Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/700

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638

��STAINER.

��Stainer instruments are now valued less for prac- tical use than as curiosities. The violins, which are found of three different sizes, are the best worth having ; the tenors are good for little. The violins are abundant enough, even after allowing for the vast number of spurious instru- ments which pass under the maker's name ; but they vary greatly in value, according to their class, and the condition in which they are. Their value has greatly decreased during the present century. A fine specimen that would have brought 100 a century ago will now scarcely produce 20, and the inferior instruments have depreciated in proportion. Small instruments of the common sort, which may be bought very cheap, are useful for children. Stainer's best instruments have written labels : some of the common ones have in very small Roman letter- press in the middle of a large slip of paper, 'Jacobus Stainer in Absom prope Oenipontum Anno (1678).' It is not impossible that some of these may have been made by other hands under his direction. [E.J.P.]

STAINER, MARCUS, brother of the last- mentioned, a celebrated Tyrolese violin-maker. Mark Stainer learned his trade from Jacob, and set up for himself at the village of Laufen. The famous Florentine player Ver acini had two violins by this maker, christened 'St. Peter' and 'St. Paul,' and he reckoned them superior to all Italian violins. In sailing from London to Leghorn in 1746 Veracini was shipwrecked and the fiddles were lost. The instruments of this maker are extremely rare. They are made of unusually fine material, covered with dark varnish, of somewhat large size, and are sweet though decidedly feeble in tone. Like those of Jacob Stainer, they usually contain written labels. One of these runs thus : 'Marcus Stainer, Burger und Geigenmacher in Kiifstein anno 1 659.' Occasionally Marcus Stainer yielded to an obvious temptation, and sold his violins under the name of his more famous brother.' [E.J.P.]

STAINER, JOHN, Mus. Doc., son of a school- master, was born in London, June 6, 1 840, entered the choir of St. Paul's Cathedral in 1847 by which time he was already a remarkable player and an excellent sight-singer and remained there till 1856, very often taking the organ on occasion. In 1854 ne was appointed organist and choir- master of St. Benedict and St. Peter, Paul's Wharf, of which the Rev. J. H. Coward, classical master to the choristers, was Rector. At the same time he learnt harmony from Mr. Bay ley, master of St. Paul's boys, and counterpoint from Dr. Steggall, for whom he sang the soprano part in his Mus. Doc. exercise at Cambridge in 1852. Through the liberality of Miss Hackett he received a course of lessons on the organ from George Cooper at St. Sepulchre's. In 1856 he was selected by Sir F. Ouseley as organist of his then newly- founded college at Tenbury, where he remained for some time. In 1859 ^ e matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, and took the degree of Mus. Bac. Shortly after, he left Tenbury for

��STAINER.

Magdalen College, Oxford, where after six months trial he succeeded Mr. Blyth as organist and informator chonstarum. He then entered St. Edmund Hall as a resident undergraduate, and while discharging his duties at Magdalen, worked for his B.A. degree in Arts, which he took in Trinity Term, 1863. Meantime, on the death of Stephen Elvey, he had been appointed organist of the University of Oxford, and was conductor of a flourishing College Musical Society and of another association at Exeter College. But nothing interfered with his duties at Magdalen, where he raised the choir to a very high state of efficiency. In 1 865 he proceeded to his Mus. Doc. degree, and in 1866 to his M.A., and became one of the examiners for musical degrees. In 1 8 7 2 he left Oxford and succeeded Mr. Goss (afterwards Sir John) as organist of St. Paul's Cathedral. The services were at that time by no means what they should have been ; but Stainer possessed the confidence of the Dean and Chapter, and his hard work, knowledge, and tact, have at last brought them to the pitch of excellence which is now so well known in London.

Dr. Stainer has not confined his activity to his own University. He is a member of the board of musical studies at Cambridge, and for two years was also examiner for the degree of Mus. Doc. there. He is further examiner for musical degrees in the University of London ; is an Hon. Member of the Royal Academy of Music, and Hon. Fellow of the Tonic Sol-fa College ; a Vice-President of the College of Organists, and a Vice-President of the Musical Association, of which he was virtually the founder. He was a juror at the Paris Exhibition of 1 880, and at its close was decorated with the Legion of Honour. He was attached to the National Training School, London, as a Professor of Organ and Harmony, from its foundation, and at Easter 1881 succeeded Mr. Sullivan as Principal. In 1882 he suc- ceeded Mr. Hullah as Inspector of Music in the Elementary Schools of England for the Privy Council. He is also a Member of Council of the Royal College of Music. His compositions embrace an oratorio, 'Gideon,' and a cantata, ' The Daughter of Jairus,' composed by request for the Worcester Festival of September 1878, two complete cathedral services, and 16 anthems. He is the author of the two very popular manuals of Harmony and the Organ in Novello's series, and of a work on Bible music, and is part editor, with W. A. Barrett, of a ' Dictionary of Musical Terms ' (Novello, 1876). Dr. Stainer is beloved and esteemed by all who know him, and is an admirable and efficient musician in all branches, but his great excellence resides in his organ-play- ing, and especially his accompaniments, which are unsurpassed. He is a shining example of the excellent foundation of sound musical knowledge which may be got out of the various duties and shifts of the life of a clever chorister in one of our cathedrals ; and by which both he and his friend Arthur Sullivan benefited, as they perhaps could not have benefited by any more regular course of study. [G.]

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