Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/465

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music to Paradise Lost; Selections from Gluck's Iphigenie, Barnett's Fair Rosamond, and Silas's Mass; Overtures to Don Carlos (Macfarren), and Genoveva (C. E. Horsley). For the third season the concerts were removed to St. Martin's Hall, were conducted partly by Lindpaintner, partly by Dr. Wylde, and included the Overture to Tannhäuser, Cherubini's Mass in C, etc. For the fourth season they returned to Exeter Hall. For the fifth and sixth, 1856 and 57, Hanover-square Rooms was chosen. In 1858 Dr. Wylde assumed the entire responsibility of the undertaking, and the concerts were henceforward held in St. James's Hall season by season as the 'New Philharmonic Concerts,' until 1879, when Dr. Wylde retired in favour of Mr. William Ganz. The programmes have throughout maintained that preference for novelties which distinguished them at the outset. In 1859 the practice of making the rehearsals public was begun. [App. p.730 "Add that the society came to an end in 1879, the concert of June 21 being the last concert given under the above title. The scheme was carried on for three years more under the title of Ganz's Orchestral Concerts."]

[ G. ]

NIBELUNGEN. Der Ring des Nibelungen—'The Ring of the Niblung'—a tetralogy or sequence of four music-dramas, words and music by Richard Wagner, was first performed in its entirety at Bayreuth, August 13, 14, 16, and 17, 1876, and repeated during the two following weeks. Wagner's libretto is founded on the Icelandic Sagas, and has little in common with the Nibelungenlied, or more correctly 'Der Nibelunge Nöt,' a medieval German poem of the beginning of the 13th century, in which the mythical types of the old Norse sagas appear in humanised modifications. [App. p.730 "Add that the trilogy, or tetralogy, as it is called in the article, was given at Her Majesty's Theatre on May 5–9, 1882. Four performances of the entire work took place."]

[ F. H. ]

NICHOLSON, Charles, born at Liverpool, 1795, son of a flutist, became the most eminent of English flutists. After performing in the orchestras of Drury Lane and Covent Garden he was engaged, about 1823, as principal flute at the Opera, the Philharmonic Society, the country festivals, etc. His playing was remarkable for purity and brilliance of tone and neatness of execution, and his admirable manner of performing an adagio. He published a flute preceptor and numerous concertos, fantasias, solos and other pieces for his instrument. He died in London, March 26, 1837.

[ W. H. H. ]

NICOLAI, Otto, eminent composer and conductor, born at Königsberg June 9, 1810. His home was unhappy and his education neglected, except for the piano, which he was well taught. At 16 he ran away, but found a protector in Justizrath Adler of Stargard, who assisted him in his studies, and in 1827 sent him to Berlin, where he took lessons from Zelter and Klein. In 1833 the Chevalier de Bunsen sent for him to Rome as organist to the chapel of the Prussian Embassy, and there, under Baini, he studied the ancient Italian masters, without neglecting those of modern date. Towards the close of 1837 he went to Vienna, and became Capellmeister and singing-master of the court opera, returning to Rome in Oct. 1838. He then composed a series of operas in the prevailing taste of the day. 'Enrico Secondo' and 'Rosmonda d'Inghilterra' (1839) were given at Trieste, and 'Il Templario' (1840) with great success at Turin; but 'Odoardo e Gildippe' (Genoa) and 'Il Proscritto' (Milan) were not so well received. In 1841 he accepted the first Capellmeistership of the court opera at Vienna, and remained till Easter 1847, highly appreciated as a conductor. Here were produced his 'Templario' (1841, German 45) and 'Die Heimkehr des Verbannten' (1844) a remodelling of 'Il Proscritto,' in which Staudigl was much applauded. With the avowed object of giving first-rate performances of Beethoven's Symphonies, he founded the Philharmonic concerts, the first of which took place March 28, 1842. A mass (composed 1843) dedicated to Frederic William IV, and a Fest-ouverture for the Jubilee of the University of Königsberg (1844) led to his appointment as director of the newly-founded Domchor, and Court-Capellmeister of the opera in Berlin, and he gave a farewell concert in the large Redoutensaal at Vienna (April 1, 1847) at which Jenny Lind sang, and some of the instrumental music in 'Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor' was produced for the first time. He completed that opera in Berlin, and the first performance took place on March 9, 1849, with brilliant success, which he did not live to enjoy, as he expired of apoplexy on May 11. The opera was given in Vienna (with recitatives by Proch) Feb. 12, 1852, and in London (as 'Falstaff') May 3, 1864, and holds its place as one of the most popular of comic operas.

Nicolai had a fine collection of Italian and German scores, which he left to the Imperial library at Berlin. Mendel's 'Otto Nicolai' (Berlin, Heimann) contains a catalogue of all his works, printed and in MS., the latter being numerous. He was an honorary member of the Società Cecilia of Rome and of the Filarmonici of Bologna. The Tonkünstler-Verein of Berlin erected in 1851 a monument over his grave in the churchyard of Dorotheenstadt.

[ C. F. P. ]

NICOLINI, originally Ernest Nicolas, son of an hotel-keeper of Dinard, Brittany, was born at Tours, Feb. 23, 1834. He was for a short time a pupil at the Paris Conservatoire, and in 1855 gained a second accessit in Comic Opera. Shortly after he was engaged at the Opéra Comique, where he remained until 1859, without any marked success. In that year he went to Italy, and under the name of Nicolini sang at Milan, Florence, Turin, and elsewhere, with fair success. He returned to Paris in 1862, to the Salle Ventadour, with better results than before, and sang there for several seasons till 1870.

His first appearances in England were May 26, 1866, at a concert given by Madame Lucca, at St. James's Hall, and on the 29th of the same month at Covent Garden, as Edgardo, but with such moderate success that he did not return to London until April 25, 1871, when he reappeared at Drury Lane under Mapleson, as Faust, with very fair results, and remained for the season, distinguishing himself especially as Raoul. In 1872 he was engaged at Covent Garden, where he has sung each successive year, as the interpreter of Lohengrin and Radames. He has a