Open main menu

Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/150

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

'Kärnthner-thor' theatre and that 'auf der Wien,' which he held till 1828. He was the first to introduce a subscription into the Vienna theatres. During his management the company embraced the best talent of the day, including Mesdames Colbran-Rossini, Sontag, Esther Mombelli, Giuditta Grisi, Mainvielle-Fodor, Feron, Canticelli; Signori Donzelli, Cicimarra, Bassi, Tamburini, Rubini, David, Nozzari, Lablache, Ambrogi, Benedetti, and Botticelli. The ballet was sustained by Duport, Salvatore, and Taglioni. Though Barbaja introduced Rossini into Vienna, he by no means neglected German opera, and under his management Weber's 'Euryanthe' was produced Oct. 25, 1825 [App. p.530 "1823"]. He was at the same time manager of the two most celebrated opera-houses in Italy, La Scala at Milan, and San Carlo at Naples; not to mention some smaller operatic establishments also under his direction. Bellini's first opera, 'Bianca e Ferdinando,' was written for Barbaja and produced at Naples. His second opera, 'Il Pirata,' was also composed for Barbaja, and brought out at Milan. Several of Donizetti's works, and all Rossini's later works for the Italian stage, were first presented to the public by the famous impresario, who was destined one day himself to figure in an opera. Barbaja is at least introduced by name in 'La Sirène,' by Scribe and Auber. From his retirement till his death, Oct. 16, 1841, he resided on his property at Posilippo. He was very popular, and was followed to his grave by an immense concourse of people.

[ C. F. P. ]

BARBELLA, Emanuele, violinist. Born at Naples in the earlier part of the 18th century. The following short account of his musical education was written by himself at the request of Dr. Burney, who gives it in his History (iii. 570):—'Emanuele Barbella had the violin placed in his hand when he was only six and a half years old, by his father Francesco Barbella. After his father's decease he took lessons of Angelo Zaga, till the arrival of Pasqualino Bini, a scholar of Tartini, in Naples, under whom he studied for a considerable time, and then worked by himself. His first instructor in counterpoint was Michele Gabbalone; but this master dying, he studied composition under the instructions of Leo, till the time of his death.' He adds, 'Non per questo, Barbella e un vero asino che non sa niente'—'Yet, notwithstanding these advantages, Barbella is a mere ass, who knows nothing.' He wrote six sonatas for violin, and six duos for violin and bass, adhering closely to the principles of Tartini. Burney gives an example of his composition, and says that his tone and manner were 'marvellously sweet and pleasing, even without any other accompaniment than the drone-bass of an open string.' He died at Naples in 1773.

[ E. H. D. ]

BARBER OF SEVILLE, THE. Operas of this name, founded on the celebrated play of Beaumarchais (1775), have been often produced. Two only can be noticed here: (1) that of Paisiello, first performed at St. Petersburg in 1780, and at Paris in 1789—at the 'Théâtre de Monsieur,' in, the Tuileries, July 12, and at the Théâtre Feydeau, July 22; (2) that of Rossini—libretto by Sterbini—produced at Rome, Dec. 26, 1816 [App. p.530 "Feb. 5"], and at Paris, in the Salle Louvois, Oct. 26, 1819. Rossini hesitated to undertake the subject previously treated by Paisiello, and before doing so obtained his permission. He is said to have completed the opera in 15 days. On its appearance in Paris an attempt was made to crush it by reviving Paisiello's opera, but the attempt proved an entire failure; Paisiello's day was gone for ever.

[ G. ]

BARBERS OF BASSORA, THE. A comic opera in 2 acts; words by Madison Morton; music by John Hullah. Produced at Covent Garden, Nov. 11, 1837.

BARBIERI, [App. p.530 "Francesco Arsenio, date of birth Aug. 3, 1823"], a Spanish dramatic composer of the present day, and chief promoter of an association for instituting a Spanish national opera in opposition to the Italian. 'Jugar con fuego' (1851), 'La Hechicera,' 'La Espada de Bernardo,' and 'El Marques de Caravaca,' are the names of some of his operas which have been performed in Madrid with success.

BARBIREAU,[1] Maitre Jacques, a celebrated musician of the 15th century, choirmaster and teacher of the boys in the cathedral of Antwerp from 1448 till his death in 1491. Many of the great musicians of the 15th and 16th centuries were his pupils; he maintained a correspondence with Rudolph Agricola, and is constantly quoted by his contemporary Tinctor as one of the greatest authorities on music of his time. Of his compositions, a mass for five voices, 'Virgo parens Christi,' another for four voices, 'Faulx perverse,' and a Kyrie for the same, are in the imperial library at Vienna, and some songs for three and four voices in that of Dijon. Kiesewetter has scored the Kyrie from the first-named mass and a song for three voices, 'Lome (l'homme) bany de sa plaisance.'

[ M. C. C. ]

BARCAROLE (Ital.), i.e. a 'boat-song.' Pieces of music written in imitation or recollection of the songs of Venetian barcaroli as they row their gondolas—or as they formerly did; for their songs at present appear to have little in them either agreeable or characteristic. Barcaroles have been often adopted by modern composers; as by Hérold in 'Zampa'; by Auber in 'Masaniello' and 'Fra Diavolo'; by Donizetti in 'Marino Faliero'; by Schubert, 'Auf dem Wasser zu singen' (Op. 72); by Chopin for Piano solo (Op. 60); and by Sterndale Bennett for Piano and Orchestra in his 4th Concerto. Mendelssohn has left several examples. The first 'Song without words' that he composed—published as Op. 19, No. 6—is the 'Venetianisches Gondellied' in G minor, which the autograph shows to have been written at Venice Oct. 16, 1830. Others are Op. 30, No. 6; Op. 62, No. 5; and the beautiful song, Op. 57, No. 5, 'Wenn durch die Piazzetta.' One essential

  1. Pronounced Barbirieau; called also Barbicola, Barbyrianus, Barbingant.