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Neal Zaslaw


(b late 17th century; d Versailles, ?1728). French luthier and player on the musette and hurdy-gurdy. As early as 1672 Borjon de Scellery remarked upon the popularity of the musette among the French noblemen and the hurdy-gurdy among noble ladies. Bâton l'aîné took advantage of the continuing fashion for rustic instruments, and worked at transforming the musette and hurdy-gurdy from folk instruments into art ones. His younger contemporary Terrasson wrote:

Mr Bâton, luthier at Versailles, was the first who worked at perfecting the hurdy-gurdy [vielle]: he had in his place several old guitars which had not been used for a long time. In 1716 the idea struck him to turn them into hurdy-gurdies, and he carried off this invention with such a great success that people wished to have only hurdy-gurdies mounted on the bodies of guitars; and these sorts of hurdy-gurdies effectively have a stronger and at the same time sweeter sound than that of the old hurdy-gurdies. Mr Bâton also added to that instrument’s keyboard the low ...


Thomas Hiebert

(b ?Prague, c1715; d ?Dresden, after 1766). Horn player, probably from Bohemia . Dlabacž mentions two ‘very good’ horn- and trumpet-playing brothers from Prague named Knechtel, one of whom may have been Johann George. Knechtel played first horn in the renowned Dresden court orchestra from 1733 or 1734 until about 1756. According to Dahlqvist, it is likely that he ‘retired’ as horn player in order to become a court cellist at Dresden during the years 1756–67. Knechtel wrote one concerto for horn in D (Katalog Wenster Litteratur I/10, S-L ; also found in a version for viola in E♭ in D-Dl ) and has another concerto attributed to him in the same collection (in E♭, I/11). These works, as well as many of J.F. Fasch’s ensemble concertos written during Knechtel’s employment with the Dresden orchestra, show him to have been a master of the high (so-called clarino) register. Thus Knechtel developed the tradition of virtuoso first horn players in Dresden in the first half of the 18th century (others there during the period included Johann Adalbert Fischer and J.A. Schindler) whilst expanding upon this tradition through his skill in the performance of quick chordal figures and large leaps in a quasi-violinistic idiom. While Knechtel was perfecting the extreme high range, his partner at second horn, A.J. Hampel, was developing the lower compass of the horn. Knechtel is also thought to have composed a set of 12 ‘Menuets et Polonaises’ for keyboard dated ...


Alfredo Bernardini

(b Valsesia, c1691; d Turin, Dec 23, 1783). Italian bassoonist and woodwind instrument maker . He was the son and pupil of the recorder maker Giovanni Lorenzo (b c1645; d after 1705). Carlo entered the ducal cappella of Turin on 7 March 1719 as ‘Suonatore di bassa d'Autbois’, a post he held until 13 May 1770. He was associated with the brothers Alessandro and P.G. Besozzi, respectively first oboe and first bassoon in the same orchestra; in some orders for his instruments, the approval of Alessandro was required. Among Palanca's surviving instruments the recorders and flutes are made in the late Baroque style, whereas the oboes are narrower in bore and have thinner walls than their Baroque counterparts, the Classical type. The two existing bassoons show similarity to French models. Palanca's instruments are marked ‘CARLO/PALANCA’.

Waterhouse-LangwillI YoungHI M.T. Bouquet: Musique et musiciens à Turin de 1648 à 1775...


Edward R. Reilly

revised by Andreas Giger

(b Oberscheden, Hanover, Jan 30, 1697; d Potsdam, July 12, 1773). German flautist, composer, writer on music and flute maker.

Quantz’s autobiography, published in F.W. Marpurg’s Historisch-kritische Beyträge, i (1754–5), is the principal source of information on the composer's life, centring on his activities in Dresden (1716–41) and at the court of Frederick the Great in Berlin and Potsdam (from 1741).

The son of a blacksmith, he began his musical training in 1708 with his uncle, Justus Quantz, a town musician in Merseburg. After Justus’s death three months later, Quantz continued his apprenticeship with his uncle’s successor and son-in-law, J.A. Fleischhack, whom he served as a journeyman after the completion of the apprenticeship in 1713. During his apprenticeship, Quantz achieved proficiency on most of the principal string instruments, the oboe and the trumpet. Taking advantage of a period of mourning for the reigning duke’s brother in ...