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Ian Spink

(b Aberdeenshire, 1653; d ?Cambridge, after 1716). Scottish countertenor, composer and lutenist. The first occurrence of his name in official records is on 1 May 1679, when he was admitted ‘extraordinary’ then ‘in ordinary’ to the Chapel Royal. From the same time he is listed among the musicians of the King’s Private Musick as one of the lutes and voices and also as a violinist, though the latter post was probably a sinecure. Between 1679 and 1688 he received considerable sums of ‘bounty money’ for undisclosed services to the king while travelling abroad. Evelyn recorded (27 January 1682):

After supper came in the famous Trebble, Mr Abel, newly returnd from Italy, & indeed I never heard a more excellent voice, one would have sworne it had been a Womans it was so high, & so well & skillfully manag’d.

He graduated MusB at Cambridge in 1684...


John Whenham

(b 1623–8; d Bologna, 1699, before 28 Jan). Italian singer, composer and instrument maker. He was an Augustinian monk who was employed from about 1649 as a soprano castrato at the Este court at Modena. On 13 November 1660 he was appointed to the choir of S Petronio, Bologna, with a stipend of 50 lire a month; he was discharged on 24 April 1662 but rejoined on 25 July 1663. In October 1665 he returned to Modena, where he succeeded Marco Uccellini as choirmaster of the cathedral. He vacated this post in November 1673 and by early 1674 was again living at Bologna. Between 1677 and 1681 he served as a singer in the cappella of Duke Francesco II of Modena. In 1685 he was made a member of the Accademia Filarmonica, Bologna, and seems to have spent his last years in or near that city. He wrote to the Duke of Modena in ...


Keith A. Larson

(fl Naples, 1601–16). Italian composer and musician. He was mentioned by Cerreto (Della prattica musica vocale et strumentale, Naples, 1601/R) as one of a number of singers and instrumentalists in Naples. He published two volumes of music at Naples in 1616. The first, Il primo libro di canzoni, e madrigaletti, for three and four voices (RISM 1616¹¹), includes settings of texts by Tasso, Marino and Francesco degl’Atti. The canzoni – in fact canzonettas – usually have four-line stanzas and use triple metre occasionally. The tenor parts can be omitted. The five madrigalettos (one of which is by Scipione Dentice) are longer and avoid triple metre but are similar in style to the canzonettas. Albano recommended that lute, harp or harpsichord accompaniment be used, that the tempo be a little rushed and that, whereas intermediate cadences must be sung in strict time, final cadences could be drawn out a little. His second published volume, ...


Jerome Roche

revised by Noel O’Regan

(b Rome, 1582; d Rome, Feb 7, 1652). Italian composer and singer, brother of Domenico Allegri. From 1591 to 1596 he was a boy chorister and from 1601 to 1604 a tenor at S Luigi dei Francesi, Rome, where the maestro di cappella was G.B. Nanino. According to Allegri’s obituary he studied with G.M. Nanino (see Lionnet). He was active as a singer and composer at the cathedrals of Fermo (1607–21) and Tivoli, and by August 1628 he was maestro di cappella of Santo Spirito in Sassia, Rome. He joined the papal choir as an alto on 6 December 1629, under Urban VIII, and was elected its maestro di cappella for the jubilee year of 1650. In 1640 his fellow singers elected him to revise Palestrina’s hymns (necessitated by Urban VIII’s revision of the texts), which were published in Antwerp in 1644. His contemporaries clearly saw him as a worthy successor to Palestrina and a guardian of the ...


Tim Carter and Anne MacNeil

[‘La Florinda’ ]

(b Milan, Jan 1, 1583; d Bologna, 1629–30). Italian actor, singer and poet, first wife of G.B. Andreini. When they married in 1601, Virginia and her husband formed the Compagnia del Fedeli, in which she assumed the role of prima donna innamorata. Her stage name derived from her performance in Giovanni Battista’s tragedy La Florinda (1603, Florence). In spring 1608 she replaced Caterina Martinelli as the protagonist of Monteverdi’s Arianna and took part in his Ballo delle ingrate during the wedding celebrations for Prince Francesco Gonzaga and Margherita of Savoy; according to Antonio Costantini (1608), she learnt the part for Arianna in six days. She also sang the title role in G.C. Monteverdi’s opera Il rapimento di Proserpina during the festivities for the birth of the Infanta Margherita Gonzaga in 1611. Contemporary accounts suggest that her performance in Arianna was exceptionally powerful, and her talents as a singer were recalled with praise by Bonini in his ...


(b ?Arizu or Arizcun, Navarra, c1593; d Madrid, May 15, 1648). Spanish composer and singer. Between 1601 and 1604 he entered the choir school of the Spanish royal chapel and studied with its vicemaestro, the composer Gabriel Díaz Bessón. On 1 January 1614, after his voice had broken, he was appointed alto in the same capilla. On 1 March 1629 his salary was doubled, and on 28 February 1642 he was granted an annual allowance of 350 ducats, followed by another of 250 ducats on 20 March 1645 (though his salary was no longer doubled). In addition to his duties in the capilla Arizo was responsible for the musical instruction of the Bourbon Queen Elisabeth's ladies-in-waiting for at least ten years (1618–28), during which period he must have been in touch with the queen's chamber musician, Álvaro de los Ríos.

Arizo's two extant secular compositions are a four-part canción, ...


Almonte Howell

(b southern France; fl 1609–14). Spanish liturgist of French birth. A Dominican friar, educated at the monastery at Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, Provence, he served as cantor in a number of houses of his order in France, Aragon and Castile, including S Pablo at Valladolid and finally S María de Atocha in Madrid. He was commissioned to prepare a new simplified processional for the Spanish Dominicans, Processionarium secundum morem almi ordinis Praedicatorum S.P.N. Dominici (Madrid, 1609), which contains information on past chant manuals of the order, and the rubrics and music for the special services involving processions. Its music was badly garbled by the printer. Artufel’s second work, Modo de rezar las horas canónicas conforme al rezo de los Frayles Predicadores … con un Arte de canto llano y con la entonación de los hymnos y sus rúbricas (Valladolid, 1614), is in three parts with separate paginations. The first, a ceremonial for the Office, is chiefly an extract in translation from the Dominican Ordinary but with some interesting added material on the use of the organ; the second part contains the hymn intonations; the third is a manual on chant consisting of 23 chapters on the rudiments of music (notation, solmization, intervals, modes) and a collection of examples. The bulk of the technical material is taken verbatim from the ...



(b ?Amiens, c1590; d Paris, c1656). French composer and singer. Although his birthplace is not known, there were families bearing this name in Amiens; a member of one, a relative of the composer, served as mayor of the town. Aux-Cousteaux studied under Jean de Bournonville at the choir school of the collegiate church at Saint Quentin. From 1613 to 1627 he sang haute-contre in Louis XIII's chapel. A period at Noyon followed about which little is known. He succeeded Bournonville as maître de musique both at Saint Quentin (1631) and Amiens (c 1632–4). On 24 June 1634 he relinquished this more lucrative post for that of a ‘clerk’ haute-contre at the Ste Chapelle in Paris. In spite of a recalcitrant and quarrelsome nature (‘scandalous, insolent and disrespectful acts committed daily during the Office’), Aux-Cousteaux advanced rapidly and by 1643 was maître de musique...


Siegfried Gmeinwieser

(b Crevalcuore, nr Bologna, c1650; d Rome, Dec 22, 1714). Italian composer and singer. He is first heard of on 20 October 1670 as an alto in the Cappella Giulia at S Pietro, Rome, which he served for the rest of his life. The account books from 1696 to 1713 list him as a tenor; he may have become a tenor shortly before this, but the account books for 1693–5 are missing. His long experience as a singer under such renowned directors as Benevoli, Ercole Bernabei, Masini and Lorenzani stimulated him to compose, and it may have been because of this that on 19 November 1713, shortly before Lorenzani died, he was himself appointed maestro di cappella, a post that he held for the 13 months until his own death. He was best known for his famous nine-part Miserere in falsobordone style. Except in 1768 and 1777...


[‘Padre Raimo’]

(b Gaeta, 1606; d Naples, July 15, 1656). Italian composer and singer. His teacher was probably G.B. de Bellis. On 19 December 1626 he joined the royal chapel at Naples as a bass and remained there until 1636. In March of that year he was admitted to the Congregazione dell'Oratorio with a salary for life for himself and his mother. He was music prefect in 1642 and from 1652 to 1656. He played some part in the posthumous publication of Scipione Dentice's Madrigali spirituali, libro secondo (Naples, 1640) which he dedicated to Cardinal Buoncompagno. He died of the plague. He was a prolific composer of church music, which the fathers of the oratory valued so highly that in 1713 one of them, Scipione Narni, arranged for the copying of the most often performed works. The motets for four choirs (in I-Nc and Nf ) are mainly homophonic, and the few contrapuntal passages are rather weak....


(fl Vicenza, 1600–40). Italian composer and singer. He apparently spent his career at Vicenza. He was probably a pupil of Leone Leoni, maestro di cappella at Vicenza Cathedral from 1588 to 1607, and certainly had connections at Vicenza by 1600, since his second book of canzonettas, dedicated from there, includes pieces by Leoni and his circle. The dedication of the first to Lorenzo Beccaria suggests that Baselli may have been in his service before 1600. He evidently took holy orders between 1600, when the title-pages of his works refer to him in secular terms, and 8 November 1605, when he is first listed in the Libri dei processi of the cathedral as a priest and singer. Eitner claimed that he was maestro di cappella there, but this is not supported by the Libri, which consistently list him as a singer up to the last reference, on 19 February 1631...


(b Lovere, 1593; d Bergamo, April 15, 1660). Italian singer, theorbo player, organist and composer, younger brother of Natale Bazzini. He studied at the seminary and at the Accademia della Mia at Bergamo, where he gained a reputation as an excellent singer. He studied composition with Giovanni Cavaccio and in 1614 began teaching at the academy. He served as organist of S Maria Maggiore, Bergamo, and also sang in the choir there, until he was summoned to serve the Este court at Modena. He was prominent as a singer and theorbo player in performances at the court and in the city itself, and he was given leave to perform at the court in Vienna and at Venice, Florence and Parma (1628). In 1636 he returned to the Bergamo area where he remained until his death. He was living at Zanica, very close to Bergamo, in 1637...


(b Lovere; d Bergamo, 1639). Composer, organist and singer. He became a chaplain at S Maria Maggiore, Bergamo, in 1610 and sang in the choir until 1611. He was an organist at nearby Desio in 1628. In that year he published at Venice a volume of Messe, motetti et dialogi a 5, concertati...


(b St Georg, Upper Austria, Feb 28, 1655; d Weissenfels, Aug 6, 1700). Austrian-German composer, singer, violinist, keyboard player, music theorist and novelist. At seven his father sent him to the Benedictine monastery at Lambach, a short distance north-east of St Georg, where he began his musical education. Beer pursued further general and music studies at Reichersberg, south of Passau, as well as in Passau itself. In 1670 his parents took him to Regensburg, where they had moved to preserve their Protestant faith. As a student at the Gymnasium Poeticum Beer became a friend of his fellow student Pachelbel. He continued to study music, including composition, and he wrote the score for a school play, Mauritius imperator. At the end of his studies at the gymnasium, the city of Regensburg awarded him a scholarship to enter the university at Leipzig in 1676 as a student of theology. He soon became acquainted with the musicians there, including the Thomas Kantor Sebastian Knüpfer, and Werner Fabricius, organist at the Nikolaikirche....


Claire Fontijn and Marinella Laini

( b ?Venice, c 1640; d Paris, c 1720). Italian composer and singer . Documents in Venice corroborate the ‘autobiography’ provided by the dedications of her six volumes of manuscript music, in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris: she was the only child of the doctor Giacomo Padoani, studied music with Francesco Cavalli, and in 1659 married Lorenzo Bembo, a Venetian nobleman. In 1677, in all likelihood she travelled with guitarist Francesco Corbetta to Paris, where she settled. She sang for Louis XIV, who awarded her a pension, enabling her to live in the community of the Petite Union Chrétienne des Dames de Saint Chaumont. She composed in most of the contemporary vocal genres: opera, serenata, aria, air, secular and sacred cantata, grand and petit motet. Her first collection, Produzioni armoniche, consists of 41 arias and cantatas on Italian, French and Latin texts, mainly for soprano and continuo (1 ed. C. Fontijn, Fayetteville, AR, ...


Alexander Lingas

[Bereketēs, Petros; Byzantios, ho Melōdos, Glykys, Tzelepēs, Kouspazoglou]

(b Constantinople, ?1665; d ?1725). Romaic (Greek) composer and cantor. Though undoubtedly influenced by the works of Panagiotes, Germanos and Balasios, he appears never to have been directly associated with the patriarchal court that nurtured his older colleagues. His own substantial contributions to their continuing renewal of Byzantine chanting were made instead from the Constantinopolitan parish church of St Constantine (in the district of Hypsomatheia), where Bereketes held successively the offices of reader, domestikos, and prōtopsaltēs.

Among the traditional repertories, Bereketes virtually ignored the stichērarion and heirmologion recently ‘beautified’ by Panagiotes, Germanos, and Balasios in order to focus his compositional skills on the more structurally malleable chants of the Papadikē. He also brought the newer paraliturgical genre of the kalophonic heirmos to its highest point with the composition of 45 heirmoi for use in monastic refectories or during the distribution of antidoron (blessed bread) at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy. Cultivating what Chatzigiakoumis and Stathis have described as a comparatively popular style of liturgical music, he occasionally composed works incorporating elements of the Arabo-Persian tradition of Ottoman secular music. Among his chants for Orthros are settings of the first and second ...


A. Lindsey Kirwan

revised by Stephan Hörner

(b Dolsenhaim, nr Altenburg, Saxony, 1584; d Ulm, Jan 10, 1656). German composer, singer and teacher. His father having left him little in the way of worldly goods, he went as a young man to Schwandorf, Nördlingen, and then to Augsburg, where his first publication appeared in 1606. The title ‘Kaiserlicher Notar’, which he held from 1624, indicates a legal training. At the end of 1606 he was appointed a tenor in the Stuttgart court chapel and in 1608 acted also as composer to the duke, Johann Friedrich; however, his application for the post of Kapellmeister was unsuccessful. Despite a contemporary report that he was ‘a good musician and a fine composer’, he was dismissed in 1612 when the number of singers in the chapel was reduced. After this he appears to have employed his talents in various directions. Until 1624 he worked as Präzeptor and music director at Bopfingen, near Nördlingen; then for ten years he was Kapellmeister and probably also official scribe to Count Ludwig Eberhard of Öttingen before returning to Augsburg in ...


Kerala J. Snyder

(b Kolberg, Pomerania [now Kołobrzeg, Poland], Jan 1, 1628; d Dresden, Nov 14, 1692). German music theorist, composer and singer. He is best known for his discussion of musical-rhetorical figures in Tractatus compositionis augmentatus.

The birthplace given above is documented in a funeral poem by Bernhard’s brother-in-law C.C. Dedekind and is confirmed by Walther; the birth date appears in Müller-Blattau (2/1963) without documentation. Mattheson states, no doubt erroneously, that Bernhard was born in Danzig in 1612. According to Dedekind, Bernhard studied in Danzig (probably with the elder Kaspar Förster and possibly Paul Siefert) and in Warsaw (very likely with Scacchi); Mattheson’s assertion that Bernhard studied in Danzig with Balthasar Erben must also be in error for Erben did not become Kapellmeister at the Marienkirche until 1658, well after Bernhard was established in Dresden. At some point Bernhard also studied law. He began singing as an alto at the electoral court in Dresden under Schütz probably in ...


Lorenzo Bianconi

revised by Jennifer Williams Brown

(fl 1682–1714). Italian composer, organist and singer. A member of the clergy, he worked at S Marco, Venice, from 12 January 1687 until his death in 1714, as an ‘organetto’ player and bass singer (promoted to basso del maestro in 1690). From 1688 to 1698 he was maestro di coro of the Venetian Ospedale dei Darelitti. At least two operas by him were staged in Venice; he may be the Don Paolo who sang at the Teatro S Giovanni Grisostomo there in 1682 and 1684.

CaffiS C. Bonlini: Le glorie della poesia e della musica...


Argia Bertini


(b Venice, 1666/7; d Venice, early 1733). Italian composer and singer. His approximate date of death derives from a manuscript note ( I-Vnm ), which also states that he was 66 when he died. He is widely supposed to have been a pupil of Legrenzi, but there is no firm evidence. On 6 July 1692 he joined the choir of S Marco, Venice, as a contralto. After barely a week the procurators entrusted him with the task of helping the maestro di cappella, G.D. Partenio. On Partenio's death in 1701, he applied for the vacant post together with the vicemaestro, C.F. Pollarolo, and the two organists, Antonio Lotti and Benedetto Vinaccesi; he was appointed on 5 February 1702 and held the post until his death, though he may well have been assisted, or replaced, by Antonio Lotti during his last year because of infirmity. He also succeeded Partenio as director and ...