Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/257

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MEDIATION.
245
MÉHUL.

different Tones. Each Tone has, in reality, only one Mediation; though that one exhibits itself, in most cases, in at least three different forms—one, used for the Psalms, one, for the Introits, and a third—commonly called the 'Festal Form'—for the Canticles. Moreover, Tones II, IV, V, VI, and VIII have each a special form of Mediation, used only when the first half of the Verse to which it is sung ends with a monosyllable, or Hebrew proper name. For examples of these different forms, see Tones, the Gregorian; under which heading will also be found a detailed account of the connexion of the Mediation with the other members of the Chaunt.

In addition to these recognised forms of the Mediation, certain others have attained, from time to time, a considerable amount of local popularity, in consequence of the claim put forth, by particular Dioceses—especially in France—to a peculiar 'Use' of their own. The utter abolition of such Diocesan Uses—almost all of which can be proved to have originated in a corrupt method of chaunting is one of the objects contemplated by the compilers of the Ratisbon Office-Books, as revised by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, and formally sanctioned by the authority of the Holy See. Should this object be attained, and a fixed standard adopted, free from modern innovations, and conformable, in every respect, to the antient purity of the Plain Chaunt, it will have the effect of silencing a few Gallican Mediations, which have long been established favourites, and the absence of which will, at first, perhaps be regretted: but it cannot fail to result in a vast improvement of the general style of chaunting the Psalms, and Canticles. [See Macicotaticum .]

[ W. S. R. ]

MÉDECIN MALGRÉ LUI, LE. Adapted from Molière by Barbier and Carré, music by M. Gounod. Produced at the Théâtre Lyrique, Jan. 15, 1858. In English, as 'The Mock Doctor,' at Covent Garden, Feb. 27, 1865.

[ G. ]

MEERESSTILLE UND GLÜCKLICHE FAHRT, i.e. Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, a poem by Goethe, which has been set to music by two great masters.

1. By Beethoven, for chorus and orchestra. Composed in 1815, first performed at the Great Redoutensaal in Vienna on Christmas day of that year, and published Feb. 28, 1823, by Steiner. It is dedicated 'to the immortal Goethe.' The reverse of the title-page contains 3 lines from Voss's translation of the Odyssey (viii. 479), thus rendered by Lang and Butcher:—

'For from all men on earth minstrels get their meed of honour and worship; inasmuch as the muse teacheth them the paths ot song, and loveth the tribe of minstrels.'

A letter from Beethoven to the publisher, dated June 12, and apparently belonging to the year 1824, calls it a cantata, and asks for the loan of the score, that he 'might write a kind of overture to it.' This intention does not appear to have been carried out.

2. By Mendelssohn, for orchestra only. Written in the summer of 1828, first performed at Berlin Dec. 1, 1832, remodelled and 'made thirty times as good as before,' and published as op. 27 and No. 3 of his Concert Overtures in 1834. We learn from a passage in his sister's diary[1] that Mendelssohn wished to avoid the form of an introduction and overture, and to throw his work into two companion pictures.

[ G. ]

MEHLIG, Anna, a distinguished pianist, was born at Stuttgart, June [App. p.716 "July"] 11, 1846. She received her musical education at the Conservatorium of her native town, and afterwards spent a year at Weimar studying under Liszt. In 1866 she made her first appearance in England, playing Hummel's Concerto in B minor at the Philharmonic on April 30. She revisited England each year till 1869 inclusive, playing regularly at the Philharmonic and Crystal Palace, and other concerts. She then took a long tour in America, where she met with great success. In 1875 she reappeared in England, playing Chopin's E minor Concerto at the Crystal Palace on Oct. 9, and has been here every season since that time. Her répertoire is large, her power of execution remarkable, and her style is full of refinement and poetry.

[ G. ]

MÉHUL, Etienne Henri [App. p.716 "for Henri read Nicolas"], born June 24 [App. p.716 "22"], 1763, at Givet in the Ardennes, son of a cook, who was too poor to give him much education. Even in childhood he showed a passion for music, and a remarkable perseverance in overcoming obstacles, and at 10 was appointed organist to the convent of the Récollets at Givet. Having learned all that his master, a poor blind organist, could teach him, he was thrown on his own resources, until the arrival, at the neighbouring convent of Lavaldieu, of a new organist, Wilhelm Hauser, whose playing had attracted the attention of the Abbot Lissoir, when visiting the Abbey of Scheussenried in Swabia. The monks of Lavaldieu, wishing to make music a special feature in their services, had a good organ, and the playing of Hauser, who was a sound and good musician, caused quite an excitement in that secluded corner of the Ardennes. Lavaldieu was several leagues from Givet, but Méhul often walked over to hear him; and at length, with the consent of his father, was admitted into the convent, and became the most diligent, as he was the most gifted, of the eight pupils under Hauser's training. At 14 be became deputy organist; and a distinguished amateur who heard him play was so struck by his evident power of imagination, that he determined to take him to Paris, and in 1778 Méhul bade farewell to the flowers he loved to cultivate, and the instructor who had put him in the way to become a great musician. On his arrival in Paris he at once went to Edelmann for instruction in pianoforte playing and composition. To earn his bread he gave lessons, and composed two sonatas (1781) which bear no traces of a master mind; but this was not the line in which he was destined to distinction. In 1779 he was present at the first performance of 'Iphigénie en Tauride,' and the effect produced on one with his cultivated intellect, his love of the beautiful,

  1. Hensel's 'Die Familie Mendelssohn.' i. 191.