Since the I5th century, it has been frequently treated, in the Motet style, with excellent effect. Palestrina has left us five superb settings, four of which are included in Messrs. Breitkopf & Hartel's new edition of his works ; and most of the other great Masters of the Polyphonic Schools have left at least an equal number. It has also been a favourite subject with modern Composers, many of whom have treated it, more or less hap- pily, with Accompaniments for the Orchestra, or Organ. Pergolesi's last composition was a ' Salve Regina,' which is generally regarded as his great- est triumph in the direction of Church Music.
What has been said of the 'Salve Regina' applies, with equal force, to the Antiphons for the Seasons of Advent, Lent, and Easter 'Alma Redemptoris Mater,' ' A ve Regina,' and 'Regina cceli'; the last of which, especially, has been a great favourite, both with Polyphonic and Modern Composers. [W.S.R.]
SAMSON. Oratorio by Handel, words com- piled by Newburgh Hamilton from Milton's Samson Agonistes, Hymn on the Nativity, and Lines on a Solemn Musick. The autograph of the work is in the Buckingham Palace Library, and contains the following dates: end of ist part, 'Sept. 29, 1741' (N.B. Messiah was fin- ished 1 4th of same month) ; end of 2nd part ' (i.e. Sunday) Oct. n, 1741' ; end of chorus 'Glorious hero/ 'Fine dell' Oratorio, S.D.G., London, G. F. Handel, H (i.e. Thursday) Oct. 29, 1741' ; then the words ' Fine dell' Oratorio' have been struck out, and 'Come, come,' 'Let the bright,' and ' Let their celestial ' added, with a noteatend/S.D.G. -G.F.Handel, Oct. 1 2, 1742.' It was produced at Covent Garden, Lent 1743 the first after Handel's return from Ireland.
Handel esteemed it as much as the Messiah, and after his blindness wept when he heard the air ' Total eclipse.' It was revived by the Sacred Harmonic Society, Nov. 14, 1838, and has often been performed since. The score was published by Wright ; by Arnold in his edition ; by the Handel Society (edited by Rimbault, 1852) ; and by Breitkopf & Hartel (Chrysander, 1861). [G.] SAN CARLO, the largest and most beauti- ful theatre of Naples, has almost the same pro- portions as La Scala of Milan, with which it contends for the theatrical primacy in Italy. It was built in 1737 by the architect Carasale, on plans by Medrano, a General of the R. E., and was completed with extraordinary celerity in only nine months. Some alterations and improvements were made in it by Fuga and Niccolini towards the end of the last century. It was completely burnt down in 1816, and rebuilt even more elegantly and quickly than before, in six months, by the said Antonio Niccolini. In 1844 San Carlo underwent a thorough restoration and con- siderable improvement. It has now 6 tiers of boxes, each tier numbering 32, without reckoning the large and handsome royal box in their centre. The theatre has also attached to it a large ridotto or hall, notorious in former times for the reckless gambling which took place there.
The best days of San Carlo were those in
��which it was under the management of the great impresario Domenico Barbaja from iSioto 1839. During that period the greatest singers appeared on its stage, amongst whom we need only name Colbran, Sontag, Grisi, Tamburini, Rubini and Lablache. Of many operas written expressly for San Carlo and first produced there, we may mention, besides those named under Rossini, Bellini's first opera, 'Bianca and Fernando,' in 1826; Donizetti's 'Lucia di Lammermoor' in 1835, an d ms l as * <>P era ' Caterina Cornaro,' in 1844; Mercadante's ' L'Apoteosi d'Ercole ' in 1819; and Ricci's 'L'Orfanella di Ginevra* in 1829, and ' La Festa di Piedigrotta' in 1852.
The true cause of the decadence of this great theatre is to be found in the inability of the Neapolitan public to pay sufficiently high prices for the services of the great artists of our days. The writer of this notice still remembers with what uproar and protest the rise in the prices of the stalls to 45. was received by the public of Naples in 1860. Previously to that date the ticket for a stall cost only the ridiculous sum of 2s. Thus, notwithstanding the annual subvention granted by the municipality of Naples to the lessee of San Carlo, he is unable to engage a great star, the theatre not paying sufficiently for him to incur such great expense.
Another of the opera-houses of Naples is the theatre of IL FONDO, built at the royal expense in 1778 by the architect Securo, and restored in 1849. Tne form is q uite round, with 5 tiers of boxes. II Fondo is sometimes used for opera, and sometimes for drama. Here Mercadante's first work, a cantata, was produced in 1818. IL TEATRO Nuovo, built in 1724 by Carasale, the architect of San Carlo, is wholly consecrated to the representation of opera bufta. Destroyed by fire in 1861, it has been lately rebuilt. An- other opera house, SAN FERDINANDO, is a stand- ing example of the mistake of building theatres in unsuitable localities, this theatre bringing to ruin every lessee who has taken it, and being left empty, however good the artists performing on its stage. It was built in 1791, and is shut the greater part of the year. Numerous other small houses there are in Naples, where a kind of musical medley is often performed, mostly in the Neapolitan dialect, and where the lower classes nightly crowd. The music of such operettas is generally lively and tuneful, but hardly de- serves any other remark. [L.R.]
SANCTUS. I. The name given to that portion of the Mass which immediately follows the Pre- face, and precedes the Consecration of the Host. [See MASS.] The music of the Sanctus derives, from the solemnity of the text, and the import- ance of its position in the Service, a peculiar sig- nificance, which has been rarely overlooked, by Composers of any country, or period. In Plain Chaunt Masses, the Melody to which it is adapt- ed is marked by a grave simplicity which renders it capable of being sung, with good effect, at a pace considerably slower than that of the 'Kyrie* or ' Christe.'
The Great Masters of the Polyphonic Schools
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