This weeks review of my musicological readings…
One would think that Abraham Moles would win the prize for unfortunately named people that made contributions to music theory, but it turns out that if information theory and computer analysis are your thing, you will definitely want to check out a book by Wilhelm Fucks.
Hendrik Anders (1657-1714) became organist at the Lutheran church in Amsterdam in 1683 and lasted until 1694 when he was dismissed for “bad behavior and drunkenness”. By 1696 though, they let him take over as carillonneur – a profession in which bad behavior and drunkenness might possibly be an advantage. He also started playing violin in the pit at the local theatre. If you’ve ever played pit gigs, you’ve probably seen your share of drinking and bad behavior, so I’m sure he fit in there as well.
Karl Joachim Andersen (1847-1909) is only of interest because after being a founding member of the Berlin PO as a flutist, he developed and tongue malady of some sort that forced him to stop playing and become a conductor. Conductors with tongue maladies are the stuff of my dreams, but apparently it actually happened once. Imagine a conductor who didn’t talk so much!
Evangelista Andreoli (1810-1875) was a crippled organist! He apparently invented some apparatus that enabled him to play the pedals.
Groves still makes me a little confused with sentences about Andreoli’s son Carlo (1840-1908). It says, “He became insane in 1891 and four years later was committed to an assylum in Reggio Emilia, where he died.” Why don’t we hear about the four years?
Giovanni Battista Andreoni(?-1797) was an Italian castrato who spent some time singing in London. This is good because he was hired to sing in England by Lord Middlesex. I think that writing the sentence “Lord Middlesex engaged the castrato” is ironically fertile. Supposedly, Andreoni was robbed by a servant during a concert tour. He became so disgusted with the life of an artist that he went to Rome and became a priest.
George Antheil(1900-1959) is the permanent warning sign for what happens when a composer has too much time on his hands. Aside from his many musical accomplishments, Antheil began claiming that he was an expert in women’s endocrinology. Naturally, he started writing a “lonely hearts” column for Esquire and similar magazines on how you might sense a woman’s interest through glandular secretions or something like that. This, as you might expect, led to the actress Heddy Lamarr setting up an appoint for advise on how to improve her upper torso. Heddy’s upper torso was apparently limited as a conversation topic as well, so they turned to other things and ended up inventing technology to help guide torpedos. The technology was ultimately put to use in cell phones. Most composers are willing to do commissions for a relatively cheap amount of money. This keeps them busy. Think of the music that could have been written if he hadn’t been putting his mental powers toward thinking about women’s endocrinology and torpedo guidance systems!