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Article

Ortrun Landmann

[Jean]

(b c1705; d Dresden, Nov 13, 1779). German composer. He was a Jagdpfeifer at the Dresden court (1733–6), then until his death a violist in the Dresden Hofkapelle. He was also ‘ballet-compositeur’ of the court opera (from c1740), and composer and director of music for the elector’s French theatre (1763–9). According to Burney and Fürstenau, he added ballet music to operas by J.A. Hasse and made an adaptation of Rameau’s Zoroastre (Dresden, 1752); the documents of the Hofkapelle in the Dresden State Archives indicate that he also composed new pieces for various opéras comiques, and in 1756 he published a Recueil d’airs à danser executés sur le Théâtre du Roi à Dresde, arranged for harpsichord. The concertos and chamber works listed under ‘Adam’ in the Breitkopf catalogues may also be attributed to him. Few of his compositions are extant; apart from his arrangements of works by other composers, the Sächsische Landesbibliothek in Dresden contains only a concerto in G for flute and strings by him....

Article

Michael Talbot

revised by Enrico Careri

(b Bologna, Sept 20, 1685; d Bologna, Feb 18, 1751). Italian composer and violinist. He studied the violin with Carlo Manzolini, and counterpoint with P.M. Minelli and Floriano Arresti. He became a member of the Accademia Filarmonica, Bologna, in 1705, and from 1709 played the violin in the orchestra of S Petronio. His first set of concertos, published in 1713, were first performed under the composer's direction at the house of Count Orazio Bargellini. In 1721 Alberti was chosen president (principe) of the Accademia Filarmonica, a post to which he was re-elected in 1724, 1728, 1733, 1740 and 1746. A set of violin sonatas, op.2 (1721), was followed by a further set of concertos, collectively entitled ‘Sinfonie’, and issued by Le Cène in 1725 – presumably without the composer's authorization as they are incorrectly designated op.2. (This possibly inadvertent duplication of an opus number led to the renumbering of the violin sonatas as op.3 when published by Walsh shortly afterwards.) From ...

Article

Robert Lamar Weaver

(b Tuscany, c1730; d after 1792). Italian librettist and stage director. He was one of two poets at the Teatro del Cocomero in Florence around 1755, a position requiring him to alter and add to librettos by other authors, notably Goldoni. His I matrimoni in maschera (1763) and L’amore industrioso (1765), comic operas composed by G. M. Rutini, established the reputations of both men in Italy and can be regarded as Casorri’s masterpieces. He was an active translator into Italian of French farces, the most successful being Il disertore, originally by L. S. Mercier and set to music by Giuseppe Gazzaniga, which probably owed its popularity to its unswerving morality and optimism. Casorri wrote two opera seria librettos, Attalo, re di Bitinia (1780) and Mesenzio, re d’Etruria, the latter set by the young Cherubini in 1782; both are solemn and noble, though conventional. In the 1790s Casorri directed a Tuscan prose company which performed in the Palla a Corda and the Piazza Vecchia theatres. His principal composer there was Neri Bondi; Casorri wrote and translated intermezzos and farces for the company to perform....

Article

Francesco Giuntini and John Walter Hill

(b Florence, Sept 18, 1698; d after 1749). Italian trumpeter, impresario and composer. The word ‘corazza’ (cuirassier), used in connection with his name, suggests a link between his family (of German origin) and the Swiss Guard of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. On 13 December 1719 he joined a company of Florentine musicians. His activity as an impresario and composer of dramatic music was mostly in Florence, but also in other Tuscan cities such as Lucca, Pisa and Pistoia. After 1738 he is described in some librettos as ‘professor di tromba’ by imperial appointment, and after 1743 as ‘maestro di cappella della Real Brigata de’ Carabinieri di Sua Maestà Cattolica’. A French privilege to print his instrumental music, issued to Chinzer on 11 March 1749, suggests that he was in Paris at that time.

In his operas he continued the tradition of Florentine commedia per musica until its popularity was supplanted by the Neapolitan variety. His sonatas often employ rounded binary form, small-scale phrase repetition, reverse dotting, echo phrasing and small, ornamental figures typical of mid-century style. Lack of imagination is notable in his motifs....

Article

Alison Stonehouse

(b Dijon, Jan 13, 1674; d Paris, June 17, 1762). French dramatist. He studied law at Dijon and by 1703 was living in Paris. He became a member of the Académie Française in 1731 and was appointed theatre censor in 1735. His nine tragedies, based on subjects from classical antiquity, are melodramatic and exploit violence and romantic entanglements; they were highly regarded during his lifetime. Idoménée (1705), his first work, was a source for Campra and Danchet’s Idoménée, which in turn served for Mozart and Varesco’s Idomeneo. His masterpiece, Rhadamiste et Zénobie, was first performed in 1711; there are notable similarities between it and Metastasio’s Zenobia, as also between Crébillon’s Xerces (1714) and Metastasio’s Artaserse. Other plays by Crébillon on which operas were based were Semiramis and Pyrrhus. Crébillon’s son Claude-Prosper (1707–77) was also a playwright; he was theatre censor from 1774 to 1777...

Article

Brian Boydell

(b London, 1703; d London, July 3, 1767). English violinist, composer and musical director. He was the natural son of Isaacs, a dancing-master. As a pupil of Geminiani, he soon made a name as a remarkably gifted boy violinist, first appearing at one of Thomas Britton’s concerts, where, standing on a high stool, he played a solo by Corelli with great success. On 27 May 1714 he had a benefit concert at Hickford’s Room. In 1724 he visited Dublin, and on 17 June 1727 married Frances Gates at Stanmore, Middlesex.

In 1728 he was appointed to succeed J.S. Kusser as Master and Composer of State Music in Ireland, a post said to have been intended for Geminiani but transferred to Dubourg for religious reasons. From then until 1752, when he succeeded Festing as leader of the King’s Band in London, he spent most of his time in Dublin, where he was an active influence in the musical community, though occasionally travelling to London (he took part, for instance, in performances of Handel’s ...

Article

Gottfried Küntzel

revised by Barbara M. Reul

(b Buttelstädt, nr Weimar, April 15, 1688; d Zerbst, Dec 5, 1758). German composer and Kapellmeister and one of the most significant contemporaries of Bach. Drawing primarily from mixed and galant style characteristics, Fasch’s works feature novel instrumental colours, unusual harmonic turns, and innovative hybrids of instrumental genres.

Fasch described his early life and career path in an autobiographical account (Lebenslauf) in 1757 (i.e., the year before his death). He was descended from a line of Lutheran clerics and lawyers. His earliest musical studies as a boy soprano took place in Suhl and Weissenfels, and in 1701 Thomaskantor Kuhnau recruited him as one of his first students for the Leipzig Thomasschule. Unable to afford lessons, Fasch taught himself how to compose, taking the music of his ‘most beloved’ friend Telemann as his model. After graduation Fasch not only studied theology and law at the University of Leipzig, but also founded and directed his own ensemble, the ‘Second Collegium Musicum’. This semi-professional group performed regularly in public, including at local coffee houses, the university church, and the opera house. In ...

Article

Lowell Lindgren

(b Rome, July 6, 1678; d London, July 31, 1729). Italian composer, librettist and theatre manager. According to his obituary in The Weekly Medley (9 August 1729), he was ‘deservedly famous for divinely touching the Violoncello’, manifested ‘Genius for Musick as a Composer, … devoted several Hours daily to the Belles-Lettres’, and ‘was Secretary for many Years to the Royal Academy of Musick in this City, in which Employment he distinguish'd himself by his indefatigable Industry and the general Satisfaction he gave to all the Directors’. His ‘uncommon Modesty, Candour, Affability and all the amiable Virtues of Life’ undoubtedly contributed much to his success in collaborative endeavours.

From 1694 to 1700 he was occasionally employed as a cellist by Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni in Rome. He may also have played in the orchestra at the Teatro Capranica, which staged the first two operas he was to adapt for London: Alessandro Scarlatti's ...

Article

Nicholas Temperley

(bap. Aldersgate, London, Feb 26, 1724; d London, April 15, 1764). English amateur musician. ‘In his younger days he was a great beau’, said Hawkins, who is the chief source of information about Immyns. ‘He had been guilty of some indiscretions, which proved an effectual bar to success in his profession, and reduced him to the necessity of becoming a clerk to an attorney in the city’. He cultivated music assiduously, playing the flute, viola da gamba and harpsichord, and had a ‘cracked counter-tenor voice’. As a member of the Academy of Ancient Music, and as a student and copyist to Pepusch, he became familiar with much old music, which he preferred to that of his own day. In 1741 he founded the Madrigal Society, which began as a small group of mechanics and tradesmen experienced in psalmody, meeting at a tavern in Fleet Street. Immyns was ‘both their president and instructor’, and in preparation for the meetings he copied out some 200 madrigals and canons: his MS survives at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. The music was confined to madrigals and other old music, by such composers as Ruffo, Lassus, Marenzio, Vecchi and Gesualdo; the English madrigalists were also explored. Immyns copied seven Palestrina motets for the society's use. From these modest beginnings sprang what is now the oldest musical association in existence....

Article

Pablo L. Rodríguez

( b Artajona, Navarra, bap. Sept 18, 1635; d Aug 1684). Spanish composer and music director . He trained as a choirboy at León Cathedral and, from 1650, at Toledo Cathedral, in both places as a pupil of the elder Tomás Miciezes. His professional career began in 1657 when he was appointed maestro de capilla of the cathedrals of Oviedo and S Domingo de la Calzada, and in August 1657 he was made maestro de capilla of the collegiate church of Vitoria. He applied for similar posts at Orense Cathedral (1664), the collegiate church of Roncesvalles (1666) and elsewhere, but stayed at Vitoria until 1671, when he obtained the position of music director at Segovia Cathedral, where he remained until his death.

Irízar left to the cathedral numerous autograph manuscripts of his own works (masses, psalms, lamentations, motets and villancicos) as well as copies of works by other important Spanish musicians of the time (Miciezes, Carlos Patiño, Cristóbal Galán and Juan Hidalgo among others). Some of these were copied on the reverse side of more than 400 personal letters he received between ...

Article

Ugo Gironacci

( b Pennabilli, nr Urbino, or Rimini, c 1700; d Fermo, Feb 20, 1771). Italian organist, composer and impresario . He was maestro di cappella of S Venanzo, Fabriano, where he was recorded as a priest from Rimini, from 12 April 1719 to 22 September 1722. On 14 August of that year he was appointed to a similar position at Fermo Cathedral, and on 1 August 1733 he became organist of the basilica at Loreto, where he remained until his death (from 20 February 1749 he had an assistant, Antonio Mencarelli). Mastini died in Fermo at the house of the Congregazione dell'Oratorio, where he had served as prefect of music. He composed many operas and oratorios, including Li tre fanciulli resuscitati in Lima per miracolo di S Francesco di Paola (D. Giupponi; Rimini, house of the Minim fathers, 28 September 1723, and Fermo, Palazzo Priorale, 1723), Cartoccio speziale (Perugia, Teatro dei Nobili, carn. ...

Article

David Johnson

(b c1718; d Edinburgh, Oct 13, 1757). Italian composer, violinist, theoretician and impresario. It is assumed that Pasquali was born about 1718, since the Edinburgh burial records give the age at which he died as 39. According to Burney he came to London about 1743 and from then on was extremely active in the three main British musical centres. He spent the period 1748–9 in Dublin, where he produced an oratorio, Noah, and a masque, The Temple of Peace. By 1750 he was back in London, returning to Dublin in 1751. From October 1752 onwards he lived in Edinburgh, where he led the orchestras at both the Canongate Theatre and the Musical Society, wrote and acted in a ‘whimsical Farce’ entitled The Enraged Musician (based on Hogarth’s print), and composed, among other works, a Stabat mater which continued to be performed in Edinburgh after his death. His arrangement of Corelli’s concerto grosso op.6 no.4, with additional parts for horns, trumpets and timpani, survived in the concert repertory until the 1770s (see Fiske, 260)....

Article

Lionel Sawkins and David Fuller

(b Turin, c1705; d Paris, Jan 11, 1755). French composer, harpsichordist, organist and administrator. His father was sent by Louis XIV to be the intendant of gardens and fountains at the court of Savoy; the family returned to Paris when Royer was still an infant, although he did not become naturalized until July 1751, less than four years before his death. For 25 years he was a central figure in Parisian musical life, with responsibilities at court, the Opéra and the Concert Spirituel. He acquired a great reputation for playing the harpsichord and organ (Laugier) and as a composer, was a brilliant and influential contemporary of Rameau through much of the latter's career. His first operatic essay was to contribute music to an opéra comique at the 1725 Foire St Laurent (Le fâcheux veuvage). His first term as maître de musique at the Paris Opéra (...

Article

Mary Térey-Smith

(b Rio de Janeiro, March 8, 1705; d Lisbon, Oct 18, 1739). Portuguese playwright of Brazilian birth . After his Jewish parents were arrested by the Inquisition in 1712 he was taken by relatives to Lisbon, where he grew up. Despite constant surveillance by the clergy he completed his studies at Coimbra University and became a respected lawyer, as well as engaging in literary and theatrical activities. In 1732 he obtained permission to present operas with life-size puppets at the Teatro dos Bonecos in the Bairro Alto during carnival. He produced seven operas based on his own plays in the five years to 1737, when, on the orders of the Inquisition, he was arrested and tried for sacrilegious libel. He was burnt at the stake in Lisbon’s infamous auto-da-fé of 1739.

Da Silva’s satirical style points to his familiarity with the writings of Cervantes and Molière. The two operas for which music is extant (in ...

Article

John Bergsagel

(b Copenhagen, Feb 7, 1707; d Høsterkøb, Dec 2, 1763). Danish composer, theatre director and writer, of German descent. His father was Johann Hiob Thielo from Erfurt (c1685–1735), who as a young man settled in Copenhagen where in 1708 he became organist of the church of Our Saviour. According to his own account (Grund-Regeln), the younger Thielo was sent to Germany to learn music; from the age of eight until 12 he was taught keyboard and thoroughbass playing in Saxony but not until he became a pupil of J.G. Walther in Weimar did he really make progress. He returned to Copenhagen in 1726 and set himself up as a music teacher. He married in 1733 and in 1735 a daughter, Caroline Amalie, was born; she made her stage début at an early age and by the time of her death under mysterious circumstances at the age of 19 was the most admired actress of her day....

Article

David Johnson

(b Milan, 1749; d Dublin, 1816). Italian singer, composer and impresario. He is said to have obtained a MusD from the University of Milan; he then went to London with his countryman Rontzini in search of work, spent unspecified years there and in Dublin, appeared singing Scottish songs at concerts in Glasgow between 1781 and 1784, and settled in Edinburgh in 1784.

In Edinburgh he sang at the Musical Society concerts in St Cecilia's Hall and published six volumes of Scottish songs, including original songs of his own; he ran a music shop and publishing house with Edward Liston at 10 Princes Street from 1795, wrote a singing instruction manual, and lost a lot of money mounting Handel's oratorios. Around 1808 he returned to Dublin, destitute, and died there in 1816. Two operas by him were performed in Dublin during the 1784–5 season, but many of his compositions seem to be lost....

Article

Robert Lamar Weaver

(b ?Florence, early 18th century; d ?London, cAug 1759). Italian librettist and impresario. His most frequently performed comic opera was La commedia in commedia, incorrectly attributed to Giovanni Barlocci, first performed in 1731 at the Cocomero in Florence by the company of Pietro Pertici with music by Chinzer. A new score by Rinaldo di Capua for Rome, 1738, was used for a tour by the same company through northern Italy. In 1741 Vanneschi was employed by Charles Sackville, the Earl of Middlesex, as poet and impresario at the King’s Theatre, London. He wrote at least two new librettos for his patron: Scipione in Cartagine (1742) and Fetonte (1747). Otherwise, his seasons at the King’s Theatre were dominated by revivals which he reworked to a greater or lesser extent. He was instrumental in bringing the Pertici company to London from November 1748 to May 1750...