Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/466

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454

��SEASONS.

��immediately after the success of the 'Creation' ; and the music was written between April 1798 and April 24, 1801, on which day the first per- formance took place at the Schwarzenberg palace, Vienna. Haydn always averred that the strain of writing it had hastened his death. [See vol. i. 7146.]

It is in four parts. The score was published in 1802-3 (without date) at Vienna ; a barbarous English version accompanied the German text. In 1813 dementi published a vocal score with a better version. The Rev. John Webb followed with a further improvement, and more recently, in 1840 or 41, Professor E. Taylor made a fourth. A selection from ' Spring ' was given at Birming- ham Festival 1817 ; Spring and Summer at the same place in 1820. It was on the repertoire of the Cecilian Society ; and the Sacred Harmonic Society performed it on Dec 5, 1851, and four times more down to 1877. C^'l

SEBALD, AMALIE. The records of the Sing- akademie in Berlin contain the names of Frau vonSebald(geb.Schwadke), alto, 1791, her daugh- ters Amalie, 1801, and Auguste, 1802, soprani. They appear first as soloists in 1794, 1803, and 1804 respectively Amalie is reported to have had 'an enchantingly beautiful voice.' C. M von Weber was in Berlin in 1812. Of all his acquaintances made there, two, says his son, wer special objects of affection ever afterwards. One was Lichtenstein ; ' the other was the youngest of two most amiable, extremely mu- sical sisters, Auguste and Amalie Sebald. For the second, in the highest degree distinguished alike for her intellectual and physical charms, Weber conceived a warm and deep, and, through the lady's virtues, a highly ennobling affection.' As Weber in 1812, so Beethoven the year before, who met her at Tb'plitz, whither she had come with the once-famous Countess von der Recke, whose house in Berlin, the 'Recksche Palais,' afterwards became the home of the Mendelssohns. [See vol. ii. p. 258 a.] The impressionable com- poser then wrote the following epigram in her album j

Ludwig van Beethoven

den Sie, \venn Sie auch wollten

doch nicht vergessen sollten.

[Whom even if you would

Forget you never should.]

Toplitz am 8. August 1812. 1

He met her there again in Sept 1812, and a series ^of notes to her of that date, published by Jahn in the 'Grenzboten,' from copies furnished by the writer of this notice, shows the extraor- dinary impression which she made upon him. 2

On May 8, 1816, Beethoven wrote in a letter to Ries, ' Everything good to your wife ; I, alas, have none; I have found but one, and her I never can possess.' On Sept. 16 of the same year, he said to Giannatasio, that ' he loved unhappily ; that some five years before he had made the acquaintance of a person, closer connexion with whom he should have considered the highest

1 The '1812' was probably added to Beethoven's Autograph, and ihould be 1811. He was not at TOplitz on Aug. 8, 1812. (Thayer's Bee- thoven, ill, 215.)

2 These letters, seven in number, are given in Ibid. iii. 212214.

��SECCO RECITATIVE.

happiness of his life. This was not to be thought of for a moment, almost an utter impossibility, a chimera. Still, his love was now as strong as 011 the first day. Such harmony, he added, had he never found before. He had never declared him- self, and yet had not been able to get her out of his mind.'

It was at this time that Beethoven composed the cycle of songs 'To the distant loved one.' Schindler supposed his 'Autumn love' to have been for a certain Marie Koschak : he is wrong; Beethoven never saw that lady until after she had married Dr. Pachler. Amalie Sebald married the Berlin Justizrath Krause.

AUGUSTE SEBALD married Bishop Ritschel, a well-known theologian. [A.W.T.]

SECCO RECITATIVE, accurately RECITA- TIVO SECCO that is, ' dry ' (also E. parlante ; Germ. EinfacJie Eecitativ, Sprechende Eecitativ ; Fr. Recitatif sans Orchestre; Eng. Simple Reci- tative ; Plain Recitative.) The simplest form of Declamatory Music, unrelieved either by Melody, or Rhythm, and accompanied only by a Thorough- bass. [See RECITATIVE.]

It was invented at Florence during the closing years of the i6th century ; and first extensively employed, in the year 1600, in Peri's ' Euridice/ and Cavaliere's 'La Rappresentazione dell' Anima e del Corpo.' During the Classical ^Era, it was used in Opera and Oratorio as the chief exponent of the Action of the Drama. Rossini first de- parted from the universal custom, boldly ac- companying the whole of the Declamatory Music in 'Otello' by the full Stringed Band. Spohr entirely banished the simpler form of Recitative from the Oratorio, using both Stringed and Wind Instruments in his Accompaniments, throughout Later Composers scorn to use it, even in Opera Buffa. The change of custom, like all other progressive movements, has its advantages and its disadvantages. It increases the interest of Scenes which, deprived of the resources of the Orchestra, might become tedious : but it seriously diminishes the amount of contrast at- tainable in effects of colouring and chiaroscuro, by depriving the picture of its weaker tones, and thus confining the possible gradation of light and shade within much narrower limits than those which Mozart, Cimarosa, and even Rossini himself, in his earlier years, turned to such splendid account. It is true that advanced Composers endeavour to supply, at the upper end of the scale of effect, a sufficient number of gradations to compensate for those they have cut away from the lower portion of its range : but, there must be a limit to the addition of Sax Tubas and Ophicleides ; and, were there none, the contrast between simple Recitative, and even the lowest form of Orchestral Accompaniment, is in- finitely stronger, in proportion, than that between the fortissimo of the ordinary Orchestra, and any amount of extra power that can be added to it. 2

In the 1 8th century, Recitativo secco was always accompanied by the Stringed Basses alone, the Harmonies indicated beneath the Thoroughbass

2 See the account of Recitativo Stromentato, p. 85.

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