Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/338

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326
MICROLOGUS.
MEYERBEER.

whole of emotion and uttered it. Whatever was the source of such an inspiration (and the entire scene is said to have been an afterthought) it bears that stamp of truth which makes it a possession for all time. If Meyerbeer lives, it will be in virtue of such moments as these. And if the 'Prophète' may be said to embody his intellectual side, and the 'Africaine' his emotional side, the 'Huguenots' is perhaps the work which best blends the two, and which, most completely typifying its composer, must be considered his masterpiece.

Presenting, as they do, splendid opportunities to singers of dramatic ability, his operas hold the stage, in spite of the exacting character which renders their perfect performance difficult and very rare. They will live long, although many of the ideas and associations which first made them popular belong already to the past.

Subjoined is a list of his principal works:—

OPERAS AND DRAMATIC PIECES.

1. Jephtha's Gelübde, Performed 1811; 2. Les Amours de Tevelinde, (in German, Monodrama for Soprano, Chorus, and Clarinet obbligato, in which the instrumentalist figured as a dramatic personage); 3. Alimelek, or The Two Caliphs (German, Wirth und Gast), 1813; 4. Romilda e Costanza, 1815; 5. Semiramide riconosciuta, 1819; 6. Emma di Resburgo, 1819; 7. Margherita d'Anjou. 1820; 8. L'Esule di Granata, 1822; 9. Das Brandenburger Thor, 1823; 10. Il Crociato in Egitto, 1824; 11. Robert le Diable, 1831; 12. Les Huguenots, 1836; 13. Ein Feldlager in Schlesien, 1840; 14. Struensée (overture and entr'actes), 1846; 15. Le Prophète, 1849; 16. L'Etoile du Nord, 1854; 17. Le Pardon de Ploermel (Ital. Dinorah). 1859; 18. L'Africaine, 1864.

An Oratorio—Gott und die Natur. Performed 1811.

CANTATAS AND VOCAL MUSIC.

7 sacred cantatas of Klopstock, for 4 voices, unaccompanied.

An Gott. Hymn, by Gubitz. For 4 voices.

Le Génie de la Musique à la Tombe de Beethoven. For Solos and Chorus.

Cantata, for 4 voices. Written for the inauguration of Gutenberg's statue at Mayence.

Cantata, 'Maria und ihr Genius.' Composed for the silver wedding of Prince and Princess Charles of Prussia. For Solos and Chorus.

Serenade, 'Braut geleite aus der Heimath.' Composed for the wedding of Princess Louise of Prussia. For 8 voices, unaccompanied.

La Festa nella Corte di Ferrara. Grand Cantata, with tableaux.

March of the Bavarian Archers. Cantata for 4 voices and Male Chorus, with accompaniment of brass instruments.

Ode to Rauch the sculptor. Solos, Chorus, and Orchestra.

Festal Hymn. Composed for the silver wedding of the King of Prussia. 4 voices and Chorus.

Freundschaft. Quartet for men's voices.

The 91st Psalm, for 8 voices. Composed for the Choir of Berlin Cathedral. Published, in score, by Brandus, at Paris.

Pater Noster, for 4 voices, with organ accompaniment.

12 Psalms, for Double Chorus, unaccompanied. (MS.)

Stabat Mater. (MS.)

Miserere. (MS.)

Te Deum. (MS.)

SONGS.

A large number of Songs with P.F. accompaniment, among which the best known are perhaps 'Le Moine' (for Bass) and 'Das Fischermädchen.' The whole of them have been published, together with 'Le Génie de la Musique a la tombe de Beethoven,' in one volume, entitled 'Quarante Mélodies à une et plusieurs voix,' by Brandus, at Paris.

'Neben Dir,' Song, for Tenor voice, with Violoncello obbligato.

'Des Jäger's Lied,' for Bass voice, with Horns obbligati.

'Dichter's Wahlspruch,' Canon for 3 voices.

'A Venezia,' Barcarole.

'Des Schäfer's Lied,' for Tenor voice with Clarinet obbligato.

And many others of less importance.

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC.

First Dance, with Torches (Fackeltanz), for brass orchestra. Composed for the King of Bavaria's wedding, 1846.

Second ditto, for the wedding of Princess Charlotte of Prussia, 1850.

Third ditto, for the wedding of Princess Anne of Prussia, 1853.

Grand March, for the Schiller Centenary Festival, 1859.

Overture, in the form of a March, for the opening of the International Exhibition in London.

Coronation March, 1863.

A quantity of P.F. music, written in youth, all unpublished.

[ F. A. M. ]

MEZZO, MEZZA (Ital.), 'half or 'medium'; whence Mezza Voce, 'with restrained force,' and Mezzo Soprano, the female voice intermediate to the Soprano and Contralto.

[ J. H. ]

MICHELI, an extremely useful basso, who sang second parts, serious and comic, on the London stage in most of the operas which were performed, from the 'Buona Figliuola' in 1767 to the 'Viaggiatori Felice' in 1782. He was one of the company engaged by Mr. Gordon, in the autumn of 1766, and seems to have remained a faithful servant of the establishment for 18 years.

[ J. M. ]

MI CONTRA FA. In pure Ecclesiastical Music, the use of the Tritonus, or Augmented Fourth, is strictly forbidden; as is also that of its inversion, the Quinta falsa, or Diminished Fifth. It is scarcely necessary to say that the presence of these intervals is felt, whenever F and B are brought either into direct or indirect correspondence with each other, whatever may be the Mode in which the contact takes place. Now, according to the system of Solmisation adopted by Guido d'Arezzo, B, the third sound of the Hexachordon durum, was called MI; and F, the fourth sound of the Hexachordon naturale, was called FA. Mediæval writers, therefore, expressed their abhorrence of the false relation existing between these two sounds, in the proverb—

Mi contra fa est diabolus in musica.

When the use of the Hexachords was superseded by a more modern system of immutable Solmisation (see Solmisation; Hexachord), F still retained its name of FA, while B took that of the newly-added syllable, SI: and the old saw then ran thus—

Si contra fa est diabolus in musica.

In this form it became more readily intelligible to musicians unacquainted with the machinery of the Hexachords; while its signification remained unchanged, and its teaching was as sternly enforced as ever. That that teaching continues in full force still is proved by the fact, that neither Pietro Aron, nor any other early writer, ever censured the 'False relation of the Tritone' more severely than Cherubini, who condemns it, with equal rigour, whether it be used as an element of Harmony, or of Melody.

[ W. S. R. ]

MICROLOGUS (from the Gr. adj. μικρολόγος, having regard to small things—from μικρός, little, and λόγος, a word; Lat. Sermo brevis, an Epitome, or Compendium). A name, given, by two celebrated authors, to works containing an epitome of all that was known of music at the time they were written.

I. The Micrologus of Guido d'Arezzo is believed to have been compiled about the year 1024. Valuable MS. copies of this curious work are preserved in the Vatican Library, as well as in the 'King's Library' at Paris, and in other European collections. The treatise was printed, in 1784, by Gerbert, Prince Abbat of S. Blasien, in his great work entitled Scriptores ecclesiastici de musica; and, in 1876, Hermesdorff published a copy of the original text, at Treves, side by side with a German translation. Considerable variations occur in the antient MSS.;