(b Lima, Aug 20, 1788; d Lima, Dec 28, 1878). Peruvian composer. He received his musical education in the convents of S Agustín and S Domingo of Lima, as was customary during the vice-regal period. Thus from the beginning of his career he inclined towards sacred music. In 1821 he took part in a contest for the composition of a national march. Thanks to General San Martín’s enthusiasm his work was selected and it soon became the Peruvian national anthem. As a result Alcedo has not suffered the oblivion of some of his contemporaries. A strong supporter of the independence movement, he served in the army as músico mayor (1823–8) and was stationed in Chile. There he remained, providing music for Santiago Cathedral (1829–41) and becoming maestro de capilla at the cathedral in 1846. On his return to Peru in 1864 he was appointed general director of the army bands....
César Arróspide de la Flor
revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen
As the trainer of a choir of girls who sang and danced at Spartan religious festivals, Alcman wrote maiden-songs (see Partheneia), which brought him particular fame. Extensive portions of one of these have survived (PLouvre E3320); the lines recreate with great immediacy the half-humorous, half-impassioned rivalry of his young choristers. For solo performance he composed proöimia, preludes to the recitation of Homeric poetry (see Terpander...
revised by Tess Knighton
(fl 1506–9). Iberian composer. A native of Barcelona, he became maestro de capilla at the cathedral there on 19 January 1506. By 1 March 1508 he was appointed singer in the Aragonese royal chapel of Ferdinand V. He appears to have stayed there less than six months and in summer 1509 he succeeded the theorist Juan de Espinosa as ‘master of music’ at Toledo Cathedral; he held this position for only about a year, after which his name disappears from the records. Three villancicos by him appear in the Cancionero Musical de Palacio. It is interesting that these songs are copied in close proximity to two pieces by Pedro de Lagarto, another composer active at Toledo Cathedral. At least one of Aldomar's songs, ¡Ha Pelayo, qué desmayo!, enjoyed considerable popularity: a four-voice version is found in a collection printed in Venice in 1556. His song style is typical of that of the villancico in about ...
(b Évora, Dec 27, 1917). Portuguese musicologist. He studied music at the Évora Seminary and in Rome at the Pontificio Istituto di Musica Sacra, where he obtained the licentiate in 1951. From 1940 he taught music and conducted the choir at the Évora Seminary; he also taught at the Centro de Estudios Gregorianos, Lisbon, where in 1966 he succeeded Mario Sampayo as conductor of the Polyphonia, a choir devoted to the interpretation of early music (particularly Portuguese). In 1974 he resigned from both posts. He was made canon of the Évora Cathedral Chapter, where he was active as mestre da capela, in 1957 and was granted the honorary doctorate by the University of Évora in 1988. He has contributed to the encyclopedia Verbo and to various national journals, and has taken part in many conferences, both national and international. His publications may be divided into three fields: transcriptions of Portuguese polyphonic music, catalogues of Portuguese musical archives, and diverse writings on the history of Portuguese music, particularly in the cathedrals. His transcriptions are always extremely accurate and faithful to the originals and, at the same time, practical for choral use. His catalogues, though seldom including musical incipits, are complete, detailed and clear, and form the greatest list of musical sources in Portugal....
(b St Petersburg, April 1, 1883; d Berlin, July 8, 1946). Russian composer and conductor. He studied with Glazunov and Lyadov at the St Petersburg Conservatory and with Vasilenko at the Moscow Conservatory. From 1918 he taught at the Moscow Conservatory, where he was made head of the choral conducting department in 1925. Choral music gradually became the centre of his attention; most of it was composed for the Soviet Army Song and Dance Ensemble, which he founded in 1928 and which he led to great success in the USSR and abroad. After his death the ensemble was named after him.
Aleksandrov’s choral songs are of various types: rousing, heroic, lyrical and comic. They are simple in style, always linked with Russian folksong and sometimes show delicate polyphonic writing. Svyashchennaya voyna (‘A Holy War’, text by Lebedev-Kumach) was written in the first few days of fighting against German invasion in ...
(b Bologoye, 22 July/Aug 4, 1905; d Moscow, June 17, 1994). Russian composer and conductor, son of Aleksandr Vasil′yevich Aleksandrov. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Glier, graduating in 1929, and worked as a music director in Moscow clubs (1923–9), music director of the Red Army Theatre (1930–37), lecturer at the Moscow Conservatory (1933–41) and leader of the Soviet Radio Song Ensemble (1942–7). From 1937 to 1946 he was deputy director of the Aleksandrov Red Army Song and Dance Ensemble, which was founded by his father and, after the latter's death, came under his direction. He received the State Prize (1950) and the title People's Artist of the USSR (1958). In Dva p′yesï (‘Two Pieces’) op.1 (1928) for piano he developed a compositional system synthesizing the principle of the 12-note series (with inversions and permutations) with a harmonic set technique and mirror symmetry. Later works, such as the well-known musical comedy ...
revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu
(b Bucharest, 2/Aug 14, 1893; d Bucharest, Feb 18, 1959). Romanian composer, pianist, conductor, teacher, music critic, and director of music programmes. A leading figure of the first half of the 20th century, he laid the foundation of the Romanian school in music, concert life, and musical journalism. He studied with A. Castaldi, D. Dinicu, D.G. Kiriac, and E. Saegiu at the Bucharest Conservatory (1903–11), completing his education with two periods of study in Paris (1913–14, 1923–4), where he studied with d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum and with Paul Vidal at the Conservatoire. A remarkable accompanist, he worked with Enescu, Thibaud, Mainardi, Moodie, and others during the period 1919–45. As a conductor he always achieved a soberly balanced performance; he conducted more than 1500 performances at the Romanian Opera in Bucharest (1921–59), where he specialized in the French repertory (Bizet, Massenet, and Gounod). In his capacities as conductor of the Romanian Philharmonic Society, and as conductor and artistic manager of the Romanian RSO, he did much to encourage Romanian composers. He was also active as a music critic for Romanian and French reviews. Much of his compositional work was done during his youth, including ...
( b Rome, Jan 25, 1960). Italian harpsichordist, organist and conductor . Largely self-taught, he conducted his first major concert, of Cavalli's Calisto, in Rome in 1985, with a group of singers that were to form the nucleus of a permanent ensemble, Concerto Italiano. The ensemble's first recording, of Monteverdi's fourth book of madrigals, was widely acclaimed for its passion and colour, winning a Gramophone award in 1994; subsequent recordings have included madrigals by Monteverdi, Marenzio and Frescobaldi, and vocal works by Lassus. In 1995 Alessandrini founded the complementary Concerto Italiano instrumental ensemble, with whom he has performed and recorded concertos by Bach and Vivaldi, and made an imaginative recording of Bach's Art of Fugue. His other recordings include Bach's sonatas for violin and harpsichord, vocal works by Vivaldi, Alessandro Scarlatti and Pergolesi, and Handel's Roman oratorio Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno. With Concerto Italiano he has appeared at major concert halls and festivals throughout Europe. In ...
[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 ...
(b Stockholm, May 1, 1872; d Falun, May 8, 1960). Swedish composer, conductor and violinist. He attended the Stockholm Conservatory (1887–91) and then took private lessons with Lindegren (composition) and Zetterquist (violin); from 1887 he also studied painting. A violinist in the Hovkapellet (the opera orchestra, 1890–92), he decided in 1892 to make his career in music. From 1904 to 1957 he conducted the Siljan Choir – a group of five church choirs and regional choirs in Dalarna – and he was the director of other choruses, including the Orphei Drängar (1910–47), with whom he made 22 tours throughout most of Europe. In addition he was Director Musices of Uppsala University (1910–39). A Hugo Alfvén Foundation has been established in Stockholm.
Alfvén's music is distinguished by orchestral subtlety and by a painterly exploitation of harmony and timbre. His output was almost entirely of programme music, often suggested by the Swedish archipelago; he commented that ‘my best ideas have come during my sea-voyages at night, and, in particular, the wild autumns have been my most wonderful times for composition’. A few pieces, often performed, have maintained his reputation: ...