(bNew York, 26 July 1897; d New York, 24 March 1958). American librettist. A member of the celebrated Fields family of show-business talents, he studied at Columbia and later sought to be a performer like his father, Lew Fields, until he took up directing and playwriting. Teaming with the young songwriters Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, Fields wrote the librettos for all of their early and innovative musicals. Later he worked with his sister Dorothy Fields and provided musical comedy librettos for Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and others. Fields was a prolific and influential librettist, finding new ways to expand the boundaries of musical comedy.
For further information see A. Fields and L.M. Fields: From the Bowery to Broadway: Lew Fields and the Roots of American Popular Theatre (New York, 1993).
all stage works with librettos by Fields; composer and lyricist in parentheses; dates are those of the first New York performance
Dearest Enemy (R. Rodgers and L. Hart), 18 Sept 1925; The Girl Friend (Rodgers and Hart), 17 March 1926; Peggy-Ann (Rodgers and Hart), 27 Dec 1926; A Connecticut Yankee (Rodgers and Hart), 3 Nov 1927; Present Arms (Rodgers and Hart), 26 April 1928; The New Yorkers (C. Porter), 8 Dec 1930; America's Sweetheart (Rodgers and Hart), 10 Feb 1931; Pardon My English (G. Gershwin and I. Gershwin), 20 Jan 1933; DuBarry was a Lady (Porter), 6 Dec 1939 [film, 1943]
Panama Hattie (Porter), 30 Oct 1940 [film, 1942]; Let's Face It (Porter), 29 Oct 1941 [film, 1943]; Something for the Boys (Porter), 7 Jan 1943 [film, 1944]; Mexican Hayride (Porter), 28 Jan 1944; Annie Get Your Gun (I. Berlin), 16 May 1946 [film, 1950]; By the Beautiful Sea (A. Schwartz and D. Fields), 8 April 1954; Redhead (A. Hague and D. Fields), 5 Feb 1959
THOMAS S. HISCHAK
Fielitz, Alexander von
(b Leipzig, 28 Dec 1860; dBad Salzungen, 29 July 1930). German conductor and composer. His father was half Polish and his mother Russian. He studied composition and conducting with Edmund Kretschmer and the piano with Julius Schulhoff in Dresden. He worked as an opera conductor in Zürich (1884), Lübeck (1885–6) and with Nikisch in Leipzig (1886–7). He then went to Capri and Rome for ten years owing to poor health. There he composed piano pieces, songs, two orchestral suites and two operas, Vendetta (1891, Lübeck) and Das stille Dorf (1900, Hamburg), the latter also staged at Bremen, Lübeck, Ulm and elsewhere. His best-known work was the song cycle Eliland; his tasteful late Romantic style owes much to Mendelssohn and Brahms.
Fielitz became professor at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin and was appointed conductor at the Theater des Westens in 1904, but the following year he went to Chicago to teach and conduct. He returned to the Stern Conservatory in 1908 and became its director in 1915.
WALTER R. CREIGHTON/CHRISTOPHER FIFIELD
(fl Ferrara, 1550–70). Italian composer. Fétis claimed Fiesco was born at Ferrara in 1519, died there in 1586, and served in the ducal chapel, but these dates have not been verified. Superbi and other local historians concur that Fiesco was Ferrarese though his name does not appear in the court payment rosters and nothing is known about him after about 1570. If he worked at all in Ferrara, he may have been employed as organist at S Francesco, where he was buried, as music tutor to the nuns of S Vito, or as a musician in the private employ of Cardinal Ippolito d’Este. He was evidently close to courtly circles. He dedicated madrigal books to Prince (later Duke) Alfonso d’Este, to Alfonso’s sisters Lucrezia and Leonora, and to Luigi Gonzaga, marchese of Luzzara, who was residing at the Este court. He was also associated with the poet G.B. Guarini, since 1567 in the service of the court at Ferrara. Fiesco’s important Musica nova of 1569 marks the first appearance in the madrigal literature of Guarini’s verse; all the texts are thought to be by Guarini, including poems not printed elsewhere or included in the collected Rime of 1598. In the preface Fiesco says he set Guarini’s verse to music at the poet’s request, who had written it to please Lucrezia and Leonora d’Este, and to whom Fiesco dedicated the madrigal book. Fiesco’s Primo libro (1554) has attracted considerable commentary. Einstein believed that Fiesco’s choices of poetry from, among others, Sannazaro (Arcadia), Boccaccio (Decameron) and Ariosto (Orlando furioso) showed the literary influence of Cipriano de Rore, then working in Ferrara. The musical style of this book varies from straightforward to ‘experimental’, the latter receiving the most attention. Kaufman proposed the influence of Vicentino for the two madrigals labelled ‘diatonico’ and ‘chromatico’; the diatonic work (Nov’angioletta) is characterized by the prevalence of step-wise motion and the absence of signed accidentals; the chromatic work (Bacio soave) uses signed Bs and accidentals to the sharp side as far as D. A similarly ‘chromatic’ work from the same volume, Vita de la mia vita, was cited as an example of musical mannerism by Lowinsky, who contrasted Fiesco’s work to the classicism of an Arcadelt madrigal. Fiesco’s several contributions to an ‘experimental’ phase in the history of the madrigal are of interest but have yet to be placed in the wider context of his later madrigal books. He contributed a madrigale arioso to a predominantly Roman anthology, published a few scattered napolitane for three voices, and contributed a five-voice greghesca to the 1564 collection of settings of the dialect verse invented by the Venetian Antonio Molino (Manoli Blessi).
printed works published in Venice
Il primo libro di madrigali, 4vv (1554), ed. SCMad, xii (1996)
Madrigali, et 4 dialoghi 4–8vv (1563)
Madrigal libro primo, 5vv (1567)
Musica nova … libro primo, 5vv (1569)
Madrigal, 3vv, 15628; madrigal, 4vv, 155527; madrigal (greghesca), 5vv, 156416, ed. S. Cisilino, Celebri raccolte musicali venete del Cinquecento, i (Padua, 1974); 2 napolitane, 3vv, 157019, 15719
EinsteinIM; EitnerQ; FétisB; NewcombMF
A.Superbi: Apparato de gli huomini illustri della città di Ferrara (Ferrara, 1620)
M.-A.Guarini: Compendio historico dell’origine … delle chiese di Ferrara (Ferrara, 1621), 375
F.Borsetti: Historia almi Ferrariae gymnasii (Ferrara, 1735), ii, 468
H.W.Kaufmann: ‘A “Diatonic” and a “Chromatic” Madrigal by Giulio Fiesco’, Aspects of Medieval and Renaissance Music: a Birthday Offering to Gustave Reese, ed. J. LaRue and others (New York, 1966/R), 474–84
L.J.Waisman: The Ferrarese Madrigal in the Mid-Sixteenth Century (diss., U. of Chicago, 1988)