she was married to De Begnis, who was admitted to the Philharmonic Academy of Bologna at the same time. They were, however, separated for a time, De Begnis being engaged to sing at Rome, and Ronzi at Genoa. They met again at Florence, 1817, and performed together at Vicenza and Verona. Rossini engaged them for the opening of the new theatre at Pesaro. In 1819 they made their débuts at Paris with great success; and in 1822 appeared in London in the 'Turco in Italia,' where he was considered an excellent comic actor and singer. In 1823 he had the direction, with his wife, of the operas at Bath; and he was again engaged for the operatic season of 1824. He died Aug. 1849.
BEGNIS, Signora Ronzi de, the wife of the above, was possibly the young girl, Claudina Ronzi, born at Paris, Jan. 11, 1800, of whom there is still a record at the Conservatoire in that city, that she was admitted to a singing class March 9, 1809. However this may be, nothing more is known of her until her marriage with De Begnis at Bologna, 1816. In 1819 she made her first appearance at Paris, having sung at most of the principal Italian operas, and for Rossini at the opening of the new theatre at Pesaro in 1818. The Parisians thought her weak, especially as Rosina; but they admit that Donna Anna was never so well sung there by any one else before Sontag undertook it in 1828. It must be said that she received some instruction in the part from Garat, and that she profited by his lessons. In 1822 she came with her husband to London, where her voice and style steadily improved. 'She made her first appearance,' says Lord Mount-Edgecumbe, 'in the Turco in Italia, and acted in it delightfully. With a pretty face and pleasing countenance, she had a voice of great sweetness and flexibility, which she managed with considerable skill and taste. She decidedly excelled in comic parts: indeed, I have rarely seen a better buffa.' In 1824 she was eclipsed by the arrival of Pasta. In 1825 she shared with Madame Vestris the principal parts in the comic operas at the Haymarket Theatre, the temporary retreat of the company; but, soon after the return of Pasta, she fell ill and totally lost her voice, was obliged to throw up her engagement, and returned to Italy. Her death [App. p.542 "took place at Florence June 7, 1853 and"] was announced in the 'Sunday Times,' July 3, 1853.
BEGREZ, Pierre Ignace, born at Namur Dec. 23, 1783. At the age of six he sang in the choir of the cathedral of St. Aubin. After some years he went to Paris, and was received in a violin-class at the Conservatoire, the 17th Floréal, An xii. (1804). He was at the same time engaged in the orchestra of the Opera, then under the direction of Grasset. Finding, however, that he possessed a fine tenor voice, he soon threw aside the violin, and studied singing under Garat, from October 1806. In 1814 he carried off the first prize at the Conservatoire, and in 1815 he made his first appearance at the opera in Gluck's 'Armide,' which he followed with the principal parts of 'Les Bayadères' and 'Anacréon.' About the end of the same year he was engaged for the London Opera House, where he remained a permanent member of the company at the King's Theatre till 1822, when he retired from the boards, and devoted himself to teaching and singing in concerts. He had a beautiful voice, and good French style. He died Dec. 1863.
BEIDEN NEFFEN, DIE, or Der Onkel aus Boston. An opera in three acts, containing overture and 14 numbers, for voices and orchestra, the words by Dr. Caspar, the music by Mendelssohn, 1822.
BEIDEN PÄDAGOGEN, DIE. An opera in one act, containing overture and 12 numbers, for voices and orchestra; the words by Dr. Caspar, the music by Mendelssohn, 1821. Like the preceding this opera was only performed at the Mendelssohn's house. Both are still in MS., and the autographs are in the Bibliothek at Berlin.
BEKLEMMT, i. e. heavy at the heart, oppressed. A word which Beethoven has attached to the middle section of the Cavatina in his Quartet in B flat (op. 130), where he modulates into C flat; and where the choked and broken accents of the first violin fully bear out the expression. None of the old copies of the quartet give this interesting personal note of the composer's. It first appeared in Breitkopf & Härtel's complete edition. Correctly the word would be beklommen, but in words as in music Beethoven is always original and always right.
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BELCKE, Friedrich August, a celebrated trombone player, son of the town musician at Lucka in Saxony, and born May 27, 1795. The boy at an early age showed a fondness for brass instruments, and was a good horn-player before he took up the trombone, on which he soon reached a pitch of excellence before unknown. He first joined the Gewandhaus orchestra in Leipsic, and then obtained a permanent post in the royal band at Berlin. Frequent tours made him widely known. In 1838 he left the Berlin band of his own accord and retired to his native place, where he died Dec. 10, 1874. By trombone-players his compositions are well known and highly valued. He it is of whom Schumann pleasantly says, in his essay on 'The Comic in Music' (Ges. Schriften, i. 185),
'There is a phrase in the finale of Beethoven's eighth symphony which always makes the members of a well-known orchestra laugh, because they insist upon it that in this figure they hear the name of Belcke, one of the best of their number.'
[ A. M. ]
BELISARIO, Italian opera in three acts, libretto and music by Donizetti. Produced at Venice, Feb. 7, 1836; in London, at the King's Theatre, April 1, 1837; and at Paris, Théâtre des Italiens, Oct. 24, 1843.
BELL (Fr. pavillon). The everted opening in which most wind instruments terminate; especially those made of brass. It undoubtedly adds to the power of the tone, on the same principle as the speaking-trumpet reinforces the