Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/251

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
MATTEI.
239
MAXWELL.

known as the Abbate Mattei. Later he became maestro di capella of San Petronio, and professor of counterpoint at the Liceo from, its foundation in 1804. Among his pupils were Rossini, Morlacchi, Donizetti, Perotti, Robuschi, Palmerini, Bertolotti, Tadolini, Tesei, and Pilotti, who succeeded him at San Petronio. He lived in complete retirement, accessible only to his pupils, and died May 17, 1825 [App. p.715 "May 12"]. He was president of the 'Filarmonici' in 1790 and 94, and was a member of the Subalpine Académie, and of the 'Institut de France' (Jan. 24, 1824). He had a thorough practical acquaintance with the old traditions, as may be seen by his 'Prattica d'accompagnamento sopra basi numerati,' 3 vols. (Bologna, 1829, 30), which consists mainly of well-chosen examples, with a few rules. In his explanations to his pupils he does not seem to have been very clear; at least Rossini complained to Fétis in 1841 that he had one stereotyped answer when asked to explain a rule in harmony or counterpoint, 'it is always written thus.' Of his music 3 masses only are generally known. The libraries of San Giorgio and the Minorite convent in Bologna, contain most of his compositions, but the scores of an intermezzo 'Il Librago' and of a 'Passion' performed in 1792, seem to have been lost. Full particulars of his life are given in the 'Vita di Stanislao Mattei' by Filippo Canuti (Bologna, 1829, with portrait).

[ F. G. ]

MATTEIS, Nicola, an eminent Italian violinist, came to England about 1672. Nothing whatever is known of his antecedents. The earliest notice of him is found in Evelyn's Diary under date of Nov. 19, 1674: 'I heard that stupendous violin, Signer Nicholao (with other rare musicians), whom I never heard mortal man exceed on that instrument. He had a stroke so sweet, and made it speak like the voice of a man, and, when he pleased, like a concert of several instruments. He did wonders upon a note, and was an excellent composer. Here was also that rare lutanist, Dr. Wallgrave, but nothing approached the violin in Nicholao's hand. He played such ravishing things as astonished us all.' Roger North also (Memoirs of Musick), speaks very highly of his abilities. When he first came here he exhibited many singularities of conduct which he afterwards abandoned. He published here, without date, 'Arie, Preludij, Alemande, Sarabande, etc., per il Violino. Libro Primo. Altre Arie, etc., piu difficile e studiose per il Violino. Libro Secondo'; also 'Ayres for the Violin, to wit, Preludes, Fuges, Alemands, Sarabands, Courants, Gigues, Fancies, Divisions, and likewise other Passages, Introductions, and Fugues for Single and Double stops with divisions somewhat more artificial for the Emproving of the Hand upon the Basse-Viol or Harpsichord. The Third and Fourth Books.' He was likewise author of 'The False Consonances of Musick, or, Instructions for playing a true Base upon the Ouittarre, with Choice Examples and clear Directions to enable any man in a short time to play all Musicall Ayres. A great help likewise to those that would play exactly upon the Harpsichord, Lute, or Base- Viol, shewing the delicacy of all Accords, and how to apply them in their proper places. In four parts'—which even in North's time had become scarce, and is now excessively rare. In 1696 Matteis composed an Ode on St. Cecilia's day for the then annual celebration in London, and was also one of the stewards of a Cecilian celebration at Oxford. A song by him is included in a collection of 'Twelve New Songs,' published in 1699. According to North 'he fell into such credit and imployment that he took a great hous, and after the manner of his country lived luxuriously, which brought diseases upon him of which he dyed.' The date of his death is unknown. He is said to have been the inventor of the half-shift, but it is claimed also for others.

His son, Nicholas, was taught the violin by his father, and became an excellent player. He went to Germany and resided for some time at Vienna, but returned to England and settled at Shrewsbury as a teacher of languages, as well as of the violin, where Burney learned French and the violin of him. He died there about 1749.

[ W. H. H. ]

MAURER, Ludwig Wilhelm, distinguished violinist, born Aug. [App. p.715 "Feb."] 8, 1789, in Potsdam, pupil of Haak, Concertmeister to Frederic the Great. At 13 he appeared with great success at a concert given in Berlin by Mara, and was in consequence admitted to the royal chapel as a probationer. After the battle of Jena (1806) the chapel was dismissed, and Maurer travelled, first to Königsberg and Riga, where he made the acquaintance of Rode and Baillot, and then to Mittau and St. Petersburg, his playing being everywhere appreciated. At Moscow he again met Baillot, through whose good offices he became Capellmeister to the Chancellor Wsowologsky, who had a private orchestra. Here he remained till 1817, when he made another successful tour, being particularly well received in Berlin and Paris. In 1832 he returned to Wsowologsky, and stayed till 45, when after another tour he settled finally in Dresden. The best known of his compositions are a Symphonic concertante for 4 violins and orchestra, first played in Paris by himself, Spohr, Müller, and Wich in 1838; and three Russian airs with variations (op. 14). Of his operas 'Alonzo,' 'Der entdeckte Diebstahl,' and 'Der neue Paris,' the overtures only have been printed. He also published several concertos—one of which was at one time very often played at the Philharmonic Concerts in London—and two collections of quartets (op. 17 and 26). He died at St. Petersburg, Oct. 25, 1878. His two sons Wsevolod, a violinist, and Alexis, a cellist, are good musicians. They are now settled in Russia.

[ F. G. ]

MAXWELL, Francis Kelly (sometimes called John), D.D., chaplain of the Asylum, Edinburgh, published anonymously 'An Essay upon Tune, being an attempt to free the scale of music and the tune of instruments from imperfection' (Edinburgh, 1781; London, 1794);—an able work. He died in 1782.

[ W. H. H. ]