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Article

Burkhard Kippenberg

revised by Lorenz Welker

[Der wilde Alexander]

(fl mid- to late 13th century). German poet-composer. He is not attested in official documents or mentioned in contemporary literature. The only biographical clues are certain allusions in his poetry to historical events between 1285 and 1288 but more recent study shows additional allusions to events from 1247 to 1252. In two manuscripts he is named ‘der wilde Alexander’, perhaps because of his unusual style or his restless itinerant life, and in the Jena manuscript he is called ‘Meister Alexander’. But the Meistersinger did not regard him as one of the 12 masters.

Alexander was one of the most important Minnesinger and composers of Sprüche (see Spruch) after the time of Walther von der Vogelweide. In the surviving sources he is represented mainly by 24 Spruch strophes (in only one Ton), but also by two Minnelieder and one Leich. The principal themes of his Spruch...

Article

Barbara Owen

French firm of reed organ makers. It was founded in 1829 by Jacob Alexandre (b Paris, 1804; d Paris, 11 June 1876) for the manufacture of accordions; in 1834 he exhibited a small reed organ (two sets of reeds) in Paris. With the purchase in 1841 and 1845 of reed organ patents (among them percussion and prolongement effects) from Alexandre Martin of Provins, the firm soon became one of the leading harmonium makers in the country, although their instruments were first called ‘orgue-mélodium’ to avoid conflict with the patents of A.-F. Debain. These early instruments had four sets of reeds, a five-octave keyboard, couplers, a Grand Jeu, and an Expression stop which bypassed the reservoir to allow control of intensity through the blowing treadles. The firm was awarded a bronze medal for the instrument in the Paris exposition of 1844; this was the first of many awards, including gold medals and culminating in grand prizes in Brussels (...

Article

Viorel Cosma

(b Ilimbav, Sibiu, May 14, 1914; d Bucharest, April 20, 1997). Romanian ethnomusicologist. He studied at the Bucharest Royal Academy of Music (1931–6) and became Brăiloiu's closest collaborator, working with him at the folklore archive of the Society of Romanian Composers (1935–49); he continued his research appointment there when the archive was incorporated in the Institute of Ethnography and Folklore (1949), undertaking several field studies and collecting numerous examples of Romanian folksong, some of which have been recorded. He was Brăiloiu's successor in the folklore department of the Royal Academy of Music (1943–8), where he held various posts before becoming professor (1954–9). In 1956 he did research in China and from 1965 to 1967 he was the folklore expert of the Ministry of Culture of the United Arab Republic in Cairo, where he made recordings of Egyptian and Nubian folksong. In ...

Article

Dorothy C. Pratt

(b Constantinople, 1881; d Chamonix, July 27, 1954). Armenian cellist. He studied with Grützmacher and while a student played chamber music with Brahms and Joachim. At the age of 17 he appeared as the soloist in Strauss's Don Quixote with the composer conducting and scored a triumph; he was then invited to play concertos with Nikisch and Mahler. In 1901 he settled in Paris, where Casals saw some of his fingerings and recognized that Alexanian shared his own, then revolutionary, ideas on technique and interpretation. Many years' collaboration followed, leading to the publication in 1922 of their joint treatise Traité théorique et pratique du violoncelle and in 1929 of Alexanian's analytical edition of the solo cello suites of Bach. Alexanian was professor of the Casals class at the Ecole Normale de Musique from 1921 to 1937, when he left for the USA. His classes in Paris, Baltimore and New York attracted artists and students from all over the world, and his influence extended far beyond his own pupils (among them Maurice Eisenberg and Antonio Janigro) to such cellists as Feuermann, Cassadó, Piatigorsky and Fournier. He was also a conductor of distinction....

Article

Aleyn  

Margaret Bent

(fl c1400). English composer. He was the composer of two works in the Old Hall Manuscript. One is a Gloria (no.8), ascribed to ‘Aleyn’ without initial; it is a homorhythmic setting in score, notable for its sprightly text declamation. The other piece, also in score, is an erased descant setting of Sarum Agnus Dei no.3 (Old Hall, no.128), where the remains of the ascription appears to read ‘W. Aleyn’ (not ‘W. Typp’, as reported in D. Fallows: ...

Article

John C.G. Waterhouse, Virgilio Bernardoni and Johannes Streicher

(b Posillipo, Naples, March 8, 1875; d San Remo, Oct 27, 1954). Italian composer. After studying the piano privately with Alessandro Longo, and harmony and composition with Camillo de Nardis and Serrao at the Conservatorio di S Pietro a Majella, Naples, he moved in 1895 to Leipzig, where he completed his composition studies with Jadassohn. In 1896 he went to Berlin and launched himself as a pianist, though he did not continue this activity systematically for long: in later life he appeared in public only as a song accompanist and chamber music player, mainly in his own works. From 1899 until about 1905 he was based in Paris, but travelled as far afield as Russia. He then settled in Milan, moving in 1914 to San Remo, which remained at least his summer home for the rest of his life. From 1916 he taught composition at the Liceo Musicale, Bologna, which he directed from ...

Article

Dennis Libby

revised by Emanuele Senici

(b Rome, June 29, 1801; d Rome, June 12, 1863). Italian musicologist and composer. Ordained a Roman priest in 1823, his life was entirely directed towards the deliverance of liturgical music from what he saw as the debased theatrical style of contemporary composers and the neglect and incompetence of singers and organists in regard to Gregorian chant and Renaissance music. He contributed most importantly to this goal through his editions, particularly the Raccolta di musica sacra (Rome, 1841–6), the seven volumes of which provided the first large modern collection of Palestrina's music. Palestrina was Alfieri's ideal for new church music, which, according to his Ristabilimento, should be grave, succinct and suited in expression to the words, which were to be presented clearly and with few repetitions. His own compositions, many of them published at Rome, exemplified these principles.

Alfieri was also a pioneer in Italy in the historical study of Gregorian chant, which he sought to restore to its original purity, although along lines that now appear somewhat arbitrary and subjective. His early ...

Article

Thomas Walker

revised by Jennifer Williams Brown

(b Naples, 1630; d Naples, Jan 21, 1665). Italian composer. He studied at the Conservatorio dei Poveri di Gesù Cristo from 1642 to 1649 and about 1658 was named maestro di cappella of the city of Naples. In 1655 he composed for the Teatro S Bartolomeo La fedeltà trionfante (G.C. Sorrentino), one of the first operas originally written for Naples. Prota-Giurleo (DBI) ascribed to him two other dramatic works: Le magie amorose (1653, Naples) and Il trionfo della pace (G. Gastaldo; 1658, Naples). The libretto of Le magie is a revision of Marco Faustini's Rosinda; if Alfiero was involved, he may simply have revised Cavalli's music. Bianconi proposes O. Gaudioso and A. De Santis as the composers of Il trionfo. Alfiero's only surviving work is a hymn ( I-Nf ).

DBI (U. Prota-Giurleo) B. Croce: I teatri di Napoli, secolo XV–XVIII (Naples, 1891/...

Article

(b ?Medina del Campo, 1394; ruled 1416–58; d Naples, June 27, 1458). Spanish monarch and patron. He was the son of Fernando I of Antequera and Leonor of Albuquerque. His activity as patron is usually divided into two periods, before and after he had settled in Naples (1433). He was an outstanding patron of minstrels, among them the shawm player Jehan Boisard and the lutenist Rodrigo de la Guitarra. The choir of his royal chapel was, according to his contemporaries, one of the finest of its day. In the two earliest records of its members, dating from 1413 and 1417, there are 13 singers, among them Gacian Reyneau and Leonart Tallender, and two organists. His singers were recruited from Spain, France and Germany: in October 1419 he sent one of them, Huguet lo Franch, to his native land in search of singers, providing him with a letter offering all kinds of privileges. In ...

Article

Geoffrey Self

[Ricketts, Frederic Joseph]

(b London, Feb 21, 1881; d Reigate, May 15, 1945). English composer and bandmaster. As a cornet-player with the Royal Irish Regiment, he served in India. Subsequently he studied at Kneller Hall (1904–8), qualifying as a bandmaster, and in 1908 was appointed to the 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. In 1912, under the pseudonym Alford (his mother's name), he published the marches The Vedette and Holyrood, the first of a long series of marches. Two of the most famous, written during World War I, illustrate differing approaches to march-style. Colonel Bogey (1913) is in simple time; the golfing allusion of the title reflects the work's origin on the green, where Alford's partner would whistle the notes C and A instead of shouting ‘fore’. On the Quarter Deck (1917) is in the compound time made popular by the American John Philip Sousa. Alford is unlikely to have missed Sousa's concert on ...