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Achille  

Scott L. Balthazar

(‘Achilles’)

Melo-dramma eroico in two acts by Ferdinando Paer to a libretto by Giovanni De Gamerra after Homer ’s Iliad; Vienna, Kärntnertor-theater, 6 June 1801.

One of Paer’s best early operas, Achille was particularly admired by Napoleon. In De Gamerra’s version of the story, the armies of Achilles (tenor), King of Thessaly, and Agamemnon (bass), leader of the Greek armies, are preparing to attack the city of Lyrnessus, which is allied with the Trojans. Achilles wishes to be reunited with Briseis (soprano), daughter of Briseus (bass), King of Lyrnessus. Upon defeating Briseus’s army, both Achilles and Agamemnon demand Briseis in exchange for clemency. She chooses Achilles, but Agamemnon later has her kidnapped. Suspecting foul play by his purported ally, Achilles refuses to lead his army against the Trojans, although he does eventually send them into battle under the command of his companion Patroclus (bass), cloaked in Achilles’ armour. After Patroclus is killed, Achilles relents and finally agrees to fight when Agamemnon surrenders Briseis. The opera ends with Achilles’ defeat of Hector and the Trojans....

Article

Don Neville

(‘Achilles on Scyros’)

Libretto by Pietro Metastasio, first set by Antonio Caldara (1736, Vienna). The title Il trionfo della gloria was used for later versions of this libretto.

In order to circumvent the destiny that awaits Achilles in the Trojan War, his mother, Thetis, has asked Chiron, his old tutor, to conceal him on the island of Scyros; Chiron has placed his charge among the women at the court of King Licomede [Lycomedes].

Act 1 In female attire, and with the assumed name of Pirra [Pyrrha], Achilles is able to remain the constant companion of the king’s daughter, Deidamia, whom he loves. The disguise, however, hangs ill upon the warrior, and the demands of Deidamia for his constant presence soon become a burden. His distress is intensified when Lycomedes promises his daughter to Teagene [Theagenes], Prince of Chalcis, and when Ulisse [Ulysses] arrives on the island on the pretext of mustering the armed strength of Scyros. In reality, Ulysses seeks Achilles who he knows is vital to Greek victory....

Article

[Englisches F-Horn]

A cornet-shaped horn invented by Johann Riedel of Pressburg (now Bratislava) in 1854. It had four valves, for a half step, whole step, and whole plus half step, plus a combination valve, and a compass from G′ to g″; it was not a success.

F.L. Schubert: Die Blechinstrumente der Musik...

Article

R. Allen Lott

(b Warsaw, Poland, Nov 24, 1892; d New York, NY, May 12, 1948). American pianist and composer of Polish birth and Lithuanian descent, brother of Joseph Achron. Having studied the piano with Anna Esipova, composition with Anatol Liadov, and orchestration with Maximilian Shteynberg at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, he moved to the United States in 1922 and became an American citizen six years later. Until 1933 he was accompanist to Jascha Heifetz, with whom he had first performed in Russia in 1909. Achron then began a successful solo career and gave joint recitals occasionally with his brother Joseph and with his wife, Lea Karina, a Finnish-born mezzo-soprano. His works include two piano concertos (1937, 1942), the first given its premiere by the composer with the New York PO (9 Dec 1937); Suite grotesque (1941), first performed by the St Louis SO (...

Article

Peggy Glanville-Hicks

(b Lozdzieje, Poland [now Lazdijai, Lithuania], May 13, 1886; d Hollywood, CA, April 29, 1943). American violinist and composer of Lithuanian birth. He was the brother of the pianist and composer Isidor Achron. He began the study of the violin with his father at the age of five, and first performed in public three years later in Warsaw. At the St Petersburg Conservatory, from which he graduated in 1904, he studied the violin with Auer and composition with Lyadov. In 1913 he went to Russia, becoming head of the violin and chamber music departments at the Kharkiv Conservatory, and served in the Russian Army between 1916 and 1918. In the years after World War I he toured extensively as a concert artist in Europe, the Near East and Russia. He was appointed head of the violin masterclass and chamber music department at the Leningrad Artists' Union. In 1925...

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Article

Laura Pita

(b Bilbao, Spain, Nov 1, 1932). Spanish pianist, active in the United States. He began music studies at an early age at the Bilbao Conservatory and later studied with Nikita Magaloff, Walter Gieseking and Bruno Seidlhofer. After winning awards and international competitions in France, Italy, and Switzerland during his years as a student, Achucarro scored a triumph at the 1959 Liverpool International Piano Concerto Competition. This led to his debut with the London SO, marking the beginning of an extensive career as concert performer that has taken him to over sixty countries where he has performed with over two hundred orchestras, including the Berlin PO, London PO, Tokyo PO, Sydney SO, and La Scala PO. Achucarro made his US debut in 1968 with the Chicago SO under Seiji Ozawa. Since then, Achucarro has performed frequently in recitals and concerts with the premiere American orchestras. Since 1989, Achucarro has held the Joel Estes Chair at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He also teaches master classes at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana of Siena while continuing to maintain a full touring schedule....

Article

William Kirk Bares

Hybrid genre with origins in London’s acid house scene of the late 1980s. Originating with the English DJ and producer Gilles Peterson, the label denotes a craze, a marketing category, and a durable transatlantic jazz subculture with links to hip hop, rave and club music. Notable bands include the Brand New Heavies, Jamiroquai, Galliano, and Us3 in the UK and Digable Planets, Groove Collective, and Brooklyn Funk Essentials in the USA. During the music’s heyday in the 1990s, groups fused improvised live jazz with soul-jazz beats and elements of hip hop, including lyrics by established rappers like Guru and MC Solaar. The dance-oriented music tapped into the era’s fascination with jazz history, DJ culture, and retro kitsch. Jazz publications of the 1990s, including the UK-based Straight No Chaser (devoted entirely to acid jazz), debated whether acid jazz was innovative or derivative, genuinely or only superficially jazz. Its advocates touted its accessibility and potential to revive neglected jazz artists and grooves. Collaborations with veteran jazz musicians like Donald Byrd, Roy Ayers and Ron Carter added credibility to the movement....

Article

Musical subculture of the late 1980s and 90s. Acid jazz is largely a fusion of black American musical styles such as funk, soul and hip-hop combined with a visual aesthetic which borrows extensively from both British popular culture of the 1960s and black American street style of the 70s. Fundamentally a form of street style, it combined music, fashion and recreational drug use to create an ‘attitude’ that owed much to the beatniks of the 1960s (hence ‘jazz’) and a nostalgia for the 1960s and 70s, regarded as a time when musicianship was vital to good dance music as opposed to the more contemporary technological emphasis. The term covers a wide range of musical styles, from the electronic disco styling of bands such as Jamiroquai and Brand New Heavies to the Santana-inspired funk rock of Mother Earth and the Mendez Report. The common denominator is usually the influence of funk, drawing on syncopated rhythmic interplay between the instruments and the use of chromatic chord sequences used widely in post-bop jazz but rarely in mainstream pop or dance music....

Article

Richard Beckett

English record company. It was established in London in 1988 by the DJs Eddie Piller and Gilles Peterson. Their original intention was that the label would represent an alternative to the nascent acid house scene, based more around live musicians than the technology so central to acid house. Their policy stated ‘no house music’ and championed obscure soul and funk artists of the 1960s and 70s. Peterson left in 1989 to set up Talkin’ Loud, a rival imprint backed by Polygram, leaving Piller and his assistant Dean Rudland to develop Acid Jazz as a small but fashionable independent label. In the early 1990s they signed bands such as Brand New Heavies and Jamiroquai, who have since achieved considerable commercial success with major record labels. In the late 1990s the company diversified its musical base, with separate labels dedicated to drum ’n’ bass, reggae and pop. In 1994 it acquired the Bass Clef, a jazz club in Hoxton, East London. Renamed the Blue Note, by ...

Article

Stanley Sadie

Masque or serenata in one (later two) acts by George Frideric Handel to words by John Gay and others; Cannons, summer 1718 (revised version in three acts, incorporating Italian words by Nicola Giuvo, London, King’s Theatre, 10 June 1732).

During the period 1717–20 Handel spent much of his time at Cannons, the seat of James Brydges, Earl of Carnarvon (later Duke of Chandos), at Edgware, a short distance north-west of London. As resident composer, he supplied his patron with church music, principally anthems, and two dramatic works, Esther (the first English oratorio) and Acis and Galatea, which has variously been described as a serenata, a masque, a pastoral or pastoral opera, a ‘little opera’ (in a letter while it was being written), an entertainment and even (incorrectly) an oratorio. Whether or not it was originally fully staged, given in some kind of stylized semi-dramatic form or simply performed as a concert work is uncertain; local tradition holds that it was given in the open air on the terraces overlooking the garden (the recent discovery of piping to supply an old fountain, suitable for the closing scene, might fancifully be invoked as support). It was performed on an unknown date, probably during the summer, in ...

Article

Lois Rosow

(‘Acis and Galatea’)

Pastorale-héroïque in a prologue and three acts by Jean-Baptiste Lully ( see Lully family (opera) §(1) ) to a libretto by Campistron, Jean Galbert de after Ovid ’s Metamorphoses; Anet, château (without machines), 6 September 1686, and Paris, Opéra, 17 September 1686.

This work was privately commissioned by the Duke of Vendôme for a celebration to honour the dauphin, it subsequently enjoyed public success. Lully turned to Galbert de Campistron because Quinault, his usual collaborator, had withdrawn from theatrical work. In keeping with the conventions of the pastorale-héroïque genre, the plot involves a love triangle that mixes gods and mortals: the sea-nymph Galatea (soprano), the mortal Acis (haute-contre) and the monster Poliphème [Polyphemus] (baritone). Acis is violently murdered by Polyphemus (in full view of the audience) but restored to life and transformed into a river by Neptune (baritone). The musical conventions are those of Lully’s mature tragédies en musique...

Article

Louise K. Stein

(‘Acis and Galatea’)

Zarzuela in two acts with music by Antonio de Literes to a libretto by José de Cañizares; Madrid, Alcázar palace or Coliseo del Buen Retiro, 19 December 1708.

A partly sung zarzuela on the story of Acis, Galatea and Polifemo [Polyphemus], it was composed for King Philip V’s birthday and performed by the combined companies of Joseph Garcés and Juan Bautista Chavarría. The characters also include Doris, Glauco [Glaucus], Tisbe [Thisbe], Telemo [Telemus], Momo [Momus] and Tíndaro [Tyndareus], as well as choruses. In the original cast only Polyphemus, Telemus and Tyndareus were played by men. After its first performance at court, the work entered the repertory of the public theatres in Madrid when the company of Garcés performed it in the Teatro del Príncipe for an extended run in January 1710. Subsequent revivals in 1713, 1714, 1721, 1725 and 1727 were largely successful, such that the work may represent Madrid’s most popular zarzuela of the first half of the 18th century. In style it exemplifies the hybrid nature of the early 18th century zarzuela in its absorption of foreign musical forms and procedures within Spanish musical-theatrical conventions. It is also typical of Literes’s theatrical scores in its restricted use of recitative and juxtaposition of set pieces in traditional Spanish style with expressly italianate arias....

Article

Stefan Fricke

(b Sibiu, Nov 3, 1940; d Munich, May 27, 2006). German composer of Romanian birth. He studied the piano, the organ and theory privately with Franz Xaver Dressler in Sibiu (1950–58). From 1959 to 1964 he studied composition with Toduta at the Cluj Academy of Music where, after receiving his diploma, he remained to teach composition and music theory. In 1969 he moved to the Federal Republic of Germany to teach at the Robert Schumann Conservatory, Düsseldorf (1969–72) and attend the Darmstadt summer course (1969). He was appointed to teach theory and composition at the Munich Musikhochschule in 1972, becoming professor of composition there in 1976. His awards included the composition prize of the Prague Spring Festival (1966), the Stuttgart Stamitz prize (1970), the city of Stuttgart composition prize (1971), the Stroud Festival composition prize, the Hitzacker prize (...

Article

Joseph E. Morgan

(b New York, NY, Feb 18, 1908; d Dec 31, 1977). American journalist. After studying English literature, he worked for Billboard from 1934 to 1973, although he left during World War II to serve in the US Coast Guard. Ackerman began his career as a reporter and covered several subjects including vaudeville, radio, and TV before moving to music. He became music editor in 1949. His tenure at Billboard accompanied the emergence of rhythm and blues, country music, and rock ’n’ roll. Ackerman championed these new styles, recognizing their roots in earlier music traditions and their impact on popular music and culture in general. He published several articles in High Fidelity and received numerous awards including an honor from the Recording Industry Association of America for his outstanding service to American music. He also served on the President’s commission to select music for the White House Library and in ...

Article

Jürg Stenzl

(b Bucharest, Oct 18, 1909; d Wabern, nr Berne, March 9, 1960). Swiss conductor . After studying at the Royal Academy in Bucharest and the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, he became Kapellmeister at the Düsseldorf Opera House, and in 1932 chief Kapellmeister and opera director at the German Theatre in Brno. He was chief Kapellmeister at the Berne Municipal Theatre (...

Article

Ackley  

American family of composers of gospel music. Alfred H(enry) Ackley (b Spring Hill, PA, 21 Jan 1887; d Whittier, CA, 3 July 1960) composed and edited gospel hymns and choruses and was associated with Homer A. Rodeheaver. Alfred's brother, Bentley DeForest Ackley (b Sping Hill, PA, 27 Sept 1872...

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Thomas Henry Porter

(b Spring Hill, PA, Jan 21, 1887; d Whittier, CA, July 3, 1960). American gospel composer and editor, brother of Bentley DeForest Ackley. He studied harmony and composition in New York and London, and later became an accomplished cellist. Ackley was ordained by the Presbyterian Church in 1914...

Article

Harry Eskew

(b Spring Hill, PA, Sept 27, 1872; d Winona Lake, IN, Sept 3, 1958). American gospel music composer and editor, brother of Alfred H(enry) Ackley. He learned to play several instruments, including melodeon, piano, reed organ, alto horn, cornet, piccolo, and clarinet. He studied shorthand and typing and then worked as a stenographer in New York and Philadelphia. Several of his secular songs were published in the 1890s. From 1908 to 1915 Ackley was pianist and private secretary to the evangelist Billy Sunday, and during this period he began to compose gospel songs. In 1910 he and Homer A. Rodeheaver founded the Rodeheaver–Ackley publishing company in Chicago, which became the Rodeheaver Co. the following year. He worked for the firm as a composer and editor until his death; with his brother and Charles H. Gabriel, he provided many of the firm’s copyrighted publications. More than 2000 of Ackley’s gospel songs were published, including “If your Heart Keeps Right” (...

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