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Classical Composers (A)

Classical music (and some jazz and folk) from Leonarda
Includes many American composers and works by women

Adolphe-Charles Adam (1803-1856) Ave Maria (voice and organ) Leonarda CD #LE341 information.

Sarah Aderholdt (b.1955), a native of North Carolina, received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in music from the University of North Carolina and her PhD from the University of Minnesota. She also studied at the Swiss Center for Computer Music. A freelance composer for many years in Minnesota, where she was active in the Minnesota Composers Forum, Ms. Aderholdt was recently an artist in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts outside San Francisco. She now resides near Washington, D.C. Her works have been performed throughout the USA and in Switzerland, Germany, and Poland. Writing primarily chamber music, Aderholdt's work often combines acoustic instruments with amplified voices, nature sounds, and electronically produced sounds. String Quartet. Audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE336.

Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909) was a child prodigy and gave concerts with his sister, also a prodigy, at an early age. In 1868 the family moved to Madrid, and Albéniz entered the conservatory there. He ran away from home at the age of 13, traveling to Spain, where he gave concerts. He then stowed away on a ship for Puerto Rico and continued on to Cuba and the U.S., supporting himself by playing concerts in private and in public. He returned to Spain in 1875, where he met a benefactor who provided support so that he could study at the conservatories in Brussels and Leipzig. He settled in Paris in 1893. Albéniz wrote in both large and small genres, and some of his piano pieces have been transcribed for orchestra. Tango in D (solo piano), audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE344. Isaac Albeniz

Lettie Beckon Alston (b.1953), composer/pianist, was one of four finalists in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Unisys African-American Composers Forum competition in 1993. She received her D.M.A. degree in composition at the University of Michigan, where her teachers included Leslie Bassett, William Bolcom, Eugene Kurzt, and George Wilson. Alston is associate professor at Oakland University (Michigan) and a former faculty member of Eastern Michigan University. She composes in a variety of styles, and her works include The Eleventh Hour for orchestra, Moods for solo piano, and Three Spiritual Settings for men's chorus. Pulsations is unified by a two-note motive symbolizing a heart beat. Pulsations (solo violin) audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE339.

Anna Amalia, Duchess of Saxe-Weimar (1739-1807), the niece of Frederick the Great and daughter of Charles I, married at 16 and was the mother of two sons. She assumed the duties of regent for her underage son upon the early death of her husband. Apparently she ruled the duchy well and still had time to cultivate the arts and study composition and piano. She founded the German theatre in Weimar and is considered the founder of the Weimar museums. A very talented and cultured person, she surrounded herself with musicians and writers. Between 1788 and 1790 she traveled to Italy to study music and the visual arts. While there she met Paisiello who impressed her, as did the Italian vocal style. Ihr solltet geniessen (from the Singspiel Erwin und Elmire) with voice and harpsichord is on Leonarda CD #LE338. Other selections from the Singspiel Erwin und Elmire (soprano, string quartet, double bass, audio sample mp3) .are on the double CD #LE353.

Anna Amalia, Princess of Prussia( 1723-1787) March for the Regiment "Graf Lottum" from "Four Regimental Marches." Audio sample mp3 (:34) (string quartet, double bass) from CD double CD #LE353.

An anonymous 17th-century piece for Spanish guitar, La Folia is from a private Italian manuscript. The guitar, first mentioned by Juan Bermudo in his Declaracion de instrumentos (1555) as guitarra de cinco ordenes, became a popular instrument at the beginning of the seventeenth century in Italy under the name chitarra spagnola. The first Italian publication for the instrument was by Girolamo Montesardo in Florence in 1606, called a book of "alphabet music." The title refers to a system of notation, assigning a specific letter (i. e., "A") to one specific chord (i. e. "G major") which is strummed in a variety of ways. The music in these books consists of chord sequences of well-known dances such as Folia, Ciaconna and Zarabanda, and songs with chordal accompaniments.

Giovanni Paolo Foscarini was the first Italian composer to publish a book written in a mixed pizzicato/alfabeto style (Rome, ca.1630). The term pizzicato referred to melodic passages or to anything that could not be expressed by the aIfabeto. The pizzicato style was notated in five line Italian tabulature. The anonymous Folia heard here is written in this style alternating melodic passages with strummed chords.

In 1628 Vincenzo Giustiniani wrote in his Discorse sopra la musica de' suoi tempi', "The chitarra alla spagnola is being used in all of Italy although mostly in Naples and unites with the theorbo in an attempt to banish the lute...." As an instrument for basso continuo the Spanish guitar is first mentioned by Augustino Agazzari In 1601.

Christofano Malvezzi, in his edition of the Florentine Intermedi et concerti (Venice, 1591), informs us of an ensemble of women musicians in Florence called the Concerto delle Donne of whom two played the guitar. "All the terzets were sung and danced by Vittoria Archilei, Lucia Caccini [mother of Francesca and Settimia], and Margherita. Vittoria and Lucia each played guitars, one alla spagnola, the other alla Napolettana, and Margherita played a cembalino [small spinet] with such sweet harmonies and gentleness and beauty that most could not watch or hear." As a continuo instrument for the voice, the guitar is mentioned in more than eighty publications in the 17th century and in more than 200 in the 18th century. La Folia (solo Spanish baroque guitar) audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE350.

Anonymous instrumental works from The Medieval Lady, CD #LE340: Trotto (c.1400) (recorder, nakers). Audio sample mp3; Estampie (13th C.) (symphonia, recorder). Audio sample mp3; Saltarella #1 (c.1400) (recorder, lute). Audio sample mp3; Saltarella #2 (c.1400) (recorder, tambourine aux cordes). Audio sample mp3; La Manfredina, Rota (c.1400) (medieval fiddle, lute). Audio sample mp3.

Anonymous lute duets from The Medieval Lady, CD #LE340: These duets are taken from the Jane Pickering Lute Book (1615-1645), which contains music copied in three different hands. It was customary at the time, when printed music was not so readily available, to write down familiar tunes, one's own tunes, and tunes composed by others. The anonymous lute duets on this recording were copied in the same hand that wrote "Jane Pickeringe owe [sic] this Booke 1616," presumably by Jane Pickering herself. Both the main part of the Jane Pickering Lute Book and the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book were written in the 17th century during the "Golden Age" of Elizabethan and Jacobean lute music. Green Sleeves (also known as Greensleeves), audio sample mp3; La Rosignoll, audio sample mp3.

Anonymous: Trista sort' è la mia sorte (printed in Rome in 1574) is taken from Arie e Canzone in Musica di Cosimo Bottegari, commonly known as Bottegari's "Lute" Book. Bottegari never mentioned "lute" in the manuscript, but rather "viola" which was the Italian translation for the vihuela da mano, a very popular instrument in Spain in the sixteenth century. The "viola" (or vihuela) has the shape of a guitar but its tuning and playing technique are those of the lute. Music for the "viola" was also played on the lute. The "viola" came to Italy through Spanish-ltalian court connections, and its style was popular throughout the sixteenth century. Bottegari was employed as lutenist and singer in the Hoffmusik Kapelle in Munich from 1573 to 1581 under the composer Orlando di Lasso. Bottegari's transcriptions illustrate some of the earliest examples of homophonic lute accompaniments. The strophic song Trista sort' is very similar to the "new" seventeenth-century style, and surely was sung by singer-lutenists well into the century. Trista sort' (soprano, lute, viola da gamba) audio sample mp3, from Leonarda CD #LE350

Jacob (Jacket) Arcadelt (c.1505-1560) Ave Maria (voice and organ) is on Leonarda CD #LE341 information.

Caterina Assandra (ca. 1580-after 1622), born in Pavia, became a nun in the cloister of Sant'Agata in Lomells. She studied counterpoint with one of the leading teachers of the day, Benedetto Rè. Her fame as a composer and performer extended beyond Italy during the first half of the 17th century and some of her works were published during her life. Jubilate Deo (voice and harpsichord). Audio sample: mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE338.

Elizabeth R. Austin (b.1938) received her early musical training at the Peabody Conservatory Preparatory Department in Baltimore. She was an undergraduate music student when Nadia Boulanger visited Goucher College and awarded her a scholarship to study at the Conservatoire Americaine in fontainebleau, France. Austin has taught composition and theory at various music institutions in Hartford, Connecticut. Her association with the Hartt School of Music, where she earned a Master's in Music while on the faculty, included the establishment of a faculty/student exchange with the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Heidelberg-Mannheim.

While studying for her Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut, she won First Prize in the David Lipscomb Electronic Music Competition. Other awards include a Rockfeller Foundation grant for a month-long residency in Italy, a Connecticut Commission on the Arts grant, selection by GEDOK (Society of Women Artists in German-speaking countries) to represent the Mannheim-Ludwigshafen region in the 70th-year anniversary exhibition, and First Prize in the International Alliance for Women in Music's 1998 Miriam Gideon Competition. Austin's music has been performed in Prague, Rome, Finland, Germany, the Caribbean and America. She divides her time between Germany and the U.S., promoting an exchange of people and ideas through internationally sponsored projects, including composer exchanges. She is President of Connecticut Composers, Inc. and is a church organist. A Birthday Bouquet (voice and piano). Audio samples from A Birthday mp3 and Remember mp3  from Leonarda CD #LE352. Sonnets from the Portuguese (soprano, piano) Audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD LE #357.


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