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Article

Simon Towneley and Derek McCulloch

[Bertie, Willoughby]

(b Gainsborough, Jan 16, 1740; d Rycote, Sept 26, 1799). English music patron, composer, and political writer. He was educated at Westminster and Oxford (MA 1761) and spent several years in Europe. In Geneva (1765) he met Grétry, who wrote a flute concerto for him based on the improvisations he had played to Grétry to demonstrate his prowess. He spent time in Geneva with the exiled politician John Wilkes and met Voltaire in nearby Ferney. From the mid 1770s he was much involved in the musical and political life of Britain. He was brought into close contact with J.C. Bach and C.F. Abel through his brother-in-law Giovanni Gallini, who was concerned in the organization of the Bach-Abel subscription concerts, which the Earl is said to have subsidized. At his request, Abel composed Four Trios: Two for Two Flutes and a Bass op.16 and J.C. Bach is the author of one of two trios composed for the earl, ‘selected’ and published by Monzani in about ...

Article

(b Berlin, Nov 9, 1723; d Berlin, March 30, 1787). German patron, amateur musician and composer. The youngest sister of Frederick the Great, she seems to have sought and received his advice on musical matters. A music exercise book, dated 1735, which she shared with her sister Luise Ulrike, indicates an early commitment to musical studies, but it is not certain precisely when Amalia’s formal musical training began. By 1740 she and Ulrike were receiving regular instruction from the cathedral organist, Gottfried Hayne (1684–1758), and this continued until 1742. Amalia apparently reached a high level of accomplishment as a player of stringed keyboard instruments and in about 1755 began to devote herself enthusiastically to playing the organ. Although contemporary reports, including her own letters, suggest that she also played the lute, the violin and the flute, they indicate that she was far less proficient on those instruments....

Article

(b Wolfenbüttel, Oct 24, 1739; d Weimar, April 10, 1807). German amateur musician and patron. She was the daughter of Duke Karl I of Brunswick and a niece of Frederick the Great. As a child she was given a good musical education. At the age of 16 she married the 18-year-old Duke Ernst August Konstantin of Saxe-Weimar; after his death two years later until the accession of her eldest son Duke Karl August on 3 September 1775 she conducted the regency. Despite her heavy official responsibilities she cultivated intellectual interests, especially music. She continued to take lessons in composition and keyboard playing from the leading musician in Weimar at that time, Ernst Wilhelm Wolf (later the court Kapellmeister), and gathered round her a group of scholars, poets and musicians, professional and amateur, which was a lively centre of discussion and music-making. In this ‘court of the muses’, as Wilhelm Bode called it, whose members included Wieland, Herder and eventually Goethe, Anna Amalia herself played a significant part in bringing together the poetry of ‘Weimar Classicism’ and the music of the time. J.A. Hiller's most successful Singspiel, ...

Article

Elisabeth Cook

[Maria Antonia Josefa Johanna ]

(b Vienna, Nov 2, 1755; d Paris, Oct 16, 1793). Queen of France and patron of opera . The daughter of Emperor Franz I of Austria, she received her early tuition from Gluck (clavecin and singing) and Noverre (dance and deportment). As dauphine (1770) and later queen of France (1774), she supported a great many artists working within the field of opera. The success of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide at the Opéra in 1774 was due largely to the presence of the entire court at the première and to the dauphine’s enthusiastic applause for individual numbers. Accused of favouring Austrian interests too overtly, she was obliged to welcome Piccinni to Paris, and later favoured Sacchini until further criticism forced her to support native composers: for celebrations at Fontainebleau in 1786 Lemoyne’s Phèdre was staged in preference to Sacchini’s Oedipe à Colone. Works by Grétry (...

Article

Roger J.V. Cotte

[Ennal, Charles-Ernest]

(b Fockenhof, Kurland, Feb 14, 1722; d Paris, March 24, 1791). French dilettante, amateur violinist and composer, patron of the arts and instrument collector. A magnificent and very wealthy nobleman, he both amused and astounded his contemporaries. M. Audinot in his comic opera La musicomanie (1779), and possibly E.T.A. Hoffmann in his tale Die Serapionsbrüder (1819), attempted to evoke his strange personality, emphasizing its ridiculous nature.

At the death of his father, a landed nobleman, in 1747, Bagge inherited a large fortune which enabled him to study the violin in Italy with Tartini. By 1750 he had settled in Paris; in the following year he was awarded the title chambellan du Roi de Prusse (then Frederick II) and married the daughter of the Swiss banker Jacob Maudry. With Maudry's death in 1762 the very large inheritance proved a source of contention to the ill-matched couple and they soon separated. Bagge later attempted to gain possession of the inheritance of Mme Maudry, who had died in ...

Article

Linda Troost

(b Fonthill, Sept 29, 1760; d Bath, May 2, 1844). English writer, patron and amateur composer. He is chiefly remembered as author of the oriental tale Vathek (1786). Although he was an accomplished performer on the harpsichord and pianoforte, it is unlikely that, as he later claimed, Beckford studied with Mozart when both were children. Beckford met Pacchierotti in Italy in 1780; he encouraged the castrato to return to England to sing at the Italian opera and became one of his most important patrons. For Beckford’s coming-of-age party at his Fonthill estate the following year a cantata (Il tributo) composed by Rauzzini was performed by the composer together with Pacchierotti and Tenducci. Beckford provided music for Elizabeth, Lady Craven’s opera The Arcadian Pastoral (1782), which was written for private performance at Queensberry House in London; his other compositions include an Overture du Ballet de Phaeton...

Article

(b Wiederau, Saxony, Dec 20, 1736; d London, June 9, 1809). German musical dilettante. He is sometimes designated ‘of Martinskirche’ to distinguish him from his cousin Hans Moritz ‘of Seifersdorf’. He was a nephew of the famous minister Count Heinrich Brühl and the son of Count Friedrich Wilhelm Brühl, and served in diplomatic posts in Paris and Warsaw before becoming Saxon ambassador to London in 1764. The count’s marriage (1767) to Lady Egremont, an attendant at the English court, placed him in association with the queen’s retinue of German musicians. He became the patron of, among others, C.F. Horn and the pianist J.S. Schroeter, who dedicated to him his op.1. Clementi’s sonatas op.13 were dedicated to Brühl and Haydn’s canons on the Ten Commandments (hXXVIIa: 1–10) written for him. Brühl himself published a set of six sonatas for piano with violin accompaniment op.1 (...

Article

(b Stuttgart, Feb 11, 1728; d ?Stuttgart, 1793). German patron of music. Educated at the court of Frederick the Great, the young duke began his reign in 1744, emulating the Potsdam court at his own residence in Stuttgart. The court theatre was rebuilt in 1750, and in November 1753 Jommelli was appointed Ober-Kapellmeister. For the next 16 years he wrote and supervised virtually all operas at the court, and during that time assembled one of the best orchestras in Europe. Carl Eugen authorized extensive renovations to the court theatre in Stuttgart between 1756 and 1758, and after being forced to move to Ludwigsburg he built a new Schlosstheater (1765–6). His tastes in opera favoured French-inspired spectacle and dance; Noverre served as his ballet-master from 1760 until 1767, when a mounting deficit forced drastic reductions in personnel. Jommelli left two years later, after the departure of a number of singers including the castrato Giuseppe Aprile. Sacchini was engaged to write an opera in ...

Article

Harrison James Wignall

[Carlo]

(b Trent, 1716; d Milan, 1782). Austrian patron of music. Born into a noble family, he studied initially for the priesthood in Bavaria and continued his education in Innsbruck and Salzburg. After travelling in the Netherlands, France and Italy, he was (from 1745) a counsellor to Francis, Maria Theresa’s husband and later Emperor Francis I. In 1758 he became Austrian minister plenipotentiary of Milan, and in this capacity he was responsible for many reforms in science, education and art. During Mozart’s four visits to Milan (1770–73) Firmian was his most important patron: Mozart performed several tunes at his residence, the Palazzo Melzi, and his support was instrumental in the commissioning of many of Mozart’s Milanese works, notably Mitridate, re di Ponto. His opulent lifestyle, library and portrait gallery are described by Burney, who visited Milan in 1770.

BurneyFIL. Benvenuti: Carlo Conte di Firmian e la Lombardia...

Article

E. Eugene Helm

revised by Derek McCulloch

[Friedrich II; Frederick the Great]

(b Berlin, Jan 24, 1712; d Potsdam, Aug 17, 1786). German monarch, patron of the arts, flautist and composer. His father, Friedrich Wilhelm I, was alarmed at his son’s early preference for intellectual and artistic pursuits over the military and religious. In spite of being supervised day and night and in the face of his father’s rages and corporal punishments, Frederick managed, partly through the complicity of his mother and his older sister Wilhelmina, to read forbidden books, to affect French dress and manners and to play flute duets with his servant. As a seven-year-old he was permitted to study thoroughbass and four-part composition with the cathedral organist Gottlieb Hayne. Wilhelmina, also musically talented, joined him in impromptu concerts. On a visit to Dresden in 1728 the prince was overwhelmed at hearing his first opera, Hasse’s Cleofide; there he also first heard the playing of the flautist J.J. Quantz, who soon thereafter began making occasional visits to Berlin to give Frederick flute lessons. The king tolerated such amusements for a while, but by ...

Article

J.H. Calmeyer

(d Eckernförde, Feb 27, 1784). Courtier, adventurer, amateur scientist, inventor and dilettante musician. He purposely concealed his background and identity, and used such pseudonyms as Count Welldone, Prince Ragotzy, Count Bellamare and Count Surmont on his wide travels throughout Europe. Further confusion has arisen with the like-named French general Claude Louis de Saint Germain and with Robert-François Quesnay de Saint Germain, an ardent occultist who may have written the essays La très sainte Trinosofie and La magie sainte (still used by Freemasons) that are attributed to the count. Gerber, alone among the many commentators on Saint Germain’s life (which has many times been made the subject of fiction, by George Sand and Bulwer-Lytton for instance), maintained that he was identical with an obscure violinist and composer in Berlin named Giovannini, but this is improbable. Saint Germain was most likely either the son of Franz Leopold Rákóczi, exiled Prince of Transylvania, or the illegitimate son of Maria-Anna of Neubourg, widow of Charles II of Spain. In his youth he was probably a protégé of the Grand Duke Gian Gastone (the last of the Medicis) and may have studied at Siena University. He appeared in London society from about ...

Article

Bertil H. van Boer

(b Stockholm, Jan 24, 1746; d Stockholm, March 29, 1792). Swedish ruler, patron and librettist. Son of Queen Lovisa Ulrika (the sister of Frederick the Great) and King Adolph Frederik, he began to write librettos and dramas at the age of ten. He continued his education in Paris, where he began to write paraphrases of opéras comiques by Favart and tragédies lyriques by Racine, Marmontel, Quinault and others. In 1771 he became King of Sweden, and in March 1772 staged a coup which gave him absolute authority and allowed him to pursue his aim of creating a Swedish national opera. In January 1773 F.A.B. Uttini’s Thetis och Pelée, for which Gustavus had drafted the text, inaugurated the Swedish Royal Opera. Over the next decade Gustavus personally oversaw the development of Swedish opera, gathering around him a group of native writers to rework his prose texts into librettos. He established a court theatre, gave financial support to private theatres, and encouraged the composers J.G. Naumann, J.M. Kraus and G.J. Vogler, the ballet-masters Louis Gallodier, Frederico Terrade and Antoine Bournonville and the set designer Louis-Jean Desprez. He built the Royal Opera (...

Article

John A. Rice

(fl 1776–91). Austrian amateur musician and patron. A diplomat in Berlin during the 1770s and in Naples during the 1780s, he pursued a variety of musical activities. He played and composed for the keyboard (including two published sonatas); he improved a hurdy-gurdy, which he called the lira organizzata, taught Ferdinando IV of Naples how to play it, and commissioned several German and Austrian composers, including Haydn, to write music for it. As self-appointed agent for the instrument builder Johann Andreas Stein, he arranged for the purchase and shipping of pianos from Stein’s workshop in Augsburg to Naples. Hadrava’s letters to his friend Johann Paul Schulthesius ( A-Wn ) represent an important source of information about Neapolitan musical life during the 1780s.

A. Scharnagl: Johann Franz Xaver Sterkel (Würzburg, 1943)J.A. Rice: ‘Stein’s “Favorite Instrument”: a Vis-à-vis Piano-Harpsichord in Naples’, JAMIS, 21 (1995), 30–64G. Gialdroni: ‘La musica a Napoli alla fine del XVIII secolo nelle lettere di Norbert Hadrava’, ...

Article

John A. Rice

[Pietro Leopoldo]

(b Vienna, May 5, 1747; d Vienna, March 1, 1792). Holy Roman Emperor, patron of music, third son of Empress Maria Theresa Habsburg and Francis of Lorraine. As a patron Leopold influenced operatic life in both Tuscany, which he ruled as Grand Duke from 1765 to 1790, and Vienna. In Tuscany he hired as virtuosi di camera several leading opera singers, among them Giovanni Manzuoli, Giusto Ferdinando Tenducci and Tommaso Guarducci, and subsidized the performance of several innovatory operas by Traetta, including his masterpiece, Ifigenia in Tauride (1763, Vienna; revived in Florence in 1768). In 1790 Leopold succeeded his brother Joseph II in Vienna and brought with him a taste for Italian opera as it was cultivated in Florence. He undertook a major transformation of the Viennese court opera in 1791, dismissing some of those who had contributed much to Viennese opera during the previous decade (including Lorenzo da Ponte) and hiring singers with whom he had become familiar in Florence. His policies for comic opera are reflected in Cimarosa’s ...

Article

(b Brunswick, c1755; d Paris, 1811). German musical dilettante. He was chamberlain to the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, from 1788 was in the service of the Prince of Prussia, and from 1799 served as a diplomat in Munich and Paris. He composed symphonies, chamber music and keyboard sonatas in a galant style similar to that of J.C. Bach, and his Dix ariettes allemandes contain folk material and show a talent for melodies. Gerber considered Münchhausen a good keyboard and glass harmonica player and a creditable composer, although elsewhere his works were criticized for their antiquated forms and ornamentation.

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

Elliot Forbes

revised by William Meredith

(b St Petersburg, 22 Oct/Nov 2, 1752; d Vienna, Sept 23, 1836). Russian patron of music. He entered diplomatic service in 1772 and was Russian ambassador to Vienna, 1792–9 and 1801–6. In 1788 he married Countess Elisabeth of Thun, sister of Princess Lichnowsky. After her death in 1806 he married Countess Constanze of Thürheim. Razumovsky was handsome, witty and well educated, and was known throughout Europe for his patronage of the arts. An amateur violinist, he knew Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven through the musical and aristocratic circles of Vienna and was one of Beethoven’s first Viennese patrons: he subscribed to Beethoven’s op.1, purchased tickets to his concerts and put the professional string quartet that he established in 1808 (led by Ignaz Schuppanzigh) at Beethoven’s disposal. His name is associated primarily with the three quartets op.59, which contain two Russian folksongs; Beethoven’s fifth and sixth symphonies were dedicated jointly to both Razumovsky and Prince Lobkowitz. Although Razumovsky had already retired as ambassador, he was Russia’s main representative at the Congress of Vienna in ...

Article

Mark Lindley

(b Montpellier, Sept 14, 1723; d Montpellier, Nov 8, 1766). French dilettante and scientist. In December 1751 he announced his discovery of difference tones, which he had made by experiments with wind instruments. (Nearly three years later Tartini, evidently unaware of Romieu’s work, published his discovery of the same phenomenon observed in double stops on the violin.) Romieu’s ‘Mémoire théorique & practique sur les systèmes temperés de musique’, published in the 1758 Mémoires of the Académie Royale des Sciences, surveyed various regular tuning systems and expressed preference for ⅙-comma mean-tone temperament and its theoretical equivalent, the division of the octave into 55 equal parts.

E. Roche: ‘Notice sur les travaux de J.-B. Romieu’, Mémoires de l’Académie des sciences et lettres de Montpellier, 9 (1879)J.M. Barbour: Tuning and Temperament: a Historical Survey (East Lansing, MI, 1951/R, 2/1953)P. Barbieri: ‘Il “migliore” sistema musicale temperato: querelles fra Estève, Romieu e altri accademici francesi (c.1740–60)’, ...

Article

William Weber

[Montagu, John ]

(b Lackham, Wilts., Nov 3, 1718; d London, April 30, 1792). English statesman and amateur musician . He followed a naval career, served as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1748–51 and 1771–82 and significantly reorganized the administration of the navy; he became embroiled in political conflict as a spokesman for George III, especially during the prosecution of John Wilkes and the American War. After his first period in office, Sandwich turned his energies to the performance of ‘ancient’ music which under his leadership was redefined from music of the 16th century to that two or more decades old. In this he was supported by his secretary, the amateur musician Joah Bates, who was an avid Handelian. While he was patron to the violinist Giardini, Sandwich's main early pursuit was the founding in 1761 of the aristocratic Catch Club, where professional singers performed catches, madrigals and glees, both ancient and modern. In the same period he held regular performances of Handel's oratorios, odes and masques at his estate, Hinchingbrooke, near Huntingdon, and at the parish church in Leicester. Thomas Greatorex, who joined Sandwich's household after a chance meeting in Leicester, assisted at these concerts in ...

Article

(b Leiden, Oct 29, 1733; d Vienna, March 29, 1803). Dutch music patron, active in Austria. He was the son of the distinguished doctor Gerhard van Swieten, and the family moved to Vienna in 1745 when his father was appointed personal physician to Empress Maria Theresa. After completing his education at the ‘Theresianum’, Vienna’s exclusive Jesuit school, Gottfried briefly held a post in the Austrian civil service before embarking on an extended period of diplomatic training. Between 1755 and 1777 much of his time was spent abroad, with lengthy stays in Brussels (1755–7) and Paris (1760–63) and a visit to England in 1769. He had a short-lived term with ministerial rank in Warsaw (1763–4), but his one major diplomatic posting was as ambassador to Berlin (1770–77), where he was responsible for Austria’s interests in the negotiations with Frederick the Great over the first partition of Poland. He returned to Vienna as Prefect of the Imperial Library, a post he held until his death. During the 1780s as President of the Court Commission on Education and Censorship he was one of the main instruments of Joseph II’s liberal policies, but he was relieved of his office by Leopold II on ...