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William V. Porter

(b ?Verona, c1575; fl Verona, 1593–1613). Italian composer and organist. He was organist at S Marco, Rovereto from 1600 to 1602. The title-pages of his printed works describe him as Veronese, and the dedications are addressed to a few noble patrons. The copy of his Primo libro de madrigali (1602) in the Accademia Filarmonica, Verona, has been there since his lifetime. His earliest known volume, the three-part Canzonette of 1593, contains 19 brief pieces in two repeated sections to strophic texts of three or four lines per stanza; although the partbooks are labelled ‘cantus’, ‘tenor’ and ‘bass’, the pieces are in fact for two sopranos and tenor. The Canzonette spirituali (1599) includes eight duets for soprano and tenor and two instrumental compositions in four parts; according to the preface, the instrumental works are for organ. The parts in all the pieces are of equal importance and imitative throughout. The volume also includes a duet by Paolo Fonghetto and two three-part instrumental pieces by Ambrogio Bresciano. The ...

Article

Nigel Fortune

(d Rome, 1–16 Nov 1626). Italian composer and organist . He was an organist at the Florentine court, where his wife Lucrezia also worked; they were probably in the service of Antonio de’ Medici in particular, as appears to be suggested by the dedication (written by one of his pupils) of Visconti’s 1615 publication. On 6 October 1626 he was appointed organist of S Maria in Aracoeli, Rome, but about a month later he died. The pieces in his Primo libro de madrigali a 5 voci (RISM 1615²¹), which contains two by other composers as well as 19 of his own, are similar in style to other Florentine madrigals, such as those of Marco da Gagliano, but are only of limited interest; Quel bacio che mi dai (in Butchart, ii, no.75) shows him at his best. Another madrigal by him appears in an anthology (RISM 1616²¹). There is some rather more rewarding music in his only other publication, ...

Article

Nigel Fortune

(b Chieti; fl early 17th century). Italian composer. He was a Celestine monk. He is known by Amorosi respiri musicali, for one to three voices and continuo (Venice, 1617; 1 song ed. in Goldschmidt, appx, 39f; 1 dialogue ed. in Racek, 244f). The 20 pieces it contains, over half of them monodies, cover a wide range of forms current at the time and include settings of some specially popular poems such as Guarini’s ...

Article

(b Viterbo; d Loreto, May 22, 1622). Italian composer. That he came from Viterbo is stated by Paolo Agostini in his fourth book of masses (1627). He was probably maestro di cappella at the Seminario Romano in 1619, and in 1620 he acted temporarily as maestro di cappella of Santo Spirito in Sassia, Rome, in place of Cesare Zoilo. On 17 March 1622 he became maestro of the Santa Casa, Loreto, but died just over two months later. He wrote the five intermedi Strali d'amore for a performance of a comedy at Viterbo on 14 February 1616. The published extracts consist of a few choruses, recitatives and arias, all rather innocuous, prefaced by a long description of the action (reproduced by Ambros, 415–21, in German with several music examples). Of the other music in the same volume the two solo madrigals and the solo sonnet setting are the most striking; the latter, ...

Article

Albert Dunning

[Colin]

(b Soignies, c1512; d Madrid, after April 24, 1559). South Netherlandish composer. According to Fétis, Payen received his earliest musical education at St Vincent’s, Soignies, before becoming a choirboy in Charles V’s chapel in Spain. Payen’s name is mentioned there from 1525 and appears in the prebendal lists for Mons and Gorinchem. During the 1530s he may have interrupted his service with the emperor for university studies. From 1540 he was in Charles’s chapel as clerc d’oratoire, chapelain des hautes messes, and from 1556 as maestro de capilla, succeeding Canis. In 1558 he was granted a canonry in the collegiate church of Tournai and at the time of his death he held numerous prebends. Very little research has been done on Payen’s music. Most of his works are sacred, and the two extant state motets show his concern for expressing the emotional content of the texts. In negotiations with the Duke of Bavaria, the imperial vice-chancellor Dr Seld named Payen among the representatives of ...

Article

(b early 17th century; d Venice, before Aug 15, 1644). Italian composer and organist. He was a priest who in 1638 was organist of S Sebastiano, Venice. He composed a number of short, secular strophic arias, but nearly all are lost. Those that survive are mainly pleasant, urbane pieces. The three solo madrigals in his 1638 book are more ambitious, and the sonnet Angela siete in the same book uses both an ostinato bass and the genere concitato.

AmbrosGM FortuneISS MischiatiI S. Leopold: ‘Al modo d'Orfeo: Dichtung und Musik im italienischen Sologesang des frühen 17. Jahrhunderts’, ...

Article

John Whenham

(b Verona; d ?Verona, before Sept 1, 1643). Italian composer. He is known only from two published volumes of music: Concerti accademici (Venice, 1643, inc.) and Messa e salmi concertati (Venice, 1647); both were issued posthumously by his pupil Carlo Calzareti [Calzaresi]. Of the 1643 volume of secular music only the quinto partbook survives; its list of contents includes a sectional canzonetta for two voices and other music for two, four and five voices, with continuo. The collection also includes four works by Dionisio Bellante. The 1647 volume, which is all for five voices, contains, in addition to the mass, seven vesper psalms, a Magnificat and a motet, Jesum omnes agnoscite (these are also extant in manuscript in PL-WRu ).

AmbrosGM, iv EitnerQ E. Bohn: Bibliographie der Musik-Druckwerke bis 1700, welche … zu Breslau aufbewahrt werden (Berlin, 1883/R), 68 J. Whenham: Duet and Dialogue in the Age of Monteverdi...

Article

(b late 16th century; d after 1633). Italian composer. Although styled ‘romano’ in his publications, he may have been born at Biandrate, near Novara, his surname and its variants thus deriving from that place. He appears to have been maestro di cappella of the Seminario Romano, Rome, possibly from 1618 to 1619, and from 1619 to 1633 he was maestro di cappella of Faenza Cathedral. By 1626–7 at least he was also maestro di cappella of the Accademia degli Spennati in Faenza, to which he dedicated his opp.1 and 2. He composed primarily in the monodic and concertato styles. His first book contains 19 solos, five duets and two trios, all set to spiritual texts, while among the polyphonic madrigals of the second book are three ‘resposte’ to madrigals by Domenico Brunetti, Ignazio Donati and Angelo Peracini, and an extended setting of the ‘Giuoco della cieca’ in Guarini's ...

Article

Nigel Fortune and Peter Laki

(b Siena, ?July 1, 1586; d Mirandola, Sept 20, 1630). Italian composer. It is impossible to be certain which of the several Claudio Saracinis born in Siena between 1570 and 1590 was the composer. According to one source (of questionable reliability), Saracini published a Lettera amorosa as early as 1600. His documented activities as a composer span the decade 1614–24, when his extant monody books (nos.1–3, 5 and 6) were printed (no.4, if it ever existed, is unknown). On their title-pages he is usually referred to as ‘nobile senese’, and on the first three as ‘detto il Palusi’; whether this latter appellation refers to his membership of an academy is uncertain. It has been assumed that Saracini travelled widely in his youth: the dedications of individual monodies to Monteverdi, Grand Duke Cosimo II de' Medici and Catherine of Brunswick suggest that he had connections in Venice, Florence and even Germany....

Article

(b Reggio nell’Emilia; fl early 17th century). Italian composer and lawyer. He was a relative, possibly a cousin, of Pietro Paolo Melli, who in his third Intavolatura (1616) calls him his ‘parente carissimo’. In 1600 he was a singer at Reggio nell’Emilia Cathedral. On the title-page of his first publication he is called a doctor of law, and in the same year he signed the dedication of his second book from Padua, where he was presumably living at the time. As a composer he possibly regarded himself as an amateur; if he was it is probably no accident that all his known music survives in books devoted primarily to monodies, which were specially popular with amateur composers in early 17th-century Italy. He was indeed the only composer besides Caccini (whose Le nuove musiche is generally held to have inaugurated the tremendous fashion for monody) to publish monodies during the first years of the century. Melli was a lesser composer than Caccini, though there are similarities between their music, especially in the predominantly bland diatonic harmony and in the relationship of vocal line and bass (which with Melli is almost entirely unfigured): in the music of both composers the polarization of voice and bass presents one of the essential features of monody, especially in madrigals....

Article

Nigel Fortune and Jerome Roche

(b Bologna, c1580; d Bologna, between late April and May 7, 1646). Italian composer and organist. In 1609 he was organist of S Domenico, Bologna. From 1618 until his death he was maestro di cappella of the cathedral there, a somewhat lesser establishment than the better-known S Petronio. He founded the Accademia dei Filaschisi in 1633.

Brunetti was one of the very first composers to publish accompanied monodies: there are 19 in L'Euterpe. 14 of them are madrigals in a bland diatonic style reminiscent of that of the madrigals in Caccini's Le nuove musiche (1601/2); a good example is O miei pensieri (ed. in Fortune, appx iv, 3–4), which is notable for a very early example of a change near the end from the prevailing common time to 3/2. The other five monodies are simple little arias with attractive melodies. The volume also includes seven pieces that can be sung as either solos or duets, four genuine chamber duets with continuo, a three-part madrigal featuring echoes, and four pieces for four voices. Of the latter, two – ...

Article

Roark Miller

(fl 1618–26). Italian music editor. His three extant anthologies of Italian strophic songs with accompanying continuo and Spanish guitar alfabeto were extremely popular, the first volume alone being reprinted four times. The five identifiable sources (two by J.H. Kapsberger and one each by Nicolò Borboni, Jacopo Peri and Francesco Monteverdi) show that the compiler relied on Roman, Florentine and Venetian repertories in assembling his anthologies. While numerous textual concordances exist between Stefani’s volumes and the collections of Remigio Romano, their work is so nearly contemporaneous that it is impossible to know whether one compiler relied on the anthologies of the other or whether they both derived material from a common source. In all, Stefani’s volumes contain 87 Italian songs, four Sicilian dialect songs and six Spanish songs. Stefani was not a very competent music editor. In many songs his unidiomatic guitar accompaniment includes lengthy successions of stepwise harmonies transliterated directly from the continuo line, and occasionally his ...

Article

Fabio Bisogni and Nigel Fortune

(b S Croce sull’Arno, Tuscany, Dec 20, 1577; d Pisa, before Nov 19, 1630). Italian composer, organist, teacher and writer on music. It has often been stated that he was born at Bagnarea (now Bagnoregio), near Viterbo. In his op.12 he himself called it his place of origin, but he was referring to the fact that his family came from there – they had been there since the 15th century – while making it clear that he was born in Tuscany. He received his main musical education in the 1590s in Rome, where his teacher was G.M. Nanino; he stated in the preface to his Regole utilissime that he had visited many other cities and schools besides. In 1603 he became maestro di cappella and organist of the cathedral at S Miniato, near Pisa. The last recorded payment to him was made in August 1607. He moved to Prato in ...

Article

(b diocese of Limoges; fl Rome, 1537–after 1555). French composer and singer active in Italy. On 13 July 1537 ‘Leonardus Barre Lemovicensis dioec.’ was made a singer of the papal chapel. He remained there until 1555, when, together with Palestrina, he was expelled for being married. He then became maestro di cappella of S Lorenzo in Damaso, Rome. Barré was probably unrelated to Antonio Barrè, but he may have been the father of ‘Alexandro Bare, sopranus, putto’, who served in the Cappella Giulia in 1560 and 1561 and possibly from 1564 to May 1566. His nine surviving madrigals and six published motets appeared in various collections from 1539 to 1544. In a collection of 1540 for five voices he is described as a disciple of Willaert and two of his madrigals, Oime’l bel viso and Lachrime meste, were attributed to Willaert in the latter’s posthumous Madrigali a quatro voci...

Article

Edmond Strainchamps

(d Florence, bur. May 5, 1627). Italian composer and musician. According to Fétis he served the ducal court at Parma at the beginning of the 17th century, but documents have not been found to support this assertion. On 10 August 1607 he became a member of the prestigious Compagnia dell'Arcangelo Raffaello, which put him into contact with many of the most important Florentines of the day. In a letter of 27 October 1609 to Cardinal Ferdinando Gonzaga (also a member of the confraternity), Belli indicated that he would be glad to enter the new cardinal's service in Rome. But he remained in Florence and from 1610 to 1613 he was tutor in music to the clerics of S Lorenzo, Florence, a position in which he succeeded Marco da Gagliano. Minutes of the chapter of canons there show that in addition he was given responsibility for music in S Lorenzo for Holy Week in ...

Article

Edmond Strainchamps

[Pietro]

(b Florence, c1585; d Florence, after July 14, 1649). Italian composer. He seems to have spent his life in Florence. Autograph letters from him reveal that he was at Mantua in 1608 to provide musical assistance at the time of Francesco Gonzaga’s wedding festivities, though he later complained bitterly that he had received no remuneration for his services. In 1610 Cardinal Ferdinando Gonzaga invited him to Rome to serve him at least temporarily, but he declined, saying that he had to remain in Florence because his family would suffer too much by his absence. On the title-pages of his publications of 1611 and 1613 he indicated that he was a member of the Accademia degli Elevati (founded by Marco da Gagliano in 1607), with the academic name ‘L’Invaghito’. Parigi referred to him as a chaplain at the Florentine court in 1618, and he is in fact recorded as such in the court salary rolls for ...

Article

( fl 1640–52). Italian composer . He was an Olivetan monk, who by 1652 had become an abbot of his order. His output consists mainly of sacred music – Concerti da chiesa a 1–5 voci (Venice, 1640) and La cantica … a 2–5 voci (Venice, 1652) – though the former includes a four-part instrumental canzona. The latter consists of settings of his own vernacular paraphrases of texts from the Song of Songs....

Article

(b Tivoli, 1595–7; d Parma, before Sept 27, 1667). Italian composer, singer, impresario and poet. Together with Benedetto Ferrari he was instrumental in establishing the tradition of public opera at Venice.

Manelli began his musical career about 1605 as a chorister at Tivoli Cathedral, where he was later employed as a cantore ordinario from 1609 until February 1624. His father then sent him to Rome to pursue an ecclesiastical career; instead he married a Roman singer, Maddalena, and returned to Tivoli, where he worked as choirmaster of the cathedral from 1627 until the end of January 1629. Between 1629 and 1630 he and his wife were again living in Rome, where they lodged at the house of his teacher, Stefano Landi. From 18 May 1630 to before September 1631 Manelli was choirmaster of the Arciconfraternita di S Maria della Consolazione there. It is not known how long the Manellis stayed in Rome, but Maddalena’s presence there was noted in a letter, dated ...

Article

Brian Mann

(b Chioggia, c1555; d Rome, Nov 16, 1628). Italian composer and organist. He was born into a noble family of Chioggia and in about 1574 settled in Rome, where he remained until his death. During more than 50 years there he worked for wealthy patrician families, as well as for the church, as both musician and bureaucrat. He was maestro di cappella at S Maria Maggiore from 1591 to 1621 and seems to have held a similar position at S Marcello al Corso; he also worked as a musician at the Oratorio del Crocifisso on numerous occasions between 1595 and 1618. He became a Roman citizen in 1594. In 1606 his Il carro di Fedeltà d’Amore was performed on a decorated cart in the streets of Rome during the pre-Lenten celebrations. Pietro della Valle, who wrote the text, declared later that it ‘was the first dramatic action or representation in music that had ever been heard in that city’, an exaggerated claim. Between about ...

Article

Victor Anand Coelho

[Giovanni Geronimo; Kapsberger, Johann Hieronymus; ‘Il Tedesco della tiorba’]

(b Venice, c1580; d Rome, Jan 1651). Italian composer, lutenist, theorbist and guitarist of German descent. (He seems to have used the spelling ‘Kapsperger’ rather than the ‘Kapsberger’ favoured by German scholars.) His father, Colonel Guglielmo Kapsperger, was a noble military official with the Imperial House of Austria and may have settled in Venice. Kapsperger was in Rome soon after 1605, where through his reputation as a virtuoso and his status as a nobile alemano he moved in the circles of powerful families such as the Bentivoglio and the Barberini. Other supporters in Rome included the Orders of S Stefano and S Giovanni and the academies of the Umoristi and the Imperfetti whose members arranged for the publication of his works; the academies Kapsperger organized in his house were described as among the ‘wonders of Rome’. Around 1609 he married the Neapolitan Gerolima di Rossi, by whom he had at least three children. In ...