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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 ...


Karl-Ernst Bergunder

revised by Peter Wollny

(b Grossfurra, Thuringia, Oct 25, 1643; d Gotha, Feb 20, 1676). German composer and writer. After initially going to school in his native town he was sent in 1656 to Eisenach for three years. There he attended the town school, the staff of which included Theodor Schuchardt, a highly respected teacher of music and Latin. From 1659 to 1662 Agricola studied for his school-leaving examination at the Gymnasium of Gotha; the headmaster there was Andreas Reyher, who was the co-author of the Gothaer Schulmethodus, an educational work which set an example for the teaching of music too. In 1662–3 Agricola studied philosophy at Leipzig University and from 1663 to 1668 theology and philosophy at Wittenberg, where he was awarded a master's degree by the faculty of philosophy. His four recorded scholarly essays dating from this period are lost. He had begun to learn the fundamentals of music during his school years, and he may also have been a pupil of the Kantor of the Thomaskirche, Leipzig, Sebastian Knüpfer. He continued his musical training at Wittenberg, completing the study of composition under the guidance of Italian musicians resident there. Returning to his native Thuringia he was able to turn his musical abilities to good use in the Kapelle of the Schwarzburg-Sondershausen court until in ...


(b Reggio nell’Emilia, before 1675; d ?Ferrara, after 1694). Italian writer on wind instruments, cornettist and composer. A few biographical details are in his correspondence with the princes of Este, preserved in the Modena state archive. He was educated in Reggio nell’Emilia at the Servite convent and joined the Servite order; after studying away from home (possibly in Bologna, according to Cavicchi) he returned to Reggio nell’Emilia, then went to Ferrara in 1675 and lived in the Servite convent there. He was a musician at Ferrara Cathedral and a cornett virtuoso at the Accademia dello Spirito Santo. His Compendio musicale, its foreword dating from 1677, survives as a manuscript ( I-REm ). Dedicated to his patron, Abbot Ferrante Bentivoglio, it was probably intended for publication; a postscript of 1694 implies that it was not printed because of his patron’s death. It is mostly rather conservative; its significance lies in the detailed instructions on playing the recorder, the flageolet and especially the cornett, as practically no other wind instrument tutor is known from Italy or France for the period between ...


Nigel Fortune

revised by Arnaldo Morelli

(b Pergola, c1591; d Rome, Oct 20, 1641). Italian composer, organist, organ builder and engraver. He probably spent his whole life in Rome and may have been related to the Roman painters Jacopo, Domenico and Matteo Borboni (the last of whom was also an engraver). He may have studied music with Ottavio Catalani and probably harpsichord and organ with Frescobaldi until 1614. He was organist of S Maria della Consolazione from 1623 to 1629, and of S Giovanni in Laterano from 1638 to 1641. In the intervening years he was possibly maestro di capella of the Seminario Romano. He also looked after the organs at S Maria della Consolazione (1623–41), S Giovanni in Laterano (1628–41), S Apollinare and S Maria Maggiore (both 1633–41). Doni called him an ‘excellent organist’ and praised a regal that he had made. Following Simone Verovio, whose pupil he may have been, he espoused the method of printing from engraved copper plates for a series of music books published between ...


Peter Smith

revised by Marc Vanscheeuwijck

(b Bologna, June 16, 1637; d Bologna, Nov 28, 1695). Italian composer, teacher, organist and organ builder. He was the son of a well-known organ builder from Brescia, Antonio Colonna (alias Dal Corno) and Francesca Dinarelli, and himself became an active authority on organ construction. As a young man he took organ lessons in Bologna with Agostino Filipucci and then went to Rome to study composition with Abbatini, Benevoli and Carissimi. There he absorbed the technique of polychoral writing, which became a prominent feature in his later work. While in Rome he was possibly organist for a time at S Apollinare. He returned to Bologna, enjoyed an increasing reputation as a composer and was appointed second organist at S Petronio in September 1658 (though he did not take up his duties until December 1659). In 1661 he became the sole organist, but reverted to his former post when C.D. Cossoni was appointed first organist in ...


Nona Pyron and Angela Lepore

(b Parma, Oct 16, 1649; d ?Parma, 1697). Italian composer, cellist, instrument maker, sculptor and painter. All that is known of his life is that he worked at the Este court at Modena. His only known music is Trattenimento musicale sopra il violoncello a’ solo (Modena, 1691), a set of 12 sonatas for solo cello (like his contemporaries at the Este court, G.B. Vitali and Giuseppe Colombi, he was himself a cellist). Precedents for his sonatas can be found in various works for solo cello by Colombi. Others by the two Bolognese composers G.B. Degli Antoni and Domenico Gabrielli probably influenced him still more: Degli Antoni’s set of 12 Ricercate appeared in 1687, and Gabrielli published a similar set of seven Ricercary in January 1689, shortly after spending a year at the Este court. The appearance of Galli’s sonatas in 1691 seems more than just coincidental: they could well have been inspired by his close contact with Gabrielli. Their style is remarkably close to that of Gabrielli’s ...


Harold E. Samuel


(b Nuremberg, April 11, 1626; d Nuremberg, Aug 6, 1686). German organist, instrumentalist, composer and instrument maker, son of Sebastian Hainlein the younger (see Hainlein family). His early instruction on wind and keyboard instruments and in singing led to his being paid an expectant’s salary by the city of Nuremberg at the age of 17. During the period 1646–7 he was in Munich, where he at least heard – if he did not study with – G.G. Porro. From October 1647 to July 1648 he was in Italy. In five extant letters he said that he was displeased with Italian performers and was practising without the aid of a teacher. He referred to four living Italian composers, G.G. Arrigoni, Cavalli and Rovetta in Venice and Francesco Turini in Brescia, but he apparently did not study with any of them. He took up his first important position in Nuremberg in ...


Othmar Wessely

revised by Dorothea Schröder

(b ?Stuttgart, bap. June 13, 1570; d after 1624). German composer, organist and organ builder. From 1602 onwards he was an organist at Horn, Lower Austria, and, from 1 November 1609 at the latest, at the church of the Protestant school at Steyr, Upper Austria, though he was not definitely appointed there until mid-February 1614. He built or renovated, among others, organs for churches at Steyr (1613), Enns (1615) and Horn (1606 and 1615) and a two-manual instrument for the church of the Cistercian Wilhering Abbey, Upper Austria (1619). None of these instruments has survived, though from our knowledge of the specification of the last-named we can conclude that his organs were of the werkprinzip type. In 1625 he had to flee from Steyr as a religious refugee, after which nothing more is heard of him.

Peuerl published four collections of his own compositions while he was at Steyr. His name is linked above all with the creation of the variation suite. There is still research to be done on the antecedents of this form, which possibly include early 16th-century Italian lute music and the variations of the English virginalists; the form was soon taken up by Schein, Posch and others. Peuerl’s suites consist of four dances: paduana, intrada, ‘dance’ and galliard. The ‘dance’ (‘Däntz’) is the basic theme; the other three are variations of it, the paduana being the closest to it and the intrada and galliard more distant. Peuerl, like H.L. Hassler, Aichinger, Schein and others, was one of the few German composers of the early Baroque period to compose italianate instrumental canzonas. He was also the first German composer to write (in his 1625 volume) for the Italian texture of two melody instruments and continuo. To some extent his songs (...


Walter Blankenburg

revised by Metoda Kokole

(b Krems an der Donau, ?1591; d in Carinthia or Carniola, late 1622 or early 1623). Austrian composer, organist and organ builder. From 1597 until the autumn of 1606 or the spring of 1607 he studied at the Protestant Gymnasium Poeticum in Regensburg, where as a foreign boarding pupil he was entitled to extra music tuition from the Kantors Raselius and Homberger. From 1614 at the latest he worked as organist of the Provincial Estates in Carinthia and as such was probably active among the Protestant nobility. By 1617–18 he appears to have settled in the neighbouring province of Carniola (now part of Slovenia); he repaired a number of musical instruments at Oberburg (now Gornji Grad), the residence of the prince-bishops of Laibach (now Ljubljana), and signed the dedication of his 1618 volume from Laibach, the Carniolan capital. His Musicalische Tafelfreudt (1621) is dedicated to the Provincial Estates of Carniola. In ...