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Weiss, Piero


(b Trieste, 26 Jan 1928). Italian musicologist and pianist. He started piano lessons as a child in Trieste, Lausanne and London. After moving to New York in 1940, he continued his piano studies with Isabelle Vengerova and Rudolf Serkin, and studied theory and composition with Karl Weigl and chamber music with Adolf Busch. By the time he took the BA at Columbia University in 1950, he was active as a concert pianist and spent the next 12 years performing in the USA and Europe. He meanwhile entered the graduate programme in musicology at Columbia, taking the PhD in 1970 with a dissertation on Goldoni as librettist. He taught at Columbia (1964–85), and was then called to head the music history department at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

In his writings, Weiss has concentrated on the interaction of music and drama in operatic history, with particular emphasis on dramatic theory from the 17th to the 19th centuries. He writes and has published in both English and Italian, and has drawn on his linguistic skills and broader cultural interests in translating and editing collections of documents, among which the textbook Music in the Western World with Richard Taruskin (1984) has gained wide circulation.


WRITINGS


Letters of Composers Through Six Centuries (Philadelphia, 1967)

‘Communication (on Reicha's description of sonata form)’, JAMS, xxi (1968), 233–4



Carlo Goldoni Librettist: The Early Years (diss., Columbia U., 1970)

‘Goldoni poeta d'opere serie per musica’, Studi goldoniani, iii (1973), 7–40

‘Dating the “Trout” Quintet’, JAMS, xxxii (1979), 539–48

‘Pier Jacopo Martello on Opera (1715): an Annotated Translation’, MQ, lxvi (1980), 378–403

‘Verdi and the Fusion of Genres’, JAMS, xxxv (1982), 138–56; Ital. trans. in Drammaturgia musicale, ed. L. Bianconi (Bologna, 1986), 75–92

‘Teorie drammatiche e “infranciosamento”: motivi della “riforma” melodrammatica nel primo Settecento’, Antonio Vivaldi: teatro musicale, cultura e società, ed. L. Bianconi and G. Morelli (Florence, 1982), 273–96

‘Da Aldiviva a Lotavio Vandini: i “drammi per musica” dei comici a Venezia nel primo Settecento’, L'invenzione del gusto: Corelli e Vivaldi, mutazioni culturali a Roma e Venezia nel periodo post-barocco, ed. G. Morelli (Milan, 1982), 168–88; Eng. version: ‘Venetian Commedia dell’Arte “Operas” in the Age of Vivaldi’, MQ, lxx (1984), 117–26

‘Metastasio, Aristotle, and the Opera Seria’, JM, i (1982), 385–94; Ital. version: ‘Metastasio e Aristotele’, Metastasio e il mondo musicale, ed. M.T. Muraro (Florence, 1986)

‘I contrappunti della moda e la moda del contrappunto: sopravvivenze di Bach e Handel all'epoca di Mozart’, Barocchismi: aspetti di revival nei periodi Classico e Romantico (Milan, 1983), 9–51

with R. Taruskin: Music in the Western World: a History in Documents (New York, 1984)

‘Baroque Opera and the Two Verisimilitudes’, Music and Civilization: Essays in Honor of Paul Henry Lang, ed. E. Strainchamps and M.R. Maniates (New York, 1984), 117–26

Preface and critical commentary: G. Rossini: Edipo coloneo, Edizione critica delle opera di G. Rossini, ii/1, ed. L. Tozzi and P. Weiss (Pesaro, 1985), xv–xxvii, 145–75

‘“Sacred Bronzes”: Paralipomena to an Essay by Dallapiccola’, 19CM, ix (1985–6), 42–9; Ital. version: ‘“Sacri Bronzi”, note in calce a un noto saggio di Luigi Dallapiccola’, Opera & libretto I (Florence, 1990), 149–63

‘La diffusione del repertorio operistico nell'Italia del Settecento: il caso dell'opera buffa’, Civiltà teatrale e Settecento emiliano, ed. S. Davoli (Bologna, 1986), 241–56

‘Ancora sulle origini dell'opera comica: il linguaggio’, Studi pergolesiani/Pergolesi Studies, i (1986), 124–48

‘Opera and Neoclassical Dramatic Criticism in the Seventeenth Century’, Studies in the History of Music, ii: Music and Drama (New York, 1988), 1–30

La morte di Cesare: the Words, the Music’, introduction to F. Bianchi: La morte di Cesare, DMV, xxv (1999), vii–xxxiii

Prefatory essay to F. Bianchi, La morte di Cesare in Drammaturgia musicale veneta, ed. G. Morelli, R. Strohm and T. Walker (2000)

Opera: A History in Documents (forthcoming)

ELLEN ROSAND


Weiss, Raphael


(b Wangen, Allgau, 10 March 1713; d Ottobeuren, 28 Oct 1779). German composer. He entered the Benedictine monastery at Ottobeuren in 1730; from 1738 to 1766 he was a music teacher, organist, choir leader and music copyist there, then he became a father confessor in the pilgrims' church, Maria Eldern. In 1753 he studied composition with Meinrad Spiess at the Irsee monastery and became the official composer for the monastery. Among his compositions are music for the dedication of the new basilica (1766), masses, vespers, litanies and other sacred works for use at Ottobeuren (some of which are in D-OB) as well as a cantata and music for several Singspiele.

ADOLF LAYER/R


Weissbeck, Johann Michael


(b Unterlaimbach, Swabia, 10 May 1756; d Nuremberg, 1 May 1808). German writer on music, choir director, organist and jurisconsult. He began his professional career as a lawyer at Erlangen but moved to Nuremberg in 1776 as he became increasingly involved with music. After a period at Marktbreit as a deputy choir director, he returned to Nuremberg as organist and Kantor at various churches, including the Marienkirche. He wrote a series of brief monographs on theorists and organists, the most important being the Protestationsschrift (1783–4) in which he attacked the pan-tonal implications of the dualistic theories promulgated by Abbé Vogler. In many of his other works, Weissbeck’s preoccupation with numerology is evident, such as the use of the number 43 in his monograph on Handel (1805). As a composer Weissbeck set 120 extremely ‘enharmonic’ (chromatic) basses to 30 chorale melodies; several of these appeared in the Anthologie zur musikalischen Realzeitung für 1790, i (Speyer).

WRITINGS


Protestationsschrift, oder exemplarische Widerlegung einiger Stellen und Perioden der Kapellmeister Voglerischen Tonwissenschaft und Tonsetzkunst (Erlangen, 1783; suppl. 1784)

Beitrag zur Orgel-Historie (n.p., 1791)

Über Hern Abt Voglers Orgelorchestrion zu Stockholm (? Nuremberg, 1797)

Etwas über Hrrn Daniel Gottlob Türks wichtige Organistenpflichten (Nuremberg, 1798)

Einige merkwürdige Geschichten von den drey berühmtesten Orgelspielern, Haessler, Roessler und Vogler (Nuremberg, 1800)

Seltsame Geschichte der bisherigen Lebensaltersumme der Orgelvirtuosen Haessler, Roessler und Vogler (Nuremberg, 1800)

Antwort auf Herrn Musikdirector Knechts Vertheidigung der Vogler’schen Tonschule (Nuremberg, 1802)

Der für die Orgel und überhaupt musicalische Geschichte merkwürdige 15. Juni (Nuremberg, 1804)

Der grosse Musikus Georg Friedrich Händel im Universalruhme und ein neuerfundenes Taktsystem (Nuremberg, 1805)

Erneuertes Andenken des Musicalischen Wunderkindes Wilhelm Crotch (Nuremberg, 1806)

BIBLIOGRAPHY


Gerber L

Gerber NL

J.H. Knecht: ‘Abgenöthigte Selbstverteidigung gegen den Hrn. Abt. Vogler’, Musikalische Korrespondenz der Teutschen Filarmonischen Gesellschaft (30 March 1791)

C.F. Becker: Systematisch-chronologische Darstellung der musikalischen Literatur von der frühesten bis auf die neueste Zeit (Leipzig, 1836/R, suppl. 1839/R)

SHELLEY DAVIS




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