Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/764

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752

��PIECE.

��the Spectator, vols. 4 and 5, on 'Paradise Lost,* which is constantly spoken of as ' that sublime piece'), and in later times for a dramatic work, has since the end of the last century been applied to instrumental musical compositions as a general and untechnical term. The earliest application of the word in this sense is to the component parts of a suite, which are called pieces (compare the French ' Suite de pieces'). It is not as a rule applied to movements of sonatas or symphonies, unless such movements are isolated from their surroundings, and played alone : nor is it applied to the symphonies or sonatas taken as a whole. An exception to this rule is found in the direction at the beginning of Beethoven's Sonata, Op. 2 7, No. 2 'Si deve suonare tutto questo pezzo (the first movement, of course) delicatissima- niente e senza sordini.' It is not used of vocal music, except in the cases of portions of operas, such as finales etc. for many voices, to which the name ' Concerted piece,' ' Pezzo concertante,' is not unfrequently given. Cognate uses are found in most modern languages : the French using pibce or morceau, the Germans Stuck, Musikstiick, the Italians pezzo. [J.A.F.M.]

PIENO, ' full.' Examples of the use of this direction may be found in Handel's organ con- certo, where 'Organo pieno' denotes that the organ part is to be played with full harmonies, as well as what is now called 'full,' i.e. with the full force of the stops. [J.A.F.M.]

PIERSON, HENKT HUGO, was born at Oxford on April 12, 1815. He was the son of the Rev. Dr. Pearson, of St. John's College, afterwards Chaplain to George IV and Dean of Salisbury. He was sent to Harrow School, where he gave proof of the possession of no common abilities, gaining the Governors' prize for Latin hexa- meters. From Harrow he proceeded to Trinity College, Cambridge, intending, at that time, to take a medical degree. His genius, however, de- veloped so rapidly as to make it evident that music was his destined career. He received his first instruction from Attwood, and was also in- debted to Arthur Corfe. His first musical publi- cation was a series of six songs entitled 'Thoughts of Melody ' the words by Byron written while an undergraduate at Cambridge.

Mr. Pearson went to Germany for the first time in 1839, and studied under C. H. Rink, Tomaschek, and Reissiger. At Leipzig he had much intercourse with Mendelssohn, and during his residence in Germany also became ac- quainted with Meyerbeer, Spohr, and Schumann. Schumann reviewed the above-mentioned six songs most favourably in his 'Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik.' In 1844 Pearson was elected to the Reid Professorship of Music in the university of Edinburgh, in succession to Sir Henry Bishop; but this post he very soon resigned, and returned to Germany, which from that time he virtually adopted as his country, changing his name from Henry Hugh Pearson to that given above. He had married Caroline Leonhardt, a lady distin- guished by varied gifts and literary productions ;

��PIERSON.

and the sympathy thenceforward accorded to hia genius in continental society was undoubtedly more congenial to his feelings than the slight appreciation he received from English critics.

His first important work was the opera ' Leila,' which was brought out at Hamburg with great success in Feb. 1848. From this opera may be instanced a striking song for bass voice, 'Thy heart, O man, is like the sea.' Much of his music at this time was published under the nom de plume of ' Edgar Mansfeldt.'

In 1852 appeared his best work, the oratorio 'Jerusalem.' This was composed for the Nor- wich Festival, and was performed there on Sept. 23 in that year with remarkable effect. The overture, the airs ' Of the rock that begat thee ' and ' that my head were waters,' the air and chorus 'What are these,' the quintet 'Blessed are the dead,' and the chorus ' The Eternal God is thy refuge,' are some of the most interesting numbers. The oratorio was repeated at Exeter Hall on May 18, 1853, by the 'Harmonic Union,' and was given again in 1862 at Wiirtz- burg. An elaborate criticism of 'Jerusalem,' from the pen of Dr. G. A. Macfarren, was pub- lished in the 'Musical Times' of Sept. I, 1852.

Pierson's next work was the music to the second part of Goethe's 'Faust, 'composed in 1854, which added greatly to his reputation in Germany. It was repeatedly performed at Hamburg, and a selection from it, including the noble chorus 'Sound, immortal harp,' was given at the Nor- wich Festival of 1857. In acknowledgment of the merit of this composition, the author received the Gold Medal for Art and Science from the late King of the Belgians, Leopold I, who ac- cepted the dedication of the pianoforte score. It has been performed several times at Frankfort and other places, on successive anniversaries of Goethe's birthday. Pierson was requested to write for the Norwich Festival of 1869, and offered a selection from a second oratorio, 'Heze- kiah.' This work, unfortunately, was never completed ; but several numbers were performed on the above-named occasion in Sept. 1869. ' Contarini,' an opera in five acts, produced at Hamburg in April 1872, was Pierson's last work on a large scale.

To those already mentioned, however, must be added a very large number of songs, written at different dates, and bearing, on the whole, more than any other of his works, the stamp of his characteristic style and delicate invention. As good examples may be cited ' Deep in my soul,' 'Thekla's Lament,' and 'All my heart's thine own.' His spirited part-song 'Ye mariners of England' is constantly performed. He left a vast number of works in manuscript, including several overtures, three of which those to ' Mac- beth,' 'As you like it,' and 'Romeo and Juliet,' have been performed at the Crystal Palace Concerts.

He died at Leipzig Jan. 28, 1873, and lies buried in the churchyard of Sonning, Berks. His death called forth remarkable tributes from the German musical press, showing the high

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