Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/138

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

(1872). Although his compositions are almost entirely forgotten, his 'Art du Violon' still maintains its place as a standard work.

He also took a prominent part with Rode and Kreutzer in compiling and editing the 'Méthode de Violon adoptée par le Conservatoire,' and a similar work for the violoncello. His obituary notices of Grétry (Paris, 1814) and Niotti (1825), and other occasional writings, shew remarkable critical power and great elegance of style.

His published musical compositions are:—15 trios for 2 violins and bass; 6 duos for 2 violins; 12 études for violin; 9 concertos; symphonic concertante for 2 violins, with orchestra; 30 airs variés; 3 string quartetts; 1 sonata for piano and violin; 24 préludes in all keys, and a number of smaller pieces for the violin.

[ P. D. ]

BAKER, George, Mus. Doc., was born at Exeter in 1773. Taught by his aunt, he was able at seven years of age to play upon the harpsichord, and about the same time was placed under the tuition of Hugh Bond and William Jackson, then organist of Exeter cathedral. He also received lessons on the violin from Ward. In 1790 he quitted Exeter for London, where he was received into the family of the Earl of Uxbridge, who placed him under William Cramer and Dussek for instruction on the violin and pianoforte. He was organist at Stafford 1795, Derby 1810, and Rugeley 1824. He took the degree of Doctor of Music at Oxford about 1801. He died Feb. 19, 1847. Dr. Baker's compositions comprise anthems, glees, organ voluntaries, pianoforte sonatas, and other pieces, the music to an unfortunate musical entertainment called 'The Caffres,' produced for a benefit at Covent Garden Theatre, June 2, 1802, and at once condemned, and numerous songs, many of them composed for Incledon, his former fellow-pupil under Jackson.

[ W. H. H. ]

BALBI, Luigi, born at Venice towards the middle of the 16th century, a Cordelier monk, pupil of Costanzo Porta, director of the music in the church of S. Antonio at Padua, and afterwards in the convent of his order at Venice (1606). He composed masses, motetts, and madrigals (Venice, 1576–1606), and died in 1608. One seven-part and five eight-part motets by him are printed in Bodenschatz's 'Florilegium Portense,' Pt. 2.

[ M. C. C. ]

BALDASSARRI, Benedetto, an eminent Italian singer, who sang the tenor part of Timante in Handel's opera 'Floridante,' at its first and succeeding performances in 1721. He appeared also in Buononcini's 'Crispo,' and other pieces, in the next year. He had already sung in 'Numitor' by Porta, and other operas, with Durastanti and her companions of the old troupe.

[ J. M. ]

BALDENECKER, Nicolaus, member of an extensive family of musicians, born at Mayence 1782, first violin at the Frankfort theatre from 1803 to 51, and joint-founder with Schelble of the amateur concerts which resulted in the famous 'Cäcilien-Verein' of that city.

BALDI, a counter-tenor singer, who sang in London in operas of Handel, Buononcini, and others, from 1725 to 28. In the first year he sang in 'Elisa' and Leonardo Vinci's 'Elpidia,' replacing Pacini in the latter, who previously sang in it. In 1726 he appeared in Handel's 'Alessandro,' 'Ottone,' and 'Scipione'; in 1727 in 'Admeto' and 'Riccardo,' as well as in Buononcini's 'Astianatte'; and in 1728 he sang in 'Tolomeo,' 'Siroe,' and 'Radamisto,'—all by Handel. He seems to have been an excellent and useful artist, only eclipsed by the great Senesino, who monopolised the leading parts.

[ J. M. ]

BALELLI, an Italian basso engaged at the opera in London towards the end of the 18th century. In 1787 he sang in 'Giulio Cesare in Egitto,' a pasticcio, the music selected by Arnold from various works of Handel's; and in the 'Re Teodoro,' a comic opera of Paisiello. In 1788 he appeared in Sarti's 'Giulio Sabino'; and the next year in Cherubini's 'Ifigenia,' and in operas both comic and serious by Tarchi.

[ J. M. ]

BALFE, Michael William, was born at Dublin, May 15, 1808. When he was four years old his family resided at Wexford, and it was here, in the eager pleasure he took in listening to a military band, that Balfe gave the first sign of his musical aptitude. At five years of age he took his first lesson on the violin, and at seven was able to score a polacca composed by himself for a band. His father now sought better instruction for him, and placed him under O'Rourke (afterwards known in London as Rooke), who brought him out as a violinist in May 1816 [App. p.530 "June 1817"]. At ten years old he composed a ballad, afterwards sung by Madame Vestris in the comedy of 'Paul Pry,' under the title of 'The Lover's Mistake,' and which even now is remarkable for the freshness of its melody, the gift in which he afterwards proved so eminent. When he was sixteen his father died, and left him to his own resources; he accordingly came to London, and gained considerable credit by his performance of violin solos at the so-called oratorios. He was then engaged in the orchestra at Drury Lane, and when T. Cooke, the director, had to appear on the stage (which was sometimes the case in the important musical pieces), he led the band. At this period he took lessons in composition from C. F. Horn, organist of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, and father of the popular song-writer. In 1825 he met with a patron, the Count Mazzara, whom he accompanied to Italy. At Rome he was located in the house of his patron, and studied counterpoint under Frederici, afterwards head of the Conservatorio at Milan. He next went to Milan, and studied singing under Filippo Galli. Here he made his first public essay as a dramatic composer by writing the music to a ballad [App. p.530 "ballet"] entitled 'La Perouse,' the melody and instrumentation in which created a favourable sensation. He was now in his 2oth year. Visiting Paris, he was introduced to Rossini, then director