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Article

Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(b c1758; d Torquay, March 8, 1821). English soprano and composer. She made her début in October 1775 as the little gypsy in May Day, a piece designed for her by Garrick with music by her teacher Thomas Arne. However, she had limited success as a stage personality and in 1780 she left Drury Lane to become a principal singer at fashionable London concerts and provincial festivals. She appeared in the Handel Commemoration concerts in 1784, when Burney praised the sweetness and taste of her singing, in the next three Handel festivals, the Concerts of Ancient Music, and concert series organized by Rauzzini, Ashley and Salomon. Her sister Theodosia (d Torquay, 4 Nov 1849), whose voice Mount-Edgcumbe described as the most beautiful contralto he ever heard, often sang with her. In 1783, the Public Advertiser, while admiring Harriett's solo singing, commented that the ‘Forte...

Article

Ronald C. Purcell

[el Portugués]

(b c1750; fl Salamanca; d c1820). Portuguese guitarist (or of Portuguese descent). He provided the rules and music to his guitar method, Escuela para tocar con perfección la guitarra de cinco y seis órdenes con reglas generales de mano izquierda y derecha. P.F. Victor Prieto (organist at the Royal Monastery in Salamanca) discovered Abreu's manuscript and published it under the original title in Salamanca in 1799 with supplementary material concerning the origins of the guitar and a historical view of the aesthetics of music. Abreu's method offers a systematic approach to pedagogy, and is one of the first to treat the guitar having six double courses, the precursor to the 19th-century guitar with six single strings. It also discusses guitar accompaniment in the orchestra and, of special note, describes in detail the preparation of right-hand fingernails.

SubiráHME B. Saldoni: Diccionario biográfico-bibliográfico de efemérides de músicos españoles...

Article

Thomas Bauman and Paul Corneilson

(b Rohr, nr Rothenburg, Bavaria, Feb 22, 1740, or Munich, July 6, 1743; d Vienna, Aug 24, 1804). German tenor. In 1755 he studied singing with J.E. Walleshauser (Giovanni Valesi) while at the Domus Gregoriana, a Jesuit institution in Munich. In 1760 he joined the Kapelle of Duke Clemens and on Clemens’s death in 1770 was taken into the elector’s Hofkapelle. After making his début at Munich in 1772 he sang leading tenor roles in opere serie at Modena, Venice, Florence, Pisa and Rome (taking the italianized stage name Valentino Adamonti) from 1775 to 1777, then at the King’s Theatre in London until 1779. Following appearances at Florence and Milan, he joined the Singspiel company of the National Court Theatre at Vienna, where he made his début on 21 August 1780. In 1781 he married the Viennese actress Marie Anne Jacquet (1753–1804). On the dissolution of the Singspiel company in ...

Article

Robin Langley

(b c1749; d after 1794). English composer, organist and cellist. According to his recommendation by Francis Hackwood to the Society of Musicians, on 1 February 1784 he was 35 years old, married with two children, organist of Brompton Chapel and a competent violinist, viola player and cellist. He performed as a cellist in the Handel commemoration concerts in 1784 and played in the band for the Academy of Ancient Music during the 1787–8 season. He probably also took part as a cellist in the concerts (held annually) at St Paul’s Cathedral for the relief of the clergy in 1785, 1789, 1790, 1793 and 1795.

From his extant published works it can be seen that Adams was a competent purveyor of small-scale vocal and instrumental works in the manner of Haigh, Osmond or Reeve. His music shows an awareness of changing styles: the early songs and canzonets accompanied either by harpsichord or orchestra with obbligato instrument are in the manner of Arne, giving way to a symphonic style like that of J.C. Bach or Hook in the three sonatas of op.4 (for piano or harpsichord with violin or flute accompaniment); his late sonata for piano duet shows some grasp of larger forms, and ...

Article

Sven Hansell and Robert L. Kendrick

(b Milan, Oct 17, 1720; d Milan, Jan 19, 1795). Italian composer. As a girl she performed in her home while her elder sister Maria Gaetana (1718–99; she became a distinguished mathematician) lectured and debated in Latin. Charles de Brosses, who heard them on 16 July 1739 and was highly impressed, reported that Maria Teresa performed harpsichord pieces by Rameau and sang and played compositions of her own invention. Her first cantata, Il restauro d’Arcadia, was written in honour of the Austrian govenor Gian-Luca Pallavicini in Milan in 1747. In the following years, she sent La Sofonisba to Vienna for possible performance on Empress Maria Theresa’s nameday. At about this time she dedicated collections of her arias and instrumental pieces to the rulers of Saxony and Austria; according to Simonetti the Empress Maria Theresa sang arias that Agnesi had given her. She married Pier Antonio Pinottini on ...

Article

(b Modena, 1722; d Berlin, 1780). Italian soprano, wife of Johann Friedrich Agricola. She was the first of the three leading ladies (the other two were Giovanna Astrua and Elisabeth Schmeling Mara) at the Berlin Opera under Frederick the Great. A pupil of Porpora, Hasse and Salimbeni, she made her début as prima donna in C.H. Graun’s Cesare e Cleopatra (1743). The arrival of Giovanna Astrua in 1748 forced her to take second place, but strengthened her impulse towards oratorio: thus, for example, she sang the leading solo soprano part in Graun’s Tod Jesu at its première in 1755. Burney (Present State of Music in Germany, 1773) wrote of her singing: ‘she is now near fifty years of age, and yet sings songs of bravura, with amazing rapidity … her compass extends from A in the base, to D in alt, and she has a most perfect shake and intonation’. When her husband died in ...

Article

E. Eugene Helm

revised by Darrell Berg

(b Dobitschen, Saxe-Altenburg, Jan 4, 1720; d Berlin, Dec 2, 1774). German musicographer, composer, organist, singing master and conductor. His father occupied an important post as government agent and jurist in Dobitschen. Burney, who visited the Agricolas in 1772, reported that Johann Friedrich’s mother, born Maria Magdalena Manke, ‘was a near relation of the late Mr Handel, and in correspondence with him till the time of his death’; but later Handel research has failed to substantiate this claim.

Agricola began his study of music as a young child. In 1738 he entered the University of Leipzig, where he studied law; during this time he was a pupil of J.S. Bach and visited Dresden, where he heard performances of Passion oratorios and Easter music by Hasse. In 1741 he moved to Berlin, became a pupil of Quantz, made the acquaintance of C.P.E. Bach, C.H. Graun and other musicians, and embarked on a career that touched many aspects of Berlin’s musical life. He became keenly interested in music criticism and theoretical speculation in Berlin, and his work as a musicographer has proved to be his most lasting accomplishment. In ...

Article

Kathleen Kuzmick Hansell

[‘La Bastardina’, ‘La Bastardella’]

(b Ferrara, 1743; d Parma, May 18, 1783). Italian soprano. Traditions explaining her nickname describe her variously as a foundling raised by Leopoldo Aguiari, his natural daughter or that of Marchese Bentivoglio, while her pronounced limp was supposedly the result of having been partly eaten in infancy by a dog or hog. Her early studies in Ferrara with Brizio Petrucci, maestro di cappella at the cathedral, and then with Abbé Lambertini revealed her exceptional talents. After her opera début (1764, Florence) and initial successes (Padua, Lucca and Verona, 1765; Genoa, Lucca and Parma, 1766) she settled in Parma, where she met the composer Giuseppe Colla, the new maestro. On 1 January 1768 the court at Parma appointed her virtuosa di camera. She became one of Europe’s most sought-after sopranos.

In May 1768 Aguiari sang at Naples in Paisiello’s Le nozze di Peleo e Tetide for the wedding of the king and Maria Carolina. Paisiello, reportedly out of spite, composed for her two extremely difficult arias, which, however, she carried off triumphantly. At Parma in the summer of ...

Article

John A. Parkinson

revised by Simon McVeigh

[Joseph]

(b c1725; d ?April 1803). Italian composer and violinist. By 1748 he was in London, where his orchestral career lasted over half a century. He was particularly in demand as a composer of ballet music for the Italian opera, and by 1758 works by him were included in the anthology known as Hasse’s Comic Tunes. A selection from the eighth volume is entirely by him, and between 1768 and 1788 he published no fewer than seven further books of opera dances. In addition to publishing collections of his own vocal and instrumental music, Agus edited Six Favourite Overtures in 8 Parts (London, 1762) containing works by Cocchi, Galuppi, Jommelli and Graun. His sonatas and trios are fluent essays in the Tartini idiom, with judicious use of double stopping. However, public taste was best suited by his flair for brief but tuneful dance movements in a variety of styles, the tambourin being especially favoured....

Article

John A. Parkinson

revised by Simon McVeigh

(Francis)

(b 1749, d Paris, 1798). Italian violinist and composer. He was probably the son of Giuseppe Agus. Having studied the violin under Nardini in Italy, ‘Agus jr’ first appeared in London on 26 February 1773 at the Haymarket. In 1778 Blundell published his duets for two violins.

On 19 March 1778 he was found guilty at Kingston assizes of attempted rape upon his 11-year-old godchild, Elizabeth Weichsell, and as a result of this scandal he emigrated to France. He was appointed maître de solfège at the Paris Conservatoire in 1795, where he received a grant of 3000 livres from the National Council. He contributed to the collection of solfeggi issued under the Conservatoire’s auspices. Two collections of instrumental arrangements of catches and glees were published in England, and a set of trios in Paris, where Barbieri impudently republished his violin duets as Boccherini’s op.37.

Many errors in earlier editions of ...

Article

Dieter Härtwig

revised by Hildegard Surner

(b Regensburg, Feb 28, 1755; d Prague, Dec 20, 1810). German composer, writer and pianist. The daughter of Prince Alexander Ferdinand of Thurn and Taxis and his third wife Maria Henrietta Josepha, princess of Fürstenberg - Stühhugen, and a goddaughter of Empress Maria Theresa, she spent her early years at her father's court in Regensburg. In 1780 she married the Danish diplomat Count Ferdinand von Ahlefeldt-Langeland-Rixingen. In the following decade they lived at the court of the last Margrave of Ansbach, Karl Alexander, where she belonged to the circle of Lady Elizabeth Craven (later margravine) and was active in musical and literary spheres. In 1791, after the dissolution of the Ansbach court, Countess Ahlefeldt moved to Denmark with her husband, who was superintendent of the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen from 1792 to 1794. The couple later moved to Dresden (1798) and Prague (1800). Ahlefeldt came to public notice as a composer in both Ansbach and Copenhagen, having particular success with the four-act opera-ballet ...

Article

(b Albano Laziale, nr Rome, 1729; d Paris, 1800). French castrato and composer of Italian origin. Educated in Naples, he went to Paris in 1747 and soon found employment in the royal chapel of Louis XV. From 1752 to 1762 he was a prominent soloist in the Concert Spirituel, appearing frequently in performances of Pergolesi’s Stabat mater. He also performed duos with a pupil, Mlle Hardy (or Hardi), at these concerts. He apparently retired from public performance about 1764–5, and thereafter taught singing and composed solo songs and duos with various combinations of instrumental accompaniment. In 1774 he received a life pension of 2000 livres annually, equivalent to the total income from his royal appointments. His published works include several collections of airs for one or more voices (some in collaboration with Joseph Mongenot or with J.-G. Cardon and all but one published between 1767 and 1781), as well as some chamber music. He also wrote the music for two lyric scenes performed by the Petits Comédiens du Bois de Boulogne, ...

Article

Dorothea Link

(fl 1782–99). Italian bass. He spent the early part of his career mainly in Rome. For the 1788–9 season he was a member of the opera buffa company in Vienna. He made his début on 4 April 1788 as Biscroma in Salieri’s Axur, re d’Ormus, sang the title role in the first Vienna performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni on 7 May 1788, and created the role of the Marchese in Weigl’s Il pazzo per forza. Mozart contributed an aria for him (no. in Köchel, 1862; for items not in 1862 edn, no. from 2/1905 or 3/1937 given. K541) in his role of Don Pompeo for the 1788 version of Anfossi’s Le gelosie fortunate. Albertarelli’s final role in Vienna was Brunetto in Da Ponte’s pasticcio L’ape musicale in March 1789. Later that year he appeared in Milan and Monza. The remainder of his career was centred in Italy, but he also sang in London (...

Article

Barbara Chmara-Żackiewicz

(b Pesaro, Nov 30, 1748; d Warsaw, March 27, 1812). Italian composer and conductor, active in Poland. The earliest reference to his activities in Warsaw dates from 12 April 1773, when King Stanisław August Poniatowski paid him a fee for a concert. From the middle of 1782 for about two years he was the king’s maître de chapelle, during which time his main duty was to direct concerts at both the Royal Castle and the Orangerie Theatre in the gardens of Łazienki Palace (both in Warsaw). On 17 September 1784 he conducted J.D. Holland’s opera Agatka at the court of Karol Radziwiłł in Nieśwież, and in the autumn of the same year he tried to promote an opera of his own in Vienna, but without much success. In 1785 he presented his opera Circe und Ulisses in Hamburg, and from about the middle of 1785 until the beginning of ...

Article

Winton Dean

(fl 1699–1738). Italian alto castrato. His first known appearance was in Livorno in 1699. Probably from Florence, he had a long career there, singing in 24 operas, including works by Orlandini, Gasparini and Albinoni, 1701–38. He was employed by the Cardinal and later the Grand Duchess of Tuscany. He sang in Venice in ...

Article

Howard Serwer

(b Görmar, nr Mühlhausen, Jan 8, 1732; d Mühlhausen, 1773). German writer on music and composer. He was a magister of philosophy, an honorary member of the German Society of Altdorf University, and an imperial poet laureate. His writings include an original work on theory, contributions to the current discussions of Rameau's theories which he favoured, and translations and editions of works of others. In addition, he published an important article on the state of music in Mühlhausen, two in defence of music in the church, and one on the German language. His compositions, consisting largely of sacred vocal works to his own texts, were mostly written for the Marienkirche in Mühlhausen, where he was Kantor and music director. They include a setting of the Passion and a yearly cycle of cantatas (texts published in 1764), as well as two published collections of keyboard and vocal pieces intended for students. Only a sacred song ...

Article

Robert Stevenson

(b Mexico City, 1758; d Mexico City, Feb 7, 1810). Mexican violinist and composer. As a boy, he studied at the Mexico City Cathedral Colegio de Infantes, a choir school where Nicolás Gil de la Torre taught him the violin. On 27 January 1775 the cathedral authorities appointed him a violinist in the cathedral orchestra at 200 pesos annually; on 12 January 1784 his yearly salary was raised from 300 to 400 pesos. In 1786 he was second violinist of the theatre orchestra at the Mexico City Coliseo, a post that conflicted with his cathedral duties to such an extent that on 9 January 1788 the chapter asked him to resign one post or the other. Choosing the Coliseo, he was in the 1790–91 season promoted to leader of the orchestra. In 1808 he headed the Mexico City choir school while still continuing as leader at the Coliseo....

Article

Barry S. Brook, Richard Viano and Elisabeth Cook

(b c1735; d Paris, late 1787 or early 1788). French composer and violinist. His first names are undoubtedly Charles-Guillaume (given by La Borde, 1780) rather than Claude-Guillaume (from the report of his wife’s death in Annonces, 14 August 1792). He is first mentioned in Les spectacles de Paris as a violinist in the orchestra of the Opéra-Comique from 1753 to 1755. By 1756 he had composed music for at least two spectacles à machines at the Théâtre des Tuileries (La Borde claims a third). The Annonces, affiches et avis divers of 15 September 1760 referred to him as first violin and maître de musique at the music school of Sieur Dubugraire; in the announcement of his Six trio op.4 (1762) he is described as the first violin of the Duc d’Aiguillon, a prominent patron in the French capital. Soon afterwards he began to take advantage of the expanding bourgeois musical life in Paris and for almost three decades he made his living as a composer, arranger and violin teacher. Although he is known to have been a violinist, his name does not appear as a soloist nor as a member of any Parisian orchestra after ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...