A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Caecilia

CAECILIA, a German musical periodical, conducted by an association of scholars, art critics, and artists, started by Gottfried Weber in 1824, and published by Messrs. Schott. It appeared at irregular intervals, lasted till 1848, and forms a series of 27 volumes of 4 nos. each. Weber conducted it till his death, at the 20th vol., and was succeeded by Dehn, who continued editor till its discontinuance in consequence of the political troubles of 1848. By its opening prospectus Caecilia was intended to be not so much a regular periodical as a collection of original articles of permanent interest, and a medium for the exchange of views and opinions on art. It contains papers on the theory of music and acoustics, on history and æsthetics, reviews and notices of music and treatises on the art. The earlier numbers also contained tales and poems, and other light pieces. Amongst the theoretical articles of most value are those on the compensation of organ pipes (xi. 181–202) and on the production of aliquot tones in reed pipes and clarinets (xii. 1), both by W. Weber; on the voice (i. 81; compare iv. 157 and 229), by Gottfried Weber; an account of the experiments of Joh. Müller on the formation of the voice (xxi. 16), by Häser; on equal temperament (xxvi. 137), and on measurements of tones and of temperament (xxi. 117), both by Kiesewetter; and on the value of notes and the length of string necessary to produce them (xxiv. 91), by Krieger. Among the historical papers may be named those on the literature and history of music by Anton Schmid (xxi–xxvii)—chiefly notices of ancient MSS. in the Vienna library; also a paper by Aloys Fuchs on the musical collections of Vienna, interesting for its descriptions of MSS., especially those of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (xxiii. 40); several communications by Dehn on the Bach MSS. in the Berlin library (xxii. 166, xxiii. 34, xxiv. 17); critical papers by Gottfried Weber on the authenticity of Mozart's 'Requiem' (iii. 205, iv. 257, v. 237, vi., viii. 128, ix., x., xiv. 147, xx. 279), written with unnecessary violence and personality, and since superseded by the publication of the original score. In addition to the authors named, articles were furnished by Rochlitz, Chladni, Fink, and von Drieberg, and the whole formed a valuable record of the progress of the historical and theoretical departments of music during a quarter of a century. The practical portion of the art was not so well represented. In fact the great movement begun by Mendelssohn, and carried on by Schumann, Chopin, and others, not only received no recognition, but was treated with a certain covert hostility, and with the constant obtrusion of an obsolete and exaggerated worship of Mozart. In the first volume the publication of a mass by the Abbé Vogler (died 1814) was hailed as an event, and reviewed with laborious care. In the list of publications of the year contained in the 27th volume scarcely any mention is made of the works of either of the composers named above; and the notices are confined almost entirely to salon music and instruction books, chiefly those issued by the publishers of the magazine. Mendelssohn's 'St. Paul' (produced 1834 [App. p.574 "1836"]) is only cursorily mentioned, Chopin is rarely named, and Schumann not at all, though by the year 1848 he had composed many of his very greatest works. The earlier volumes of the Caecilia are of more value than the later ones in reference to practical music.

[ A. M. ]