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Hereditary Genius
Mendelssohn and Meyerbeer are the only musicians in my list whose
eminent kinsmen have achieved their success in other careers than
that of music.
I am indebted to a friend, for a list of 120 musicians, who appeared to him to be the
most original and eminent upon record. They were made for quite another object to my
own, and I therefore am the more disposed to rely on the justice of my friend's choice.
26 of these, or about 1 in 5, have had eminent kinsmen, as is shown in the following
catalogue. The illustrious musicians are only 7 in number; namely, Sebastian Bach,
Beethoven, Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Spohr. The 4 who are italicised
are instances of hereditary genius.
Allegri, Gregorio (15801652, aet. 72); composer of the Miserere sung at the S.
Sixtine at Rome in Lent; a man of kindly and charitable disposition, who used
to visit the prisons daily, and give what he could to the prisoners.
? Exact relation. Correggio Allegri and his family. See PAINTERS.
Amati; a family of eminent makers of violins, who lived in Cremona, and were the
first introducers of that instrument into Italy. They are six in number, indeed,
there is a seventh—Joseph of Bologna, who was living in 1786, but whose
relationship to the others is unknown. Those of the family that showed the
most original power are Andrea (B, 2 S, P), and Antonio (F, U, B, N).
                                   |                              |
           Andrew.                      Nicholas.
     |                   |
   Antonio.           Jerome.
Bach, Sebastian; a transcendent musical genius (16851750, aet. 65). He was very
precocious, and arrived at the full maturity of his powers aet. 22. His home life
was simple and quiet. He was a good husband, father, friend, and Previous page Top Next page