Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/78

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66
KNELLER HALL.
KNECHT.

years he resigned the post and returned to Biberach, where he died Dec. 11 [App. p.692 "Dec 1"], 1817, with a great reputation as organist, composer, and theoretician. In the last-named department he was an adherent of Vogler. The list of his productions as given by Fétis embraces 27 numbers of compositions, and 19 theoretical and didactic works. Two of these only have any interest for us, and that from an accidental cause. The first (Bossier, Spire) is a Musical [1]portrait of Nature, a grand symphony for 2 violins, viola, and bass, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, bassoons, horns, trumpets, and drums ad lib., in which is expressed:—1. A beautiful country, the sun shining, gentle airs, and murmuring brooks; birds twitter, a waterfall tumbles from the mountain, the shepherd plays his pipe, the shepherdess sings, and the lambs gambol around. 2. Suddenly the sky darkens, an oppressive closeness pervades the air, black clouds gather, the wind rises, distant thunder is heard, and the storm approaches. 3. The tempest bursts in all its fury, the wind howls and the rain beats, the trees groan, and the streams rush furiously. 4. The storm gradually goes off, the clouds disperse, and the sky clears. 5. Nature raises its joyful voice to heaven in songs of gratitude to the Creator' (a hymn with variations). The second (if it be not an arrangement of a portion of the preceding) is another attempt of the same kind—'The Shepherds' pleasure interrupted by the storm, a musical picture for the organ.' These are precisely the subjects which Beethoven has treated, and Fétis would have us believe that Knecht actually anticipated not only the general scheme of the Pastoral Symphony but some of its figures and passages. But this is not the case. The writer purchased the score and parts of Knecht's work at Otto Jahn's sale, and is able to say that beyond the titles the resemblances between the two works are obviously casual. Knecht's being in addition commonplace, entirely wanting in that 'expression of emotions' which Beethoven enforces, and endeavouring to depict the actual sights and sounds, which he deprecates. [See Pastoral Symphony.]

[ G. ]

KNELL, the Passing Bell (Fr. La Cloche des Agonisants; Germ. Die Todtenglocke). A solemn cadence, tolled on the great Bell of a Parish Church, to announce the death of a parishioner; or, in accordance with old custom, to give warning of his approaching dissolution. To indicate the decease of a Man, or Boy, the Knell begins with three triple tolls, followed by a number of moderately quick single strokes corresponding to the age of the Departed. The Bell is then tolled, very slowly, for the accustomed time: and the Knell concludes, as it began, with three triple tolls, sometimes, but not always, preceded by a repetition of the single strokes denoting the age of the deceased person.

For a Woman, the Knell begins, and ends, with three double, instead of three triple tolls. In other respects, the formula is the same as that used for a Man.

Minute tolls denote the death of the Sovereign, or Heir Apparent to the Crown.

[ W. S. R. ]

KNELLER HALL, near Hounslow, Middlesex, the 'Military School of Music,' for the education of bandsmen and bandmasters for the regiments of the British army. Until recently bandmasters in the British army were mostly civilians, with no guarantee for their competence for the post, and bandsmen were instructed and practised in a casual and often imperfect manner by each regiment for itself. A bandmaster formed no integral part of the corps, and could not be compelled to accompany it in case of war or foreign service; and the status of bandsmen is even now so far anomalous that in action their duty is to rescue the wounded under fire and take charge of them in hospital. Each band was formed on its own model, and played what kind of instruments, and at what pitch, it liked. In the Crimean war the evils of this state of things and the want of united systematic action were painfully apparent, and shortly afterwards, by command of H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge, Commander-in-Chief, a plan was drawn up and submitted to the officers of the army, to which they readily gave their assent and subscription. In pursuance of this plan Kneller Hall, a building on the site of the house of Sir Godfrey Kneller, the painter (formerly the Government establishment for training schoolmasters), was taken, and opened as a school on March 3, 1857, and a systematic course of instruction, with a staff of professors, begun, under the modest title of the 'Military Music Class,' Major (now Colonel) F. L. Whitmore, long known for a philanthropic interest and zeal in matters of music, being appointed Commandant, and reporting annually to the Adjutant General of the Forces. [App. p.692 "H. Schallehn was resident musical director till April 1859. Colonel Whitmore was appointed Aug. 15, 1863. He was succeeded, May 1, 1880, by Colonel Robert T. Thompson, who still (Jan. 1, 1888) holds the post of Commandant; Charles Cousins (appointed Nov. 1, 1874) being musical director."] The advantages of the plan proved so great that in 1875 the institution was adopted by Government. Bandmasters are now first-class staff-sergeants of the regiments to which they belong, and the musical department in each regiment consists of a bandmaster, a sergeant, a corporal, and 19 men (cavalry 14), besides boys as drummers and fifers.

The educational staff at Kneller Hall now (1879) comprises professors of the following subjects—Theory, [2]Clarinet (3), Oboe, Flute, Bassoon, Tenor Brass (2), Bass [3]ditto, French Horn—and a schoolmaster from the Government Normal School for general education. The first-class students act as assistants to the professors. The length of term is 2 years, the hours of musical instruction are 7 in summer, and 6 in winter daily. The number of pupils of all ages varies with circumstances. The average strength is about 50 non-commissioned officers, training for bandmasters, and forming the first class; and 110 privates, boys and adults, training for

  1. Fétis gives the title incorrectly. It is 'Le Portrait musical de la Nature,' etc., not 'Tableau musical.' He also gives its date as 'Leipzig, 1794.' It is really published at Spire by Bossier, with no year; but the date may very well be 1784, since the list on the back contains the three early sonatas of Beethoven, which were published by Bossier in 1783. But the coincidence is curious. Beethoven must have been familiar with Bossier's advertisement page, on which his own first sonatas were announced, and which contains all the above particulars.
  2. Mr. Lazarus is one of these three.
  3. This post was formerly held by Mr. Sullivan, father of the composer.