Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/273

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VERSE. A term used in church music to signify that an anthem or service contains por- tions for voices soli duets, trios, etc. The origin of the term is obscure ; but it is possible that it arose from a colloquial expression that certain services or anthems contained verses (i.e. por- tions of canticles or of Scripture) to be sung by soloists. A verse-service or verse-anthem sometimes includes portions set for a voice solo. When one voice maintains the chief part of an anthem it is described as a ' Solo-anthem ' : but the expression solo-service is rarely used. Some writers only employ the term verse-anthem when an anthem commences with voices soli. An anthem which commences with a chorus fol- lowed by parts for soli voices is termed ' full with verse.' [J.S.]

VERSICLE (Lat. Versiculum'). A short sen- tence, in the Offices of the Church, followed by an appropriate Response; as 'F. Domine, in adjutorium meum intende. R. Domine, ad ad- juvandum me festina.' ' F. God, make speed to save us. R. O Lord, make haste to help us.'

The Versicles or, rather, the Responses which follow them from the Office of Vespers, and other Roman Catholic Services, have been har- monised by Vittoria, G. B. Rossi, and other Composers : but none of them will bear any com- parison with the matchless English Responses, in all probability set originally to the old Latin words, by our own Tallis, whose solemn har- monies have never been approached, in this par- ticular form of music. Some very fine Responses by Byrd, and other English Composers, will be found, in company with old versions of those of Tallis, in Jebb's Choral Responses. [W.S.R.]

VERT- VERT. Comic opera in 3 acts ; words by Meilhac and Nuitter, music by Offenbach. Pro- duced at the Ope'raComique, March 10, 1869. [G.]

VERVE, a French word adopted as the equi- valent of spirit or inspiration in performance. [G. ]

VESPERALE The Vesperal. That portion of the Antiphonarium Romanum which contains the Plain-Chaunt Melodies sung at Vespers. It contains the words and music of all the Psalms, Canticles, Antiphons, Hymns, and Versicles, used throughout the ecclesiastical year ; the music being printed in the old Gregorian Notation. The most correct Vesperals now in print are those published at Mechlin in 1870, and at Ratisbon in 1875; the latter formally author- ised by the Congregation of Rites. [W.S.R.]

VESPERS (Lat. Officium Vesperarum, Ves- perce, Oratio vespertina, Ad Vesperat). The last but one, and most important, of the ' Horse Diurnse,' or Day hours,' in the Antiphonarium.

The Office begins with the Versicle and Response, ' Deus in adjutorium,' followed by five Psalms. On Sundays, these are usually Pss. cix, ex, cxi, cxii, and cxiii (corresponding to Pss. cx-cxiv in the English Prayer- Book ver- sion); on other days, they vary. Each Psalm is sung with a proper Antiphon, which, on certain Festivals, is doubled *'. e. sung entire, both before and after the Psalms. On Ferial VOL. IV. PT. 3.



��days, the first two or three words only of the Antiphon are sung before the Psalm, and the entire Antiphon after it. The Psalms are fol- lowed by the Capitulum ; and this by a Hymn, which varies according to the Festival or the day of the week. After this, ' Magnificat ' is sung with a special Antiphon. Then follows the Prayer (or Collect) for the day ; succeeded by the proper Commemorations. Should Complinefollow, the Office of Vespers ends here. If not, the Com- memorations are followed by one of the 'Antiphons of Our Lady,' with which the Office concludes.

The music sung at Vespers is more solemn and elaborate than that used at any of the other Hours. The proper Plain-Chaunt Melodies are found in the Vesperal. [See VESPERALE.] The Melodies of the Antiphons are of extreme an- tiquity. The Psalms are sung to their proper Gregorian Tones; for the most part, either entirely in Unison, or in alternate verses of Unison and Faux Bourdon. Many Faux Bour- dons, by the great Composers, are still extant. Proske has included some by B. Nanini, F. Anerio, and others, in vol. iii. of his *Musica Divina'; and a copy of a MS. collection, entitled ' Studij di Palestrina,' will be found among the Burney MSS. in the British Museum. Proske has also printed a very fine setting of the opening Ver- sicle and Response, by Vittoria; and Ambros another, by G. B. Rossi, first printed in 1618.

Polyphonic Magnificats are necessarily very elaborate; for during the Canticle the High Altar is incensed, and sometimes the Altar in the Lady Chapel also a ceremony which often occupies a considerable time. [See MAGNIFICAT.]

The Hymns for the various Seasons have also been frequently set, in very elaborate form, by the Polyphonic Composers ; Palestrina' s ' Hymni totius anni' is a complete collection, of unap- proachable beauty. Some fine isolated specimens will also be found among the works of Tallis, Byrd, and other Composers of the English School ; and Proske has published many interesting ex- amples, collected from various sources. The four 'Antiphons of Our Lady' Alma Redemptoris, Ave Regina, Regina Ccdi, and Salve Regina have been treated by many good writers, includ- ing Palestrina, Anerio, and O. Lasso, in the form of highly developed Motets.

With so large a repertoire of Compositions of the highest order, the Office of Vespers may be made a very impressive one ; and, indeed, with little more than Plain-Chaunt, treated in Unison, and very simple Faux-Bourdon, it is sung at Notre Dame de Paris, S. Sulpice, and other large French churches, with a solemnity well worthy of imitation. [W.S.R.]


LIENNES, LES, p. 2386.]

VESTALE, LA. Lyric tragedy in 3 acts ; words by Jouy, music by Spontini. Produced at the Grand Opera, Paris, Dec. 16, 1807. [G.]

VESTRIS, LUCIA ELIZABETH, 1 or ELIZA LuoT, a born either Jan. 3 or March 2, 1797, in

i Register of deaths. Signature at second marriage.

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