Open main menu

Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/606

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

Italian Opera, and appears to have infused new life and spirit into the band, which had much deteriorated under Festing's languid leadership.

In 1756 he undertook the management of the Italian Opera, but thereby suffered great losses. Nevertheless we find him as impressario in 1763, 64, and 65. After this he devoted himself once more to playing and teaching the violin, and leading at concerts and musical festivals. At this period F. Cramer became his formidable rival, though the two remained on most friendly terms. From 1774 to 80 he was leader at the Pantheon Concerts, and in 1782 and 83 once more at the Italian Opera. In 84 he left England, apparently resolved to retire from public activity and spend the rest of his life in Italy. But his restless spirit brought him back to London in 1790, when he started a Comic Opera at the Hayinarket. This proving a failure, he went with his troupe to Russia, and died at Moscow Dec. 17th, 1796.

Giardini's immense success on his first appearance in London was no doubt greatly due to the fact that he really was the first violin-virtuoso of eminence that had been heard there, and his star went down as soon as Salomon and Cramer became his rivals; but notwithstanding this, his influence on musical and operatic life in England was considerable. He brought out a number of operas, though with little success. His oratorio of 'Ruth' was several times performed in London. His numerous compositions for the chamber include, according to Fétis, Four sets of 6 Violin Solos (op. 1, 7, 8, 16); Twelve Solos (op. 19); Six Violin Duets (op. 2); Six Sonatas for Piano and Violin (op. 3); Twelve Violin Concertos (op. 4, 5, 15); Three sets of Trios for Stringed Instruments (op. 6, 14, 20); Six Quintets for Piano and Stringed Instruments (op. 11); Twelve Quartets for Stringed Instruments (op. 20 and 29).

[ P. D. ]

GIBBONS. The name of a noted family of English musicians.

1. The Rev. Edward Gibbons, Mus. Bac., born about 1570, was probably son of William Gibbons, one of the Waits of the town of Cambridge. He graduated as Bachelor of Music at Cambridge, and on July 7, 1592, was incorporated at Oxford. About the same time he was appointed organist of Bristol Cathedral and also priest-vicar, sub-chanter, and master of the choristers there. He resigned these appointments in 1611 on receiving those of organist and custos of the college of priest-vicars in Exeter Cathedral, which he retained until the silencing of the organ and choir in 1644. Hawkins says he was sworn a gentleman of the Chapel Royal March 21, 1604; but that is a mistake, as his name is not to be found in the cheque book of the Chapel, and the date given is that of the admission of his younger brother, Orlando, as organist. Some compositions of his are preserved in the Music School at Oxford; and an anthem, 'How hath the city sate solitary!' with a prelude for the organ and accompaniments for viols is contained in the Tudway collection, British Museum (Harl. MS. 7340). He is said to have advanced £1000 to Charles I. during the civil war, for doing which his estate was confiscated, and himself and three grandchildren compelled to quit his house when he was upwards of 80 years of age. Matthew Locke was his pupil at Exeter.

2. Ellis, brother of the preceding, was organist of Salisbury Cathedral at the latter end of the 16th century, He contributed two madrigals—'Long live fair Oriana,' and 'Round about her chariot'—to'The Triumphs of Oriana,' 1601. About the same time he ceased to be organist of Salisbury, but whether by death or resignation does not appear.

3. Orlando Gibbons, Mus. Doc., younger brother of the two preceding, born at Cambridge 1583, was one of the finest organists and composers of his time, and indeed one of the greatest musical geniuses of our country. It is probable that he received his early musical education in the choirs of some of the college chapels at Cambridge. On March 21, 1604, he was admitted to the place of organist of the Chapel Royal in the room of Arthur Cock, deceased. About 1610 he published 'Fantasies in three parts,' composed for viols, 'cut in copper, the like not heretofore extant,' being the first music printed in England from engraved plates. In the following year he joined with Byrd and Dr. Bull in the production of the collection of music for the virginals published under the title of 'Parthenia.' (Both these works were republished by the Musical Antiq. Society in 1843 and 4.) In 1612 he published 'The first set of madrigals and motets of 5 parts.' In 1614 he contributed two pieces to Leighton's 'Teares or Lamentacions of a Sorrowfull Soule.' He also composed some tunes in two parts for George Wither's 'Hymns and Songs of the Church.' In May, 1622, he accumulated the degrees of Bachelor and Doctor of Music at Oxford [App. p.647 "Mr. Cummings ('Musical Society,' April, 1886) says he took the Mus.B. Degree at Cambridge in 1606"], a distinction conferred at the request of his friend Camden, the historian. His exercise on the occasion was the eight-part anthem, 'O clap your hands,' printed in Boyce's Cathedral Music. It has been asserted that this anthem was also allowed to serve as the exercise of William Heyther, who was admitted to the same degrees at the same time, but it is highly improbable that such an absurdity was perpetrated. The probability is that Heyther, being at the time the bearer to the University of the deed of endowment of the professorship of history founded by Camden, had his degrees conferred on him 'honoris causa,' and was not called upon to produce an exercise. In 1623 Gibbons was appointed organist of Westminster Abbey in succession to John Parsons. In 1625 he was summoned to Canterbury to attend the marriage of Charles I, for which he had composed an ode and some instrumental music, and whilst there was attacked by the smallpox [App. p.647 "apoplexy. A post-mortem was held on him, the report of which is preserved in the Record Office, and was printed in the 'Athenæum,' Nov. 14, 1885."], which terminated his existence on Whitsunday, June 5, 1625. He was buried in the cathedral [App. p.647 "June 6"], where a monument to his memory is placed against the wall of the north aisle of the nave. Gibbons had by his wife, Elizabeth Patten, seven children, six of whom