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Kurt von Fischer

revised by Gianluca D’Agostino

[Landino, Franciscus; Magister Franciscus de Florentia; Magister Franciscus Coecus Horghanista de Florentia; Francesco degli orghani; Cechus de Florentia]

(b ? Fiesole or Florence, c1325; d Florence, Sept 2, 1397). Italian composer, poet, organist, singer and instrument maker of the second generation of Italian Trecento composers.

Only a few dates relating to Landini’s life can be established with any certainty. There is no record of his date of birth, which Fétis gave as c1325 and Pirrotta as c1335. Fiesole was stated as his place of birth, but by only one authority: the Florentine humanist Cristoforo Landino (1429–98), Landini’s great-nephew, in his Elogia de suis maioribus. Most of the available biographical information derives from Filippo Villani’s Liber de origine civitatis Florentiae et eiusdem famosis civibus: the chapter that concerns certain of the Trecento composers (Bartholus, Giovanni, Lorenzo and Jacopo) was written after 1381 but still within Landini’s lifetime (see Villani, Filippo). The name Landini (Landino), according to Pirrotta, descends from Francesco’s grandfather, Landino di Manno, who can be traced in Pratovecchio (Casentino) from ...


Anne Beetem Acker

(b Vienna, Austria, 1370; d Nuremberg, Germany, 1401). Viennese physician, medical astrologer, organist, and presumed harpsichord maker. The earliest dated reference to what might be a harpsichord is in a letter from Padua of 1397 that names Hermann Poll as its inventor. Poll earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Vienna between 1388 and 1395. In 1397 Poll went to the University of Pavia to study medicine (MD, 1398), and en route met the Paduan jurist Giovanni Lodovico Lambertacci, who asked Poll to deliver a cup to his son-in-law in Pavia. In the letter, Lambertacci wrote to his son-in-law describing Poll as ‘a very ingenious young man and inventor of an instrument called the clavicembalum.’ At the age of 31, Poll was discovered in a plot to poison the Elector Palatine of the Rhine, and died on the wheel.

R. Strohm: ‘Die private Kunst und das öffentliche Schicksal von Hermann Poll, dem Erfinder des Cembalos’, ...