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Article

John Bergsagel

revised by Ole Kongsted

[Sistinus, Theodoricus; Malmogiensis, Trudo Haggaei]

(fl 1593–1625). Danish composer and organist. He was appointed organist of Vor Frue Kirke (now the cathedral), Copenhagen, on 23 June 1593 after having ‘pursued and learnt his art during a long period both in Germany and Italy’. He received a number of preferments, such as the free residence formerly set aside for the palace preacher, awarded to him in 1603. He was also on at least two occasions sent on commissions for the king, once to Prague (1600). He published under his latinized name Theodoricus Sistinus a set of secular Cantiones for three voices (Hamburg, 1608; ed. in Dania sonans, ii, 1966), his only known published music. The publication is dedicated to King Christian IV of Denmark, and it may be assumed that it won his approval, for during the period 1609–11 he received payments from the royal treasury in addition to his salary as organist, perhaps for teaching at the court. As early as ...

Article

Robert Strizich

revised by Gary R. Boye

(b Bitonto, nr Bari; d after 1651). Italian composer and guitarist. He is known by four books of pieces for five-course Baroque guitar. They consist mainly of simple battute accompaniments to popular songs and dances of the early 17th century such as the passacaglia, ciaccona, folia, Ruggiero and aria di Fiorenza. The accompaniments are set down in the alphabet system of chord notation (alfabeto) devised by Girolamo Montesardo, in which letters of the alphabet designate fingering positions for various major and minor chords. Each of Abatessa’s books contains instructions concerning the interpretation of the alphabet tablature, the fingering of the chords and the tuning of the guitar; the 1652 book also explains how to tune the guitar with the harp, presumably for the simultaneous playing of continuo parts. The 1627 collection gives instructions regarding the execution of certain kinds of strum such as the trillo and ...

Article

Karol Berger

(b Genoa, c1600; d after 1640). Italian theorist. A Franciscan, he was chaplain and musician to Cardinal Franz von Dietrichstein, Prince-Bishop of Olomouc and governor of Moravia. Before 1629 he probably taught music at the seminary at St Oslowan and from 1629 at the newly established Loretan seminary at Nikolsburg (now Mikulov), the cardinal’s principal residence. He returned to Italy in 1632. His treatise Regulae contrapuncti excerptae ex operibus Zerlini et aliorum ad breviorem tyronum instructionem accommodate (St Oslowan, 1629/R), which in spite of its Latin title and dedicatory letter is written in Italian, was conceived as a textbook of counterpoint for his seminarians. It is an entirely unoriginal and conservative compendium of the most elementary rules concerning the use of consonances and dissonances, derived, according to the title, ‘from the works of Zarlino and others’.

ČSHS EitnerQ E. Bohn: Die musikalischen Handschriften des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts in der Stadtbibliothek zu Breslau...

Article

Margaret Murata

(b Città di Castello, Jan 26, 1595; d Città di Castello, ? after March 15, 1679). Italian composer and teacher. He travelled to Rome with his brother Guidobaldo, an artist, in 1623 and 1625 (Andrae, 17–19), and was employed at S Giovanni in Laterano from January 1627 to May 1629. According to his verse autobiography (in I-Rvat ) he served there ‘seven years and some months’, or from 1622, but neither this nor his statement that he held earlier positions in Città di Castello and at the Gesù in Rome have been confirmed. He subsequently served as maestro di cappella at the cathedrals of Città di Castello (June 1629 to May 1632, December 1635 to November 1640 and May 1677 to March 1679) and Orvieto (December 1632 to 1635). In Rome his principal tenures were at S Maria Maggiore, where he trained boy sopranos (...

Article

Friedrich Jakob

(b Rankweil, Vorarlberg, bap. April 17, 1652; d after 1725). Austrian organ builder. He was the outstanding master in the upper Rhine valley south of Lake Constance before and after 1700. Stylistically his roots were still firmly in the Baroque of the 17th century, and he remained uninfluenced by the south German late Baroque of the 18th century. His organ for the monastery church of Pfäfers, Switzerland (...

Article

Walter Knape, Murray R. Charters and Simon McVeigh

German family of musicians. They originated from middle and north Germany and were noted chiefly as bass viol players, violinists and composers; some members of the family were painters and landscape gardeners. The spelling ‘Abell’ is often found, especially among the earlier members of the family, but there is no known relationship to the English composer John Abell (1650–1724). Nor has any relationship been established between them and a musical family of the same name originating in Löwenberg (Mark) and active in Grosswoltersdorf and Berlin, of whom the first musician was Georg Friedrich Abel (1755–1835); see Zachau: ‘Die Abel aus Löwenberg (Mark) und ihr musikalisches Erbgut’, Familie und Volk, v (1952), p.154.

The earliest known musician of the family was Heinrich Othmar Abel (b c1580; d after 1630), who is said to have served as town musician in Magdeburg and Brunswick about ...

Article

Ian Spink

(b Aberdeenshire, 1653; d ?Cambridge, after 1716). Scottish countertenor, composer and lutenist. The first occurrence of his name in official records is on 1 May 1679, when he was admitted ‘extraordinary’ then ‘in ordinary’ to the Chapel Royal. From the same time he is listed among the musicians of the King’s Private Musick as one of the lutes and voices and also as a violinist, though the latter post was probably a sinecure. Between 1679 and 1688 he received considerable sums of ‘bounty money’ for undisclosed services to the king while travelling abroad. Evelyn recorded (27 January 1682):

After supper came in the famous Trebble, Mr Abel, newly returnd from Italy, & indeed I never heard a more excellent voice, one would have sworne it had been a Womans it was so high, & so well & skillfully manag’d.

He graduated MusB at Cambridge in 1684...

Article

Lowell Lindgren

(b Rome, Feb 24, 1637; d Rome, Feb 7, 1700). Italian impresario and deviser of scenic effects. He studied at the Seminario Romano, where he performed in the Latin tragedies and intermedi produced during the carnivals of 1651–3. In January 1657 he joined the Florentine Accademia degli Immobili, which produced comic operas. Before he became a Knight of Malta on 9 August 1666 he had to serve in at least four caravans, and thus travelled widely, even to Asia, Africa and America. He returned to Rome for the reign of Pope Clement IX, 1667–9 (the opera librettist Giulio Rospigliosi), who named Acciaiuoli's brother Niccolò a cardinal in 1669. During the next three decades Filippo was the theatrical master-mind behind many spectacular operas produced in and around Rome. He may have been involved with most of those given at the Palazzo Colonna, where his first two were produced in ...

Article

Article

Laurence Libin

(fl 1670–80). English luthier, active in London. His only extant instrument, a bass viol, is labelled ‘William Addison in Long Alley Over Against Moorfields 1670’, near the workshops of the contemporary viol makers Richard Meares and George Miller. Addison’s viol bears elaborate geometric inlay, including on the back a stylized heart pierced by arrows, and on the carved soundtable a fleur-de-lis. The unusually large soundholes are closer to the middle than normal. The pegbox, ornamented with ivory studs, is surmounted by a carving of Hercules. A ‘William Addis’, presumably the same man, was recorded on the Strand in ...

Article

Peter Holman

(bap. ?Watford, Northants., ?Jan 24, 1587; d London, June 29, 1640). English wind player and composer. He was perhaps the Johannes Adson baptized at Watford, Northamptonshire, on 24 Jan 1587, though nothing is known of him for certain before 1604, when he is recorded as a cornett player at the court of Charles III of Lorraine in Nancy. Charles died in 1608, and Adson was back in England by the end of 1613, when he joined the Waits of London. He married Jane Lanerie in about February 1614 and settled in the parish of St Giles Cripplegate. At least two of his sons, Islay (or Islip; bap. 30 May 1615) and Roger (bap. 24 June 1621), became musicians. In November 1633 he became a royal wind musician, and on 18 January 1636 he was paid £4 15s. for a treble cornett and a treble recorder, which presumably were the instruments he played at court. In ...

Article

Godelieve Spiessens

(b Antwerp, bap. May 22, 1586; d Antwerp, bur. April 14, 1658). Flemish printer, active in Antwerp. He issued his first publication in 1613 and in 1640 his son Hendrik Aertssens (ii) (b Antwerp, bap. 17 April 1622; d Brussels, 30 Sept 1663) joined the firm. The Aertssens were well known for their publications of sacred vernacular songs, particularly Het paradys der gheestelycke en kerckelycke lofsanghen which was reprinted five times. Hendrik Aertssens (iii) (b Antwerp, bap. 27 Dec 1661; d Antwerp, 16 July 1741) also became a printer, obtaining his patent in 1686. He continued the work of his stepfather Lucas de Potter and his mother. By clever scheming he managed to establish a virtual monopoly of music publishing for the Flemish region; however, his publications, mostly reprints and mainly of Italian music, were criticized by contemporaries, including Sir John Hawkins, for their poor typography....

Article

John Whenham

(b 1623–8; d Bologna, 1699, before 28 Jan). Italian singer, composer and instrument maker. He was an Augustinian monk who was employed from about 1649 as a soprano castrato at the Este court at Modena. On 13 November 1660 he was appointed to the choir of S Petronio, Bologna, with a stipend of 50 lire a month; he was discharged on 24 April 1662 but rejoined on 25 July 1663. In October 1665 he returned to Modena, where he succeeded Marco Uccellini as choirmaster of the cathedral. He vacated this post in November 1673 and by early 1674 was again living at Bologna. Between 1677 and 1681 he served as a singer in the cappella of Duke Francesco II of Modena. In 1685 he was made a member of the Accademia Filarmonica, Bologna, and seems to have spent his last years in or near that city. He wrote to the Duke of Modena in ...

Article

Colleen Reardon

(b c1580; d Siena, Jan 1642). Italian composer and theorist.

Agazzari’s parents were evidently of Sienese origin, and he himself settled in Siena as a boy and received his training there, perhaps from Francesco Bianciardi. He was organist at Siena Cathedral from 1597 to 1602, when he left to direct the music at the Collegio Germanico, Rome (1602–3). In 1604 he attended the celebrations marking the centenary of Siena’s Accademia degli Intronati. By 1606 he was maestro di cappella at the Seminario Romano, but returned to Siena in 1607 after being blacklisted by the Cappella Sistina. In the following years he was organist at Siena Cathedral on three different occasions: in 1609, 1611–17, and 1629–33; he also served for two short periods as music director at S Maria di Provenzano, Siena, 1617–19 and 1620–?1622. Not until February 1641 was he appointed maestro di cappella...

Article

Margaret M. McGowan

(b 1604; d Turin, July 19, 1667). Italian poet, choreographer and composer. He began a brilliant political and artistic career in the service of Cardinal Maurizio of Savoy. About 1630 he entered the household of Duke Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy, on whose death in 1637 he became chief counsellor and favourite of the Duchess Cristina, accumulating honours and fortune. Except for an enforced sojourn in Paris from 1640 to 1644 his official duties kept him at the Savoy court where he wrote or conceived more than 30 ballets, plays with music, water festivals and carousels to celebrate significant political alliances and Cristina's birthdays. His first work, Bacco trionfante dell'India e caccia pastorale, dates from 1624, his last, La perla peregrina, from 1660.

Variety, ingenuity and spectacle characterize all d'Aglié's works, which also include elegant and witty allusions to court personalities (Il Gridelino, 1652) or to specific tastes (...

Article

(fl 1599–1621). Italian composer. A monk, he is described on title-pages as ‘of Spoltore, Abruzzo’. Apart from eight motets (in RISM 1627²) all his music is either lost or incomplete. Into the latter category fall the Canzonette spirituali for three voices (Venice, 1599) and Il quinto libro dei motetti a 1–4 voci con una messa e vespero...

Article

Jerome Roche

revised by Elizabeth Roche

(b March 25, 1610; d 1674). Italian composer. The title-page of his Salmi e Messa (Venice, 1637) describes him as an Olivetan monk who worked in Bologna. This publication includes vesper psalms and a mass, all for four voices and organ continuo, and places Agnelli among the many north Italian composers of unambitious liturgical music at this period. Although he still used outdated falsobordone chanting in some psalm settings, others are interesting for their use of structural devices aimed at unifying long pieces: one has a straightforward chaconne pattern in the continuo part, another is based on a complex variation scheme in the bass in the manner of some of Monteverdi's later psalms. Melodious solos are offset by tuttis with imaginative harmonies. The mass is bound together by a recurring motif in the voice parts, an unusual formal device at this time, and has interesting and varied melodic lines with much syllabic writing. The volume also includes some motets, and Agnelli published his ...

Article

Klaus Fischer

(b Vallerano, nr Viterbo, c1583; d Rome, Oct 3, 1629). Italian composer and organist. At the age of eight, at the choir school at S Luigi dei Francesi, Rome, he became a pupil of Nanino, whose daughter he later married. He completed his musical studies in 1607 and his first appointment was as organist and maestro di cappella of the Madonna del Ruscello, Vallerano. He later returned to Rome and became organist of S Maria in Trastevere, a post he held for six months from April 1615. He then worked simultaneously as vicemaestro di cappella there and as maestro di cappella of SS Trinità dei Pellegrini. From 26 May 1618 he was vicemaestro of S Lorenzo in Damaso. On 17 February 1626 he succeeded Vincenzo Ugolini as maestro di cappella of the Cappella Giulia at S Pietro and held the position until his death.

Agostini's output consists entirely of church music. He was a highly skilled contrapuntist. The five books of masses published in ...

Article

[Piersimone]

(b Forlì, c1635; d Parma, Oct 1, 1680). Italian composer. According to Pitoni, he led a swashbuckling and notorious life and had ‘a natural inclination to impropriety and baseness’. As a young man he was expelled from his native city because of his involvement in a murder. He went to Ferrara, where he received his basic musical training from Mazzaferrata. Then he abruptly took up a military career and for serving in Crete in the war against the Turks was made a Knight of the Golden Spur. His earliest datable pieces are the new prologue and interludes that he wrote for a performance of Il Tolomeo in Venice in 1658. In 1660 he competed unsuccessfully for the post of maestro di cappella at Urbino Cathedral.

Apparently by 1664 Agostini had arrived in Genoa. According to Pitoni he once attended a Vespers service there and was so harsh in his criticism of the music that he was invited to compose a service of his own for the same church, which he did with a success that added notably to his local reputation. In Genoa too he was commissioned to write at least two works for the Teatro del Falcone (...

Article

Keith A. Larson

(b ?Naples, c1575–85; d after 1617). Italian composer. He may have supported himself much as did his elder brother Giovanni Antonio, who in 1598 was teaching singing to the children of the Prince of Roccella, Fabrizio Carafa. Cerreto mentioned both brothers as excellent composers in Della prattica musica (1601), but only works by Agostino have survived. He published a book of six-part madrigals (Naples, 1617); there are also single five-part madrigals by him in two anthologies (RISM 16065 and 1609¹6) and in Macedonio di Mutio’s second book of five-part madrigals (1606). Between 1600 and 1630 Naples was the most important centre for the composition and printing of the increasingly outmoded polyphonic madrigal without continuo. During this period the only books of six-part madrigals published there were Agresta’s and a posthumous collection by Gesualdo (1626); Agresta’s reveals what the style of Gesualdo’s incompletely preserved book may have been. Like many of his Neapolitan contemporaries influenced by Gesualdo’s virtuoso madrigals, Agresta occasionally surpassed him in the degree of contrast between slow chromatic ...