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WILLIAM H. HUSK, ESQ., Librarian to the Sacred Harmonic Society W. H. H.

F. H. JENKS, Esq., Boston, Mass., U. S. A.



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STANLEY LUCAS, Esq., Secretary to the Philharmonic Society
GEORGE ALEXANDER MACFARREN, Mus. Doc., Professor of Music

in the University of Cambridge, &c., &c.


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EDWIN G. MONK, ESQ., Mus. Doc., Organist of York Cathedral
SIR HERBERT S. OAKELEY, Mus. Doc., Professor of Music at the

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of Music in the University of Oxford

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HERR C. F. POHL, Librarian to the Gesellschaft der Musik

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SIR ROBERT P. STEWART, Mus. Doc., Professor of Music in Dublin

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ARTHUR SEYMOUR SULLIVAN, ESQ., Mus. Doc., Principal of the

National Training School of Music


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ALEXANDER W. THAYER, ESQ., United States Consul, Trieste,

Author of the Life of Beethoven

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Bedford Street, Covent Garden,

Oct. 1, 1880.





IMPROPERIA, i.. 'The Reproaches.' A series of Antiphons and Responses, forming part of the solemn Service, which, on the morning of Good Friday, is substituted for the usual daily Mass of the Roman Ritual,

The text of the Improperia, written partly in Latin, and partly in Greek, is designed to illustrate the sorrowful remonstrance of our Lord with His people, concerning their ungrateful return for the benefits He has bestowed upon them. The touching words in which these remonstrances are expressed were originally sung to well-known Plain Chaunt melodies, preserved in the Graduale Romanum, and still retained in very general use, both in England, and on the Continent: but, since the Pontificate of Pope Pius IV, they have been invariably chaunted, in the Sistine Chapel, to some simple, but exquisitely beautiful Faux bourdons, to which they were adapted, by Palestrina, in the year 1560. In depth of feeling, true pathos, and perfect adaptation of the music to the sense of the words, these wonderful Improperia have never been exceeded, even by Palestrina himself. We may well believe, indeed, that he alone could have succeeded in drawing, from the few simple chords which enter into their construction, the profoundly impressive effect they never fail to produce; an effect so strictly in accordance with that of the solemn Ceremony with which they are associated that we can only hope to render the one intelligible by describing it in connexion with the other.

A small Crucifix having been laid upon the Altar Step, the Clergy, first, and afterwards the people, kneel down to kiss its Feet. While they are slowly approaching the Sanctuary, by two and two, for this purpose, the Improperia are sung, very softly, and without any accompaniment whatever, by two Antiphonal Choirs, which answer each other, by turns, in Greek, and Latin, sometimes in full Chorus, and sometimes employing the Voices of a few leading Choristers


only, on either side. After the last Reproach,' and the Response which follows it, the two Choirs unite in singing the first Verse of the Psalm, 'Deus misereatur nostri,' preceded, and followed, by the Antiphon, 'Crucem tuam adoramus.' The Hymn Pange lingua' is then sung, entire, with the Verse, 'Crux fidelis,' divided into two portions, which are sung, alternately, between the other Strophes. It is the duty of the Maître de Chapelle to take care that this music occupies exactly the same time as the ceremony of 'Creeping to the Cross' (as it was formerly called, in England). Should there be but few people present, he is at liberty to omit any portion of it: should there be many, he may cause as much as he considers necessary to be sung over again. In either case, when all present have kissed the Crucifix, the Candles on the Altar are lighted: a new Procession is formed: the Blessed Sacrament is carried, with great solemnity, from the Chapel in which it has been reserved since the Mass of Holy Thursday, to the High Altar, the Choir singing the Hymn, Vexilla regis,' as they precede it on its way: and the Service called 'The Mass of the Presanctified' then proceeds in accordance with directions contained in the Missal.

No printed copy of the Improperia was issued, either by Palestrina himself, or the assignees of his son, Igino. They were first published in London, by Dr. Burney; who, on the authority of a MS. presented to him by the Cavaliere Santarelli, inserted them, in the year 1771, in a work entitled 'La Musica della Settimana Santa,' which has now become very scarce. Alfieri also printed them among his Excerpta, published, at Rome, in 1840; and, in 1863, Dr. Proske included them in the fourth volume of his Musica

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Divina. These three editions differ from each other very considerably. That of Proske,

ter - ra Ægypti: etc. 2 3 3

copied from the Altämps-Otthoboni MS. preserved in the Vatican Library, may fairly be assumed to represent the work exactly in the condition in which Palestrina left it: but the varied readings of Burney (1771),

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INCLEDON, CHARLES BENJAMIN,-the second of which names he despised and seldom used, was the son of a medical practitioner at St. Kevern, Cornwall, where he was born in 1763. At 8 years of age he was placed in the choir of Exeter Cathedral, where he received his early musical education, first from Richard Langdon and afterwards from William Jackson. In 1779 he entered on board the Formidable, manof-war, 98 guns, under Capt. (afterwards RearAdmiral) Cleland. On the West India station he changed his ship for the Raisonable, 64 guns, Captain Lord Hervey. His voice had now be come a fine tenor, and his singing attracted the attention of Admiral Pigot, commander of the fleet, who frequently sent for him to join himself and Admiral Hughes in the performance of glees ti: etc. and catches. Incledon returned to England in 1783, when Admiral Pigot, Lord Mulgrave, and Lord Hervey gave him letters of introduction to Sheridan and Colman. Failing to obtain an engagement from either manager he joined Collins's company and made his first appearance at the Southampton Theatre in 1784 as Alphonso in Dr. Arnold's 'Castle of Andalusia.' In the next year he was engaged at the Bath Theatre, ti. etc. where he made his first appearance as Belville in Shield's Rosina.' At Bath he attracted the attention of Rauzzini, who gave him instruction and introduced him at his concerts. In 1786 he Gardens with great success, and during the next made his first appearance in London at Vauxhall and at Bath in the winter. On Sept. 17, 1790, three years he was engaged there in the summer he made his first appearance at Covent Garden Theatre as Dermot in Shield's Poor Soldier,' and from that time for upwards of 30 years held a high position in public favour, singing not only at the theatre and Vauxhall, but also at concerts, the Lenten oratorios, and the provincial music meetings. In 1817 he visited America, and made a tour through a considerable part of the United States, where he was received with great applause During the latter years of his life he travelled through the provinces under the style of The Wandering Melodist,' and gave an entertainment which was received with much favour. Early in 1826 he went to Worcester for the purpose of giving his entertainment, where he was attacked by paralysis, which terminated his existence on Feb. II. He was buried at Hampstead, Middlesex. Incledon's voice and manner of singing were thus described by a contemporary:He had a voice of uncommon power both in the natural and falsette. The former was from A to G, a compass of about fourteen notes; the latter he could use from D to E or F, or about ten notes. His natural voice was full and open, neither partaking of the reed nor the string, and sent forth without the smallest artifice; and such was its ductility that when he sung pianissimo it retained its original quality. His falsette was rich, sweet and brilliant, but totally unlike the other. He took it without preparation, according to circumstances either about D, E, or F, or ascending an octave, which

are both valuable and interesting, as records of
the abellimenti used in the Pontifical Chapel at
the time of their transcription. Burney's version
was reproduced, by Choron, among his examples
of the Great Masters, in 1836; and again, in
1840, by Vincent Novello, in "The Music of Holy
Week,' which is still in print.
IMPROVISATION, an equivalent term for Ex
TEMPORE PLAYING or Extemporising. Moscheles
has left a curious account of the way in which
Mendelssohn and he used to amuse themselves
by improvising à quatre mains, a feat already
mentioned in respect to Beethoven and Wölff
under EXTEMPORE. 'We often,' says he (Life,
i. 274), improvise together on his magnificent
Erard, each of us trying to dart as quick as
lightning on the suggestions contained in the
other's harmonies and to make fresh ones upon
them. Then, if I bring in a theme out of his
music, he immediately cuts in with one out of
mine; then I retort, and then he, and so on ad
infinitum, like two people at blind man's buff
running against each other.'

Nottebohm remarks in his 'Beethoveniana' (p. 54) that of all Beethoven's string quartets that in C minor (op. 131) has most the character of an Improvisation, but at the same time he quotes alterations from the sketchbooks (15 of one passage only) which show that the work was the very reverse of an impromptu, and the result of more than ordinary labour and vacillation, thus corroborating the remark made in the article on Beethoven in this Dictionary (p. 174 a) that the longer he worked at his phrases, the more apparently spontaneous did they become. [G.]

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