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Giovanni Carli Ballola

revised by Roberta Montemorra Marvin

(b Alessandria, March 20, 1851; d Alessandria, May 2, 1894). Italian organist and composer. He began his musical studies with his stepfather, Pietro Cornaglia. From 1868 to 1871 he attended the Milan Conservatory, studying the piano with Antonio Angeleri and composition with Lauro Rossi and Mazzucato. His graduation exercise, the cantata Caino e Abele, won the first prize and a medal of honour. He toured abroad as a concert pianist, but from 1880 until his death was organist at the cathedral in Alessandria, where he also founded a school of composition, singing and piano, and conducted concerts for the Associazione filarmonica alessandrina. He composed three operas, Isabella Spinola (1877, Milan), Maria di Warden (1884, Venice) and Una partita a scacchi (1892, Pavia), the latter based on Giuseppe Giacosa's popular comedy. In these works, which did not have much success, Abbà Cornaglia remained uninfluenced by the innovatory tendencies of the ‘Scapigliatura’ and of Catalani and by the new ...


Roger Bowers

(b c1420; d 1497). English church musician. He was noted as a fine singer and skilful organist. After service in the household of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (until 1447), and as a lay clerk of Eton College (1447–51), where he was one of the four clerks specially responsible for singing polyphony in the college chapel, he became a clerk of the Chapel Royal in 1451, and Master of the Choristers there from 1455 to 1478. His duties included teaching the boys to play the organ and to sing plainsong and improvised polyphony; also it seems probable that he was instrumental in the introduction about this time of the use of boys’ voices in composed polyphony. The award to him in 1464 of a Cambridge MusB reflects his eminence in the musical profession – he is the earliest known recipient of this degree – while the patronage of Bishop Bekynton brought him valuable sinecures in the diocese of Bath and Wells. His last years were spent as a resident of Sanctuary Yard, Westminster Abbey....


Robin Langley

(b c1749; d after 1794). English composer, organist and cellist. According to his recommendation by Francis Hackwood to the Society of Musicians, on 1 February 1784 he was 35 years old, married with two children, organist of Brompton Chapel and a competent violinist, viola player and cellist. He performed as a cellist in the Handel commemoration concerts in 1784 and played in the band for the Academy of Ancient Music during the 1787–8 season. He probably also took part as a cellist in the concerts (held annually) at St Paul’s Cathedral for the relief of the clergy in 1785, 1789, 1790, 1793 and 1795.

From his extant published works it can be seen that Adams was a competent purveyor of small-scale vocal and instrumental works in the manner of Haigh, Osmond or Reeve. His music shows an awareness of changing styles: the early songs and canzonets accompanied either by harpsichord or orchestra with obbligato instrument are in the manner of Arne, giving way to a symphonic style like that of J.C. Bach or Hook in the three sonatas of op.4 (for piano or harpsichord with violin or flute accompaniment); his late sonata for piano duet shows some grasp of larger forms, and ...


Robin Bowman

(fl 1697–1706). Italian composer, violinist and organist, active in northern Europe. At one time he was in the service of the Prince of Carignan (a small town in the French Ardennes) and in this capacity appeared as a violinist before Louis XIV in 1697. About 1703 he was organist of the monastery at Kranenburg, on the present Dutch–German border. He published XII suonate a tre, duoi violini e violone col basso per l’organo op.1 (Amsterdam, 1703). One of the two surviving copies ( US-CHua ) bears the date 1706 on one partbook and the signature ‘Alberti’ on all four; a copy in Sweden ( S-L ) is also signed. The contents are all church sonatas, and each contains between six and eight movements, all in the same key. They are stolid, old-fashioned, rather uninspired works, competently written for the most part but using only the simplest imitative techniques and frequently becoming homophonic. The part for violone, which for Alberti meant ‘cello’, is sometimes quite elaborate, creating a genuine four-part texture....


Lowell Lindgren

[‘Pippo del Violoncello’]

(b Rome, c1665; d London, c1725). Italian cellist and composer. He was mistakenly named ‘Filippo Mattei’ in Mattheson’s Critica musica (January 1723). He played at Rome in concerts and religious functions sponsored by Cardinal Pamphili (1685–1708), the church of S Luigi dei Francesi (1686–1711), Cardinal Ottoboni (1690–99), the Accademia del Disegno di S Luca (1702–11), Prince Ruspoli (1708–11) and the church of S Giacomo degli Spagnoli (1707–13). He joined the musicians’ Accademia di Santo Cecilia on 25 September 1690, was the organist at S Spirito in 1694 and a trombonist in the Concerto del Campidoglio beginning in 1702. He is called ‘Roman’ in the libretto for his oratorio Aman delusus (1699) and that of La stella de’ magi (1702) identifies him as a ‘virtuoso’ of Cardinal Ottoboni. He served as ...


Arthur J. Ness

(fl Padua, c1545–50). Italian priest, composer, lutenist and guitarist. He composed or intabulated books 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10 in Girolamo Scotto’s ten volume series of lute tablatures (Venice, 1546–9), which also included tablatures by Francesco da Milano, Rotta, Giovanni Maria da Crema and Borrono. Barberiis’s name is absent from lists of prominent Paduan musicians of the time, and only two of his pieces were reprinted in later collections. At best, his five books preserve the practical repertory of a ‘sonatore eccellentissimo di lautto’ who had little or no formal musical training.

Barberiis’s ricercares, fantasias and canzonas, some of which are in two or three sections, are usually constructed from a succession of chords (often drawn from madrigals or dances) filled out and linked by ornamental passage work. One fantasia is a simple gloss upon a composition by Francesco da Milano. Book 4 (1546...


Howard Mayer Brown

(b France, mid-16th century; d Reims, c1620). French organist and calligrapher. He was organist at the cathedrals of Laon and Reims. Between 1583 and 1587 he copied out a manuscript by François Merlin, controlleur général for Marie Elizabeth, only daughter of Charles IX. The work, Recherches de plusieurs singularités ( F-Pn fonds fr. 9152), contains drawings, diagrams and finely written texts on a number of artistic and scientific subjects, including alphabets and the Lord's Prayer in many languages, exterior and interior views of buildings (among them two showing the organs in Reims Cathedral and the Ste Chapelle in Paris), scientific diagrams and maps, music, and drawings of musical instruments. Many of the pages are signed by Cellier. The volume was prepared for presentation to Henri III. The musical section is dated 1585.

Besides tunings, canons and short compositions, a table of notes and rests, and samples of tablature, the section on music contains detailed drawings, some of them incorrect, of many instruments, including the mandore, drums, trumpet, several wind bands, musical glasses, anvil, psaltery, hurdy-gurdy, transverse flute, viol, harp, bagpipe, violin, carillon, the Turkish ‘tambora’, jingles sewn on to a dancer, clavichord, regals, lute, triangle, cittern, a neo-classical lyre, virginals, guitar and panpipes (some of the drawings are reproduced as plates 6 and 7 in ...


William Hays

(b ? c1636; d Paris, June 17, 1694). French composer, priest and serpent player. Papillon and Poisot asserted that he was born at Beaune. Brenet, however, maintained that he was born in Paris and that he entered the Ste Chapelle as a choirboy on 24 June 1645. The records of the Ste Chapelle relating to his death and burial state that he had been a choirboy there and had served the chapel uninterruptedly thereafter. On the title-page of his one extant work he is described as chaplain of the Ste Chapelle and also of Quimper Cathedral. Four masses by him were published in Paris: Missa ‘Pulchra ut luna’ (1689, 2/1729), Missa pro defunctis (1690), Missa ‘Floribus omnia cedant’ (1691) and Missa ‘Electa ut sol’ (1691), all for four voices, except the third, which was for five. Only the first is extant. Its style is simple and largely syllabic but with points of imitation even in the longer movements; it suffers from the monotony and narrow range of the melodic lines....


(b Naples, 1717 (?); d Naples, after July 28, 1778). Italian harpsichordist, composer, and maestro di cappella. Son of Giuseppe D’Alessandro, Gennaro studied with Leonardo Leo, according to tenor Anton Raaff. Fétis’ statement that D’Alessandro was born in 1717 is unsourced. On August 21, 1739 he was hired as maestro di coro at Venice’s Ospedale della Pietà, a position he retained until May 13, 1740. He was the first in a distinguished cohort of Neapolitan choirmasters who served at the Pietà during the 18th century, following a local trend started in 1726 by Nicola Porpora at the Ospedale degli Incurabili.

Of the sacred music D’Alessandro composed for the Pietà only incomplete vocal partbooks of a Miserere and a Missa brevis survive in the Fondo Correr of the Conservatorio ‘Benedetto Marcello’ in Venice, bearing the names of the soprano (Michielina) and the alto (Placida) among the figlie di coro...


(b Padua; d probably Padua, 1616). Italian composer, maestro di cappella and instrumentalist. He was a priest. A document dated 7 March 1595 shows that he was a trombone player at S Antonio, Padua. In the same year he was appointed for three years from 1 May as a trombonist in the chapel of Padua Cathedral, and this position was renewed in 1598. He was maestro di cappella at Montagnana, following Lucrezio Venturo, from 14 October 1600 to 24 August 1603; he was succeeded by Vincenzo Neriti. He maintained connections, during this period, with the chapel of Padua Cathedral and had occasional engagements there. On 21 February 1602 he had returned to the cathedral as a chorister. On 21 November 1602 he obtained a papal brève which allowed him to receive his salary while out of residence, and on 6 July 1606 he was appointed for six years as assistant ...