Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/624

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612

��ORPHEON.

��in Berlin in 1 808, so ten years later Be"ranger materially contributed to the success of the Orpheon, by nominating Bocquillon-Wilhem as teacher of singing in the Ecoles d'enseignement mutuel, at Paris, when music was made one of the subjects of study in October 1818. It was not however till 1835 that the Conseil municipal of Paris voted the adoption of singing in all the communal schools. Three years later it was adopted at the universities, and thus the whole youth of France had the opportunity of cultivat- ing an ear for music.

The working-classes in Paris and the depart- ments next came under consideration, and at the suggestion of Wilhem and under his superinten- dence, evening classes were opened in 1835 in the Rue Montgolfier by Hubert, who afterwards be- came conductor of the Orphe"on. The success of this attempt encouraged the formation of similar classes in different quarters of Paris, all directed by followers of Wilhem's method. These classes were all for male voices only, and thus the Orpheon had at its disposal hundreds of tenors and basses, who could be used to reinforce the choirs of the Ecoles communales for choral sing- ing on a grand scale. The interest in performances of this kind increased rapidly, and soon, through the exertions of M. Delaporte and others, 'con- tests' and festivals were established, to which choral unions flocked from all parts of France.

Influenced doubtless by the growing import- ance of these gatherings, the corporation of Paris resolved to place at the head of the Or- phe"on a composer of the first rank, capable of managing the institution on sound musical prin- ciples ; their choice fell on M. Gounod, who be- came conductor in 1852, and under whom the society prospered immensely. On his resignation in 1860, owing to the increase of Paris it was divided into two sections, that of the left bank of the Seine being conducted by M. Francois Bazin, and that of the right bank by M. Pasdeloup. Hubert became inspector of the Ecoles com- munales on the right bank, and Foulon of those on the left. In the spring of each year a test- performance was held at the Cirque des Champs Elyse"es, and in the Cirque d'hiver^ at which 1 200 picked singers about half the number in atten- dance at the schools and adult classes sang the new pieces learned during the year before the PreTet of the Seine, and the members of the Commission de surveillance du chant. This organisation was maintained till 1872, but the societies were seriously affected by the war, and in 1873 the Orphe\>n was again united under the sole conductorship of Bazin, who retained it till his death. His favourite pupil, M. Danhauser, inspector of singing in the Ecoles communales since 1875, was appointed in July 1878 Inspec- tor-General of singing, a position really equiva- lent to that previously held by Bazin and by Gounod.

The repertoire of the Orpheonists is very varied, and comprises pieces in various styles composed expressly for them by Hale"vy, Adolphe Adam, Felicien David, Ambroise Thomas, Gounod,

��ORPHEOREON.

Bazin, Boulanger, Semet, Delibes, Massenet, Dubois, and, most of all, Laurent de Rill<$, who has composed over a hundred choral melodies. In Belgium also, where choral-singing is cultivated with great success, several composers have written for the Orphe*onistes, especially Hanssens (born at Ghent July 12, 1802 ; died at Brussels April 8, 1871), Gevaert, Soubre, Denefve, Radoux, and Camille de Vos, the Belgian rival of de Rille*.

An institution which in 1867 numbered in France alone 3.243 choral societies, with 147,500 effective members, and which still (1880) com- prises 1500 Orphdons and 60,000 Orphe"onistes, naturally required organs of its osvn, especially for the ventilation of topics connected with the ' concours ' and festivals. The most important of these are 'La France chorale,' 'L'Echo des Or- phe"ons,' ' La nouvelle France chorale,' and ' L' Or- pheon.' [See MUSICAL PERIODICALS.")

There is at present no history of the Orphe*on, but ample materials exist in the above periodi- cals. They give details of the ' grands jours,' and of the principal feats accomplished by the French and Belgian choral societies ; such as the journey of 3000 Orphe"onistes under M. Delaporte to London in June 1860, and the international contests of Lille (1862), Arras (1864), Paris (1867 and 78), Rheims (1869 and 76), Lyons (1877) and Brussels (1880). For these occasions the best pieces in their repertoire have been composed, and attention may be directed specially to ' Le Tyrol,' ' Le Carnaval de Rome,' ' La Nuit du Sabbat,' and others, by A. Thomas, to words by the writer of this article, striking productions, which within the limits of a simple chorus, exhibit the variety, interest, and movement of a dramatic scene. [G. C.]

ORPHEOREON, ORPHEORON, or OR- PHARION. An instrument of the cither kind, with flat back, but with the ribs shaped in more than one incurvation. The varieties of the orpheoreon also differed from the usual cither in the bridge being oblique, rising towards the treble side. According to Prsetorius (' Organo- graphia,' Wolfenbiittel, 1619, p. 54) the orpheo- reon was tuned like a lute in ' Kammerton (a). [See LOTE.] The strings were of brass or iron, in six or seven pairs, and were played with a plectrum. A larger orpheoreon was called Pe- norcon, and a still larger one Pandore, Prse- torius spells this Pandorra or Bandoer. According to his authority it was invented in England ; to- which another adds the name of John Rose, citi- zen of London, living in Bridewell, and the date of about 1560. It must however have been a rather different orpheoreon. Following Praeto- rius, the pandore, and we presume its congeners, had no chanterelle or melody string, and could therefore have been used only for accompaniment, like the common cither, sutoribus et tartorilni* usitatum instrumentum. He gives cither tunings for several strings, including the common 'four- course' (b) and ' Italian' (c) ; old tunings (d), (e), often used an octave lower on the lute in France, and the old Italian six-course (/), but no other than the lute tuning above mentioned for tha

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