Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/86

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74

��RANDHARTINGER.

��are published ; also a vol. of Greek national songs, and a vol. of Greek liturgies. His acquaintance with Schubert probably began at the Konvict, and at Salieri's ; though as he was Schubert's junior by five years, they can have been there together only for a short time ; but there are many slight traces of the existence of a close friendship between them. He was present, for example, at the first trial of the D minor String Quartet (Jan. 29, 1826), and he was one of the very few friends if not the only one who visited Schu- bert in the terrible loneliness of his last illness. But for Randhartinger it is almost certain that Schubert's ' Schone Miillerin' would never have existed. He was called out of his room while Schubert was paying him a visit, and on his return found that his friend had disappeared with a volume of W. Miiller's poems which he had accidentally looked into while waiting, and had been so much interested in as to carry off. On his going the next day to reclaim the book, Schubert presented him with some of the now well-known songs, which he had composed during the night. This was in 1 8 2 3. It is surely enough to entitle Randhartinger to a perpetual memory.

He had a brother JOSEF, of whom nothing is known beyond this that he was probably one of the immediate entourage of Beethoven's coffin at the funeral. He, Lachner, and Schubert are said to have gone together as torch-bearers (Kreissle von Hellborn's ' Schubert,' p. 266). [G.]

RANELAGH HOUSE AND GARDENS were situated on the bank of the Thames, east- ward of Chelsea Hospital. They were erected and laid out about 1690 by Richard Jones, Vis- count (afterwards Earl of) Ranelagh, who resided there until his death in 1712. In 1733 the pro- perty was sold in lots, and eventually the house and part of the gardens came into the hands of a number of persons who converted them into a place of public entertainment. In 174* they com- menced the erection of a spacious Rotunda (185 feet external, and 150 feet internal diameter), with four entrances through porticos. Surround- ing it was an arcade, and over that a covered gallery, above which were the windows, 60 in number. In the centre of the interior and sup- porting the roof was a square erection containing the orchestra, as well as fireplaces of peculiar construction for warming the building in winter. Forty-seven boxes, each to contain eight persons, were placed round the building, and in these the company partook of tea and coffee. In the garden was a Chinese building, and a canal upon which the visitors were rowed about in boats. Ranelagh was opened with a public breakfast, April 5, 1 742. The admission was 2s. including breakfast. On May 24 following it was opened for eveninf concerts ; Beard was the principal singer, Festing the leader, and the choruses were chiefly from oratorios. Twice a week ridottos were given, the tickets for which were i is. each, including supper. Masquerades were shortly afterwards in- troduced, and the place soon became the favourite resort of the world of fashion. Ranelagh was afterwards opened about the end of February for

��RANELAGH HOUSE AND GARDENS.

breakfasts, and on Easter Monday for the evening entertainments. On April 10, 1 746, a new organ by Byfield was opened at a public morning re- hearsal of the music for the season, and Parry, the celebrated Welsh harper, appeared. In 1 749, in honour of the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, an en- tertainment called 'A Jubilee Masquerade in the Venetian manner,' was given, of which Horace Walpole, in a letter to Sir Horace Mann, dated May 3, 1749, gave the following lively descrip- tion :

' It had nothing Venetian about it, but was by far the best understood and the prettiest spectacle I ever saw ; nothing in a fairy tale ever surpassed it. ... It began at three o'clock, and about five, people of fashion began to go. When you entered you found the whole garden filled with masks and spread with tents, which remained all night very commodely. In one quarter was a May- pole dressed with garlands, and people dancing round it to a tabor and pipe aijd rustic music, all masqued, as were all the various bands of music that were disposed in different parts of the garden, some like huntsmen with French-horns, some like peasants, and a troop of Harlequins and Scaramouches in the little open temple on the mount. On the canal was a sort of gondola adorned with flags and streamers, and filled with music, rowing about. All round the outside of the amphitheatre were shops, filled with Dresden china, Japan, etc., and 1 all the shopkeepers in mask. The amphitheatre was illuminated; and in the middle was a circular bower, composed of all kinds of firs in tubs from twenty to .thirty feet high ; under them orange trees with small lamps in each orange, and below them all sorts of the finest auriculas in pots ; and festoons of natural flowers hanging from tree to tree. ' Between the arches, too, were firs, and smaller ones in the balconies above. There were booths for tea and wine, gaming-tables and dancing, and about two thousand persons. In short it pleased me more than anything I ever saw. It is to be once more, and probably finer as to dresses, as there has since been a subscription masquerade, and people will go in their rich habits.'

This proved so attractive that it was repeated several times in that and succeeding years, until the suppression of such entertainments after the earthquake at Lisbon in 1755. In 1751 morning concerts were given twice a week, Signora Frasi and Beard being the singers. At that date it had lost none of its charm. ' You cannot conceive,' says Mrs.Ellison, in Fielding's 'Amelia,' 'what a sweet elegant delicious place it is. Paradise itself can hardly, be equal to it.' In 1754 an entertain- ment of singing, recitation, etc. was given under the name of ' Comus's Court,' which was very successful. In 1755 a pastoral, the words from Shakspere, the music by Arne, was produced ; Beard and Miss Young were the singers ; Han- del's ' L' Allegro ed II Pensieroso' was introduced on Beard's benefit night, and Stanley was the organist. In 1759 Bonnell Thornton's burlesque Ode on St. Cecilia's day was performed with great success. In 1 762 Tenducci was the principal male singer. In 1 764 a new orchestra was erected in one of the porticos of the Rotunda, the original one being found inconvenient from its height. On June 29, 1764, Mozart, then eight years old, performed on the harpsichord and organ several pieces of his own composition for the benefit of a charity. In 1770 Burney was the organist. Fire- works were occasionally exhibited, when the price of admission was raised to 53. In 1 7 77 the fashion- able world played one of its strange, unreasoning freaks at Ranelagh. Walpole wrote on June 1 8 : ' It is the fashion now to go to Ranelagh two hour* after it is over. You miiy not believe this, but it

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