Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/756

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744

��STRICT COUNTERPOINT.

��in Ex. ii (y\ though, unfortunately, too nu- merous for detailed notice in our present article.

�� ��Canto fermo. Ex. 11.

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��Canto fermo.

Students, who have mastered all the difficul- ties of the Five Orders, are recommended, by Fux, and his successors, to employ two or more Orders simultaneously, in place of filling in the free parts with Semibreves : and to follow up this exercise by employing the Fifth Order in all the Parts except that which contains the Canto fermo.

It will be readily understood that the Rules we have here endeavoured to epitomise form but a very small proportion of those laid down by Fux, and his successors, for the student's guidance ; more especially with regard to the Five Orders of Counterpoint in two Parts, the laws of which are excessively severe. We have, in fact, confined our- selves, for the most part, to the regulations which serve most clearly to distinguish the Strict Style of the 1 6th century from the Free Part-writing of the i8th and lo^th. The true value of these Rules lies in the unvarying purity of the Har- mony produced by their observance. Obedience to their provisions renders harshness of effect impossible. It was for this reason that they were so diligently studied by the Great Masters of the School of Vienna; and, after them, by Mendelssohn, and the Composers of the later period. It is true, that these Composers, one and all, have written exclusively in the Free Style. But, we have already explained that the laws of the Free Style are not antagonistic to those of Strict Counterpoint. In their treatment of Consonant Harmonies, of Suspensions, and of Passing Notes, the laws of the two Styles, as set forth in the works of the great classical writers, are absolutely identical. It is only when dealing with Chromatic Progressions, Ap- poggiaturas, and Unprepared Discords generally, that the Free Style supplements the older code with new enactments. And, since these new enactments concern progressions altogether un- known to the Contrapuntists of the 1 6th century, they cannot be fairly said to oppose the earlier system. Except when entering upon new ground, they neither increase nor diminish the severity of the antient method. On the contrary, it is a well-known fact that the greatest writers in the Free Style, and the most fearless, are those who have worked hardest at Strict Counterpoint.

i Licence. Fifths saved by a tied Crotchet, on the authority of Palestrina. At bar 5, the Tenor crosses below the Bass.

��STRING.

Hence, Beethoven's bon mot concerning the ne- cessity for learning rules in order that one might know how to break them ; so often mis-quoted in defence of those who break them through ignor- ance. Hence, Mendelssohn's microscopic atten- tion to the minutest details, in the lessons he gave in Free Part- writing ; and Hauptmann's determined insistance on rules, which, though mentioned by Fux, are unnoticed by Cherubini. All these accomplished Musicians used Strict Counterpoint as a stepping-stone to the Free Style : and, if we would know how much the process profited them, we have only to examine Mozart's ' Zauberflb'te,' Beethoven's 7th Sym- phony, and Mendelssohn's ' St. Paul.' [W.S.R.]

STRINASACCHI, REGINA, a distinguished violin-player, born at Ostiglia near Mantua in 1764, and educated at the Conservatorio della Pieta in Venice, and in Paris. From 1780 to 1783 she travelled through Italy, and won great admiration by her playing, her good looks, and her attractive manners. She next went to Vienna, and gave two concerts at the National Court Theatre in the Burg on March 29 and April 24, 1784. For the second of these Mozart composed a sonata in Bb (Kochel 454), of which he wrote out the violin-part complete, but played the ac- companiment himself from a few memoranda which he had dashed down on the PF. staves. 2 The Emperor Joseph, noticing from his box above the blank look of the paper on the desk, sent for Mozart and obliged him to confess the true state of the case. ' Strinasacchi plays with much taste and feeling,' writes Mozart to his father, who quite agreed with him after hearing her at Salzburg. ' Even in symphonies,' Leopold writes to his daughter, 'she always plays with expression, and nobody could play an Adagio more touchingly or with more feeling than she ; her whole heart and soul is in the melody she is executing, and her tone is both delicate and powerful.' In Vienna she learnt to appreciate the gaiety of Haydn's music, so congenial to her own character. She played his quartets before the court at Ludwigslust, and also at Frau von Ranzow's, with peculiar naivete* and humour, and was much applauded for her delicate and expressive rendering of a solo in one of them. She is also said to have been an excellent guitar- player. She married Johann Conrad Schlick, a distinguished cellist in the ducal chapel at Gotha. The two travelled together, playing duets for violin and cello. Schlick died at Gotha in 1825, two year after the death of his wife. [C.F.P.j

STRING (Fr. Chord; Ital. Corda; Germ. Saite). A slender length of gut, silk, or wire, stretched over raised supports called bridges, be- tween which it is free to vibrate. When weighted to resist the drawing power or tension, the rapidity of its transverse vibrations depends upon the tension, the length, and the specific gravity

2 This interesting MS. is now in the possession of Mr. F. G. Kurtz of Liverpool. Mozart filled in the complete accompaniment after- wards in an ink of slightly different colour from that which he first employed, so that the state of the MS. at the first performance can be readily seen.

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