Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/255

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VEPRES S1CILIENNES, LES.

Grand OpeYa, Paris. It was translated into Italian as ' Giovanna de Guzman/ and produced at the Scala, Milan, Feb. 4, 1856, for Mad. Barbiere Nini; at the Royal Italian Opera, Drury Lane, London, July 27, 1859, as 'I Vespri Sicilian!.' [G.]

VERACINI, ANTONIO, a violinist and com- poser who lived during the second half of the 1 7th century at Florence. According to Fetis he published three sets of sonatas. His nephew and pupil,

FRANCESCO MARIA VERACINI, a celebrated violinist and composer, was born at Florence about 1685, an d was known as ' II Florentine.' He appears to have settled early at Venice, where Tartini was so much impressed by his style as to leave Venice without appearing in public, and retire to Ancona for further study after the model of Veracini. [TARTINI.] He visited Eng- land for the first time in 1714, acting as leader of the Italian Opera band, and appearing as soloist between the acts. He was then * regarded as the greatest violinist in Europe ' (Burney, Hist. iv. 640). In 1720 he accepted an appointment as solo-player to the Elector of Saxony at Dres- den. There he threw himself out of a high window, and in consequence was lamed for life. According to one version he did this in a fit of insanity; but another report goes to the effect that Pisendel, the leading German musician at Dresden, in order to prepare a humiliation to Veracini, who by his conceit and arrogance had incurred the hostility of the Germans, asked him to play a concerto at sight before the Court, and afterwards made a violinist of the orchestra repeat the piece. As the latter had carefully prepared his music, the audience, to Veracini's mortification, gave the preference to his performance and applauded him greatly. Be this as it may, Veracini left Dresden for Prague (1723) and Italy. In 1735 we find him again in London, where he achieved a signal success as a composer. His opera 'Adriano' was performed 17 times during the winter of 1735-36, an enormous run in those days. As a violinist Geminiani, then a rising star, appears to have impaired his success. He is reported to have died in reduced circumstances at Pisa in 1750.

Veracini's general success in Italy, England and Germany, and the special testimony of Tartini, are sufficient proofs of his eminence as a player. At the same time, his compositions, though few of them have been published, show him to have been a musician of remarkable originality and solid attainments. His style is much more modern than that of Corelli and even of Tartini. The pathetic element so predominant in the works of these masters, although not entirely absent in his works, is yet much less prominent than vivacity, grace, and piquancy. His forms are sometimes very extended, his modulations and harmonies not only rich and varied, but often so unusual and bold that it is not sur- prising to find that 'his compositions were too wild and flighty for the taste of the English at that time ' (Burney).

��VERDI.

��239

��He published two sets of 12 sonatas each (Dresden and Amsterdam, 1721; London and Florence, 1744). For London he composed the operas 'Adriano,' 1735; 'Roselinda,' 1744; 'L'Errore di Salomone,' 1744. A number of concertos, sonatas, and symphonies for 2 violins, viola, violoncello and basso have remained in manuscript, and some of them are in the public libraries of Florence and Bologna. Some of hia sonatas have been edited by Ferd. David (Breit- kppf & Hartel) and von Wasielewski (Senff, Simrock), and have been played by Joachim and others.

��VERDELOT, 1 PHILIPPE, a Flemish composer of the early part of the i6th century, appears to have settled in Italy when young, since his first work a motet was printed in the ' Fior de' Motetti e Canzoni ' published, as is believed, at Rome in 1526, and since he is found to have resided at Florence at some time between 1530 and 1540. It is certain however that he was, either now or from an earlier date, attached to the singing staff of the church of S. Mark at Venice, and we have the authority of 2 Guicciar- dini for the statement that he was already dead by the year 1567. His last publication is dated

1549-

Verdelot is commemorated by Cosmo Bartoli, and by Vincenzo Galilei, who printed two lute- pieces by him in ' Fronimo.' His works had reached France and were printed in French col- lections as early as the year 1530. The great Willaert thought so highly of him as to arrange some compositions of his in tabulature for lute and a solo voice. The two Venetian masters indeed, together with Arcadelt, may be taken as the representative madrigalists of their time, and ranked among the earliest writers and chief promoters of that style of composition. 8 Ver- delot' s remarkable skill in the science of music is well shown in the fifth part which he added to Jannequin's 'Bataille.' But his distinction is not simply that of a learned writer : his pro- ductions also display a certain feeling for beauty and appropriateness of expression which is his highest characteristic.* His works consist exclu- sively of madrigals, motets, psalms, and masses, and are enumerated by Fe'tis and Eitner. [R.L.P.]

VERDI, GIUSEPPE, one of the greatest and most popular operatic composers of the I9th century, born at Roncole, Oct. 9, 1813. Though very often called 'il maestro Parmigiano,' and ' il cigno di Busseto,' in point of fact neither Parma nor her smaller sister town Busseto, can boast of having Verdi's name in the rolls of their inhabitants ; and the good luck of having been his birthplace fell to a cluster of labourers' houses, called ' Le Roncole,' some three miles from Busseto, and, before the unification of Italy, in the Duchy of Parma. The following certificate

1 Two notices cited by M. vander Straeten, La Muslque aux Pays- bas vi.322, suggest that the name 'Verdelot' is an appellative: if so, we are ignorant of the composer's real name. One of the cases referred to Is connected with the town of Bruges.

2 Quoted by Vander Straeten, i. 44.

s Ambros, Geschichte der Musik, vol. il. 513.

See generally F<5tis. vol. viii. 319-321; Ambros, vol. ill. 293 L; vander Straeten, vol. vi. 321 f., 366.

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