Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/239

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


que basta para pegar fuego aun a" las personas muy honestas' (' amongst other inventions there has appeared during late years a dance and song, so lascivious in its words, so ugly in its move- ments, that it is enough to inflame even very modest people'). This reputation was not con- fined to Spain, for Marini in his poem 'L'Adone' (1623) says:

Chiama questo suo gioco empio e profano Saravauda, e Ciaccona, il nuova Ispano. 1

Padre Mariana, who believe.l in its Spanish origin, says that its invention was one of the disgraces of the nation, and other authors attri- bute its invention directly to the devil. The dance was attacked by Cervantes and Guevara, and defended by Lope de Vega, but it seems to have been so bad that at the end of the reign of Philip II. it was for a time suppressed. It was soon however revived in a purer form, and was in- troduced at the French court in 1588, where Richelieu, wearing green velvet knee-breeches, with bells on his feet, and castanets in his hands, danced it in a ballet before Anne of Austria.

In England the Saraband was soon trans- formed into an ordinary country -dance. The first edition of Playford's 'Dancing Master' (1651) has two examples, one, to be danced 'long way es for as many as will' (i.e. as 'Sir Roger de Coverley ' is now danced), and the other, ' Adson's Saraband,' to be danced ' longwayes for six.' It was at about this time that the Saraband, together with other dances, found its way into the Suite, of which it formed the slow movement, placed before the concluding Gigue. In this form it is remarkable for its strongly accentuated and majestic rhythm, generally as follows :



���It is written either in the major or the minor key, in 3-2 or 3-4 time, although Walther (Lexicon, 1732) says that it may be also written in 2-4 time. It usually consists of two 8- or 12- bar divisions, begins on the down-beat, and ends on the second or third beat. Bach, in the Clavieriibung ' Pt. I. (Bachges. iii. 76) has a Saraband beginning on the up-beat, and Handel (Suite XI) has one with variations. Those by Corelli do not conform to the established rules, but are little more than Sicilianas played slowly.

The following Saraband for the guitar is printed in Fuertes' ' Historia de la Musica Espaflola.'

���'New Spain' is Castile.

��Handel's noble air 'Lasoia ch'io pianga,' in

Rinaldo,' is taken with no material alteration

from a Saraband in his earlier opera of ' Almira,'

in which the majestic rhythm mentioned reigns in

all its dignity :

��See Chrysander's Handel i. lai.


��SARASATE, MARTIN MELITON, born at Pam- peluna, March 10, 1844, came to France as a child, and entered the Paris Conservatoire, Jan. i, 1856. The following year he became the favourite pupil of Alard, and gained the first prizes for solfeggio and violin. He then entered Reber'g harmony class, and secured a premier accessit in 1859, but shortly after relinquished the study of composition for the more tempting career of a concert player. His beautiful tone, retentive memory, immense execution, and certainty of finger, added to the singularity of his manners and appearance, ensured his success in Paris, the French provinces, and the Peninsula. The Span- iards naturally honoured an artist whom they looked upon as their own countryman, but Sarasate aspired to make his name known wher- ever music was appreciated, as well as in the two countries especially his own by birth and adoption. No violinist has travelled more than he ; besides making his way through Europe, from the re- motest corner of Portugal to Norway, and from London to Moscow, he has visited America, North and South. In all his wanderings he has contrived to carry on his cultivation, and de- velope his great natural gifts. To London his first visit was in 1874, when he played at the Philharmonic Concert, May 18, and at the Musical Union, June 9, etc. He returned in 1 8 7 7 (Crystal Palace, Oct. 13), and 78 (Philharmonic, Mar. 28), since when he has not crossed the channel.

Sarasate's distinguishing characteristics are not so much fire, force, and passion, though of these he has an ample store, as purity of style, charm, flexibility, and extraordinary facility. He sings on his instrument with taste and expression, and without that exaggeration or affectation of sen- timent which disfigures the playing of many violinists. He is not, however, quite free from a

�� �