Thomas Roseingrave

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St George Church, London, where Thomas Roseingrave was appointed organist in 1725 Saint George Church, Hanover Square.jpg
St George Church, London, where Thomas Roseingrave was appointed organist in 1725

Thomas Roseingrave (1690 or 1691 – 23 June 1766) [1] , like his father Daniel Roseingrave, was an English-born Irish composer and organist.

Daniel Roseingrave was an English-born organist and composer mainly active in Dublin, Ireland.

Contents

Early years

He was born at Winchester, where his father Daniel Roseingrave was the Cathedral organist, but spent his early years in Dublin, studying music with his father (who, by then, was organist of both St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin and Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. In 1707 he entered Trinity College but failed to complete his degree. In 1710 he was sent to Italy with the financial assistance of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin (awarded in 1709) in order "to improve himself in the art of music". In Venice he met Domenico Scarlatti and was greatly impressed by his harpsichord playing. He followed Scarlatti to Naples and Rome and, later in life, he published an edition of Scarlatti's sonatas for harpsichord which led to a "Scarlatti cult" in England.

Winchester city in Hampshire, England

Winchester is a city and the county town of Hampshire, England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, and is located at the western end of the South Downs National Park, along the course of the River Itchen. It is situated 60 miles (97 km) south-west of London and 13.6 miles (21.9 km) from Southampton, its closest city. At the time of the 2011 Census, Winchester had a population of 45,184. The wider City of Winchester district which includes towns such as Alresford and Bishop's Waltham has a population of 116,800.

Dublin Capital of, and largest city in, Ireland

Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland. Situated on a bay on the east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey, it lies within the province of Leinster. It is bordered on the south by the Dublin Mountains, a part of the Wicklow Mountains range. It has an urban area population of 1,173,179, while the population of the Dublin Region, as of 2016, was 1,347,359, and the population of the Greater Dublin Area was 1,904,806.

Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin Church in Ireland

Christ Church Cathedral, more formally The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, is the cathedral of the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough and the cathedral of the ecclesiastical province of the United Provinces of Dublin and Cashel in the (Anglican) Church of Ireland. It is situated in Dublin, Ireland, and is the elder of the capital city's two medieval cathedrals, the other being St Patrick's Cathedral.

Roseingrave composed several works in Italy including an anthem and a cantata. He returned to England in 1717 (having left Italy for Dublin in 1713) . In 1720 he produced Scarlatti's opera Amor d'un'ombra e gelosia d'un'aura under the title Narciso at the Haymarket Theatre, to which he added two arias and two duets of his own. He was appointed organist of St George's, Hanover Square, in 1725. He became known as an accomplished improviser, especially of fugues. He had a great admiration for the music of Palestrina and was highly skilled at contrapuntal writing. According to Charles Burney he could play the most difficult music by sight.

An anthem is a musical composition of celebration, usually used as a symbol for a distinct group, particularly the national anthems of countries. Originally, and in music theory and religious contexts, it also refers more particularly to short sacred choral work and still more particularly to a specific form of Anglican church music.

A cantata is a vocal composition with an instrumental accompaniment, typically in several movements, often involving a choir.

<i>Amor dunombra e gelosia dunaura</i> opera

Amor d'un'ombra e gelosia d'un'aura, also known as Narciso ("Narcissus"), is an opera in three acts composed by Domenico Scarlatti to a libretto by Carlo Sigismondo Capece. It premiered in Rome in January 1714 at the private theatre of Maria Casimira of Poland who had commissioned the work. The libretto is based on two fables from Ovid's Metamorphoses: Echo and Narcissus and Cephalus and Procris.

Later years

In the 1730s he was at the height of his technique and skill. However, his successful career came to an end when he was denied permission to marry a young lady with whom he had become infatuated. Her father would not allow her to marry a musician. The disappointment affected Roseingrave psychologically; his behaviour reportedly became irrational at times, and he neglected his duties. Eventually he retired to Dublin in 1747 where he lived with his nephew William in Dún Laoghaire. In Ireland, he mainly seems to have spent his retirement, a remarkable exception being the first and only performance of his opera Phaedra and Hippolitus on 6 March 1753 in Dublin. He died at Dún Laoghaire in 1766 and was buried in his family's grave in the churchyard of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.

Dún Laoghaire Town in Leinster, Ireland

Dún Laoghaire is a suburban coastal town in County Dublin, Ireland, about 12 km south of Dublin city centre. It is the county town of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown. Formerly a major port of entry from Great Britain, it was known as Dunleary until 1821 when it was renamed Kingstown in honour of King George IV's visit that year, and in 1920 was given its present name, the original Irish form of Dunleary.

St Patricks Cathedral, Dublin National cathedral of the Church of Ireland, in Dublin

Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland, founded in 1191, is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. With its 43-metre (141 ft) spire, St. Patrick's is the tallest church in Ireland and the largest. Christ Church Cathedral, also a Church of Ireland cathedral in Dublin, is designated as the local Cathedral of the diocese of Dublin and Glendalough.

Evaluation

Roseingrave's best compositions are his keyboard works which show surprisingly little influence of continental composers. His harpsichord works occasionally reflect the influence of Scarlatti, but the organ works are closer to the English style of Purcell and Blow. They are at times highly chromatic, reflecting the dissonant approach of English music such as Purcell's viol fantasies. They show irregular phrasing and form, suggesting that they may have arisen from freely extemporised performances for which he had been so famous. He also wrote solos for flute, and Italian cantatas. His contemporaries often criticised him for his "harsh, ungrateful harmony, and extravagant and licentious modulations". Most English composers in the 18th century had adopted the Italianate style in the Handelian manner, and the ears of English music lovers were becoming accustomed to the easier harmony and form of the galant style. Thus Roseingrave's music would have appeared to many to be too intellectual and old-fashioned.

Henry Purcell English composer

Henry Purcell was an English composer. Although incorporating Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, Purcell's legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music. He is generally considered to be one of the greatest English composers; no later native-born English composer approached his fame until Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams, William Walton and Benjamin Britten in the 20th century.

John Blow English composer

John Blow was an English Baroque composer and organist, appointed to Westminster Abbey in 1669. His pupils included William Croft, Jeremiah Clarke and Henry Purcell. In 1685 he was named a private musician to James II. His only stage composition, Venus and Adonis, is thought to have influenced Henry Purcell's later opera Dido and Aeneas. In 1687 he became choirmaster at St Paul's Cathedral, where many of his pieces were performed. In 1699 he was appointed to the newly created post of Composer to the Chapel Royal.

Viol Bowed, fretted and stringed instrument

The viol, viola da gamba, or informally gamba, is any one of a family of bowed, fretted and stringed instruments with hollow wooden bodies and pegboxes where the tension on the strings can be increased or decreased to adjust the pitch of each of the strings. Frets on the viol are usually made of gut, tied on the fingerboard around the instrument's neck, to enable the performer to stop the strings more cleanly. Frets improve consistency of intonation and lend the stopped notes a tone that better matches the open strings. Viols first appeared in Spain in the mid to late 15th century and were most popular in the Renaissance and Baroque (1600–1750) periods. Early ancestors include the Arabic rebab and the medieval European vielle, but later, more direct possible ancestors include the Venetian viole and the 15th- and 16th-century Spanish vihuela, a 6-course plucked instrument tuned like a lute that looked like but was quite distinct from the 4-course guitar.

One factor which led to increased esteem for Roseingrave in the 20th century (though even now his music is seldom heard in concert, as opposed to being included on recordings) was the enthusiasm demonstrated for his output by Constant Lambert. Indeed, Lambert actually oversaw the first modern editions of several Roseingrave pieces.

Constant Lambert British composer and conductor

Leonard Constant Lambert was a British composer, conductor, and author.

Recordings

Selectively cited from Klein (2001) [2]

Media

Loudspeaker.svg Gigue  

Bibliography

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References

  1. Grove Music Online. Accessed 5 October 2006. The Oxford Companion to Music gives 1688.
  2. Axel Klein: Irish Classical Recordings (Westport CT: Greenwood Press, 2001), pp. 143–5.

Free scores by Thomas Roseingrave at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)