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Article

Cuthbert Girdlestone

revised by Jean-Paul Montagnier

(b St Cloud, Aug 2, 1674; d Versailles, Dec 2, 1723). French patron and musician . He was Duke of Chartres and (after the death of his father in 1701) Duke of Orléans, and from 1715 Regent of France. A nephew of Louis XIV, he grew up in Paris and played the flute, guitar, harpsichord and viol. He studied music with Etienne Loulié and composition with Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Nicolas Bernier and Charles-Hubert Gervais, his lifelong valet whom he appointed intendant of his music in 1700. He was keenly interested in Italian music and employed both French and Italian musicians. His earliest known work was an opera, Philomèle, written in collaboration with Charpentier in 1694 and played three times in his residence, the Palais Royal. The duke forbade its publication and it is lost. Helped by Gervais, he composed Penthée, an opera which was probably rehearsed on 21 October 1703...

Article

(b Paris, 1692; d Paris, 1765). French patron and writer . He came from an old and illustrious family and pursued a military career before turning to the arts and letters and taking up archaeological research and the life of high society. His mother, a niece of Mme de Maintenon, was an excellent singer and harpsichordist who corresponded with the abbé Antonio Conti. Caylus travelled in Italy in 1714–15 and became a devotee of the opera of Venice, Bologna and Milan; on returning to Paris he provided the Crozat concerts with new Italian works. When his mother died in 1729 he immersed himself in his studies of archaeology and history. He rediscovered Guillaume de Machaut and also the musical past of France, particularly its folklore and chansons, thus inaugurating a movement continued by Jean Monnet and Charles de Lusse. His work on the instruments of antiquity sparked off François Arnaud’s ...

Article

David Johnson

(b Penicuik House, nr Edinburgh, Nov 8, 1676; d Penicuik, Oct 4, 1755). Scottish politician, composer and music patron. Born into a landed Scottish family, from 1694 to 1697 he studied law at Leiden University, where he probably had composition lessons with Jakob Kremberg. He then did a grand tour until 1700, visiting Vienna and settling for 15 months in Rome, where he had composition lessons with Corelli. On returning to Scotland he was caught up in public affairs, which led to his being one of the signatories of the Treaty of Union between Scotland and England in 1707. From the age of 26 onwards he seems to have had no time for serious composition: his main surviving musical works were all written by about 1703. He succeeded his father as second baronet of Penicuik in 1722. In later life the erstwhile composer contented himself with patronizing others' musical efforts; an important protégé was the writer Allan Ramsay (...

Article

Ferenc Bónis

[Paul]

(b Eisenstadt [Hung. Kismarton], Sept 7, 1635; d Eisenstadt, March 26, 1713). Hungarian composer, poet and patron of the arts. He was the son of Nikolaus (Miklós) Esterházy, palatine of Hungary. He was a pupil at the Jesuit school in Nagyszombat, where he appeared in school dramas, and later he had a brilliant career as a statesman and soldier. In 1652 he was appointed governor of the county of Sopron and royal councillor, and in 1661 he became Lord Steward at the court of Leopold I in Vienna. He was created Hungary’s palatine (1681) and prince of the Holy Roman Empire (1687).

In his collection of poems dating from 1656, Palas s Ester kedves táncza (‘Much-loved dance of Palas and Ester’ – a reference to his own name), Esterházy described instruments then in use in Hungary. In 1674 he engaged a church choir and an orchestra in Eisenstadt, which were to form the basis of musical life at the Esterházy residence. Esterházy was a virginalist and his repertory has survived; it includes some 80 sacred and secular songs and both international and east European (Polish, Slovak, Hungarian and Walachian) dances....

Article

Ruth Smith

(b Gopsall, Leics., 1700; d Gopsall, bur. Nether Whitacre, Warwicks., Nov 20, 1773). English patron, scholar and librettist. The grandson of a wealthy Birmingham ironmaster, he was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and subsequently divided his time between London and the family estate of Gopsall, Leicestershire, which he inherited, with properties in five other counties, in 1747.

A member of the circle of Handel’s admirers that included the 4th Earl of Shaftesbury and James Harris, Jennens’s devotion to Handel’s music is first attested in his subscription to Rodelinda (1725), the first Handel score published by subscription; thereafter he was a constant and generous subscriber. Apparently aiming at a complete archive, he amassed the most comprehensive contemporary collection of Handel’s music, both manuscript copies and printed editions, forming the Aylesford Collection (principally GB-Mp ; named after his cousin who inherited it), which also included works by more than 40 other composers, mainly Italian but also English. Through the agency of his friend Edward Holdsworth, a grand tour tutor, he acquired newly published and MS music from Italy, including part of Cardinal Ottoboni’s library, from which Handel borrowed and which he used. Evidently a competent keyboard player, Jennens figured the bass lines in many of his MS copies. He owned one of the first pianos in England, a Cristofori shipped from Florence in ...

Article

John A. Rice

(b Vienna, March 13, 1741; d Vienna, Feb 20, 1790). Holy Roman Emperor, Archduke of Austria, first son of Maria Theresa and Francis of Lorraine. As a patron of music and supervisor of the court theatres in Vienna, he helped to shape the city’s operatic life. During the first part of his long reign he shared power with Maria Theresa, but even before her death in 1780 he exercised considerable influence over operatic policy. Especially fond of the young Antonio Salieri, Joseph supported him with commissions and recommendations from 1770 onwards.

In the mid-1770s Joseph dismissed the impresario who was struggling to present Italian opera in the court theatres, and transformed the Burgtheater into a national theatre for the performance of spoken plays in German. In 1778 he organized a troupe of German singers to perform Singspiels there and it was for this troupe that Mozart wrote Die Entführung aus dem Serail...

Article

(b Chinon, Limousin, July 26, 1693; d Paris, Dec 5, 1762). French patron of music, art and literature. The son of a financier, he became a lawyer and later fermier général. The many poets, artists and musicians he befriended include Voltaire, Marmontel, the Van Loos and La Tours, Rameau and Rousseau. From about 1731 he held frequent concerts in his Paris mansion (opposite what is now the Bibliothèque Nationale) and his country estate at Passy. Up to 1753 La Pouplinière's excellent orchestra performed Rameau's own compositions under his direction, as well as those of Mondonville, and other Frenchmen and Italians; La Pouplinière developed a particular fondness for these last. J.W.A. Stamitz and Gossec later assumed the direction of the orchestra. Though not an accomplished performer, La Pouplinière played the hurdy–gurdy and guitar and composed airs (some incorporated by Rameau; see Cucuël, 288–9). A portrait of him by Carle Van Loo shows him seated holding a flute. Rameau's ‘La La Poplinière’ from his ...

Article

( b Breslau, June 23, 1703; d Versailles, June 24, 1768). French ruler, musician and patron of music . The daughter of King Stanislaus I of Poland and Catherine Opalinska, in 1725 she married Louis XV. At Versailles, she cultivated musical and artistic talents and encouraged her daughters towards similar pursuits. She played several instruments, including the harpsichord and vielle, and also sang. According to the Duke of Luynes, she participated in evening chamber music with Farinelli and other famous musicians. In 1735, she established twice weekly Concerts de la Reine at Marly and Versailles, where operas recently performed in Paris were heard, along with works from the Concert Spirituel. After 1745, with the presence of Madame de Pompadour at court, the queen's interest in formal musical entertainment declined; however, she occasionally entertained child prodigies, including the young Mozart (New Year's Day, 1764).

P. Daval: La musique en France au XVIIIe siècle...

Article

Lowell Lindgren

(b Venice, July 2, 1667; d Rome, Feb 28, 1740). Italian patron and librettist . In November 1689, a month after his grand-uncle was elected Pope Alexander VIII, he was made a cardinal and given a lifetime appointment as vice-chancellor of the Church. During the brief papacy of Alexander VIII (d 1 Feb 1691), Ottoboni had no rival as a musical patron; Queen Christina of Sweden had died at Rome in April 1689, and Cardinal Pamphili was at Bologna as papal legate in 1690–93. Even though his annual income from numerous benefices exceeded the staggering sum of 50,000 scudi, Ottoboni was perpetually in debt, partly because of the extraordinary amount he spent on music. At his residence, the Palazzo della Cancelleria, he housed some of the finest singers and instrumentalists in Italy, such as the castrato Andrea Adami and the violinist Arcangelo Corelli. Once a week he sponsored an ‘academy of music’, during which cantatas and instrumental pieces were performed. Within his palace was the church of S Lorenzo in Damaso, where on feast days his musicians were joined by many others to perform splendid masses, motets, sinfonias and concerti grossi. Many works were dedicated to him, for example the trio sonatas op.4 by Corelli and op.1 by Albinoni, and 13 Roman dramatic works of ...

Article

Elisabeth Cook

[Poisson, Jeanne Antoinette ]

(b Paris, Dec 29, 1721; d Versailles, April 16, 1764). French patron . She married Guillaume Lenormand, Seigneur d’Etioles, in 1741 and established a popular salon frequented by such leading literary figures as Pompeo magno Voltaire, C.-L. de Secondat, Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu and Fontenelle. In 1745 she became Louis XV’s mistress and was granted the title ‘Marquise de Pompadour’. In this capacity she was able to encourage many more artists, including the composers François Rebel, Mion and La Garde and the librettists Pierre Laujon, Moncrif and P.-C. Nivelle de La Chaussée. In 1747 she formed her own amateur théâtre at Versailles, the Theatre des Petits Cabinets, which moved to Bellevue; in 1752. During the next seven years some 33 operatic works, mainly in the pastoral genre, were performed, with Mme de Pompadour often taking the leading role. The Duke of Luynes judged her voice small but pleasant. She was, moreover, an excellent musician and an attractive, competent actress....

Article

Lowell Lindgren

(b Rome, March 5, 1672; d Rome, July 12, 1731). Italian patron. After inheriting the fortunes of his father (Alessandro, Count Marescotti) and his great-uncle (Bartolomeo Ruspoli), he became, as Marquis of Cerveteri, one of the richest men in Rome. He was ‘acclaimed’ as Olinto Arsenio in the Arcadian Academy on 27 May 1691, and in 1707–11 he hosted its meetings in one of his gardens. He began to sponsor oratorios and serenatas in 1701, and within a few years started to emulate the lavish productions of Cardinals Pamphili and Ottoboni. Like them, he sponsored a weekly ‘academy’, for which Handel wrote more than 50 cantatas when he stayed at Ruspoli's residence in 1707–8. Ruspoli's best-known production was Handel's Oratorio per la Resurrezione di Nostro Signor Gesù Cristo (text by C.S. Capece), which was performed with splendid scenery by five singers and 45 instrumentalists on Easter Sunday 1708...

Article

Daniel E. Freeman

(b Lysá nad Labem or Heřmanův Městec, Bohemia, March 9, 1662; d Lysá nad Labem, March 30, 1738). Bohemian nobleman, literatus and patron of the arts. A member of one of the most prominent noble families in Bohemia, he was appointed in 1690 to a seat on the Statthalterei (the highest civil authority within the province) by Emperor Leopold I, but served actively only until about 1710. Reports that he served as viceroy of Bohemia are false; no such post existed.

The scope of Sporck’s artistic and literary patronage was impressive, encompassing architecture, sculpture, painting, graphic arts, theatre and German poetry. He also took a keen interest in theology and philosophy, even setting up his own printing press to propagate his views. He occasionally sponsored the publication of music as well, principally collections of German and Czech sacred songs. Beginning in the late 17th century, he maintained a modest musical establishment used chiefly to provide dance music, sacred music and music for theatrical performances at his residences in Prague and Kuks....

Article

(b Frankfurt, May 6, 1687; d Frankfurt, April 10, 1769). German amateur musician. He was a member of an old Frankfurt family of prosperous tradespeople. As a student he travelled in the company of his elder brother Zacharias Conrad to Lübeck and then from Hamburg to England where they recorded their impressions of musical performances. Johann Friedrich, the more musical of the two, spent two further years studying in Strasbourg and after graduating in law in 1714 travelled through Switzerland to Italy to gain experience of operatic and concert life there. In Venice, at the S Angelo theatre, he witnessed a performance of L.A. Predieri’s Lucio Papirio during which Vivaldi, who was acting as musical director and leader of the orchestra, played an astonishing cadenza where he ascended so high that, his fingers came, in Uffenbach’s words, ‘within a straw’s breadth of the bridge’. Later in 1715 he went to Paris to receive instruction in lute playing from Gallot; he returned two years later to settle in Frankfurt, where he keenly supported the Frauenstein musical society concerts then directed by Telemann....