Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/535

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
AGNESI.
519
ALBERTI BASS.

Mikheli in the solitary Italian performance of 'Les deux Journées,' June 30, 1872, the Duke in 'Lucrezia,' etc., and showed himself in all an accomplished actor and musician, devoted to his art. Special mention may be made of his Assur, which he sang in true Italian style, with Titiens and Trebelli as Semiramide and Arsace, a cast of which opera has never since been equalled; also of his delivery of the bass part of Crotch's 'Palestine,' in a style of music wholly unfamiliar to him.

[ A. C. ]

AGOSTINI. End of note 1, for 1860 read 1680. (Corrected in late editions).

AGRICOLA, Alexander. Line 12 of article, for Castaliae read Castiliae. Line 1 of epitaph, for aura read cura; ib. l. 5, for hunc read huc; ib. l. 8, for capite read in capite. After the epitaph read 'The question "Who brought the Belgian hither?" is decisive as to his nationality. He was certainly educated in the Netherlands, and passed great part of his life there. At an early age he was distinguished both as a singer and performer. A letter of Charles VIII. of France, in Mr. Julian Marshall's collection, proves that he was in that king's service, and left it, without leave, for that of Lorenzo de' Medici, whence Charles reclaimed him. Charles died 1498. Petrucci published some of Agricola's works at Venice in 1503.' (The above appears correctly in late editions, with the exception of the date of Charles's death, there given as 1598.)

AGUILAR, Emanuel. See ii. 733 b.

AÏDA. Grand opera in 3 acts; libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, music by Verdi. Commissioned by the Viceroy of Egypt for the opening of the opera-house at Cairo, and produced there Dec. 24, 1871. The first European performance took place at Milan, Feb. 8,1872; and on June 22, 1876, it was given at Covent Garden.

[ M. ]

ALBANI. Add the following to the notice under Lajeunesse, vol. ii. p. 85.

Albani, Mme., born 1850, not '51, whose full christian names are Marie Louise Cécilia Emma, since 1879 has appeared each year in Italian opera at Covent Garden, excepting that year and 1885. Her new parts have been:—June 26, 1880, Isabella (production of 'Pré aux Clercs'); June 21, 1881, Tamara, on production of 'Il Demonio' (Rubinstein); July 11, 1882, Margaret and Helen of Troy, on production at above theatre of 'Mefistofele'; and July 15, 1884, Brunhild (production of Reyer's 'Sigurd'). In the German season there of 1884, under Richter, she played her favourite parts of Senta and Elsa. In the season of 1887 she added to her already large repertory (wherein we remark that no work of Rossini or Meyerbeer is included) the leading part in 'La Vie pour le Czar' (July 12) and was announced to appear in 'Il Matrimonio segreto,' but that opera was not given.

In the concert-room, Mme. Albani has maintained her position, especially at the festivals, where she has created, in important new works, the soprano parts mostly written for her, viz. at Birmingham, 1882, in the 'Redemption'; 1885 'Mors et Vita' and 'Spectre's Bride'; 1881 at Norwich in 'St. Ursula' (Cowen); and at Leeds, 1880, Margarita in 'The Martyr of Antioch'; 1886, Elsie in 'The Golden Legend,' St. Ludmila (Dvořák), and Ilmas (Story of Sayid), Mackenzie. At Worcester also, in 1881, she sang in Cherubini's Mass in D minor,[1] on its production in this country; in 1882 (at Birmingham) in the same composer's Mass in C; and in 1884 in Bach's cantata 'God so loved the world,' in which is the well-known air 'My heart ever faithful.' In London and at Sydenham she has sung in the greater part of these works, also in 'The Rose of Sharon,' Dvořák's Stabat Mater, and in 1886 in Liszt's 'St. Elizabeth' on the occasion of the composer's farewell visit. Mme. Albani has sung in opera abroad with her usual success; also in Gounod's oratorios at the Trocadéro, Paris. Her most recent engagements have been at Berlin, where in 1887, in a three weeks' visit, she sang both in German and Italian in 'Lucia,' 'Traviata,' 'Faust,' 'Fliegende Holländer' and 'Lohengrin,' and was appointed by the Emperor a court chamber singer. At the request of Sir Arthur Sullivan she returned to Berlin on April 2, 1887, and sang her original part of Elsie on the second performance there of 'The Golden Legend,' under his direction, having travelled from Brussels for that express purpose.

[ A. C. ]

ALBERTI BASS. A familiar formula of accompaniment which first came prominently into fashion early in the 18th century, and has since been the frequent resource of hundreds of composers from the greatest to the meanest. It derives its distinctive name from Domenico Alberti, a musician who is supposed to have been born during the second decade of the 18th century at Venice, where he became a pupil of Lotti. He won fame both as a singer and as a player on the harpsichord, and wrote some operas and a considerable number of sonatas, some of which were very popular with musical amateurs. It is not very probable that he actually invented the formula, but he certainly brought it into undue prominence in his sonatas, and therefore did his best to deserve a notoriety which is not altogether enviable. A set of eight sonatas of his, which was published by Walsh in London, affords good illustrations of his love of it. He uses it plentifully in every sonata of the set, sometimes in both movements, and occasionally almost throughout a whole movement. For instance, in the first movement of the second sonata it persists through thirty-seven bars out of a total of forty-six; and in the first movement of the sixth sonata it continues through thirty-six whole bars and four half bars out of a total of forty-four. The following quotation from the beginning of the sixth sonata illustrates his style, and his manner of using the formula.

  1. First produced in concert room in England, April 21, 1880, at St. James's Hall, by the Bach Choir.