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Article

Michael Sayer

English firm of organ builders. It was established in Leeds in 1869 by Isaac Abbott, who had worked for 20 years with William Hill in London. William Stanwix Smith, also a former Hill employee, was the firm’s manager until Abbott retired, in 1889; thereafter Smith and Abbott’s son continued the firm, which subsequently passed to Smith’s sons and grandson. In 1964 the firm was sold to its foreman, J.H. Horsfall, and in 1975 it moved to the premises of Wood Wordsworth & Co. Up to 1964, Abbott & Smith built or rebuilt hundreds of organs throughout Britain, including some 250 in Yorkshire, and more than 60 around Leeds. James Jepson Binns was head voicer from 1875 until 1880. Their earlier instruments, using mechanical action through the 1880s, have a robust singing quality suited to Yorkshire Methodist congregations, though several were in town halls, including those in Leeds and Ryde. Their organ for St Mark’s, Manningham, had four manuals and 48 speaking stops. The firm also built organs in St Albans Cathedral (...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

German firm of piano hammer manufacturers. Helmut Abel GmbH was founded in 1982 in Frickhausen by Helmut Abel (b Sonneberg, Thüringen, 6 July 1936), who had earlier worked for Renner. His son Norbert (b Schalkau, Thüringen, 24 March 1957) has managed finances, marketing, and research since the beginning. In 1985 the business name was changed to Abel Hammer Company. Helmut Abel’s younger son, Frank (b Wernau, Baden-Württemberg, 21 Sept 1963), joined the firm in 1986. In 1993 the company moved to a larger facility in Frankenhardt. After Helmut’s retirement as technical manager, in 2001, Frank assumed that position. Norbert’s son Alexander (b Ruit, Baden-Württemberg, 14 March 1990) completed an apprenticeship as a piano technician and in 2001 entered a course to become a piano master, with the intention of joining the firm after completion.

The firm makes piano hammers based on historical methods, yet employing modern technology for consistent quality. Abel also restores and duplicates hammer parts and recovers original hammer heads, using an old Dolge hammer press imported in ...

Article

French institution. Created as the Petite Académie in 1623, the organization that was to become the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres was initially dedicated to the glory of the king and to the history of his reign. Its scope was enlarged in 1703 by Gros de Boze, who called for the study of all aspects of civilization, from its origins to the 18th century. Discussions of music seem to have taken place from the end of the 17th century under the aegis of Charles Perrault, although documentation of such discussions dates only from 1706. The study of ancient music was begun under Galland and Fraguier and continued under Burette. The music of the ancients constituted the favourite subject of the academicians throughout the first half of the 18th century, and was revived by Michel de Chabanon and J.B. Rochefort between 1770 and 1780. A prize was established by Durey de Noinville in ...

Article

Adams  

James Holland

Dutch manufacturer of percussion instruments. Adams Musical Instruments was established at the end of the 1960s by André Adams at Thorn in the Netherlands. Adams has become one of the leading percussion manufacturers in the world. Its list of products range from lightweight, low-priced pedal timpani designed for schools and bands, through to top of the range professional timpani and concert marimbas. A great deal of thought is given to the adaptability and portability of the instruments, as well as to their quality. For example, playing height of their keyboard instruments is adjustable, and their tubular bells may be adjusted both for height and range. In the contemporary world of percussion these refinements are invaluable for the player. Adams now manufactures timpani, xylophones, marimbas, tubular bells, bell plates, concert bass drums, temple blocks and a range of sticks....

Article

Tully Potter

English string quartet. It was founded in 1926 as the Stratton Quartet by George Stratton, William Manuel, Lawrence Leonard and John Moore, and developed from the Wood Smith Quartet, in which Stratton and Moore played. It found fame after Carl Taylor and Watson Forbes took over the inner parts in 1932 and it was chosen to record Elgar's Quartet and Piano Quintet (with Harriet Cohen). The records were a great solace to the composer in his last illness. Moore remained with the ensemble until 1956 and Forbes until 1962; but Taylor was killed in the war and in all the quartet had 11 second violinists. The leadership also changed hands a few times after Stratton withdrew in 1944 and the title Aeolian Quartet was adopted. The later incumbents, all highly distinguished, were Max Salpeter (1944–6), Alfred Cave (1946–52), Sydney Humphreys (1952–70) and Emanuel Hurwitz. Many of the various formations were perpetuated on records. In particular the line-up of Humphreys, Trevor Williams, Forbes and Derek Simpson made beautiful recordings of Mozart's ‘Dissonance’ and Beethoven's last quartet in ...

Article

Tully Potter

Austrian string quartet . It was founded in 1970 by Günter Pichler (b Kufstein, Tyrol, 9 Sept 1940), Klaus Mätzl, Hatto Beyerle and Valentin Erben (b Pernitz, 14 March 1945). Mätzl was replaced in 1978 by Gerhard Schulz (b Linz, 23 Sept 1951) and Beyerle in 1981 by Thomas Kakuska (b Vienna, 25 Aug 1940; d 4 July 2005). In 1969 the original members heard the LaSalle Quartet play virtually all the quartet music of the Second Viennese School at the Vienna Festival; and for the 1970–71 season they studied in Cincinnati with the LaSalle. In the autumn of 1971 they made their joint début at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, becoming the first full-time string quartet in that city's history – previous ensembles had combined chamber music with orchestral playing. In 1972 Berg's widow gave them permission to use his name. From the start the Alban Berg Quartet tried to include a contemporary work in every recital: its premières have included works by Leitermeyer, Einem, Wimberger, Rihm, Schnittke and Berio, and two each by Urbanner and Haubenstock-Ramati. Its playing, combining warmth and precision in a recognizably Viennese manner, has consistently reached the highest level of accomplishment, although its style has altered slightly. A change of second violinist made little difference but the substitution of Kakuska for Beyerle caused a noticeable switch of emphasis; a fine Mozart ensemble became a fine Haydn ensemble instead. Its homogeneity of tone – partly attributable to the fact that all except the cellist studied with Franz Samohyl – has remained constant throughout. The group's recordings have won many prizes. Berg's Quartet and Lyric Suite have been documented twice, as have the mature works by Mozart and Schubert and the Beethoven cycle – the second Beethoven set was recorded live. The individual members are professors at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst and the Cologne Hochschule für Musik, and all have musical interests outside the quartet: Pichler is a conductor, Schulz plays in other ensembles such as the Waldstein Trio, and Kakuska and Erben are soloists. Their instruments include a ...

Article

Richard Macnutt

Italian firm of music and general engravers and publishers, music and print sellers. The firm was active in Venice at the sign of the Beata Vergine della Pace on the Rialto from about 1770 to at least 1803. It was founded by the engravers Innocente Alessandri (b Venice, c1740), a pupil of Francesco Bartolozzi, and Pietro Scattaglia. From about 1770, during the years of publication of their joint magnum opus, Animali quadrupedi (Venice, Carlo Palese, 1771–5, illustrated with 200 plates designed, engraved and hand-coloured by themselves), they also worked as engravers and selling agents for the music publisher Luigi Marescalchi; on at least one title-page they are also described as his printers, which may have been another of their regular responsibilities. Together with Marescalchi they were associated with the revival of music publishing in Italy after 70 years of almost total inactivity. The fact that their names appear on almost all title-pages of Marescalchi’s Venice editions has often led cataloguers and bibliographers to ascribe to them publications that should properly be regarded as Marescalchi’s, resulting in numerous errors in RISM, the ...

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

Richard Wigmore

( b Rome, Jan 25, 1960). Italian harpsichordist, organist and conductor . Largely self-taught, he conducted his first major concert, of Cavalli's Calisto, in Rome in 1985, with a group of singers that were to form the nucleus of a permanent ensemble, Concerto Italiano. The ensemble's first recording, of Monteverdi's fourth book of madrigals, was widely acclaimed for its passion and colour, winning a Gramophone award in 1994; subsequent recordings have included madrigals by Monteverdi, Marenzio and Frescobaldi, and vocal works by Lassus. In 1995 Alessandrini founded the complementary Concerto Italiano instrumental ensemble, with whom he has performed and recorded concertos by Bach and Vivaldi, and made an imaginative recording of Bach's Art of Fugue. His other recordings include Bach's sonatas for violin and harpsichord, vocal works by Vivaldi, Alessandro Scarlatti and Pergolesi, and Handel's Roman oratorio Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno. With Concerto Italiano he has appeared at major concert halls and festivals throughout Europe. In ...

Article

Richard J. Agee

In 

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)

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Article

Christopher Larkin

German family firm of wind instrument makers. The business, located in Mainz, was established in 1782 by Franz Ambros Alexander (b Miltenberg, July 22, 1753; d Mainz, Dec 1, 1802), who was described in a Mainz Cathedral report of the same year as a wood-turner and wind instrument maker. Portraits depict Franz Ambros and his son Philipp (1787–1864) with clarinets. After his death, Alexander's business was continued by his widow and two of his sons, Claudius (1783–1816) and Philipp, later joined by a third, Kaspar Anton (1803–72). Under the direction of Philipp and Kaspar Anton the firm became known as Gebrüder Alexander, the name it still bears. Kaspar Anton's two sons Franz Anton (1838–1926) and Georg Philip (i) (1849–97) became the third generation to direct the company. Woodwind instruments, mainly for military use, were the firm's main products until the mid-19th century. By that time, however, band instrumentation had become more brass orientated; after Philipp's death in ...

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

Barbara Owen

French firm of reed organ makers. It was founded in 1829 by Jacob Alexandre (b Paris, 1804; d Paris, 11 June 1876) for the manufacture of accordions; in 1834 he exhibited a small reed organ (two sets of reeds) in Paris. With the purchase in 1841 and 1845 of reed organ patents (among them percussion and prolongement effects) from Alexandre Martin of Provins, the firm soon became one of the leading harmonium makers in the country, although their instruments were first called ‘orgue-mélodium’ to avoid conflict with the patents of A.-F. Debain. These early instruments had four sets of reeds, a five-octave keyboard, couplers, a Grand Jeu, and an Expression stop which bypassed the reservoir to allow control of intensity through the blowing treadles. The firm was awarded a bronze medal for the instrument in the Paris exposition of 1844; this was the first of many awards, including gold medals and culminating in grand prizes in Brussels (...

Article

Viorel Cosma

(b Ilimbav, Sibiu, May 14, 1914; d Bucharest, April 20, 1997). Romanian ethnomusicologist. He studied at the Bucharest Royal Academy of Music (1931–6) and became Brăiloiu's closest collaborator, working with him at the folklore archive of the Society of Romanian Composers (1935–49); he continued his research appointment there when the archive was incorporated in the Institute of Ethnography and Folklore (1949), undertaking several field studies and collecting numerous examples of Romanian folksong, some of which have been recorded. He was Brăiloiu's successor in the folklore department of the Royal Academy of Music (1943–8), where he held various posts before becoming professor (1954–9). In 1956 he did research in China and from 1965 to 1967 he was the folklore expert of the Ministry of Culture of the United Arab Republic in Cairo, where he made recordings of Egyptian and Nubian folksong. In ...

Article

Aleyn  

Margaret Bent

(fl c1400). English composer. He was the composer of two works in the Old Hall Manuscript. One is a Gloria (no.8), ascribed to ‘Aleyn’ without initial; it is a homorhythmic setting in score, notable for its sprightly text declamation. The other piece, also in score, is an erased descant setting of Sarum Agnus Dei no.3 (Old Hall, no.128), where the remains of the ascription appears to read ‘W. Aleyn’ (not ‘W. Typp’, as reported in D. Fallows: ...

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 ...