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Article

Owain Edwards

(bap. London, July 18, 1680; d London, March 7, 1748). English violinist, composer and collector. His earliest compositions were songs and incidental music for the Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre, where he also played. In 1705 he was engaged to play in the orchestra at the new Queen’s Theatre in the Haymarket, where the following year the semi-opera The British Enchanters, or No Magick like Love, with music mostly by Corbett, had 11 performances. He was greatly admired as a solo performer, often being billed as the chief attraction at the benefit concerts of colleagues in London. He also appeared further afield: he played at Nottingham during race week (1707 and 1709) and at York during Assize week (1709). An instinctive showman, Corbett emphasized the unusual in his concerts and in his own compositions; the viola d’amore, archlute and mandolin made appearances at his benefit concerts (...

Article

Lowell Lindgren

[Nicolino]

(b Rome, c1660; d Rome, March 1717). Italian violinist and composer. He studied with Carlo Mannelli and was accepted in the musicians' Accademia di S Cecilia by 1 February 1681. He is the ‘Nicolino’ listed in expense accounts for the Arciconfraternita di S Girolamo della Carità (1681–99), the church of S Luigi dei Francesi (12 occasions, 1685–1700), Cardinal Ottoboni (37 occasions, 1689–1700) and other venues. By 1700 he was employed by Livio Odescalchi, Duke of Bracciano and Prince of the Papal Throne.

In summer 1700 he was offered food and lodging in London, with £100 per annum by the 20-year-old Wriothesley Russell, who had been at Rome in 1698–9 and became Duke of Bedford in September 1700. On 21 October 1700 Cosimi left Rome together with ‘his comrade’, the cellist Nicola Haym. They arrived in London on 22 March 1701, and Cosimi stayed until the end of ...

Article

Hans Joachim Marx

[Giovannino del Violoncello, Giovannino da Roma]

(b Rome, Sept 3, 1704; d Rome, March 5, 1778). Italian composer and cellist. He was probably a pupil of G.L. Lulier. He entered the employ of Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni in Rome in 1721, serving first as aiuto da camera and then in 1737 as capo d’istromenti in succession to Corelli. After the brilliant success of his opera Carlo Magno in 1729, he was appointed, through Cardinal Ottoboni’s patronage, to a number of the most important posts of maestro di cappella in Rome: at S Luigi dei Francesi in 1729, at S Lorenzo in Damaso (the cardinal’s titular church) in 1731, at S Marco and S Maria in Vallicella (in succession to G.O. Pitoni) in 1743, and at S Pietro (Cappella Giulia) in 1755. His growing reputation as an instrumentalist and composer brought him a succession of honours, among them the presidency of the Congregazione di S Cecilia in Rome in ...

Article

David Fuller and Bruce Gustafson

Member of Couperin family

(b Paris, Feb 25, 1727; d Paris, Feb 2, 1789). Composer, organist and harpsichordist, son of (6) Nicolas Couperin. Nothing is known of his education, but it may safely be taken that his father and perhaps other relatives provided for the musical side, and he may have received his schooling as a choirboy at St Gervais. His library, which amounted to 885 books at the time of his death, was unusual for a professional musician, and speaks for a lively intellectual curiosity. As his mother died when he was only 17 months old, he was brought up by his father and a maidservant. When he was 21 his father died intestate; as sole heir of both parents, he inherited his father’s position at St Gervais and the apartment that went with it. Shortly afterwards (7 February 1752), his marriage to Elisabeth-Antoinette Blanchet, daughter of the best harpsichord maker in France and a first-class professional musician, brought some 40,000 livres....

Article

David Fuller and Bruce Gustafson

Member of Couperin family

(b Chaumes-en-Brie, c1631; d Paris, 1708–12). Keyboard player, brother of (1) Louis Couperin. His birthdate can be deduced from lacunae in the baptismal registers and from the closely spaced arrival of other children in the family; he apparently died between a tax payment on a house in the rue Anastase (1708) and its sale by his heirs (1712). Titon du Tillet, however, asserted that he died in his 70th year when he suffered a fractured skull in a traffic accident. He is said to have played the violin with his brothers in the famous serenade to Chambonnières, but he was active as a tailor until about 1656, after which he was identified as a musician; documents refer to him as an organist, harpsichordist or music master. In the marriage contract of his godchild (4) François Couperin (ii) le grand...

Article

Edward Higginbottom

Member of Couperin family

(b Paris, Nov 10, 1668; d Paris, Sept 11, 1733). Composer, harpsichordist and organist, son of (3) Charles Couperin (ii). He is the most important member of the Couperin dynasty. He wrote some of the finest music of the French classical school, and may be reckoned the most important musical figure in France between Lully and Rameau.

He was born into an organist’s milieu: most immediately, that of St Gervais, where his uncle (1) Louis Couperin had been organist, and where since 1661 his father had held the post. It seems reasonable to suppose that he received his first musical instruction from his father. Charles died in 1679, when François was ten; according to Titon du Tillet, Jacques-Denis Thomelin, the famous organist of St Jacques-de-la-Boucherie and organiste du roi, took the young but promising François under his wing and became ‘a second father to him’. The church council of St Gervais agreed that François should inherit his father’s post on his 18th birthday, securing Lalande’s services for the interim. During this period François probably often deputized at St Gervais for Lalande (who held three other church appointments in Paris); by ...

Article

David Fuller and Bruce Gustafson

Member of Couperin family

(b Paris, Sept 19, 1705; d Paris, c1778). Harpsichordist, daughter of (4) François Couperin (ii). On the evidence of the few surviving documents, she shared both her father’s talent as a harpsichordist and his precarious health. She was active at court from at least 1729. In 1717 her father had been granted the reversion of the post of ordinaire de la musique de la chambre du roi pour le clavecin, because its holder (J.-B.-H. D’Anglebert) was no longer well enough to execute the duties attached to it; on 16 February 1730 the reversion passed to Marguerite-Antoinette for the same reason. In 1736, D’Anglebert and Couperin having died, the post was theoretically suppressed, but was in fact transformed into a ‘commission’ exercised by Marguerite-Antoinette, who on 25 November 1741 sold the reversion for 6000 livres to Bernard de Bury, again for health reasons. As Titon du Tillet pointed out, she was the first woman to hold this position, and she was also harpsichord mistress to the king’s daughters. Her date of death has been deduced from records of Bury’s life (Bouvet, ...

Article

David Fuller and Bruce Gustafson

Member of Couperin family

(b Paris, 1675–6 or 1678–9; d Versailles, May 30, 1728). Singer and harpsichordist, daughter of (2) François Couperin (i). Titon du Tillet and the act of decease agree on the year of her death, but disagree as to her age, the former giving it as 52, the latter as 49; her date of birth is otherwise undocumented. On her reception as ...

Article

David Fuller and Bruce Gustafson

Member of Couperin family

(b Paris, Dec 20, 1680; d Paris, July 25, 1748). Organist and composer, son of (2) François Couperin (i). On 22 November 1722 he asked permission of the churchwardens of St Gervais to rent a room in the house adjoining the church which (4) François Couperin (ii) had yielded up in 1697 (except for one room to use as a pied-à-terre when he was working at St Gervais). Probably Nicolas had already begun taking over the function of organist, and indeed on 12 December 1723 he was granted the reversion of François’ charge at the latter’s request. Taskin said that his talents had been noted by the Count of Toulouse (son of Louis XIV and Mme de Montespan), who engaged him as chamber musician; this may well have been his first post. No doubt he had also begun teaching: in 1728 he was owed 975 livres for lessons to three people, including the daughter of the Prince of Guise. In his marriage contract of ...

Article

Robert Münster

(b ?Augsburg, c1724; d Munich, Dec 1, 1787). German composer, violinist and flautist. He was the son of Thomas Cröner (c1690–1757), court musician to the Prince-Bishop of Augsburg and violinist at the Munich court from 1735. Franz Carl Thomas became an Accessist (unsalaried player who succeeded to a salaried post when one became vacant) in the Munich court orchestra in 1737–8 and for a time he was in the service of the abbot of the Benedictine abbey at Rott am Inn. During the early 1740s he toured extensively, going as far afield as Russia and England with two of his brothers, Franz Ferdinand (b Augsburg, 24 March 1720; d Munich, 12 June 1780), violinist and flautist, deputy Konzertmeister at the Munich court from 1754 and Konzertmeister from 1772, and Anton Albert (b Augsburg, 23 April 1727; d Traunstein, 30 Sept 1770...

Article

Robert Münster

(b ?Munich, c1737; d Munich, June 24, 1785). German composer and violinist, brother of Franz Carl Thomas Cröner. He was an Accessist (unsalaried player who succeeded to a salaried post when one became vacant) in the Munich court orchestra for some time before 1748. On 1 September 1751 he became a full court and chamber violinist. In 1774 he became vice-Konzertmeister of the orchestra, which he probably led at the première of Mozart’s La finta giardiniera on 13 January 1774 at the Munich Salvatortheater (see Leopold Mozart’s letter of 18 October 1777, where he mistakenly called Johann Nepomuk ‘Jos’). Cröner enjoyed a special position of trust at court. He was in charge of the music collection belonging to Princess Maria Anna, wife of Electoral Prince Max III, Joseph. Of his compositions, six four-movement symphonies and two violin concertos (in A major and B♭ major) survive ( D-Mbs...

Article

Graham Sadler

revised by Marija Đurić Speare

(b London, c1750–55; bur. London, Oct 11, 1825). English cellist. His father, Richard (1698–1790), may also have been a cellist. Crosdill was a chorister at Westminster Abbey and later a pupil of Jean-Pierre Duport. On 24 April 1777 he, along with William Cramer, was recommended by Redmond Simpson to be admitted to masonry by dispensation, and was subsequently made a master mason; however, it is not known of which lodge he was a member. On 3 May 1764 he played a duet with Siprutini in a concert given by the latter at Hickford's Room. He held appointments as viol player at the Chapel Royal from 10 March 1778, member of the king's private band from 1778, chamber musician to Queen Charlotte from 1782 and Composer of State Music in Ireland from 1783 (no compositions survive). He was a principal cellist at the Three Choirs Festival (...

Article

Philippe Mercier

[Giuseppe Clemens]

(b Brussels, bap. March 27, 1710; d Arbizzano di Valpolicella, Aug 31, 1805). Flemish composer and cellist of Italian descent, son of Evaristo Felice Dall'Abaco. He was at first a pupil of his father, with whom his career has often been confused. The latter, employed at the Munich court, apparently sent his son to Venice to further his musical education; but on his return the young man could not find work in Bavaria, and on 29 March 1729 he joined the electoral chapel at Bonn as Titular-Kammerdiener und Hofmusikus mit dem Violoncell. On 26 August 1738 he was appointed director of the court chamber orchestra. In spite of his Bonn appointment he was able to travel, going to London and other English towns in 1740, and apparently to Vienna in 1749 when a work by him for five cellos was performed. In 1753 he left the court to go to Verona. He seems to have remained in contact with the Munich court, and on ...

Article

Vincent Duckles

revised by Eleanor F. McCrickard

(b Padua, c1700; d Narva, Estonia, 1764). Italian violinist and composer. He may have become a pupil of Tartini around 1721, when Tartini became primo violino e capo di concerto at the Basilica di S Antonio in Padua, or perhaps after the founding of Tartini's ‘school’ of violin instruction, 1727–8. Mooser's conjecture that Dall'Oglio may have begun his studies under Vivaldi in Venice was probably based on the understanding that Domenico was the son or a close relative of a Pietro Dall'Oglio who was maestro di choro in the Ospedale della Pietà there, 1713–18. However, recent scholarship has proved this unlikely as Dall'Oglio was a pseudonym used by Pietro Scarpari, a major figure at the Pietà. Certainly, Domenico appears to have been influenced by Vivaldi; certain aspects of his writing are reminiscent of his style. In 1732 Domenico was appointed violinist at the Basilica di S Antonio in Padua, but in ...

Article

Danuta Idaszak

(Wojciech)

(b ?Wielkopolska district, c1760; d after 1810). Polish composer and violinist. He was at first attached to the Cistercian monastery at Obra, where he is thought to have studied; about 1779 he was a monastery musician. From 1787 to 1790 he was conductor and composer at Gniezno Cathedral. Elsner stated that around 1792 he was a viola player at the German theatre in Lemberg. His compositions were known in almost all the major Polish musical centres at that time, in the Wielkopolska district, Wilno, Krzemieniec and the Kraków region.

Dankowski’s instrumental pieces are in the early Classical style; his vocal works (exclusively to religious texts) show a marked influence of the Neapolitan school. His music, mostly homophonic, is characterized by Polish dance elements, and he sometimes made use of traditional instruments. His extant works include two symphonies, in D (ed. J. Krenz, Kraków, 1951), and E♭ (ed. D. Idaszak, ...

Article

(b Paris, July 4, 1694; d Paris, June 15, 1772). French organist, harpsichordist and composer. Descended from a family of intellectuals of Jewish origin, the son of Claude Daquin and Anne Treisant, Louis-Claude was an infant prodigy. After taking some harpsichord lessons from his godmother Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, and composition lessons from Nicolas Bernier, he was capable of playing before Louis XIV at the age of six and of conducting his own Beatus vir in the Sainte-Chapelle at the age of eight. In 1706 he was appointed organist at the convent of Petit St Antoine and was able to play on the organ of the Sainte-Chapelle. On 12 July 1722 he married Denise-Thérèse Quirot; they had only one child, Pierre-Louis D'Aquin de Châteaulion (c1722–97), whose Lettres trace the brilliant career of a father greatly admired by Parisian society. Louis-Claude's marriage contract tells us that at the time he was ...

Article

(b Dublin, c1726; d ?Dublin, after 1755). Harpsichord player, singer and composer. She was the daughter of Mr Davis (or Davies; fl 1735–48), a harpsichord player, and Mrs Davis (fl 1730–48), a singer. Mrs Davis promoted her daughter as a child prodigy, who first appeared on ...

Article

Frans Van Den Bremt

revised by Rudolf A. Rasch

[William, Guillaume, Guglielmus]

(b Alkmaar, bap. Aug 26, 1687; d London, Jan 3, 1761). Dutch composer and violinist. He was the son of Louis de Fesch and Johanna Maasbragt. Despite his parents’ marriage in Amsterdam (1685) and his brother’s birth in Alkmaar, the family orginated from the Pays de Liège and returned to Liège before 1690. De Fesch may have been a choirboy or even a singer in Liège during the 1690s. By about 1710 both he and his elder brother Pieter (b 28 Nov 1685) had settled in Amsterdam: Pieter had stayed some years in Leiden, where he was registered as a musician at the University on 6 June 1706. In Amsterdam De Fesch married Anna Maria Rosier, daughter of the composer Carl Rosier, who was active in Bonn, Amsterdam and Cologne. The names Willem, Pieter and Anna Maria de Fesch occur in the accounts of the City Theatre for dancing, singing and playing during the years ...

Article

Guido Salvetti

(fl Treviso, c1700–15). Italian composer and cellist, maestro di cappella of Treviso Cathedral. His music, even that written for instruments, appears rather austere and archaic and is often based on fugal or imitative techniques. His writing for the cello calls for a well-developed technique with particular ability in bowing....

Article

Jane L. Berdes

[Sanza, Samaritana ]

( fl c 1725– c1750; d after 1774). Italian composer, singer and violinist . She was a foundling admitted in infancy to the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice. From early childhood she received a thorough musical education in the coro (music school), and was a contralto soloist, violinist and composer during the tenures of Giovanni Porta, Nicola Porpora, and Andrea Bernasconi. She studied the violin under the maestra Anna Maria della Pietà, succeeded her as director of the orchestra in about 1740, and performed at least six of the violin concertos Vivaldi composed for Anna Maria. Her setting of the Vespers Psalm cxiii Laudate pueri à 4 in D, survives ( I-Vc correr esposti, 65 no.192, 13, 82).

D. Arnold and E. Arnold: The Oratorio in Venice (London, 1986), 98, 108 G. Rostirolla: ‘L’organizzazione musicale nell’Ospedale veneziano della Pietà al tempo di Vivaldi’, NRMI , 13 (1979), 168–95, esp. 193...