(b Rataje u Kroměříže, June 3, 1887; d Prague, Jan 25, 1949). Czech composer and musicologist. He studied at Prague University under Nejedlý and Hostinský, receiving the PhD in 1912 for a dissertation on Moravian folk opera in the 18th century. He studied composition under Novák (1908–10) and counterpoint under Ostrčil (1920), and he devoted himself to composition after his appointment as head of the musical archive at the National Museum in Prague (now the Muzeum české hudby) in 1915, though his contemporaries always regarded him as a Moravian composer. In the 1920s he was an official in the Society for Modern Music. Passing from late-Romanticism into a distinctive modernism after World War I, his music remained broadly lyrical, with traces of Moravian folk influence, and with mainly triadic (though often non-functional) harmony. Most of his numerous works are cast in extended forms. His vocal works remained in the repertoire long after World War II, especially the choral works....
Jan Trojan and Geoffrey Chew
revised by John Rosselli
(b San Giorgio Morgeto, Calabria, Oct 12, 1800; d Naples, Dec 18, 1888). Italian librarian, musicologist, teacher and composer. The varied activities of his career were dominated by a single theme: the preservation and glorification of the Neapolitan musical tradition. At 12 (or 15) he entered the Naples Conservatory, where he was a fellow student of Bellini, who became his closest friend and the object of his intense devotion. He was made archivist-librarian there in 1826 and (perhaps his most important achievement) acquired a large part of the library’s rich holdings. He also served as director of vocal concerts and singing teacher there. His widely praised Metodo di canto (Naples, ?1840; Milan, 1841–3, enlarged 3/?1861) was conservative in tendency, claiming to be based on the precepts of the castrato Crescentini, then director of the conservatory’s singing school, and intended to restore the ‘antico bello’ of ‘the only true tradition of Italian song’, that of Scarlatti, Porpora and Durante, which had been displaced by ‘la moda barocca’ of the present age. Florimo composed in all genres except the dramatic, but apart from a ...
Beatriz Martínez del Fresno
(b Madrid, Dec 20, 1886; d Madrid, Dec 22, 1973). Spanish composer, librarian, critic and musicologist. He studied with his father and Antonio Santamaría, and from 1899 at the Madrid Conservatory with Andrés Monge, Manuel Fernández Grajal, Pedro Fontanilla, Felipe Pedrell and Emilio Serrano. Gómez won first prizes in harmony (1902), piano (1904) and composition (1908). He also studied history at Madrid University, earning a first degree (1907) and a doctorate (1918). After working as an arranger at the Teatro Real (1908–11) he was director of the Toledo Archaeological Museum (1911–13), head of the music section of the National Library (1913–15) and librarian of the Madrid Conservatory (1915–56). Among the subjects he taught was composition, which he taught to the group of composers known as the Generation of ’51.
Backed by Bretón and Bartolomé Pérez Casas at the beginning of his composing career, Gómez composed more than 100 works, some of which won national awards. His music wavers between neo-Romanticism (...
(b 1163; d Jan 27, 1225). French chronicler of St Martial of Limoges and monk. Received as a boy scholar at St Martial in 1177, Itier held a succession of important offices, culminating in appointments as librarian (1204) and precentor (by 1211), posts he evidently held concurrently. Annotations in Itier's hand, scattered through surviving remnants of the St Martial library, testify to his interest in preserving the monastery books. One manuscript that he had bound includes a collection of early polyphonic music. Other musical manuscripts from the St Martial collection very probably owe their survival to his care.
Although not himself a professional scribe, Itier had charge of the monastery scriptorium and knew how to notate music. One composition in his hand, a Parisian motet based on the duplum of Perotinus's four-voice organum Sederunt ( F-Pn lat.2208, f.1), shows a musical connection between Paris and St Martial in Itier’s lifetime. The chronicle written by Itier is a central source of information on the monastery....
(b Naples, Sept 13, 1739; d Naples, May 10, 1826). Italian librarian, historian and composer. He studied law and also had lessons in singing, figured bass and counterpoint, including some from Durante and later (1761–7) Porpora. He graduated in law in 1759, but continued to devote much of his time to acting ‘all'improvviso’ in an amateur theatrical company for which he wrote many comedies, some of which were published. He was also active as an amateur composer. The Naples Conservatory library has much of his music in autograph, including two stage works (1765, 1783), four masses and other sacred works, two oratorios (1765, 1768), 20 sacred and secular cantatas and organ and harpsichord pieces. He was a highly regarded singing teacher in Neapolitan society; four sets of solfeggios by him – one dated 1824 – are in the Naples library (others in I-Baf and ...
revised by H. Wiley Hitchcock
(b Lafayette [now part of Jersey City], NJ, Oct 6, 1873; d New York, Oct 30, 1928). American musicologist, librarian, editor and composer. As a boy he was sent to Germany to study; he was a piano pupil of James Kwast (1883–93) and later attended courses at the universities of Heidelberg and Munich, developing his interests in philosophy and, especially, musicology. He studied composition in Munich with Melchior Ernst Sachs, composition and orchestration with Iwan Knorr in Frankfurt, and conducting with Carl Schröder at the Sondershausen Conservatory.
In 1899 Sonneck returned to the USA and for three years travelled from New England to South Carolina, collecting references to American musical life before 1800, primarily from newspapers. He also did much work in the new Library of Congress building, and in 1902 the librarian Herbert Putnam made him head of the newly formed music division, where he organized and developed what was to become one of the most comprehensive collections of music, manuscripts and books on music in the world. He established its unrivalled archive of opera scores and librettos, and in ...