, and Marcato to the whole passage

MARCELLO, Benedetto, eminent composer, a Venetian of noble birth, son of Agostino Marcello and Paola Capello, born July 31, or August 1, 1686. He was highly educated, and had great natural gifts for music, and was a pupil of Lotti and Gasparini. The violin was his first instrument, but he soon gave his whole attention to singing and composition. His father, objecting to the time thus occupied, sent him from home to study law, but on his death Benedetto returned to Venice, and contrived to combine the practice of music with his professional avocations. He held important government posts, was a member of the Council of Forty, and afterwards Proveditore of Pola (1730). Here he remained 8 years, when his health having been ruined by the climate he became Camerlengo at Brescia, and there died July 24, 1739. His

  1. In the collection of the present writer.