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Article

Dezső Legány

(b Szent-György-Ábrány, Oct 15, 1822; d Budapest, Dec 20, 1903). Hungarian writer on music, composer and pianist. He came from the wealthy Eördögh family: the name means ‘devil’ and his father changed it to Ábrányi, the name of their estate. He studied the piano under János Kirch (1810–63) and Vilmos Dolegni. His first composition, Magyar ábránd (‘Hungarian Fantasy’), was published in 1841. In the early 1840s he gave concerts in Hungarian towns, and in 1846 left for Vienna to take piano lessons with Joseph Fischhof. There is no reliable evidence that he was ever a student of Chopin in Paris. From 1847 he lived in Pest, in the 1850s as a piano teacher, and studied composition with Mosonyi, together with whom he became a devoted follower of Liszt and Wagner. He was one of the founders of the first Hungarian music periodical, the Zenészeti lapok, in ...

Article

Leanne Langley

(b London, Feb 22, 1777; d London, May 8, 1858). English editor, critic and impresario, youngest son of Edmund Ayrton. He was baptized at St Margaret's, Westminster, and probably studied music with his father. In 1794 he was a bass chorus singer at the Ancient Concerts, and by 1803, when he married Marianne Arnold (daughter of Samuel Arnold), a piano teacher. Through the Chapel Royal connections of his father and father-in-law, and the friendship of Frederick Nicolay (Queen Charlotte's music librarian), he had easy access to court circles. But it was his membership in the Society of Antiquaries (1807) that stimulated his serious interest in music history. In 1808 he began collecting materials for a historical music dictionary (never completed), eventually assembling one of the most remarkable music collections of the mid-19th century. Among his circle of acquaintances around this time, mostly journalists and barristers, Henry Crabb Robinson, Martin Burney (the music historian's grandson), Charles Lamb and William Hazlitt were prominent; T.M. Alsager, the ...

Article

Jack Westrup

revised by Rosemary Williamson

(Walter)

(b Berne, Aug 20, 1888; d London, April 11, 1959). English music critic, writer and editor. He was of Danish and British extraction on his father's side and Swiss on his mother's, and he was educated privately. As a young man, he was employed by the music publishing firm of J. & W. Chester in London. His career as a writer began in 1919, when he was invited by Rosa Newmarch to assist her in providing progamme notes for the Queen's Hall Promenade Concerts. He continued to do this until 1926. From 1923 to 1931 he was London music critic of the Manchester Guardian. In 1931 he was appointed music critic of the Birmingham Post. He returned to London in 1946 to begin work as editor of the fifth edition of Grove's Dictionary. Three years later he became music critic of The Observer. In the meantime he had succeeded A.H. Fox Strangways as editor of ...

Article

Joseph A. Bomberger

(b Berlin, ?June 12, 1838; d New York, April 28, 1881). Prussian critic, editor, conductor, and writer, active in the USA. Carlberg started piano under the instruction of organist Louis Thiele at the age of four. He later studied violin with Gruenwald and harmony with A.B. Marx. Though his father wanted him to pursue medicine, Carlberg decided to enter a career in music. He traveled to New York in 1857, where he continued his musical studies with Carl Anschütz and served as music editor of the New York Staats-Zeitung from 1858 to 1860. Because he was still a Prussian citizen, Carlberg was conscripted in 1861 and served in the Prussian military for eight months. He also became editor of the Neue Berliner Musikzeitung. During the next decade he gave concerts in London, Vienna, Paris, Warsaw, and Berlin. While conducting in Russia in 1871, Carlberg was persuaded by Prince George Galitzin to return to America to conduct some Russian concerts. Though the concerts were a failure, he was engaged as music director for the Pauline Lucca opera season, also writing reviews for the ...

Article

Rosemary Williamson

(Victor)

(b Leicester, Sept 14, 1919; d Thornton Heath, Oct 26, 1976). English writer on music. He studied the piano privately, and music with Patrick Hadley and Robin Orr at Selwyn College, Cambridge (1938–40, 1946–7; MA, MusB), and worked for the BBC as a music presentation assistant (1947–56), music producer (1956–7), music presentation writer (1957–9) and music presentation editor (from 1965); in the intervening years (1959–65) he was a freelance writer on music. His main areas of research were 19th-century music, especially that of Wagner, Mahler, Bruckner and Delius, and musical semantics.

In 1960 Cooke made a ‘performing version’ of Mahler’s Tenth Symphony, which was first performed at the Proms on 13 August 1964 and subsequently revised in the light of this and other performances; Cooke was always at pains to emphasize that this text did not represent a putative reconstruction of the symphony as Mahler might have completed it but rather a text that carefully followed precedents established in the sketches and thus allowed Mahler’s music to be heard at least in a form not foreign to the composer. His version has won considerable praise; it has been much performed and recorded, and was published in ...

Article

Stanley Sadie

(Du Pré)

(b Winchester, Jan 17, 1910; d Richmond, Surrey, March 15, 1986). English writer on music. He was educated at Winchester and Hertford College, Oxford, and then went to Vienna where he studied under Egon Wellesz (1932–4). On his return he became music critic of the London Mercury and the Daily Herald (also contributing to The Spectator, 1947–54); he joined the Daily Telegraph in 1950 and was chief critic from 1954 until his retirement in 1976. He was editor of the Musical Times, 1953–6, and a member of the editorial board of The New Oxford History of Music as well as editor of the tenth volume.

Cooper’s special interests were French and Russian music from the late 18th century onwards and German music of the early Romantic period; but his view of musical history was a broad one, based on an extensive cultural background and a fluency in several languages. His style of daily criticism was urbane and judicious, often more concerned with what was performed than with the performer; his regular articles in the ...

Article

Robert Bledsoe

(b Portsmouth, Feb 7, 1812; d Gad’s Hill, nr Rochester, June 9, 1870). English writer. He wrote the libretto for John Hullah’s ‘operatic burletta’ The Village Coquettes, produced at St James’s Theatre in December 1836, while his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, was appearing in monthly instalments. References to opera in his novels are infrequent, but he often attended performances at Covent Garden and Her Majesty’s Theatre, and in letters praised Mario, Grisi, Lind and Viardot (especially as Fidès in Meyerbeer’s Le prophète). In Paris he was moved to tears by a performance of Berlioz’s version of Gluck’s Orfeo in November 1862 (with Viardot in the title role) and, a few months later, by Gounod’s Faust. As editor of the journals Household Words and, later, All the Year Round, he published articles about music from time to time, and in 1869 published in All the Year Round...

Article

Stanley Sadie

(b London, Sept 19, 1930; d London, July 25, 2009). English writer on music. He was educated at Harrow and Cambridge. From 1959 to 1967 he was music critic of the New Statesman, and in 1971 he became editor of Tempo. He was particularly concerned with contemporary music: a series of three substantial and searching articles on Messiaen in Score (1954–5) did much to draw that composer’s music to wider attention in Britain; he also contributed important articles to Score on Gerhard and Stravinsky and a penetrating chapter on French music to European Music in the Twentieth Century. Drew’s main study, however, was Kurt Weill: he edited several of his works for publication, reconstructed his Divertimento for Chamber Orchestra (first performed in 1972), and in 1956 embarked on an extended survey of his life and works. He became director of publications at Boosey & Hawkes in ...

Article

[père]

(b Villers-Cotterêts, Aisne, July 24, 1802; d Puys, nr Dieppe, Dec 5, 1870). French dramatist and novelist. By his own account the least musical man of his acquaintance, unable to tune a violin after three years of lessons, Dumas’s place in the history of 19th-century music remains contradictory. At a purely social level, he was prominent in the music-loving literary community in 1830s Paris, both as contributor and member of the editorial board on Schlesinger’s Revue et gazette musicale (1835–8). He was present at many of the defining moments of French musical Romanticism, from the première of Berlioz’s Lélio (1832) to the imaginary performance of Beethoven by Liszt pictured in Josef Danhauser’s famous painting, ‘Souvenir de Liszt’ (1840). Having moved to Paris in 1822, Dumas earned his reputation overnight with the success of Henri III et sa cour at the Théâtre Français (...

Article

Edith Gerson-Kiwi

revised by Bret Werb

[Yuly Dmitrevich]

(b Berdyansk, Crimea, 4/April 16, 1868; d Tel-Aviv, Feb 11, 1927). Russian composer, critic, lexicographer and folklorist. He studied law at Kharkov University but soon turned to music, studying theory and composition with Taneyev and Ippolitov-Ivanov at the Moscow Conservatory (1893–7). From 1897 to 1919 he worked as a music critic for the newspaper Russkiye vedomosti. In 1901 his translation of Riemann’s Lexikon into Russian with newly written sections on Russian music was published in Moscow. Although an early opera, Esther, was performed in 1894, his work as a critic overshadowed that as a composer. Under the influence of the Russian nationalist music critic Vladimir Stasov, however, he turned his attention to Jewish folklore, collecting, arranging, performing and publishing the songs of eastern European Jews. In 1909 his first album of ten Jewish folksongs appeared in Moscow; a second volume followed later in the same year. Engel continued to promote his new interest with public lectures and a series of articles in ...