Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/118

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106

��RELATION.

��the word would amount to a complete theory of music. [C.H.H.P.]

RELFE, JOHN whose father, Lupton Relfe (died, Oct. 1805), was for fifty years organist of Greenwich Hospital was born about 1 766. He received his first instruction from his father, and at eighteen was articled to Keeble, organist of St. George's, Hanover Square. About 1810 he was appointed one of the King's band of music. He had much reputation as a teacher of the pianoforte, and composed some sonatas, a popu- lar ballad, 'Mary's Dream,* and other pieces. In 1 798 he published ' The Principles of Har- mony,' in which nearly the whole theoretical plan of Logier, so far as it was connected with offering elementary instruction through the medium of exercises, was anticipated. He was also author of 'Remarks on the Present State of Musical Instruction,' 1819, and 'Lucidus Ordo,' an attempt to divest thorough-bass and composition of their intricacies, 1819. He died about 1837. [W.H.H.]

RELLSTAB. Two remarkable people, father and son. The father, JOHANN KARL FRIEDBICH, was one of those active intellects who are so influential in their locality ; he was born in Berlin Feb. 27, 1759. His father, a printer, wished him to succeed to the business, but from boyhood his whole thoughts were devoted to music. He was on the point of starting for Hamburg to complete his studies with Emmanuel Bach when the death of his father forced him to take up the business. He then added a music printing and publishing branch ; was the first to establish a musical lend- ing library (1783); founded a Concert-Society, on the model of Killer's at Leipzig, and called it ' Concerts for connoisseurs and amateurs,' an un- usually distinctive title for those days. The first concert took place April 16, 1787, at the Englische Haus, and in course of time the following works were performed : Salieri's 'Armida,' Schulz's 'Athalia,' Naumann's 'Cora,' Basse's 'Conver- sione di San Agostino,' Bach's 'Magnificat,' and Gluck's ' Alceste,' which was thus first introduced to Berlin. The Society at last merged in the Sing- akademie. He wrote musical critiques for the Berlin paper, signed with his initials; and had concerts every other Sunday during the winter at his own house, at which such works as Haydn's 'Seasons' were performed; but these meetings were stopped by the entry of the French in 1806, when he frequently had 20 men, and a dozen horses quartered on him ; lost not only his music but all his capital, and had to close his printing- press. In time, he resumed his concerts ; in 1 809 fave lectures on harmony; in 1811 travelled to taly, and his letters in Voss's newspaper first drew attention to Fraulein Milder, and thus brought about her invitation to Berlin. Not long after his return he was struck with apoplexy while walking at Charlottenburg, Aug. 19, 1813, and found dead on the road some hours afterwards. As a composer he left 3 cantatas, a ' Passion,' a Te Deum, and a Mass. Also an opera ; songs too numerous to specify ; vocal scores of Graun's

��RELLSTAB.

' Tod Jesu,' and Gluck's Iphigenie '; a German libretto of Gluck's ' Orphde ' apparently from his own pen. Of instrumental music he published marches for PF., symphonies and overtures; a series of pieces with characteristic titles, 'Ob- stinacy,' 'Sensibility,' etc.; 24 short pieces for PF., violin and bass, etc. Also A 'Treatise on Declamation'; 'A Traveller's observations on church-music, concerts, operas, and chamber-music at the Palace in Berlin' (1789); and 'A guide to Bach's system of fingering for the use of pianists ' (1790). These works, for the most part biblio- graphical curiosities, are very instructive.

Rellstab had three daughters, of whom CARO- LINE, born April 18, 1793 or 94, was a singer, dis- tinguished for her extraordinary compass. His son,

HEINRICH FRIEDRICH LUDWIG, born April 13, 1799, in Berlin, though delicate in health, and destined for practical music, was compelled by the times to join the army, where he became ensign and lieutenant. In 1816, after the peace, he took lessons on the piano from Ludwig Berger, and in 1819 and 20 studied theory with Bernhard Klein. At the same time he taught mathematics and history in the Brigadeschule till 1821, when he retired from the army to devote himself to literature. He also composed much part-music for the 'jiingere Liedertafel' which he founded in conjunction with G. Rei- chardt in 1819, wrote a libretto, 'Dido,' for B. Klein, and contributed to Marx's 'Musikzeitung.' A pamphlet on Madame Sontag procured him 3 months' imprisonment in 182 5, on account of its satirical allusions to a well-known diplomatist. In 1826 he joined the staff of Voss's newspaper, and in a short time completely led the public opinion on music in Berlin. His first article was a report on a performance of ' Euryanthe,' Oct. 31, 1826, followed on Nov. 13 by another on a soiree at the Jagor Hall, at which Mendelssohn played Beethoven's 9th Symphony on the piano, and thus introduced that gigantic work to Berlin. Twenty-two years later Rellstab wrote :

That evening made an indelible impression on my mind, and the recollection of it is as fresh as of an event of yesterday nay of to-day. The most accomplished musicians of Berlin, including Berger and Klein, were present. The wonderful, almost awe-inspiring work, exacted the homage due to it, but the attention of all present was rivetted upon the young artist dealing with unmistakeable mastery with that mighty score, as I related at the time, though in far too measured terms, my pen being then unpractised. His eager glance took in the whole of each page, his ear ' penetrated like a gimlet ' (to use an expression of Zelter's) into the very essence of the music, his fingers never erred.

Two years later he wrote a cantata for Hum- boldt's congress of physicists, which Mendelssohn set to music.

Rellstab was a warm supporter of classical music, and strongly condemned all undue at- tempts at effect. He quarrelled with Spontini over his 'Agnes von Hohenstauffen ' (Berlin 'Musikalische Zeitung' for 1827, Nos.^ 23,^24, 26, and 29), and the controversy was maintained with much bitterness until Spontini left Berlin, when Rellstab, in his pamphlet 'Ueber mein Verhaltniss als Kritiker zu Herrn Spontini,' acknowledged that he had gone too far.

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