(b Warsaw, 11 Jan 1929). Polish violinist. The daughter of Alfred Wiłkomirski (see Wiłkomirski, kazimierz) and his second wife, she read music from the age of three and became a violin pupil of Irena Dubiska at Łódź Academy until 1947. Her début was at Kraków in 1945, and after winning competition prizes at Geneva (1947) and Budapest (1949), she studied for three years with Ede Zathurecki at the Liszt Academy, Budapest. Further prizes were won at Leipzig in 1950 and in the 1952 Wieniawski Competition at Poznań. She first played in London (Wigmore Hall) in 1950 and in Moscow in 1951, and her subsequent tours through 35 countries included her American début at Carnegie Hall, New York, in 1960. She is widely acclaimed as a violinist of rare sensitivity as well as virtuosity, as much in expressive character as in musical understanding. Her playing of Britten’s Concerto, on a London visit in 1967, brought about a new appraisal of this long-neglected work; she also gave first performances of Baird’s Espressioni varianti (1958), Penderecki’s Capriccio (1967, which she has recorded) and Hans Vogt’s Sonata (1986). She plays a violin by Nicola Gagliano (i) (Naples, 1747).
J. Creighton: Discopaedia of the Violin, 1889–1971 (Toronto, 1974)
Willaert [Vuigliart, etc.], Adrian [Adriano]
(b Bruges or Roulaers, c1490; d Venice, 7 Dec 1562). South Netherlandish composer active mainly in Italy. He was one of the most important and influential composers and teachers of his time.
1. Early career and Ferrarese service.
2. Willaert in Venice.
3. Introduction to works.
5. Hymns and psalms.
7. Secular vocal works.
8. Instrumental works.
LEWIS LOCKWOOD/GIULIO ONGARO (1–2), MICHELE FROMSON (3–9), JESSIE ANN OWENS/MICHELE FROMSON (work-list)
1. Early career and Ferrarese service.
A contemporary of Willaert’s, Jacques de Meyere, claimed that he was born in Roulaers, while a later writer, Sweertius, gave his birthplace as Bruges. As Willaert’s motet Laus tibi sacra rubens was written for a liturgical ceremony celebrated in Bruges and may have been composed during his visit to Flanders in 1542, Lenaerts has suggested that Bruges seems the more likely.
The little that is known about his musical training and early maturity has come from his pupil Zarlino, in whose writings on music theory Willaert played a major role. According to the Dimostrationi harmoniche, Willaert went to Paris to study law at the university but, turning his attention to music, studied with Jean Mouton, then a member of the royal chapel under Louis XII and François I. Zarlino recounted an anecdote indicative of the young composer’s ability: on visiting the papal chapel during the pontificate of Leo X, Willaert found the singers performing his six-voice motet Verbum bonum et suave, which they thought to be by Josquin Des Prez; when they learnt that it was by Willaert, they no longer wished to sing it (the work is probably the motet published by Petrucci in Motetti de la corona, libro secondo, RISM 15191). The story was formerly considered apocryphal, but it gains credibility from new evidence of Willaert’s presence in Rome in 1514 or 1515 and from the circulation of his works in contemporary Roman sources (including I-Fl Acq. e doni 666 and Rvat C.S.16 and C.S.46).
Willaert’s first post in Italy was as a singer in the service of Cardinal Ippolito I d’Este, the brother of Alfonso and uncle of the second Cardinal Ippolito. ‘Adriano Cantore’ (as he is always called in Ferrarese documents) may have been hired as early as October 1514 in Rome by the cardinal’s agent. Ferrara had established links with the French royal chapel, and it is possible that these ties played a role in securing this post for the young composer. The first documentary evidence of his service is a payment record bearing the date of 8 July 1515. On 6 April 1516 he was formally inducted as a singer of the cardinal’s at a stipend of nine lire a month. In October 1517 Ippolito left Ferrara for Hungary, where he was Archbishop of Esztergom, taking Willaert with him. During his stay in Hungary, Willaert may have visited other regions: possibly he was present at the 1518 wedding of Zygmunt Jagiełło to Bona Sforza in Kraków. Willaert’s visit to Hungary explains why de Meyere referred to him, perhaps with a touch of exaggeration, as ‘Cantor regis Hungariae’. Although it is unlikely, as previously suggested, that Willaert was a musician at Ladislas II Jagiełło’s court, his Hungarian contacts may have lasted until much later: one of Willaert’s motets may have been written for the coronation of the Emperor Ferdinand I as King of Hungary in 1527 (perhaps this patronage is what de Meyere had in mind).
Willaert was back in Ferrara by 1 August 1519, preceding his employer, who did not return until the following March. The death of Ippolito in September 1520 allowed Willaert to transfer to the service of Duke Alfonso; surprisingly, he seems to have received a rather low salary throughout his tenure with Alfonso’s musicians.
The association with the d’Este and with Ferrarese patronage seems to have played a very important role in Willaert’s career in Italy, and was maintained to some extent even after his appointment at S Marco in Venice. According to Zarlino, Duke Alfonso d’Este visited the bedridden maestro in April 1562, while on a state visit to Venice, a sign of great honour, and indicative of the respect and affection of the duke for Willaert. In addition, the patronage of the well-travelled Ippolito I allowed Willaert to establish a wide range of European contacts: besides those already mentioned he may have had connections with the Sforza family and with Roman and papal circles.
Willaert’s early career in Italy explains the inclusion of a number of his works in Italian manuscripts (including I-Bc Q19 compiled c1518, Fl acq. e doni 666 dating from 1518, and Pc A17 dating from 1522) and anthologies of the period published by Petrucci and Antico. A substantial group of Willaert’s motets, at least one mass (the Missa ‘Mente tota’, based on Josquin’s motet) and some chansons can thus be assigned to the period 1522 or earlier.
The most widely discussed of his early works, though the least characteristic, is the puzzle duo (or quartet) Quid non ebrietas, a setting of Horace’s epistle on the miracles of the wine cup and one of the first compositions to make use of so far-ranging a hexachordal modulation that the piece passes through the whole of the circle of 5ths. From a particular point onwards each note in the lower voice is to be sung a degree lower than notated, with the result that the apparent final 7th is really an octave. Lowinsky interpreted it as a witty demonstration of the efficacy of the Aristoxenian division of the octave into 12 equal semitones. Probably written in 1519, it was not published until about 1530, but in a letter of 1524 the Bolognese theorist Spataro mentioned that during the time of Leo X (1513–21), the singers of the papal chapel had been unable to perform the duo; viols had managed to perform it ‘but not too well’. Spataro’s statement must be taken with some caution: he may have wished to stress the superior training of musicians in his hometown by criticizing the papal singers. He claimed in fact that after obtaining a copy of the composition from Willaert, Bolognese musicians had successfully played and sung the duo and had praised it as ‘a most subtle and learned work’. At any rate the duo exemplifies not only Willaert’s brilliance and virtuosity as a composer at an early stage of his career, but also his interest in the theoretical issues of the time.
Share with your friends: