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Kaleb J. Koslowski and Caryl Clark

(b Bad Iburg near Osnabrück, 30 Oct 1668; d Hanover, 1 Feb 1705). Princess of Hanover, Electress of Brandenburg, and Queen in Prussia. Musical culture in and around Berlin flourished at the turn of the 18th century as a direct result of her activities as a musical patron, performer, composer, and collector.

Sophie Charlotte was the only daughter of Ernst August of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Sophie of the Palatinate. She was thrust into a lifestyle of courtly competition from an early age. The court at Osnabrück was relatively obscure, overshadowed by the wealthier and more politically prominent seat at Hanover ruled by her father’s brother, Johann Friedrich. Her mother determined to overcome this by immersing Sophie Charlotte in the arts. As a child she received instruction in singing, courtly dance, and religion, and in French, Italian, English, and Latin. During the 1670s and into the 1680s, the family visited Versailles, Venice, Brussels, and The Hague. These visits included recurring attendance at opera and ballet performances, and provided the foundation for Sophie Charlotte’s cultivation of music as a courtly and sociopolitical tool later at Hanover and Berlin....

Article

Cardot  

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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

F.A. Marshall

revised by Christopher H. Gibbs

( b Constantinople, Dec 13, 1785; d Berlin, May 29, 1838). Austrian soprano . She was brought up in Constantinople and Bucharest, before moving to Vienna, where she studied with Tomaselli and Salieri (on Schikaneder’s recommendation) and also had instruction from Neukomm (on Haydn’s advice). She made her début as Juno in Süssmayr’s Der Spiegel von Arkadien (1803), and sang Leonore in all three versions of Beethoven’s Fidelio (1805, 1806 and 1814). Her voice was described by Haydn as ‘like a house’ and by Griesinger as ‘like pure metal’.

In 1808 she made a successful tour, and was admired by Napoleon, among others; in 1816 she was appointed court prima donna assoluta in Berlin. In 1810 she married a jeweller, Peter Hauptmann, whose difficult personality seems to have lain behind a later faltering in her career. She achieved her greatest triumph in 1812 in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride...

Article

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 ...

Article

Robert Falck

[Vaqueiras]

(b Vaqueiras, nr Orange, Provence, ?1150–60; d ?Greece, ?Sept 4, 1207). Troubadour, companion-at-arms of Boniface I, Margrave of Monferrat (1152–1207). According to his vida ( I-Rvat 5232, f.160) he was the son of a ‘poor knight’ (‘paubre cavaillier’), and the fact of his humble origin, at least, is confirmed in his own writings. As a young man, he travelled to the court of Monferrat in northern Italy, where he entered the service of the Margrave of Monferrat and his son Boniface; he remained there probably until the early 1180s. Less is known of his life during the period from about 1183 to 1188, but in 1189 he was again in Provence, possibly in the service of Hugues I des Baux (d 1240). In 1190 he was back in Italy, and in 1192 had returned to Monferrat and the court of Boniface (who succeeded his father as margrave in that year)....

Article

John Griffiths

(b Navalcarnero, nr Madrid; fl 1553–78). Spanish vihuelist and composer. He was blind from birth. The earliest evidence of him is the printing licence for Orphenica lyra (Seville, 1554/R1981; ed. C. Jacobs, Oxford, 1978), issued on 11 August 1553 by crown prince Philip, which affirms his presence at court in Valladolid. On 29 March 1554, now resident in Seville, Fuenllana contracted with Martín de Montesdoca to print 1000 copies of Orphenica lyra. The edition was completed on 2 October, though Wagner has shown the surviving copies to represent two variants of the same impression. In 1555, Fuenllana is described as a citizen of Seville in a legal action initiated to suppress a fraudulent edition of the book. According to Bermudo (Declaración, 1555), Fuenllana was in the employ of the Marquesa de Tarifa at this time, but he would have left her service by ...

Article

Kerala J. Snyder

revised by Geoffrey Webber

(b Magdeburg, bap. March 17, 1664; d Wolfenbüttel, June 6, 1735). German music collector, singer and composer. The son of a brewer, he began his musical education with the Magdeburg Kantor Johann Scheffler, spent two years (1678–80) at the Thomasschule in Leipzig under Johann Schelle and continued his studies at the Johanneum in Hamburg. There he began his professional career as alto and later tenor soloist in the city's Kantorei, interrupted by a year at the university in Leipzig (1683–4). From 1686 to 1689 he worked as a tenor at the court in Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel; during this time he lived with the Kapellmeister Johann Theile, receiving lessons in composition from him and in singing from the two Italian castratos in residence at the court. He himself became Kapellmeister in 1689 to Duke Christian Albrecht of Schleswig-Holstein and moved to Gottorf Castle with his new bride, Magdalena Darnedden, daughter of a Brunswick brewer....

Article

Burkhard Kippenberg

[Mompfort, Munfurt]

(b 1357; d Bruck an der Mur, April 4, 1423). German Minnesinger. Born into the family of the dukes of Montfort-Bregenz, he is mentioned in numerous documents and some chronicles. He played a considerable role as a politician and undertook several journeys in the service of the Habsburgs. In 1377 he took part in Duke Albrecht III’s crusade against the Prussians and afterwards in Duke Leopold III’s war against Francesco Carrara of Padua in which Hugo led an invading army to Treviso (1381–2). After the battle of Näfels (1388) he became Austrian governor in Thurgau, Aargau and the Black Forest; from 1395 to 1397 he was master of the household to Duke Leopold IV. Twice widowed, he married for the third time in 1402. After 1400 he lived mostly in Styria of which he was governor from 1413 to 1415. In 1414 he spent some time at the Council of Konstanz, perhaps as the representative of Duke Ernst....

Article

Christoph Wolff

(b Nuremberg, c1410; d Munich, Jan 24, 1473). German organist, lutenist and composer. He was born blind, probably the son of an established craftsman family in Nuremberg, a free imperial town with a flourishing cultural life. The patrician Ulrich Grundherr, and from 1423 onwards his son Paul Grundherr, sponsored the talented but heavily handicapped young musician. Nothing specific, however, is known about his musical training. From at least as early as 1446 Paumann occupied the post of organist at St Sebaldus in Nuremberg, where the main organ had been built by Heinrich Traxdorff of Mainz in 1440–41. In 1446 he became engaged to Margarete Weichsler of Nuremberg. He undertook at that time not to leave the town without the permission of the town council. He was appointed official town organist in 1447.

He had by then already acquired a reputation as Germany's foremost organist. Hans Rosenplüt's poem eulogizing the town of Nuremberg (...

Article

Anthony Newcomb

(b Salò, March 26, 1547; d ?Rome, after 1609). Italian instrumentalist and composer. Bernardino was the son of Agostino, from 1571 to 1582 maestro di cappella of Salò Cathedral and a member of a famous family of instrumentalists and instrument makers. He was employed as an instrumentalist at the court of Ferrara from December 1578 until its dissolution early in 1598. A letter (in I-MOs ) states that one of his functions at Ferrara was as a violinist. He served Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga of Mantua briefly in 1598 and dedicated the third book of madrigals to him. He was almost certainly employed as a trombonist at S Luigi dei Francesi, Rome, in March 1600 and, according to the title-page of the third book of madrigals, in 1609 he was instrumentalist of the pope in Castel S Angelo in Rome. He was a composer of minor importance and managed to preserve the conventional style of the canzonetta-madrigal even in the midst of the revolutionary developments in style characteristic of the early 1590s in Ferrara. A comparison of his setting of ...

Article

Kurt von Fischer

revised by Gianluca D’Agostino

(fl Florence, c 1400). Italian composer, poet and singer. He is known not only as the composer of two ballatas and one madrigal in I-La 184 (nos.61, 72, 73), but also as the poet and composer of three-voice laude of which the music has not survived. In 1399 he served as leader and singer in the processions of the Bianchi Gesuati in Florence. Stylistically Stefani made use of both the Florentine technique of writing for two voices and the influence of the French style in his three-voice ballata with supporting tenor and contratenor. The first three lines of the text of his madrigal are taken from Petrarch's Amor, se vuo' chi'i' torni al giogo antico.

Article

Ian D. Bent

revised by Edward H. Roesner

(fl mid-13th century). English singer. He was one of three Englishmen described by the theorist Anonymus 4 as ‘good singers’ of mensural polyphony, who sang with great refinement (‘valde deliciose’). Some time before 1295 he bequeathed a troper to St Paul’s Cathedral, London, where he may have been a canon. Flindell’s contention that he was the 11th/12th-century theorist Johannes Cotto is without foundation. The appellation ‘Filius Dei’ (Godson) may imply that he was a foundling....

Article

R.B. Lenaerts

revised by Kristine Forney and Nathalie Vanballenberghe

(b Turnhout, 1563; d Antwerp, July 5, 1625). Flemish composer and singer. The singer of this name who was active in Madrid is now known to be a different musician (Vanballenberghe).

According to Sweerts, Verdonck spent his earliest years in the house of Cornelis Pruenen, treasurer and senator of Antwerp; he was to enjoy Pruenen’s protection for many years. Around 1580, Verdonck became a pupil in Antwerp of Séverin Cornet, who included one work of the younger composer in each of his three publications of 1581. Verdonck’s publications in the following years confirm his ties with Antwerp and the musical circle he belonged to. In 1599 he took an active part in the preparations for the triumphal entry of Archduke Albert and Archduchess Isabella into Antwerp; his motet for the occasion, Prome novas, Hymenae, was performed by an ensemble of boys riding atop an artificial elephant. Verdonck’s madrigal book of ...

Article

Lilian P. Pruett

(b Böhlen, 1707; d Schmalkalden, May 3, 1774). German composer and instrumentalist. This extraordinarily versatile musician studied the organ with Johann Balthasar Rauche in Böhlen (1719) and piano with Johann Graf in Halberstadt (1722), and the violin, viola d’amore and composition with Schweitzelberg in Arnstadt and again Graf in Rudolstadt. He was also proficient on the oboe: after travels to Erfurt, Brunswick, Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden he finally obtained employment in 1728 as regimental oboist and violinist to Duke August Wilhelm of Brunswick. In 1731 he moved to Schmalkalden as town organist, shortly thereafter also becoming Konzertmeister at the court of Saxe-Coburg-Meiningen. Declining health curtailed his activities after 1765 and in 1768 his pupil J.G. Vierling was appointed to assist him, eventually becoming his successor.

In his youth Tischer’s compositional activities centred on church music; after 1732 he divided his efforts between keyboard and orchestral music. Particularly well represented in his output are pedagogical collections for young pianists and concertos for the piano, violin and oboe, instruments on which he himself excelled. Although his keyboard works were much published and appreciated during his lifetime, modern scholars have generally dismissed his works as shallow and of little consequence....

Article

Harold E. Samuel

[Gottlieb]

(b Kulmbach, bap. Nov 6, 1607; d Nuremberg, bur. July 30, 1655). German composer, instrumentalist, organist and theorist, son of Johann Staden. He was a leading musician in Nuremberg, and though a lesser composer than his father he is perhaps, as the composer of the first extant Singspiel, historically more important.

The German form, ‘Gottlieb’, of Staden’s middle name appears in part iv of the magazine Frauenzimmer Gesprächspiele (1644) edited by Georg Philipp Harsdörffer, who was a crusader for the purification of the German language; Staden himself used ‘Theophil’. His early musical studies with his father were so successful that in July 1620, some ten years after the family returned to Nuremberg from Kulmbach and Bayreuth, Johann Staden petitioned the city council for an expectant's salary for his 13-year-old son. This request was apparently denied, but in December 1620 the council granted the boy 150 gulden a year for board, room and lessons with Jakob Paumann in Augsburg. Johann Staden could teach his son composition, the organ and the violin, whereas Paumann, a well-known instrumental teacher, who from ...

Article

Paul Corneilson

(b Mainz, Aug 18, 1745; d Berlin, July 10, 1825), German bass. He was singing in a church choir in Mainz, where he was discovered by the tenor Anton Raaff; Fischer followed Raaff to Mannheim in 1770 to continue his voice study, and he received an appointment at court by 1772 (according to the libretto of Salieri’s La fiera di Venezia, 1772). In summer 1775 he appeared as Herkules in Anton Schweitzer’s Alceste. By 1776 he was earning 200 florins a year at Mannheim, and in 1777 he created the role of Rudolf in Ignaz Holzbauer’s Günther von Schwarzburg. The following year he accompanied Elector Carl Theodor to Munich and sang there one season. On 6 October 1779, Fischer married the soprano Barbara Strasser (b Mannheim, 1758; d after 1825), and three of their children had successful singing careers: Joseph (1780–1862), Josepha Fischer-Vernier (...

Article

Theodore Karp

(fl 1180–1200). French trouvère. Although the legend recounting the part he supposedly played in freeing King Richard the Lionheart from captivity is traceable to manuscripts of the 13th century, it is accurate only with respect to period. The trouvère's identity is a matter for speculation. Because the poet is never named Messire or Monseignor in the manuscripts, he would seem to be at most a younger son of lesser nobility, and perhaps a commoner. On the other hand, it has also been suggested that he is identifiable with the powerful Jehan II de Nesle. Quant je plus sui and Tant ai en chantant are dedicated to Conon de Béthune, and therefore antedate 1200, while A l’entree de la saison is sent to Gace Brulé, another of the oldest generation of trouvères. On this basis, Blondel's date of birth may be estimated c1155–60. Features of dialect in the poems indicate that he was a native of Picardy, his home most likely being the town of Nesle in the département of Somme, lying between Péronne and Saint Quentin....

Article

Georg Feder

revised by Steven Zohn

[Dügren, Johann Jeremias]

(d Danzig [now Gdańsk], Jan 1756). ?French singer, keyboard player and composer, active in Germany. He was probably related to French immigrants whose names appear frequently in the city records of Danzig. A pupil of Telemann, Du Grain is first mentioned at Hamburg in 1730 as a soloist in cantatas by Telemann performed to commemorate the Augsburg Confession. From 1732 he lived in Elbing (now Elbląg, Poland) where he was a singer, organist and harpsichord player. In 1737 he was enjoined (‘injungieret’), presumably as an assistant, to the organist of the Marienkirche Daniel Dibbe; his name appears in the church accounts from 1737 to 1739. Among his compositions for Elbing were a St Matthew Passion (1737), performed annually until the 19th century, and the lost cantata Hermann von Balcke, written to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the city; the latter contained recitatives and some arias by Du Grain and arias from operas by Handel who helped to compile the work, but who left Elbing before the performance....