Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/110

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98

��REHEARSAL.

��the composer at a piano in the Green-room, and the ballet is being rehearsed on the stage. It is only when the music and dialogue are known by heart that the rehearsals on the stage with action and business begin. The orchestra is never used until the last two or three rehearsals, and these are termed Full Band Rehearsals (Germ. General- probe). Last of all, before the public production of the work, comes the Full Dress Rehearsal, exactly as it will appear in performance. [G.]

REICHA, ANTON JOSEPH, born at Prague, Feb. 27, 1770, lost his father before he was a year old ; his mother not providing properly for his education he left home, and took refuge with his grandfather at Glattow, in Bohemia. ^The means of instruction in this small town being too limited, he went on to his uncle Joseph Reicha (born in Prague, 1746, died at Bonn, 1795), a cellist, con- ductor, and composer, who lived at Wallerstein in Bavaria. His wife, a native of Lorraine, speak- ing nothing but French, had no children, so they adopted the nephew, who thus learned to speak French and German besides his native Bo- hemian. He now began to study the violin, pianoforte, and flute in earnest. On his uncle's appointment, in 1788, as musical director to the Elector of Cologne, he followed him to Bonn, and entered the Chapel of Maximilian of Austria as second flute. The daily intercourse with good music roused the desire to compose, and to become something more than an ordinary musician, but his uncle refused to teach him harmony. He managed, however, to study the works of Kirn- berger and Marpurg in secret, gained much practical knowledge by hearing the works of Handel, Mozart, and Haydn, and must have learned much from his constant intercourse with Beethoven, who played the viola in the same band with himself and was much attached to him. At length his perseverance and his success in composition conquered his uncle's dislike. He composed without restraint, and his symphonies and other works were played by his uncle's orchestra. 1

On the dispersion of the Elector's Court in 1794, Reicha went to Hamburg, where he re- mained till 1799. There the subject of instruc- tion in composition began to occupy him, and there he composed his first opera, ' Obaldi, ou les Fran?ais en Egypte' (2 acts). Though not performed, some numbers were well received, and on the advice of a French e'migre', he started for Paris towards the close of 1799, in the hope of producing it at the Theatre Feydeau. In this he failed, but two of his symphonies, an overture, and some 'Scenes italiennes,' were played at concerts. After the successive closing of the Theatre Feydeau and the Salle Favart, he went to Vienna, and passed six years (1802-1808), in renewed intimacy with Beethoven, and making friends with Haydn, Albrechtsberger, Salieri, and others. The patronage of the Empress Maria Theresa was of great service to him, and at her request he composed an Italian opera, 'Argina, i See^an Interesting notice by Kastner, quoted by Thayen 'Bee-

��REICHA.

regina di Granata.' During this happy period of his life he published symphonies, oratorios, a requiem, 6 string quintets, and many solos for PF. and other instruments. He himself attached great importance to his '36 Fugues pour le piano,' dedicated to Haydn, but they are not the inno- vations which he believed them to be ; in placing the answers on any and every note of the scale he merely reverted to the Ricercari of the 1 7th century, and the only effect of this abandonment of the classic laws of the Real fugue was to banish tonality.

The prospect of another war induced Reicha to leave Vienna, and he settled finally in Paris in 1808. He now realised the dream of his youth, producing first ' Cagliostro' (Nov. 27, 1810), an ope*ra-comique composed with Dourlen ; and at the Acade'mie, 'Natalie' (3 acts, July 30, 1816), and 'Sapho' (Dec. 16, 1822). Each of these works contains music worthy of respect, but they had not sufficient dramatic effect to take with the public.

Reicha's reputation rests on his chamber- music, and on his theoretical works. Of the former the following deserve mention : a die- cetto for 5 strings and 5 wind instruments ; an ottet for 4 strings and 4 wind instruments ; 24 quintets for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, and bas- soon ; 6 quintets and 20 quartets for strings ; i quintet for clarinet and strings ; I quartet for PF., flute, cello, and bassoon ; I do. for 4 flutes ; 6 do. for flute, violin, tenor, and cello ; 6 string trios ; i trio for 3 cellos ; 24 do. for 3 horns ; 6 duets for 2 violins; 22 do. for 2 flutes; 12 sonatas for PF. and violin, and a number of sonatas and pieces for PF. solo. He also com- posed symphonies and overtures. These works are more remarkable for novelty of combination and striking harmonies, than for abundance and charm of ideas. Reicha was fond of going out of his way to make difficulties for the purpose of conquering them ; for instance, in the ottet the strings are in G, and the wind in E minor, and in the sestet for 2 clarinets concertanti one is in A, and the other in B. This faculty for solving musical problems brought him into notice among musicians when he first settled in Paris, and in 1818 he was offered the professorship of counter- point and fugue at the Conservatoire. Among his pupils there were Boilly, Jelensperger, Bien- aime', Millaut, Lefebvre, Elwart, Pollet, Lecar- pentier, Dancla, and others ; Barbereau, Seuriot, Blanchard, Mme. de Montgeroult, Bloc, Musard, and George Onslow, were private friends.

His didactic works, all published in Paris, are : "Trait de Melodic,' etc. (4to, 1814) ; 'Cours de composition musicale,' etc. (1818); 'Traitd de haute composition musicale ' (ist part 1824, 2n( i 1826), a sequel to the two first; and 'Art du compositeur dramatique,' etc. (4to, 1833).

Fe*tis has criticised his theories severely, and though highly successful in their day, they are now abandoned, but nothing can surpass the clearness and method of his analysis, and those who use his works will always find much to be grateful for. Czerny published a German

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