Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/13

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PLANCHÉ, James Robinson, of French descent, born in London Feb. 27, 1796; made Rouge Croix Pursuivant of Arms 1854, and Somerset Herald 1866; died in London, May 30, 1880. Mr. Planché's many dramas and extravaganzas do not call for notice in these pages; but he requires mention as the author of the librettos 'Maid Marian, or the Huntress of Harlingford, an Historical Opera,' for Bishop (Covent Garden, Dec. 3, 1822), and 'Oberon, or The Elf-King's Romantic and Fairy Opera,' for Weber (Covent Garden, April 12, 1826). In 1838 he wrote for Messrs. Chappell a libretto founded on the Siege of Calais by Edward III., with a view to its being set by Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn however was not satisfied with the book, and it was ultimately transferred to Mr. Henry Smart, by whom a large portion was composed. The correspondence between Mendelssohn and Planché may be read in the Autobiography of the latter (1872; chap. 21).

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PLANQUETTE, Robert, born in Paris, July 31, 1850; passed rapidly through the Conservatoire, and first appeared as a composer of songs and chansonettes for the Café-concerts. Encouraged by the popularity accorded to the bold rhythm and slightly vulgar melody of these songs, he rose to operettas,—'Valet de cour,' 'Le Serment de Mme. Grégoire,' and 'Paille d'avoine.' The decided progress evinced by this piece was confirmed by 'Les Cloches de Corneville,' a 3-act operetta, produced with immense success at the Folies dramatiques on April 19, 1877, adapted to the English stage by Farnie and Reece, and brought out at the Folly Theatre, London, Feb. 23, 1878, with equally extraordinary good fortune. Planquette has since composed and published 'Le Chevalier Gaston,' 1 act (Monte Carlo, Feb. 8, 1879), and 'Les Voltigeurs de la 32me.' 3 acts (Théâtre de la Renaissance, Jan. 7, 1880). It is to be hoped that he will aim higher than he has hitherto done, and add refinement to his undoubted gift of melody.

[ G. C. ]

PLANTADE, Charles Henri, born at Pontoise, Oct. 14, 1764; was admitted at 8 to the school of the king's 'Pages de la musique,' where he learned singing and the cello. On leaving this he studied composition with Honoré Langlé (born at Monaco, 1741, died at Villiers le Bel, 1807), a popular singing-master, the pianoforte with Hullmandel (born at Strassburg, 1751, died in London, 1823), an excellent teacher, and the harp, then a fashionable instrument, from Petrini (born in 1744, died in Paris, 1819). Having started as a teacher of singing and the harp, he published a number of romances, and nocturnes for 2 voices, the success of which procured him admission to the stage, for at that time the composer of 'Te bien aimer, O ma chère Zélie,' or some such simple melody, was considered perfectly competent to write an opera. Between 1791 and 1815 Plantade produced a dozen or so dramatic works, three of which, 'Palma, ou le voyage en Grèce,' 2 acts (1798), 'Zoé, ou la pauvre petite' (1800), and 'Le Mari de circonstance' (1813), 1 act each, were engraved. The whole of this fluent but insipid music has disappeared. His numerous sacred compositions are also forgotten; out of about a dozen masses, the 'Messe de Requiem' alone was published, but the Conservatoire has the MS. of a 'Te Deum' (1807), several motets, and 5 masses. From these scores it is evident that with an abundance of easy-flowing melody, Plantade had neither force nor originality. He had a great reputation as a teacher, was a polished man of the world, and a witty and brilliant talker. Queen Hortense, who had learned singing from him, procured his appointment as Maître de Chapelle to her husband, and also as professor at the Conservatoire (1799). He gave up his class in 1807, but resumed it in 1815; was dismissed on April 1, 1816, reinstated Jan. 1, 1818, and finally retired in 1828. He was decorated