Faà di Bruno, Giovanni Matteo [Horatio, Orazio] 83

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Fleming [Flemming], Paul

(b Hartenstein, Saxony, 5 Oct 1609; d Hamburg, 2 April 1640). German poet. He received a good early education at home from his theologian father and at 12 entered the Thomasschule, Leipzig, where Schein taught him Latin and German poetry. In 1628 he entered Leipzig University and studied medicine and the arts. He received the degrees of PhD and MA in 1633, when he also accepted a place on a mission of Duke Friedrich of Schleswig-Holstein to Moscow and Persia. During a one-year respite in Tallinn in 1635 he met the three Niehus daughters, whose beauty inspired many of his poems. From 1636 to 1639 he was again in Moscow and Persia. He left his post to marry Anna Niehus and then went to the university in Leiden, where he became Doctor of Medicine in 1640. He died suddenly while returning to his bride in Tallinn.

Fleming was the best and most admired German Baroque lyric poet. Under the influence of Opitz, whom he knew personally by September 1630, and his teacher Schein, he wrote reform verse with a depth and mastery of sound unsurpassed by his models and other contemporaries. His best poems are sonnets and odes, and he was specially expert at writing alexandrines. His powerful love-poems exerted a great influence on successors such as Finckelthaus, Zesen, Schirmer, Brehme and Stieler, and they have been continually republished since his death.

As early as his first year in Leipzig Fleming showed a deep love of music, and the musicality of his language testifies to Schein’s encouragement and influence on him (after Schein’s death in 1630 he sang his praises in a number of poems). Hammerschmidt, C.C. Dedekind and Pohle each set some of his poems to music; Bach used his popular chorale text ‘In allen meinen Taten’ in his cantata no.97; and Brahms set ‘O liebliche Wangen’ as his op.47 no.4.


MGG1 (K. Lorenzen)

J.M. Lappenberg: Paul Flemings deutsche Gedichte (Stuttgart, 1865/R)

E. Dürrenfeld: Paul Fleming und Johann Christian Günther: Motive, Themen, Formen (diss., U. of Tübingen, 1963)

R.F. Ambacher: Paul Fleming and ‘Erlebnischichtung’ (diss., Rutgers U., 1972)

A.S. Goodman: Explorations of a Baroque Motif: the Plague in Selected Seventeenth-Century English and German Literature (diss., U. of Maryland, 1981)

M.R. Sperberg-McQueen: Opitz, Fleming, and the German Poetic Epistle (diss., Stanford U., 1981)


Fleming, Renée

(b Rochester, NY, 14 Feb 1959). American soprano. She studied at SUNY and made some early appearances singing Gershwin with the New Harlem SO. After further study at the Juilliard School she won a Fulbright Scholarship to work in Europe with Arleen Augér and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. In 1986 she sang her first major operatic role, Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, at the Salzburg Landestheater. Some of the most coveted awards, such as the Richard Tucker and George London prizes, fell to her, and in 1988 she gained a Metropolitan Opera Audition Award, with a house début in 1991 as Countess Almavira in Le nozze di Figaro. This was also the role which introduced her to Vienna, Paris, San Francisco and Buenos Aires. At Glyndebourne she sang Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte (1992), and Covent Garden heard her first as Dirce in Cherubini's Médée (1989). On recordings she came to notice with a brilliant performance in the title role of Rossini's Armide at the Pesaro Festival of 1993. Fleming also confirmed her growing reputation as a concert artist in a recital at Lincoln Center that same year. On the opening night of the Metropolitan season 1995–6, her Desdemona to Domingo's Otello placed her among the leading singers of the day. The beauty of her voice and the charm of her acting were equally acclaimed on her Bayreuth début as Eva in Die Meistersinger in 1996. She has also been in demand for world premières, including Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles, Susa's The Dangerous Liaisons and Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire, which brought perhaps the greatest personal triumph of her career so far. Her voice combines the moderate power of a lyric soprano with the fullness and intensity of a more dramatic type. From the first, her recordings revealed an extensive range, considerable accomplishment in florid singing, and a distinctive, vibrant timbre. Later years have brought a deepening of her expressive powers in a steadily growing recorded repertory which includes such roles as Donizetti's Rosmonde and Dvořák's Rusalka, Schubert lieder and Strauss's Vier letzte Lieder.


Fleming, Robert (James Berkeley)

(b Prince Albert, SK, 12 Nov 1921; d Ottawa, 28 Nov 1976). Canadian composer. Following piano studies with Marjorie Wilson among others, Fleming was heard in 1937 by Arthur Benjamin, who recommended that he continue his studies in London at the RCM. His teachers there included Herbert Howells and Percy Buck. The following year he won the Exhibition Scholarship in piano, but returned to Saskatoon to study with Lyell Gustin. In 1941–2 he earned the Licentiate degree and won the Canadian Performing Rights Society (CPRS) scholarship for the first time. In 1942–4, after further study at the Toronto Conservatory with Healey Willan (composition), Ettore Mazzoleni (conducting) and F. Silvester (organ), he won three additional CPRS scholarships. After a brief period of service as a wireless operator for the Royal Canadian Air Force (1943–4) he recommenced his studies at the Toronto Conservatory. In 1946 on the strength of his film score Red Runs the Fraser (1946) Fleming joined the National Film Board (NFB) staff as a composer, conductor and music editor. He assumed the position of music director in 1957. In addition to his responsibilities with the NFB he continued to compose music for a variety of media. He returned to Ottawa in 1970 to join the faculty at Carleton University.

Songs and choral works are central to Fleming’s output. When setting a text he paid particular attention to word stress, changing the metre as well as the rhythmic figures to accommodate the accentual pattern of a chosen phrase. While his compositional approach was primarily melodic, his harmonic language includes extended tertian harmonies and chordal streams of 4ths and 5ths. Ostinatos are a common textural feature. From 1946 his style became increasingly modal. The song cycle The Confession Stone (1966), on a set of religious texts by Owen Dodson, combines lyricism with marked dissonance.

Fleming wrote over 50 hours of music for films, including documentaries, features and short films on a wide variety of topics. In the course of this work, Fleming familiarized himself with much of Canada’s folksong and indigenous music. This research also effected his concert music as he increasingly incorporated idioms initially developed for film scores (particularly those for the series Canada at War, Struggle for a Border and Tuktu) into other compositions. His use of folksong also reflected his close involvement with community musicians.


(selective list)


Stage: Chapter 13 (ballet), 2 pf, 1948; Shadow on the Prairie (ballet), 1951; Laurentain Parade, Why There are No Frogs on the Queen Charlotte Islands, Square-dance: the Maple Leaf Forever (3 puppet plays), 1967

Film scores: Red Runs the Fraser, 1946; Mental Health (series), 1946–53; Stanley Takes a Trip, 1948; Canadian Cruise, 1949; Look to the Forest, 1950; Canada’s Awakening North, 1951; My Prairie Home, 1951; Age of the Beaver, 1952; Musician in the Family, 1953; The Country Auctioneer, 1954; The Colour of Life, 1955; The Spruce Bog, 1956; La plume au vent, 1957; Railroaders, 1958; Les pêcheurs, 1959; Above the Timberline, 1960; The Saddlemaker, 1961; Jacky Visits the Zoo, 1962; Canada at War (series), 1962; Exploding Metropolis (series), 1963; Edge of the Barrens, 1963; Phoebe, 1964; Northern Research, 1965; Antonio, 1966; Canadian Artists (series), 1966; Tuktu (26-part series), 1966–9; Adventures, 1967; Struggles for a Border (9-part series) 1967–9; The Best Damn Fiddler from Calabogie to Kaladar, 1968; Matter of Fat, 1969; Family House, 1970


Orch: Around the House, nursery suite, 1942; Red River Country, 1953 [based on film score]; Mestizo, 1954; Summer Suite, 1957; Ballet Introduction, orch/2 pf, 1960; Conc. 64, pf, orch, 1964; You Name It, suite, str orch, 1964; Conc., tuba, orch, 1966; 4 Fantasias on Canadian Folk Themes, band, 1966; Festival Suite, band, 1967; Prairie Sailor, vc, orch, 1970; Hexad, 1972

Chbr and solo inst: Sonatina, pf, 1941; Rondo, 2 pf, 1943; Sonata, vn, pf, 1944; 5 Graded Pieces, vn, pf, 1959; A 2 Piece Suite, 2 cl, b cl, 1959; 3 Pieces, org, 1962; 3 Dialogues, fl/ob, pf, hpd, 1964; Choreographic Sketches, fl, 1965; Brass Qnt, 1965; Variations on a Timeless Theme, org, 1966; A Qt for Str, 1969; Divertimento, 2 ob, 2 vn, va, vc, db, org, 1970; Prelude, Nocturne, Finale, 1971; Threo, s sax, pf, 1972; many pedagogical pieces


Choral: Missa Brevis, f, 1942; Would that I were There (R. Fleming), 1942; A Wreath of Carols (M. Fleming), 1952–75; A Kangaroo Sat on a Oak (trad.), arr. 1954; The Old Man (trad.), arr. 1954; King of Glory (G. Herbert), 1964; Madrigal (W. Shakespeare), 1964; The Lord Himself (Ps lxx) (1965); Heirs through Hope (M. Fleming), 1968; 3 Canadian Folksongs (trad.), (1976)

Solo vocal: Secrets (W.H. Davies), 3 songs, 1940; The Oxen (T. Hardy), song cycle, 1942; 4 songs (J. Coulter), 1946–54; Folk Lullabies (trad.), arr. 1952, rev. 1970; Sarah Binks’s Songs (P. Hiebert), 1952–4; Hymn to War (Coulter), Bar, orch, 1954; The Confession Stone (Songs of Mary) (O. Dodson), 1966; 3 Folk Songs (trad.), 1972; Our Mind Was the Singer (R. Finch), Bar, orch, 1972; 6 Folk Songs from Prince Edward Island (arr., trad.), 1973; Of a Timeless Land (M. Fleming), A, orch, 1974


‘Biographical Notes of Canadian Composers Featured on “Canadian Music in Wartime” Programme’, Canadian Review of Music and Art, iii (1944), 34–5

‘Music for Films’, Jeunesses musical chronicle (Jan 1963), 3 only

‘Music and the Cinema’, Musique et cinéma: filmographie des compositeurs canadiens ayant signé des partitions musicales dans les films produits par l’ONF 1940–1964 (Montreal, 1965)

‘Two Centennial Compositions: “Four Fantasias on Canadian Folk Themes”’, Canadian Music Educator, viii/3 (1967), 59–62

‘The Oxen’, Canadian Composer, no.45 (1969), 24–5


EMC2(E. Keillor)

‘Robert Fleming’, Composers of the Americas, xii (1966), 37–49

‘A Composer who Commutes’, Canadian Composer, no.39 (1969), 4–9

‘A Film Composer’s Life Takes New Directions’, Canadian Composer, no.72 (1972), 8–10

K. Macmillan and J. Beckwith, eds.: Contemporary Canadian Composers (Toronto, 1975)

L. Thistle: ‘Robert Fleming: a Tribute to One of Canada’s Best-Loved Composers’,Canadian Composer, no.118 (1977), 10–18

W. Godsalve: The Aesthetic Functionality of Film Music Based on the Cooperation and Counteraction of Tensities, Illustrated by the Film Music of Robert Fleming (MA thesis, U. of Saskatchewan, 1981)

J. Fraser: ‘Carol Blends Old Hope, New Land’, Globe and Mail [Toronto] (25 Dec 1982)

C.D. Keitges: The Solo Vocal Music of Robert Fleming (1921–1976) (DMA diss., Arizona State U., 1988)


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