Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/65

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

ALIANI, Francesco, violoncellist, born at Piacenza. He for a time studied the violin under his father, who was first violin in the orchestra, but afterwards devoted himself to the violoncello under G. Rovelli, of Bergamo. He was appointed first cellist of the theatre at Piacenza, and was celebrated as a teacher of his instrument. He wrote three books of duets for two cellos.

[ T. P. H. ]

ALI BABA, or les quarante voleurs, an opera of Cherubini's, produced at the Grand Opéra on July 22, 1833 (the seventy-third year of the composer). The music was adapted and rewritten from his Koukourgi (1793) to a new libretto by Scribe and Mélesville. The overture was probably quite new. For Mendelssohn's opinion of the opera see his letter of Feb. 7,1834.

ALIPRANDI, Bernardo, born in Tuscany at the beginning of the 18th century; was composer at the Bavarian court in 1730, and afterwards was appointed director of the orchestra at Munich. He there wrote the operas 'Mithridate' (1738), 'Iphigenie' (1739), 'Semiramide' (1740). Bernardo, a son of the preceding, was first violoncellist about 1780 in the Munich orchestra. He is said to have composed both for the cello and viola di gamba, though Fétis says that he wrote only for the former.

[ T. P. H. ]

ALIZARD, Adolphe Joseph Louis, born in Paris, 1814; a bass singer of some eminence; began his musical career as a pupil of Urhan on the violin; but his master accidentally discovering that he had a remarkably fine voice, persuaded him to abandon his instrument, and to enter the Conservatoire as a pupil of Banderali. His voice was naturally a deep bass, but finding that after singing at the opera in Paris for five years he was still employed in secondary parts, he entered upon a diligent course of practice, by which he gained several notes in the upper register, and was able to take baritone parts. The strain upon his chest however was too great to be maintained without injury, and after several attacks, he died of consumption at Marseilles at the age of thirty-six.

[ M. C. C. ]

ALKAN, Charles Henri Valentin. Born at Paris, 1813; still living (1875) [App. p.819 "date of death, March 29, 1888"]. Pianist and composer, chiefly of études and caprices for his instrument. His astounding op. 35 (12 études), op. 39 (12 études), and Trois grandes Études, (1) 'Fantaisie pour la main gauche seul,' (2) 'Introduction et Finale pour la main droite seule,' (3) 'Etude à mouvement semblable et perpetuel pour les deux mains,' have not yet met with the attention on the part of pianoforte virtuosi which they merit. They belong to the most modern developement of the technique of the instrument, and represent in fact the extreme point which it has reached. Though they cannot stand comparison in point of beauty and absolute musical value with the études of Chopin and Liszt, yet, like those of Anton Rubinstein, which are in some respects akin to them, they have a valid claim to be studied; for they present technical specialities nowhere else to be found, difficulties of a titanic sort, effects peculiar to the instrument carried to the very verge of impossibility. Alkan was admitted to the Conservatoire of Paris in his sixth year (1819) and remained there until 1830, during which term he was successful in several competitions, and left the institution with the first prize in 1826, and honourable mention at the Concours of the Institut in 1831. After a short visit to London in 1833 he settled as a master of the pianoforte at Paris. His published compositions mount up to opus 72, and include two concertos, several sonatas and duos, a trio, a large number of piéces caractéristiqucs, and transcriptions and songs. Amongst these his works for the pianoforte with pedals, known in England as the 'Pedalier grand,' op. 64, 66, 69 and 72, take rank with his études. [App. p.521 "See also ii. 731 a."]

[ E. D. ]

ALLA BREVE (Ital.). Originally a species of time in which every bar contained a breve, or four minims; hence its name. In this time, chiefly used in the older church music, the minims, being the unit of measurement, were to be taken fast, somewhat like crotchets in ordinary time. This time was also called Alla Capella. Modern alla breve time simply differs from ordinary common time by being always beaten or counted with two minims (and not with four crotchets) in the bar, and therefore is really quick common time. It is indicated in the time-signature by Allabreve.svg, i. e. the Commontime.svg which is used to show four-crotchet time, with a stroke drawn through it.

[ E. P. ]

ALLACCI, Leone, born in the island of Chios of Greek parents in 1586, went to Rome at nine years of age, and in 1661 became 'custode' of the Vatican Library. He died in 1669, and his name is only worth preserving for his 'Drammaturgia' (Rome, 1666) a catalogue of Italian musical dramas produced up to that year, indispensable for the history of Italian opera. A new edition, carried down to 1755, appeared at Venice in that year.

[ F. G. ]

ALL' ANTICO (Ital.). 'In the ancient style.'

ALLEGRANTI, Madalena, was a pupil of Holtzbauer of Mannheim, and appeared for the first time at Venice in 1771. After singing at other theatres in Italy, she went in 1774 to Germany, where she continued to perform at Mannheim and Ratisbon till the year 1779, when she returned to Venice. She sang there at the theatre of San Samuele during the Carnival, and eventually came to England in 1781. Here she was enthusiastically admired in her first opera, the 'Viaggiatori felici' of Anfossi. Her voice, though thin, was extremely sweet, of extraordinary compass upwards, and so flexible as to lead her to indulge in a flowery style of singing, which had then the merit of considerable novelty. She was also a good actress. But it was soon found that there was a great sameness in her