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Article

Walter Knape and Murray R. Charters

revised by Simon McVeigh

Member of Abel family

(b Cöthen, Dec 22, 1723; d London, June 20, 1787). German composer and bass viol player, son of Christian Ferdinand Abel. He was no doubt a pupil of his father’s, especially for the bass viol; but on his father’s death in 1737 Carl Friedrich may have turned to the former relationship with the Bach family and gone to Leipzig to study, as Burney, who knew Abel, stated. By 1743 Abel was a player in the court orchestra under Hasse in Dresden; the connection with the Bachs was maintained – W.F. Bach was an organist there until 1746, and J.S. Bach had held an appointment as court composer from 1736. Abel left Dresden in 1757–8 during the destruction of the city by Frederick the Great. He then travelled, visiting the house of Goethe’s family in Frankfurt and probably the musical centres of Mannheim and Paris. He had already begun to compose in Dresden; the Breitkopf catalogue of ...

Article

Walter Knape and Murray R. Charters

revised by Simon McVeigh

Member of Abel family

(b Cöthen, March 24, 1718; d Ludwigslust, Aug 25, 1794). German composer and violinist, eldest son of Christian Ferdinand Abel. He was a pupil of Franz Benda in Dresden (1735) and worked as a violinist in the court orchestras at Brunswick (1745) and Sonderhausen (1757–65). He was next appointed Konzertmeister in the orchestra at Brandenburg-Schwedt (1766), then with Benda in Berlin, and he was finally a first violinist in the chapel of the Prince of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in Ludwigslust from 1770. His compositions include a Symphony in D (1776; D-SWl , under ‘Leba’) and violin ‘arpeggien’ ( A-Wgm ). His two sons, August Christian Andreas (1751–1834) and Friedrich Ludwig Aemilius (b 1770), were both violinists at Ludwigslust; the latter’s grandson Ludwig (1835–95) was a violinist in Basle from 1865, and from ...

Article

Ronald C. Purcell

[el Portugués]

(b c1750; fl Salamanca; d c1820). Portuguese guitarist (or of Portuguese descent). He provided the rules and music to his guitar method, Escuela para tocar con perfección la guitarra de cinco y seis órdenes con reglas generales de mano izquierda y derecha. P.F. Victor Prieto (organist at the Royal Monastery in Salamanca) discovered Abreu's manuscript and published it under the original title in Salamanca in 1799 with supplementary material concerning the origins of the guitar and a historical view of the aesthetics of music. Abreu's method offers a systematic approach to pedagogy, and is one of the first to treat the guitar having six double courses, the precursor to the 19th-century guitar with six single strings. It also discusses guitar accompaniment in the orchestra and, of special note, describes in detail the preparation of right-hand fingernails.

SubiráHME B. Saldoni: Diccionario biográfico-bibliográfico de efemérides de músicos españoles...

Article

Robin Langley

(b c1749; d after 1794). English composer, organist and cellist. According to his recommendation by Francis Hackwood to the Society of Musicians, on 1 February 1784 he was 35 years old, married with two children, organist of Brompton Chapel and a competent violinist, viola player and cellist. He performed as a cellist in the Handel commemoration concerts in 1784 and played in the band for the Academy of Ancient Music during the 1787–8 season. He probably also took part as a cellist in the concerts (held annually) at St Paul’s Cathedral for the relief of the clergy in 1785, 1789, 1790, 1793 and 1795.

From his extant published works it can be seen that Adams was a competent purveyor of small-scale vocal and instrumental works in the manner of Haigh, Osmond or Reeve. His music shows an awareness of changing styles: the early songs and canzonets accompanied either by harpsichord or orchestra with obbligato instrument are in the manner of Arne, giving way to a symphonic style like that of J.C. Bach or Hook in the three sonatas of op.4 (for piano or harpsichord with violin or flute accompaniment); his late sonata for piano duet shows some grasp of larger forms, and ...

Article

Sven Hansell and Robert L. Kendrick

(b Milan, Oct 17, 1720; d Milan, Jan 19, 1795). Italian composer. As a girl she performed in her home while her elder sister Maria Gaetana (1718–99; she became a distinguished mathematician) lectured and debated in Latin. Charles de Brosses, who heard them on July 16, 1739 and was highly impressed, reported that Maria Teresa performed harpsichord pieces by Rameau and sang and played compositions of her own invention. Her first cantata, Il restauro d’Arcadia, was written in honour of the Austrian governor Gian-Luca Pallavicini in Milan in 1747. About 1750 she was in correspondence with the acoustician and music theorist Giordano Riccati, who cited passages from her works in a 1762 treatise. At about this time, she sent her tragic opera seria La Sofonisba to Vienna for possible performance on the nameday of Empress Maria Theresa, who reportedly sang other arias that Agnesi had sent her. After marrying Pier Antonio Pinottini on ...

Article

John A. Parkinson

revised by Simon McVeigh

[Joseph]

(b c1725; d ?April 1803). Italian composer and violinist. By 1748 he was in London, where his orchestral career lasted over half a century. He was particularly in demand as a composer of ballet music for the Italian opera, and by 1758 works by him were included in the anthology known as Hasse’s Comic Tunes. A selection from the eighth volume is entirely by him, and between 1768 and 1788 he published no fewer than seven further books of opera dances. In addition to publishing collections of his own vocal and instrumental music, Agus edited Six Favourite Overtures in 8 Parts (London, 1762) containing works by Cocchi, Galuppi, Jommelli and Graun. His sonatas and trios are fluent essays in the Tartini idiom, with judicious use of double stopping. However, public taste was best suited by his flair for brief but tuneful dance movements in a variety of styles, the tambourin being especially favoured....

Article

John A. Parkinson

revised by Simon McVeigh

(Francis)

(b 1749, d Paris, 1798). Italian violinist and composer. He was probably the son of Giuseppe Agus. Having studied the violin under Nardini in Italy, ‘Agus jr’ first appeared in London on 26 February 1773 at the Haymarket. In 1778 Blundell published his duets for two violins.

On 19 March 1778 he was found guilty at Kingston assizes of attempted rape upon his 11-year-old godchild, Elizabeth Weichsell, and as a result of this scandal he emigrated to France. He was appointed maître de solfège at the Paris Conservatoire in 1795, where he received a grant of 3000 livres from the National Council. He contributed to the collection of solfeggi issued under the Conservatoire’s auspices. Two collections of instrumental arrangements of catches and glees were published in England, and a set of trios in Paris, where Barbieri impudently republished his violin duets as Boccherini’s op.37.

Many errors in earlier editions of ...

Article

Dieter Härtwig

revised by Hildegard Surner

(b Regensburg, Feb 28, 1755; d Prague, Dec 20, 1810). German composer, writer and pianist. The daughter of Prince Alexander Ferdinand of Thurn and Taxis and his third wife Maria Henrietta Josepha, princess of Fürstenberg - Stühhugen, and a goddaughter of Empress Maria Theresa, she spent her early years at her father's court in Regensburg. In 1780 she married the Danish diplomat Count Ferdinand von Ahlefeldt-Langeland-Rixingen. In the following decade they lived at the court of the last Margrave of Ansbach, Karl Alexander, where she belonged to the circle of Lady Elizabeth Craven (later margravine) and was active in musical and literary spheres. In 1791, after the dissolution of the Ansbach court, Countess Ahlefeldt moved to Denmark with her husband, who was superintendent of the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen from 1792 to 1794. The couple later moved to Dresden (1798) and Prague (1800). Ahlefeldt came to public notice as a composer in both Ansbach and Copenhagen, having particular success with the four-act opera-ballet ...

Article

Robert Stevenson

(b Mexico City, 1758; d Mexico City, Feb 7, 1810). Mexican violinist and composer. As a boy, he studied at the Mexico City Cathedral Colegio de Infantes, a choir school where Nicolás Gil de la Torre taught him the violin. On 27 January 1775 the cathedral authorities appointed him a violinist in the cathedral orchestra at 200 pesos annually; on 12 January 1784 his yearly salary was raised from 300 to 400 pesos. In 1786 he was second violinist of the theatre orchestra at the Mexico City Coliseo, a post that conflicted with his cathedral duties to such an extent that on 9 January 1788 the chapter asked him to resign one post or the other. Choosing the Coliseo, he was in the 1790–91 season promoted to leader of the orchestra. In 1808 he headed the Mexico City choir school while still continuing as leader at the Coliseo....

Article

Barry S. Brook

revised by Richard Viano

[l'aîné]

Member of Alday family

(b Mahón, Menorca, c1761; d ?Lyons, after 1835). French violinist, organist, teacher and music director. He was the older son of Alday père. The Alday name, presumably referring to François, first appeared in the Parisian press in 1771 after a performance at the Concert Spirituel: ‘M. Aldaye fils, âgé d'environ dix ans, a joué sur la mandoline avec autant de rapidité que de précision’ (Mercure de France, April 1771, ii, 182). He does not appear to have been an outstanding soloist; the name ‘Aldée’ is listed last in the second violin section of the Concert Spirituel in 1786, and probably refers to him rather than to his brother Paul. In 1797 he was a music teacher and ‘premier violon du spectacle’ in Lyons. In 1810 he founded the Cercle Harmonique, a concert society comprising the best musicians in that city. As its director, he played an important role in the musical life of Lyons; he encouraged the performance of contemporary music, including the first performance in that city of Beethoven’s ...

Article

Barry S. Brook

revised by Richard Viano

(Bonaventure)[le jeune]

Member of Alday family

(b Perpignan ? or Paris, c1763; d ? Dublin, 1835). French violinist and composer, brother of François Alday. He studied with Viotti in 1785 and between 1783 and 1790 performed no fewer than 25 times at the Concert Spirituel in his own works as well as those by J.A. Fodor, Giornovichi, Mestrino and Viotti. In 1789 he performed a symphonie concertante with ‘Vauthy’ (Viotti) in Lyons. Fétis placed Alday le jeune in England after 1791. His stay in London was apparently short: an account in Jackson's Oxford Journal announced that he performed in Oxford in May 1793. In the same year, he married a harpist ‘lately arrived from Paris’, Adélaïde Rosalie Delatouche (1768 or 1769–1835), in Oxford. He remained there until at least 1796, when he gave a benefit concert. Gerber placed him in Edinburgh in 1806 as a music director and professor of music. According to Carr (...

Article

Barry S. Brook, Richard Viano, and Elisabeth Cook

(b c1735; d Paris, late 1787 or early 1788). French composer and violinist. His first names are undoubtedly Charles-Guillaume (given by La Borde, 1780) rather than Claude-Guillaume (from the report of his wife’s death in Annonces, 14 August 1792). He is first mentioned in Les spectacles de Paris as a violinist in the orchestra of the Opéra-Comique from 1753 to 1755. By 1756 he had composed music for at least two spectacles à machines at the Théâtre des Tuileries (La Borde claims a third). The Annonces, affiches et avis divers of 15 September 1760 referred to him as first violin and maître de musique at the music school of Sieur Dubugraire; in the announcement of his Six trio op.4 (1762) he is described as the first violin of the Duc d’Aiguillon, a prominent patron in the French capital. Soon afterwards he began to take advantage of the expanding bourgeois musical life in Paris and for almost three decades he made his living as a composer, arranger and violin teacher. Although he is known to have been a violinist, his name does not appear as a soloist nor as a member of any Parisian orchestra after ...

Article

James L. Jackman

(b ?Milan, c1710; d Frankfurt, c1792). Italian cellist and composer. Although early sources (Eitner, Rudhart) claimed a Milanese origin for Aliprandi, the family has not been definitely traced. One of the numerous Italians who found careers north of the Alps, Aliprandi first appears in the records of the Bavarian court at Munich on 1 October 1731 as a chamber and court musician, with a yearly stipend of 1000 florins. On 22 August 1737 he succeeded G.B. Ferrandini as composer of chamber music; on 11 March 1744 he was promoted to Konzertmeister, with his salary increased to 1200 florins. By 1777 this amount had been reduced to 1105 florins, and in 1778 he retired with a pension of 500 florins. In 1791 he was living in Frankfurt; a petition by his son Bernardo Maria dated May 1793 indicates that he had died by then.

Aliprandi’s works for the Bavarian court opera include ...

Article

James L. Jackman

revised by Valerie Walden

(b Munich, Feb 5, 1747; d Munich, Feb 19, 1801). Italian cellist and composer, son of Bernardo Aliprandi. The young Bernardo probably studied with his father and, like many cellists of the era, would have been familiar with the viol. He began playing the cello for the Munich court between ...

Article

Edward H. Tarr

(b Weissenfels, June 15, 1734; d Bitterfeld, May 14, 1801). German trumpeter, organist and teacher. Son of Johann Caspar Altenburg, he was sworn into apprenticeship by his father at two years of age and was released from his articles as a trumpeter 16 years later. Because of the decline of Baroque social order, however, he was never able to find a position as a trumpeter. He became a secretary to a friend of his father's, a royal Polish stablemaster, then studied the organ and composition with Johann Theodor Römhild in Merseburg until 1757 and (briefly) with Bach's son-in-law, Johann Christoph Altnickol, in Naumburg. In 1757 he joined the French army as a field trumpeter and participated in the Seven Years War, then travelled to various German states, returning to Weissenfels in 1766. In 1767 he found a position as an organist in Landsberg, and in 1769 in the then small village of Bitterfeld. He auditioned unsuccessfully for better positions and died embittered and impoverished....

Article

Article

Álvaro Torrente

(b ?Salamanca, c1710; d Salamanca, May 28, 1793). Spanish composer, organist and harpist. From about 1735 (there is documentary evidence from 1738) he was a performer in the Capilla de S Jerónimo of the University of Salamanca. From January 1741 he occupied the chair of music at the university, following Antonio Yanguas’s retirement in 1740. He was appointed professor of music in 1754, a post he held until 3 July 1771.

MSS in E-SAu unless otherwise stated; other anonymous compositions in SAu may also be by Aragüés

E. Esperabé de Arteaga: Historia pragmática é interna de la universidad de Salamanca (Salamanca, 1914–17) C. Gómez Amat...

Article

Lynda MacGregor

(b Niedernhall, Württemberg, Feb 1, 1773; d Frankfurt, July 26, 1806). German cellist. The son of a schoolmaster, who gave him preliminary musical training, he made local appearances with the cello when he was eight; in 1785 he was apprenticed to the town musician at Künzelsau, where he spent five years, followed by a period with his uncle, who held a similar position at Wertheim. But ensuing attempts to start a solo career, making short tours in southern Germany and Switzerland, proved abortive, hampered by the absence of proper training. Accordingly, he went first to Regensburg for some months' study with Max Willmann, the first cello teaching he had received. He proceeded to Hamburg in 1796; here, he profited greatly from the tuition and fine example of Romberg, who helped him to develop great technical ability and recommended his engagement, a year later, as solo cellist of the Frankfurt Opera. Arnold is said to have been described by his contemporaries as a great virtuoso, with a ‘consistently enchanting’ tone. He died of a lung infection at the age of 33 and was greatly mourned by the people of Frankfurt. His compositions include five cello concertos (published ...

Article

Philip Bate and David Lasocki

(b Lisburn, Co. Antrim, c1759; d Dublin, 1838). Irish flautist and composer. When 12 he was adopted by Count Bentinck, a British naval captain, and travelled widely with him in Europe. He quickly learnt the flute but abandoned it because of his dissatisfaction with the contemporary one-keyed instrument. He returned to the flute in 1774 at The Hague, after hearing the flautist Vanhamme (or Vanham) play a six-keyed instrument by Richard Potter and purchasing it from him. Around 1778 Ashe was appointed first flute at the Brussels Opera, having beaten Vanhamme, the incumbent, in a public audition. After settling in Dublin in 1782, he was engaged by Saloman in 1791 for the Haydn concerts in London, where he made his solo début the following year. He succeeded Monzani at the King's Theatre in 1805, and in 1810 also became director of the Bath concerts on the death of Rauzzini, whose pupil, Miss Comer, he had married in ...

Article

Brian W. Pritchard

Member of Ashley family

(b London, Dec 30, 1772; d Margate, Aug 28, 1843). English cellist, son of John Ashley. He appeared as soloist at Ranelagh, in his father’s and brother’s festivals and at major music meetings throughout the country. He was one of the founders of the Glee Club (1793), a member of the Royal Society of Musicians from 1794 and its secretary during the period 1811–19, and an original member of the Philharmonic Society (1813). He performed at the Concerts of Ancient Music and belonged to the orchestra at the King’s Theatre. He was sole manager of the Covent Garden Oratorios from 1816 to 1819 when the family’s long connection ended, and continued promoting festivals in the provinces after the deaths of his elder brothers, running a particularly extensive series late in 1818. As a cellist he was often considered second only to Robert Lindley and was renowned for his playing of obbligatos in arias such as ‘O liberty’ (...