Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 2.djvu/748

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those written for the church, the theatre, or all other branches of music. Indeed it is not too much to say that the progress of the art has been in great measure due to this noble instrument. The arrangements alone, a branch of art which, in the hands of such clever musicians as Watts, Czerny, Mockwitz, Winkler, Horn, Ulrich, Hugo, Horr, Wittmann, Klindworth, Prout, and many others, may be said to have reached perfection, may literally be counted by tens of thousands.

Our list has been compiled with an earnest endeavour to do justice to the names of all artists of importance; but so great is the activity of composers and publishers that it is possible some may have been omitted. Among those to whom we are unable to give more extended notice, but who deserve mention for their more-or-less-known productions, are:—Franz Behr, Ernst Berens, Francesco Berger, Jules Brissac, Ignaz Brüll, J. B. Calkin, Willem Coenen, Charles Delioux, Emile Doré, Jules Egghard (Count Hardegen. dead), A. Ehmant, G. J. van Eycken (dead), René Favarger (dead), George Forbes, Alban Förster, Adolph Gollmick, Hans Hampel, J. W. Harmston, Carl Hause, Heinrich Henkel, Siegfried Jacoby, E. Ketterer (dead), A. Klauwell, Richard Kleinmichel, J. Leybach, R. Löffler, Joseph Low, Carl Mächtig, Tito Mattei, Theodor Mauss, Jean Louis Nicodé, Arthur O'Leary, A. Pieczonka, Joseph L. Roeckel, Julius Röntgen, Joseph Rummel (dead), Gustav Satter, J. Schiffmacher, Bernhard Scholz, W. Schulthes (dead), Boyton Smith, Berthold Tours, Ch. Wachtmann, Agnes Zimmermann.

[ P. ]

PIANOFORTE-PLAYING. In order accurately to appreciate the pitch to which pianoforte-playing has reached in the present day, it is necessary to go back to the modest beginnings of virginal, spinet, clavichord, and harpsichord performances, as we find them exemplified in the works of the old English composers, and in those of the German, French, and Italian writers before 1700. In the old English works[1] we meet with a certain brilliancy—scales and broken chords frequently applied; whilst the slower pieces are to some extent conceived in the madrigal style. The old Italian, French, and German composers of the 16th and 17th centuries treat their spinets and clavecins very much like the organ, and indeed the indication 'for the Organ or Clavicembalo' (clavecin, harpsichord) is to be met with on almost every title-page of these early publications. The only life and animation which the Suites, Sonatas, and Fantasias of these ancient masters possess, is to be found in the dance-movements, such as the Gavotte, Rigaudon, Bourrée, Gaillarde, and Gigue. A great revolution was however brought about in Italy by Domenico Scarlatti (1683–1760 [App. p.748 "1757"]), in France by François Couperin (1668–1733), and in Germany by Sebastian Bach (1685–1750). Although Bach is by far the greatest genius of this remarkable triumvirate, it cannot be denied that both Scarlatti and Couperin contributed materially towards the progress of a regular clavecin style, towards a mode of writing and a production of effects which have nothing in common with the organ; and which rise by degrees to lightness, elegance, and grace. Scarlatti, although at times crude and harsh in his harmonies, is a highly original and genial composer. His pieces possess a delightful animation, the warm Italian blood runs through them; they testify to a wonderfully clever and adroit manipulation, and exhibit at times an almost electric rapidity of crossing the hands: in fact even now, when technical skill and execution are so enormously developed, they offer plenty of material for study and interest to the most experienced and practised performer. Couperin excels more in the refined and subtle working out of his short pieces. Less brilliant by far as an executant than Scarlatti, he is a more elegant, careful, and speculative musician. The preface to his works (published 1713, 1716, and 1717), in which he alludes to the manner of performing his pieces, is full of most interesting and useful hints and advice, and shows that the pervading principle of Couperin's activity is the desire to produce new effects. Scarlatti however is the more strikingly original, and more spontaneously creative musician of the two. But both were surpassed by Johann Sebastian Bach, and his Inventions, Symphonies, French and English Suites, Partitas, Toccatas, Preludes, and Fugues, are indeed the main source of our present style of playing. In Bach's music we find the greatest variety of expression, and his numerous works offer inexhaustible material for study. His manner of playing on the clavichord is said to have been remarkable at once for quietness and for the most perfect clearness; the time of his performance was slightly animated, though never so much so as to interfere with the most absolute correctness of execution. His fingers bent over the keyboard in such a manner that they stood with their points in a downward, vertical line, each finger at every moment ready for action. In taking a finger off the key, he drew it gently inwards with a sort of movement 'as if taking up coin from a table.' Only the end-joint was moved, all the rest of the hand remained still. Each finger was equally trained. The tranquil grandeur and the dignity of Bach's playing were eminently remarkable. Passionate passages he never expressed by violent or spasmodic movements, but relied solely on the power of the composition itself. His improvisations are said to have been in the style of his celebrated Chromatic Fantasia, and sometimes even surpassed that remarkable work in brilliancy and fire. His favourite instrument was the clavichord; he often said 'that he found no soul in the clavecin or spinet, and that the pianoforte (then newly invented) was too clumsy and harsh to please him.' On the clavichord he could give all the expression he desired, and he declared it to be the fittest instrument for private

  1. The 'Parthenia' is republished complete in Pauer's 'Old English Composers' (Augener & Co.).