(b Milan, 29 June–6 Aug 1647; d Milan, Sept 2, 1712). Italian composer and tenor. His family was originally from Centonara, in the province of Novara, where the surname Chiapetta (Chiappetta, Chiappetti, Ciapeta, Ciapetta) was so common that ‘de Alessandri’ was used to identify the branch to which the composer belonged. It was because of these origins that his contemporary L.A. Cotta included him in a list of Novara musicians, describing him as ‘Giulio de Alessandri Chiapetta di Centonara in Riviera di S Giulio’. The documents which refer to him and his compositions use both surnames separately, and so ‘Giulio d’Alessandri’ and the ‘Canon Chiapetta’ have been identified as two different composers. He was ordained priest on 6 April 1669. On 10 December 1676 he was appointed a tenor and vicemaestro di cappella of Milan Cathedral. During this period he collaborated with P.F. Tosi, who worked at Milan Cathedral from ...
Ausilia Magaudda and Danilo Costantini
Sven Hansell and Marita P. McClymonds
(b ?Rome, Nov 24, 1747; d Casinalbo, nr Modena, Aug 15, 1798). Italian composer. According to Manferrari, he was born at S Damaso, near Modena. He studied in Naples and had his first large work, the oratorio Il Tobia, performed in Rome in 1765. Having gained recognition as a harpsichordist and conductor in Turin and in Paris at the Concert Spirituel, he visited Verona and Venice to prepare his first operas, Ezio and Il matrimonio per concorso, for Carnival 1767. At about this time he married the buffa singer Maria Lavinia Guadagni (b Lodi, 21 Nov 1735; d Padua, c1790), sister of the celebrated castrato Gaetano Guadagni; both were employed by the King's Theatre, London, for which Alessandri composed the comic operas La moglie fedele (1768) and Il re alla caccia (1769). Although he must have visited Vienna for the première of his opera ...
Michael F. Robinson
revised by Francesca Seller
(fl 1739–40). Italian composer. In the document recording his appointment as maestro di cappella of the Ospedale della Pietà, Venice, in 1739 he is called ‘Alessandro Gennaro Napolitano’, which indicates that he was born or educated or both in the Neapolitan region. Fétis stated that he was born in Naples in 1717, but no confirmation of this is known. He was in service at the Pietà from 21 August 1739 to 13 May 1740 when he was dismissed for lack of diligence. Within that period he was not entirely idle, however, for he presented his opera Ottone at the Theatro S Giovanni Grisostomo, Venice, during Carnival 1740 and his serenata Il coro delle muse at the Ospedale on 21 March of the same year, performed by the pupils themselves. Both compositions were in honour of the Electoral Prince of Saxony, Friedrich Christian. Goldoni, who wrote the words of the serenata, said in his memoirs (...
(b St Gall, March 17, 1911; d Lausanne, March 17, 1959). Swiss composer, pianist and organist. He began his music studies in Zürich in 1932, for the most part teaching himself; from 1934 to 1937 he studied in Paris with Dupré, Paul Roës and Nadia Boulanger, and returned to Switzerland in 1940. Settling in Lausanne, he worked as a concert pianist, composer, music critic and broadcaster. His eclectic style took elements from the varied musical currents of the time, but he retained a basis of sonata form and tonal harmony. He favoured driving rhythms and his writing is complex and compact. (L. Marretta-Schär: Raffaele d’Alessandro: Leben und Werk, Winterthur, 1979)
Raquel Bustos Valderrama
(b Breslau [now Wrocław], June 8, 1924; d Aug 7, 2005). Chilean composer and educator of German origin. She emigrated to Chile in 1939 and adopted Chilean nationality in 1951. She studied with Frè Focke (1949–53) in Chile and with René Leibowitz and Olivier Messiaen in France in 1954. Through several significant educational projects she contributed to a better public understanding of contemporary music in Chile; she also promoted Chilean musical culture in Europe. Her works won international prizes and she received commissions from patrons and organizations in Europe and the USA. Her music, modernist in style and sometimes using sounds generated by unconventional means, includes two ballets, Las tres caras de la luna (1966) and … a false alarm on the nightbell once answered cannot be made good, no ever (1977–8), and several works for full orchestra, including Cinco epigramas (...
revised by Lorenz Welker
[Der wilde Alexander]
(fl mid- to late 13th century). German poet-composer. He is not attested in official documents or mentioned in contemporary literature. The only biographical clues are certain allusions in his poetry to historical events between 1285 and 1288 but more recent study shows additional allusions to events from 1247 to 1252. In two manuscripts he is named ‘der wilde Alexander’, perhaps because of his unusual style or his restless itinerant life, and in the Jena manuscript he is called ‘Meister Alexander’. But the Meistersinger did not regard him as one of the 12 masters.
Alexander was one of the most important Minnesinger and composers of Sprüche (see Spruch) after the time of Walther von der Vogelweide. In the surviving sources he is represented mainly by 24 Spruch strophes (in only one Ton), but also by two Minnelieder and one Leich. The principal themes of his Spruch...
John C.G. Waterhouse, Virgilio Bernardoni and Johannes Streicher
(b Posillipo, Naples, March 8, 1875; d San Remo, Oct 27, 1954). Italian composer. After studying the piano privately with Alessandro Longo, and harmony and composition with Camillo de Nardis and Serrao at the Conservatorio di S Pietro a Majella, Naples, he moved in 1895 to Leipzig, where he completed his composition studies with Jadassohn. In 1896 he went to Berlin and launched himself as a pianist, though he did not continue this activity systematically for long: in later life he appeared in public only as a song accompanist and chamber music player, mainly in his own works. From 1899 until about 1905 he was based in Paris, but travelled as far afield as Russia. He then settled in Milan, moving in 1914 to San Remo, which remained at least his summer home for the rest of his life. From 1916 he taught composition at the Liceo Musicale, Bologna, which he directed from ...
revised by Emanuele Senici
(b Rome, June 29, 1801; d Rome, June 12, 1863). Italian musicologist and composer. Ordained a Roman priest in 1823, his life was entirely directed towards the deliverance of liturgical music from what he saw as the debased theatrical style of contemporary composers and the neglect and incompetence of singers and organists in regard to Gregorian chant and Renaissance music. He contributed most importantly to this goal through his editions, particularly the Raccolta di musica sacra (Rome, 1841–6), the seven volumes of which provided the first large modern collection of Palestrina's music. Palestrina was Alfieri's ideal for new church music, which, according to his Ristabilimento, should be grave, succinct and suited in expression to the words, which were to be presented clearly and with few repetitions. His own compositions, many of them published at Rome, exemplified these principles.
Alfieri was also a pioneer in Italy in the historical study of Gregorian chant, which he sought to restore to its original purity, although along lines that now appear somewhat arbitrary and subjective. His early ...
revised by Jennifer Williams Brown
(b Naples, 1630; d Naples, Jan 21, 1665). Italian composer. He studied at the Conservatorio dei Poveri di Gesù Cristo from 1642 to 1649 and about 1658 was named maestro di cappella of the city of Naples. In 1655 he composed for the Teatro S Bartolomeo La fedeltà trionfante (G.C. Sorrentino), one of the first operas originally written for Naples. Prota-Giurleo (DBI) ascribed to him two other dramatic works: Le magie amorose (1653, Naples) and Il trionfo della pace (G. Gastaldo; 1658, Naples). The libretto of Le magie is a revision of Marco Faustini's Rosinda; if Alfiero was involved, he may simply have revised Cavalli's music. Bianconi proposes O. Gaudioso and A. De Santis as the composers of Il trionfo. Alfiero's only surviving work is a hymn ( I-Nf ).DBI (U. Prota-Giurleo) B. Croce: I teatri di Napoli, secolo XV–XVIII (Naples, 1891/...
[Ricketts, Frederic Joseph]
(b London, Feb 21, 1881; d Reigate, May 15, 1945). English composer and bandmaster. As a cornet-player with the Royal Irish Regiment, he served in India. Subsequently he studied at Kneller Hall (1904–8), qualifying as a bandmaster, and in 1908 was appointed to the 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. In 1912, under the pseudonym Alford (his mother's name), he published the marches The Vedette and Holyrood, the first of a long series of marches. Two of the most famous, written during World War I, illustrate differing approaches to march-style. Colonel Bogey (1913) is in simple time; the golfing allusion of the title reflects the work's origin on the green, where Alford's partner would whistle the notes C and A instead of shouting ‘fore’. On the Quarter Deck (1917) is in the compound time made popular by the American John Philip Sousa. Alford is unlikely to have missed Sousa's concert on ...
(b Stockholm, May 1, 1872; d Falun, May 8, 1960). Swedish composer, conductor and violinist. He attended the Stockholm Conservatory (1887–91) and then took private lessons with Lindegren (composition) and Zetterquist (violin); from 1887 he also studied painting. A violinist in the Hovkapellet (the opera orchestra, 1890–92), he decided in 1892 to make his career in music. From 1904 to 1957 he conducted the Siljan Choir – a group of five church choirs and regional choirs in Dalarna – and he was the director of other choruses, including the Orphei Drängar (1910–47), with whom he made 22 tours throughout most of Europe. In addition he was Director Musices of Uppsala University (1910–39). A Hugo Alfvén Foundation has been established in Stockholm.
Alfvén's music is distinguished by orchestral subtlety and by a painterly exploitation of harmony and timbre. His output was almost entirely of programme music, often suggested by the Swedish archipelago; he commented that ‘my best ideas have come during my sea-voyages at night, and, in particular, the wild autumns have been my most wonderful times for composition’. A few pieces, often performed, have maintained his reputation: ...
(b Venice, Dec 11, 1712; d Pisa, May 3, 1764). Italian writer on opera, poet and savant. He was well educated at Rome and Bologna, whence he was welcomed into the learned circles of London and Paris, where he shared accommodation with Voltaire. In 1740 Frederick the Great took him into his personal service and gave him the title of count. From 1742 to 1747 he was also adviser to Augustus III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. At both Berlin and Dresden he was actively engaged in operatic productions, arranging and versifying Italian librettos to the taste of his patrons. He returned to Italy in 1753 because of ill-health. His Saggio sopra l'opera in musica was written the following year and first published in 1755. It attacks the unruliness prevalent in Italian public theatres, which compared unfavourably with the well-regulated and varied spectacles beginning to emerge at the court theatres of northern Europe. Other contemporary essayists such as Blainville, John Brown, Calzabigi, Krause, Ortes and Durazzo said much the same thing in condemning the dominance of the singers over every other aspect of serious opera in Italy....
(b Brescia, June 19, 1666; d Brescia, 29 or March 30, 1733). Italian composer and organist. He began musical studies at an early age with Orazio Polaroli (organist of Brescia Cathedral) and spent a short time (c1681–3) serving at the court of the Polish king when Polaroli was its maestro di cappella. After his return to Brescia, Alghisi entered the order of S Filippo Neri without, however, ceasing to compose secular music. From at least 1690 he was maestro di cappella of S Maria della Pace, their church, and in that year he applied, without success, for the position of organist of Brescia Cathedral. A libretto of 1692 refers to him as maestro di cappella of the Brescian Collegio dei Nobili and the title-page to his Sonate da camera describes him as a member of the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna. In the libretto for his oratorio ...
(b Barcelona, March 27, 1862; d Barcelona, March 31, 1908). Spanish composer, folklorist and music critic. He studied composition with Antonio Nicolau and Anselmo Barba and piano with C.G. Vidiella in Barcelona and was music critic for various journals there, including La renaixensa, L'avenç and, from 1905 to 1908, El poble català. He published his Collecció de 6 melodies per a cant i piano and five Cansons per cant i piano (both Barcelona, 1887), which are settings of poems by Angel Guimerá, Francisco Matheu y Fornells, Apeles Mestres and Jacinto Verdaguer. He illustrated the latter volume himself, and some of his work was displayed at an exhibition of the Sociedad de Acuarelistas in Barcelona. A distinguished folklorist as well as a sensitive composer and skilful melodist, he collected Catalan folksongs and published arrangements of 23 of these in Cansons populars catalanas (Barcelona, 1891). He used native rhythms and melodies in his songs and piano pieces (among them ...
James L. Jackman
(b ?Milan, c1710; d Frankfurt, c1792). Italian cellist and composer. Although early sources (Eitner, Rudhart) claimed a Milanese origin for Aliprandi, the family has not been definitely traced. One of the numerous Italians who found careers north of the Alps, Aliprandi first appears in the records of the Bavarian court at Munich on 1 October 1731 as a chamber and court musician, with a yearly stipend of 1000 florins. On 22 August 1737 he succeeded G.B. Ferrandini as composer of chamber music; on 11 March 1744 he was promoted to Konzertmeister, with his salary increased to 1200 florins. By 1777 this amount had been reduced to 1105 florins, and in 1778 he retired with a pension of 500 florins. In 1791 he was living in Frankfurt; a petition by his son Bernardo Maria dated May 1793 indicates that he had died by then.
Aliprandi’s works for the Bavarian court opera include ...
James L. Jackman
revised by Valerie Walden
(b Munich, Feb 5, 1747; d Munich, Feb 19, 1801). Italian cellist and composer, son of Bernardo Aliprandi. The young Bernardo probably studied with his father and, like many cellists of the era, would have been familiar with the viol. He began playing the cello for the Munich court between ...
(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....
(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
(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 ...
(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 ...