Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/471

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NILSSON.
459
NINTH.

Talismano, June 18, 1874, and Elsa on the production of Lohengrin at Drury Lane in 1875, a part which she had previously played in America. During the winter and spring of these last years, Madame Nilsson has either sung in the provinces in opera or at concerts, or been engaged at the Opera of St. Petersburg, Moscow, Vienna, etc. She paid a second visit to America for the winter seasons of 1873 and 74. She has only once visited her native country in a professional capacity, viz. in 1876, when she made a tour in Scandinavia with remarkable [1]success. [App. p.731 "she created the parts of Margaret and Helen of Troy in Boito's 'Mefistofele,' when that work was produced in England, July 6, 1880. She played at the same theatre in 1881, since when she has only been heard in concerts. She married Count Casa di Miranda in March 1887. She has retired altogether into private life since her farewell concerts, the second and last of which took place June 20, 1888."]

Her voice is of moderate power, great sweetness, brilliancy, and evenness in all the register, the compass being about two and a half octaves, from G natural to D in alt.[2] Her style is especially suited to the more pathetic parts of opera, being peculiarly excellent as Elsa, Margaret, and Mignon; for Valentine, while looking the part to perfection, she lacks the necessary physique. During her earlier seasons her success was helped by a certain naïveté of look and manner which was very charming.

[ A. C. ]

NINTH. The compound intervals called ninths exceed the octave either by a tone or a semitone; if the former the ninth is called 'major' (a), if the latter it is called 'minor' (b). The interval of an 'augmented ninth' which exceeds the octave by three semitones (c) also occasionally occurs, as will be presently noted, but it has not by any means the prominence and importance of the major and minor forms. (Ex. 1.)

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 4/1 \mark "1." <g' a''>1^"(a)" <g' aes''>^"(b)" <g' ais''>^"(c)" }

Ninths differ from all other compound intervals in the higher degree of invariability with which they are distinct both in character and treatment from their corresponding simple intervals the major, minor, and augmented seconds. They may be broadly divided into two classes—those which require preparation somewhat peremptorily, and further prompt resolution after percussion; and those which satisfy the understanding ear so far that preparation appears superfluous, and haste to change the harmony after percussion unnecessary. The former belong to the class of artificial combinations arrived at by processes which imply counterpoint, and the latter to that of essential or fundamental chords which can exist intelligibly in the sense of harmony alone.

The first class is generally divided by theorists into two sub-classes, called respectively 'suspensions' and 'prepared discords.' The intimate relationship of these chords has already been indicated in the article Harmony; the above classification will therefore only be accepted here provisionally, for convenience in explanation. Suspended ninths which are resolved while the chord which accompanies them stands still, can occur on every note of the scale, though that on the leading note is extremely harsh; they are commonly accompanied by third and fifth, as in Ex. 2, and not unfrequently by a major seventh, suspended with the ninth, and resolving with it; sometimes also by a suspended fourth as well, which resolves on the third simultaneously with the resolution of the ninth and seventh. Suspended major ninths resolve either upwards or downwards; in the former case alone they resemble suspended seconds, which obviously must rise in resolution; and in this form also the artificial chromatic heightening of the major ninth to an augmented ninth takes place, as in the following, from the Vorspiel to Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. (Ex. 3.)

2. Beethoven.

<< \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \new Staff { \time 2/4 \key aes \major \relative c'' << { c4 c c bes } \\ { ees,2 des } >> } \new Staff { \key aes \major \clef bass << { aes2 f } \\ { aes, bes, } >> } >>

3. Wagner.

<< \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \new Staff { \time 2/4 \key c \major \relative b' << { b16. bis32 bis8 <cis a cis,>4 \bar "||" } \\ { <gis d>8 q } >> } \new Staff { \clef bass \key c \major <e e,>8 <a, a,,>4. } >>

This device is similar to the chromatic alteration of the augmented fifth; and, in fact, eight bars further on than the above quotation, the augmented ninth and the augmented fifth actually occur together in the same chord, in a way which is highly suggestive of their common origin.

The second sub-class mentioned above differs from those which are distinguished as suspensions chiefly in the process of resolution; in which, instead of the rest of the chord (that is, its root and concordant notes) being stationary while the suspended notes are resolved, and moving afterwards, the process is condensed, so that when the discord has been arrived at by preparation, which is practically the same as the process of suspension, the root of the chord and its dependent notes change simultaneously with the resolution. So that though the resolution is upon the same note as it would have been if the chord had remained unchanged, its relation to the root note of the new chord is different. The root commonly rises a fourth, but it is also possible for it to fall a third.

The above class of ninths may be accompanied by thirds and sevenths which are either major or minor, but in the last and most important class the accompanying third must be major and the seventh minor. These ninths, both major and minor, are commonly held to be fundamental harmonies, on the ground of their representing the compound tone of the root or generator. The major ninth is represented by the eighth harmonic, which is only removed two octaves and a note from the root,—and is easily and clearly obtained, as for instance in horns and trumpets. The minor ninth is similarly taken by some theorists to be represented by the sixteenth harmonic, which however is four octaves removed from the generator, and is so closely hemmed in by other harmonics at the distance of a semitone apart, that it seems doubtful if it could be clearly distinguished or easily obtained as the major ninth is. It may however possibly

  1. She is at present (Feb. 1880), singing at Madrid.
  2. It was formerly nearly three octaves, but she has spared the higher part lately on the advice of Rossini, on acount of the great strain.