Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/549

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


PORTAMENTO (see the word), and it is also very generally placed over two or more notes which are sung to a single syllable. In this case how- ever the sign is superfluous, since if the passage consists of quavers or shorter notes, the connec- tion can be shown by writing them in groups instead of separate [see QUAVER, p. 60], while even if the notes are crotchets, the fact of there being but a single syllable sufficiently indicates the legato. Moreover an effect analogous to the slur in instrumental music, whereby the second of two notes is curtailed and weakened, is perfectly possible in singing, and may very probably have been intended by the earlier composers where the sign of the slur is employed. This view is insisted upon by Mendelssohn, who in a letter to Mr. G. A. Macfarren * strongly objects to the engravers of his edition of 'Israel in Egypt' placing the slur over two quavers or semi-quavers which are to be sung to one word.

When the slur is used in combination with a

series of dots, thus J ! J ti , it indicates the effect

called mezzo staccato, in which the notes are made of longer duration than if marked with the staccato-sign only, being sustained for nearly their full value, and separated by a very brief interval of silence. [See also STACCATO.] [F.T.]

SMART, SIR GEORGE THOMAS, Knight, born May jo, 1776, son of George Smart, music seller (first in Argyll Street and afterwards at 331 Oxford Street) and double-bass player, received his early musical education as a chorister of the Chapel Royal under Dr. Ayrton. He learned organ- playing from Dr. Dupuis and composition from Dr. Arnold. On quitting the choir in 1791 he obtained the appointment of organist of St. James's Chapel, Hampstead Road, and was also engaged as a violinist at Salomon's concerts. At a rehearsal of a symphony of Haydn's for one of those concerts the drummer was absent, and Haydn, who was at the harpsichord, inquired if any one present could play the drums. Young Smart volunteered, but from inexperience was not very successful, whereupon the great com- poser, ascendiug the orchestra, gave him a prac- tical lesson in the art of drumming. About the same time he commenced practice as a teacher of the harpsichord and singing. He soon showed an aptitude for conducting musical performances. In 1811, having successfully conducted some concerts in Dublin, he was knighted by the Lord Lieutenant. In 1813 he was chosen one of the original members of the Philharmonic Society, and between that date and 1844 conducted 49 of its concerts. From 1813 to 1825 he conducted the Lenten oratorios at one or other of the patent theatres, at one of which in 1814 he introduced Beethoven's ' Mount of Olives ' to the English public. In 1818 he directed the City concerts established by the late Baron (then Mr.) Heath. On April i, 1822, he was appointed one of the organists of the Chapel Royal in the room of Charles Knyvett, deceased. In 1824 he accom-

i Goethe and Mendelssohn. 2nd ed. p. ft.



���panied Charles Kenible to Germany to engage Weber to compose an opera for Covent Garden, and when Weber came to England in 1826 to bring out his ' Oberon ' he was the guest of Sir George Smart, in whose house he died on June 5. It was mainly by the exertions of Sir George Smart and Sir Julius Benedict that the statue of Weber at Dresden was erected, the greater part of the subscriptions having been collected in England. In 1836 Sir George introduced Men- delssohn's St. Paul ' to England at the Liverpool Festival. On the death of Attwood in 1838 he was appointed one of the composers to the Chapel Royal. To a careful musicianship he added an administrative ability which eminently qualified him for the conductorship of musical festivals and other performances on a large scale, and his services were for many years in request on such occasions all over the country. He conducted festivals at Liverpool in 1823, 1827, 1830, 1833, and 1836; Norwich, 1824, 1827, 1830, and 1833; Bath, 1824; Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1824 and 1842; Edinburgh, 1824; Bury St. Edmund's, 1828; Dublin and Derby, 1831; Cambridge,

1833 and 1835; Westminster Abbey, 1834; Hull,

1834 and 1840 ; and Exeter Hall and Manchester, 1836. He was long resorted to by singers desirous of acquiring the traditional manner of singing Handel's songs, which he had been taught by his father, who had seen Handel conduct his oratorios : among the many he so instructed were Sontag and Jenny Lind. He gave lessons in singing until he was past 80. He edited Orlando Gib- bons's Madrigals for the Musical Antiquarian Society, and the ' Dettingen Te Deum ' for the Handel Society. He took an active part in pro- curing the foundation of the Mendelssohn Scho- larship. His compositions consist of anthems, chants, Kyries, psalm tunes, and glees. In 1863 he published a collection of his anthems and another of his glees and canons. Two of his glees, The Squirrel ' and ' The Butterfly's Ball,' were very popular He died at his house in Bedford Square, Feb. 23, 1867.

His brother, HENRY, born in 1778, began his musical education at an early age, and studied the violin under Wilhelm Cramer, in which he made such progress that when only 14 he was engaged at the Opera, the Concert of Ancient Music, and the Academy of Ancient Music. He was engaged as leader of the band at the Lyceum on its being opened as an English Opera House in 1809, and continued so fur several seasons. He was leader at the present Drury Lane Theatre from its opening in 1812 until 1821. On June 12, 1819, the band presented him with a silver cup as a token of their regard. He was leader of the Lenten oratorios from the time they came under the management of his brother, Sir George, in 1813, and a member of the Philharmonic Society's orchestra, which he occasionally led. In 1820 he established a manufactory of piano- fortes of a peculiar construction, and on July 22, 1823, obtained a patent for improvements in the construction of pianofortes. He went to Dublin to superintend the debut of his pupil, Miss

�� �