Open main menu

Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/262

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

1669, at twenty-one years of age, organist of Westminster Abbey (a post not then a life appointment), but in 1680 he was displaced to make room for Henry Purcell. On the death of Purcell, in 1695, Blow was reappointed, and held the place until his death. On March 16, 1674, he was sworn in one of the gentlemen of the Chapel Royal in the room of the Rev. Roger Hill, deceased, and on July 21, 1674, was appointed master of the children of the chapel in succession to Pelham Humfrey, who died a week previously. Some [App. p.549 "Two"] years later he became one of the organists of the chapel. In 1685 he was appointed as one of the king's private music, and to the honorary office of Composer to the King. In 1687 he succeeded Michael Wise as almoner and master of the choristers of St. Paul's Cathedral, which offices he resigned in 1693 in favour of his pupil, Jeremiah Clarke. In 1699, on the establishment of the office of Composer to the Chapel Royal, Blow was installed in it. Dr. Blow was not a graduate of either university, his degree of Doctor of Music having been conferred on him by Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury. [App. p.549 "The statement that Blow was not a graduate of either university, requires confirmation. In the Music School at Oxford there was formerly a MS. which seemed to show that his degree was conferred at Oxford."] He married Elizabeth, only daughter of Edward Braddock, Gentleman and Clerk of the Cheque of the Chapel Royal and master of the choristers of Westminster Abbey. She died in childbirth Oct. 29, 1683, aged thirty, leaving one son and three daughters; the son, a boy of great promise, died June 2, 1693, aged fifteen; the daughters survived many years. Dr. Blow died Oct. 1, 1708, in the sixtieth year of his age, and was buried under the organ in the north aisle of Westminster Abbey, where a monument is erected to his memory. Dr. Blow was a very voluminous composer; his works comprise fourteen church-services, and upwards of one hundred anthems, nearly the whole of which are still extant, although but few are in print; sacred songs, duets, etc. (many of which are printed in Playford's 'Harmonia Sacra,' 1688 and 1714); odes for New Year's day, 1682, 1683, 1686, 1687, 1688, 1689, 1693 (?), 1694, and 1700; odes for St. Cecilia's day, 1684 (printed), 1691, [App. p.549 "1695,"] and 1700, besides two which cannot be assigned to any particular year; ode by Dryden on the death of Purcell, 1695; songs, with which the various collections of the period abound; catches, many of them printed in 'The Catch Club,' 'The Pleasant Musical Companion,' 1724, and other collections; organ pieces; 'Lessons for the Harpsichord,' 1698 (printed), and 1705 (printed with some by Purcell). In 1700 Blow published by subscription a collection of his songs, etc., under the title of 'Amphion Anglicus,' with his portrait prefixed. In the preface to this work he expressed his intention of publishing his church music, but unfortunately never accomplished his purpose, a circumstance much to be regretted, since it is upon those productions that his fame chiefly rests. Three services and eleven anthems of his are printed by Boyce. [App. p.549 "For further discussion of the questions raised above, the reader is referred to the Dict. of Nat. Biog."]

[ W. H. H. ]

BLUETHNER, Julius Ferdinand, a pianoforte maker in Leipsic, whose instruments are much used in Germany; a native of Falkenberg near Zeitz. Herr Blüthner began business in Leipsic in 1853. Three years later he took out a patent for an action that has been much praised, and by the adoption of foreign improvements in iron framing and a systematised division of labour hitherto less practised in Germany than England, Herr Blüthner has succeeded in establishing his reputation on a sure basis, and competes on even ground with the best makers of his country.

[ A. J. H. ]

BLUMENTHAL, Jacob, born at Hamburg Oct. 4, 1829, pupil of F. W. Grund there, and of C. M. von Bocklet and Sechter in Vienna. His proficiency in pianoforte playing was attained under Herz at the Conservatoire in Paris, which he entered in 1846. In 1848 he took up his residence in London, where be became pianist to the Queen, and a very fashionable teacher. As a composer he is known for a large number of brilliant, effective, and pretty pianoforte pieces, and for many songs, some of which, such as 'The Message,' have become widely and justly popular. Besides his residence in London, Blumenthal has now a house at Montreux.

[ A. M. ]

BOB is a term used by change-ringers to denote certain changes in the working of the methods by which long peals of changes are produced. [See Change-Ringing.]

BOCCABADATI, Luigia, was born at Parma, where she received her musical education in a convent, and made a brilliant début in 1817. After singing at several theatres in Italy, she visited Munich, where her fine voice and good method were fully appreciated. She appeared at Venice in 1823, at Rome in 1824, at Milan in 1826, and again at Rome in 1827; and she met everywhere with the same success, especially in opera buffa, for which style of piece she was much in request. On this account she was persuaded to sing at Naples during the years 1829, 1830, and 1831. Despréaux, the composer, writing from Naples, Feb. 17, 1830 ('Revue Musicale,' vol. vii. p. 172), describes her as 'a little dry, dark woman, who is neither young nor old. She executes difficult passages well; but she has no elegance, grace, or charm about her. Her voice, although extensive, is harsh at the top, but otherwise she sings in tune.' Berlioz says in the same Revue (xii. 75) in 1832, 'she is a fort beau talent, who deserves, perhaps, more than her reputation.' She appeared in London on Feb. 18, 1833, at the King's Theatre, in 'Cenerentola.' She was not successful here, and did not return another year. She sang at Turin for three seasons, and at Lisbon in 1840, 1841, and 1842. She returned to Turin in 1843, and sang at Genoa in 1844, and in the next year at Palermo. She was married to a M. Gazzuoli, by whom she had a son, and a daughter, Augustine, who was also a singer. Luigia Boccabadati died at Turin Oct. 12, 1850.

[ J. M. ]

BOCCHERINI, Luigi, a highly gifted composer, born at Lucca, Jan. 14, 1740 [App. p.549 "Feb. 19, 1743"]. The first