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Clive Brown

(‘Zemire and Azor’)

Romantische Oper in two acts by Louis Spohr to a libretto by Johann Jakob Ihlée after Jean François Marmontel ’s comédie-balletZémire et Azor; Frankfurt, 4 April 1819.

After accepting the post of director of the Frankfurt opera in 1817, Spohr considered a number of possible opera projects. He began work on a version of Apel’s tale Der schwarze Jäger but abandoned it when he heard that Weber was writing an opera (Der Freischütz) on the same story. He then accepted the libretto of Zemire und Azor, adapted from the French original ( see Zémire et Azor above) by the director of the Frankfurt theatre. Spohr began work on the music in September 1818 and completed it in February 1819.

In this version of the old story of Beauty and the Beast, Sander (bass) and his servant Ali (tenor) find themselves in a magic garden. By plucking a rose they arouse the wrath of Prince Azor (tenor), who has been changed into a monster and can be redeemed only by the selfless love of a pure maiden. Sander’s youngest daughter, Zemire (soprano), goes to try to break the spell on Azor, and eventually comes to love him. When she leaves to visit her family, Azor gives her a magic ring without which she cannot return. Her sisters Lisbe (soprano) and Fatme (soprano) steal the ring, but she is miraculously transported back. The Fairy (speaking role) who had placed the enchantment on Azor releases him from it, and everything ends happily with the union of Zemire and Azor....



(b Vienna, Oct 14, 1871; d Larchmont, NY, March 15, 1942). Austrian composer and conductor. Although closely linked to the Second Viennese School (Schoenberg was his pupil), Zemlinsky was no outright revolutionary. While undisputedly a conductor of the first rank and an interpreter of integrity, he lacked ‘star quality’ and was overshadowed by more domineering personalities. His music is distinguished by an almost overpowering emotional intensity. It took several decades before it became known and began to be appreciated.

His father, born in Vienna of Slovakian Catholic descent, converted to Judaism in 1870; his mother, born in Sarajevo, was the daughter of a mixed Sephardi-Muslim marriage. At the age of four he showed aptitude at the piano, and after completing his regular schooling in 1886 he enrolled at the Vienna Conservatory, studying the piano with Door, harmony and counterpoint with Krenn and Robert Fuchs (1888–90), and composition (...


Susanne Fürniss

(b Basle, May 14, 1937). Swiss-French ethnomusicologist . He met the anthropologist Denise Paulme and her husband the ethnomusicologist André Schaeffner during a trip to the Côte d’Ivoire in 1958 and thereafter reorientated his musical career, studying musicology and anthropology at the University of Basle (1958–61) while finishing a diploma in percussion at the Basle Conservatory (1960). He then attended the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and took the doctorate with Paulme and Schaeffner in 1968; he also joined the CNRS at the Musée de l’Homme, Paris, then directed by Gilbert Rouget, in 1967. He was appointed to teach ethnomusicology in 1981 at the University of Paris X-Nanterre; in 1982 he was made editor of the recording series Collection CNRS/Musée de l’Homme, to which he has contributed recordings both before and during his term as editor (Traditional Polynesian Music of the Ontong Java, 1972...


Mariya Ivanovna Roditeleva

(b Leningrad, Feb 22, 1936). Russian ethnomusicologist and folklorist. He studied composition at the Leningrad College of Musical Education with Ustvol′skaya (diploma, 1955), and philology, folklore (with Vladimir Propp) and linguistics at Leningrad University (BA 1958). He obtained graduate degrees in ethnomusicology (1960) and composition (1961) at the Leningrad Conservatory, and in 1960 joined the staff at the Leningrad Institute for the History of the Arts, where he took the kandidat degree in ethnography and folklore in 1964 and later served as head of the folklore department until 1995. During the 1970s and 80s he conducted fieldwork in regions throughout the USSR. He obtained a further doctoral degree at the Kiev Institute of the Arts, Ethnography and Folklore in 1981 and served as department chair at the Pedagogical University, Leningrad, 1989–93.

Zemtsovsky was appointed visiting professor at UCLA in 1994. He then became a research fellow at the University of Wisconsin (...


Arnolds Klotiņš

(b Riga, April 14, 1951). Latvian composer and critic. He graduated from Skulte’s composition class (1974) at the Latvian State Conservatory. Since 1972 Zemzaris has been teaching composition and music theory at the Emils Dārziņš Music School in Riga, and writes as a music critic in weekly publications. Zemzaris’s characteristic genres are instrumental chamber music and symphonic miniatures. He refers to the worlds of literature, theatre and painting by appending to his works poetic epigraphs or polysemantic titles. He also creates poetic signs and symbols by citing well-known musical styles, collages and models. With the freedom of a postmodernist, Zemzaris uses both historical styles and jazz and rock music idioms to achieve complicated subtexts with simple musical text. He favours extended repetitions of his material in the spirit of minimalist music. His music in in general lyrically fragile, sophisticated and intellectualized.

(selective list)


Patricia Ann Myers

(b Salò, second half of the 16th century; d after 1590). Italian composer. As with many minor Italian madrigalists of the period, there is little record of his activities. He probably spent much of his career working in the environs of Venice, perhaps in the employ of Lorenzo Vettori, Archbishop of Candia, to whom he dedicated his ...


Rodolfo Celletti

revised by Valeria Pregliasco Gualerzi

(b Verona, 22 Feb 1876; d New York, 11 Feb 1949). Italian tenor. He studied as a baritone at Verona with Zannoni and made his début at Belluno in 1898 as Silvio in Pagliacci; the next year, at the Mercadante, Naples, he sang Canio in the same opera. He continued his studies with Moretti in Milan, and after a period in minor theatres, he appeared at Lisbon (1902) and during the 1902–3 season at La Scala (La damnation de Faust and Un ballo in maschera). He sang at La Scala frequently until 1907, taking the leading tenor roles in many premières there, notably of Giordano’s Siberia (1903) and Madama Butterfly (1904). He was often engaged in South America, notably at Buenos Aires (1903, and 1910), and was first heard at Covent Garden in 1905 as Riccardo, returning until ...


Karl Geiringer

(b Karlsruhe, March 19, 1898; d Freiburg, Dec 2, 1950). German musicologist . He studied music at Karlsruhe Conservatory and in 1919 gained the Scheffel State Prize for composition. He then studied musicology under Sandberger at Munich and under Kroyer at Heidelberg and Leipzig, obtaining the doctorate at Leipzig in 1924 with a dissertation on Sixt Dietrich; he completed the Habilitation there in 1929 with a work on Willaert. In 1932 he went to Göttingen University as an external lecturer, becoming reader there in 1934 and full professor in 1937. In 1942 he was appointed professor at the University of Freiburg, but his activity there was hampered by the war. Although he had served in World War I he was called up again and was a POW from 1944 to 1946. When the series of Denkmäler was reorganized by its publishers he took charge of the Landschaftsdenkmäler for Lower Saxony. In his research he concentrated mainly on medieval and Renaissance music and was responsible for many important scholarly as well as performing editions....


(b St Peter, Schwarzwald, Aug 9, 1945). German musicologist. After taking private lessons in clarinet and music theory, he studied musicology with Dammann at Freiburg University, with philosophy and German literature as secondary subjects. He continued to study musicology (MA 1973, PhD 1975) with Dahlhaus at the Technische Universität, Berlin, where he completed the Habilitation in 1982 and acted as lecturer, 1982–6; he was also a producer for WDR (1984–6) and a lecturer at the Darmstadter Ferienkurse (1984–6). He was acting professor at Essen University (1986) and Saarbrücken University (1988) and was appointed full professor at Bamburg university in 1989; that same year he was also made lecturer on 20th-century music at the Würzburg Musikhochschule. He has been invited to lecture on 20th-century music at congresses and research institutes world-wide and has received many fellowships, including a five-month research grant from the Paul Sacher-Stiftung (...


Wilfried Gruhn

(b Wiesbaden, Nov 22, 1936). German composer and conductor. He studied the piano with August Leopolder and Edith Picht-Axenfeld, composition with Kurt Hessenberg and Wolfgang Fortner, and conducting with Carl Ueter at the Musikhochschule in Frankfurt and Freiburg. He began his professional career in 1959 as Kapellmeister for the Städtische Bühnen, Freiburg. From 1964 to 1968 he was the principal conductor of the Bonn opera and in 1969 accepted the post of general music director in Kiel. In 1971 he was appointed principal conductor of the Saarbrücken RSO, which became one of Europe’s leading contemporary music ensembles under his direction. He went on to co-found the Musik im 20. Jahrhundert festival with Christof Bitter, commissioning compositions from both young and well-established composers. In 1984 he moved to Hamburg, where, as the general music director of the Staatsoper, he was first to produce Nono’s opera Intolleranza. He also served as the general music director of the city. From ...



Elena Sala Di Felice

(b Venice, Dec 11, 1668; d Venice, Nov 11, 1750). Italian poet, librettist, scholar and antiquarian. He was educated by the Somaschi fathers in the Venetian classical tradition, but was also familiar with the empiricism of Galileo and with rationalism. In 1691 he founded the Accademia degli Animosi, where he became prominent at a very young age as a poet in the late-Baroque mould. Like the more famous Accademia degli Animosi it had as its aim the restoration of Arcadian ‘good taste’. Zeno took part in the debate between G.G. Orsi and Bouhours, defending in a letter to Orsi of 29 October 1706 certain verses of Tasso's Gerusalemme liberata against the accusation by the Frenchman that they were artificially refined. With Scipione Maffei, Antonio Vallisnieri and his brother Pier Caterino Zeno he founded the Giornale de' letterati d'Italia (Verona, 1710). He was the chief editor between 1710...


Bonnie J. Blackburn

[Cavaliere Luigi del Cornetto ]

(b Ancona, 1547/8; d ?Naples, after 1602 ). Italian cornett player and writer. He was engaged as a cornett player at the court of Maximilian II in Vienna in November 1569; he left without permission in November 1573 after unsuccessfully seeking a post at the Bavarian court. After a period in Rome he returned to Vienna in 1575; by 1583 he had gained a knighthood, probably from Rudolf II. He was recruited by the court of Ferrara in 1583, where he was ‘the most highly paid single musician in the history of the Este court to that time’ (NewcombMF). During various periods of leave in Rome he sought singers for the court; in 1587 he was directing music at the Oratory of Filippo Neri. He returned to Vienna before Alfonso II d’Este’s death in 1597. His last years seem to have been spent in Naples at the court of the viceroy (Francisco Ruiz y Castro); five letters are dated from there in ...



Don Neville


Libretto by Pietro Metastasio , first set by Luca Antonio Predieri (1740, Vienna).

Act 1 Zenobia, daughter of Mitridate, King of Armenia, has married Radamisto, Prince of Iberia, for political reasons. When Mitridate is assassinated, Radamisto, falsely accused, flees with Zenobia. A Parthian army, led by Tiridate, with whom Zenobia had previously been in love, pursues them. Weakened by the flight, Zenobia begs Radamisto to end her life rather than let her fall victim to the Parthians; jealous of the previous love between his wife and Tiridate, Radamisto attempts to comply. The wounded Zenobia, however, is soon discovered by Egle, a shepherdess, and nursed back to health. While searching for Radamisto, Zenobia overhears Tiridate learn of her apparent death from Mitrane, his confidant, and is thus able to save her anguished lover from suicide.

Act 2 Tiridate tries to persuade Zenobia to marry him, but she refuses. Zopiro, a false friend of Radamisto and also in love with Zenobia, plans to create such enmity between Radamisto and Tiridate that one will kill the other in a contrived confrontation, the victor then falling prey to Zopiro’s followers. He suggests to Zenobia that he has the power to save one of the two contestants and invites her to choose which. She names her husband, but secretly prays for Tiridate....


Marita P. McClymonds

(‘Zenobia of Palmyra’)

Dramma per musica in three acts by Pasquale Anfossi to a libretto by Gaetano Sertor ; Venice, Teatro S Benedetto, 26 December 1789.

The libretto, by the innovative Sertor, has a different plot from that of Metastasio’ Zenobia. Publia, daughter of the Roman Emperor Gallieno, has fallen in love with Arsace, Prince of Persia, who is a prisoner of Aureliano [Aurelian], Emperor of Rome, and betrothed Zenobia, Queen of the Palmyrans. Zenobia arrives to negotiate for Arsace’s release, and Aurelian falls in love with her, but she refuses to renounce Arsace. As the Romans rout the Palmyrans, Arsace escapes from prison, joins Zenobia, and leads the Palmyrans in successful retaliation. They are recaptured, and Arsace is condemned to death; but when Zenobia threatens to follow him in death and draws a dagger, Aurelian spares him.

A mature work, Zenobia was Anfossi’s most successful opera seria; Sartori’s libretto catalogue lists 11 productions in ten years. The work contains two duets and a trio for the principals and a short third act of four scenes, the last including an aria-length cavatina, and it offers several opportunities for lavish military display....


(‘Zenobia, Queen of the Palmyrans’)

Dramma per musica in three acts by Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni to a libretto by Antonio Marchi; Venice, Teatro SS Giovanni e Paolo, Carnival 1694.

The Palmyran queen Zenobia (soprano) has been defeated by the Roman emperor Aurelian (alto) through the treachery of the governor of Palmyra, Ormonte (tenor), who hopes to wed his daughter Filidea (soprano) to the emperor. Zenobia refuses to submit to her conqueror, even when he falls in love with her and offers marriage. Furious at her resistance, Aurelian resolves to put Zenobia and her son to death, but refrains when he overhears Zenobia refuse Ormonte’s offer to assassinate him. The plot takes a historically inaccurate turn when Aurelian rewards Zenobia by restoring her to the Palmyran throne. Through Filidea’s pleas, Ormonte’s sentence of death is commuted to one of exile, and the opera ends with universal rejoicing.

Zenobia was Albinoni’s first opera. Its recitatives lack assurance, but many of its arias already show the simple tunefulness and idiomatic instrumental writing that are the hallmark of his mature style. The surviving score (in ...


Edwin M. Ripin

revised by Denzil Wraight

[Zentis, Hieronymus de ]

(b Viterbo, ?1609–11; d Paris, 1666/7). Italian maker of harpsichords, spinets and organs . His first recorded commission is from 1635, and in 1641 he was appointed to maintain Pope Urban VIII’s keyboard instrument collection. Zenti was perhaps the best known Italian keyboard maker of his day. His craftsmanship is neat, although not elaborate, but his extensive employment at the royal courts in Stockholm (1652–6), Paris (1660–c1662) and England (1664) bears testimony to the regard of his contemporaries for his instruments. He was in Paris again in 1666 and died there some time before Easter the following year (see Barbieri). It seems that during Zenti’s periods abroad his wife oversaw his workshop in Rome, with various assistants.

No organ by Zenti survives. In 1660 he was commissioned by Camillo Pamphili to build the new organ of S Agnese in Navona, Rome, but never executed the work, having taken up the appointment to the French court. The inventory of instruments belonging to Ferdinando de’ Medici in Florence in ...


Wayne Schneider

(b New York, June 13, 1917; d Las Vegas, Jan 31, 2000). American trombonist and bandleader. He played with Les Brown (1940–42), Harry James (1943), Jimmy Dorsey (1944), and various groups in Los Angeles (1944–9); during this period he appeared in the films Seven Days Leave (1942), with Brown, and Lost in a Harem (1944), with Dorsey. He then worked as a studio musician for MGM from 1949 to 1957, when he formed his own band; in the early 1960s Zentner’s was the only newly formed jazz-oriented big band to achieve success. Up a Lazy River (1960, Lib. 55374), an arrangement by Bob Florence of the standard by Hoagy Carmichael and Sidney Arodin, was his biggest hit. The group toured the USA, accompanying such popular singers as Johnny Mathis and Nancy Wilson, and played frequently in Las Vegas. In ...


Graham Sadler


Acte de ballet by Jean-Philippe Rameau to an anonymous libretto; no known performance in Rameau’s time.

Originally entitled ‘Les nymphes de Diane’, this was probably intended as part of an opéra-ballet, possibly the aborted Les beaux jours de l’Amour ( see Naissance d’Osiris, La ). It presents the wooing of the nymph Cloris (soprano) by the God of the West Wind, Zephirus (...


David Cummings

(b Monte Carlo, 1885; d ?Monte Carlo, after 1920). Italian soprano. She sang in Venice from 1902, notably in Chopin by Giacomo Orefice and in the title role of Massenet’s Cendrillon (1905). In 1907 she appeared at the Teatro Regio, Parma, and at Covent Garden as Musetta and in Giordano’s ...