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(An-dra’-a Gab-re-a’-le) c. 1510–86 Italian composer After spending some time in Munich as a colleague of Lassus, Gabrieli became maestro di cappella at St Mark’s, Venice in 1566. There, with the resources of its great choir at his disposal, he composed an impressive repertory of music for various combinations of voices and instruments. His style – in sacred ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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(Jo-van’-ne Gab-re-a’-le) c. 1553–1612 Italian composer Gabrieli was taught by his uncle Andrea Gabrieli and, like him, was first employed in Munich with Lassus. After Andrea’s death Giovanni became principal composer for St Mark’s, Venice, and he wrote much of his music with its choir (and building) in mind. His musical debt to his uncle is evident in ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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1775–1832, Italian Andrea Nozzari was one of the greatest tenors to sing in Rossini’s operas, creating, among many others, the roles of the Earl of Leicester in Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra and the title role in Otello. Nozzari was the complete opera singer, with a strong voice and graceful stage presence. He probably made his debut ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Composed: 1896 Premiered: 1896, Milan Libretto by Luigi Illica Act I During the early days of the French Revolution, Gérard, a servant, is secretly in love with Maddalena, daughter of the Contessa de Coigny. Among the guests at the contessa’s soirée is the poet Andrea Chénier. The other guests are offended by his call for liberty ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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b. 1967 German countertenor Scholl studied at the Schola Cantorum in Basle. He has worked with many leading Baroque specialists, including William Christie, Philip Herreweghe, Christopher Hogwood and Ton Koopman, singing oratorios and cantatas by J. S. Bach and Handel. His recordings include Handel’s Messiah and Solomon, and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and B minor Mass. He ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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(Fer-ra-bos’-ko) Italian musical family This family produced four generations of musicians. Domenico (1513–74), of Bologna, was a composer of early madrigals in the style of Arcadelt. His son Alfonso (1543–88) moved to England as a young man and spent most of his life at the court of Elizabeth I. Morley praised him for his ‘deep skill’ and placed him alongside ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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(Hants La’-o Has-ler) 1562–1612 German composer Hassler was the most important member of a family of musicians. Trained by his father, he travelled in 1584 to Venice, where he studied with Andrea Gabrieli. Hassler’s large surviving output reflects the religious diversity of German-speaking lands during his lifetime. He spent much of his early career in the service of members of ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The main opportunities for professional music-making in the Renaissance continued to be provided by the church and by royal and ducal courts, particularly those in Italy. They sponsored musical entertainment both on a large scale, such as the lavish Florentine intermedi, and on a more intimate level, in the form of the madrigal. The influence of humanism ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The Italian city of Cremona has been celebrated since the sixteenth century for the manufacture of stringed instruments. The first famous family of makers there was the Amati. Andrea Amati (c. 1505–80) founded a dynasty that included his sons Antonio (c. 1538–95) and Girolamo (1561–1630). But it is the latter’s son Nicolo (1596–1684) who is usually regarded as the most outstanding ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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From the late sixteenth century, castratos were engaged as singers by the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Although castration had been forbidden by Pope Gregory XIII, some children who had suffered mutilation were trained as castrato singers. Their voices were found to be much stronger, and their vocal ranges wider, than those of falsettists, whom they gradually ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The history of musical instruments has always been very closely linked to the history of music itself. New musical styles often come about because new instruments become available, or improvements to existing ones are made. Improvements to the design of the piano in the 1770s, for instance, led to its adoption by composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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The violin family is a group of fretless bowed stringed instruments that has its roots in Italy. Four instruments make up the family: the violin, the viola, the violoncello (commonly abbreviated to cello), and the double bass. The characteristic body shape is one of the most recognizable in music; the particular acoustic properties this shape imparts have made the ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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More sophisticated diplomatic relations between states in the late Baroque era resulted in a time of relative peace – for a short period at least – during which the arts flourished. As in the Renaissance and early Baroque eras, writers, artists and musicians turned to the classical antiquity of Greece and Rome for their standards and their in­spiration. At ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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‘The Magic Flute’ The librettist of Die Zauberflöte, Emanuel Schikaneder, Mozart’s old friend and fellow freemason, drew on an eclectic variety of sources, including a French novel, Sethos, Paul Wranitzky’s magic opera Oberon (1789) and the oriental fairy tale Lulu. In the bird catcher Papageno, Schikaneder created for himself a character that could exploit ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Verdi was an enthusiastic admirer of Shakespeare and Macbeth was the first opera based on his work. It premiered at the Teatro della Pergola in Florence on 14 March 1847, with Verdi himself conducting. Performances followed throughout Europe, including Madrid (1848), Vienna (1849), and New York (1858). For the premiere in Paris, at the Théâtre Lyrique on 21 ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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