Open main menu

Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/343

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

system of Zarlino; indeed there is some reason to believe that it is a mere redaction of a work with the same title which Zarlino speaks of as having completed in MS., but which has totally disappeared. The whole edition of Cerone's work is said to have been lost at sea except 13 copies, one of which is in the Fétis library of the Bibliotheque Royale de Belgique, No. 5340.

[ G. ]

CERTON, Pierre, a French musician of the first half of the 16th century; master of the choir at the Saint Chapelle, Paris; mentioned by Rabelais in the Nouveau prologue to the 2nd book of Pantagruel. A list of his works is given by Fétis. They include 31 Psalms (1546); another collection of the same (1552); 3 Masses (1558); 1 Mass (1558); 1 Requiem. A Magnificat of his is found in a collection of 8 (Canticum B. M. Virginis etc. 1559), and many of his motets are included in the collections of Attaignant (1533–49) [App. p.584 "1527–36"], Susato (Antwerp, 1543–50) [App. p.584 "1543–60"], Phalése (Louvain, 1558), and Cipriani (Venice, 1544). In the 'Collection of Ancient Church Music printed by the Motet Society' (1843), a piece by Certon is given for 2 trebles and tenor, to English words, which is very melodious and graceful, and with a marked character of its own.

[ G. ]

CERVETTO. The name of two eminent violoncello players of the last century.

1. It was the sobriquet of Giacomo Bassevi, born in Italy 1682. He came to England and joined the orchestra of Drury Lane in 1728. The cello was not then known in England, but Cervetto, though his tone is said to have been coarse and his execution not remarkable, made it a popular instrument. Probably there was something genial and attractive in the personality of the man. He had a very large nose, and it was a favourite joke to call to him from the gallery, 'Play up, nosey'—an expression still heard in the theatres. That he was a man of humour is shewn by an anecdote given in the books. Garrick was playing a drunken man, and ended by throwing himself into a chair. At this moment, the house being quite still, Cervetto gave a long and loud yawn, on which Garrick started up, and coming to the footlights demanded furiously what he meant. 'I beg your pardon,' said Cervetto, 'but I always gape when I am particularly enjoying myself.' He became manager of Drury Lane, and died January 14, 1783, over 100, leaving £20,000 to his son.

2. James, who was born in London 1758 or 9. He made his first appearance when 11 years old at a concert at the Haymarket Theatre, when all the performers were children. Among them were Giardini (11), Gertrude Schmähling (9)—afterwards the celebrated Madame Mara, but then a violin player—and Miss Burney, sister of the authoress of 'Evelina.' (Pohl's 'Haydn in London,' 339.) Up to the death of his father he played at the professional concerts and other orchestras of the day, Crosdill being his only rival; but after that event he retired upon his fortune, and died Feb. 5, 1837, leaving a few unimportant pieces for his instrument behind him.

[ G. ]

CESTI, Antonio, was an ecclesiastic, a native of Arezzo according to Baini, whom Fétis follows, but of Florence according to Adami. He was born about 1620, and in due course became a pupil of Carissimi. He was made a member of the papal choir on Jan. 1, 1660. Bertini says that he was subsequently Maestro di Cappella to the Emperor Ferdinand III.

The bent of Cesti's genius was towards the theatre, and he did much for the progress of the musical drama in Italy. Bertini says of him—'Contribui molto ai progressi del teatro drammatico in Italia, riformando la monotona salmodia che allova vi regnava, e transportando ed adattando al teatro le cantate inventate dal suo maestro per la chiesa.' That he owed much to his master Carissimi, as he did to his contemporary Cavalli, whose operas were then in vogue at Venice, cannot be doubted, but that he deserves to be dismissed as the plagiarist of either of them is untrue.

Allacci gives the following list of the operas of Cesti—L'Orontea; Cesare Amante; La Dori; Tito; La Schiava fortunata; Genserico: this last work he left incomplete at his death, and it was finished by Domenico Partenio. To these Fétis adds Argene, Argia, and Il Pomo d'Oro. Bertini and Gerber say that he set Guarini's 'Pastor Fido' to music, but the work is not known to exist. Dr. Burney has preserved a scene from 'L'Orontea' in his History of Music, and Hawkins has done the like by a pretty little duet for soprano and bass, called 'Cara e dolce è liberta.' The Abbé Santini had a collection of his chamber pieces, and the score of his Dori; some of his canzonets were published in London by Pignani in 1665; and there is a solitary sacred motet by him in the National Library at Paris. [App. p.584 adds that "he died at Venice, 1669, and refer to the last sentence of the article Carissimi, for another composition attributed to him."]

[ E. H. P. ]

CEVALLOS, Francisco, Spanish composer from 1535 to 1572, canon and musical director of the cathedral at Burgos. Among his compositions scattered throughout Spain, may be mentioned a fine mass in the church 'Del Pilar' at Saragossa, and a motet 'Inter vestibulum' in Eslava's Lira Sacra Hispaña.

[ M. C. C. ]

CHACONNE (Ital. Ciaccona), an obsolete dance, probably of Spanish origin. At any rate the name is Spanish, chacona, from the Basque chocuna, 'pretty' (Littré). The chaconne was a dance usually in 3-4 time, of a moderately slow movement, which belonged to the class of variations, being, in fact, in the large majority of cases, actually a series of variations on a 'ground bass,' mostly eight bars in length. It closely resembles the Passacaglia, the only differences being that the tempo of the latter is somewhat slower, and that it begins upon the third beat of the bar, whereas the chaconne commences upon the first. Among the most celebrated examples are that in Bach's fourth sonata for violin solo, and the two (one with 21 the other