Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/481

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


��SERENATA.

completely, that, had we not all been familiarised with it, through the entertainment provided for Don Giovanni at his fatal supper-table, it would long since have passed quite out of mind. And after all the character of that delightful entertain- ment approaches more nearly to that of a Diver- timento, than to that of a true Serenata. [W.S.R.]

SERGEANT TRUMPETER. An officer of the royal household, who presides over 16 trum- peters in ordinary. The h'rst mention of the office occurs in the reign of Edward VI., when it was held by Benedict Browne (who had been one of the 1 6 trumpeters to Henry VIII. at a salary of i(id. a day), at an annual salary of 24?. 6*. Sd. The office does not appear to have been regularly kept up for a very long period. It is not again mentioned in any list of royal musicians until 1641. No further notice of it occurs until 1685, when Gervase Price held it, and appointments to it have since been continuously made. Pi-ice was succeeded by Matthias Shore, one of the trum- peters in ordinary, who was followed in 1700 by his son William, who in his turn was replaced, a few years later, by his brother John, the most celebrated trumpeter of his time. [See SHORE.] On John Shore's death in 1752 Valentine Snow, the most eminent performer of the day, for whom Handel wrote the difficult obbligato trumpet parts in his oratorios etc., obtained the appointment. Snow died in 1770, and for a long time the majority of his successors were not even musicians. [See SNOW, VALENTINE.] One of them, however, John Charles Crowle, who held the office in 1812, deserves mention for having bequeathed to the British Museum the splendidly illustrated copy of Pennant's ' London,' so dear to lovers of London topography. About 1858 it was de- cided that the office should again be given to a musician, although not to a trumpeter, and Joseph Williams, the eminent clarinettist, a member of the Queen's band of music, received the appointment ; and upon his death in April 1875, J. G. Waetzig, the excellent bassoon player, also a member of the Queen's band, was appointed his successor, and is the present holder of the office (1882). The salary of the office has long been 100 per annum. The Sergeant Trumpeter formerly claimed, under letters patent, a fee of i id. a day from every person sounding a trumpet, beating a drum, or playing a fife in any play or show without his licence (for which license 2o,s-. a year was demanded), and Matthias and William Shore successively issued advertise- ments in the newspapers authorising all magis- trates to receive such fees for them, and apply them to the relief of the poor. Such privileges were, however, long since abrogated. [W. H.H.]

SEROFF (SYEROFF), ALEXANDER NIKO- LAEVITCH, a Russian composer, born it Peters- burg May n, 1818. Although his musical gifts developed themselves early, and he was educated on the violoncello by Carl Schuberth, and in general musical knowledge byHunke, it was not till 1850, and after holding an appointment in the Crimea, that he forsook the law (in which he had risen to the rank of magistrate) for the

��SERPENT.

��469

��ne naa nst

��profession of music. He came before the public first as a critic, in an attack on Oulibischetf's pamphlet on Beethoven ('Beeth. ses Critiques et ses Glossateurs ') and on Fdtis J , as well as in many papers in favour of Wagner in various periodicals ; and at length, by the establishment of a periodical of his own, ' The Arts ' (' Is- knstro'), 1860; and 'Theatre and Music* (' Teatr o Muzika'), 1 867. In 1 863 he made his first pub- lic appearance as a composer, of both libretto and music, in two grand operas produced at the Imperial Opera House, 'Judith,' May 16; and 'Rogneida,' October 27. Both were success- ful, and ' Rogneida,' which owed its popularity in some measure to the church music introduced, ran for 23 nights in three months, and procured for its author an imperial pension of 1 200 roubles. These were followed in 1866 by 'Taras Bulba,' and in 1867 by ' Wakula the Smith,' a ballet the words of the former and the action of the latter being founded by himself on one of Gogol's novels, but neither arriving at performance ; and those again by ' Wrajia Siela,' or ' The Power of Evil,' the libretto of which he constructed from a drama of Ostrowski's. On this work he bestowed enor- mous pains, and the 5th act was still unfinished when he died (Petersburg, Feb. 1871). It was completed by his friend Solowieff, and produced at St. Petersburg on the 1 9th of the following April. It has now become a great favourite. Seroff was an extreme and enthusiastic partisan for Wagner. In addition to the works already mentioned, he composed an A ve Maria, written for Mad. A.Patti in 1 868 ; a Stabat Mater (for three female voices), and music to Schiller's Song of the Bell. [G.J SERPENT (Eng. and Fr. ; Germ. Scklangen- rokr ; Ital. Serpenlone). An ail-but obsolete in- strument forming the natural bass of the ancient cornet family, played with a cupped mouthpiece similar to that of the bass trombone. It consists of a wooden tube about 8 feet long, increasing conically from of an inch in diameter at the mouth- piece to 4 inches at the open end. The name is obviously de- rived from the curved form into which the tube is contorted, presenting three U- shaped turns followed by a large circular convolution. The bell end is moreover turn- ed forward from the player.and the mouth- piece makes a right- angled backward turn to reach his lips. There are six holes on

the front of the instrument, to be stopped by the three middle finders of either hand ; those for

1 These are rev ie wed in Liszt's ' Kritik der Kritik. 1

��� �