(b Graz, April 28, 1715; d Kremsmünster, April 7, 1767). Austrian composer. After serving as a choirboy at the monastery of Admont, he studied philosophy at Salzburg University. He entered the Benedictine house of Kremsmünster in 1735, but later returned to Salzburg to study theology. While there he met and may have studied with J.E. Eberlin, the court organist, and his first compositions date from his second period there, in 1736. He finally left Salzburg in 1739 and returned to the monastery, but in 1740 the abbot, who wished to encourage his musical talent, allowed him to go to Italy to study. He went first to Naples, where he was a pupil of Leo, and heard and copied much music by other leading Neapolitans, such as Jommelli and Alessandro Scarlatti. In 1741 he left for Rome to study the a cappella style with Chiti. In 1742 he returned to Kremsmünster, after a disastrous journey complicated by the War of Austrian Succession (northern Italy was overrun with Spanish troops), during which he lost most of his transcriptions of Italian music in a violent storm in the Adriatic. He spent the rest of his life in the monastery, where he was director of music from ...
revised by Steven Saunders
(b ?Venice, 1593; d Vienna, Nov 15, 1648). Italian cornett player and composer. In 1615 Romano Micheli called him ‘musicus di Venezia’. In 1613 he became a cornett player at Archduke Ferdinand’s court at Graz. When Ferdinand became emperor Sansoni moved to Vienna with the Graz court and spent the rest of his life there as a respected member of the court chapel. A court pay list from 1637 records him receiving nearly three times the salary of the next highest paid instrumentalist, Antonio Bertali. Sansoni had connections with Johann Georg I of Saxony, to whom he sent compositions in 1648, and with Schütz, who sent choirboys to him for instrumental training when their voices broke. In his Compositioni musicali (1645) G.A. Bertoli ranked Sansoni’s standing as an authority ‘nel Fagotto & nel Cornetto’ as equal to that of Francesco Turini on the organ and Antonio Bertali on the violin. In his panegyric of contemporary music of ...
Lilian P. Pruett
(b Carrara, 1573; d after mid-1630s). Italian composer and organist. Fétis gave his date of birth as 1573; sources citing him as organist of the church of the Eremitani at Padua in that year would seem to be in error. His only documented employment was as an organist at Massa Carrara (now Massa del Prencipe), from 1623 to the mid-1630s. Except for a book of madrigals (two more appear to be lost), his entire surviving output is sacred and reflects the development of the concerted style during the first half of the 17th century. His work was notably popular with the printing house of Phalèse at Antwerp about 1640.
A. Lindsey Kirwan
revised by Steven Saunders
[Caesar, Johann Martin]
(b Udine, c1590; d Munich, Feb 6, 1667). Italian composer and cornettist. He and his brother, Giovanni Francesco, were employed in Austria around 1600. On returning to Udine in 1603, they were engaged as trombonists at the cathedral; however, in 1605 Giovanni Martino left the post to return abroad. At the time of his first publication, in 1611, he was a cornettist and a member of the household of the Margrave of Burgau at Günzburg, near Augsburg. In 1610 he was paid by Duke Maximilian of Bavaria for teaching the cornett, and in 1612 he played in the duke's chapel in Munich (it was not uncommon for Augsburg instrumentalists to be called into service there from time to time). In 1615 he entered Maximilian's service in Munich as a cornettist and in 1622 became a member of his household. That he dedicated his last publication (1621...
revised by Elizabeth Roche
(b Casalmaggiore, nr Parma, c1570; d Milan, Jan 21, 1638). Italian composer. He was maestro di cappella of Urbino Cathedral from 1596 to 1598 and again from 1612 to 1615, at Pesaro in 1600, at Fano from 1601 to 1605, of the Accademia dello Spirito Santo, Ferrara, in 1616, at Casalmaggiore from 1618 to 1623, of Novara Cathedral from October 1623 to 1629, of Lodi Cathedral from 1629 to 1630 and finally of Milan Cathedral from 10 April 1631. Though this long succession of posts might suggest that he was restless, it does show not only a geographical progression, from the distant east coast of Italy to Ferrara – a comparatively advanced musical centre – and then on to his native Lombardy, but also a progressive rise in status, from the comparative backwaters of Pesaro and Fano, by way of a distinguished academy to the Lombard cathedrals, of which Milan was the peak....
A. Lindsey Kirwan
revised by Steven Saunders
(b Füssen, April 24, 1594; d Kremsmünster, Jan 18, 1659). German music copyist, composer and lutenist, active in Austria. From 1607 to 1615 he studied at the Imperial College of the Austrian Nobility, Vienna, and then became director of the school at Admont Abbey, Styria, where he also had charge of the music. In 1617 he went to the Benedictine monastery at Kremsmünster, where he remained for the rest of his life. He was first employed as a lutenist and administrative official. In 1628, after he had become a full member of the Benedictine order and changed his first name from Johannes to Benedikt, he was given charge of the sacred music; the court music was in the hands of Alessandro Tadei, but after Tadei left, on 20 May 1629, Lechler directed that too. His desire to provide the chapel, school and theatre of the monastery with suitable compositions prompted him to undertake extensive travels in Italy in ...
revised by Axel Beer
(b Neustadt, nr Fulda, bap. Sept 5, 1595; d Altdorf, nr Ravensburg, Swabia, March 15, 1662). German composer, organist and public and court official. He completed his education at the Jesuit College at Fulda. On 4 April 1616 he was appointed composer and organist of the Benedictine abbey at Weingarten, and remained there until 1633. It appears likely that his duties consisted primarily of composing sacred music, since the abbey also employed a full-time organist. When from 1632 its musical activities were curtailed because of the Thirty Years War, Kraf became active in political affairs. After successfully negotiating the preservation of the monastery from destruction by the Swedish army he became burgomaster of Altdorf-Weingarten on 29 June 1633. In 1639 he entered the service, in non-musical capacities, of Archduke Leopold of Swabia after whose death he continued to serve his successor, Ferdinand Karl; both rulers resided at Innsbruck. Though he did not resume his musical career after ...
George J. Buelow
(b c1683; d Salzburg, bur. April 17, 1721). Austrian organist, composer and theorist. He became cathedral organist in Salzburg on 1 October 1717, succeeding Johann Baptist Samber, who probably had been his teacher. In 1710 Gugl's Corona stellarum duodecim, id est Totidem litanie Lauretano-Marianae was published at Salzburg as his op.1, and a Missa Santissimae Trinitatis (1712) survives in manuscript (in A-KR ). Gugl also wrote a thoroughbass treatise, Fundamenta partiturae in compendio data. Das ist: Kurtzer und gründlicher Unterricht, den General-bass, oder Partitur, nach denen Reglen recht und wohl schlagen zu lehren (Salzburg, 1719). Despite its elementary character, it appeared in six published editions, the last one in Augsburg in 1805. The model for the work was apparently (see Federhofer) Samber's thoroughbass manual, Manuductio ad organum (Salzburg, 1704). Gugl's treatise, which he advises should not be studied by keyboard performers until they can play ‘something at the keyboard, such as preludes, fugues, versets, or other ...
(b ?Mantua; fl 1598–1646). Italian composer and singer. Before his arrival in Mantua he sang contralto in the ducal church of the Madonna della Steccata, Parma. His earliest recorded association with composers of the Mantuan cappella is the appearance of his Eran ninfe e pastori in Gastoldi’s popular Concenti musicali (RISM 1604²¹). Between July and April 1609 and in August and September 1612 he served temporarily as maestro di cappella of the ducal chapel of S Barbara, Mantua. From July 1610 to September 1612 he also held the less important post of maestro di canto fermo with responsibility for instructing the choristers in ‘canto figurato e contrappunto’. His abilities as a composer seem to have been highly valued by his Mantuan colleagues. His Ardo mia vita appeared together with works by Gastoldi, Virchi and Monteverdi in 1608 in Wert’s posthumous Il duodecimo libro de madrigali a 5, 6 & 7...
(b Linz, Nov 20, 1652; d Kleinfrauenheid, Burgenland, Sept 8, 1706). Austrian composer and violinist. He came from a family in which his father and at least one of his brothers, Franz, were also musicians. He entered the monastery at Lambach as a novice and at the profession of his vows on 6 January 1671 received the monastic name of Romanus. On 30 December 1671 he enrolled at the Benedictine University of Salzburg, gained the bachelor's degree in 1672 and became a doctor of philosophy in 1673. He must then have returned to Lambach. He had doubtless begun his musical education at home. Later the high standard of musical life at the monastery at Lambach, which was certainly comparable with that of the Viennese court, was to offer him ample stimulation. Not least, his student years in Salzburg considerably extended his musical horizons, for it can be assumed that his first meeting with Biber, which took place there, spurred him on to mastery of the violin. Almost every aspect of his musical achievement was influenced by Biber, who gave concerts at Lambach in ...
revised by Steven Saunders
(b ?Graz, c1585; d Gandria, nr Lugano, 1667). Italian composer and organist, possibly of Austrian birth. From 16 March 1604 to 16 September 1606, at the expense of Archduke Ferdinand of Inner Austria, he studied in Venice with Giovanni Gabrieli, whom he visited again in 1610. At the end of 1606 he was appointed court organist at Graz. When the archduke became emperor as Ferdinand II in 1619, Tadei moved to Vienna with other musicians of the Graz court, and there is evidence that he was organist to the imperial court until 1628. From 11 November 1628 to 20 May 1629 he acted as Kapellmeister at the abbey of Kremsmünster in Upper Austria. It may well have been soon after this, as he was then a widower, that he entered the Carmelite monastery in Venice; Ferdinand II had written a letter of recommendation to the head of the Carmelite order in ...
(b Mariazell, Styria, 1550–60; d Garsten, Upper Austria, July 13, 1618). Austrian composer. As a young man he served as a soldier in the war against the Turks. Soon after 1589 he entered the monastery at Garsten, near Steyr. Some sources state that he had lived before this at the monastery of Weihenstephan at Freising, near Munich, and that he was admitted to the Benedictine order there as a composer. In 1598 he took over temporarily the parish of Gaflenz, near Garsten, and in 1599, when his abbot was summoned to St Lambrecht, Styria, he followed him there as instructor in music to the choirboys. He is also heard of briefly in 1601 and 1603 at Mariazell and Admont, where he was a musician and regens chori. In 1605 he returned to Garsten and was choirmaster there when he died.
Ertl was admired in his lifetime as an excellent composer. His surviving output consists entirely of vocal works intended for use at the monastery at Garsten; nearly all are for six to ten voices, and the vast majority for eight. Most of those in six and seven parts are in the traditional polyphonic style. Those in eight parts are homophonic works for double choir including a good deal of antiphonal writing. The mainly syllabic treatment of the text and the precise rhythms (the frequent use of dotted crotchets is striking) are typical of such music at the time. Syllabic setting is abandoned only when important words in the text demand melismas, some of which are quite extensive, to emphasize them. These works in particular show Ertl's debt to the music of Giovanni Gabrieli and his school. The ...
(b Graz, bap. Dec 11, 1676; d Vienna, inquest Jan 2, 1740). Austrian amateur composer and lutenist. He worked in the book-keeping department of the Austrian exchequer and described himself as registrar and dispatcher (Expeditor). He was also a skilled lutenist. Though described as ‘officer of the exchequer’ in a document of 1712, he is called ‘lutenist’ in one dated 1708 and ‘cavalry officer’ in another. He had a wide range of interests and left a considerable collection of paintings (see Koczirz, 63). He wrote a number of pieces for lute solo and concerto-like works for lute and strings. He was a complete master of both polyphonic and chordal writing and in his later music cultivated the French galant style. His music enjoyed widespread popularity at the time, and he was highly regarded in Austria and Bohemia in particular, even though he was only an amateur....
(b Cremona, 1594–5; d Cremona, Dec 10, 1665). Italian composer, organist and violinist. He was one of the finest and most progressive Italian composers of his generation, and excelled in both vocal and instrumental music.
The suggested years for Merula's birth derive from the fact that he was confirmed on 23 April 1607, probably at the customary age of 12. His earliest post was probably as organist of S Bartolomeo, the church of the Carmelite Fathers, at Cremona. On 22 October 1616 he signed a three-year contract to serve as organist of the church of the Incoronata, Lodi. He was re-engaged on 8 February 1620 but appears to have left Lodi at the end of January 1621. He probably went directly to his next known position, in Poland, since in a letter of Anton Neunhaber of about that time he is mentioned as being in Warsaw. In 1624...
Friedrich W. Riedel
revised by Susan Wollenberg
[Boglietti, Alexander de]
(b ?Tuscany, early 17th century; d Vienna, July 1683). Austrian composer and organist of Italian birth. He may have received his musical training in either Rome or Bologna. He later settled in Vienna. At the beginning of 1661 he is known to have been organist and Kapellmeister to the Jesuits at the church ‘Zu den neun Engelschören’. On 1 July of the same year he was appointed court and chamber organist in the Kapelle of the Emperor Leopold I. He was very highly regarded as a teacher of keyboard playing and composition, and monks came from all over Austria to be taught by him. He formed particularly close ties with the Benedictine abbey at Göttweig, Lower Austria, where he occasionally stayed as a guest, and it was there in 1677 that his only known opera, Endimione festeggiante, was performed, on the occasion of a visit by the emperor. He also enjoyed the friendship of Count Anton Franz von Collalto and the Prince-bishop of Olomouc; in ...
(b Radonitz [now Radonice], Bohemia, Aug 31, 1755; d Regensburg, Feb 22, 1822). German composer and tenor. He first studied under the organist Ignaz Neudörffl. From 1773, while a student at the University of Vienna, he studied singing and composition with Joseph Starzer. His identification with the Joseph Walter who sang for the National-Singspiel from 1780 to 1782 (and who was originally to have figured in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail) seems very doubtful. From 1780 to 1786 Walter earned a considerable reputation as a tenor and composer of comic operas with various German companies in Augsburg, Prague, Riga, Frankfurt and Mainz.
In 1792 Walter joined G.F.W. Grossmann’s company in Lower Saxony as its music director. His operas for this troupe show his Viennese training to advantage, displaying a fondness for wind instruments, a cheerful and popular melodic style and a fine sense of musical architecture (his tonal plans seem closely modelled on the practice of Mozart, in whose operas he frequently sang). In ...
revised by Norbert Dubowy
(b Brescia, c1540; d Ansbach, c1600). Italian composer , active mainly in Germany. He referred to himself as ‘Brixianus Italus’. He may have worked at Ferrara, and according to the preface of his first book of madrigals he was maestro di cappella of SS Nazaro e Celso, Brescia, in 1567. In 1575 he arrived at the Ansbach court of Margrave Georg Friedrich of Ansbach-Brandenburg, probably after spending some time in Vienna and Dresden. It is possible that he was recommended to Ansbach by Antonio Scandello, at that time Kapellmeister to the Dresden court. In 1578, when the margrave became administrator of the duchy of Prussia, the musicians were sent to Königsberg in Prussia where Riccio became a Protestant. From 1580 he was acquainted with the composer Johannes Eccard who is cited in the household register as vice-Kapellmeister. In 1585 Riccio married and became a householder near the town; in that year he was appointed Kapellmeister of the court for life. In ...
(b c1580; d Salzburg, 1625). ?German composer and singer, active in Austria. He is first mentioned in 1588 as an alto in the Kapelle (which was directed by Lassus’s son Ferdinand) of Count Eitelfriedrich IV of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen at Hechingen, Baden-Württemberg. He was a member of the Kapelle of Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau at Salzburg in 1602, when Stadlmayr was its director. In 1608 he was himself promoted Kapellmeister. In 1613 the new prince-archbishop, Marcus Sitticus, replaced him with Francesco Turco, but he was back in the post a year later and remained in it until his death. Like the more famous Stefano Bernardi, his successor in Salzburg, he was an important figure in early Baroque music in Salzburg. His output consists principally of sacred works (example in Schneider, appx, no.31), including polychoral writing, and a few were still in the repertory at Salzburg in Mozart’s time. They include two motets, respectively for two and three voices and continuo (RISM, ...
(b Epfenhausen, nr Landsberg, Jan 24, 1758; d Augsburg, Feb 9, 1801). German composer. He served at Augsburg cathedral from 1769, first as a treble, then from 1776 as a Marianer (chorister). At the same time he studied at the Jesuit Gymnasium of St Salvator, and he was ordained priest in 1790. After writing some early works for the cathedral and for the theatre of the Jesuit Gymnasium, he studied composition from 1786 to 1788 in Salzburg with Michael Haydn, who recommended him for further study in Italy, but the Augsburg chapter refused permission. Drexel became music director of the cathedral in 1790 and Kapellmeister in 1797.
Drexel’s masses in symphonic style (including ten settings of the missa solemnis and five pastoral masses) show progressive features in their instrumentation and harmonies. His music was not widely distributed until after his death, but was then performed until the change of style brought about by the Cecilian movement....
Robert N. Freeman
(b Gnadendorf, Lower Austria, bap. Dec 5, 1724; d Passau, Aug 6, 1799). Austrian composer, brother of Carl Friberth, with whom he is often confused. He probably received his early musical training from his father, a schoolmaster and organist. The Benedictines of Melk employed him as tenor at their abbey from the middle of 1743 until April 1745 with a salary of 30 florins. He left Melk to study with Giuseppe Bonno in Vienna, where he entered the service of Prince Joseph Friedrich von Sachen-Hildburghausen; in the 1750s he established himself as a successful tenor in the Viennese theatres, performing in the premières of Gluck's Le cinesi (1754, as Silango) and La danza (1755, as Tirsi).
From 1763 until his retirement in 1795 he was music director for the prince-bishops of Passau, where his stage works were performed at the Jesuit College and then, during and after its construction from ...