(b Modena, c1475; d Venice, shortly before 7 May 1542). Italian theorist and composer. His name appears in the records of Modena Cathedral in 1494 as ‘Don Lodovico de Alexandro da Fojano’; his brother Giacomo had been organist there since 1489. Despite the note that Orazio Vecchi wrote on the cover of a Modenese manuscript which includes a mass by Lodovico (I-MOd IV), ‘Jacobi et Ludovici Foliani olim cathedralis Mutinae magistri opera’, Lodovico was never choirmaster. He may be the ‘Ludovico da Modena’ who was a singer in the chapel of Ercole I d'Este in 1493 and again in 1503–4, especially if this person was the ‘Ludovigo da Fulgano’ listed in 1499–1501 (lists in LockwoodMRF). In 1513–14 he was a singer in the Cappella Giulia. Some time after this he moved to Venice, and seems to have devoted the rest of his career to music theory and philosophy.
In 1580 Zarlino is quoted as saying that Fogliano ‘was neither priest, friar, nor monk, and he never practised music in public, but … lived in Venice for a very long time’. It is there that he probably learnt Greek; Pietro Aretino, in a letter to him of 30 November 1537, encouraged him in his wish to translate Aristotle (Tiraboschi). A manuscript containing his excerpts from Aristotle and Averroes's commentaries survives (Flosculi ex philosophia Aristotelis et Averroijs, F-Pn lat.6757). By 1538 he had completed his philosophical study Refugio de' dubitanti; the publisher Caterino Ferri sought a privilege for it, but the book seems not to have been printed. This was probably the work that Lodovico left behind at his death and that his brother Giacomo requested from Aretino on 7 May 1542.
Fogliani's treatise, Musica theorica (Venice, 1529/R), is the first to bear this title after Gaffurius's Theoricum opus musice of 1480 and the second edition of 1492, Theorica musice. After a discussion of the nature of sound Fogliano restricts his enquiry to the proportions, discussed in the first part from a purely mathematical point of view, and in the second as applied to musical intervals, especially the parts of the tone. Both sections are presented in a lucid manner, helped by graphic illustrations, including a man showing how to produce various proportions on the monochord, using two movable bridges (allowing two tones to be heard simultaneously). The third section is concerned with Fogliano's new division of the monochord. Unlike the Pythagorean proportions, most of the ratios for the smaller intervals are superparticular: 9:8 for the major tone, 10:9 for the minor tone, 27:25 for the major semitone, 16:15 for the minor semitone, 25:24 for the minimal semitone, and 81:80 for the comma. This division (‘according to nature’) was expressly intended to correspond to harmonic intervals in contemporary practice. Although he does not say so, the division is based on the 10:9, 9:8, and 16:15 ratios of Ptolemy's syntonic diatonic, the just intonation that would later be championed by Zarlino. It had been adumbrated by Ramis de Pareia in his monochord division, though not explained in theoretical terms.
Only two compositions by Fogliano survive, Fortuna d'un gran tempo, a quodlibet based on popular tunes published in Petrucci's Frottole libro nono (15092; ed. in Torrefranca), and a concise mass for four voices which makes sporadic use of an unidentified cantus firmus but is otherwise in frottola style (I-MOd IV; ed. K. Jeppesen, Italia sacra musica, Copenhagen, 1962, vol. ii).
(b Lyons, 1750; d Paris, 1823). Singer and composer. Loewenberg stated that he was baptized Jacques. He went to Paris, according to Fétis, in 1779 and taught the harpsichord, the harp and singing (‘goût de chant’). From about 1781 to 1785 he published six collections entitled Les plaisirs de la société, which consisted of easy arrangements of popular melodies for keyboard and violin ad lib. At the same time he wrote and published numerous songs, some of which appeared in periodicals. On 1 November 1788 a scène by Foignet was given at the Concert Spirituel. In 1791, when it became a common right in France to open a theatre, he began to compose stage works, initially in collaboration with Louis Victor Simon. These were performed at theatres such as the Théâtre des Beaujolais, the Théâtre de la Cité and the Théâtre Montansier. They were primarily opéras comiques or vaudevilles, and enjoyed much success; most are lost.
Foignet later became (with Simon) one of five joint administrators of the Théâtre Montansier, and in 1798 founded the Théâtre des Jeunes-Artistes, rue de Bondy, where he created with his son (2) François Foignet a highly-regarded troupe. Almost nothing is known of Foignet after 1807, when most small theatres were closed by Napoleon at only a fortnight’s notice. The manuscript of a mass signed ‘Foignet, organiste à Evreux’ may be attributed to either Charles Gabriel or François as it dates from the Empire period.
Foignet wrote more than 25 operas and melodramas. His most successful early stage works were Le mont Alphéa (1792), Michel Cervantes (1793), L’apothicaire (1793), Les petits montagnards (1794) and L’orage (1798). Later works include Raymond de Toulouse, with François Foignet (1802), Walther le cruel, with Lanusse (1809), La fille mendiante (1809) and Stanislas Leczinsky (1811).
(2) François Foignet
(b Paris, 17 Feb 1782; dStrasbourg, 22 July 1845). Singer and composer, son of (1) Charles Gabriel Foignet. His talents were nurtured in youthful appearances at the Théâtre des Jeunes-Elèves, and his first stage composition was given shortly before his 17th birthday. Between 1801 and 1807, when he and his father ran the Théâtre des Jeunes-Artistes, François made a considerable reputation as a singer and composer. His greatest success was earned while playing in his own opéra comique, La naissance d’Arlequin (1803), in which he made nine changes of character and costume. This ran for over 100 performances; August von Kotzebue’s remarks on seeing it are quoted by Clément and Larousse. At the time the Foignets’ theatre was nicknamed ‘Le théâtre lyrique du boulevard’.
After Napoleon closed most of the smaller Parisian theatres in 1807 Foignet sought his livelihood as a singer outside Paris, first as a tenor and later as a baritone. Either he or his father may have acted as organist of Evreux and left a mass in manuscript. In 1818 he was in a troupe in Liège, and the next year he wrote an opera for the theatre at Bruges. In 1822 he sang in the Grand Théâtre, Marseilles. He is afterwards noted as being in Nantes (1824), Lille (1826, 1828), Ghent (1827, 1830) and Rouen (1840). For a time he was régisseur of the theatre at Angoulême.
first performed in Paris unless otherwise stated; music lost
La noce de Lucette (opéra, 1, J. Monnet), Variétés-Montansier, 4 Jan 1799, lib. F-Pn
Les gondoliers, ou La soirée vénitienne (1), Montansier, 6 May 1800
Le chat botté, ou Les vingt-quatre heures d’Arlequin (4, opéra-féerie, J.-G.-A. Cuvelier de Trie), Jeunes-Artistes, 19 March 1802, collab. J.-B.-A. Hapdé
Le retour inattendu, ou Le mari revenant (1, Monnet), Jeunes-Artistes, 9 May 1802
Raymond de Toulouse, ou Le retour de la Terre-Sainte (3, R.C.G. de Pixérécourt), Jeunes-Artistes, 15 Sept 1802, collab. C.G. Foignet
Riquet à la houppe (3, pantomime/opéra-féerie), Jeunes-Artistes, 12 Dec 1802
L’oiseau bleu (4, C. de Rougemont), Jeunes-Artistes, 25 March 1803
La naissance d’Arlequin, ou Arlequin dans un oeuf (opéra-féerie, 3, Hapdé), Jeunes-Artistes, 15 July 1803
Arlequin au Maroc, ou La pyramide enchantée (folie-féerie, 3, Hapdé), Jeunes-Artistes, 29 July 1804, lib. Pn
Achille plongé dans le Styx, ou L’oracle de Calchas (scènes allégoriques, Hapdé), Cirque Olympique, 8 June 1811
Barbe-bleue, ou Les enchantements d’Alcine (tableaux, 3, A. Friedelle and Hapdé), Jeux-Gymniques, 16 Dec 1811, lib. Pn, collab. Alexandre
Floreska, ou Les déserts de la Sibérie (tableaux, 3, Hapdé), Jeux-Gymniques, 16 March 1812
La houillère de Beaujonc, ou Les mineurs ensevelis (grand tableau historique, Hapdé and E.T.M. Ourry), Jeux-Gymniques, 24 March 1812
L’heure de supplice, ou Les remords du crime (scène tragi-lyrique), Bruges, 5 Feb 1819
Messe en symphonie, choir, insts, doubtful
(3) Gabriel Foignet
(b Paris, 1790). Harpist and composer, son of (1) Charles Gabriel Foignet. He was a pupil of J.-G. Cousineau and F.-J. Naderman and played in the orchestra of the Paris Opéra-Comique until 1821. His works, principally for harp, include three sonatas op.3, Nocturnes for harp with horn or violin opp.4 and 5, genre pieces, fantasies and variations.
MGG1 (R. Cotte)
N.Brazier: Chroniques des petits théâtres de Paris (Paris, 1837, rev. 2/1883)
F.Clément and P.Larousse: Dictionnaire lyrique, ou Histoire des opéras (Paris, 1869, 3/1905/R)
L.-H.Lecomte: La Montansier (Paris, 1904)
A.Pougin: ‘Un gentil théâtre lyrique sous la Révolution’, Le ménestrel, lxxvi (1910), 273, 329
H.Lyonnet: Dictionnaire des comédiens français (Paris, 1912)
H.Gougelot: La romance française sous la Révolution et l’Empire (Melun, 1937–43)
N.Wild: Dictionnaire des théâtres parisiens au XIXe siècle (Paris, 1989)