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Article

Ausilia Magaudda and Danilo Costantini

(b Milan, 29 June–6 Aug 1647; d Milan, Sept 2, 1712). Italian composer and tenor. His family was originally from Centonara, in the province of Novara, where the surname Chiapetta (Chiappetta, Chiappetti, Ciapeta, Ciapetta) was so common that ‘de Alessandri’ was used to identify the branch to which the composer belonged. It was because of these origins that his contemporary L.A. Cotta included him in a list of Novara musicians, describing him as ‘Giulio de Alessandri Chiapetta di Centonara in Riviera di S Giulio’. The documents which refer to him and his compositions use both surnames separately, and so ‘Giulio d’Alessandri’ and the ‘Canon Chiapetta’ have been identified as two different composers. He was ordained priest on 6 April 1669. On 10 December 1676 he was appointed a tenor and vicemaestro di cappella of Milan Cathedral. During this period he collaborated with P.F. Tosi, who worked at Milan Cathedral from ...

Article

Sven Hansell and Marita P. McClymonds

(b ?Rome, Nov 24, 1747; d Casinalbo, nr Modena, Aug 15, 1798). Italian composer. According to Manferrari, he was born at S Damaso, near Modena. He studied in Naples and had his first large work, the oratorio Il Tobia, performed in Rome in 1765. Having gained recognition as a harpsichordist and conductor in Turin and in Paris at the Concert Spirituel, he visited Verona and Venice to prepare his first operas, Ezio and Il matrimonio per concorso, for Carnival 1767. At about this time he married the buffa singer Maria Lavinia Guadagni (b Lodi, 21 Nov 1735; d Padua, c1790), sister of the celebrated castrato Gaetano Guadagni; both were employed by the King's Theatre, London, for which Alessandri composed the comic operas La moglie fedele (1768) and Il re alla caccia (1769). Although he must have visited Vienna for the première of his opera ...

Article

Michael F. Robinson

revised by Francesca Seller

(fl 1739–40). Italian composer. In the document recording his appointment as maestro di cappella of the Ospedale della Pietà, Venice, in 1739 he is called ‘Alessandro Gennaro Napolitano’, which indicates that he was born or educated or both in the Neapolitan region. Fétis stated that he was born in Naples in 1717, but no confirmation of this is known. He was in service at the Pietà from 21 August 1739 to 13 May 1740 when he was dismissed for lack of diligence. Within that period he was not entirely idle, however, for he presented his opera Ottone at the Theatro S Giovanni Grisostomo, Venice, during Carnival 1740 and his serenata Il coro delle muse at the Ospedale on 21 March of the same year, performed by the pupils themselves. Both compositions were in honour of the Electoral Prince of Saxony, Friedrich Christian. Goldoni, who wrote the words of the serenata, said in his memoirs (...

Article

Luise Marretta-Schär

(b St Gall, March 17, 1911; d Lausanne, March 17, 1959). Swiss composer, pianist and organist. He began his music studies in Zürich in 1932, for the most part teaching himself; from 1934 to 1937 he studied in Paris with Dupré, Paul Roës and Nadia Boulanger, and returned to Switzerland in 1940. Settling in Lausanne, he worked as a concert pianist, composer, music critic and broadcaster. His eclectic style took elements from the varied musical currents of the time, but he retained a basis of sonata form and tonal harmony. He favoured driving rhythms and his writing is complex and compact. (L. Marretta-Schär: Raffaele d’Alessandro: Leben und Werk, Winterthur, 1979)

(selective list)

Article

Raquel Bustos Valderrama

(b Breslau [now Wrocław], June 8, 1924; d Aug 7, 2005). Chilean composer and educator of German origin. She emigrated to Chile in 1939 and adopted Chilean nationality in 1951. She studied with Frè Focke (1949–53) in Chile and with René Leibowitz and Olivier Messiaen in France in 1954. Through several significant educational projects she contributed to a better public understanding of contemporary music in Chile; she also promoted Chilean musical culture in Europe. Her works won international prizes and she received commissions from patrons and organizations in Europe and the USA. Her music, modernist in style and sometimes using sounds generated by unconventional means, includes two ballets, Las tres caras de la luna (1966) and … a false alarm on the nightbell once answered cannot be made good, no ever (1977–8), and several works for full orchestra, including Cinco epigramas (...

Article

Burkhard Kippenberg

revised by Lorenz Welker

[Der wilde Alexander]

(fl mid- to late 13th century). German poet-composer. He is not attested in official documents or mentioned in contemporary literature. The only biographical clues are certain allusions in his poetry to historical events between 1285 and 1288 but more recent study shows additional allusions to events from 1247 to 1252. In two manuscripts he is named ‘der wilde Alexander’, perhaps because of his unusual style or his restless itinerant life, and in the Jena manuscript he is called ‘Meister Alexander’. But the Meistersinger did not regard him as one of the 12 masters.

Alexander was one of the most important Minnesinger and composers of Sprüche (see Spruch) after the time of Walther von der Vogelweide. In the surviving sources he is represented mainly by 24 Spruch strophes (in only one Ton), but also by two Minnelieder and one Leich. The principal themes of his Spruch...

Article

John C.G. Waterhouse, Virgilio Bernardoni and Johannes Streicher

(b Posillipo, Naples, March 8, 1875; d San Remo, Oct 27, 1954). Italian composer. After studying the piano privately with Alessandro Longo, and harmony and composition with Camillo de Nardis and Serrao at the Conservatorio di S Pietro a Majella, Naples, he moved in 1895 to Leipzig, where he completed his composition studies with Jadassohn. In 1896 he went to Berlin and launched himself as a pianist, though he did not continue this activity systematically for long: in later life he appeared in public only as a song accompanist and chamber music player, mainly in his own works. From 1899 until about 1905 he was based in Paris, but travelled as far afield as Russia. He then settled in Milan, moving in 1914 to San Remo, which remained at least his summer home for the rest of his life. From 1916 he taught composition at the Liceo Musicale, Bologna, which he directed from ...

Article

Dennis Libby

revised by Emanuele Senici

(b Rome, June 29, 1801; d Rome, June 12, 1863). Italian musicologist and composer. Ordained a Roman priest in 1823, his life was entirely directed towards the deliverance of liturgical music from what he saw as the debased theatrical style of contemporary composers and the neglect and incompetence of singers and organists in regard to Gregorian chant and Renaissance music. He contributed most importantly to this goal through his editions, particularly the Raccolta di musica sacra (Rome, 1841–6), the seven volumes of which provided the first large modern collection of Palestrina's music. Palestrina was Alfieri's ideal for new church music, which, according to his Ristabilimento, should be grave, succinct and suited in expression to the words, which were to be presented clearly and with few repetitions. His own compositions, many of them published at Rome, exemplified these principles.

Alfieri was also a pioneer in Italy in the historical study of Gregorian chant, which he sought to restore to its original purity, although along lines that now appear somewhat arbitrary and subjective. His early ...

Article

Thomas Walker

revised by Jennifer Williams Brown

(b Naples, 1630; d Naples, Jan 21, 1665). Italian composer. He studied at the Conservatorio dei Poveri di Gesù Cristo from 1642 to 1649 and about 1658 was named maestro di cappella of the city of Naples. In 1655 he composed for the Teatro S Bartolomeo La fedeltà trionfante (G.C. Sorrentino), one of the first operas originally written for Naples. Prota-Giurleo (DBI) ascribed to him two other dramatic works: Le magie amorose (1653, Naples) and Il trionfo della pace (G. Gastaldo; 1658, Naples). The libretto of Le magie is a revision of Marco Faustini's Rosinda; if Alfiero was involved, he may simply have revised Cavalli's music. Bianconi proposes O. Gaudioso and A. De Santis as the composers of Il trionfo. Alfiero's only surviving work is a hymn ( I-Nf ).

DBI (U. Prota-Giurleo) B. Croce: I teatri di Napoli, secolo XV–XVIII (Naples, 1891/...

Article

Geoffrey Self

[Ricketts, Frederic Joseph]

(b London, Feb 21, 1881; d Reigate, May 15, 1945). English composer and bandmaster. As a cornet-player with the Royal Irish Regiment, he served in India. Subsequently he studied at Kneller Hall (1904–8), qualifying as a bandmaster, and in 1908 was appointed to the 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. In 1912, under the pseudonym Alford (his mother's name), he published the marches The Vedette and Holyrood, the first of a long series of marches. Two of the most famous, written during World War I, illustrate differing approaches to march-style. Colonel Bogey (1913) is in simple time; the golfing allusion of the title reflects the work's origin on the green, where Alford's partner would whistle the notes C and A instead of shouting ‘fore’. On the Quarter Deck (1917) is in the compound time made popular by the American John Philip Sousa. Alford is unlikely to have missed Sousa's concert on ...