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Article

Helene Wessely

[Andreas Franz]

(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 ...

Article

Othmar Wessely

(b c1668; d Salzburg, Dec 14, 1731). Austrian composer. According to Hochreiter himself, one of his ancestors (perhaps his father) had been a treble at the monastery in Lambach in about 1650, had learnt to play the organ, and from 1662 had been employed (possibly as organist) there; he had also completed an important music inventory. Hochreiter himself was organist at the abbey at Lambach in Upper Austria from 1696 to 1721; he also trained the choirboys and some organists there, and set down his experiences in the manuscript Praecepta quaedam observanda, quae pro emolumento bonae musices maxime proderunt, dummo observentur (c1710, A-LA ). He was at that time a close friend of Stephan Hieber, organist at the monastery in Kremsmünster (Upper Austria); he dedicated a mass to the abbot of that monastery in 1705 for the abbot’s nameday. In the same year he dedicated the ...

Article

Hans Michel

(b Vienna, Feb 5, 1711; d Bamberg, May 24, 1762). Austrian composer. According to the parish register in St Stephen’s, Vienna, he was the second of five children of the court painter to the widowed Empress Anna Amalia of Austria. He was probably educated in Vienna. In 1749 he held an appointment in Dresden as musical director at the court of Count Brühl, where he became acquainted with J.A. Hasse and J.C.F. Bach. On 20 October 1752 he was appointed Kapellmeister and court composer to the Prince-Bishop J.P. von Frankenstein and his successor in Bamberg. The following years, up to his death, were his most creative.

Umstatt composed in nearly all the forms of his time, both sacred and secular, and his works demonstrate the gradual change from Baroque polyphony to the Classical style. This can be seen in his masses (which include cantata masses in several movements, of both the ...

Article

Partita  

David Fuller

revised by Cliff Eisen

[parte] (It.; Ger. Partie, Parthie, Partia, Parthia; Lat. pars)

A term used at different times for a variation, a piece, a set of Variations and a Suite or other multi-movement genres. Perhaps the earliest use of the term was in Vincenzo Galilei’s manuscript Libro d’intavolatura di liuto, nel quale si contengono i passamezzi, le romanesche, i saltarelli, et le gagliarde, written in 1584 and probably composed over the preceding 20 years (Torrefranca), containing a Romanesca undecima con cento parti, a Passemezzo sesto con [5] parti, and Aria del Gazzella con XII parti. Shortly afterwards Prospero Luzi published a dance manual entitled Opera bellissima nella quale si contengono molte partite et passaggi di gagliarda (1589); to what extent ‘partite’ was consciously derived from ‘parti’ is unknown, but both seem to be equivalent in meaning to mutanze or modi, i.e. variations or elaborations on the bass of a traditional tune. ‘Partite’ or ‘partite diversi’ continued to be used by the Italians in this sense, though less and less frequently, throughout the 17th century; examples of pieces called ‘partite sopra’, ...

Article

Robert N. Freeman

[Johannes Evangelist]

(b Vienna, Dec 8, 1737; d Oberweiden, Dec 5, 1799). Austrian composer and teacher. He was educated as a student and choirboy by the Benedictines at Melk Abbey, Lower Austria, from 1748 until 1754, when he took his vows. As a novice he was sent to Vienna to study composition with Joseph Haydn, perhaps from 1756 to 1758, but more certainly from November 1760 until April 1761, during which time he was exposed to keyboard works by C.P.E. Bach, F. Nicolai and G.M. Rutini and vocal music by Galuppi, C.H. Graun and Pergolesi. He then returned to Melk as music director, 1761–77; he spent the last 22 years of his life as a minister in the parishes of Getsdorf, Weikendorf and Oberweiden.

Kimmerling's solid reputation as a composer rested primarily on his stage works produced in connection with visits of the imperial court to Melk in 1764 and especially with the nuptial visit of Marie Antoinette in ...

Article

Cliff Eisen

(b Eggenfelden, Lower Bavaria, Feb 1, 1718; d Salzburg, Aug 15, 1798). Austrian composer and organist. He went to Salzburg as a 14-year-old choirboy and was appointed court and cathedral organist in 1754. At first his duties were restricted largely to performance at the cathedral; only after the death of Adlgasser in 1777 did Lipp become active as an accompanist at court. Less than a year later, Leopold Mozart wrote to his son: ‘You can easily imagine how beastly things are now that … Lipp accompanies at court. Whenever Ceccarelli sings, he complains loudly and publicly’. It is probably no coincidence that on his return to Salzburg in 1779, Mozart took over Lipp's court duties.

Lipp was a prolific composer of church music; manuscripts of his works dating from 1745 to 1796 survive in numerous libraries in and around Salzburg. Of his secular music only two string trios survive. Lipp's works are written in a conservative style and despite his long composing career he made few compositional advances. Leopold Mozart at first thought favourably of Lipp; in ...

Article

[Mattia Sigismondo]

(b Leibnitz, nr Graz, c1668; d Salzburg, Aug 27, 1743). Austrian composer and lutenist. He studied at the Jesuit university at Graz from not later than 1684 to 1687, and then moved to the Benedictine university at Salzburg, probably as a result of the election of his father’s former master and patron, Johann Ernst, Count Thun, as Prince Archbishop of Salzburg. In 1688 he entered the court Kapelle, perhaps as a solo singer. He became vice-Kapellmeister in 1703, Kapellmeister in 1706, and also taught the choristers singing for some time. In 1723 he was ennobled by Emperor Charles VI. He was appointed high steward in 1726 by the ruling Archbishop of Salzburg. It is notable that as Kapellmeister, a post he filled until his death, Biechteler was paid less than his predecessor, Heinrich Biber.

Biechteler made an important contribution to the construction of a self-contained repertory for Salzburg Cathedral. His numerous liturgical works observe the distinctions, common in Catholic sacred music, between the ...

Article

Theodore Karp, Fabrice Fitch and Basil Smallman

(Missa pro defunctis, Missa defunctorum)

In the Roman Catholic rite, a votive Mass on behalf of the dead. It may be sung on the day of burial and on succeeding anniversaries, as well as on the third, seventh and 30th days following interment. (In the 4th century commemorations occurred on the ninth and 40th days in certain places.) It is celebrated also in memory of the faithful departed on All Souls' Day, 2 November. The name derives from the first word of the best known of the introits for such occasions: Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.

Theodore Karp

The celebration of the Eucharist in honour of the dead is mentioned as early as the late 2nd century Acta Johannis, and in a Smyrnese document (Martyrium Polycarpi) of similar date; the roots of this practice are likely to be much older still. Yet no texts for the musical portions appear in surviving 8th- and 9th-century textual sources for the gradual. The earliest sources for the chants are ...

Article

Michael F. Robinson

revised by Fabiola Maffei and Rossella Garibbo

(b ?Milan, 1708; d Milan, June 2, 1788). Italian composer. He was of middle-class origin; his father Virgilio may have been a composer. In 1732 his first opera Candace was given at the Teatro Regio Ducale, Milan. During the ensuing years several of his operas were frequently performed, particularly in northern Italy, and in 1738 he was paid for the composition of a number of sacred works for the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice. In 1743 he was appointed resident composer at the King's Theatre, London; his first opera production there was Roxana (15 November 1743), a pasticcio including music by Handel. Lampugnani wrote two further operas for London in the early months of 1744, Alfonso and Alceste. He was back in Italy in 1745–6; his Semiramide was performed in June 1745 in Padua, and Il gran Tamerlano on 20 January 1746 in Milan. In the years after his return from London he travelled throughout Italy, organizing performances of his works in Milan, Venice, Florence, Reggio nell'Emilia, Turin, Piacenza and Genoa. His ...

Article

Cliff Eisen

(b Raab, Feb 8, 1746; d Salzburg, Jan 18, 1784). Austrian composer and violinist. He enrolled at the Salzburg University Gymnasium in 1759 and subsequently took instruction as a discant at the Kapellhaus; he may have been a pupil of Leopold Mozart. He served at St Peter after his voice broke in 1763 and in 1767 he was appointed to a position at court. In late 1768 and 1769 Hafeneder began teaching the violin at the Kapellhaus, taking over the position of the recently deceased Wenzel Hebelt, who had taught the violin there during Leopold Mozart's frequent absences from Salzburg. Apparently Hafeneder thought highly of his own violin playing: in a petition to Archbishop Schrattenbach he wrote, ‘I venture to say that no-one at court approaches me in violin playing – to say nothing of surpassing me – and at your gracious command I shall attempt to prove this’. In a letter of ...

Article

Jochen Reutter

(b ?Holleschau [now Holešov], Dec 1, 1709; d Strasbourg, Sept 12, 1789). German composer of Moravian descent. Holleschau in Moravia is traditionally regarded as his native town, but there is no entry in the Holleschau church records to confirm this. The archives do, however, show that his father Matthias served in this town as a soldier. Richter could therefore at least have spent his childhood there, and his name does appear with the attribute ‘Holleschoviensis’ (‘of Holleschau’) in the registers of the Jesuit seminary at Ungarisch Hradisch (now Uherské Hradiště), where he was a pupil (1722–7). In Richter’s death certificate the remark ‘ex Kratz’ (‘of Hradiště’) may therefore be the result of a confusion between the towns of his birth and his schooling, as is also the case in Marpurg’s description ‘aus Ungarn’ (‘from Hungary’).

Between 1727 and 1736 Richter probably spent some time in Vienna: this is implied by his intensive study of Fux’s ...

Article

Eugene K. Wolf, Fritz Kaiser and Jean K. Wolf

[Stamic]

Bohemian family of musicians. The family can be traced back to Marburg an der Drau in Styria (now Maribor, Slovenia). From there Martin Stamitz emigrated to the Bohemian town of Pardubice, where his name is first recorded in 1665. About 1710 Martin’s son Antonin Ignác (1686–1765) moved to Německý Brod, where he was appointed organist and choirmaster of the Dean’s church and later became a wealthy landowner and town councillor. In 1714 he married Rosina (Rozyna) Böhm von Loisbach; the third of their 11 children, and the first to survive, was (1) Johann Stamitz.

The spelling of the name in contemporary sources is extraordinarily erratic, the most common variants being Stamiz, Steinmetz, Steinmez, Stammiz, Stametz, Stammitz, Staimitz, Stamits and Stammetz. Every known signature by a member of the family uses the form Stamitz, even in documents in which the language and the forms of the first names are Czech....

Article

George Truett Hollis

(Gasparo) [Giuseppe]

(b Salò, nr Brescia, Aug 15, 1725; d Desenzano, nr Lake Garda, Dec 1, 1813). Italian composer. He studied composition with Padre Martini in Bologna. His first opera was the successful pasticcio La vedova accorta, first performed in Florence in 1745. It was repeated in Venice (1746) and elsewhere in Europe. The Venetian libretto identifies Bertoni as the composer of ‘La Musica de' recitativi, e delle [9] arie’. His first serious opera, Il Cajetto, was staged privately, with puppets, in 1746. He composed two more opere serie within the year for commercial theatres in Venice, but was more successful in the comic genre: Le pescatrici (1751), on a Goldoni libretto, had 14 productions in 17 years throughout Europe, including Dresden (1754), London (1761) and Madrid (1765) in a Spanish translation by Ramón de la Cruz. La moda (...

Article

Member of Mozart family

(b Augsburg, Nov 14, 1719; d Salzburg, May 28, 1787). Composer, violinist and theorist.

He was the son of an Augsburg bookbinder, Johann Georg Mozart (1679–1736), and attended the Augsburg Gymnasium (1727–35) and the Lyceum adjoining the Jesuit school of St Salvator (1735–6), where he frequently performed as an actor and singer in various theatrical productions; he was also an accomplished organist and violinist. In 1737 Leopold broke with his family and matriculated at the Salzburg Benedictine University, studying philosophy and jurisprudence. He took the bachelor of philosophy degree the next year, with public commendation, but in September 1739 he was expelled for poor attendance and indifference. Shortly after, he became a valet and musician to Johann Baptist, Count of Thurn-Valsassina and Taxis, Salzburg canon and president of the consistory; it was to Thurn-Valsassina that Mozart dedicated his ...

Article

(b Prague, March 9, 1737; d Rome, Feb 4, 1781). Czech composer. The elder of identical twin brothers, he grew up in Prague in the households of his father and stepfather, both prosperous millers. Although it is believed that Mysliveček’s father arranged musical instruction for his sons before his death in 1749, there is no evidence to confirm speculation that they were taught by Felix Benda, a near neighbour. Reports that the twins attended the Dominican Normalschule at the Church of St Giles (Jiljí) and the Jesuit Gymnasium in the Clementinum are conjectural, but their enrolment in the philosophy faculty at Charles-Ferdinand University (now Charles University) is confirmed in surviving matriculation records. Owing to a lack of academic success, Mysliveček withdrew from the university in March 1753 without graduating. The following May, the twins became apprentice millers; they were admitted into the Prague millers’ guild as journeymen in ...

Article

Margaret Grave and Jay Lane

[Ditters, Carl]

(b Vienna, Nov 2, 1739; d Neuhof [now Nový Dvůr], nr Sobĕslav, Bohemia, Oct 24, 1799). Austrian composer and violinist. After promising early success in Vienna, he settled for a modest career as a provincial Kapellmeister and administrator. He composed voluminously despite the official responsibilities that occupied him for much of his life, and his generally high standard of craftsmanship earned him recognition as a leading figure of the Viennese Classical school.

Born to Paul Ditters, costumier at the imperial court and theatre in Vienna, and his wife Anna (née Vandelin), Ditters enjoyed the benefits of a Jesuit school education, private tutoring and, from the age of seven, violin lessons. About 1750 he began studies with the violinist J.P. Ziegler, and before long he was accepted into the orchestra of the Schottenkirche. Soon afterwards he was recruited as a Kammerknabe by Prince Joseph Friedrich von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, whose Kapelle was one of the best in Vienna; from ...

Article

Marita P. McClymonds, Paul Cauthen, Wolfgang Hochstein and Mauricio Dottori

[Nicolò]

(b Aversa, Sept 10, 1714; d Naples, Aug 25, 1774). Italian composer. He was important among those who initiated the mid-18th-century modifications to singer-dominated Italian opera. His greatest achievements represent a combination of German complexity, French decorative elements and Italian brio, welded together by an extraordinary gift for dramatic effectiveness.

Jommelli’s musical training began under Canon Muzzillo, director of the cathedral choir at Aversa. In 1725 he went to the Conservatorio S Onofrio in Naples, where he studied with Prota and Feo; he transferred to the Conservatorio Pietà dei Turchini in 1728, where his teachers included Nicola Fago. He was also influenced by the composers active in Naples during his student years, notably Hasse and Leo. Later, to Schubart, he admitted his debt to both Hasse and Graun. His public career began with two comic operas for Naples, L’errore amorosa in spring 1737 and Odoardo in winter 1738...

Article

David J. Nichols and Sven Hansell

[Hesse, Hassen, Hass]

Many German musicians, active primarily as organists, and in a few cases as composers, throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, bore this surname or one of its variants. There is no evidence that they were all related – there are doubts, for example, about such men as Andreas Hasse, organist and organ builder at Greiz, Vogtland about 1688; Peter Hass, organist at Travemünde, near Lübeck, from 1687 to 1732, who was succeeded by his son Peter (d 1737); and Johann Ludwig Hasse, Kantor at the Marienkirche, Rostock, until his death in 1795 – but several of them certainly belonged to one important north German family, of which there were two main branches. The longer-established line was centred on Lübeck from 1600 onwards. Its most notable members were those discussed at (1) and (2) below. The former was thrice married and had four other sons, three of whom were musicians: Esajas assisted, and in ...