Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/172

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160

��ROSA.

��(Goetz), Carmen, Rienzi, etc. were performed. The artists engaged at the season of 1880 in- cluded Miss Minnie Hauk, Miss Julia Gaylord, Mad. Dolaro, Herr A. Schott, Mr. Maas, etc., etc. The careful way in which the pieces are put on the stage, the number of rehearsals, the eminence of the performers and the excellence of the performances have begun to bear their legitimate fruit, and the 'Carl Rosa Opera Company' bids fair to become a permanent English institution. [G.]

ROSALIA (Germ. Vetter Michel, Schuster- fleck}. A form of Melody, Vocal or Instrumental, in which a Figure is repeated several times in succession, transposed a note higher at each reiteration.

The name is derived from an old Italian Canto popolare, 'Rosalia, mia cara,' the Melody of which is constructed upon this principle.

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��The well-known German Volkslied, 'Gestern Abend war Vetter Michel da,' begins with a simi- lar repetition, and hence the figure is frequently called in Germany, ' Vetter Michel.' These titles, as well as that of ' Schusterfleck ' a cobble are of course given to it in derision for writers on Composition regard its frequent introduction as indicative of poverty of inventive power. Nevertheless, it is frequently employed, by the Great Masters, with charming effect, as may be seen in the following example from the Minuet in Handel's 'Ariadne :

tr . I tr i I

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r

��r

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�� �� ��It will be observed that the Figure is here suffered to appear three 1 times only in succes- sion. Almost all great writers have imposed this limit upon its employment, experience hav- ing proved that a four-fold repetition generally tends to render the passage wearisome. Strik- ingly effective instances of three-fold repetition will be found, in Mozart's Requiem, at the words 'Ingemisco tamquam reus'; in Spohr's 'Last Judgment,' at ' The grave gives up its dead ' ; and in a remarkably forcible passage in the Ri-

i Sometimes called ' Les trois Reverences.'

��ROSALIA.

gaudpn' from Rameau's 'Dardanus.' Still, this restriction is frequently disregarded. Vallerano has left a Canon, 2 which ascends a Tone higher at each repetition, ad infinitum ; and the resulting effect is far from inharmonious, though the work must be regarded rather as a musical curiosity than a serious Composition.

Closely allied to this Figure is another, in which the leading phrase is transposed one or more notes lower at each repetition ; as in ' Habbiam vinto ' from Handel's ' Scipio,' in which the transposition proceeds by Thirds. tr

���Here, again, the Figure breaks off after a three-fold reiteration; and, in two cases in which Mozart has employed the same device, in his Requiem at the words ' Qui Mariam absolvisti,' and ' Oro supplex et acclinis' it is relinquished after the second enunciation. This kind of Imita- tion is, indeed, subject to exactly the same form of treatment as the true Rosalia ; though it would be inexact to call it by that name, and equally so to apply the term to the regular ascents or descents of a Sequence as constantly exhibited in the Fugues of Seb. Bach ; or to those of vocal Divisions as in 'Every valley/ or Rossini's ' Quis est homo ' ; or to the anomalous Scene, in ' Tannhauser ' happily, the only instance of such treatment known in which the first Verse of ' Dir tone Lob ' is sung in Db, the second, in D ty, the third, in Eb, and a still later one in E t|.

Schumann has been recently accused of writing Rosalie, usque ad nauseam. He does employ them very frequently : but, how often as in the open- ing of his 'Arabeske' (op. 18) with an effect which true genius alone could have dictated. This is not the place for a detailed criticism of Schumann's principles of composition : but when, as in a bitter article, by Joseph Rubinstein, which lately appeared in Wagner's | Bayreuther Blatter,' his masterly use of this particular device is made to serve as an excuse for its unqualified condemnation, as a ' vicious monotony-producing repetition of Musical Phrases on related degrees, which the Student of Composition loves to intro- duce in his first exercises,' we naturally revolt from a conclusion so illogical. That a form which neither Handel, nor Mozart, nor Beethoven, nor any other great writer has disdained to employ, can possibly be, in its own nature, ' vicious,' we

2 Beprinted In vol. 1. of dementi's ' Practical Harmony.*

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