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Miroslav K. Černý

revised by Jitka Ludvová

(b Kublov, nr Beroun, Bohemia, Jan 22, 1824; d Prague, Nov 23, 1865). Czech writer on music, teacher and composer . He completed his early schooling through the help of a priest, who also instructed him in music theory. Having concluded his studies with Pitsch at the organ school in Prague, he became an assistant there, teaching plainsong as well as the organ, and later served briefly as the school's director. In 1860 he accepted the post of director at the Žofín Academy, where he founded courses for training women as singers and piano teachers. He also taught at various girls' high schools and ran courses for young working people.

After composing some music to German texts, in 1848 Zvonař associated himself with the Czech national movement. He wrote reviews for a Prague newspaper and later in the journals Dalibor and Slavoj. One of the founders and leading members of the choral society Hlahol and the artists' society Umělecká Beseda, he also gave private composition lessons, with Bendl and probably Dvořák among his pupils....

Article

Zvonce  

Ivan Mačak

Bells of Slovakia. There are many forms: zvonce drevené (wooden bells), zvonce liate (cast metal bells), plechové zvonce or spiežovce (bells of folded sheet metal), and zvonce hlinené (ceramic bells). Herders hang differently tuned bells on their animals so that in rough terrain they can locate them and know which animals are in front, behind, or in the middle of the group. Herders also pay attention to the harmony of the bells and sometimes say that they are ‘making a symphony.’...

Article

Gert Oost

(b Rotterdam, Aug 20, 1877; d Zaandam, July 13, 1937). Dutch organist, composer and organologist . He studied with, among others, Hendrik de Vries, a composer and organist at the Laurenskerk in Rotterdam. From 1893 he worked as an organist in Rotterdam, and from 1898 until his death was organist of the Hersteld Evangelical Lutheran church in Amsterdam, where he gave many recitals on the famous Strumphler organ (now in St Eusebius in Arnhem). There he opposed the practice of playing organ transcriptions and promoted original organ music. He had an extensive repertory, including many then unknown French and German works. From 1929 he gave weekly organ recitals on the radio. He also made a study of historical Dutch organs and organ music, especially the works of Sweelinck, Hendrick Spuy and Anthoni van Noordt. Zwart composed many organ works based on Reformed church songs and in a romantic style, which he published himself along with various articles. The series Nederlandsche Orgelmuziek, published in Koog aan den Zaan from ...

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Article

Ana Ryker

(b Amsterdam, May 18, 1854; d Amsterdam, Dec 9, 1924). Dutch composer. Together with Alphons Diepenbrock and Johan Wagenaar he was one of the principal figures in Dutch music at the turn of the century. His father, a well-known amateur singer, owned a book and music shop in Amsterdam where Bernard worked and consequently came to know many notable musicians. In 1881 he attended a performance of the Ring in Berlin. Wagner's music proved to be a major influence, shaping Zweers's musical idiom and the style of his future works. He was essentially self-taught but, with the support of his piano duet partner, a businessman, he studied with Jadassohn in Leipzig for eight months in 1881–2. By that time he had already had works performed in Amsterdam, including the Missa quatuor vocibus (1877) and his First Symphony (1881). On his return from Leipzig Zweers began to take an active part in Dutch musical life. For several years, until his hearing deteriorated, he conducted three prominent choirs (the Amsterdam Male-Voice choir, Liedertafel Apollo and the choir of the Mozes- en Aaronkerk). From ...

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Article

Richard Evidon

revised by Tamara Levitz

(b Vienna, Nov 28, 1881; d Petrópolis, Brazil, Feb 22, 1942). Austrian writer . In his day a leading European literary figure, he was exceptionally cultivated and had deep humanistic sympathies. His active pacifism dates from his exile in Zürich (1917–18), during which time he met several noteworthy musical figures. After the war he became one of the more highly regarded, widely read and translated Austrian writers of his generation. In 1934 he emigrated to England, and in 1941 settled in Brazil. Distraught at the persecution of the Jews, Zweig committed suicide, together with his wife, in 1942.

His writings include several on musicians – Busoni, Toscanini and Bruno Walter, who were his close friends (Berg was another), as well as Handel, Mahler and Richard Strauss. His significance for music history lies largely in his collaboration with Strauss, which began in 1932. Only one work was produced, the comic opera ...

Article

Hellmut Federhofer

(b Judenburg, Styria, c1545–50; d ?Graz, Styria, May 1582). Austrian singer and composer. He was chorister in the Stephansdom, Vienna, and in 1559 was admitted to the university there. In 1572 his name appears last in a list of five basses employed at the Graz court household of Archduke Karl II of Inner Austria. At the express wish of the archduke he took holy orders and in 1579, when he accompanied his master to Munich, he was nominated first court chaplain. He himself used the title ‘Elimosinarius’ (almoner) in 1581. All that has survived of his work is a Magnificat à 6, A la fontaine du pris (in A-Gu , D-Kl and SI-Lu, ed. in DTÖ, cxxxiii, 1981), based on the chanson with the same title by Willaert. This work shows Zweiller to have been among the earliest composers to write parody Magnificat settings, a style with which he had presumably become familiar through contact with Lassus at Munich....

Article

Andrew Lamb

[Mariel]

(b Pistyán, Hungary, July 13, 1876; d Vienna, 14/June 15, 1947). Austro-Hungarian soprano. She sang soubrette roles at the Carltheater in Vienna from 1901 to 1920, also appearing at the summer theatre in the Prater, the Raimundtheater and the Theater an der Wien. She was the original Franzi in Straus’s ...

Article

Alfred Clayton

(‘The Dwarf’)

Opera in one act, op.17, by Alexander Zemlinsky to a libretto by Georg Klaren after Oscar Wilde’s novel The Birthday of the Infanta; Cologne, Neues Theater, 28 May 1922.

The origins of Der Zwerg lie in Zemlinsky’s obsession with ugliness. Significantly, Alma Mahler referred to Zemlinsky himself in her memoirs as ‘a horrible dwarf’. He may first have come across Wilde’s story in 1908, when Schreker’s pantomime Der Geburtstag der Infantin was first performed in Vienna. Three years later Zemlinsky commissioned Schreker to write a libretto on the subject of ‘the tragedy of the ugly man’. This crystallized in Die Gezeichneten, which Schreker decided to set himself; its principal character, Alviano, bears a striking resemblance to the Dwarf. Zemlinsky’s involvement in the origins of Die Gezeichneten goes some way towards explaining why Klaren’s libretto differs significantly from Wilde’s story. In Klaren’s version the Infanta is no longer a girl but a young woman whose cruelty is premeditated. The Dwarf is no longer a charming natural monster but a much more complex and indeed civilized being. Zemlinsky’s emotional identification with the hero also suggests why the work seems so highly charged. In a letter to his publisher Emil Hertzka he confessed that it differed from ...