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Article

Vernon Gotwals

revised by Judi Caldwell

(b New Orleans, LA, March 15, 1912; d New Jersey, Sept 30, 1978). American organist. She began to study piano at the age of five and organ at ten, and at fourteen she became an organist at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in her native city. Her first public organ recital was at Christ Church there in 1933. Her early training was with William C. Webb. She studied in the summers of 1935 and 1936 and during the academic year 1937–8 with Palmer Christian at the University of Michigan and then in New York with Charles Courboin and in Paris with Marcel Dupré. She made her New York début in Calvary Church in 1938. In 1939 she became the first woman to give an organ recital in Cadet Chapel at West Point, where she later made a recording. In addition to making extensive concert tours, she taught at Oberlin Conservatory, at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and in New York at Mannes College, the Dalcroze School, and the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary; she also taught at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. From ...

Article

Helmut Kallmann

(b Norwich, c1796; d Quebec, Oct 6, 1852). Canadian organist of English birth. A pupil of Beckwith and Crotch, Codman went to Quebec in 1816 to become organist at the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, a position he occupied until 1852. He also taught music. On ...

Article

(b Naples, 1717 (?); d Naples, after July 28, 1778). Italian harpsichordist, composer, and maestro di cappella. Son of Giuseppe D’Alessandro, Gennaro studied with Leonardo Leo, according to tenor Anton Raaff. Fétis’ statement that D’Alessandro was born in 1717 is unsourced. On August 21, 1739 he was hired as maestro di coro at Venice’s Ospedale della Pietà, a position he retained until May 13, 1740. He was the first in a distinguished cohort of Neapolitan choirmasters who served at the Pietà during the 18th century, following a local trend started in 1726 by Nicola Porpora at the Ospedale degli Incurabili.

Of the sacred music D’Alessandro composed for the Pietà only incomplete vocal partbooks of a Miserere and a Missa brevis survive in the Fondo Correr of the Conservatorio ‘Benedetto Marcello’ in Venice, bearing the names of the soprano (Michielina) and the alto (Placida) among the figlie di coro...

Article

William Osborne

(b Greenfield, MA, June 23, 1851; d Chicago, Jan 10, 1937). American organist. He studied with Dudley Buck in Hartford during 1867 and, after serving as organist of Bethany Congregational Church in Montpelier, Vermont, for several years, studied with Karl-August Haupt in Berlin. Following an extended European tour (including a recital at the Vienna Exposition of 1873), he returned in 1874 and worked as an organist in Chicago at the First Congregational Church and then in 1879 at the First Presbyterian Church, where he remained for 17 years; at the Tompkins Avenue Congregational Church in Brooklyn and Temple Beth El, New York; and later at the First Presbyterian Church of Oakland, California, while living in San Francisco (1915–19). Between 1895 and 1906 he lived in Paris. As the leading concert organist of his era he gave hundreds of recitals across the United States, Canada, and Europe, specializing in dedicating new instruments. He established his reputation during ...

Article

Leanne Langley

(b London, Oct 11, 1853; d London, Nov 28, 1909). English organist and writer on music. While a student at the RAM he was organist of the Surrey Chapel, migrating in 1876 with the pastor and congregation to the newly built Christ Church, Westminster Bridge Road. In 1881 he transferred to St John’s Wood Presbyterian Church, where he remained as organist until 1905; during this period he produced several editions of Nonconformist church music and wrote programme notes for oratorios. Edwards’s most lasting contribution, however, was as a music historian. Besides books on hymn tune origins, London musical places and Mendelssohn’s Elijah, he wrote important articles on cathedrals and on the English Bach revival for the Musical Times, some 21 entries on 19th-century musical figures for the Dictionary of National Biography, and further articles for the second edition of Grove’s Dictionary. In all his work, but especially as contributor to the ...

Article

(b Padua; d probably Padua, 1616). Italian composer, maestro di cappella and instrumentalist. He was a priest. A document dated 7 March 1595 shows that he was a trombone player at S Antonio, Padua. In the same year he was appointed for three years from 1 May as a trombonist in the chapel of Padua Cathedral, and this position was renewed in 1598. He was maestro di cappella at Montagnana, following Lucrezio Venturo, from 14 October 1600 to 24 August 1603; he was succeeded by Vincenzo Neriti. He maintained connections, during this period, with the chapel of Padua Cathedral and had occasional engagements there. On 21 February 1602 he had returned to the cathedral as a chorister. On 21 November 1602 he obtained a papal brève which allowed him to receive his salary while out of residence, and on 6 July 1606 he was appointed for six years as assistant ...

Article

Robert Thompson

(bap. Oxford, May 24, 1688; bur. Oxford, Jan 7, 1741). English organist and music copyist, son of Richard Goodson. He was baptized at the church of St Cross. He succeeded his father as professor of music at Oxford and as organist of Christ Church. Goodson was listed as choirboy at Christ Church from 1699 to 1707 and as singing-man from 1712 to 1718; Thomas Ford ( GB-Ob MS Mus.e.17) stated that he was appointed organist of Newbury on 24 August 1709. He matriculated on 3 March 1714 and graduated BMus on 1 March 1717. A number of manuscripts in Christ Church and the Bodleian Library, Oxford, contain music copied by him, but he does not appear to have been a composer, unless two anonymous works in his hand – an act song, Festo quid potius die ( Ob MS Mus.Sch.C.143, Och Mus 37, 1142b), and an incomplete Ode for St Cecilia's Day, ...

Article

Joan Parets i Serra

(b Palma de Mallorca, Aug 25, 1649; d Madrid, Oct 25, 1722). Spanish guitarist, singer, composer and priest. In 1659 he was admitted to the royal chapel in Madrid as a cantorcico (choirboy) and became a cantor (adult chorister) in 1669. From 1693 to 1701 he was chamber musician and maestro de capilla of the Colegio de Niños Cantores. His loyalty to Philip of Anjou was rewarded in 1700 when he was made a chaplain in the royal chapel. His brother Gabriel (?1653–1720) was also a singer.

Guerau’s Poema harmónico compuesto de varias cifras por el temple de le guitarra española (Madrid, 1694/R) includes 27 compositions and an introduction to the principles of tablature notation and ornamentation. The pieces are all variation sets of various types. Most are passacalles, but there are also other typically Spanish dances (jácaras, marizápalos, españoletas, folías etc.). Guerau’s style is characterized by its sobriety and by the use of ...

Article

Rosemary Williamson

(b Egham, April 3, 1838; d London, Jan 29, 1901). English clergyman, lecturer and writer. Haweis showed great aptitude for music and studied the violin with Antonio James Oury. At Cambridge University he formed a quartet society and became solo violinist of the Cambridge University Musical Society. Graduating in 1859, two years later he passed the Cambridge examination in theology and was ordained deacon, then priest in 1862. After some short-term curateships, he was appointed perpetual curate of St James's, Marylebone, in 1866, a position he held until his death.

Haweis was a Broad Churchman with powers of dynamic extempore preaching that drew packed congregations to St James's, where his Sunday evening services unconventionally included orchestral music and oratorio performances. In 1867 he married Mary Eliza Joy (1848–98), who gained prominence through her writings on household decoration. In 1884 Haweis supplanted J.A. Fuller Maitland as music critic of the ...

Article

Walter Blankenburg

[Niklas]

(b Altdorf, nr Nuremberg, 1500; d Joachimsthal [now Jáchymov], West Bohemia, May 15, 1561). German writer of hymn texts and melodies. From 1518 to 1560 he was schoolmaster, organist and Kantor in Joachimsthal. Johann Matthesius, Luther’s first biographer and headmaster of the Latin school there from 1532, was also, until 1565, minister of the church; Herman was associated with him both as a close friend and as a colleague, and thus came into contact with the Reformation from an early date. As early as 6 November 1524 Luther wrote to him as ‘viro pio et erudito’. Herman’s importance lies in his hymns, which were published in several volumes. He wrote both text and music, but most melodies are used for several texts. His poems are rhymed syllabic verses with no fixed metre. His Sunday Gospels, which retell Bible stories in rhymed stanzas, remained models for a succession of works of the same type well into the 17th century. In his endeavours to express Christian beliefs in the form of hymns Herman’s texts are close to those of Luther. Though never attaining the poetic force of the latter’s work, many have retained their place in the standard German Lutheran hymn repertory: above all ‘Lobt Gott, ihr Christen alle gleich’, ‘Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag’, ‘Die helle Sonn leucht jetzt herfür’, ‘Hinunter ist der Sonnen Schein’ and ‘Wenn mein Stündlein vorhanden ist’. Many of his melodies show clear affinities with folk music: in particular the traditions of ...

Article

George J. Buelow

(d Glaucha, nr Halle, 1744). German organist and writer on music. His only known position was as Kantor at St Georg, Glaucha, from 1732 (he should not be confused with the organist of the same name at the Johanniskirche in Leipzig, 1747–66). Hille was acquainted with J.S. Bach, whom he visited in Leipzig some time about 1739; Bach returned the visit to Hille in Glaucha early in 1740. Both trips are confirmed by a letter to Hille from Bach’s cousin Johann Elias (see David and Mendel, eds.), who asked Hille to sell him as a gift for Anna Magdalena Bach a linnet which had been trained to sing beautifully and which Bach had admired during his stay with Hille. As a composer Hille has been credited with the chorales in Einige neue und zur Zeit noch nicht durchgängig bekante Melodeyen zu dem neuen Cöthenischen Gesangbüchlein, dieselbe mit und ohne Generalbass gebrauchen zu können...

Article

Manfred Schuler

(b Göppingen, c1495; d Pforzheim, March 4, 1556). German organist. He matriculated at Heidelberg University in 1512, and was vicar-choral and organist in Horb am Neckar from 1516 to 1517 and in Esslingen am Neckar from 1517 to 1521. From 1521 until his death he was organist at the collegiate and parish church in Pforzheim where he also had a living. In 1541 the Margrave of Baden procured for him a benefice in the hospital church in Baden-Baden. To judge from his large number of pupils, Kleber must have been a much sought-after organ teacher.

Kleber is known chiefly for the 332-page organ tablature which he compiled between 1521 and 1524 in Pforzheim ( D-Bim Mus.40026, ed. in EDM, 1st ser., xci–xcii, 1987). Several scribes were involved in copying the 112 items, of which only a few can be identified as original compositions: in most cases they are adaptations of vocal models. Whereas the first section of the tablature contains pieces to be played on manuals, the second section contains arrangements which also use the pedals. The repertory is the normal one for tablatures of the period, and includes religious and secular song settings, arrangements of motets, some settings of dance tunes, free compositions and one didactic piece. Most pieces give no indication either of the composer or of the arranger, but vocal models for a number of the arrangements are by Brumel, Josquin, Heinrich Finck, Hayne van Ghizeghem, Hofhaimer, Isaac, Obrecht, La Rue and Senfl. In addition there are compositions by Conrad Brumann, Hans Buchner, Othmar Luscinius, Jörg Scharpff and Utz Steigleder. It is not certain whether Kleber was a composer as well as an arranger (Kotter may also have arranged some of the pieces). From a historical point of view the most interesting section of the manuscript is that containing the free compositions, for it shows an early stage in the development of independent instrumental music. Both the repertory and the method of adaptation in Kleber's organ tablature reflect the south-west German organ and keyboard style at the beginning of the Reformation....

Article

Ellwood Derr

(b Arnstadt, Aug 24, 1740; d Kahla, nr Jena, June 25, 1823). German writer on music and organist. On the title-page of his first published treatise, Versuch eines Lehrbuchs der praktischen Musik (Gera, 1783), he is referred to as a registered attorney to the dukes of Saxony and church organist in Eisenberg, and in 1801 he had been promoted to Hofadvokat and still held the post of organist. His Versuch is a practical treatise on basic musicianship, which discusses musical signs, melody and harmony (both separately and together), tuning, temperament, enharmonicism and continuo. In the foreword he draws attention to the integral relationships of rhetoric and poetry to music, as well as the necessity for composers to know how to arouse and calm passions. Probably the most useful section of the work (pp.232–58) is that on continuo performance in ensemble genres current in the last decades of the 18th century. He prefers the harpsichord for this purpose as it can be more distinctly heard than the fortepiano. Finally, for a more comprehensive treatment of the matter, he refers the reader to the continuo performance section in the second part of C.P.E. Bach's ...

Article

John H. Baron

(b ?Kiel, 1643; d Hamburg, May 20, 1721). German organist and writer, son of Jakob Kortkamp. He studied under Weckmann from 1655 until about 1661, and later in the 1660s he served for a short time as organist at the Jakobikirche, Hamburg, under Christoph Bernhard. His main posts – though they were not important ones – were as organist at two other Hamburg churches, the Maria-Magdalena Kloster (1669–1721) and St Gertrud (1676–1721). His only known composition is a jigg. He also arranged for organ a Magnificat secundi toni by Weckmann and wrote the alto and tenor parts of a cantata by Bernhard. His importance lies in his manuscript chronicle of north German music from 1291 to about 1718, written between 1702 and 1718 (it is now in D-Ha ). This gives invaluable accounts of north German organs and their sounds, as well as information about the lives and works of organists, clergy and Kantors, notably in the 16th and 17th centuries. The information he gave on the men whom he and his father knew personally, such as Hieronymus and Jacob Praetorius, Weckmann and Bernhard, is particularly important....

Article

Piotr Poźniak

[John of Lublin]

(fl c1540). Polish organist. He may have been organist at the convent in Kraśnik, near Lublin. It is not known whether he was the Jan z Lublina who received the bachelor's degree from Kraków University. He was the owner and perhaps the main compiler of a manuscript organ tablature Tabulatura Ioannis de Lyublin canonic: regularium de Crasnyc 1540 ( PL-Kp 1716; facs. in MMP, ser.B, i, 1964; ed. in CEKM, vi, 1964–7). The tablature contains 520 pages and is the largest extant 16th-century organ tablature in Europe. Various dates are found in it, ranging from 1537 to 1548, and although most of it is written in the same hand three other hands may be distinguished on a comparatively small number of leaves.

The manuscript begins with a Latin treatise on the art of composition which includes many music examples; later in the manuscript, among the various pieces, are supplements to the treatise under the following headings: ‘conclusiones finales super claves ad discantum’; ‘conclusiones super claves ad cantum transpositum’; ‘clausulae seu colores in cantum choralem interponendae’; and ‘concordantiae pro cantu chorali in tenore’ and ‘concordantiae ad bassam’ (i.e. examples of setting three parts to a cantus firmus in the tenor or bass). The manuscript ends with instructions on organ tuning. The treatise demonstrates a practical approach to the problem of writing music on a cantus firmus: its author did not enter deeply into the mathematical speculations customary in earlier and even contemporary treatises, but discussed methods, illustrating them with music examples. The manuscript's compiler was conscious of the changes – mainly in tonality – taking place at that time in the leading musical centres, and the contents of the tablature show that he was aware of the best work in Europe: they include works by Brack, Brumel, Girolamo Cavazzoni, Costanzo and Sebastiano Festa, Heinrich Finck, Lupus Hellinck, Jacotin, Janequin, Josquin, Rotta, Sandrin, Senfl, Sermisy, Stoltzer, Verdelot, Johann Walter (i), Martin Wolff and Wuest. Polish composers include Mikołaj z Krakowa, Mikołaj z Chrzanowa, Seweryn Koń and ‘N. Z’; there are also many anonymous compositions. The works were probably copied mainly from Kraków sources. The repertory is varied both in form and purpose: there are elaborations and simple intabulations of vocal works, both sacred and secular, and sacred organ works to be performed ...

Article

Vernon Gotwals

revised by Judi Caldwell

(Victor)

(b Easton, PA, Jan 23, 1904; d Los Angeles, CA, July 7, 1971). American organist. The son of a minister, he became organist of St Peter’s Reformed Church in Easton at the age of 11. Charles Davis was his first teacher. After his family moved to California in 1920, he played at Holliston Avenue Methodist Church in Pasadena and studied with Homer Grunn. In 1926–7 he was a pupil of Lynnwood Farnam in New York. From 1929 to 1966 he served as organist and choirmaster of Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles. He was also head of the Occidental College organ department (1955–68). Mader was active as a recitalist and much interested in the affairs of the American Guild of Organists. His compositions, which span his whole career, include an organ concerto. It is as a teacher of organists, however, that his name endures; he inspired devotion in his students, among whom were David Craighead, Thomas Murray, Orpha Ochse, and Ladd Thomas. His wife, Ruth Goodrich Mader, was also an active organist. The Clarence V. Mader Archive is in the UCLA Music Library; a catalogue was published in ...

Article

( b Schwäbisch Hall, Oct 16, 1689; d Schwäbisch Hall, May 22, 1768). German organist and writer on music . He began organ lessons at the age of nine with Baur, organist of St Katharina; after completing the curriculum of the local Gymnasium, he was a municipal clerk in neighbouring towns, returning later to his native city first as district clerk and then as city clerk, also becoming in 1724 Kantor and organist of St Katharina. Majer wrote two musical instruction manuals, Hodegus musicus (Schwäbisch Hall, 1718; lost) and the important Museum musicum theoretico practicum (Schwäbisch Hall, 1732/R, 2/1741; Majer’s annotated copy is in D-Sl ). It is the latter which establishes him among the significant writers on music in the late Baroque. The Museum musicum aims to give students self-instruction in the elementary concepts of musical notation (musica signatoria) and in the techniques of playing most instruments, including the recorder, chalumeau, flute, oboe, bassoon, cornett, flageolet, clarinet, clarino, horn, trombone, various keyboard instruments, lute, harp, timpani, violin and the viols. His explicit fingering and position charts for each of these instruments provides an unusually clear picture of German Baroque instrumental practice. A succinct introduction to the thoroughbass practice is also informative. Very little of Majer’s short work seems to be original. He said the thoroughbass material was taken from an anonymous work of ...

Article

Watkins Shaw

revised by Donald Burrows

( bc 1715; d Westminster, April 4, 1737). English organist . He was a chorister in the Chapel Royal under Croft, after whose death he had lessons from Thomas Roseingrave. He had benefit concerts in May 1735 and April 1736: in the second, at Stationers’ Hall, he played an organ solo. On ...

Article

Vernon Gotwals

(b Eureka, CA, Aug 18, 1905; d Philadelphia, PA, June 1, 1983). American organist. A pupil of Farnam (1924–7), he made his début at Town Hall, New York, in 1926 and graduated from the Curtis Institute in 1934. His career was closely tied to three institutions; from 1927 to 1971 he was organist and choirmaster at Second (later combined with First) Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia; from 1935 to 1972 he was head of the organ department at the Curtis Institute; and from 1940 to 1965 he held the same post at Westminster Choir College, Princeton. His performances and teaching influenced many young recitalists and church musicians. His wife, Flora Greenwood, a harpist whom he married in 1932, often joined him in recitals. To a splendid innate musical ability he added the attention to rhythm, accuracy, and colorful registration that had been the special marks of Farnam’s playing. He published articles in ...

Article

Cecil Adkins

(b Goslar, 1666; d after 1726). German organist and theoretician . He was educated at the monastery at Hamersleben, where he was later organist. In 1727 he is known to have been the organist at the church of St Wiperti in Quedlinburg.

Meckenheuser’s one known work, Die sogenannte: Allerneueste, musicalische Temperatur (Quedlinburg, 1727), expounds a temperament based on an arithmetical division of the ditonic (Pythagorean) comma. Although seven of the 12 notes of the octave are slightly sharp, the division produces an adequate equal temperament. Meckenheuser, however, encountered difficulties in the practical application of his temperament. Adlung recounted a disastrous episode experienced by Meckenheuser when he tried to tune the organ at Goslar to his monochord: a fault not of the temperament, but of technique. The treatise was directed with considerable bitterness at Mattheson, who Meckenheuser claimed knew nothing of calculation and even less of musical temperament.

J. Adlung...