Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/600

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

equalling the best works of that great master. His Allegros have a more developed and freer form than those of Corelli, but it is gross exaggeration of Burney, to describe them as eccentric and rhapsodic.

The most valuable contribution however which he has made to the literature of the instrument is his 'Art of Playing the Violin. London, 1740.' [App. p.646 "Op. 9"] This book, written in English, was the very first of its kind ever published in any country; six years earlier than Leopold Mozart's Violin-School. It has the great merit of handing down to posterity the principles of the art of playing the violin, as they were finally established by Corelli. The rules which Geminiani gives for holding the violin and bow, the management of the left hand and the right arm, are the same as are recognized in our days. In one particular point he even appears to have been in advance of his time, since he recommends the holding of the violin on the left hand side of the tail-piece a practice now universally accepted and indispensable for a higher development of the technique but, strange as it seems, not adopted either by Leopold Mozart or by the masters of the German school until the beginning of the present century.

His other theoretical works—a 'Treatise on Memory,' a 'Treatise on Good Taste,' 'The Art of Playing the Guitar,' 'The Art of Accompaniment' are of little value, although they appeared not only in English, but in Italian, French, German, and Dutch.

Of original compositions he published the following:—XII Solos, op. 1. London 1716; Six Concertos in seven parts, op. 2. London 1732, and Paris 1755, in score; 6 Concertos, op. 3, London and Paris 1775; XII Solos, op. 4, London 1739; 6 Solos for Violoncello, op. 5 (these are arrangements from the violin-solos); 6 Conoertos, op. 6. London 1741; Six Concertos in 8 parts, op. 7; XII Sonatas for Violin, op. 11, London 1758; XII Trios and VI Trios, the latter arrangements of op. 1; Lessons for the Harpsichord, London [App. p.646 "1743"]. He also made and published in London an arrangement of Corelli's Solos, op. 5, as 'Concerti grossi.'

[ P. D. ]

GEMSHORN (i. e. Chamois horn), an organ-stop 8, 4, or 2 feet in length, the pipes of which, generally of metal, are taper shaped, being only about one-third the size at the top that they are at the mouth, with a tone somewhat lighter than that of a cylindrical stop of the same scale at the mouth; and very musical. It was first introduced here by Father Smith, who placed one in the choir organ at the Temple. It passed out of sight for many years; but was reintroduced by the late Mr. William Hill, and has remained in great favour ever since.

[ E. J. H. ]

GENERALI, Pietro, born Oct. 4, 1783, at Masserano, near Vercelli. His real name was Mercandetti, but his father becoming bankrupt changed his name and removed to Rome. Pietro studied music under Giovanni Massi, a pupil of Durante, and soon wrote masses and church music. In 1800 he produced his first opera, 'Gli Amanti ridicoli,' after which he travelled to Southern Italy, and coming back to Rome in 1801 composed a cantata, 'Roma Liberata,' and two operas, 'Il Duca Nottolone' and 'La Villana al cimento.' These were followed by 'Le Gelosie di Giorgio' (Bologna 1802); 'Pamela nubile' and 'La Calzolaja' (Venice 1803); 'Misantropia e pentimento,' after a play of Kotzebue's; 'Gli Effetti della somiglianza' (ibid 1805); and 'Don Chisciotto' (Milan 1805). These are for the most part opere buffe; and an attempt at opera semi-seria, 'Orgoglio e Umiliazione' (Venice), was a failure. In 1807 he wrote 'L'Idolo Cinese' for San Carlo, and 'Lo Sposo in Bersaglio' for Florence. Many other comic operas were well received in Venice, especially 'Adelina,' a farce, 'La Moglie di tre mariti,' and his chef-d'œuvre 'I Baccanali di Roma' (Venice 1815). In the meantime Rossini had come to the front, and Generali's popularity suffered. After several doubtful successes he withdrew to Novara, and accepted the post of maestro di capella to the cathedral. In his retirement he studied Rossini's style, appropriating as much of it as he could; and in 1827 reappeared, first at Trieste and then at Venice, where his 'Francesca di Rimini ' (Dec. 26, 1829) was a total failure. He returned to Novara, and died there Nov. 3, 1832. His operas number in all more than 45. Generali's reputation, says Fétis, rests on his having been the first to employ certain harmonies and modulations of which Rossini took advantage. In fact he was the true precursor of Rossini, but the latter possessed genius, while Generali had only talent. An 'Elogio' of him by C. Piccoli was published at Novara in 1833.

[ F. G. ]

GENET, Eleazar, also called Carpentras, after the French town in which he was born, was priest, singer, and composer, attached to the papal court in the time of Leo X. He was made a bishop in 1518, and was soon afterwards sent by the Pope on a mission to Avignon, where he seems to have spent the rest of his life. He once revisited Rome, and during his stay there his 'Lamentations' for Holy Week were performed by his former colleagues. Struck by many defects, he made considerable alterations in his work, had a magnificent copy made, which is still preserved in the Pontifical Chapel, and wrote a dedication to Clement VII, who was Pope at the time. Of detached pieces by Genet in the various collections of the time, we know very few. Two motets from the 1st and 3rd books the 'Motetti della Corona' (Petrucci, Fossombrone, 1514), 2 psalms from the 'Psalmorum Selectonun Tom.II.' (Petreius, Nuremberg 1539), and a few two-part motets printed by Gardane in 1543, a slender legacy, if in truth these been all the works—and they were very nearly being all—that were to come to us; for Genet's position and the powerful patronage he enjoy made him independent of the usual collections and publishers, and enabled him to bring out his works in an exceptional way, which almost resulted in their being lost to posterity. It was only a few years ago that a copy, the only one