Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/273

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BORJON, Charles Emmanuel (incorrectly Bourgeon), advocate in the Parlement of Paris, author of many law-books, and an eminent amateur, born 1633, died in Paris 1691. He was a remarkable performer on the musette, and author of a 'Traité de la Musette' (Lyons, 1672), which contains a method of instruction, plates, and airs collected by him in various parts of France. Borjon was evidently a man of culture. He excelled in cutting out figures in parchment, some of which were noticed and valued by Louis XIV.

[ M. C. C. ]

BOROSINI, Francesco. This admirable tenor singer was born at Bologna, according to Fétis, about 1695; and in 1723 was one of the principal singers at the Grand Opera at Prague. Very little more of his history is known; but we have evidence that he came, with his wife, to London in 1724, and sang in operas; as in 'Artaserse' by Ariosti, and Handel's 'Tamerlane.' In 1725 he appeared in 'Rodelinda' and 'Giulio Cesare' by Handel, in Ariosti's 'Dario,' and the pasticcio 'Elpidia' given by the former master, with recitatives of his own. The names of Borosini and his wife are not found again in England after 1725. His wife, Leonora, née D'Ambreville, was originally French, and was a very remarkable contralto singer. In 1714, according to Fétis, she sang at the Palatine Court, and was engaged in 1723 for the Grand Opera at Prague, with her husband. When they were married is not known, but that they came to England together in 1724 is certain, for her name is found in the casts of the same operas in which he also performed. In 'Dario' and 'Elpidia' she is called Signora Sorosini, but this is a mere misprint. It is only curious that it should occur in two different works.

[ J. M. ]

BORSELLI, an Italian singer who, with his wife Elisabetta, performed in comic operas in London in 1789 and 90; such as Martini's 'Cosa Rara,' Gazzaniga's 'Vendemmia,' Paisiello's 'Barbiere,' Cimarosa's 'Ninetta,' and operas of Tarchi, Fabrizi, Bianchi, Nasolini, and Federici.

[ J. M. ]

BORTNIANSKY (acc. BARTNANSKY), Dimitri, called the Russian Palestrina, was born at Gloukoff, a village of the Ukraine, in 1752, and early showed remarkable ability. He studied in Moscow and in Petersburg under Galuppi, at that time Capellmeister there. Galuppi soon left Russia, but the Empress Catherine supplied Bortniansky with funds to follow him to Venice (1768). He afterwards studied in Bologna, Rome, and Naples. The motets he composed at this period are not remarkable except for richness of harmony. Pälschlich counts him among the opera-composers then in Italy. In 1779 he returned to Russia, and became director of the Empress's church-choir (later—1796—called the 'Imperial Kapelle'), which he thoroughly reformed, and for which he composed 35 sacred concertos in 4 parts, 10 concertos for double choir, and a mass for 3 voices. It was this choir which was placed at the disposal of Boieldieu when, as chapel-master at Petersburg, he was commissioned to compose the music for Racine's 'Athalie.' Bortniansky has the merit of reducing Russian church music to a system. [App. p.555 "His complete compositions have been published in 10 vols., edited by Tschaikowsky (Bernard, St. Petersburg)."] He died Sept. 28 (Oct. 9), 1825. [App. p.555 "Oct. 28, 1828 (Paloschi)."]

[ F. G. ]

BOSCHETTI, Signora, a talented soprano who sang in London in comic operas about the year 1772. She acted Rosalba in Piccinni's 'Schiava' in that year at the King's Theatre.

[ J. M. ]

BOSCHI, Giuseppe, said to have been a native of Viterbo, was the most celebrated basso of the 18th century. Of his early life, his teacher, or of his first appearance, absolutely nothing is known. To Fétis his very name is unknown. Chrysander (Handel, i. 244) believes him to be the singer of the extraordinary part of Polifeme in Handel's early cantata at Naples in 1709, a portion of which was transferred to 'Rinaldo.' It is at any rate certain that on Feb. 24, 1711, he sang for the first time in London the part of Argante in that opera (Handel's first in London) at the Haymarket Theatre. It is strange enough that Argante was afterwards sung in 1717 by Berenstadt, a German alto, and in 1731 by Francesca Bertolli, a contralto. After this there is a blank in Boschi's history until Handel's return to London. In 1720 we find him again supporting with his magnificent voice the 'Radamisto' of Handel, and Buononcini's 'Astartus.' It is very probable, but not certain, that he was the original Polyphemus of 'Acis and Galatea,' performed privately at Cannons, the seat of the Duke of Chandos; there was then no other basso here capable of singing that part, and Boschi was already singing for Handel. In the same year he was in the cast of 'Muzio Scaevola,' the third act of which was Handel's, as also in those of 'Arsace' by Orlandini and Amadei, 'L'Odio e l'Amore' (anonymous), and Buononcini's 'Crispo.' On Dec. 9, 1721, he took part in the first representation of Handel's 'Floridante,' and on Jan. 12, 1723, in that of 'Ottone,' and of 'Flavio' on May 14; besides which he sang in the 'Coriolano' of Ariosti, and 'Farnace' of Buononcini, and in 1724 in Handel's 'Giulio Cesare' and 'Tamerlane,' Ariosti's 'Artaserse' and 'Vespasiano,' and Buononcini's 'Calfurnia.' From this date he sang for Handel in all the operas during 1725, 6, 7, and 8. In 1728 he sang in 'Siroe,' 'Tolomeo,' and a revival of 'Radamisto.' Then came the break-up of the company, and Boschi's name appears no more. Whether he died, or retired to his native country, he was succeeded in 1729 by J. G. Riemschneider. It was unfortunate for Boschi, with his fine voice and execution, that he appeared in Handel's early time, when the operas were written chiefly for women and evirati; when tenors were rarely employed, and the basso only recognised as a disagreeable necessity. Towards the end of this period Handel began to write more freely for basses, and some fine airs fell to the share of Boschi, such, for example, as 'Finche lo strale' in 'Floridante,' 'No, non temere' and 'Del minacciar' in 'Ottone,' 'Ta di pietà' in 'Siroe,'