(b Newton, MA, Dec 13, 1903; d Stone Ridge, NY, May 1, 1988). American music critic and discographer. After a brief stint at Harvard University (1922), Darrell studied composition at the New England Conservatory (1923–6). With Axel B. Johnson, he co-founded the Boston-based Phonograph Monthly Review (1926–32), the first American periodical dedicated to recordings. Therein, at times under the pseudonym “Rufus,” Darrell wrote some of the earliest serious treatments of recorded jazz. In a 1932 article titled “Black Beauty,” Darrell published the first in-depth analysis of Duke Ellington’s music, of which he was an early and dedicated proponent. He viewed recordings as a way for the public to educate themselves about all genres of music but advocated in particular for contemporary American composers. In 1936 Darrell compiled The Gramophone Shop Encyclopedia of Recorded Music, a landmark discography in terms of both style and inclusiveness; he provided incisive introductions for each composer and placed popular and classical music side by side. Over the course of his long career, Darrell wrote for ...
Ryan Raul Bañagale
Ora Frishberg Saloman
(b Boston, May 13, 1813; d Boston, Sept 5, 1893). American writer on music. A graduate of Harvard College (1832) and Harvard Divinity School (1836), Dwight manifested an early affinity with the German idealist tradition in his annotated translations of poetry by Goethe and Schiller. As a leading contributor to the Associationist Harbinger (1845–9) and Dwight's Journal of Music (1852–81), which he founded and edited, he elevated criticism to a higher and more educational plane. After the death of his wife in 1860, he spent his last 20 years as resident librarian and permanent president of the Harvard Musical Association, which sponsored an annual series of concerts under his management (1865–82).
Dwight's writings of the 1840s reflect New England transcendentalist currents and a familiarity with such European thinkers as E.T.A. Hoffmann, A.B. Marx, Gottfried Fink, Charles Fourier, F.-J. Fétis, Frédéric Kalkbrenner, Thomas Carlyle and William Gardiner. Championing aesthetic education and informed listening, Dwight proposed that music – as art, science, and language of feeling ennobling and uniting people – be made widely accessible. In America he was a pioneer in describing the humanistic importance and large-scale structures of Beethoven's symphonies....
Beatriz Martínez del Fresno
(b Madrid, Dec 20, 1886; d Madrid, Dec 22, 1973). Spanish composer, librarian, critic and musicologist. He studied with his father and Antonio Santamaría, and from 1899 at the Madrid Conservatory with Andrés Monge, Manuel Fernández Grajal, Pedro Fontanilla, Felipe Pedrell and Emilio Serrano. Gómez won first prizes in harmony (1902), piano (1904) and composition (1908). He also studied history at Madrid University, earning a first degree (1907) and a doctorate (1918). After working as an arranger at the Teatro Real (1908–11) he was director of the Toledo Archaeological Museum (1911–13), head of the music section of the National Library (1913–15) and librarian of the Madrid Conservatory (1915–56). Among the subjects he taught was composition, which he taught to the group of composers known as the Generation of ’51.
Backed by Bretón and Bartolomé Pérez Casas at the beginning of his composing career, Gómez composed more than 100 works, some of which won national awards. His music wavers between neo-Romanticism (...
Patrick J. Smith
(b New York, Aug 19, 1916; d Baltimore, Nov 14, 1983). American musicologist, critic and librarian. He attended Columbia University (BS 1939) and the University of Maryland (MA 1957). He contributed music criticism to the Washington Star from 1953, and was its chief music critic from 1960 to 1978. He was assistant head of the reference section of the music division of the Library of Congress (1962–6). He was president of the Music Library Association (1965–6), executive board member of the AMS (1964–5), and was founder-member of the Music Critics Association, of which he was also president (1971–5). In 1975 he founded the American Sonneck Society, serving as its first president (until 1981) and initiating its official journal American Music (in 1983). After working as visiting professor at Brooklyn College, CUNY (1975–6), he taught at the Peabody Conservatory, Baltimore, from ...
M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet
[Vanderstraeten, Edmond ]
(b Oudenaarde, Dec 3, 1826; d Oudenaarde, Nov 25, 1895). Belgian musicologist, critic and librarian . After studying classics in Aalst and philosophy at the University of Ghent, he returned to Oudenaarde, where he directed several opera performances and began his research into local archives. In 1857 he went to Brussels, where he studied harmony with Bosselet and counterpoint and palaeography with Fétis, becoming his private secretary. On Fétis's recommendation he was appointed music critic for Le nord and in 1859 joined the catalogue department of the Bibliothèque Royale. He also wrote reviews for L'écho du parlement, L'étoile belge and other publications. Subsequently he did research at the Algemeen Rijksarchief in Brussels (1862–75) and in Italy, France and Spain. He represented the Belgian government on several missions; at Weimar in 1870 he attended performances of Wagner's operas and supported them enthusiastically in his report, Muzikale feesten van Weimar...