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Sven Hansell

revised by Carlida Steffan

(b Venice, 1721 or 1722; d Padua, Oct 28, 1760). Italian composer. After studying with Galuppi, he became maestro di cappella of S Maria della Salute in Venice. In 1745 he left this post to serve the Modenese court as maestro di cappella to the archduchess, where his La pace fra la virtù e la bellezza was performed the following year. Adolfati provided recitatives, choruses and six arias for Hasse’s Lo starnuto d’Ercole (P.G. Martelli). A printed libretto indicates that it was performed with puppets (bambocci) at the Teatro S Girolamo, a very small theatre within the Venetian palace of Angelo Labia, in 1745 and during the carnival of 1746. From 1748 until early 1760 Adolfati was director of music at SS Annunziata del Vastato in Genoa; then he moved to Padua, where he succeeded Rampini as maestro di cappella on 30 May.

Adolfati's music did not please Metastasio, who heard his setting for Vienna of ...


Brian W. Pritchard

Member of Ashley family

(b ?London, ?1734; d London, March 14, 1805). English bassoonist and conductor. He was first bassoon at Covent Garden Theatre, and became more widely known after his success as assistant conductor to Joah Bates at the 1784 Commemoration of Handel in Westminster Abbey. Charles Burney (An Account of the Musical Performances … in Commemoration of Handel; London, 1785) records that the ‘unwearied zeal and diligence’ of ‘Mr John Ashly of the Guards … were constantly employed with such intelligence and success, as greatly facilitated the advancement of the plan’. According to Burney he was also the ‘Mr Ashley’ who played the then novel double bassoon at these celebrations. Ashley’s four sons (see below) also took part in the commemoration and later in 1784 the whole family first appeared in the provinces at the Hereford meeting of the Three Choirs; they took part in subsequent Handel commemorations and from ...


Norris L. Stephens

(b Newcastle upon Tyne, bap. Feb 16, 1709; d Newcastle upon Tyne, 9/May 10, 1770). English composer, conductor, writer on music and organist. He was the most important English concerto composer of the 18th century and an original and influential writer on music.

He was the fifth of nine children born to Richard and Ann Avison. Since his father, a Newcastle town wait, was a practising musician, his musical training probably began at home. Later, while in the service of Ralph Jenison, a patron of the arts and MP for Northumberland from 1724 to 1741, he had opportunity for further study. He had additional support in his musical development from Colonel John Blathwayt (or Blaithwaite), formerly a director of the Royal Academy of Music, the operatic organization in London. There is no evidence that, as has been claimed, Avison went to Italy, but William Hayes and Charles Burney wrote that he studied with Geminiani in London....


Nicholas Temperley

(b York, Aug 12, 1838; d London, Jan 28, 1896). English conductor and composer. He was the son of Thomas Barnby, an organist, and became a chorister at York Minster at the age of seven. In 1854 he went to London and entered the RAM. After holding positions as organist at various London and York churches, he received his first important appointment in 1863 as organist of St Andrew’s, Wells Street, under its prominent Tractarian vicar Benjamin Webb. Responding perhaps to pressure from their affluent and fashionable congregation, Webb and Barnby developed a type of music far removed from the austerity desired by the early Tractarians. A paid, surpliced choir of 32 boys and 32 men adorned the chancel, and performed ‘fully choral’ services. The music for these services from 1866 onwards included adaptations of Roman Catholic masses and motets, principally those of Gounod, with the words translated by Webb and the music adapted by Barnby. At the performance of Gounod’s ...


David Charlton

[Le Breton]

Member of Berton family

(b Maubert-Fontaine, Ardennes, Jan 7, 1727; d Paris, May 14, 1780). French composer, conductor, and arranger. He was a boy chorister in Senlis Cathedral, and studied the organ, the harpsichord, and composition at the choir school. Some of his youthful motets were performed at the cathedral. He left for Paris to continue his studies, receiving encouragement from J.-M. Leclair, and at 16 joined the choir of Notre Dame as a tenor. After two years he was engaged as a singer at the Paris Opéra, but withdrew immediately (possibly because of shyness) and joined the cello section. From about 1746 he sang bass parts at Marseilles for two years and then became musical director at the Bordeaux Grand Théâtre, where he began the career of editing and arranging for which he is remembered. He also directed concerts, served as organist at two churches, and composed ballet music which was well received....


Francesco Bussi


(b Crema, 1703; d Piacenza, end of Jan 1779). Italian composer, conductor and organist. He succeeded Hasse in 1739 as maestro di cappella of the Ospedale degli Incurabili in Venice, and on 4 September 1744 succeeded G.B. Benzoni as maestro di cappella of Piacenza Cathedral, where he remained until his death. From 1744 to 1760 he also directed the Cappella di S Giovanni in Piacenza, again as Benzoni’s successor, and became a leading light at the Bourbon court of the dukes of Piacenza and Parma, presiding over their musical functions, both official and private. He was disliked, however, by the first minister, G. du Tillot, who in 1760 ordered Carcani to relinquish to his son Giacomo the post he had held since 1745 as musical director of the Congregazione di S Alessandro in Piacenza. In a letter dated 15 June 1768 Hasse expressed the wish that Carcani return to the Incurabili....


Neal Zaslaw

(b Paris, bap. Feb 6, 1695; d Paris, bur. Oct 7, 1766). French organist, harpsichordist, conductor and composer. Born into a family of musicians and instrument makers, he studied from 1702 under Nicolas Bernier as a choirboy at the Ste Chapelle, where in 1713 he assumed the duties of auxiliary organist. Around 1729 he was in the entourage of the wealthy patron of the arts, Bonnier de la Mosson, to whom his opp.1 and 2 were dedicated. Serving in the same Parisian household was Jean-Marie Leclair l’aîné who, although only two years Chéron’s junior and already internationally known, studied harmony and counterpoint with him. A decade later Leclair, with his op.7 violin concertos, acknowledged his debt in a warm letter of dedication to Chéron in which he stated that, ‘all the world knows that I am your pupil … If some beauties are found here, I owe them to the learned lessons that I received from you’....



(b ?1668; d Prague-Hradčany, Nov 16, 1734). Bohemian composer and choirmaster. He was an unpaid musician at Prague Cathedral, from about 1690, and from about 1701 to 1726 was choirmaster of the church of the Nativity in the Loreto at Hradčany. On 6 October 1705 he succeeded Wentzeli as capellae magister seu praefectus chori to the cathedral and held that post for nearly 30 years until his death (when he was succeeded by Görbig); by a careful choice of members he raised the standard of the ensemble. Besides his musical activities he was German registrar to the Prague court of appeal. His son Vojtěch (Adalbert) was viol player or cellist of the cathedral from 1727, and assisted as choirmaster during his father's final illness. By 1705 Gayer had begun to assemble a library of contemporary Italian sacred music and of his own compositions, and he enlarged it in ...



(b ?1684; d Prague-Strahov, March 2, 1737). Bohemian organist, choirmaster and composer. His age is given as 53 in the obituary register, but his name is not listed in the corresponding baptismal registers of Brüx (now Most) which was given as his place of birth by Dlabač.

Görbig was an unpaid assistant organist at the metropolitan cathedral of St Vitus in Prague from about 1703; on 24 July 1717 he became cellist and in 1727 he succeeded Tobias Ernest Liehre (1644–1727) as organist. After the death of J.C. Gayer he was appointed capellae magister, on 27 November 1734, and he held this post until his death; he was also organist at Strahov from about 1723. Besides his musical activities he was assessor to the subsidiary law court at Pohořelec (Prague). Gayer's son Vojtěch succeeded Görbig in 1727 as cellist of the metropolitan cathedral.

Görbig's artistic orientation can be seen from the selection of composers represented in his library (now in ...


Milan Poštolka

revised by Jiří Sehnal and Robert Hugo


(b Gossengrün (Krajková), nr Falkenau (Sokolov), Bohemia, bap. Wenceslaus, Sept 30, 1685; d Prague, March 21, 1734). Bohemian composer and choirmaster. He began his career as a singer at the Benedictine monasteries at Kladrau (Kladruby u Stříbra, 1696) and St Nikolaus (Mikuláš) in the Old Town of Prague (from 1698). There he studied music with Johann Ignaz Vojta, Prokop Smrkovský, and Isidor Wawak (Vavák) (organ); at 16 he began to compose. During his studies of law and theology, Jacob was active from 1707 as assistant organist at the same monastic church, and in 1711 he probably succeeded Vavák as choirmaster; some sources cite Jacob as choirmaster from 1705 and Vavák as organist. As a member of the Benedictine order he adopted the name Guntherus, took his monastic vows on November 1, 1710, and was ordained priest in 1714. In 1716 he was appointed an apostolic notary, and in ...


Kenneth Elliott

( fl 1624–43). Scottish musician . He graduated MA from Edinburgh University in 1624 and probably subsequently taught music in Edinburgh. His manuscript collection of psalm settings dated 1626 was known and described by Cowan, but has since disappeared. After Charles I’s Scottish coronation at Holyrood in 1633, regular choral services were re-established at the Scottish Chapel Royal; Millar was appointed Master of the Choristers in 1634 and in 1635 his fine edition of psalm settings was printed in Edinburgh. In this collection the 104 anonymous settings of the Proper Tunes are by Scottish composers of the late 16th century. Millar wrote in his preface: ‘I acknowledge sinceerely the whole compositions of the parts to belong to the primest Musicians that ever this kingdome had, as Deane John Angus, Blackhall Smith, Peebles, Sharp, Black, Buchan and others famous for their skill in this kind’. Some of these settings can be identified from other sources as wholly the work of Peebles, Buchan and Kemp. In many cases, however, Millar seems to have made ‘composite’ pieces by taking phrases from different settings and fitting them together (sometimes even transposing the parts) to form a more or less pleasing whole. This perhaps helps to explain Millar’s further comment in the preface: ‘collecting all the sets I could find on the Psalmes, after painfull tryall thereof, I selected the best for this work, according to my simple judgement’. In other sections of the book, certain settings of Common Tunes and psalms ‘in reports’, new to the ...


(b Narbonne, bap. Dec 25, 1711; d Belleville, Oct 8, 1772). French composer, violinist and conductor. With Jean-Philippe Rameau, he was one of the outstanding figures of French music in the 18th century. He probably received his musical education from his father, who was organist of Narbonne Cathedral. In 1731 he settled in Paris and made his début as a violinist at the Concert Spirituel on Palm Sunday 1734, on which occasion the Mercure de France praised him for his virtuosity. At about this time he also published his first collections of instrumental music, a set of violin sonatas op.1 (1733) and the Sonates en trio op.2 (1734). He was first violin in the Concert de Lille when, in 1738, he published Les sons harmoniques op.4, a set of violin sonatas with an introduction setting out, for the first time, the technique of playing harmonics on the violin by lightly touching an open string. On ...


Dieter Härtwig and Laurie H. Ongley

Member of Naumann family

(b Blasewitz, nr Dresden, April 17, 1741; d Dresden, Oct 23, 1801). German composer and conductor. He received his first musical training at the Kreuzschule in Dresden, and in May 1757 went to Italy as travelling companion of the Swedish violinist Anders Wesström. In Padua Tartini took an interest in him, as did Padre Martini in Bologna (1762) and Hasse in Venice. In 1762 he made his début in Venice as an opera composer with the intermezzo Il tesoro insidiato. At Carnival 1764 he collaborated with two other composers in the opera buffa Li creduti spiriti, and in the same year, on Hasse’s recommendation, he was engaged as second church composer at the Dresden court. There he was promoted to church and chamber composer (1765) and then to Kapellmeister (1776). He made further visits to Italy (1765–8...


Mary Hunter, James L. Jackman, Marita Petzoldt McClymonds, David Charlton, Dennis Libby, and Julian Rushton

Italian, later French, family of composers.

Piccinni [Piccini], (Vito) Niccolò [Nicola] (Marcello Antonio Giacomo) (b Bari, Jan 16, 1728; d Passy, nr Paris, May 7, 1800)

Piccinni, Luigi [Lodovico] (b ?Rome or Naples, 1764; d Passy, nr Paris, July 31, 1827)

Piccinni, Louis Alexandre [Luigi Alessandro; Lodovico Alessandro] (b Paris, Sept 10, 1779; d Paris, April 24, 1850)

BurneyFI; FétisB; La BordeE; RosaMJ.A. Hiller: ‘Sechste Fortsetzung des Entwurfs einer musikalischen Bibliothek’, Wöchentliche Nachrichten und Anmerkungen, 3 (1768), 57–64J.F. Marmontel: Essai sur les révolutions de la musique en France (Paris, 1777)G.M. Leblond: Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire de la révolution opérée dans la musique par M. le Chevalier Gluck (Naples and Paris, 1781)P.L. Ginguené: ‘Dessein’, ‘France’, Encyclopédie méthodique: musique, ed. N.E. Framery and P.L. Ginguené, 1 (Paris, 1791)P.L. Ginguené: Notice sur la vie et les ouvrages de Nicolas Piccinni...


Catherine Cessac

Member of Rebel family

(b Paris, June 19, 1701; d Paris, Nov 7, 1775). French violinist, theorbo player, conductor, composer, and opera director, eldest son of Jean-Fery Rebel. In 1714 he entered the orchestra of the Académie Royale and on August 22, 1717 obtained the reversion of his father’s position in the 24 Violons. In July 1723 he went to Prague with his friend François Francoeur to see the coronation of Emperor Charles VI, and while there heard Fux’s opera Costanza e Fortezza, in company with Tartini and Quantz. From then on the careers of Rebel and Francoeur were indissolubly linked. They played violin duets together at the Concert Spirituel in 1726, and produced their first joint work, the tragédie lyrique Pirame et Thisbé, known as ‘L’opéra des enfants’ because of the youthfulness of its authors. Rebel was the sole composer of a Pastorale héroïque performed at the Académie Royale on ...


Catherine Cessac

Member of Rebel family

(b Paris, bap. April 18, 1666; d Paris, Jan 2, 1747). French violinist, harpsichordist, conductor, and composer, son of Jean Rebel. He showed talent for music by the age of eight. Having attracted the notice of Lully, he became his pupil in the violin and composition. The Mercure galant mentioned him in December 1700 as one of the ‘instrumentalists from the Opéra’ who accompanied Philippe of Anjou to Spain. From August 18, 1705 he was one of the 24 Violons du Roi and then became batteur de mesure in that ensemble and in the Opéra orchestra. On March 30, 1718 he obtained from Michel-Richard de Lalande rights of reversion to the post of chamber composer to the king, and he duly succeeded his brother-in-law in this post on Lalande’s death. He and his son François were also musicians in the royal chapel. Rebel had powerful patrons, to whom he dedicated some of his works, including the sonata ...


Barry S. Brook and Richard Viano

Member of Rigel family

(b Wertheim, Feb 9, 1741; d Paris, May 2, 1799). French conductor, teacher, and composer. He was the son of Georg Caspar Riegel, an intendant (from about 1725 to his death in 1754) for Prince Löwenstein. After Georg’s death his widow Maria Anna petitioned the prince for the support of her under-aged children, and it is probable that he furthered the musical education of her sons. In 1767 the name Riegel appeared for the first time in the Breitkopf Catalogue, with incipits for seven symphonies and one violin concerto. According to La Borde (Essai sur la musique, 1780), Rigel studied with Jommelli in Stuttgart, was sent by F.X. Richter to France ‘pour faire l’éducation d’une jeune personne’, and then settled in Paris in 1768. From this statement, it could be inferred that he studied in Mannheim with Richter. However, La Borde’s date for Rigel’s arrival in the French capital is inexact. The French press places him in Paris early in ...


Emily Gunson

German family of musicians of Alsatian descent, active at the courts of Zweibrücken, Mannheim, and Munich.

Wendling, Johann Baptist (bap. Rappoltsweiler [now Ribeauvillé], June 17, 1723; d Munich, Germany, Nov 27, 1797)

Wendling, Franz Anton (bap. Rappoltsweiler, Oct 24, 1733; d Munich, Germany, May 16, 1786)

Wendling [née Spurni], (Maria) Dorothea (i) (bap. Stuttgart, Germany, March 21, 1736; d Munich, Aug 20, 1811)

Wendling [née Sarselli], Elisabeth [Lisl] Auguste (i) (bap. Mannheim, Germany, Feb 20, 1746; d Munich, Jan 10, 1786)

Wendling, (Johann) Carl (b Deux-Ponts [now Zweibrücken], Mar 30, 1750; d Mannheim, Germany, Nov 10, 1834)

Wendling, Elisabeth Auguste [Gustl] (ii) (bap. Mannheim, Germany, Oct 4, 1752; d Munich, Feb 18, 1794)

Wendling, (Katharina) Dorothea (ii) (bap. Mannheim, Germany, Jan 27, 1767; d Munich, May 19, 1839)

BurneyGN; GerberL; GerberNL; LipowskyB; MGG2; WalterGA. von Riaucour: Official diplomatic correspondence...