Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/256

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



��belonged to Scheibler still exists, and was in herited by his daughter and grandson, who lent it to Herr Amels, formerly of Crefeld, who again lent it to Mr. Alexander J. Ellis, who counted it, and having checked his results by means of MLeod's and Mayer's machines for measuring pitch, gave the value of each fork in the Journal of the Society of Arts for March 5, 1880, p. 300, correct to less than one-tenth of a double vibration. The two extreme forks of this s6-fork tonometer agree in pitch precisely with those of the 52-fork tono- meter, but no other forks are alike, nor could the forks of the 52-fork tonometer have been easily converted into those of the other one. In 1834, at a congress of physicists at Stuttgart, Scheibler proposed with approval the pitch A 440 at 69 F. ( = A 440-2 at 59 F.) for general purposes, and this has been consequently called the Stuttgart

��pitch. 1


��SCHELBLE, JOHANN NEPOMUK, a thoroughly excellent and representative German musician, born May 16, 1789, at Hoffingen in the Black Forest, where his father was superintendent of the House of Correction. His strict musical education was begun in the Monastery of March- thai 1800-03 ; and continued at Donaueschingen, under Weisse. He then spent some time, first with Vogler at Darmstadt, and then with Krebs, a distinguished singer at Stuttgart, and there, in 1812, he filled the post of elementary teacher in the Royal Musical Institution, a very famous and complete school of those times. 2 In 1813 he went to Vienna, lived in intimate acquaintance with Beethoven, Moscheles, Weigl, Spohr, etc., composed an opera and many smaller works, and went on the stage, where however his singing, though remarkable, was neutralised by his want of power to act. From Austria in 1816 he went to Frankfort, which became his home. Here the beauty of his voice, the excellence of his method, and the justness of his expression, were at once recognised. He became the favourite teacher, and in 1817 was made director of the Musical Academy. This however proved too desultory for his views, and on July 24, 1818, he formed a Society of his own, which developed into the famous ' Csecilian Society ' of Frankfort, and at the head of which he remained till his death. The first work chosen by the infant institution was the ' Zauberflb'te ' ; then Mozart's Requiem ; then one of his Masses ; and then works by Handel, Cherubini, Bach, etc. In 1821 the Society assumed the name of the ' Cacilienverein ' ; the repertoire was increased by works of Palestrina, Scarlatti, and other Italian masters, and at length, on March 10, 1828, Mozart's ' Davidde penitente ' and the Credo of Bach's Mass in B minor were given; then, May 2, 1829 (stimulated by the example of Mendelssohn in Berlin), the Matthew Passion ; and after that we hear of 'Samson' and other oratorios of Handel, Bach's motets, and choruses of Mendelssohn, whose

1 He selected it as the mean of the variation of pitch in pianos at then tuned at Vienna, and not from the fact that it enables the scale of C major, in just Intonation, to be expressed in whole numbsrs, a* lias been sometimes stated.

2 See the A. M. 2.1812, 331.


genius Schelble was one of the first to recognise, and whose ' St. Paul ' was suggested to him by the Csecilian Association, doubtless on the motion of its conductor. Whether the Society ever at- tempted Beethoven's mass does not appear, but Schelble was one of the two private individuals who answered Beethoven's invitation to subscribe for its publication.' [See vol. i. p. 197 note ; vol. ii. 2716.]

His health gradually declined, and at length, in the winter of 1835, it was found necessary to make some new arrangement for the direction of the Society. Mendelssohn was asked (Letters, Feb. 18, 1836), and undertook it for six weeks during the summer of 1836. Mendelssohn's fondness and esteem for the man whose place he was thus temporarily filling is evident in every sentence referring to him in his letters of this date. Schelble died Aug. 7, 1837. His great qualities as a practical musician, a conductor, and a man, are well summed up by Hiller 3 in his book on Mendelssohn, to which we refer the reader. His compositions have not survived him. His biography was published shortly after hia death' J. N. Schelble, von Weissmann ' (Frank- fort, 1838). [G.] SCHELLER, JAKOB, born at Schettat, Ra- konitz, Bohemia, May 12, 1759, a very clever violinist. He was thrown on his own resources from a very early age, and we hear of him at Prague, Vienna, and Mannheim, where he re- mained for two years playing in the court band, and learning composition from Vogler. After more wandering he made a stay of three years in Paris, studying the school of Viotti. He then, in 1785, took a position as Concert-meister, or leading violin, in the Duke of Wiirtemberg's band at Stuttgart, which he retained until the esta- blishment was broken up by the arrival of the French in 1792. This forced him to resume his wandering life, and that again drove him to in- temperance, till after seven or eight years more he ended * miserably, being even obliged to borrow a fiddle at each town he came to. He was more celebrated for his tricks and tours de force than for his legitimate playing. Spohr (Autob. i. 280) speaks of his flageolet-tones, of variations on one string, of pizzicato with the nails of the left hand, of imitations of a bassoon, an old woman, etc. ; and Fdtis mentions a trick in which by loosening the bow he played on all four strings at once. By these, and probably also by really fine playing, he excited so much enthusiasm, that it used to be said of him ' one God ; one Scheller.' The same things have been done since by really great artists, such as Ole Bull, and even Paganini, and with similar effect on their audiences. [G.] SCHENCK, JOHANN, interesting from .his connection with Beethoven, was born of poor parents, Nov. 30, 1753, at Wiener Neustadt in Lower Austria, and at an early age was ad- mitted into the Archbishop's choir at Vienna. In 1778 he produced his first mass, which he

' Mendelssohn,' translated by Miss M. E. von Glenn, p. & Eochlitz. 'Fiir Freunde d. Tonkunst/ ii.

�� �