(b Tucuyito, Estado Carabobo, 15 Aug 1909; d Nov 1986). Venezuelan composer and diplomat. He began piano studies at an early age. He gave his first solo recital when he was eight, and as a youth participated in a number of amateur chamber ensembles. In 1930 he entered the Escuela de Música y Declamación (later the Conservatorio José Angel Lamas) to study piano with Salvador Llamozas. In 1941 he was admitted to the composition class of Vicente Emilio Sojo, and he graduated in 1947. From 1945 he was head of the Escuela Preparatoria de Música (later the Juan Manuel Olivares Conservatory), after which he was appointed to diplomatic posts in Paris (1948), Copenhagen (1953) and Madrid.
Figueredo's output includes music for piano, chorus, voice, and symphonic poems and symphonies. He won the National Composition Prize (1947) for Nocturno and the Vicente Emilio Sojo prize (1955) for his Third Symphony. His style, which exists within the framework of the post-Impressionist aesthetic of the Santa Capilla school led by Sojo, is characterized by a very personal and serene elegance. Figueredo's best-known piece is the ‘Nocturno’ of his First Symphony, which reflects his most salient merits as a composer and is often performed by itself.
N.Tortolero: Sonido que es imagen … imagen que es historia (Caracas, 1996)
W.Guido and J.Peñín: Enciclopedia de la musica en Venezuela (Caracas, 1998)
CARMEN HELENA TÉLLEZ
Figulus [Töpfer], Wolfgang
(b Naumburg an der Saale, c1525; d Meissen, probably Sept 1589). German composer, writer on music and teacher. He may well have been taught music by Martin Agricola at Magdeburg. In 1545–6 he was Kantor at Lübben, Lower Lusatia. Early in 1547 he probably matriculated at the University of Frankfurt an der Oder, though the actual record dates from early in 1548, when he matriculated at Leipzig University where he completed his education in music and the humanities. By that time he had abandoned the name Töpfer, and from then on he always called himself Figulus. From 1549 to 1551 he was Kantor at the Thomaskirche, Leipzig, and taught music at the university there. In 1551 Georg Fabricius, one of the most important Protestant teachers of the Reformation, summoned him to the more important post of Kantor and teacher at the Fürstenschule and church of St Afra, Meissen, which he held until he was pensioned off in 1588 ‘on account of infirmity and old age’. It was at Meissen that he published his theoretical writings and compositions, which were products of his duties as Kantor.
No study has yet been made of Figulus’s compositions; since works by other composers have been identified in his Hymni, it may be that some pieces in his other volumes are not by him. Some 170 pieces have been ascribed to him, of which about 100 survive. They are nearly all sacred and range from bicinia and tricinia to eight-part double-choir motets, masses, Magnificat settings and psalms. They are transitional in style, standing between the established polyphonic idiom of Agricola and the newer homophonic idiom. His setting of Psalm cxxxiii (Siehe, wie fein und lieblich ist) owes much to Stoltzer and is in many ways similar to that of Johannes Reusch, who worked at Meissen from 1543 to 1555.
R.Eitner: ‘Wolfgang Figulus’, MMg, ix (1877), 126–31
O.Clemen: ‘Ein Buch aus dem Besitze des Wolfgang Figulus’, ZMw, xi (1928–9), 441–3
P.Krause: ‘Die Hymni sacri et scholastici des Wolfgang Figulus’, Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg: gesellschafts- und sprachwissenschaftliche Reihe, ix (1960), 517–28
W.Dehnhard: Die deutsche Psalmmotette in der Reformationszeit (Wiesbaden, 1971)