Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
559
BAYOU—BAZAINE

BAYOU (pronounced bai-yoo, probably a corruption of Fr. boyau, gut), an “ox-bow” lake left behind by a river that has abandoned its old channel in the lower stages of its course. Good examples are found in Palmyra Lake, in the Mississippi valley below Vicksburg, and in Osage river, Missouri. As a river swings from side to side in a series of curves which widen laterally where the current is slow and the country more or less level, there is a tendency in flood times for the water to impinge more strongly upon the convex bank where the curve leaves the main channel. This bank will be eaten away, and the process will be repeated until the base of the “isthmus” is cut through, and the descending channel meets the returning curve, which is thus left stranded and filled with dead water, while the stream runs directly past it in the shorter course cut by the flood waters that deepen the new channel, and leave an isolated ox-bow lake in the old curve.


BAYREUTH, or Baireuth, a town of Bavaria, Germany, district of Upper Franconia, 58 m. by rail N.N.E. from Nuremberg. Pop. (1900) 29,384. In Richard-Wagner-strasse is Wagner’s house, with his grave in the garden. Franz Liszt (1811-1886) is buried here, as well as Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, who is commemorated by a monument (1841). His house was in Friedrichstrasse. Most of the buildings are of comparatively modern date, the city having suffered severely from the Hussites in 1430 and from a conflagration in 1621. There should be mentioned the palace of Duke Alexander of Württemberg, the administrative offices, the statue of King Maximilian II. (1860) and the collections of the historical society Among the ecclesiastical buildings, the Stadt-Pfarrkirche, dating from 1439, and containing the monuments of the margraves of Bayreuth, is the most important. Bayreuth is a railway junction and has an active trade, chiefly in grain and horses. It manufactures woollen, linen and cotton goods, leather, delft and other earthenware, and tobacco, and has also several breweries and distilleries. The village of St Georgen is a suburb to the north east noted for its marble works; and about 2 m. to the east is the Hermitage, a fanciful building, erected in 1715 by the margrave George William (d. 1726), with gardens containing terraces, statues and fountains. Bayreuth was formerly the capital of a principality of the same name, which was annexed in 1791 to the kingdom of Prussia. In 1807 it was ceded by Prussia to France, which kept possession of it till 1810, when it was transferred to Bavaria.

The Wagner Theatre.—Among the many advantages which Wagner gained from his intimacy with Ludwig II., king of Bavaria, not the least was the practical support given to his plan of erecting a theatre for the ideal performance of his own music-dramas. The first plan of building a new theatre for the purpose in Munich itself was rejected, because Wagner rightly felt that the appeal of his advanced works, like the Nibelungen trilogy, would be far stronger if the comparatively small number of people who wished to hear them were removed from the distractions of a large capital; Bayreuth possessed the desired seclusion, being on a line of railway that could not be approached from any quarter without changing. The municipality furthered Wagner’s scheme in every way, and in May 1872 the foundation stone of the Festspielhaus was laid, the event being commemorated by a notable performance of Beethoven’s Choral Symphony in the old opera-house. The funds for the erection of the theatre were raised in part by the issue of 1000 certificates of patronage (Patronatscheine), but the bulk of the sum was raised by founding “Wagner Societies” from St Petersburg to Cairo, from London to New York; these societies sprang up with such success that the theatre was opened in the summer of 1876 with the first complete performance of Der Ring des Nibelungen. The theatre, which stands on a height a little under a mile from the town, is built from the plans of Gustav Semper, the idea of the design being Wagner’s own, an experiment indeed, but one which succeeded beyond all expectation. The seats are arranged on a kind of sloping wedge, in such a manner that every one has an almost equally good view of the stage, for there are no boxes, and the only galleries are quite at the back, one, the Fürstenloge, being reserved for distinguished guests, the other, above it, for the townspeople. Immediately in front of the foremost row of seats a hood or sloping screen of wood covers a part of the orchestra, and another hood of similar shape starts from the front of the stage at a slightly lower level. Thus there is left a space between the two hoods through which the sound of the orchestra ascends with wonderfully blended effect; the conductor, sitting at the highest point of the orchestra, though under the screen, has a complete view of the stage as well as of his instrumentalists, and the sound of the orchestra is sent most forcibly in the direction of the stage, so that the voices are always well supported.

As an important addition to the work of the theatre, a permanent school has been established at Bayreuth for the sake of training young musicians to take part in the festival performances, which were at first exclusively, and then partially, undertaken by artists from other German and foreign theatres. The special feature upon which most stress has been laid, ever since Wagner’s death in 1883, has been not so much the musical as the dramatic significance of the works; it is contended by the inmost circle of Wagnerian adherents that none but they can fully realize the master’s intentions or hand down his traditions. What is called the “Bayreuth Idea” is set forth in much detail from this point of view by Houston Stewart Chamberlain, in his Richard Wagner (1897 and 1900).


BAZA, a town of southern Spain, in the province of Granada; in the Hoya de Baza, a fruitful valley of the Sierra Nevada, not far from the small river Gallego, and at the terminus of a railway from Lorca. Pop. (1900) 12,770. The dome-shaped mountain of Javaleon (4715 ft.) overlooks the town from the north-west. The ancient collegiate church of San Maximo occupies the traditional site of a cathedral founded by the Visigothic king Reccared about 600, and afterwards converted into a mosque. There is a brisk local trade in farm produce, and in the linen, hempen goods and pottery manufactured in Baza. The town nearly doubled its population in the last quarter of the 10th century. Sulphurous springs exist in the vicinity.

Baza is the Roman Basti, the medieval Basta or Bastiana; and numerous relics of antiquity, both Roman and medieval, have been found in the neighbourhood. Its bishopric was founded in 306. Under Moorish rule (c. 713-1489) it was one of the three most important cities in the kingdom of Granada, with an extensive trade, and a population estimated at 50,000. In 1489, after a stubborn defence lasting seven months, it was captured by the Spaniards under Isabella of Castile, whose cannon still adorn the Alameda or public promenade. On the 10th of August 1810 the French under Marshal Soult defeated a large Spanish force close to the town.


BAZAAR (Pers. bazar, market), a permanent market or street of shops, or a group of short narrow streets of stalls under one roof. The word has spread westward into Arabic, Turkish and, in special senses, into European languages, and eastward it has invaded India, where it has been generally adopted. In southern India and Ceylon bazaar means a single shop or stall. The word seems to have early reached South Europe (probably through Turkish), for F. Balducci Pegolotti in his mercantile handbook (c. 1340) gives “bazarra” as a Genoese word for market-place. The Malayan peoples have adopted the word as pazar. The meaning of the word has been much extended in English, where it is now equivalent to any sale, for charitable or mere commercial purposes, of mixed goods and fancy work.


BAZAINE, ACHILLE FRANÇOIS (1811-1888), marshal of France, was born at Versailles on the 13th of February 1811. He entered the army as a private soldier in 1831, with a view to service in Algeria, and received a commission as sub-lieutenant in 1833. By his gallantry in action he won the cross of the Legion of Honour, and he was promoted lieutenant in 1835. He served two campaigns with the Foreign Legion against the Carlists in Spain in 1837-38, returning to Africa as captain in 1839. During the succeeding decade he saw continual active service in Africa, and rose to be a brigadier-general with the charge of the district of Tlemçen. In the Crimean War he commanded a brigade, and maintained his reputation in the trenches before Sevastopol. On the capture of the south side he was appointed governor of the place, and was promoted general of