Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/39

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PRATT.
27
PREGHIERA.

versity, and in 1813 organist of St. Peter's College. He composed several services and anthems. He published 'A Collection of Anthems, selected from the works of Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Clari, Leo and Carissimi' (an adaptation to English words of detached movements from the masses, etc. of those composers), and a selection of psalm and hymn tunes entitled 'Psalmodia Cantabrigiensis.' He died March 9, 1855, possessed of a good local reputation.

[ W. H. H. ]

PRATTEN, Robert Sidney, a very distinguished English flute-player, born Jan. 23, 1824, at Bristol, where his father was a professor of music. The boy was considered a prodigy on the flute, and in his 12th year was much in request at the Concerts at Bath and Bristol. From thence he migrated to Dublin, where he played first flute at the Theatre Royal and musical societies. In 1846 he came to London, and was soon engaged as first flute at the Royal Italian Opera, the Sacred Harmonic and Philharmonic Societies, the Musical Society of London, Mr. Alfred Mellon's Concerts, etc. Through the kindness of the Duke of Cambridge, Mr. Pratten passed some time in Germany in the study of theory and composition, and became a clever writer for his instrument. His Concertstück and Fantasia on Marie Stuart are among the best of his productions. He died at Ramsgate, Feb. 10, 1868, beloved by a large circle. Mr. Pratten had a very powerful tone and remarkable power of execution. His ear was extraordinarily sensitive, and in consequence his intonation and the gradation of his nuances were perfect, though his taste was perhaps a trifle too florid. His widow is a well-known professor of the guitar.—His brother, Frederick Sidney Pratten was an eminent contrabassist, engaged in the same orchestras as himself. He died in London, Mar. 3, 1873.

[ G. ]

PREAMBULUM. See Prelude.

PRÉ AUX CLERCS, LE. An opéra comique in 3 acts; words by Planard, music by Hérold. Produced at the Opéra Comique, Dec. 15, 1832, a few weeks before the composer's death, Jan. 19, 1833. The 1000th representation, Oct. 10, 1871. Given in London (in French) at the Princess's, May 2, 1849, and in Italian (same title) at Covent Garden, June 26, 1880.

[ G. ]

PRECENTOR (Greek, Protopsaltes and Canonarcha; French, Grand Chantre; Spanish, Chantre, Caput scholae or Capiscol; German, Primicier; at Cologne, Chorepiscopus). The director of the choir in a cathedral, collegiate, or monastic church. In the English cathedrals of the old foundation, as well as in the cathedrals of France, Spain, and Germany, the Precentor was always a dignitary, and ranked next to the Dean, although in a few instances the Archdeacons preceded him. At Exeter the Precentor installed the Canons; at York he installed the Dean and other dignitaries; and at Lichfield even the Bishop received visible possession of his office from his hands. At Paris the Precentor of Notre Dame divided with the Chancellor the supervision of the schools and teachers in the city, and of the respondents in the university. The dignity of Precentor was established at Exeter, Salisbury, York, and Lincoln in the 11th century; at Rouen, Amiens, Chichester, Wells, Lichfield, and Hereford in the 12th century; and at St. David's and St. Paul's (London) in the 13th century. In cathedrals of the new foundation (with the exception of Christ Church, Dublin) the Precentor is a minor canon appointed by the Dean and Chapter, and removable at their pleasure. The duties of the Precentor were to conduct the musical portion of the service, to superintend the choir generally, to distribute copes and regulate processions; on Sundays and great festivals to begin the hymns, responses, etc., and at Mass to give the note to the Bishop and Dean, as the Succentor did to the canons and clerks. In monasteries the Precentor had similar duties, and was in addition generally chief librarian and registrar, as well as superintendent of much of the ecclesiastical discipline of the establishment. In some French cathedrals he carries a silver or white staff, as the badge of his dignity. In the Anglican Church his duties are to superintend the musical portions of the service, and he has the general management of the choir. His stall in the cathedral corresponds with that of the Dean. (Walcott, 'Sacred Archæology'; Hook, 'Church Dictionary.')

[ W. B. S. ]

PRECIOSA. A play in 4 acts by P. A. Wolff, with overture and music by Weber; music completed July 15, 1820. Produced in Berlin, Mar. 14, 1821, at the Royal Opera-house. In Paris, in 1825, at the Odéon, adapted and arranged by Sauvage and Cremont; and April 16, 1858, at Théâtre Lyrique, reduced to one act by Nuittes and Beaumont. In London, in English, at Covent Garden, April 28, 1825.

In the autograph of the overture the March is stated to be from a real gipsy melody.

[ G. ]

PREDIERI, Luc-antonio, born at Bologna, Sept. 13, 1688, became maestro di capella of the cathedral, and on the recommendation of Fux was appointed by the Emperor Charles VI. vice-Capellmeister of the court-chapel at Vienna in Feb. 1739. He was promoted to the chief Capellmeistership in 1746, but dismissed in 1751 with title and full salary, apparently in favour of Reutter. He returned to Bologna, and died there in 1769. Among the MSS. of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde at Vienna are many scores of his operas, oratorios, feste di camera, serenatas, etc., which pleased in their day, and were for the most part produced at court.

[ C. F. P. ]

PREGHIERA, a prayer. A name which some modern writers for the pianoforte (Rubinstein among them) have chosen to prefix to drawing-room pieces, consisting, as a rule, of a well-defined melody, adorned with more or less showy passages. The form of piece is, as its name implies, supposed to be solemn in character, but the display which for some unaccountable reason is seldom separate from it quite destroys any devotional feeling which may have given rise to the piece and to its name.