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Gaynor G. Jones


(b Berlin, Aug 11, 1801; d Karlsruhe, Oct 4, 1877). German theatre historian, librettist and baritone. Eduard Devrient, nephew of the actor Ludwig Devrient, had two brothers who became actors: Karl (first husband of Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient) and Emil. At the age of 17 he entered the Berlin Singakademie and studied singing and thoroughbass with Zelter. He gave his first solo public performance in 1819 in Berlin in C.H. Graun’s Der Tod Jesu and on 18 April 1819 he sang the part of Thanatos in Gluck’s Alceste; after his performance as Masetto in Don Giovanni, he was engaged as a baritone at the Royal Opera.

In 1822 Devrient went on a tour to Dresden, Leipzig, Kassel and Frankfurt (where he was influenced by J.N. Schelble). Later he visited Vienna to hear the Italian opera in which Lablache and other famous singers were performing under Barbaia’s direction. He met Mendelssohn in ...


Bojan Bujic

revised by Stanislav Tuksar

[Vincenzo, Vinko]

(b Fiume [now Rijeka], 1596; d Zabern [now Saverne], Alsace, 1636). Croatian composer . His birthplace is sometimes indicated as Flumen Sancti Viti, or St Veit am Pflaum, which are descriptive names for Fiume. The original form of his surname was Jeličić (Jelicich). In 1606 he became a choirboy in Archduke Ferdinand's chapel at Graz, where he was taught by Matthia Ferrabosco. After a brief return to Fiume (1609–10) he was back in Graz, in the Ferdinandeum, studying first at the Gymnasium and then at the Jesuit University. From 1615 he was an instrumentalist in the court chapel, where he furthered his musical studies, possibly at first under Reimundo Ballestra. In 1618 he went to the court of Ferdinand's brother Leopold at Zabern, Alsace, where Ballestra had been appointed Kapellmeister in 1616. He entered Leopold's service first as an instrumentalist, but after taking holy orders he combined his musical duties with those of vicar and later canon of the church of Ste Marie. There are no references to him in documents at Zabern or elsewhere after ...


Christopher Fifield

(Christian Friedrich)

(b Cologne, Jan 6, 1838; d Friedenau, Berlin, Oct 2, 1920). German composer. The son of a police official, Bruch received his first musical education from his mother, herself a singer. He began to compose from the age of nine; a Septet, written when he was 11, bears early hallmarks of his future style and assured scoring. At 14 he won the coveted Frankfurt Mozart-Stiftung Prize, which enabled him to study with Hiller, Reinecke, and Ferdinand Breunung. His first substantial work was an opera based on Goethe’s Scherz, List und Rache, written and performed in Cologne in 1858 (no orchestrated version survives), after which his teachers encouraged him to travel throughout Germany. He went to Leipzig, a city where musical life was still dominated by Mendelssohn’s influence, but settled in Mannheim between 1862 and 1864. There he wrote two works which would bring his name before the German public, the opera ...


Friedrich Baser


(b Pforzheim, April 23, 1891; d Stuttgart, Oct 17, 1969). German musicologist, teacher and composer. He studied under Philipp Wolfrum at Heidelberg (1909–11) and under Riemann at Leipzig (1911–13), where he took the doctorate in 1913 with a dissertation on musical form. In 1914 he studied composition with Bodanzki in Mannheim, and after war service he taught at the Röhmeyer Conservatory, Pforzheim (1919–23). He was lecturer in music theory at Gurlitt’s musicology institute at Freiburg University (1923–5), deputy director of the Academy for Speech and Music, Münster (1925–7), director of the music department of the Folkwang-Schule at Essen (1927–35) and director of the Folkwangschulen for Speech, Dance and Music (1935–43). His final post was as director of the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Stuttgart (1943–5, 1952–6), where he taught composition. His works include several large-scale choral pieces, folksong cantatas, string quartets, violin sonatas, songs and choruses. His writings, mostly designed for teaching purposes, have had a more lasting influence and show, in his dissertation as in his final book, a penetrating understanding of form. His practical gifts, which he was able to develop in Münster, are reflected in his textbooks on harmony and orchestration....


Klaus Wolfgang Niemöller

(b Strasbourg, c1478–80; d Freiburg, Sept 5, 1537). German theorist and composer. He studied from 1494 to 1496 in Heidelberg, later in Leuven and, from 1505, in Vienna. There he took organ lessons from the cathedral organist, Wolfgang Grefinger. Luscinius particularly admired the playing of Hofhaimer, the imperial organist, praising him in his Musicae institutiones and discussing his pupils, among them Hans Buchner and Kotter. Luscinius continued his studies (which were not only in music) in many centres in Europe and the Near East, and gave music lectures at Vienna University. In 1510 he met Virdung at the Reichstag in Augsburg. Further journeys took him to Konstanz and Melk. Between 1511 and 1514 he studied Greek and theology in Paris and then returned to Strasbourg, where he was organist at St Thomas from 1510 to 1520. In 1519 he took the degree of Doctor of Canon Law from Padua University. As a result of the Reformation he lost his organist’s post and was prevented from obtaining a canonry. In ...



Tom R. Ward

[Richard de Bellengues]

(b Rouen, c1380; d Brussels, Feb 25, 1470). French singer and composer. He was a priest, and appears as a singer in the Burgundian chapel between 1415 and 1419. He was in the Papal Chapel from 1422 to 1425. In 1422 he received a canonry in Notre Dame in Ligny and also became rector of St Willibrodus, near Antwerp. He later held ecclesiastical offices in Beauvais, Picquigny and possibly Rouen. By 1430 he may again have been active at the Burgundian court since his name appears in the list of singers in Binchois’ motet Nove cantum melodie, composed in Burgundy in that year. His name is found in the lists of singers from 1434 to 1464. He died in Brussels and was interred in Ste Gudule. His motto ‘Fais tout ce que tu vouldras/Avoir faist quand tu mourras’ served as his epitaph. His single surviving work is a rondeau for three voices ...


[Susato, Johannes de]

(b Unna, nr Soest, 1448; d Frankfurt, May 2, 1506). German composer and writer on music. He described his career in a rhymed autobiography (ed. in Fichard): as a boy he sang at St Patroklus in Soest, he was briefly kidnapped for his voice by a juggler, and then he joined the ducal chapel in Cleves. He studied in Bruges with two English musicians and subsequently held posts in Hardenbergh (Overijssel), Maastricht and Kassel. In 1472 Soest went to Heidelberg; on 22 November the Elector Palatine Philipp appointed him Sängermeister for life and established a choir for him to direct (see Žak). In 1476 Soest matriculated at the University of Heidelberg; he studied there and in Pavia and had become a physician by 1490. In 1495 he became municipal doctor in Worms and later held similar positions in Oppenheim and Frankfurt. He was also active as a poet....


Warren Anderson

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

(b ?Reate [now Rieti], 116 bce; d 27 bce). Roman scholar and poet . During four decades he took an active part in political life, but his passion was for scholarship. Educated at Rome and Athens, he made available to his countrymen much of the entire range of Hellenic and Hellenistic erudition. Varro is the first Roman example of the polymath, and he remained deeply Roman. His eclecticism continued to be subservient to an abiding concern for the virtues of earlier generations, even as his prodigious learning was lightened and made palatable for ordinary readers by a strong feeling for earthy realities. He has been called the ‘most learned of the Romans’.

The 55 known titles constitute but a partial list of Varro's major works. Of these, only On Farming survives in a complete form; six books remain of the 25 originally comprising the systematic treatise On Latin, as well as 600 fragments of his ...


Klaus Wolfgang Niemöller

(b Lüneburg, c1542; d Hanover, Jan 8, 1623). German composer and theorist. He matriculated at the University of Wittenberg on 12 July 1565, but he took no degree. On 28 March 1568 he was appointed Kantor of the Lateinschule and of the Marktkirche, the two most important musical positions in Hanover, and he held them until he retired in 1616. His output reflects his activities in these posts. His three masses, which are parody masses, and his motets (1572 and 1581) show that he was a competent composer of polyphony, and his three-part songs (1594) are more contrapuntal than such pieces often were. His primer of 1599, dedicated to 54 of his pupils, including the infant Melchior Schildt, contains 14 canons as exercises.


Walter Pass

(b Bregenz, c1580; d in or after 1626). Austrian composer and organist. He came from a respected middle-class family from Bregenz and received his first musical education there, though he probably soon started studying at Konstanz. According to his own testimony he received particular encouragement from Jakob Fugger, an energetic advocate of Catholic reform and the Counter-Reformation, a great patron of the arts and himself a practising musician. Fugger was Prince-Bishop of Konstanz from 1604 to 1626 and made Bildstein court organist immediately after his enthronement. Bildstein was one of a number of prominent organists at important centres in southern Germany, and his reputation as an excellent organist and teacher gradually spread from Meersburg, where the prince-bishop usually resided: in 1604 Ferdinand de Lassus unsuccessfully recommended him as organist to the Hohenzollern court; in 1607 his advice was sought over the building of the large organ in the church of the monastery at Mittelzell on the Reichenau; in ...


Andrew D. McCredie and Marion Rothärmel

(b Bliesheim, nr Cologne, March 20, 1918; d Grosskönigsdorf [now Pulheim], nr Cologne, Aug 10, 1970). German composer. Remaining independent from the various fashionable schools of the 1950s and 60s, he steadfastly developed and perfected an individual style in which quotations, carefully woven into a colourful atonal fabric, often played an important part. His single opera, Die Soldaten, is widely acknowledged as the most important in German since those of Berg.

Zimmermann studied philosophy, German literature and music education before embarking on professional training in music at the universities of Cologne and Bonn, and at Musikhochschulen in Cologne and Berlin. His studies were temporarily interrupted by military service; he was posted to the Russian front and to occupied France, where he became acquainted with scores of Stravinsky and Milhaud that greatly influenced his subsequent development. In 1942 he resumed his studies, which now included musicology, at the University of Cologne (...


Lini Hübsch-Pfleger


(b 1515/1516; d Neuburg an der Donau, Dec 29, 1595). German composer and printer. A medal dated 1555 gives his age as 39. In his early youth he went to Neuburg to the court of Count Palatine Ottheinrich, whose treasurer he was in 1544. Ottheinrich had introduced the Lutheran doctrine in 1542 and he helped Kilian to establish a publishing house for reformed literature and music which issued its first publications in 1545 but which was ravaged by war in 1546 and not reopened until 1556. In the same year Ottheinrich became Elector Palatine, had Kilian as his secretary and in 1558, just before he died, awarded him an annual payment of 200 florins ‘for life’. At the same time Kilian gave up publishing. He was also interested in alchemy, and Ottheinrich left him the collection of works by Paracelsus that he had helped him assemble. Except for an isolated reference in ...


Klaus Wolfgang Niemöller

(b ?Fulda, c1445; d Wittenberg, 1505). German composer and theorist. Until about 1490 he was at the Benedictine monastery of Vornbach, near Passau, but he had to leave it when he married. In 1490 he entered the service of Frederick the Wise of Saxony, working first as a singer, then as a historiographer (from 1492), finally becoming Kapellmeister by 1498. In 1502 he matriculated at the newly founded University of Wittenberg. Between 1503 and 1504 he wrote his chronicle of Saxon history undertaken at Frederick’s suggestion in 1492, and after Adam’s death (of the plague) in 1505, it was completed by Johannes Trithemius, Abbot of Würzburg.

In 1490 Adam finished his famous treatise De musica (GerbertS, iii, 329), in which he described himself as ‘Musicus ducalis’. The manuscript was burnt in 1870 but the text had already been printed by Gerbert in 1784. In it he noted that Du Fay’s music extended Guido’s musical system by three degrees, and upheld Busnoys as a model to be emulated. Adam inveighed against minstrels (‘ioculatores’) and artless folksingers (‘laici vulgares’), for, he said, they had no knowledge of the art of music-making. He was the first theorist to distinguish between vocal and instrumental music in the modern sense. He also wrote some religious verses which were published by Wolff Cyclopius as ...


Jocelyn Mackey

(b Schwäbisch Hall, bap. Sept 15, 1572; d Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Oct 31, 1634). German composer, organist, instrumentalist, teacher and poet.

Widmann came of a well-educated family. The Lateinschule at Schwäbisch Hall provided a good musical training in the 1580s under Johannes Crusius, and young Widmann ‘sang a good discant’ there and learnt to play the organ, harpsichord, lute, zither, viol, flute and trombone. On 28 April 1589 he entered the University of Tübingen and passed his bachelor’s examinations in 1590; at the university, students could study plainsong, notation and polyphony. Widmann is next heard of as an organist at Eisenerz, Styria, in 1595, and from 1596 until 1598 he held a similar position at Graz. He was a Lutheran, but since the Peace of Augsburg (1555) Protestantism had spread in Austria, and during the 1570s it was even tolerated. In 1598, however, on the orders of Duke Ferdinand, Lutheran ministers were given two weeks to leave. Moreover, in the same year Widmann almost lost his position because of trouble with women: two young women accused him of breach of promise, while he professed to wish to marry a third (he married Margarethe Ehetreiber on 12 June). Because of the action against Lutherans he returned in late ...


Albrecht Riethmüller

(b Stuttgart, June 17, 1900; d Heidenheim an der Brenz, Jan 1, 1985). German composer and pianist. He studied composition with Walter Courvoisier at the Akademie der Tonkunst, Munich (from 1920) and his works were performed at the Donaueschingen and Baden-Baden Festivals. He performed as the accompanist for Sigrid Onegin (touring the USA seven times in the early 1930s) as well as for other singers, including Erb, Schwarzkopf and Fischer-Dieskau. From 1932 to 1936 he taught composition at the Württembergische Musikhochschule, Stuttgart.

Reutter stabilized his career during the Third Reich by becoming a Nazi party member in April 1933. The oratorio Der grosse Kalender, heralded by B. Schott’s Söhne as ‘the new oratorio of the German people’, was first performed in Dortmund in June 1933; the Reichskulturwalter, Hans Hinkel, regarded the opera Doktor Johannes Faust (staged in Frankfurt in 1936) as the opera for which the Reich had been waiting. On ...


Anne Stone

(fl c1400). Composer. His name appears only attached to the triplum voice of the (otherwise anonymous) Latin virelai Laus detur multipharia ( F-CH 564, f.16v) in honour of St Catherine. The triplum, marked ‘triplum: laus detur: petrus fabri’ was the last of the work's four voice-parts to be copied and it seems likely that, as with similar identifications elsewhere in the manuscript, the ascription serves to identify the author of the piece to which the triplum is to be added, rather than the composer of the added triplum. The virelai employs red minims somewhat unusually to achieve sesquitertia proportion in both cantus and triplum. The most recent modern edition, in PMFC, xviii (1981), erroneously transcribes a flat sign as a rest, causing the cantus part to be incorrect (bars 3–17), while Apel's edition in CMM, liii/3 (1972), is correct. The use of hocket, short imitative passages and ...


Harald Müller

(b Nuremberg, bap. April 27, 1629; d Celle, Aug 31, 1697). German organist and composer. He was orphaned at the age of four and his godfather sold his father’s estates in 1640. He studied with Heinrich Scheidemann and perhaps J.E. Kindermann. An application for the post of organist at the Jacobikirche, Hamburg, was unsuccessful, but in 1655 he was appointed organist at the court of Duke Christian Ludwig at Celle. In 1663 he developed a proposal for the reorganization of the court orchestra.

Wessnitzer’s chorale melodies were included in three collections (some ed. in ZahnM). He was editor of the Vollständige Gesang Buch (Lüneburg, 1661), which includes 12 of his works. The Fürstlich-Braunschweig-Lüneburgisches Gesangbuch (1665) contains 43 of his works, and six more appeared in the Grosse Cellische Gesangbuch of 1696. His melodies set texts by Opitz, Fleming, Dach, Harsdörffer and Rist, among others. Wessnitzer was also the composer of some keyboard music, published in the ...


Marcia J. Citron

(b Hülshoff, nr Münster, Westphalia, Jan 14, 1797; d Meersburg, May 24, 1848). German poet and composer. She came from a musical family and studied the piano and singing, beginning to compose around 1820. Largely through the influence of her brother-in-law, Lassberg, she became interested in collecting old Volkslieder and contributed to the collections of Ludwig Uhland and August Haxthausen. This interest culminated in her arrangement of the Lochamer Liederbuch for voice and piano (c1836). In addition, she composed many lieder to poetry by herself and others (e.g. Goethe, Brentano and Byron). Her literary talent was so highly respected that Robert Schumann, through Clara, requested an opera libretto from her in 1845. She began composing several operas of her own, but these were never completed. Compared to that of contemporary lieder, Droste-Hülshoff's style is simple, showing the influence of the Volkslied, and with the voice usually dominating the piano. A few lieder are recitative-like in texture (e.g. ...


Robert Falck

(fl mid-13th century). French trouvère. He may be identifiable with the Monniot who was the author of a Dit de Fortune written in 1278, but is not to be confused with Moniot d'Arras (fl 1213–39). Nine songs without conflicting attributions are ascribed to Moniot de Paris in a group of manuscripts that represents the main tradition of trouvère song. In these sources he is usually grouped with trouvères who were active in the mid- and late 13th century; this fact tends to reinforce Dyggve's estimate that he was active at about the middle of the century.

Moniot's works are of interest largely because of the prevalence of relatively simple forms with refrain. Particularly prominent is the rotrouenge, as defined by Spanke (p.294) and Gennrich; the four examples are invariably of the utmost simplicity in musical construction, and their melodies show none of the sophistication of the ...


George J. Buelow

(b Görlitz, Lower Silesia, c1556; d Himmelwitz, nr Strehlitz, Upper Silesia [now Strzelce Opolskie, Poland], March 25, 1620). German composer and theorist. His Musices poeticae is a major treatise about compositional practices in the early 17th century.

Nucius was a private pupil in composition of Johannes Winckler, who became Kantor at the Gymnasium at Görlitz in 1573. Even after 40 years he prized Winckler's instruction, the principles of which, as he said in the introduction, were the basis of his Musices poeticae. About 1586 he took his vows as a Cistercian monk at the monastery of Rauden, Upper Silesia, where he probably received the broad humanist education that appears to have influenced his later writing. By 1591 he had become deacon at Rauden and in that year published the first of his two books of motets, which he dedicated to his abbot. Also in 1591 he was made abbot of the small monastery of Himmelwitz. In ...