(b Bologna, 1697; d Lisbon, 12 Aug 1760). Italian tenor and composer. A pupil of Pistocchi, he sang female parts in intermezzos performed between the acts of three operas at the Ruspoli Palace, Rome, in 1711, and probably made his public début at Modena during Carnival 1714 in La fede tradita e vendicata (composer not named, but probably Francesco Gasparini). In 1716 he sang in G.B. Bassani's Alarico re dei Goti at Bologna and in five operas at Venice (two of them by Vivaldi). He appeared again in Bologna, and also in Rome and Mantua, in 1718. In Bologna, where he was admitted to the Accademia Filarmonica as a composer, he produced oratorios in 1719 and 1720. By that time he was in constant demand all over Italy, singing in Rome (1720–21), Venice (1720–22, 1727–8), Milan (1721, 1726, 1728), Genoa (1722), Naples (nine operas in 1722–4, two of them by Vinci), Bologna (1724, in Alessandro Scarlatti's Marco Attilio Regolo) and Florence (1725–7, 1729, 1732, 1737). Handel engaged him for two seasons in London (1729–31) and he made a successful début in Lotario (Berengario) at the King's Theatre. Handel also composed the parts of Emilio in Partenope and Alexander in Poro for him, and he sang in Giulio Cesare, Tolomeo, Scipione, Rinaldo and Rodelinda.
In 1732 Fabri sang in Vienna (Caldara's Adriano in Siria) and received the title of virtuoso to the Emperor Charles VI, who on 23 February 1733 stood godfather to one of his sons. Fabri went on to appear in Bologna (1734–5), Modena and Venice (1735), Genoa (1737 and 1748), Madrid (1738–9), where he enjoyed great success in seven operas (three by Hasse), Florence (1744–5, in Porpora's Ezio) and Brescia (1749). He composed operas for Madrid and Lisbon, including a setting of Alessandro nell'Indie. After retiring from the stage he was appointed to the royal chapel at Lisbon.
Fabri was one of the leading singers of his age and did much to raise the status of the tenor voice. Swiney, in recommending him for London (1729), wrote that he ‘sings in as good a Taste as any Man in Italy’. Mrs Pendarves described his voice as ‘sweet, clear and firm’ and called him ‘the greatest master of musick that ever sang upon the stage’. The parts Handel composed for him have a compass of nearly two octaves (B to a') and require ‘great abilities’ and ‘considerable agility’, according to Burney, who declared that ‘the merit of this tenor was often sufficient in Italy to supply the want of it in the principal soprano’. Fabri's wife, Anna Bombaciara (Bombaciari, Bombasari), was also a singer (contralto); she appeared in four operas by L.A. Predieri at Florence (1718–19). Venice (1720), Milan (1721) and Naples (1722). She is often identified, probably incorrectly, with Anna Maria Fabbri (fl 1708–24), who sang in Bologna, Naples, Genoa and Venice, where she was particularly associated with Vivaldi, taking part in the premières of his Orlando finto pazzo, Arsilda regina di Ponto and L'incoronazione di Dario.
Fabri [Fevre, Schmidt], Joducus [Josquin]
(fl ?Basle; early 16th century). Swiss composer of uncertain origin. A ‘Joducus Fabri de Leittenberg’ matriculated at the University of Vienna on 14 April 1500, but there is no proof that this is the same Fabri whose music survives today exclusively in Basle autographs dating from the first quarter of the century. Fabri’s autograph copy of a three-voice Magnificat is of particular interest in that it represents the earliest known draft and subsequent fair-copy of a composition in European music (CH-Bu F VI 26d, ff.4r–5r; facs. of 4r in Owens, 143 and in Kmetz, 411). Aside from documenting the genesis of a composition from start to finish, this autograph demonstrates that Fabri used pseudo-scores (i.e. without bar lines or exact vertical alignment of the voices) when writing in an imitative style, yet relied on separate parts for those sections of the Magnificat that lacked prevailing imitation. Two untexted compositional drafts (CH-Bu F VI 26h, ff.3r, 4v; facs. of 3r in MGG2, i, col. 1267), both of which can be attributed to Fabri on palaeographic evidence, further demonstrate his reliance on pseudo-scores for sorting out the vertical and horizontal relationships inherent in imitative writing.
MGG2 (‘Basel’; J. Kmetz)
J.Kmetz: Die Handschriften der Universitatsbibliothek Basel: Katalog der Musikhandschriften des 16. Jahrhunderts: Quellenkritische und historische Untersuchung (Basle, 1988), 55–7, 65–6
J.Kmetz: ‘The Drafts of Joducus Fabri & Company: New Evidence of Compositional Process from Renaissance Basel’, unpubd paper read at the AMS annual meeting, Minneapolis, 1994
J.A.Owens: Composers at Work: the Craft of Musical Composition, 1450–1600 (Oxford, 1997)
(d The Hague, May 1400). North Netherlandish composer. He became a singer at the court of Holland at The Hague in 1395, and died there in 1400. He also appears in the records of the church of St Donatian, Bruges, though without dates (see StrohmM). Several books of polyphonic music left by him were bought by the Count of Holland for use in the court chapel. His music is known from four compositions in the Leiden fragments. The form in all cases seems to be that of the ballade, though two works are in French and two in Dutch. The French pieces use the complex style of late 14th-century composers such as Senleches and Trebor, employing coloured notes and proportions. The Dutch works are quite different, with their syllabic parlando settings.
Editions: French Secular Compositions of the Fourteenth Century, ed. W. Apel, CMM, liii (1970) [A]Two Chansonniers from the Low Countries: French and Dutch Polyphonic Songs from the Leiden and Utrecht Fragments (Early 15th Century), ed. J. van Biezen and J.P. Gumbert, MMN, xv (1985) [complete edn]
Eer ende lof heb d'aventuer, 3vv
Een cleyn parabel, 3vv, inc. (begins imitatively)
Or se depart, 3vv, A (Triplum or Ct may be used, but not both)