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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

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

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

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

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

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 ...

Article

Jeffry Mark

revised by Gaynor G. Jones

(b Bamberg, 1763; d Wallerstein, nr Nördlingen, March 29, 1825). German conductor and composer. He studied singing with Fracasini and the violin with Bäuerle at Bamberg. After his voice broke, he studied the horn with Punto, who took him on concert tours in Germany, France and Austria. From 1781 to 1782 they stayed in Paris, where Amon studied composition with Sacchini. During his subsequent travels, Amon met J.A. Hiller, Reichardt, Hoffmeister, Haydn and Mozart. He continued to tour with Punto until 1789, when he accepted the post of musical director at Heilbronn. Poor health forced him to give up playing the horn, and he concentrated on improving his violin, viola and piano technique. In 1817 he became Kapellmeister to the Prince of Oettingen-Wallerstein, in whose service he remained for the rest of his life.

Amon was an expert conductor and a versatile musician, a good performer on the horn, and later on the violin, viola and piano; he also taught singing and a variety of instruments. His many compositions include duos, trios, quartets, quintets, symphonies, marches, solo sonatas for various instruments and sonatas and variations for piano. He also wrote concertos, two Singspiels, two masses, cantatas, songs and a requiem which was performed at his funeral. Many of his works are unpublished. His eldest son Ernest wrote a set of variations for flute and orchestra....

Article

[Gaspare, Gaspero] [Gasparini, Domenico Maria Angiolo]

(b Florence, Feb 9, 1731; d Milan, Feb 6, 1803). Italian choreographer, dancer and composer. Along with his rival Jean-Georges Noverre, Angiolini was one of the principal exponents of the new danza parlante, or ballet en action. He began his dance career in Lucca (1747) and also in Venice (1747–8, 1750–51), Turin and Spoleto (1751), Lucca again, this time also working as a choreographer, and Rome (1752–3) before moving to Vienna. There, in 1754 he married his partner, Maria Teresa Fogliazzi (1733–92), notwithstanding the rivalry of Casanova. During Carnival 1756–7 Angiolini produced ballets for the operas given at the Teatro Regio, Turin, also performing as primo ballerino, partnered by his wife. He returned to Vienna as premier danseur at the French theatre, and when the choreographer Franz Hilverding van Wewen departed for Russia in November 1758, the director Giacomo Durazzo named Angiolini as his successor. Gluck succeeded Joseph Starzer as composer of ballet music....

Article

Dale E. Monson

[Scirolo, Sciroletto, Scirolino]

(b Martina Franca, Taranto, Oct 28, 1732; d Martina Franca, Jan 11, 1813). Italian soprano castrato and composer. His early musical training from his father, Fortunato (a notary and church singer), was followed when he was 19 by study with Gregorio Sciroli in Naples (thus his nickname). He made his début in Sciroli's Il barone deluso (1752, Rome). Until 1757 he sang in Naples (in the royal chapel, 1752–6, though librettos continue to list him in the service of the court until 1758), Turin and Rome (where in 1754–5 he became primo uomo); during the next few years he travelled, visiting Venice, Madrid and Stuttgart. After returning briefly to Italy, he was appointed primo uomo in Stuttgart for the period 1762–9 (with one Italian interlude), appearing in Jommelli's Didone abbandonata (1763), Demofoonte (1764) and Fetonte (1768), among other works, and enjoying a salary comparable to Jommelli's own. His brother Raffaele, a violinist, was also engaged at court. The depletion of the duke's ...

Article

Álvaro Torrente

(b ?Salamanca, c1710; d Salamanca, May 28, 1793). Spanish composer, organist and harpist. From about 1735 (there is documentary evidence from 1738) he was a performer in the Capilla de S Jerónimo of the University of Salamanca. From January 1741 he occupied the chair of music at the university, following Antonio Yanguas’s retirement in 1740. He was appointed professor of music in 1754, a post he held until 3 July 1771.

MSS in E-SAu unless otherwise stated; other anonymous compositions in SAu may also be by Aragüés

E. Esperabé de Arteaga: Historia pragmática é interna de la universidad de Salamanca (Salamanca, 1914–17) C. Gómez Amat...

Article

Robert Hoskins

(b London, Aug 10, 1740; d London, Oct 22, 1802). English composer, conductor, organist and editor. He was the son of Thomas Arnold, a commoner, and, according to some sources, the Princess Amelia. Arnold received his education as a Child of the Chapel Royal (c1750 to August 1758) and on leaving became known as an organist, conductor and teacher, and composed prolifically. In autumn 1764 he was engaged by John Beard as harpsichordist and composer to Covent Garden; there he compiled several pastiche operas, including the popular The Maid of the Mill (1765), which is among the supreme examples of the form. In 1769 Arnold bought Marylebone Gardens, and during the next six summers produced several short all-sung burlettas, composing or at least contributing to four new examples (now lost). These productions were simply written (from the literary point of view at least) and would have appealed to an audience with no previous experience of operatic music....

Article

Philip Bate and David Lasocki

(b Lisburn, Co. Antrim, c1759; d Dublin, 1838). Irish flautist and composer. When 12 he was adopted by Count Bentinck, a British naval captain, and travelled widely with him in Europe. He quickly learnt the flute but abandoned it because of his dissatisfaction with the contemporary one-keyed instrument. He returned to the flute in 1774 at The Hague, after hearing the flautist Vanhamme (or Vanham) play a six-keyed instrument by Richard Potter and purchasing it from him. Around 1778 Ashe was appointed first flute at the Brussels Opera, having beaten Vanhamme, the incumbent, in a public audition. After settling in Dublin in 1782, he was engaged by Saloman in 1791 for the Haydn concerts in London, where he made his solo début the following year. He succeeded Monzani at the King's Theatre in 1805, and in 1810 also became director of the Bath concerts on the death of Rauzzini, whose pupil, Miss Comer, he had married in ...