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Introduction. THE following biographical sketches were originally published in America by Mr. George T. Ferris, in two volumes, separately entitled The Great German Composers and The Great Italian and French Composers. They have achieved the success they deserved: for while we have whole libraries of books upon the history and technicalities of music in general, upon musical theories and schools, and upon the exponents thereof in their artistic... more...

BACH. I. The growth and development of German music are eminently noteworthy facts in the history of the fine arts. In little more than a century and a half it reached its present high and brilliant place, its progress being so consecutive and regular that the composers who illustrated its well-defined epochs might fairly have linked hands in one connected series. To Johann Sebastian Bach must be accorded the title of "father of modern music."... more...

THE VIOLIN AND EARLY VIOLINISTS. The Ancestry of the Violin.—The Origin of the Cremona School of Violin-Making.—The Amatis and Stradiuarii.—Extraordinary Art Activity of Italy at this Period.—Antonius Stradiuarius and Joseph Guarnerius.—Something about the Lives of the Two Greatest Violin-Makers of the World.—Corelli, the First Great Violinist.—His Contemporaries and Associates.—Anecdotes of his... more...

MARIA FELICIA MALIBRAN. The Childhood of Maria Garcia.—Her Father's Sternness and Severe Discipline.—Her First Appearance as an Artist on the Operatic Stage.—Her Genius and Power evident from the Beginning.—Anecdotes of her Early Career.—Manuel Garcia's Operatic Enterprise in New York.—Maria Garcia is inveigled into marrying M. Malibran.—Failure of the Garcia Opera, and Maria's Separation from her... more...

FAUSTINA BORDONI. The Art-Battles of Handel's Time.—The Feud between Cuzzoni and Faustina.—The Character of the Two Rivals as Women and Artists.—Faustina's Career.—Her Marriage with Adolph Hasse, and something about the Composer's Music.—Their Dresden Life.—Cuzzoni's Latter Years.—Sketch of the Great Singer Farinelli.—The Old Age of hasse and Faustina. I. During the early portion of the... more...

PALESTRINA. I. The Netherlands share other glories than that of having nursed the most indomitable spirit of liberty known to mediteval Europe. The fine as well as the industrial arts found among this remarkable people, distinguished by Erasmus as possessed of the patientia laboris, an eager and passionate culture. The early contributions of the Low Countries to the growth of the pictorial art are well known to all. But to most it will be a... more...