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Marta Cureses

(b Palma de Mallorca, Aug 24, 1931; d Madrid, October 29, 2006). Spanish composer. He began his musical studies at the Barcelona Conservatory with Gabriel Gálvez, Luis Millet, Juan Pich Santasusana, Joan Gibert Camins, Joaquín Zamocois and Eduardo Toldrá, and later removed to Geneva to broaden his training. His tireless professional work extended beyond composition to directing various musical and ballet groups, orchestration, performing as a pianist, music criticism on radio and television, and teaching. He taught composition and fugue at the Seville Conservatory until 1971, then composition at the Madrid Conservatory until his retirement in 1997.

Alís’s works number about 200 and comprise a wide variety of genres. Many of them were commissioned by various official organizations. Among them are the orchestral Sinfonietta, Música para un festival en Sevilla, Homenatge a Antoni Gaudí, Seis remembranzas a Eduardo Toldrá and Rêverie, all of which bear witness to his mastery of orchestration, tone-colour and intensity. Equally well known are his pieces for piano, his choral pieces and his string quartets. In addition to his serious music, he composed, orchestrated and conducted commercial and incidental music for publishing houses, CDs, theatre, radio, television and the cinema. A member of various juries of international competitions, he was made Commander of the Imperial Hispanic Order of Carlos V and received numerous honours and prizes....

Article

Robert Stevenson

(b c1548; d Granada, June 28, 1591). Spanish composer, son of Santos de Aliseda. From about 1557 to September 1577 when he was ordained, he was a member of the choir of Granada Cathedral. On 8 June, 1580 the chapter accepted him as successor to his father without the customary public competition. As maestro de capilla he was required to give board and instruction to the choirboys, to provide daily lessons in polyphony and to compose chanzonetas and extremeses for important feasts. In 1589 he was relieved of these obligations because of ill-health. He died in poverty, like his father. None of Aliseda’s secular music survives. His solemnly expressive motets owe much to those of Morales in structure and style, particularly to the latter’s Emendemus in melius.

all in E-GRc or GRcr unless otherwise stated

Article

Robert Stevenson

(d Granada, July 4, 1580). Spanish composer. He was appointed maestro de capilla of Granada Cathedral on 19 November 1557 despite the opposition of his predecessor, Luis de Cózar, who intended his own nephew to succeed him. After an unsuccessful appeal to the archbishop, Cózar was forced to hand over the charge of the choirboys to Aliseda in May 1558. Aliseda had already begun to search for better singers, but was hindered by the poor salaries which the Granada Cathedral chapter offered.

Throughout his 23 years as maestro de capilla Aliseda won praise from the chapter for his diligent teaching, his punctuality and particularly for his care of the choirboys. In 1579, in appreciation of his merits, the chapter recommended him to Philip II for a prebend, and on 14 May 1580 voted him a gift of 12 ducats to aid him in his illness.

Aliseda's six-part motet ...

Article

(b Paris, Nov 30, 1813; d Paris, March 29, 1888). French pianist and composer. His real name was Morhange. He was one of the leading piano virtuosos of the 19th century and one of its most unusual composers, remarkable in both technique and imagination, yet largely ignored by his own and succeeding generations.

Of Jewish parentage, Alkan was the eldest of five brothers, all of whom, with an elder sister as well, became musicians under the assumed name Alkan; Napoléon Alkan, the third brother (1826–1910), taught solfège at the Paris Conservatoire for over 50 years. Valentin Alkan’s career at the Conservatoire started brilliantly with a premier prix for solfège at the age of seven. When Alkan was nine Cherubini observed that he was ‘astonishing for his age’ and described his ability on the piano as ‘extraordinary’. He won a premier prix for piano in 1824, for harmony in ...

Article

Ebenezer Prout

revised by David Fallows

[all'8va] (It.: ‘at the octave’).

An instruction to play an octave above the written pitch if the sign is placed above the notes (sometimes specified as ottava alta, or sopra); if an octave lower is intended, this is indicated by placing the sign below the notes or by specifying with ottava bassa or sotta...

Article

Ebenezer Prout

revised by Robert Donington

(It.: ‘at the unison’).

An instruction that any parts thus shown are to be taken as one part, either at the same pitch or (where the range of the voice or instrument implies it) at the octave (or double octave) above or below. It is frequently abbreviated to ‘unis.’. In orchestral scores the term is used to show that two or more instruments whose parts are written on the same staff are to play in unison; in the later 19th century the words ...

Article

Peter Wright

(It.).

In the system of Proportional notation of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, another name for proportio dupla (time signature 2/1 or more commonly 𝇍), where note shapes diminish in relative value in the ratio 2:1. The tactus thus shifts from its normal place on the semibreve (alla semibreve...

Article

[Lione, Leo, Leon]

(b Chios, 1588; d Rome, Jan 19, 1669). Italian theologian and scholar of Greek origin. He went to Italy as a child and studied philosophy, theology, and classics in Rome at the Greek Catholic Collegio di S Atanasio from 1599 to 1610. After a period in Chios he studied medicine in Rome until 1616. Thereafter he was employed in the Vatican Library and was responsible for moving the Biblioteca Palatina from Heidelberg to Rome in 1622–3. In 1661 he succeeded Luca Holstenio as chief curator of the Vatican Library. He wrote extensively on a wide range of subjects including theology, Byzantine studies, classical antiquity, and Italian letters. He was a member of the Accademia degli Incogniti, which played an important role in early Venetian opera. He is significant for the history of music by virtue of his Drammaturgia … divisa in sette indici (Rome, 1666), a compendious and surprisingly accurate list of dramatic works of all kinds, including opera librettos, published in Italy; it also lists many unpublished works. A second, vastly enlarged and updated edition by Giovanni Cendoni, Apostolo Zeno, Giovanni degli Apostoli, and others unnamed (Venice, ...

Article

William Waterhouse

(b Sin-le-Noble, Nord, May 25, 1923). French bassoonist and teacher. A precocious talent, he won a premier prix at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 17. He won a first prize at the Geneva International Competition in 1949 and was appointed to the Paris Opéra the same year. In ...

Article

David Fallows

(It.: ‘broadening’, ‘spreading’; gerund of allargare, ‘to spread’)

An instruction to slow down the tempo and often to develop a fuller and more majestic performing style. But this is not always intended. Verdi, for example, almost invariably accompanied allargando with a decrease in texture or volume; thus the very end of the prelude to La traviata has the successive markings ...