Open main menu

Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/118

This page has been validated.

and Hartop in 1606); Sevenoaks Church, Kent, 1798; Carlisle Cathedral, 1808.

[ E. F. R. ]

AVISON, Charles, born at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in 1710. When a young man he visited Italy for the purpose of study, and after his return to England, became a pupil of Geminiani. On July 12, 1736, he was appointed organist of the church of St. Nicholas, in his native town. In addition to his musical attainments, he was a scholar, and a man of some literary acquirement. In 1752 he published the work by which he is best known, 'An Essay on Musical Expression.' It contains some judicious reflections on the art, but the division of the modern authors into classes is rather fanciful than just. Throughout the whole of this work we find the highest encomiums on Marcello and Geminiani, frequently to the disparagement of Handel. In the following year it was answered anonymously by Dr. W. Hayes, the Oxford professor, in a pamphlet entitled 'Remarks on Mr. Avison's Essay on Musical Expression.' Hayes points out many errors against the rules of composition in the works of Avison; and infers from thence that his skill in the science was not very profound. He then proceeds to examine the book itself, and seldom fails to establish his point, and prove his adversary in the wrong. Before the conclusion of the same year, Avison re-published his Essay, with a reply to these Remarks, in which he was assisted by the learned Dr. Jortin, who added 'A Letter to the Author, concerning the Music of the Ancients.' In 1757 Avison joined John Garth, organist of Durham, in editing an edition of Marcello's Psalms, adapted to English words. He prefixed to the first volume a Life of Marcello, and some introductory remarks.

As a composer, Avison is known, if at all, by his concertos. Of these he published five sets for a full band of stringed instruments, some quartets and trios, and two sets [App. p.526 "three volumes"] of sonatas for the harpsichord and two violins—a species of composition little known in England until his time. The once favourite air, 'Sound the loud timbrel,' is found in one of the concertos. Geminiani held his pupil in high esteem, and in 1760 paid him a visit at Newcastle. He died in 1770, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Andrew there. He was succeeded as organist of St. Nicholas by his son and grandson. The former died in 1793; the latter in 1816. (Hawkins, Hist.; Kippis, Biog. Brit.; Brand, Newcastle, etc.)

[ E. F. R. ]

AVOGLIO, Signora, was one of those who accompanied Handel in his visit to Ireland, at the end of 1741. In the newspapers of the time she is called 'an excellent singer,' and she had the honour of sharing with Mrs. Cibber the soprano music of the Messiah at its first and succeeding performances in Dublin. Handel, in a letter to Jennens, Dec. 29, 1741, says,—'Sigra Avolio, which I brought with me from London, pleases extraordinary.' She sang again in 'The Messiah,' when given in London, after Handel's return from Dublin, dividing the soprano part with Mrs. Clive. Before this time, she had sung with success in the 'Allegro, Penseroso, and Moderato'; and she appeared subsequently in 'Semele' and in Samson,' 1743. In this last she sang the famous 'Let the bright Seraphim' at the first performance of the oratorio, Feb. 18.

[ J. M. ]

AVVERTIMENTO AI GELOSI, UN, an Italian opera by Balfe—his second—produced at Pavia in 1830 or 31, chiefly worth notice because of the fact that in it Ronconi made his second public appearance.

AYLWARD, Theodore, Mus. Doc., was born in or about 1730. Of his early career but little information can be gleaned. We find him in 1755 composing for the church, and in 1759 for the theatre. In 1769 the Catch Club awarded him the prize medal for his serious glee, 'A cruel fate,' a surprising decision, as one of the competing compositions was Arne's fine glee, 'Come shepherds we'll follow the hearse.' On June 5, 1771 Aylward was appointed Professor of Music in Gresham College. In 1784 he was nominated one of the assistant directors of the Commemoration of Handel. In 1788 he succeeded William Webb as organist and master of the choristers of St. George's Chapel, Windsor. On Nov. 19, 1791, he took the degree of Bachelor of Music at Oxford, and two days afterwards proceeded to that of Doctor. He died Feb. 27, 1801, aged 70. Dr. Aylward published 'Six Lessons for the Organ, Op. 1'; 'Elegies and Glees, Op. 2'; 'Six Songs in Harlequin's Invasion, Cymbeline, Midsummer Night's Dream,' etc.; and 'Eight Canzonets for two soprano voices.' Two glees and a catch by him are included in Warren's collections. His church music, with the exception of two chants, remains in manuscript. Dr. Aylward is said (on the authority of Bowles, the poet) to have been a good scholar, and possessed of considerable literary attainments. Hayley, the poet, inscribed some lines to his memory. Dr. Aylward's great-great-nephew, Theodore Aylward, is now (1876) the organist of Llandaff Cathedral. [App. p.526 "from 1768 to 1781 he was organist of St. Michael's, Cornhill. (Dict. of Nat. Biog.) His kinsman mentioned at the end of the article was for some time organist of Chichester Cathedral, and since January, 1887, has held a post of some importance at Cardiff."]

[ W. H. H. ]

AYRTON, Edmund, Mus. Doc., was born at Ripon, in 1734, and educated at the grammar school there. His father, a magistrate of the borough, intended him for the Church, but his strong predilection for music induced his father to let him study for that profession. He was accordingly placed under Dr. Nares, organist of York Minster, and made such rapid progress, that at an early age he was elected organist, auditor, and rector-chori of the collegiate church of Southwell, where he remained many years. In 1764 he was appointed a gentleman of the Chapel Royal. He was shortly afterwards installed as a vicar-choral of St. Paul's, and afterwards became one of the lay-clerks of Westminster Abbey. In 1780 he was promoted by Bishop Lowth to the office of Master of the children of His Majesty's chapels, on the resignation of Dr. Nares. In 1784 the University of Cambridge created him Doctor in Music, some time after which he was admitted