Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/28

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16
PORPORA.
POPPER.

performed with him in public, and induced Prince Hohenzollern to make him his 'Kammervirtuos.' Popper afterwards extended his tour to Holland, Switzerland, and England. At the festival conducted by Liszt at Carlsruhe in 1864, he was allowed to be the best of all the solo-players. In 1867 he played for the first time in Vienna, where he was made first solo-player at the Hofoper, a post, however, which he resigned after a few years, that he might continue his concert tours on a great scale. His tone is large and full of sentiment; his execution highly finished, and his style classical. His compositions are eminently suited to the instrument, and are recognised as such by the first living cello-players. His most popular pieces are the Sarabande and Gavotte (op. 10), Drei Stucke (op. 11), and a Concert Polonaise (op. 28).

[ C. F. P. ]

Early in 1872 Popper married Fräulein Sophie Menter, a very distinguished pianoforte-player, daughter of Joseph Menter the cellist, who was born at Munich July 29, 1848, and after a childhood of great precocity entered the Munich Conservatorium under Professor Leonhard. At 13 she left that establishment for private tuition under Niest, and at a later period under Liszt; in her isth year took her first artistic tournée; in 1867 appeared at the Gewandhaus, Leipzig, and has since taken her place throughout Germany as one of the great players of the day.

[ G. ]

POPULAR ANCIENT ENGLISH MUSIC. The classical work on this subject is[1] entitled 'Popular Music of the Olden Time: a Collection of the Ancient Songs, Ballads, and Dance Tunes, illustrative of the National Music of England. With short introductions to the different reigns, and notices of the Airs from writers of the 16th and 17th centuries. Also a Short Account of the Minstrels. By W. Chappell, F.S.A. The whole of the airs harmonized by G. A. Macfarren. London: Cramer, Beale and Chappell.' The foundation of the above work was published in 1838–40 under the title of 'A Collection of National English Airs, consisting of Ancient Songs, Ballads and Dance Tunes, interspersed with remarks and anecdote, and preceded by an Essay on English Minstrelsy. The Airs harmonized for the Pianoforte, by W. Crotch, Mus. Doc., G. Alex. Macfarren, and J. Augustine Wade. Edited by W. Chappell.' This work contains 245 tunes, and was out of print in about 14 years time from the date of its publication. The 'Popular Music' was published in 17 parts (2 large 8vo. volumes, and 797 pages) and contains more than 400 airs with five facsimiles of music and two copious Indexes. The following are the headings of the chapters:

Vol. I.

Minstrelsy from the Saxon period to the reign of Edward I. Music of the Middle Ages, and Music in England to the end of the 13th century.

English Minstrelsy from 1270 to 1480, and the gradual extinction of the old minstrels.

Introduction to the reigns of Henry VII., Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Queen Mary.

Songs and Ballads of the reigns of Henry VII., Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Queen Mary.

Introduction to the reign of of Queen Elizabeth.

Songs and Ballads of the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

Introduction to the reign of James I.

Songs and Ballads of the reigns of James I. and Charles I.


Vol. II.

Conjectures as to Robin Hood.

Ballads relating to the adventures of Robin Hood.

Puritanism in its effect upon Music and its accessories; and Introduction to the Commonwealth Period.

Songs and Ballads of the Civil War, and of the time of Cromwell.

Introduction to the reign of Charles II.

Songs and Ballads from Charles II. to William and Mary.

Remarks on Anglo-Scotch Songs.

Specimens of Anglo-Scotch Songs.

Introduction to the reigns of Queen Anne, George I., and George II.

Songs and Ballads of the reigns of Queen Anne, George I., and George II.

Traditional Songs of uncertain date.

Religious Christmas Carols.

Appendix, consisting of additions to the Introductions, and of further remarks upon the tunes included in both volumes.

Characteristics of National English Airs, and summary.

[ W. B. S. ]

PORPORA, Niccola,[2] or Niccolo, Antonio, composer and celebrated teacher of singing, was born at Naples August 19, 1686. His father, a bookseller with a numerous family, obtained admission for him at a very early age to the Conservatorio of S. M. di Loreto, where he received instruction from Gaetano Greco, of Venice, Padre Gaetano of Perugia, and Francesco Mancini, all former pupils of the same school. His first opera was 'Basilio, re di Oriente,' written for the theatre 'de' Fiorentini.' On the title-page of this work he styles himself 'chapel-master to the Portuguese Ambassador.' The opera of 'Berenice,' written in 1710 for the Capranica theatre at Rome, attracted the notice and elicited the commendation of Handel. It was followed by 'Flavio Anicio Olibrio' (1711); by several masses, motets and other compositions for the church; by 'Faramondo' (1719) and 'Eumene' (1721), on the title-page of which last work he calls himself 'Virtuoso to the Prince of Hesse Darmstadt.' Having been appointed master of the Conservatorio of San Onofrio, he wrote for it an oratorio, 'La Martiria di Santa Eugenia,' which had much success on its first performance there in 1722. In 1723 he wrote for the wedding of Prince Montemiletto a cantata, in which Farinelli sang. He had, before this time, established the school for singing whence issued those wonderful pupils who have made their master's name famous. After 'L'Imeneo' came 'Amare per regnare' and 'Semiramide' (according to Villarosa); and a MS. in the Conservatoire of Paris gives evidence of another opera, 'Adelaida,' belonging to 1723 and performed at Rome. In 1724 Hasse arrived at Naples, with the avowed intention of becoming Porpora's pupil. After a short trial however he deserted this master in favour of Alessandro Scarlatti, a slight which Porpora never forgave, and for which, in later years, he had abundant opportunity of revenging himself on Hasse. [See Hasse.]

Porpora's natural gifts were united to an extremely restless, changeable disposition. He seems never to have remained very long in one place, and the dates of many events in his life are uncertain. It appears that in 1725 he set off for Vienna, but he must have stopped at Venice on his way, as there is evidence to show that he was appointed to the mastership of one of the four great singing-schools for girls there, that of 'La Pietà.' He hoped to get a hearing for some

  1. The title has been somewhat modified in later editions.
  2. In his autographs Niccola, but on the title-pages of works published by himself, and in contemporary MS. copies, Niccolo.