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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 ...

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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 ...

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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

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 ...

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

(b ?Medina del Campo, 1394; ruled 1416–58; d Naples, June 27, 1458). Spanish monarch and patron. He was the son of Fernando I of Antequera and Leonor of Albuquerque. His activity as patron is usually divided into two periods, before and after he had settled in Naples (1433). He was an outstanding patron of minstrels, among them the shawm player Jehan Boisard and the lutenist Rodrigo de la Guitarra. The choir of his royal chapel was, according to his contemporaries, one of the finest of its day. In the two earliest records of its members, dating from 1413 and 1417, there are 13 singers, among them Gacian Reyneau and Leonart Tallender, and two organists. His singers were recruited from Spain, France and Germany: in October 1419 he sent one of them, Huguet lo Franch, to his native land in search of singers, providing him with a letter offering all kinds of privileges. In ...

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 ...

Article

Rolf Haglund

(Emil)

(b Stockholm, May 1, 1872; d Falun, May 8, 1960). Swedish composer, conductor and violinist. He attended the Stockholm Conservatory (1887–91) and then took private lessons with Lindegren (composition) and Zetterquist (violin); from 1887 he also studied painting. A violinist in the Hovkapellet (the opera orchestra, 1890–92), he decided in 1892 to make his career in music. From 1904 to 1957 he conducted the Siljan Choir – a group of five church choirs and regional choirs in Dalarna – and he was the director of other choruses, including the Orphei Drängar (1910–47), with whom he made 22 tours throughout most of Europe. In addition he was Director Musices of Uppsala University (1910–39). A Hugo Alfvén Foundation has been established in Stockholm.

Alfvén's music is distinguished by orchestral subtlety and by a painterly exploitation of harmony and timbre. His output was almost entirely of programme music, often suggested by the Swedish archipelago; he commented that ‘my best ideas have come during my sea-voyages at night, and, in particular, the wild autumns have been my most wonderful times for composition’. A few pieces, often performed, have maintained his reputation: ...

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 ...