Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/155

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.



style had beconio to such a degree manneristic, as to present almost a caricature of what it used to be.'

In Vienna Rode came into contact with Bee- thoven, who finished the great Sonata in G, op. 96, expressly for him. It was played by Rode and the Archduke Rudolph, Beethoven's pupil, at a private concert, but as far as the violin part was concerned, not much to the composer's satis- faction. Soon afterwards, at any rate, Beethoven requested the Archduke to send the violin part to Rode that he might play it over before a second performance, and he adds: 'he will not take it amiss ; certainly not ! would to God there were reason to beg his pardon for doing so.' 1 Fe"tis's statement that Beethoven wrote a Ro- mance for Rode, probably rests on a confusion of the G major Sonata with the Romanza in the same key.

In 1814 Rode went to Berlin, married, and re- mained for some time. He then retired to his native place. At a later date he made an ill- advised attempt to resume a public career. But his appearance at Paris proved a complete failure, and Mendelssohn, writing from thence in April 1825, says that he was fixed in his resolution never again to take a fiddle in hand. 8 This failure he took so much to heart, that his health began to give way, and he died at Bourdeaux, Nov. 25, 1830.

Rode was one of the greatest of all violinists. During the earlier part of his career, he displayed all the best qualities of a grand, noble, pure, and thoroughly musical style. His intonation was perfect ; his tone large and pure ; boldness and vigour, deep and tender feeling, characterised his performances. In fact he was no mere virtuoso, but a true artist. His truly musical nature shows itself equally in his compositions. Although his general musical education appears to have been, like that of most French violinists, deficient (we have already mentioned that Boccherini added the simple orchestration to his earlier con- certos), yet his works, especially his concertos, have a noble dignified character and considerable charm of melody, while it need hardly be added, they are thoroughly suited to the nature of the violin. On the other hand, they hardly show high creative power ; of thematic treatment there is very little, the form, though not unsymmetrical, is somewhat loose, and the instrumentation poor.

He published 10 concertos ; 5 sets of quartets ; 7 sets of variations ; 3 books of duos for 2 violins, and the well-known 24 caprices.

Of his concertos, the 7th, in A minor, is still in the repertoire of some eminent violinists. The variations in G major the same which the famous singer Catalani and other celebrated vocalists after her have made their cheval de tiataille still enjoy popularity. But above all, his '24 caprices or Etudes' will always, along with Kreutzer's famous 40 caprices, hold their place as indispensable for a sound study of the violin.



�� ��> Thayer, Life of Beethoven, ill. p. 223. a ' Die Familie Mendelssohn,' i. p. 149,

��Although, owing to his life of travel, he had but few direct pupils, his influence through his example and compositions on the violinists of France, and more especially of Germany, was very great indeed. Bohm, the master of Joachim, and Eduard Rietz, the friend of Mendelssohn, both studied under him for some time. [P.D. j

RODWELL, GEORGE HERBERT BONAPARTE, born Nov. 15, 1800, son of Thos. Rodwell, part proprietor and manager of the Adelphi Theatre, London, and author of several dramatic pieces, was for many years music director of the Adelphi. On the death of his father, in March 1825, he succeeded to his share in the theatre. He was the composer of very many operettas and other dramatic pieces, of which the following are the

Mason of Buda ' (partly adapted from Auber's 'Le Macon'), 1828; 'The Spring Lock,' 'The Earthquake,' and 'The Devil's Elixir,' 1829; 'The Black Vulture,' 1830; 'My Own Lover,' and 'The Evil Eye,' 1832; 'The Lord of the Isles,' 1834; 'Paul Clifford' (with Blewitt), 1835; 'The Sexton of Cologne,' 1836; 'Jack Sheppard,' 1839; and 'The Seven Sisters of Munich,' 1847. In 1836 he was director of the music at Covent Garden. He was author of several farces and other dramatic pieces, amongst which were 'Teddy the Tiler ' (written for Tyrone Power, and eminently successful), 'The Chimney- piece,' ' My Own Lover,' ' The Pride of Birth,* 'The Student of Lyons,' 'My Wife's out,' and 'The Seven Maids of Munich'; of three novels, ' Old London Bridge,' ' Memoirs of an Umbrella,* and ' Woman's Love ' ; and of ' The First Rudi- ments of Harmony,' 1830. He composed also two collections of songs : ' Songs of the Sabbath Eve,' and 'Songs of the Birds.' His compo- sitions abound in pleasing melodies. He for many years persistently advocated the establish- ment of a National Opera. He married the daughter of Liston, the comedian; died in Upper Ebury Street, Pimlico, Jan. 22, 1852, and was buried at Brompton Cemetery. [W.H.H.]

ROECKEL, Professor JOSEPH AUGUSTUS, was born Aug. 28, 1783, at Neurnburg vorm Wald, in the Upper Palatinate. He was originally in- tended for the church, but in 1803 entered the diplomatic service of the Elector of Bavaria as Private Secretary to the Bavarian Charg d' Af- faires at Salzburg. On the recall of the Salzburg Legation in 1804, he accepted an engagement to sing at the An-der-Wien Theatre at Vienna, where, March 29, 1806, he appeared as Florestan in the revival of Beethoven's ' Fidelio.' 3 In 1823 Roeckel was appointed Professor of Singing at the Imperial Opera; in 1828 he undertook the direction of the opera at Aix-la-Chapelle, and in the following year made the bold experiment of producing German operas in Paris with a complete German company. Encouraged by the success of this venture, Professor Roeckel remained in Paris until 1832, when he brought his company to

For Boeckel's own account of his intercourse with Beethoven, see Thayer, vol. ii. p. 294, and vol. lit. 209.

�� �