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Article

Julian Rushton

(‘Apollo and Hyacinthus’)

Intermezzo in three acts, K38, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to a Latin libretto by Rufinus Widl; Salzburg, Benedictine University, 13 May 1767.

Mozart’s first stage work, Apollo et Hyacinthus is an intermezzo, written for performance by students with the five-act Latin tragedy Clementia Croesi by the Benedictine Gymnasium teacher, Widl.

Hyacinthus (boy soprano), son of Oebalus (tenor), King of Lacedonia, is murdered by Zephyrus (boy alto) to incriminate Apollo (boy alto), his rival for the hand of Oebalus’s daughter Melia (boy soprano). She denounces Apollo; but the dying Hyacinthus, in a moving recitative, reveals the truth. Zephyrus is banished, Apollo and Melia marry, and the god turns Hyacinthus into the flower that bears his name.

The musical idiom is not yet characteristic, but is never less than expressive. Although the singers were aged between 12 and 23, the solo numbers (an aria for each character, two duets and a trio) are neither short nor particularly easy. There is a single-movement overture and an opening chorus....

Article

Jennifer L. Campbell

Theater in New York. Located at 253 West 125th Street, the Apollo Theater is situated in the heart of Harlem. Benjamin Hurtig and Harry Seamon originally owned the building and operated it as the New Burlesque Theater until Sidney Cohen purchased the establishment in 1934, reopening it as the 125th Street Apollo Theater. Frank Schiffman and Leo Brecher bought the building soon thereafter, and the theater flourished under their direction for more than 30 years. Schiffman achieved a reputation for programming entertainment intended to attract sizeable African American audiences and for employing African American musicians, dancers, comedians, and stagehands. He used a vaudeville-style variety format to organize the shows, also called revues, which allowed multiple acts to perform in a single evening. A similar approach was employed for “Amateur Night at the Apollo,” which began in the 1930s, quickly became popular with audiences and talents scouts, and evolved into a long-standing Apollo tradition. Winning Amateur Night helped launch the careers of many black musicians and entertainers, among them Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Dionne Warwick, James Brown, Gladys Knight, and Jimi Hendrix. Throughout the years, the Apollo became a symbol of musical innovation, embracing new styles of music from swing, bebop, and rhythm-and-blues during the 1930s through 1950s to soul music, Motown, and experimental jazz in the decades that followed. In the 1970s and 1980s the Apollo suffered from financial difficulties and intermittent closings until it became a city and state landmark in ...

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Article

(b Arezzo, c1635; d Arezzo, May 15, 1688). Italian librettist. The name Apollonio Apolloni is spurious and refers to Giovanni Filippo (see Pirrotta). On the recommendation of Cardinal Giovanni Carlo de’ Medici, he entered the service of Archduke Ferdinand Karl of Austria about September 1653, perhaps at the instigation of Cesti. During his service at Innsbruck he wrote the librettos for Mars und Adonis, L’Argia and La Dori. He returned to Italy by 1659 and entered the service of Cardinal Flavio Chigi at Rome in May 1660, remaining in that post until his death; at some point he was given an abbotship, and in April 1668 entered the ‘family’ of the cardinal. Like Cesti, he belonged to the circle of Salvator Rosa and G.B. Ricciardi. He set to verse L’empio punito of Periodicals, , a friend of Chigi, for the Teatro Tordinona, Rome, in 1669; he apparently did the same for Acciaiuoli’s ...

Article

William Ashbrook

(b Vicenza, April 8, 1822; d Vicenza, ?Dec 30, 1889). Italian composer. He studied the piano (with F. Cannetti) and composition in Vicenza, where he lived until 1848, when his political involvement forced him to leave the city for Florence. He also lived for a time in Turin. Upon his return to Vicenza in 1852 his first opera, Adelchi, was staged there. His most widely produced work was L’ebreo (after Bulwer-Lytton’s Leila), first performed at Venice in 1855, and then in Barcelona and Malta; it was given a different title in Rome and Bologna, Lida [Leila] di Granata, at the insistence of the censors. On the strength of its very successful production at La Fenice, the management there invited Apolloni to revise Adelchi for a revival. His other operas include Pietro d’Abano (1856, Venice), Il conte di Königsmark (1866, Florence) and Gustavo Wasa...

Article

[Salvadore]

(b Venice, c1704). Italian composer. According to Caffi he was closely associated from childhood with Baldassare Galuppi. It is likely that they both received early musical training from Galuppi’s father, a barber by trade and a part-time violinist. A libretto of 1727 names him as first violinist of the Teatro S Samuele in Venice, and it seems that Galuppi made a place for him in the orchestra of the ducal chapel of S Marco.

Apolloni is reputed to have had a lively, cheerful disposition, a trait according well with the lighthearted subjects of his music (of which none is known to survive). He gained an early local reputation as a composer of songs in the style of the Venetian gondoliers (barcarolles), serenatas and other occasional works. As a theatrical composer he worked almost exclusively for Giuseppe Imer’s troupe of comedians (non-professional singers), suggesting that his musical style must have been relatively simple. His intermezzos and parodies of ...

Article

Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume

A large barrel-and-finger organ ( see Barrel organ ) built by Flight & Robson. It took five years to build and was opened in 1817 at their premises in St Martin’s Lane, London. It could be played by up to five organists at once, each from an individual keyboard, or it could be played automatically using pinned wooden barrels. When played mechanically, the Apollonicon was said to replicate an entire orchestra. It had three barrels, each 61 cm in diameter, which rotated together. The main barrel was 2.44 metres long and occupied the centre front of the machine. A second barrel of the same size was situated at the rear of the instrument while the third, shorter barrel was to the right of the front barrel; this played the lowest two octaves plus two kettledrums. It was at first powered by a steam engine (then a relatively new source of power) but this proved unreliable and was replaced by manual power. The instrument stood 7.31 metres high, 6.1 metres wide and 5.5 metres deep. Stop-changing was automatic, using a toggle mechanism invented by Flight, each register being operated by one special key on the barrel keyframe. Contemporary accounts of the organ being played by six performers at once are based on an early description of the instrument as ‘having the effect of six organists’. This effect was in part the result of the provision of a set of ‘German pedals’, a rarity on a British-made organ at that time. For almost a quarter of a century the Apollonicon was the only concert and public recital organ in London. By ...

Article

Laurence Libin

Mechanical claviorgan invented by Johann Heinrich Völler (b Angersbach bei Lauterbach, 7 March 1768; d Kassel, 1822). It reportedly consisted of a two-manual giraffe piano about 150 cm wide, 110 cm deep, and nearly 335 cm tall, with a compass F–a″, an organ attachment of 8′, 4′, and 2′ flute stops, and an automaton in the form of a boy playing a flute. The piano and organ sections could be played mechanically or manually. Different timbres could be obtained by means of 18 stops, but the instrument was not successful and was soon destroyed by its maker. Völler showed early aptitude for mechanics and in the 1780s and 1790s learned about organ building from Johannes Zitzmann in Kassel. He earned a wide reputation from his various mechanical inventions, with which he toured in 1800, but being unable to sell them, he returned to Kassel and successfully took up piano making....

Article

Marysol Quevedo

(b Guayama, PR, Oct 15, 1938). Puerto Rican composer. Aponte Ledée received a degree in composition in 1964 from the Conservatorio Real de Madrid, where his professors included Enrique Massó, Emilio López, Cales Otero, and Cristóbal Halffter. With a scholarship from the Latin American Center for Higher Musical Studies he continued his graduate studies with Alberto Ginastera and Gerardo Gandini in Buenos Aires at the Instituto Torcuato di Tella. Aponte Ledée belongs to the generation following self-proclaimed nationalist composers such as Campos Parsi and Amaury Veray. He and other Puerto Rican composers of his generation privilege the use of avant-garde compositional techniques. Although he adheres to Puerto Rican nationalist ideals Aponte Ledée does not search intentionally to express a national identity through music. In his compositions, he has experimented with serialism, aleatoric music, indeterminacy, electronic music, atonalism, pointillism, and extended instrumental techniques with string, woodwind, and brass instruments. When using popular music rhythms and melodies, he employs quotation as a technique that intends to challenge musical stereotypes. In ...

Article

Aporo  

Peter Cooke

End-blown trumpet of the Labwor and Nyakwai peoples of Karamoja, Uganda. It is an open tube of aporo wood (hence the name) up to 91 cm long and 5.5 cm in diameter. The aporo is played by women, chiefly for their acut dance and is blown into at either end with the cheeks well distended and the hands holding it in the middle. It sounds not unlike a foghorn. A number of ...

Article

Gerold W. Gruber

(bKarlsruhe, Jan 22, 1901; dVienna, Nov 30, 1972). Austrian composer of German birth. He studied the piano, theory and conducting with Alfred Lorenz at the Munz Conservatory in his home town of Karlsruhe (1915–19), where he was later appointed musical director and répétiteur at the Badische Landesbühne (1920). In 1921 he went to Vienna where he became a pupil of Schoenberg and, from 1925, of Berg. From 1922 Apostel himself took private pupils, initially in piano, and later also in general music theory and composition. One of his students, taken on at Berg's request, was Alma Mahler's daughter Manon Gropius, whose early death was later to inspire Berg's Violin Concerto. He was much affected by Berg's death in 1935 and, consequently, his creative ability was weakened for a short time.

At the outbreak of World War II Apostel, by then active as a pianist, accompanist and conductor of contemporary music at home and abroad, was in Geneva, but, not being a Jew, he had to leave Switzerland and go into internal exile. Since Apostel was considered part of the Schoenberg circle, his music was branded degenerate (...

Article

Paul Niemistö

(b Athens, Greece, June 18, 1866; d Helsinki, Finland, June 20, 1927). Musical instrument dealer, brass instrument maker, and band director in Helsinki. He was in contact with Finnish troops as a boy in Gallipoli, Turkey, during the Crimean war and was brought back to Helsinki as an orphan. Trained in the Finnish military music school, he became the chief conductor of the Helsinki Guards Band (1890–1901) until the dissolution of the Finnish Army by Tsar Nicholas II. He then formed and led the Helsinki Brass Band in 1901. In the same year he formed the Apostol Music Publishing and Apostol Musical Instrument Company, which issued a catalogue in 1910. Bringing Wenzel Mirsch (b 4 Dec 1877; d 2 Aug 1946) in 1908 from Graslitz, Bohemia, as his foreman, Apostol made instruments for the burgeoning Finnish brass band movement until 1925. Mirsch continued the manufacture and restoration of instruments at the factory under his own name until his death. The many surviving Apostol brasses include cornets in E♭ and B♭, E♭ alto horns, B♭ tenor horns, euphoniums in B♭, and tubas in E♭ and BB♭, many of which are still being played in Finland....

Article

George Leotsakos

[Ioannis, Yangos]

(b Athens or Menidi, Attica, ?1860; d Naples, Aug 28, 1905). Greek tenor. From boyhood he sang in the Royal Chapel and other Athens church choirs, and later studied, probably at the Athens Conservatory, with Alexandros Katakouzenos and Napoleon Lambelet. He made his operatic début in the first production staged by the newly formed Elliniko Melodrama company, Spyridon Xyndas’s O Ypopsifios Vouleftis (The Parliamentary Candidate, 1888). As the company’s leading tenor he sang principal roles in its tours of Egypt and Turkey (1889), Marseilles, Romania, Odessa, and Constantinople (1889–90), including Fernand, Edgardo, and Elvino. In 1890 he left Greece for Milan, and after six months of further training began to appear in Italian opera houses. From 1895 he sang leading roles from the French and Italian repertories at the S Carlo, La Fenice, and La Scala; he also made successful guest appearances in Russia. At Monte Carlo in ...

Article

[strophicus] (Gk.)

In Western chant notations, a neume added as an auxiliary to another neume. It was distinguished from the simple Punctum probably by the manner of its performance, although there is no agreement as to what this might have entailed. Because it was practically always used on F, B♭ and C, and because later manuscripts differed in the way they placed it on the staff, Wagner believed its use implied intervals of less than a semitone; but the Dijon tonary ( F-MOf H.159), which uses special signs possibly signifying quarter-tone steps, does not use them in contexts involving the apostrophe. For Cardine the apostrophe signified a note performed lightly. Modern Vatican books do not distinguish the apostrophe from the punctum, but the Antiphonale monasticum (Tournai, 1934) uses a special shape. (For illustration see, Notation , Table 1.)

P. Wagner: Neumenkunde: Paläographie des liturgischen Gesanges (Fribourg, 1905, rev., enlarged 2/1912/R)...

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Davitt Moroney

revised by Julie Anne Sadie

(Fr.)

An instrumental musical form whose programmatic element honoured a dead musician, usually Lully. In an apothéose the favoured dead are welcomed by Apollo (representing Louis XIV) on to Mount Parnassus.

Surviving apothéoses are few, and the earliest survive as satirical scenarios. The anonymous Le triomphe de Lulli aux Champs Elysées ( F-Pn 6542, no.173, f.260) dates from 1687, the year of Lully’s death. In it Lully, defended by Polyhymnia, is subjected to a trial – examining musical and moral charges brought against him by French musicians – before being honoured by Apollo and the heroes of his operas. The following year François de Callières included an account of Lully’s reception on Parnassus in his Histoire poétique de la guerre nouvellement déclamée entre les anciens et les modernes (1688), in which an Italian musician tries to thwart Lully’s arrival by reporting Lully’s sharp practices in the theatre to Orpheus (who can also be taken as representing the king); the ever-confident Lully brushes aside the charges and invites Orpheus to join him in creating ‘an opera that will be worth money to us’, a proposal Orpheus firmly rejects....

Article

Julian Rushton

(Gk.: ‘segment’)

A chromatic semitone in the Pythagorean system of intervals, equal to the difference between seven pure 5ths and four pure octaves, amounting to 113·7 cents and with a theoretical ratio of 2187:2048. According to the definition of Gaudentius (ed. K. von Jan in Musici scriptores graeci, Leipzig, 1895–9/R...

Article

Ron Pen

Appalachia is the inextricable union of a place and a people bound in a vibrant but invisible web of culture specific to the Appalachian Mountains. While there is the physical reality of a mountain range, the concept of “Appalachia” as a region is a synthetic construct that developed towards the end of the 19th century. The borders of this region are fluid and subject to continuous interpretation and negotiation. Mountains are not constrained by political boundaries; identity is engendered by geography and culture. A highly inclusive definition based on economics formulated by the Appalachian Regional Commission in 1965 included 410 “economically distressed” counties scattered through 13 states. A more focused definition envisions a core “Southern Appalachian Region” consisting of eastern Kentucky, eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, western Virginia, and the entire state of West Virginia. Small portions of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Alabama, Maryland, and South Carolina are generally considered an extension of this Southern Appalachian hearth....