Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/250

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234

��VAUXHALL GARDENS.

��Jncledon, Dignum, Charles Taylor, Collyer, Ma- lion, etc., etc. Parke, the oboist, was for many years the principal solo instrumentalist. On May 29, 1786, the Gardens were opened for the sea- son, tor the first time under the name of ' Vaux- hall Gardens ' (the old name of ' Spring Garden ' having been continued up to that time), with a jubilee performance in commemoration of their first nightly opening by Tyers 50 years before. In 1798 fireworks were occasionally introduced, and afterwards became one of the permanent attractions of the place. The favour shown by the Prince of Wales (afterwards George IV.), made the Gardens the resort of the fashionable world, and the galas given during the Regency, on the occasions and the anniversaries of the several victories over Napoleon, attracted im- mense numbers of persons. During that period the prosperity of the establishment culminated. In 1815 the celebrated performer on the tight rope, Madame Saqui appeared, and excited uni- versal astonishment by her ascent on the rope to the summit of the firework tower (60 feet high), during the pyrotechnic display. She continued one of the principal attractions of the Gardens for many years. In 1818, the Gardens having become the property of the Rev. Dr. Jon. Tyers Barrett, who deemed the derival of an income from them inconsistent with his sacred calling, they were submitted to auction (on April n), but bought in. In 1822 however they passed into the hands of Messrs. Bish, Gye, and Hughes. Great changes then took place in the character of the entertainments ; and a theatre was erected, in which at first ballets, and afterwards vaude- villes, were performed. The concert ' ho wever was retained as a leading feature, and in 1823 the singers were Miss Tunstall, Miss Noel, Miss Melville, Goulden, Collyer, Clark, and Master Longhurst. In 1826 Miss Stephens, Mme. Vestris, Braham, Sinclair, De Begnis, etc. were engaged. In 1827 horsemanship was introduced and a mimic representation of the Battle of Waterloo (which proved attractive for several seasons), given on the firework ground. Miss Graddon, T. Phillips, Horn, and Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam were the singers, and Blewitt, T. Cooke, and Horn the composers. In 1828 Blewitt, T. Cooke and R. Hughes were the com- posers, and Misses Helme, Knight and Coveney, Benson, Williams and Tinney the singers. In 1 8 29 Rossini's ' II Barbiere di Siviglia ' was per- formed in the theatre by Miss Fanny Ayton, Mesdames Castelli and De Angioli, and Signori Torn, Giubilei, De Angioli and Pellegrini ; the orchestral concert being supported by Misses Helme and P. Horton (now Mrs. German Reed), George Robinson, W. H. Williams, and George Smith; Blewitt and T. Cooke continuing as composers. In 1830 Bishop was placed at the head of the musical department, and continued so for 3 years. He produced during that pe- riod the vaudevilles of 'Under the Oak,' and Adelaide, or the Royal William,' 1830; 'The Magic Fan,' 'The Sedan Chair,' and 'The Battle of Champagne,' 1832, and many single

��VECCHI.

songs, amongst which was the still popular bal- lad, 'My pretty Jane,' written for the sweet- toned alto voice of George Robinson. His singers included Miss Hughes and Mrs. Way- lett. Balloon ascents formed a main feature of the attractions a few years later. As far back as 1802 Garnerin had made an ascent from the Gardens, but that was an isolated case. In 1835 Charles Green ascended and remained in the air all night. On Nov. 7, 1836, Green, Monck Mason, and Holland ascended in the large bal- loon, afterwards known as the 'Nassau,' and descended next morning near Coblentz, having travelled nearly 500 miles in 18 hours. In July, 1837, Green ascended, with Cocking attached in a parachute beneath the balloon, when the latter was killed in his descent by the failure of his machinery. The Gardens now rapidly declined. In 1840 an attempt was made to sell them, but they were bought in at 20,000. In 1843 they were under the management of Wardell ; mas- querades, frequented by the most disreputable classes of the community were given ; matters grew worse and worse, until in 1855 they came into the hands of Edward Tyrrell Smith, and reached their lowest depth of degradation. The musical arrangements were beneath contempt ; a platform for promiscuous dancing was laid down ; and everything lowered in quality. They were not afterwards regularly opened, but specu- lators were forthcoming who ventured to give entertainments for a few nights in each year, ' for positively the last nights,' until 1 859, when the theatre, orchestra, and all the fittings were sold by auction. On July 25 in that year the trees were felled and the site handed over to builders. Vauxhall Gardens had a longer exist- ence than any public gardens in England, and assisted in maintaining a taste for music as a source of rational enjoyment, although they did little or nothing towards promoting its advance- ment. [W.H.H.] VECCHI, 1 or VECCHII, ORAZio, 2 was born, it seems at Modena, in or about the year 1551. He became the pupil of a monk named Salvatore Essenga, who was himself not unknown as a composer, and who published a volume of ' Ma- drigali,' containing a piece (doubtless his first essay) by Vecchi, in 1566. The latter entered holy orders and was made first, in 1586, canon, and then, five years later, archdeacon, of Correg- gio. Soon afterwards however he seems to have deserted his office in order to live at his native town; and by April 1595 he was punished for his non-residence by being deprived of his ca- nonry. Possibly the real reason of his absence or of his deprivation, or both, was the singular excitability and quarrelsomeness of his disposi- tion, of which several stories are told. Be this as it may, in October 1596 he was made chapel-

1 Vecchi old, and this may possibly mean that Orazio was the elder of two brothers or of the elder branch of his family.

2 Orazlo's separate compositions are indexed in Eitner's ' Biblio- graphic des xvi. und xvil. Jahrhunderts,' pp. 890-895: they consist of 62 Italian and 44 Latin numbers ; besides 42 (in German collections) with German words, many of which are presumably identical wltb compositions differently entitled in Italian or Latiu.

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