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Article

Sven Hansell

(b c1660; d Turin, June 4, 1723). Italian cellist and composer. The belief that Fiorè was born in Milan or Turin is conjecture; no 18th-century evidence about his birthplace, childhood or education has come to light. The first information on his career comes from Parma, where he served the Farnese court from 1 May 1688 to 15 February 1695 and played in the Madonna della Steccata church orchestra from 1689 to 15 September 1692. It is not known where he went in 1695, but in the following year he was listed among the 20 composers who contributed music to the opera L’Etna festivo performed in Milan. The birth there of his son Andrea Stefano in 1686 indicates an earlier association with Milan. In 1697 the two of them became members of the Accademia dei Filarmonici in Bologna. As cellist at the ducal court in Turin from 1697...

Article

Michael F. Robinson

(d Naples, April 13, 1764). Italian violinist and composer. His earliest dated composition is a concerto for flute, two violins and continuo of 1726. For some years this highly talented but rather tumultuous individual was teacher of string instruments at the Neapolitan music conservatory S Maria di Loreto. He was elected to this post by a curious procedure. Unable to decide between five candidates for the post, the Loreto governors at their meeting of 22 May 1743 finally put the five names in a box and selected one at random; Fiorenza's name was drawn. He was dismissed on the last day of 1762 after complaints extending over several years that he was maltreating his students. Fiorenza was also a violinist in the Neapolitan royal chapel, to which he was appointed some time before 1750. Records of salary payments to chapel members ( I-Na ) show that he received pay increases on ...

Article

Rudolf A. Rasch

(b Danzig, Aug 17, 1747; d Amsterdam, April 7, 1796). Dutch composer, organist and carillonneur. His parents were Mennonites from Haarlem who lived in Danzig from 1739 to 1752, when they moved to Amsterdam. Focking was blind, and it may be assumed that he received his musical instruction from the blind organist Jacob Potholt. From 1769 until his death he was carillonneur at the Oude Kerk and the Regulierstoren (now Munttoren), Amsterdam. In 1780 he became organist of one of the Mennonite communities in Amsterdam, the one usually called ‘bij het Lam en bij de Toren’, after the locations of its churches. In 1780 only the church ‘bij het Lam’ (‘near the Dram’, a brewery on the Singel) had an organ, an instrument by J.S. Strumphler (inaugurated in 1777). In 1786 another organ by Strumphler was installed in the church ‘bij de Toren’ (‘near the Tower’, the Jan Rodenpoort Tower), and Focking probably also played on that instrument. Focking taught the well-known blind Amsterdam organist and carillonneur Daniël Brachthuyzer (...

Article

Enrico Careri

[Matteuccio ]

( b Lucca, c 1655; d Rome, Nov 1722). Italian violinist . Corelli's favourite pupil and close friend, he was one of the greatest violin virtuosos active in Rome at the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th. From 1678 (when he played for the first time at S Luigi dei Francesi on the feast day of the church's patron saint) almost until Corelli's death, he rarely failed to appear alongside his teacher as second violinist. He must have begun his apprenticeship with Corelli before 1678, because his payment at S Luigi dei Francesi was higher than that of the other violinists except for Corelli himself, indicating that he was already a fully formed player. In 1678 also Fornari became a member of the Congregazione di S Cecilia, a necessary qualification for practising as a musician in Rome. From the beginning of the 1680s master and pupil became inseparable. They took up residence together in the Palazzo al Corso of their patron Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili, and together moved in ...

Article

John Bergsagel

(b Christiansand [now Kristiansand], 1713; d Copenhagen, June 24, 1767). Norwegian violinist and composer. He received his first training from his father, Baltazar Freithoff, town musician in Christiansand. At the age of about 20 he set off on travels ‘in Europe, Asia and Africa’ which lasted until the end of 1742. Little is known of where he was or what he did, but he was certainly in Smyrna and Constantinople and, since he later published translations from both English and French, it is possible he visited England and France. Of more importance to his career as a musician is a period of residence in Italy which would seem to be indicated by the inscription ‘Livorno a 20 de Fevrier 1739’ on the manuscript of his sonata for two flutes and cello ( S-Skma ). At the end of 1742 Freithoff wrote to the king in Copenhagen asking for a position, preferably in the civil service. It does not appear that his applications were successful, but he nevertheless went to Copenhagen, where in ...

Article

Roger Fiske

revised by Richard G. King

[Johann Ernst]

(b ?Celle, ?1666/?1687; d Chelsea, Feb 18, 1747). German composer and oboist, active in England. A son of Jean Galliard, a French wig-maker, he learnt both flute and oboe from a French member of the Celle court orchestra, Pierre Maréchal. He himself joined the orchestra in 1698, and soon afterwards was studying composition in nearby Hanover with Steffani and G.B. Farinelli. When the Celle orchestra was disbanded in 1706, he went to London to become court musician to Prince George of Denmark, Queen Anne's consort. He must have had some ability as a keyboard player, for when Draghi died in 1710 he was appointed organist at Somerset House. He probably wrote his Te Deum, his Jubilate and his three anthems for the chapel there, but his duties were negligible and he was soon to make a mark both as a secular composer and as an oboist at the Queen's Theatre. Handel wrote obbligato parts for him in ...

Article

Charles Cudworth

(fl mid-18th century). Italian composer and violinist. According to Fétis he was born in Venice about 1730, wrote much music for the church and was known for his violin sonatas and symphonies. Eitner mentioned an oratorio for two voices dedicated in honour of Giuseppe Calasanzio, founder of the Scuole Pie in Venice; the libretto was published there in 1750. Gallo published two sets of six sonatas, one for two violins and continuo in Venice, and another for two flutes and continuo in London; the latter set probably dates from about 1755. An overture by him was published in a miscellaneous set of Sei ouverture a piu stromenti op.6 (Paris, 1758) and his name appears in A Collection of Marches & Airs (Edinburgh, 1761). There is a manuscript collection of 36 trio sonatas by him in the Marquis of Exeter's collection at Burghley House, Stamford, and examples of his church music can be found in the conservatories of Naples and Bologna....

Article

Edward Higginbottom

(d Paris, c1730). French organist. He held posts first at St Louis-des-Invalides, Paris, from 1684, and then at the Chapelle Royale at Versaille from 1702, where the other organists were Nivers, Buterne and François Couperin. In 1719 he was appointed organist of St Roch in Paris.

Titon du Tillet said Garnier was ‘among our most skilful organists’, and François Couperin clearly paid him tribute in one of his finest harpsichord pieces, ...

Article

(Jakob)

(b Andělská Hora, nr Karlovy Vary, May 18, 1746; d ?Homburg, 1811). Bohemian composer and violinist. His relationship to J.C.K. Gayer (?1668–1734), if any, is not known. He acquired his musical education at minor Bohemian towns and became an organist; later he studied the violin with Václav Pichl and composition with K. Loos in Prague. Then he left Bohemia, and in 1774 he was appointed Konzertmeister to the Landgrave of Hesse at Homburg.

Gayer's works, listed in detail by Gerber according to the composer's own specification, included 30 symphonies, 40 violin concertos, 26 concertos for horn and other wind instruments, four piano sonatas and sacred music (a Mass in E♭ ascribed to him in I-MOe may not be authentic); all his music is apparently lost.

ČSHS DlabacžKL GerberL J.G. Meusel: Teutsches Künstlerlexikon, 1 (Lemgo, 1778, 2/1808–14/R), 279–80 G.J. Dlabacž: ‘Versuch eines Verzeichnisses der vorzüglichern Tonkünstler in oder aus Böhmen’, ...

Article

Brian Boydell

[Timothy]

(b Dublin, 1775; d Dublin, Nov 1801). Irish composer and keyboard player. He assumed the names Thomas Augustine for professional purposes, presumably as a tribute to Arne. In Warburton, Whitelaw and Walsh’s History of the City of Dublin (London, 1818) it is stated that ‘labouring under some depression of mind he rushed out of the house, and was found drowned in the canal’. His premature death undoubtedly robbed Irish music of a sensitive and promising talent. There is no evidence for the assertion by Flood that he either entered or graduated at Trinity College.

His precocious talent was publicly recognized by the award of the prize of the Amateur Society to ‘Timothy Geary of the choir, aged 14’ for the six-part glee With wine that blissful joy bestows. While still in his teens he acted as assistant organist to Philip Cogan at St Patrick’s Cathedral. In 1793...

Article

Enrico Careri

(Saverio) [Xaviero]

(b Lucca, bap. Dec 5, 1687; d Dublin, Sept 17, 1762). Italian composer, violinist and theorist. His contemporaries in England considered him the equal of Handel and Corelli, but except for the concerti grossi op.3, a few sonatas and the violin treatise, little of his musical and theoretical output is known today. He was, nevertheless, one of the greatest violinists of his time, an original if not a prolific composer and an important theorist.

Although the exact date is not known, Geminiani was probably born two days before his baptism, on 3 December 1687, the feast day of St Francis Xavier. His father, Giuliano, a violinist in the Cappella Palatina of Lucca, may have been his first violin teacher. Several contemporary sources name Corelli, Alessandro Scarlatti and Carlo Ambrogie Lonati as his teachers. It is still not certain where and when he received his musical training, but we may assume it to have been when he was not in Lucca. His name figures in the register of S Maria Corteorlandini, the parish to which the Geminiani family belonged, between ...

Article

Michael Talbot

(b Venice, ?1669; d ?Venice, after 1730). Italian composer and violinist. Appointed as a violinist to the ducal chapel of S Marco on 10 July 1689, he acquired the duty of playing solos for the Elevation in 1693. He remained in the same post until at least 1731, in which year he was one of the signatories to the document attesting Lotti's authorship of the disputed madrigal In una siepe ombrosa, styling himself first violinist in the ducal chapel. The few written references to Gentili in the intervening years confirm his continuing attachment to S Marco, though from about 1702 to about 1717 he also held the post of maestro di istromenti at the Ospedale dei Mendicanti.

Gentili left six collections of printed instrumental music comprising 72 works. Externally similar (and perhaps not coincidentally so) to works in the same genres by his fellow citizen and contemporary Tomaso Albinoni, they reveal a competent but not very individual creative personality, although the violin technique required is rather more demanding than that in Albinoni's works of the same period. The trio sonatas of Gentili's op.1 (...

Article

Jean-Paul Montagnier

[de Rouen]

(fl 1683–1747). French composer and harpsichordist. He was born in Rouen in the second half of the 17th century and is thought to have been maître de musique at Senlis Cathedral in about 1683, at which time he applied for a post at the Chapelle Royale and met Henry Desmarets. He may have succeeded Nicolas Bernier at St Germain-l'Auxerrois in 1704. According to the title-page of his first book of cantatas (1727), he was maître de musique at the academy in Rouen, and then, according to his Méthode pour l'accompagnement du clavecin (1733), at the academy in Lille. He is thought also to have been a music dealer in Paris.

Gervais's pedagogic output does not stand out among contemporary teaching methods, but his cantatas and cantatilles are well written, if without a strongly personal style. Their harmonic progressions, virtuoso vocal writing and frequent use of da capo form reveal Italian influence, while their elegant and graceful melodies, declamatory features and dance rhythms evoke the French style. ...

Article

Michelle Fillion

[Giannotti, Pierre]

(b Lucca, early 18th century; d Paris, June 19, 1765). Italian composer, teacher and double bass player. His first set of violin sonatas appeared in Paris in 1728. In March 1739 he was engaged as a double bass player at the Paris Opéra, a position he held until his retirement in 1758; his name also appears in a 1751 list of the members of the Concert Spirituel orchestra. His numerous compositions suggest that he may also have played the violin. One of his two-violin sonatas was performed at the Concert Spirituel in 1749, the only time he was so honoured. Yet he must have enjoyed some success, for his sonatas opp.2 and 5 remained in the catalogues of the music publisher Bailleux for eight years after his death. He also edited the collections of 12 Sinfonie opp.1 and 2 (Paris, n.d.) by Alberto Gallo, and of Sinfonie … dei più celebri autori d'Italia...

Article

Jean Grundy Fanelli

(Maria)

(b Pistoia, Dec 12, 1685; d Pistoia, Feb 7, 1743). Italian composer, organist and harpsichordist. He was from a family of Pistoiese musicians: his uncle Domenico Giustini composed a mass for 12 voices and chorus in 1615 (in I-PS ), and a great-uncle, Francesco Giustini, spent 50 years as a singer in the cathedral choir from about 1607. Lodovico's father, Francesco, was organist of the Congregazione dello Spirito Santo. Lodovico himself was elected to membership on 21 July 1695 and succeeded his father as organist on 10 July 1725, remaining in the post until his death. This congregation was affiliated to the Jesuits and Lodovico also acted as organist at their church, S Ignazio (now the Chiesa dello Spirito Santo). His position incorporated the duties of music master of the Jesuit seminary, the Collegio dei Nobili, for which he probably provided compositions; performances of a cantata in 1724...

Article

Robert Thompson

(bap. Oxford, May 24, 1688; bur. Oxford, Jan 7, 1741). English organist and music copyist, son of Richard Goodson. He was baptized at the church of St Cross. He succeeded his father as professor of music at Oxford and as organist of Christ Church. Goodson was listed as choirboy at Christ Church from 1699 to 1707 and as singing-man from 1712 to 1718; Thomas Ford ( GB-Ob MS Mus.e.17) stated that he was appointed organist of Newbury on 24 August 1709. He matriculated on 3 March 1714 and graduated BMus on 1 March 1717. A number of manuscripts in Christ Church and the Bodleian Library, Oxford, contain music copied by him, but he does not appear to have been a composer, unless two anonymous works in his hand – an act song, Festo quid potius die ( Ob MS Mus.Sch.C.143, Och Mus 37, 1142b), and an incomplete Ode for St Cecilia's Day, ...

Article

John Ginger and Maurice Byrne

(b London, after 1692; d before 1748). English composer, trumpeter and flautist. The earliest recorded date for his family in London (1691), his knowledge of Dutch and his statement that he had ‘known gentlemen of the army’ since infancy suggest that his father, also called John Baptist, was a military musician in the train of William of Orange. His mother Jane (née Villeneuve) was French and the family was based at Pall Mall at a haberdashery shop under the management of the elder daughter. When Grano married Mary Thurman in 1713 both stated that they were over 21, but Mary was only 15.

From 1710 Grano was performing in aristocratic salons, at benefits for fellow musicians and in the theatres. In 1712 and again in 1720 he was in receipt of a salary at the King's Theatre. He entertained both George I and George II when they were fêted in the City of London at the beginning of their respective reigns, but as a Roman Catholic he was debarred from employment at court. In ...

Article

Michael Talbot

revised by Gabriella Biagi Ravenni

(b Lucca, 1663; d Lucca, Jan 1745). Italian composer, theorist and violinist. He was appointed as a violinist to the Cappella di Palazzo, Lucca, on 13 April 1688, remaining in that post until January 1742. Ill-health probably caused his retirement, when he relinquished the post in favour of his son Angelo Paolino. During his final years he worked as a violinist in the cappella musicale of S Maria Corteorlandini, also in Lucca. Composition seems to have occupied him somewhat fitfully; his most prolific period, between 1697 and 1705, coincides with the activity of his brother Bartolomeo as a music publisher in Lucca. Giovanni Lorenzo played an active role in the early years of the publishing venture: he requested subventions from the government of the Republic of Lucca and the imprint ‘per i Gregorj’ appears in the first two publications, his treatise Il principiante di musica and Francesco Gasparini's op.1 cantatas. The music to Gregori's most ambitious works, five oratorios (probably all written for the Chirstmas festivities at S Maria Corteorlandini), for three of which he also wrote the librettos, is lost. He was a noted teacher and theorist: five editions of his elementary textbook ...

Article

Peter Platt

(b Naples; d ?London, fl1740–70). Italian violinist and composer. Gerber said he was in the service of the Prince of Orange at The Hague from 1740 to 1760. The title-pages of his opp.4 and 5 describe him as ‘M. Guerini de Naples [or Napolitano], musicien de l’Ambassadeur d’Hollande’. He settled in London in the early 1760s and probably remained there until his death. His music, elegant but disappointingly predictable, seems to have had a widespread reputation; works of his were published in Holland, Paris, London and Edinburgh.

Article

Eleanor Russell

(b Seville, c1700; d Madrid, 1776). Spanish composer and guitarist. He was a member of one of Spain's most remarkable theatrical families; his brother Vincente was a musician, his brother Manuel an actor and author. Antonio was married three times, each time to women connected with the stage. By 1733 he was a guitarist and musician in Madrid theatrical companies. He was important in the early development of the Spanish musical theatre: a document of 1787 says that before 1749 Guerrero, José Nebra and others began to make additions to the witty verses sung during the second intermission of a comedy, called a baile de bajo because the voices were accompanied by a guitar and viol. The Comedia del arca de Noe contains a baile prefaced ‘Voz y Baxo con violines, trompas, para el bayle intitulado La huerta de Casani … Del sigr Antonio Guerrero. 1752’, one of the earliest pieces with all the characteristics of a ...