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Thomas Bauman

(b Graz, Nov 19, 1722; d Vienna, May 18, 1809). Austrian librettist. Educated in medicine at the University of Vienna, he made a name for himself as the inventor of the percussion method of diagnosing diseases of the chest cavity (1761). In 1775 he stood witness at the wedding of the court composer Antonio Salieri, for whom he wrote his only stage work, the libretto for ...

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(b Kitzbühel, bap. Feb 21, 1665; d Passau, bur. Jan 24, 1742). Austrian composer. His main appointment was in Passau, where he succeeded Georg Muffat as court Kapellmeister in 1705. He spent his early years in Vienna, where he may have been a pupil of Johannes Ebner (a member of the well-known family of organ players and son of Wolfgang Ebner) whom he declared his model. Apparently he came into contact with members of the Viennese nobility, and he may have been employed at a court. In a letter of 1724 to Prince-Bishop Lamberg, while complaining about the quality of the violinists in Passau, Aufschnaiter claimed to have had in Vienna, where he spent many years, ‘16–18 excellent musicians’ at his disposal. His op.1 (of which no copy is extant) was dedicated to Count Ferdinand Ernst von Trautmannsdorf, who may have been his employer. In 1695 his op.2 appeared in Nuremberg with a dedication to Archduke Joseph (later Emperor Joseph I). Under the title ...

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Christoph Henzel

In 

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Renato Bossa

(b Naples, 1723; d Naples, 1753). Italian composer and organist, son of Pietro Auletta. He was active in Naples as a composer of sacred music, but nothing is known of any appointments he may have held. Domenico's three sons were also musicians: Raffaele (b Naples, 1742; d Naples, 18 Feb 1768), composer of a motet Alto Olimpo triumfate ( GB-Lbl ), of whose life nothing is known; Ferdinando, a singer, who studied at the Conservatorio della Pietà dei Turchini, 1759–69, with Fago and Cafaro; and the younger Domenico (d Naples, 16 Nov 1796), who was appointed in November 1779, with Cimarosa, ‘supernumerary’ organist without salary in the royal chapel in Naples and in 1796 second organist (Cimarosa having been promoted to first). The homonymy between father and son poses problems of attribution, especially as regards undated works.

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Michael F. Robinson and Rosa Leonetti

(b Sant’Angelo, nr Avellino, c1698; d Naples, Sept 1771). Italian composer. He completed his musical training at the Neapolitan conservatory S Onofrio. Some time before 1724 (according to Prota-Giurleo) he was appointed maestro di cappella of S Maria la Nova, an important Neapolitan church. In 1725 he composed his first comic opera, Il trionfo dell’amore, ovvero Le nozze tra amici, for production at the Teatro Nuovo in Naples. His second comic opera, La Carlotta, appeared in Naples in 1726, and his first heroic opera, Ezio, in Rome in 1728. At Carnival 1737 he re-emerged as a dramatic composer with the first production in Naples of his comic opera Orazio. This work, which was extremely popular, had a long subsequent history; it was continually modified as it was performed in city after city and quickly turned into a pasticcio. In that form it was sometimes ascribed to Auletta and sometimes to other composers. One famous production, a much-shortened version of the original ...

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James L. Jackman

revised by Enrico Careri

(b Naples, c1710; d Rome, 3/Sept 4, 1781). Italian composer. He studied in Rome, according to Giazotto, and supported himself by playing the organ in various Roman churches. Then, like so many southern Italian composers of his generation, he made his professional début in Naples with a comic opera in the Teatro dei Fiorentini, in 1734. To judge from his operatic production he was back in Rome again by the early 1740s, where the librettos of his works call him maestro di cappella napoletano – a conventional honorific which may or may not be taken at face value. In 1747 he became a member of the Congregazione dei musici di S Cecilia, to which all professional Roman musicians belonged. By 1751 he was working as assistant to Francesco Ciampi, maestro di cappella of S Giacomo degli Spagnoli and, after Ciampi's death, succeeded him as chief director on ...

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Harris S. Saunders

(b Bergamo; d ?Turin, by aut. 1720). Italian librettist. In Bergamo, he was a member of the Accademia degli Arioni. By 1686 he had moved to Venice and in 1687 he moved to Turin, by which time he was an abbate. In 1692 or 1693 he resigned his order to marry the singer Diana Margherita Aureli; they settled in Turin in 1697.

In the preface to Angelica nel Cataj, Averara claims to have written over 40 librettos, a number yet to be confirmed by bibliographic sources. His documented librettos were produced for Venice, Turin and Milan. In Turin, he also acted as impresario for two seasons, 1688–9 and 1689–90. From the preface to Filindo, it is clear that he had died by autumn 1720

The fact that Averara drew many of his subjects from mythology reflects the preferences of the court of Savoy and the Spanish dependency of Milan. ...

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Norris L. Stephens

(b Newcastle upon Tyne, bap. Feb 16, 1709; d Newcastle upon Tyne, 9/May 10, 1770). English composer, conductor, writer on music and organist. He was the most important English concerto composer of the 18th century and an original and influential writer on music.

He was the fifth of nine children born to Richard and Ann Avison. Since his father, a Newcastle town wait, was a practising musician, his musical training probably began at home. Later, while in the service of Ralph Jenison, a patron of the arts and MP for Northumberland from 1724 to 1741, he had opportunity for further study. He had additional support in his musical development from Colonel John Blathwayt (or Blaithwaite), formerly a director of the Royal Academy of Music, the operatic organization in London. There is no evidence that, as has been claimed, Avison went to Italy, but William Hayes and Charles Burney wrote that he studied with Geminiani in London....

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Christoph Timpe

(b Naples, ?1670; d Naples, March 19, 1756). Italian composer and violinist. He came from a musical family and was a member of the Neapolitan court orchestra from the late 1690s until his death. His two sets of sonate da chiesa (opp.1 and 2) are notable for their fugal movements, in which the violone shares the counterpoint with the violins, while the continuo remains independent. This principle is systematized in his op.3, which in its instrumentation is based on a model established in Naples at the end of the 17th century by composers such as Pietro Marchitelli and Giancarlo Cailò. In each sonata a brilliant first movement is followed by a three-part fugue, which is separated from a lively closing dance by a short, lyrical movement, usually in 3/2. Avitrano's works show a highly developed sense of tonal effect, particularly his op.3, in which the violins are independent of each other and often complement each other by playing in the same register. Although his violin music does not require technical brilliance from the players, it does demand a sound mastery of the bow, especially in the dance movements. His capacity for invention is limited, particularly in the slow movements, in which the thematic material is often similar to that in other slow movements of his. His harmonic development is conventional but lively. Avitrano's importance lies in his contribution to the four-part sonata, the leading genre in Neapolitan violin music....

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(b ? Mainz or Frankfurt; fl 1727–46). German soprano. She sang in the Peruzzi company at Brussels, 1727–8, and was at Hamburg in 1729, where she sang Cleopatra in Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Rodelinda in Telemann’s Flavius Bertaridus. The same year she was engaged by Fortunato Chelleri as a singer at the court of Kassel. The librettos recording her two appearances at the Sporck theatre in Prague during the 1730–31 operatic season indicate that she was employed at the court of Friedrich I, King of Sweden and Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, but it is uncertain whether she or her husband, Giuseppe Avoglio (also a musician at the Hesse-Kassel court), ever followed the court chapel to Stockholm. In 1731 she went with her husband to Russia, where she sang for the court opera of Tsarina Anna Ivanovna in Moscow and St Petersburg until 1738. In 1740, after the collapse of G.B. Pescetti’s operatic venture in London, she became closely associated with Handel. She is next heard of in Handel’s letter of ...

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James L. Jackman

revised by Dale E. Monson

(b Paola, nr Cosenza, 1708; d Naples, Jan 9, 1796). Italian composer. He is often confused with his contemporary Girolamo Abos, several of whose opere serie are sometimes attributed to him. The family is reputed to have been of Spanish origin. His father was in the service of Spinelli, Duke of Fuscaldo, and (according to Mondolfi, MGG1) the duke used his influence to place the young musician in the Conservatorio dei Poveri di Gesù Cristo in Naples. There he studied with Gaetano Greco and Francesco Durante. He subsequently became maestro di cappella of S Maria Verticelli; according to Schmidl he also taught singing in various Neapolitan monasteries and churches. By 1749 Avossa was working in north Italy as maestro di cappella in Pesaro and conductor of the municipal theatre orchestra there. He married a Rosa Travi in Naples in 1758.

Although Avossa’s principal fame today derives from his highly popular comic opera ...

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Winton Dean

( fl 1698–1708). Italian soprano . Sometimes known as ‘La Valentina’, and probably of Ferrarese birth, her first known appearance was in Crema in 1698. She was employed at the Mantuan court until she entered the service of Ferdinando de’ Medici at Pratolino in 1700. A specialist in male roles, she appeared in ten operas there and in Florence, including Handel’s ...

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Gerald Gifford and Terence Best

(b ?London, c1690; d Islington, London, Sept 23, 1723). English harpsichordist, organist, violinist, composer and arranger. He received his early musical instruction from his father, Charles Babel, a bassoonist in the Drury Lane Theatre orchestra until he was 80, and later from Pepusch and possibly Handel (according to Mattheson, in Der vollkommene Capellmeister, 1739, but denied by Hawkins). Babell led an active professional life in London. As a violinist he was said to have played in the private band of George I, while as a harpsichordist, from about 1711, his name frequently appears in London concert notices, usually in conjunction with those of Corbett, Paisible and (later) Dubourg. He was also associated with Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre. From November 1718 until his death he was organist of All Hallows Bread Street and was succeeded there by John Stanley. Babell was buried at All Hallows.

He acquired an international reputation as a harpsichordist largely through his virtuoso arrangements of fashionable operatic arias and overtures, especially those of Handel. His keyboard style was undoubtedly influenced by his close acquaintance with Handel's playing; it has been proposed that one of the manuscript settings of ‘Vo' far guerra’ (...

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Carolyn Gianturco

[Papia Leone]

(b Lucca, 1690; d Lucca, c1766). Italian composer. He was a priest, and although he was probably maestro di musica at the Seminary of S Giovanni e Reparata in Lucca by 1712, the first certain notice of him there is in 1725, when the seminarians participated in some of the most ambitious music in the city. Between 1717 and 1759 the Lucca confraternity of S Cecilia performed Baccelli’s music (for first and second Vespers and Mass, with orchestral accompaniment) on nine different celebrations of the saint’s feast; and each year he directed the Requiem Mass for dead members. He was further honoured by election to the society’s governing committee (together with Giacomo Puccini) in 1754. In 1756 his oratorio La concezione was presented by the Congregazione degli Angeli Custodi, Lucca. In 1758 and 1759 his seminary choir performed as ‘secondo coro’ for music at S Martino and S Frediano, directed by Puccini. The opera ...

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Christoph Wolff, Walter Emery, Peter Wollny, Ulrich Leisinger and Stephen Roe

German family of musicians. From the 16th century to the 19th the extensive Saxon-Thuringian Bach family produced an unparalleled and almost incalculable number of musicians of every kind, from fiddlers and town musicians to organists, Kantors, court musicians and Kapellmeisters. The outstanding figure among them was Johann Sebastian Bach, but a great many other well-known and distinguished musicians were born into earlier, contemporary and later generations of the family.

In the following pages a list of the musical members of the family, in alphabetical order, with brief biographical notes on those who are not discussed separately, precedes an outline of the family history. §I is devoted to the most important members of the family, in chronological order. The italic numerals 1–53 given in parentheses after the names correspond to the numbers given to members of the family in the genealogy drawn up by J.S. Bach in 1735, the Ursprung der musicalisch-Bachischen Familie...

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Christoph Wolff and Ulrich Leisinger

Member of Bach family

(46) (b Weimar, March 8, 1714; d Hamburg, Dec 14, 1788). Composer and church musician, the second surviving son of (7) Johann Sebastian Bach (24) and his first wife, Maria Barbara. He was the most important composer in Protestant Germany during the second half of the 18th century, and enjoyed unqualified admiration and recognition particularly as a teacher and keyboard composer.

He was baptized on 10 March 1714, with Telemann as one of his godfathers. In 1717 he moved with the family to Cöthen, where his father had been appointed Kapellmeister. His mother died in 1720, and in spring 1723 the family moved to Leipzig, where Emanuel began attending the Thomasschule as a day-boy on 14 June 1723. J.S. Bach said later that one of his reasons for accepting the post of Kantor at the Thomasschule was that his sons’ intellectual development suggested that they would benefit from a university education. Emanuel Bach received his musical training from his father, who gave him keyboard and organ lessons. There may once have been some kind of ...

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Christoph Wolff

Member of Bach family

(18) (b Erfurt, bap. Nov 25, 1676; d Eisenach, June 11, 1749). Composer and organist, son of Johann Aegidius Bach (8). He studied with his father and about 1695 took up his first post, as organist at the Kaufmannskirche in Erfurt; in 1699 he went to Magdeburg, and in 1703 he replaced his kinsman (2) Johann Christoph (13) as town organist and court harpsichordist in Eisenach, a post which Johann Christoph’s son Johann Nicolaus (27) had declined. Repeated rises in salary show the esteem in which he was held, particularly in the court Kapelle, which was directed by Telemann in 1708–12.

His only extant works are instrumental; some of the organ works are in copies made by his pupils in Erfurt, who included J.G. Walther (according to Walther himself). Johann Sebastian Bach evidently valued his orchestral suites, for he had five of them copied (he himself was involved in some of the copying) for his collegium musicum in Leipzig. J.S. Bach’s obituary notice of ...

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Christoph Wolff and Stephen Roe

Member of Bach family

(50) (b Leipzig, Sept 5, 1735; d London, Jan 1, 1782). Composer, youngest son of (7) Johann Sebastian Bach. As a composer he was the most versatile of J.S. Bach’s sons and the only one to write Italian operas. He was an important influence on Mozart and, with C.F. Abel, did much to establish regular public concerts in London.

It is likely that J.C. Bach’s early musical education was supervised by his father, though some instruction may have been given by Johann Elias Bach (39), who lived in the Leipzig household between 1738 and 1743 and acted as secretary to the elder Bach. Johann Christian himself assumed some secretarial duties in 1749–50, preparing music manuscripts and receipts on his father’s behalf. Christian, evidently a favourite child of Sebastian, inherited three of his father’s harpsichords. J.S. Bach’s keyboard music played an important role in his son’s development: the second book of ...

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Christoph Wolff

Member of Bach family

(13) (b Arnstadt, bap. Dec 8, 1642; d Eisenach, bur. April 2, 1703). Composer and organist, son of Heinrich Bach (6). He was probably the most important member of the family before (7) Johann Sebastian (24). He received a thorough musical grounding from his father, and on 20 November 1663 was appointed organist of the Arnstadt castle chapel. Two years later he was invited by the Eisenach town council to apply for the post of organist at St Georg, and after an audition on 10 December 1665 he was appointed to that position and also to the post of harpsichordist in the court Kapelle of the Duke of Eisenach. He retained both positions until his death.

Little is known of his work in the court Kapelle. From 1675 the Kapellmeister was Daniel Eberlin, later to become the father-in-law of Telemann, who also conducted the Kapelle on occasion, and for a short while (...