(b Cahors; fl mid-16th century). French composer. He published Quarante et neuf psalmes de David (Lyons, 1559), which are three-voice settings, using the traditional Huguenot melodies, of Marot’s translations. The selfconscious limitation evident in the use of Marot's original corpus of translations only, along with a Nunc dimittis and the Ten Commandments (in contrast to the fuller Psalter already underway in the work of some other Protestant composers), suggests that Ferrier and his printers sought to appeal to a diverse audience, including readers only peripherally affected by Protestant liturgical changes. This is also indicated by the style of the settings, which are not restricted to simple harmonization, but instead are imitative and full of polyphonic animation. The volume was printed by Robert Granjon (using the civilité types that characterize much of his printing), and a second edition was issued in 1568 by Du Chemin.
L.Guillo: Les éditions musicales de La Renaissance lyonnaise (1525–1615) (Paris, 1991)
F.Dobbins: Music in Renaissance Lyons (Oxford, 1992)
PAUL-ANDRÉ GAILLARD/RICHARD FREEDMAN
(b ?1699; dFlorence, 1758). Italian harpsichord maker. He was an assistant of Cristofori in Florence and worked with him until his death in 1732. Only two signed instruments by Ferrini have survived: a bentside spinet of 1731 and a combination harpsichord-piano of 1745. Much of the work in Cristofori's signed instruments (1720–26) appears to have been executed by Ferrini and Ferrini's combination instrument is probably also a Cristofori design. Documentary evidence suggests that Ferrini continued the production of pianofortes, although none by him has yet been identified. Some other surviving harpsichords may have been made by Ferrini, but the close similarity of his work to that of the Cristofori workshop makes it difficult to determine the origin of these instruments.
S.Pollens: ‘Three Keyboard Instruments Signed by Cristofori's Assistant, Giovanni Ferrini’, GSJ, xliv (1991), 77–93
D.Wraight: The Stringing of Italian Keyboard Instruments c1500–c1650, ii (diss., Queen's U. of Belfast, 1997), 160–62
Ferrini [Ferini], Giovanni Battista
(b ?Rome, c1600; d Oct 1674). Italian organist, harpsichordist and composer. His father was Antonio Ferrini. He served as organist at S Luigi dei Francesi, Rome, from 1619 to 1623, and at the Chiesa Nuova from 1628 to at least 1653. For the remainder of his career he performed frequently at S Luigi, S Maria Maggiore, the Oratorio del Crocifisso, the Oratorio di S Marcello and other Roman establishments, along with leading virtuosos including Frescobaldi, Fabrizio Fontana, Cesti, Colista, Pasqualini and Vittori. His speciality was continuo playing; Pitoni referred to him as ‘detto della spinetta’ in the Guida armonica (c1695), and he is similarly described (e.g. ‘Giobatta della Spinetta’) in various payment records. He was buried in the Chiesa Nuova.
A manuscript (I-Rvat Vat. Mus. 569) contains 12 pieces by him, including two toccatas, a bold tastata, a trombetta, sets of variations on popular tunes and basses, and miscellaneous dances, one of which is actually a balletto from the 1637 edition of Frescobaldi's Toccate e partite … libro primo. Partial concordances with other manuscripts in the Vatican and one in Christ Church, Oxford, suggest that his music was widely circulated. Stylistic considerations suggest he composed at least one other toccata (Rvat Chigi Q IV 24) and some dance pieces (Chigi Q IV 28). He may have composed the four second-rate instrumental pieces by ‘Bapt. Ferini’ in the British Library; indeed, the fragments supplied by Pitoni in the Guida armonica indicate he wrote instrumental dance music. Kircher's association of Ferrini with the stile melismatico of the arietta and villanella implies he composed vocal music, though this cannot be substantiated.
J.Lionnet, ed.: ‘La musique à Saint-Louis de Rome au XVIIe siècle’, NA, new ser., iii–iv (1985), suppl.
L.R.Baratz: ‘“Lost Works” of Giovanni Battista Ferrini?’, The Diapason (1986), no.4, pp.14–16; no.5, pp.12–13
LEWIS REECE BARATZ
Ferris, Richard Montgomery
(b New York, 19 March 1818; d New York, 6 Dec 1858). American organ builder. He was apprenticed to Henry Erben and was soon working as a pipemaker and installer. He opened his own workshop in 1841, and from 1845 to 1849 worked in partnership with William H. Davis (1816–88). Afterwards he built under his own name until 1857. In 1851 he advertised organ pipes for sale to the trade. Ferris suffered a stroke in 1857 and turned over the management of the business to his half-brother, Levi Underwood Stuart (1827–1904), who continued it under the name of Ferris & Stuart until 1860, after which time Stuart worked under his own name in collaboration with his four brothers. Ferris's organs were well designed and made, and he was one of the first in New York to introduce some of the more Romantic unison stops. Significant instruments include those built for Calvary Church, New York (1847), All Souls Church, New York (1856), and St Mary's Church, Norfolk, Virginia (1868), but the firm also made several chamber organs.
J.Ogasapian: Organ Building in New York City, 1700–1900 (Braintree, MA, 1977)
S.L.Pinel: ‘The Ferrises and the Stuarts’, The Tracker, xxx/1 (1986), 15–35
S.L.Pinel: ‘Richard M. Ferris: New York Organbuilder’, The Diapason, lxxx/6 (1989), 12–15