Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/729

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MASQUE.
713
MASSENET.

MASQUE. Line 13 of article, for 1613 read 1612–13.

MASS. P. 232a, l. 12 and 13 from bottom, after Tract add in Appendix, and for Sequence read Sequentia.

Since the article on Byrd was written for this Appendix, the British Museum has acquired a aet of four part- books (Superius, Medius, Tenor, Bassus) of the second edition (1610) of Byrd's Gradualia. This copy is interleaved with the corresponding parts of all three of Byrd's Masses, viz. those for five, four, and three voices. It is possible that they were published in this form. The part-books are in admirably fresh condition, and have every appearance of being in the same state as when they were first published, but on the other hand the paper on which the masses are printed is different from that of the rest of the work, and the register signatures show that they are not originally intended to form part of the Gradualia.

The account of the Mass for five voices in vol. ii. p. 230 should be corrected by the article on Byrd in this volume, p. 573b. In Father Morris's 'Life of Father William Weston' ('The Troubles of our Catholic Forefathers,' second series, 1875, pp. 142–5) will be found some fresh information about Byrd, though Dr. Rimbault's old mistakes are again repeated there. Father Morris has found several allusions to Byrd as a recusant in various lists preserved in the State Papers (Domestic Series, Elizabeth, cxlvi. 137, cli. ii, clxvii. 47, cxcii. 48), and in the following interesting passage in Father Weston's Autobiography, describing his reception at a house which is identified as being that of a certain Mr. Bold: 'We met there also Mr. Byrd, the most celebrated musician and organist of the English nation, who had been formerly in the Queen's Chapel, and held in the highest estimation; but for his religion he sacrificed everything, both his office and the Court and all those hopes which are nurtured by such persons as pretend to similar places in the dwellings of princes, as steps towards the increasing of their fortunes.' This was written in the summer of 1586. The recently published Sessions Rolls of the County of Middlesex show that true bills 'for not going to church, chapel, or any usual place of common prayer' were found against 'Juliana Birde wife of William Byrde' of Harlington on June 28, 1581; Jan. 19, April 2, 1582; Jan. 18, April 15, Dec. 4, 1583; March 27, May 4, Oct. 5, 1584; March 31, July 2, 1585; and Oct. 7, 1586. A servant of Byrd's, one John Reason, was included in all these indictments, and Byrd himself was included in that of Oct. 7, 1586, and without his wife or his servant a true bill was found against him on April 7, 1592, at which date he is still described as of Harlington. It is very curious that if, as Father Weston was informed, he had sacrificed his place at Court, there should be no mention of it in the Chapel Royal Cheque Book; but his subsequent dealings at Stondon with Mrs. Shelley show that he must have been protected by some powerful influence. To this he seems to allude in the dedication of the Gradualia to the Earl of Northampton.

[ W. B. S. ]

MASSART, L. J. Add day of birth, July 19.

MASSÉ, Félix Marie, known under the name of Victor. Add that he died in Paris, July 5, 1884, after a long and painful illness, which had confined him to the house and rendered him totally incapable of active work. In 1876 he was obliged to give up his professorship of advanced composition at the Conservatoire, and was succeeded by Guiraud. During seven years of suffering his only consolation lay in composition, and in this way his opera, 'La Mort de Cléopâtre,' intended for the Opéra, was written. After his death a representation of the work took place at the Opéra Comique in the composer's honour (April 25, 1885), though the reception of 'Paul et Virginie' did not hold out much hope of success for a work evidently written in the same style and aiming too high. Although the composer's death was sufficiently recent to secure a favourable reception for this misnamed 'grand opera,' yet the composition was an evident failure, consisting as it did of misplaced pretension, and an ambitious imitation of Gounod's methods, in which Massé had lost what little remained to him of his original grace and charm. In spite of this change in his style, and though he must rank as a musician of the second order, there is at times in some of his songs a personal charm, a sober gaiety, and a gentle emotion. It was when he composed a song without having in view any particular interpretation, and when nothing more was required of him, that he could write most freely and could give the exact relation between the music and the words, a quality in which he originally excelled, and in which he resembled the school of Grétry. His ideal, which was on the whole a just one, did not exceed the limits of an exact feeling for prosody, and it is by those compositions of his in which the laws of metre are most faithfully observed that he is most likely to be for a short time remembered.

[ A. J. ]

MASSENET, Jules Frédéric Émile. Add that the composer, though now in the prime of life, has produced nothing, during the last ten years, but works which are practically repetitions of his former productions—'Marie Magdeleine,' 'Les Erinnyes,' 'Le Roi de Lahore'—all of which are far superior to anything he has since composed. On May 22, 1880, he conducted his oratorio, 'La Vierge,' at the first historical concert at the Opéra, an unsuccessful scheme of Vaucorbeil's. He produced at Brussels his religious opera 'Hérodiade,' Dec. 19, 1881, which succeeded for one season only in that city, and failed in Paris, where it was represented at the Opéra Italien (Jan. 30, 1884), after being partly rewritten by the composer. On Jan. 19, 1884, the opera 'Manon' was produced at the Opéra Comique, and on Nov. 30, 1885, 'Le Cid' at the Opéra, neither of which have left a very permanent mark behind them. In the former