Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/138

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126

��KICCI.

��failed in Parma in 1832. In it sang Rozer, who afterwards married Balfe. The same fate at- tended 'I due Sergenti' at La Scala in 1833, where the following year he gave 'Un' Avventura di Scaramuccia,' which was a very great success, and was translated into French by Flotow. The same year 'Gli esposti,' better known as 'Eran due ed or son tre,' was applauded in Turin, whilst ' Chi dura vince,' like Rossini's immortal ' Bar- biere/ was hissed at Rome. It was afterwards received enthusiastically at Milan and in many other opera-houses of Europe. It was dedicated to Louise Vernet, the wife of the great painter Paul Delaroche, the friend of Ricci. In 1835 Chiara di Montalbano' failed at the Scala, while 'La serva e 1'ussero' was applauded in Pavia. Ricci had thus composed twenty operas when only thirty years old ; and although many of his works had met with a genuine and well-deserved success, he was still very poor and had to accept the post of Kapellmeister of the Trieste Cathedral and conductor of the Opera. In 1838 his 'Nozze di Figaro ' was a fiasco in Milan, where Rossini told him that its fall was due to the music being too serious.

For the next six years Ricci composed nothing. In 1844 he married Lidia Stoltz, by whom he had two children, Adelaide, who in 1867 sang at the Theatre des Italiens in Paris, but died soon after, and Luigi, who resides in London. ' La Solitaria delle Asturie' was given in Odessa in 1844; 'II Birraio di Preston' in Florence in 1847; and in 1852 'La Festa di Piedigrotta' was very successful in Naples. His last opera ' II Diavolo A quattro ' was performed in Trieste in 1859.

Luigi Ricci composed in collaboration with his brother FEDERICO ' II Colonnello,' given in Rome, and ' M. de Chalumeaux,' in Venice, in 1835 ; in 1836 '11 Disertore per amore' for the San Carlo in Naples, and ' L'Amante di richiamo ' given in Turin in 1846. Of these four operas, ' II Colon- nello ' alone had a well-deserved reception. But Ricci's masterpiece, the opera which has placed him in a very high rank among Italian com- posers, is ' Crispino e la Comare,' written in 1850 for Venice, and to which his brother Federico partly contributed. This opera, one of the best comic operas of Italy, is always and everywhere applauded, being a happy mixture of fairy tales, laughter, grace, and comicality.

Shortly after the production of ' II Diavolo a quattro' in 1859, however, symptoms of insanity showed themselves, and the malady soon became violent. He was taken to an asylum at Prague, his wife's birthplace, and died there Dec. 31, 1859. He was much mourned at Trieste; a funeral ceremony was followed by a performance of selections from his principal works, his bust was placed in the lobby of the Opera-house, and a pension was granted to his widow. He pub- lished two volumes of vocal pieces entitled ' Mes Loisirs' and 'Les inspirations du The*' (Ricordi), and he left in MS. a large number of composi- tions for the cathedral service. His brother,

FEDERICO, was born in Naples, Oct. 22, 1809, entered the Royal Coiiservatorio of that town,

��RICERCARE.

where his brother was then studying, and had the good- fortune to receive his musical education from Bellini and Zingarelli. In 1829 he went to live with his brother until the marriage of the latter in 1844. In 1 83 7 he gave La Prigione d'Edim- burgo ' in Trieste. The barcarola of this opera, 'Sulla poppa del mio brick,' is one of the most popular melodies of Italy. In 1839 his 'Duello sotto Richelieu ' was only moderately successful at La Scala, but in 1841 'Michelangelo e Rolla' was applauded in Florence. In it sang Signora Strepponi, who afterwards married Verdi. ' Cor- rado d'Altamura,' a lyric drama of some merit, was given at La Scala before delighted audiences. At the personal request of Charles Albert he composed in 1 842 a cantata for the marriage of Victor Emmanuel, and another for a court festival. In 1843 his 'Vallombra' failed at La Scala. ' IsabeUa de' Medici' (1844) in Trieste, Estella' (1846) in Milan, 'Griselda' (1847) and 'I due ritratti ' (1850) in Venice, were all failures. ' II Marito e 1'Amante' was greatly applauded in Vienna in 1852, but his last opera, 'II paniere d'amore,' given there the following year, did not succeed. He was then named Musical Director of the Imperial Theatres of St. Petersburg, which post he occupied for many years. Of the operas written in collaboration with his brother we have already spoken.

He however did not give up composing, but brought out at the Fantaisies-Parisiennes, Paris, 'Une Folie a Rome' Jan. 30, 1869, with great success. Encouraged by this he produced an ope'ra-comique in 3 acts, 'Le Docteur rose* (Bouffes Parisiens, Feb. 10, 1872) and ' Une Fete a Venise,' a reproduction of his earlier work, ' II Marito e 1'Amante' (Athene^, Feb. 15, 1872), but both were entire failures. Shortly after this Federico left Paris and retired to Conegliano in Italy, where he died Dec. 10, 1877. He was concerned partially or entirely in 19 operas. Of his cantatas we have spoken. He also left 2 masses, 6 albums or collections of vocal pieces (Ricordi), and many detached songs. [L. R.]

RICERCARE or RICERCATA (from ricer- care, ' to search out '), an Italian term of the 1 7th century, signifying a fugue of the closest and most learned description. Frescobaldi's Ricercari (1615), which are copied out in one of Dr. Burney's note-books (Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 11,588), are full of augmentations, diminu- tions, inversions, and other contrivances, in fact recherchfc or full of research. J. S. Bach has affixed the name to the 6-part Fugue in his ' Musikalisches Opfer,' and the title of the whole contains the word in its initials Regis lussu Cantio Et Reliqua Canonica Arte Resoluta. But the term was also employed for a fantasia on some popular song, street-cry, or such similar theme. Mr. Cummings has a MS. book, dated 1580-1600, containing 22 ricercari by Cl. da Coreggio, Gia- netto Palestina, A. Vuillaert, 0. Lasso, Clemens non Papa, Cip. Rore, and others fugues in 4 and 5 parts, on ' Ce moy de May,' ' Vestiva i colli,' ' La Rossignol,' ' Susan un jour,' and other appar- ently popular songs. This use of the word appear*

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