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The revolution having broken out in 1789, the government assumed the republican form. The court abandoning Naples and return. ing into Sicily, the government named Paisiello, composer to the nation. But the Bourbon family being re-established, they made it a crime to have accepted this employment, and till the moment that he was freed from the reproaches cast on him, his appointments were suspended. At last, after two years had elapsed, he was restored to his situation. He was afterwards demanded by the first consul of France, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Ferdinand King of Naples gave him a dispatch with an order to go to Paris, and place himself at the disposal of the first consul. Alquier, the minister of France, resident at Naples, pressed him on this occasion to declare his intentions respecting the fees and the treatment he desired. M. PaisieLLO replied that the honor of serving the first consul sufficed him.
On arriving at Paris he was provided with a furnished apartment, and one of the court carriages; he was assigned a salary of twelve thousand francs, and a present of eighteen thousand francs for the expences of his stay besides those of his journey.
He was offered at Paris several employments, such as those of Director of the Imperial Academy, and of the Conservatorio; he res fused them all, and contented himself with that of Director of the Chapel, which he filled with excellent artists. He composed for this chapel sixteen sacred services, consisting of masses, motetts, prayers, &c. and besides these he composed the opera of Proserpine, for the Academy of Music, and a grand mass for two choirs, a Te Deum and prayers for the coronation of the Emperor.
Finding that the climate of Paris did not agree with his wife be quitted this city after residing in it two years and a half, and notwithstanding his distance from thence he continued to send every year, to Napoleon, a sacred composition for the anniversary of bis birth, the 15th of August. A year after his departure the Emperor proposed to him to return to Paris, but the bad state of his health prevented him from accepting the invitation.
The Bourbon family being obliged to quit Naples, King Joseph Napoleon confirmed to him the place of Master of the Chapel, of composer and director of the music of his chamber and of his chapel, with an appointment of eighteen hundred ducats. He has composed for this chapel twenty-four services, consisting of masses, potctts, and prayers.
At thc same time Napoleon sent him the cross of the legion of honor, which Joseph himself presented to him, with a pension of a thousand francs. He has since composed the opera Dei Pittagorici, which might serve as a model both to poets and to musicians, and which procured him the decoration of the order of the two Sicilies, from the King; he was also named a member of the Royal Society of Naples, and president of the musical direction of the Royal Con. servatorio. Joseph having gone to Spain, Murat, who succeeded him, confirmed M. PAISIELLO in all bis employments.
At the time of the Emperor's marriage with her Imperial and Royal Highness the Archduchess of Austria, M. Paisielle, thought it his duty to present his Majesty with a sacred composition, and in token of his thanks, his Majesty sent him a present of four thousand francs, which was accompanied with a letter, addressed to him, from the Grand Marshal of the palace, containing the acknowledgments of his Majesty.
Besides the offices already spoken of M. PAISIELLO is chapelmaster of the cathedral of Naples, for which he has composed several services alla Palestrina, he is also chapel-master to the municipality. He has composed for different religious houses, now destroyed, a great number of offices, such as three masses for two choirs, two masses for five voices, three masses for four voices, two Dirits for four voices, three motetts for two choirs, six motetts for four voices, a Miserere for five voices, alla Palestrina, with an acccompaniment for a violoncello and tenor, a Christus, besides three cantatas for a single voice, for amateurs, four notturnos for two voices, six concertos for the piano forte, composed expressly for the infanta Princess of Parma, afterwards Queen of Spain, (wife of Charles IV.)
M. Paisiello is the first who introduced the tenor into the comie theatres of Naples; an instrument which was not at all in use. He is also the first who brought into these theatres and the churches thic use of concerted bassoons and clarinets.
It was he who took off the probibition of applauding in the theatre of San Carlos, singers and composers; the King set the example by applauding an air sung by CARLO RAINA, in the opera of L. Papirius.
M. Paisiello has been named a member of many learned societies, such as of the Napoleon Academy, of Lucca, the Italian Academy, sitting at Livourne, and the society of the Children of
Apollo, at Paris. On the 30th of December, 1809, he was elected an associate of the Institution of France.
Among the numerous works of which we have given the list, there are many which have had general success, and which have been and are still performed in the principal theatres of Europe The following are among the comic operas :- La Frescatana, Le Due Contesse, Il Re Teodoro, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Il Furbo mal accorto, 1). Anchise Campanone, La Modista raggiratrice, I Zinguri in fiera, Dal Finto il vero, L'inganno felice, L'Arabo cortese, L'Amor contrastato, Il Tumburro notturno, La pazza per amore, L'Innocente fortunala, 11 matrimonio inaspettato, La Serra Padrona, I Filosofi imaginari, Le gare generose, La Grotla di Trofonio. Among the serious operasLa diffutta di Dario, L'Elfrida, Il Pirro, La Nitteti, L'Antigono, Lucindu ed Armidoro, L'Olympiade, Il Demetrio, L’Andromaca, La Fedrn, Catone in Utica, 1 giuochi d'Agrigento. Among the works for the church-La Passione, the mass for two choirs, the Te Deum, the motetis and funeral symphonies.
Although the cold and tiresome poem of Proserpine very much injured the success of the music in France, where, in the eyes of the public, the poem decides the success of an opera, M. Paisiello thinks that this work, translated into Italian, will increase those on whicle his reputation has been founded.
To complete the account M. Paisiello has thus rendered of himself, some remarks on the nature of his talents, and on those qualities which characterised him are merely necessary. To do this in few words, they are fertility of invention, an extraordinary and happy facility of finding subjects full both of nature and originality, a talent unique in developing them by the resources of melody, and embel. lishing them by interesting details, an arrangement always full of fancy and learning, a taste, grace, and freshness of melody by which he has far surpassed all other composers, and bas been a model to those who have laboured after him. His composition always very simple, and divested of all affectation of learning; is not only es. tremely correct, but exceedingly elegant, and his accompaniments always very clear, are at the same time brilliant and full of effect. With regard to expression, although simplicity seems to be its prin'cipal and ruling character, it is not less true that he knows perfectly how to introduce variety, to seize on the different methods of pro. ducing effect, and to pass from the comic, from the simple and un
affected to the pathetic, to the majestic, and even to the terrible, without losing that grace and elegance, from which it appears impossible for him to depart.
Such are the qualities which have obtained M. Paisiello the suffrages of all, both those of the public and of amateurs, as well as those of the learned and of masters. · No composer could at any time have been more universally ad. mired, sought, applauded, and sung in all the nations of Europe, nor have better deserved the distinguished reception his works have every where met. No one bas more enjoyed such universal success. Placed at the same time among the most delightfulantliors and among the finest classics, he has received the homage of his age, and lias assured to himself that of posterity.
PRELIMINARY REMARKS ON BASS SINGING.
OUR two first numbers contained a detailed analysis of tenor and soprano singing, as exhibited in the highest examples this country has known during the memory of those of the present times. We shall now proceed towards the completion of the series, by some account of the progress of bass singing during the same period. But before we attempt to illustrate as heretofore, by character, it appears to be necessary to prefix some account of the changes which this department of public singing bas undergone, as well as of the state in wbich we now find it.
At the commencement of this æra, the airs selected for basses in the principal concerts of the metropolis were principally from the works of Handel. After so much has been everywhere written upon the style of this master, it may seem superfluous to enter upon any remaks relative to what ought to be so thoroughly understood; but nevertheless a short notice is indispensible,
It is principally to be observed, that Handel wrote for particular singers, and was therefore compelled to adapt himself to their capacities; we shall have reason to perceive that similar circumstances operating upon other composers, have produced very singular and very contrary effects. His bass songs were written in a flowing and
powerful, but mechanical and heavy style. He endeavoured to infase lightness by divisions rather than by melody, and the whole cast of these airs are suited to the ponderous and rough magnificence of genuine bass voices of great compass and strength, in the lower tones especially. HANDEL's bass songs of touching sentiment, of whichi Tears such as tender Fathers shed,* and How willing my paternal lovet are examples, though beautiful in point of melody to modern cars, seem wanting in the grace and tenderness which alone can enable bass voices to affect the hearer. They are too sombre. While on the contrary, such songs as Revenge Timotheus cries, Honor and arms,t and See the raging flames arise, I though composed with prodigious energy in the declamatory parts, are somewhat coarse in cffect from the dry, mechanical formation of the divisions of which they are so materially made up. These two species, however, give us the most forcible examples of the general manner in which our greatest genius thought it best to compose for this kind of voice. We beg to be understood now to speak generally, for there are particular instances which cannot be classed with either of these. Three of the airs in the Messiah stand alone. They mix both the cantabile and passages of division in a manner as extraordinary as full, rich, and expressive. But who may abide the day of his coming, is a melody abounding with very chaste and impassioned eloquence. The recitative and air, For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and The people that walked, are written in a style of curious, and we may say felicitous adaptation, which has never been equalled, and will certainly Rever be surpassed. To crown the magnificence, grandeur, and solemnity of the part HANDEL has assigned to his bass in this the most inspired of his works, comes The Trumpet shall sound, a song of an expression so matchless and unearthly, that it conveys the language of the most awful prophecy which waits upon mortality, in sounds not less impressive and licart-piercing than the sacred words themselves. The minor movement is to our apprehension so infinitely simple, yet so imposing in its structure, that it always seems to us as if Hax. DEL had reached the utmost intensity of thought and feeling in the composition of the few bars which it contains. It is not at all below the latter part of I know that my Redeemer liveth, and we know of no task requiring more a subline understanding of the wbole combined
+ Sampson. Alexander's feast.