Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/379

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Grand Mass and a sparkling buffo opera, 'Il Barbiere di Siviglia.' His political principles must have been conveniently elastic, for the year 1814 also saw the production of a Triumphal Cantata for the taking of Paris by the allied armies, and a mass for voices alone, according to the Greek ritual, in Slavonic, for the private chapel of Prince Repuin, who had been the Russian Governor of Dresden.

In June 1816, he was elected member of the Academy of Fine Arts at Florence, and shortly after paid a visit of some months to his native country, where he was received with every kind of honour, gala performances of 'Le Danaide,' and the oratorio of the 'Passion,' being given at Perugia. For the dedication of this last work, Pope Pius VII rewarded him with the decoration of the 'Golden Spur,' and the title of Count Palatine. An oratorio, 'Il sacrifizio d'Abramo, o l'Isaaco,' [App. p.719 "1817"] although a feeble work, was remarkable for the employment in it of a novel kind of rhythmical declamation, in place of the ordinary recitative.

In 1817, C.M. von Weber was appointed Capellmeister of the German opera at Dresden. Morlacchi behaved to him with a studied show of obsequious politeness, while doing his utmost in an underhand way to cripple his activity and bar his progress. Yet he did not disdain to beg for Weber's good word as a critic in the matter of his own compositions, and indeed was too much of an artist not to recognise the genius of his young colleague, to whom, although already overworked, he would frequently delegate the whole of his own duties, while on the plea of ill-health, he absented himself in Italy for months together. Between 1817 and 1841 he produced a number of operas and dramatic pieces, among which the principal were 'Gianni di Parigi' (1818), 'Tebaldo ed Isolina' (1822), 'La Gioventudi Enrico V (1823), 'Ilda d'Avenello' (1824), 'I Saraceni in Sicilia' (1827), 'Il Colombo' (1828), 'Il Disperato per eccesso di buon cuore' (1829), and 'Il Rinegato' (1832), this last opera being a second setting of the book of 'I Saraceni,' 'in a style calculated to suit German taste.' [App. p.720 "Add 'Laodicea' (Naples, 1817), 'La Morte d'Abel' (Dresden), and 'Donna Aurora' (Milan), both in 1821."] He wrote ten Grand Masses for the Dresden chapel, besides a great number of other pieces for the church. The best of these was the Requiem, composed on the occasion of the King of Saxony's death, in 1827. He said of himself that, during the composition of the 'Tuba Mirum' in this mass, he had thought unceasingly of the 'Last Judgment' in the Sistine chapel, and his recent biographer, Count Rossi-Scotti, does not hesitate to affirm, that by his harmony he emulates Buonarotti in the depiction of the tremendous moment. We must refer those of our readers who may wish for a detailed account of Morlacchi to this memoir, 'Della vita e delle opere del Cav. Francesco Morlacchi di Perugia,' or to the notice in Fétis's 'Biographie des Musiciens' (ed. of 1870), which also contains a list of his compositions. A 'scena' or 'episode' for baritone voice with pianoforte accompaniment (the narration of Ugolino, from Canto xxxiii of the 'Inferno '), written in his last years, deserves special mention here, as it became very famous.

In 1841 he once more set off for Italy, but was forced by illness to stop at Innspruck, where he died, October 28. He left an unfinished opera, 'Francesca da Rimini,' for the possession of which Florence, Dresden, and Vienna had disputed with each other. Profuse honours were paid to his memory in Dresden and in Perugia.

Morlacchi's music, forty years after his death, is an absolutely dead letter to the world. Yet during his lifetime he was reckoned by numbers of contemporaries one of the foremost composers of the golden age of music. Weber's good-natured criticism (in one of his letters) on his 'Barbiere di Siviglia,' aptly describes much of his dramatic work. 'There is much that is pretty and praiseworthy in this music; the fellow has little musical knowledge, but he has talent, a flow of ideas, and especially a fund of good comic stuff in him.' For an exact verification of this description we refer the English student to the MS. score of 'La Gioventù di Enrico V,' in the library of the National Training School for Music, at South Kensington. He was a clever executant in composition of this ephemeral kind, which supplied a passing need, but could not survive it. The best monument he left to his memory was a benevolent institution at Dresden for the widows and orphans of the musicians of the Royal Chapel, which he was instrumental in founding.

The names of such published compositions of Morlacchi as are still to be had, may be found in Hofmeister's 'Handbuch der musikalischen Literatur.'

[ F. A. M. ]

MORLEY, Thomas, Mus. Bac., was born probably towards the middle of the 16th century [App. p.720 "The date of birth is established as 1557 by the title of a 'Domine, non est,' in the Bodleian Library. It runs, 'Thomae Morley, aetatis suae 19. Anno Domini 1576'"]. It has been conjectured that he was educated in the choir of St. Paul's cathedral; it is certain that he was a pupil of Byrd. He took his degree at Oxford July 8, 1588. In 1591 he appears to have been organist of St. Paul's, but soon afterwards resigned it, as he never describes himself in any of his publications as other than Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, to which office he was admitted July 24, 1592. He was also Epistler, and on Nov. 18, 1592, advanced to Gospeller. His first publication was 'Canzonets, or Little Short Songs to three voyces,' 1593 (other editions 1606 and 1651), which was followed by 'Madrigalls to foure Voyces,' 1594; 2nd edition, 1600. In 1595 he published 'The First Booke of Ballets to five voyces,' an edition of which with Italian words appeared in the same year; and another edition with the English words in 1600. The work was reprinted in score by the Musical Antiquarian Society. In 1595 also appeared 'The First Book of Canzonets to Two Voyces,' containing also 7 Fantasies (with Italian titles) for instruments. In 1597 he issued 'Canzonets, or Little Short Aers to five and sixe voices,' and in 1600 'The First Booke of Aires or Little Short Songes to sing and play to the Lute with the Base-Viol.' The latter work contains the Pages' song in As You Like It ('It was a lover and his lass'), one of the few pieces of original