Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/826

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810

��VENICE.

��This rule was sometimes relaxed in favour of ex- ceptionally promising voices. The state dowered the girls either for marriage or for the convent. The pupils were divided into two classes, the novices and the provette or pupil teachers, whose duty it was to instruct the novices in the rudi- ments of music under the guidance of the maes- tro. The number of scholars in each Conserva- toire varied from sixty to eighty. Every Saturday and Sunday evening the choirs performed full musical Vespers or a motet, usually written by their own maestro. The churches were crowded, and the town divided into factions which dis- cussed, criticized, and supported this or that favourite singer. The opera-singers attended in large numbers to study the method of the more famous voices. On great festivals an oratorio was usually given. The words of the libretto were originally written in Italian ; but for greater decorum Latin was subsequently adopted. The libretto was divided into two parts, and printed with a fancy border surrounding the title-page, which contained the names of the singers and sometimes a sonnet in their praise. The libretto was distributed gratis at the door of the church ; and each of the audience was supplied with a wooden stool or chair. The choir sang behind a screen, and was invisible. Ad- mission to the choir was forbidden to all men except the maestro ; but Eousseau, by the help of M. le Blond, French Consul, succeeded in evading this rule, and was enabled to visit the choir of the Mendicanti and to make the ac- quaintance of the young singers whose voices had so delighted him. Special tribunes, called Coretti, were reserved for ambassadors and high state officials. Inside the church applause was forbidden, but the audience marked their approval by drawing in the breath and by shuffling their chairs on the ground. AUTHORITIES.

P. Canal. ' Delia Musica in Venezia.' Printed in 'Ve- nezia e le sue Lagune,' vol. i. part 2, p. 471.

Francesco Cam. Letter to E. Cicogna. Printed In Cicogna, ' Iscrizioni Veneziane,' vol. v. p. 326.

E. Cicogna. 'Iscrizioni Veneziane, vol. v. p. 297, where a full list of all the Oratorios performed at the Incurabili will be found.

Dr. Burney. 'The Present State of Music in France and Italy.'

Dr. Burney. ' History of Music.'

De Brosses. 'Lettres historiques/ Tom. L

Kousseau. ' Confessions,' Lib. vii.

Fe"tis. ' Biographie Univereelle des Musiciens.'

Bournet. ' Venise, Notes prises dans la Bibliotheque d'un vieux Ve'nitien,' p. 275.

Molmenti. 'La Storia di Venezia nella vita privata,'

"faasinl. 'Curiosita Veneziane.' a. T. Pieta, Mendi- canti, Ospedaletto, Incurabili. [H.F.B.]

VENTADOUR. P. 238 i, 1. 32, for Dec. 28 read Dec. 8.

VERDE LOT, PHILIPP. Add that Antonio Gardano, the publisher, when introducing in 1541 a collection of six-part madrigals by Ver- delot, describes them on the title-page as the most divine and most beautiful music ever heard (' la piu divina e piu bella musica che be udisse giammai '). It has long been the question who is the real creator of the madrigal as a musical

��VERDELOT.

form. Adrian Willaert has often been repre- sented as the first composer of madrigals. But more recent investigation would seem to prove that Verdelot has a better claim than Wil- laert to this position. Besides the fact in- sisted on by Eitner ('Monatshefte fur Musik- Geschichte,' xix. 85) that only a very few of Willaert's secular compositions are properly madrigals, the most of them being rather in the lighter style of vilanellas, his first composi- tion of the kind appeared only in 1538, while as early as 1536 Willaert himself had ar- ranged in lute tablature for solo voice and lute accompaniment twenty-two madrigals by Ver- delot (' Intavolatura degli Madrigali di Verde- lotto da cantare et sonare nel lauto . . . per Messer Adriano,' Venice, 1536). Apart from the early mention of the name in the I4th cen- tury, the earliest known volume of musical pieces described as madrigals bears the date 1533, and Verdelot is the chief contributor. It is entitled ' Madrigali Novi de diversi excellentissimi Mu- sici.' (See Eitner, ' Bibliographie der Sammel- werke,' p. 27.) If any one might dispute the claim of Verdelot to be the first real madrigalist, perhaps it is Costanzo Festa, who also appears as a contributor to this volume, and whose name otherwise as a composer appears earlier in print than that of Verdelot. (It should be mentioned that this first book of madrigals is not perfectly preserved, two part-books only existing in the Kb'nigl. Staatsbibliothek at Munich.) From 1537 onwards various collections of Verdelot's madrigals for four, five, and six voices were made by enterprising publishers, such as Scotto and Gardano, but always mixed up with the works of other composers. Eitner says that no inde- pendent collection of Verdelot's madrigals is known to exist. Out of the miscellaneous col- lections he reckons up about 100 as composed by Verdelot, although with regard to many of them some uncertainty prevails, from the care- lessness of the publishers in affixing names, and perhaps also their wish to pass off inferior com- positions as the work of the more celebrated masters. The feat of adding a fifth part to Jannequin's ' Bataille ' first appeared in Tylman Susato's tenth Book of Chansons,' published at Antwerp in 1545, and has been reprinted in modern times by Commer. Besides madrigals, Verdelot appears as composer of motets in the various collections made by publishers from 1532 onwards. Forty are enumerated in Eitner's

  • Bibliographie,' several of them imperfectly pre-

served. Of the complete works which Ambros examined, he praises the masterly construc- tion, and the finely developed sense for beauty and pleasing harmony. Only one Mass by Verdelot is known, one entitled ' Philomena,' in a volume of five Masses published by Scotto, Venice, in 1544. Fe"tis and Ambros say that several exist in manuscript in the archives of the Sistine Chapel at Rome ; but Codex 38, to which Fe*tis refers, is shown by Haberl's Catalogue ('Katalog der Musik-werke im papstlichen Archiv,' pp. 18 und 171, 2) to contain only three

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