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Article

Guy Bourligueux

(b Salon-de-Provence, bap. Feb 24, 1674; d after 1733). French composer. He was the son of Jean Abeille, a royal notary, and may have been a choirboy at the collegiate church of St Laurent in Salon-de-Provence. From 1699 to 1700 he was maître de chapelle of the primate’s church of St Trophime, Arles; from 31 March 1713 until 17 October 1713, when he was succeeded by François Pétouille, he was vicaire de choeur and maître de musique at the royal parish church of St Germain-l’Auxerrois in Paris. No further details of his life are known.

His most important compositions were two volumes of the Psalms of David translated into French by Antoine Godeau, Bishop of Vence, dedicated to Mme de Maintenon and intended for the use of the young ladies at St Cyr. The 150 psalms are set with considerable skill and variety: the earlier ones are short and simple, but the later ones, in three parts alternating with ...

Article

Hanns-Bertold Dietz and Joseph Vella Bondin

(Matteo)

(b Valetta, Nov 16, 1715; d Naples, Oct 1760). Maltese composer and teacher. His grandfather, who was French, settled in Malta in 1661. Abos's cousin Carol Farrugia paid for him to go to Naples as a child and receive his musical training at the Conservatorio dei Poveri di Gesù. An entry in the 1729 account book of the institution lists a payment to a ‘Maltese maggiore’ for copying a ‘new work by Sig Francesco Durante, Dixit’. Abos's principal teachers at the conservatory would have been first Gaetano Greco, then Durante and Gerolimo Ferrara (not Leonardo Leo). His first opera for Naples was Le due zingare simili, an opera buffa staged at the Teatro Nuovo in 1742. In the same year he took teaching posts at two Neapolitan conservatories: the Poveri di Gesù Cristi, where he succeeded Alfonso Caggi as secondo maestro and assisted Francesco Feo until the institution was dissolved in ...

Article

Ortrun Landmann

[Jean]

(b c1705; d Dresden, Nov 13, 1779). German composer. He was a Jagdpfeifer at the Dresden court (1733–6), then until his death a violist in the Dresden Hofkapelle. He was also ‘ballet-compositeur’ of the court opera (from c1740), and composer and director of music for the elector’s French theatre (1763–9). According to Burney and Fürstenau, he added ballet music to operas by J.A. Hasse and made an adaptation of Rameau’s Zoroastre (Dresden, 1752); the documents of the Hofkapelle in the Dresden State Archives indicate that he also composed new pieces for various opéras comiques, and in 1756 he published a Recueil d’airs à danser executés sur le Théâtre du Roi à Dresde, arranged for harpsichord. The concertos and chamber works listed under ‘Adam’ in the Breitkopf catalogues may also be attributed to him. Few of his compositions are extant; apart from his arrangements of works by other composers, the Sächsische Landesbibliothek in Dresden contains only a concerto in G for flute and strings by him....

Article

Owen Jander

revised by Giancarlo Rostirolla

[‘Il Bolsena’]

(b Bolsena, Nov 30, 1663; d Rome, July 22, 1742). Italian singer, writer and composer of Venetian origin. After early study at Montefiascone he was sent to Rome. Though his admission to the Cappella Giulia was recorded on 1 December 1682, he did not take up a post there until much later. In 1682 (or at the latest 16 September 1686) Adami became a member of the Congregazione dei Musici di S Cecilia, a fact which would confirm his professional activity in the sacred circles of Rome. He was a castrato of obviously unusual talent, but the remarkable success of his career also owed much to the fact that he enjoyed the protection of Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni – the most influential Roman music patron of the day – in whose palace he served as musician-in-residence from 1686 to 1740. On 5 October 1690 he became a member of the Arcadia – the foremost musico-literary academy in Rome – where he was dubbed ‘Caricle Piseo’. Aided by Ottoboni’s patronage he was admitted as a soprano to the Cappella Sistina at the age of 26 (...

Article

Donald R. Boomgaarden

(b Milston, Wilts., May 1, 1672; d Kensington, London, June 17, 1719). English librettist and writer on opera. He studied at Oxford, then held minor political offices and toured on the Continent (1699–1704), hearing performances in the most important operatic centres. He documented his impressions of opera in his Remarks upon Several Parts of Italy (London, 1705), commenting perceptively on the differences between the Italian, French and English poetic styles and criticizing the dramatic vacuity of Italian opera librettos. He later wrote a libretto on the story of Rosamond, mistress of Henry II, which was set by Thomas Clayton (1707) and was not successful, partially because of the composer's ineptitude. The libretto, while not Addison's best work, is an elegant attempt to create an opera on a British theme and shows that he had studied the dramatic and technical sides of opera. It was set successfully by T.A. Arne (...

Article

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 ...

Article

Ingmar Bengtsson

revised by Bertil H. van Boer

(b Löth, Östergötland, Feb 1, 1701; d Nuremberg, Jan 19, 1765). Swedish composer, violinist and harpsichordist. His father was a priest. He went to school in Linköping and studied at Uppsala University from 1721 to 1722 or 1723, where he played in the university orchestra, then led by the director musices Eric Burman. Early biographers said that Prince Maximilian of Hesse heard Agrell's violin playing in 1723 and called him to Kassel. Firm evidence of Agrell's activity there is, however, found only from 1734, when F. Chelleri was Kapellmeister. He was still working in Kassel between 1737 and 1742 during the reign of Count Wilhelm VIII and the court long owed him payment for service, as well as ‘ale and food money’, for the years 1743 to 1746. During his time at Kassel Agrell is reported to have made several journeys, visiting England, France, Italy and elsewhere.

Uncertain economic circumstances seem to have driven Agrell to seek the post of Kapellmeister in Nuremberg, a post which he obtained in ...

Article

Craig H. Russell

(fl ? late 17th to early 18th century). Mexican music copyist. He may have been related to Juan Rodríguez de Aguirre, a músico and cantor at the royal chapel in Madrid in the latter part of the 17th century. The only known manuscript copied by him is the Códice Saldívar no.2 (a tablature in the possession of Gabriel Saldívar y Silva's family, Mexico City), one of the most valuable and fascinating instrumental anthologies to come out of the New World. It contains over 100 works of Mexican, Caribbean, Central American and Spanish origin. The American pieces are particularly interesting, bearing such engaging titles as Portorrico, Panamá, Corrido and Tocotín; most give only a bare harmonic skeleton in block chords followed by a few bars of melodic improvisation. This is some of the earliest, if not the earliest, notated secular music indigenous to New Spain, while the piece entitled Portorrico de los negros por 1 y 2 rasgado...

Article

Anne Schnoebelen

(b Bologna, Sept 20, 1663; d Bologna, June 22, 1735). Italian composer. Born of noble parents, Marcantonio Albergati Capacelli and Vittoria Carpegna, he soon took a lively part in Bolognese musical life, and was a friend (and perhaps pupil) of G.A. Perti and Corelli. The dedication of Albergati's op.5 to Leopold I led Eitner to assume that he was in that emperor's service, but this thesis is unsupported. Although Albergati accepted a post as maestro di cappella in Puiano in 1728, his chief musical activity besides composition was that of enlightened dilettante and patron of other composers. G.M. Bononcini and Giuseppe Jacchini both dedicated works to him. The Albergati palace in Bologna, according to the chronicles, was the scene of many festive serenatas, academies and cantatas. Between 1682 and 1731 Albergati was elected 24 times to the governing body of Bologna, the Anziani. From 1701 to 1708 he served six times as gonfalonier of justice. In ...

Article

Gloria Eive

(b Faenza, bap. Dec 31, 1716; d Faenza, Oct 12, 1785). Italian violinist, composer and teacher. He studied with Tartini, probably between 1730 or 1731 and 1733, by which date his name appears in the list of musicians at Faenza Cathedral, as third (and last) violinist under the direction of his brother, Don Francesco Alberghi, maestro di cappella. In 1742 he was referred to in Faenza chronicles as ‘Paolo Alberghi, Professore’, and both his virtuosity and his compositions – sonatas and violin concertos – were extravagantly praised. In 1753 he became first violinist and, on his brother’s death in 1760, maestro di cappella as well; he retained both positions until his death. Alberghi supplemented his small salary from the cathedral by playing for civic festivities and for the two academies of Faenza, and by composing and teaching; among his pupils were Bernardo Campagnoli, Antonio Bisoni, Cristoforo Babbi and possibly Giuseppe Sarti (unconfirmed). A portrait of Alberghi in the Biblioteca Comunale of Faenza (which, together with the Archivio Capitolare del Duomo, contains much biographical material in manuscript) indicates that he was blind in one eye....

Article

(b Roncal, Navarra, June 10, 1722; d Madrid, March 30, 1756). Spanish composer and organist. He was a member of the choir of Pamplona Cathedral from 1734 to 1739. In 1748 he was made first organist of the Spanish royal chapel, an appointment that placed him in the orbit of Domenico Scarlatti for a period of at least eight years. It is possible that he was in Madrid before then.

Albero’s extant music survives in two undated manuscripts: Sonatas para clavicordio ( I-Vnm It. IV 197b/9768) and Obras, para clavicordio, o piano forte ( E-Mc 4/1727(2)). The first of these was probably taken to Italy by the castrato Farinelli when he left Spain in 1759. The Madrid source is possibly the earliest Spanish manuscript to indicate the pianoforte in its title. It is apparent that Scarlatti and his sonatas influenced Albero’s style, and that José Elías, principal organist at the convent of the Descalzas Reales and Albero’s teacher by ...

Article

Michael Talbot

(b Venice, c1710; d Rome, Oct 14, 1746). Italian composer, harpsichordist and singer. Alberti's claim to historical recognition rests traditionally on his harpsichord sonatas, in which the arpeggiated bass that lent his name a posthumous notoriety is a prominent feature (see Alberti bass). In his lifetime, however, Alberti was equally famous as a singer and as a performer (sometimes as self-accompanist) on the harpsichord. His amateur status was perhaps unfairly seized upon by his detractors, for his reported early training in singing and counterpoint under A. Biffi and A. Lotti does not suggest an inadequate grounding; it may, however, account for the restricted quantity and scope of his output. Of his non-musical career little is recorded except that he served the Venetian ambassador, Pietro Andrea Cappello, as a page on a visit to Spain about 1736, provoking Farinelli's admiration of his singing, and subsequently joined the household of Marquis Giovanni Carlo Molinari in Rome. His harpsichord sonatas are generally believed to date from these last years. He is buried in S Marco, Rome....

Article

Michael Talbot

revised by Enrico Careri

(b Bologna, Sept 20, 1685; d Bologna, Feb 18, 1751). Italian composer and violinist. He studied the violin with Carlo Manzolini, and counterpoint with P.M. Minelli and Floriano Arresti. He became a member of the Accademia Filarmonica, Bologna, in 1705, and from 1709 played the violin in the orchestra of S Petronio. His first set of concertos, published in 1713, were first performed under the composer's direction at the house of Count Orazio Bargellini. In 1721 Alberti was chosen president (principe) of the Accademia Filarmonica, a post to which he was re-elected in 1724, 1728, 1733, 1740 and 1746. A set of violin sonatas, op.2 (1721), was followed by a further set of concertos, collectively entitled ‘Sinfonie’, and issued by Le Cène in 1725 – presumably without the composer's authorization as they are incorrectly designated op.2. (This possibly inadvertent duplication of an opus number led to the renumbering of the violin sonatas as op.3 when published by Walsh shortly afterwards.) From ...

Article

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....

Article

Rudolf A. Rasch

[Weissenburg, Johann Heinrich von; Weissenburg, Johan Handrik van]

(b ?Bieswangen, Bavaria, c1660; d c?1730). Dutch composer and violinist of German extraction. The name Henricus Albicastro is a Latin-Italian translation of his true name, Johann Heinrich von Weissenburg. The designation ‘del Biswang’ on the title-pages of some of his works presumably refers to Bieswangen as his place of birth (there is, moreover, a town called Weissenburg nearby). There is nothing to corroborate Walther's statement that he was Swiss, but many details about his life are still unclear. His compositions adhere closely to the Italian style in string music with continuo, but there is no way of telling whether this results from study with an Italian composer in Italy or elsewhere, or from the study of Italian music available north of the Alps.

Albicastro was registered as ‘musicus academiae’ at the University of Leiden in 1686, meaning that he became head of the modest musical establishment there, a position he may have held until ...

Article

Michael Talbot

[Zuane]

(b Venice, June 8, 1671; d Venice, Jan 17, 1750/51). Italian composer. His father, Antonio Albinoni, was a stationer and manufacturer of playing cards who owned several shops in Venice and some landed property. As well as completing his apprenticeship as a stationer, Tomaso, the eldest son, learnt the violin and took singing lessons; his teachers are not known. Despite his talent he was not tempted on reaching adulthood to seek a post in church or court, preferring to remain a dilettante – a man of independent means who delighted himself (and others) through music. As a composer he first had an unsuccessful flirtation with church music. A mass for three unaccompanied male voices is the sole survivor of this episode (the Magnificat in G minor ascribed to him is of dubious authenticity); juvenile infelicities abound, yet it clearly shows his penchant for contrapuntal pattern-weaving. In 1694...

Article

[Giuseppe Maria]

(b Bologna, June 8, 1671; d Bologna, Feb 9, 1707). Italian composer. He studied composition and counterpoint with Perti, probably while the latter was maestro di cappella of S Pietro, Bologna. In 1695, after at least two of his oratorios had been performed in the city's churches, he became a member of the Accademia Filarmonica, and in 1701 was elected its principe. His name appears in librettos from 1702 as honorary composer to the Duke of Mantua and maestro di cappella of the Accademia dello Spirito Santo, Ferrara. Contemporary accounts indicate that he was a man of intemperate habits, which perhaps accounted for his lack of professional preferment and for his habitual poverty despite the recognition of his talent. He drowned in the canal port in Bologna as he was preparing to leave for Venice.

Aldrovandini was highly valued as a teacher of singing in Florence, and Prince Ferdinand sent his ...

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

Daniel Heartz

(b Venice, Dec 11, 1712; d Pisa, May 3, 1764). Italian writer on opera, poet and savant. He was well educated at Rome and Bologna, whence he was welcomed into the learned circles of London and Paris, where he shared accommodation with Voltaire. In 1740 Frederick the Great took him into his personal service and gave him the title of count. From 1742 to 1747 he was also adviser to Augustus III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. At both Berlin and Dresden he was actively engaged in operatic productions, arranging and versifying Italian librettos to the taste of his patrons. He returned to Italy in 1753 because of ill-health. His Saggio sopra l'opera in musica was written the following year and first published in 1755. It attacks the unruliness prevalent in Italian public theatres, which compared unfavourably with the well-regulated and varied spectacles beginning to emerge at the court theatres of northern Europe. Other contemporary essayists such as Blainville, John Brown, Calzabigi, Krause, Ortes and Durazzo said much the same thing in condemning the dominance of the singers over every other aspect of serious opera in Italy....

Article

(b Brescia, June 19, 1666; d Brescia, 29 or March 30, 1733). Italian composer and organist. He began musical studies at an early age with Orazio Polaroli (organist of Brescia Cathedral) and spent a short time (c1681–3) serving at the court of the Polish king when Polaroli was its maestro di cappella. After his return to Brescia, Alghisi entered the order of S Filippo Neri without, however, ceasing to compose secular music. From at least 1690 he was maestro di cappella of S Maria della Pace, their church, and in that year he applied, without success, for the position of organist of Brescia Cathedral. A libretto of 1692 refers to him as maestro di cappella of the Brescian Collegio dei Nobili and the title-page to his Sonate da camera describes him as a member of the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna. In the libretto for his oratorio ...