(b Berlin, 3 July 1939). German mezzo-soprano. She studied with her father, Willi Domgraf-Fassbänder, at the Nuremberg Conservatory, and made her début at the Staatsoper, Munich, in 1961 as Nicklausse. After playing Hänsel, Carlotta (Die schweigsame Frau), and the various pages and maids of the repertory, she scored a great success in 1964 as Clarice (Rossini’s La pietra del paragone). Later her roles included Gluck’s Orpheus, Sextus (La clemenza di Tito), Cherubino, Dorabella, Carmen, Azucena, Eboli, Brangäne and Marina. Her débuts at Covent Garden (1971) and the Metropolitan Opera (1974) were as Octavian, a part in which her dashing looks and her warm, darkly attractive tone won her particular praise, as it did for her wicked Orlofsky. In 1973 she sang Fricka (Das Rheingold) at the Salzburg Festival and in 1976 created Lady Milford in von Einem’s Kabale und Liebe in Vienna; she has also appeared in San Francisco, Paris and Japan. Charlotte (Werther), Mistress Quickly, Countess Geschwitz, Clytemnestra, the Nurse (Die Frau ohne Schatten) and Clairon (Capriccio) were among the successful roles of her later career. To every one she brought an intensity of acting and utterance all her own, as can be heard in her recordings of Dorabella, Sextus, Hänsel, Charlotte (live from Munich), Geschwitz (twice) and Orlofsky. Fassbaender was also one of the most perceptive and original interpreters of lieder, her recordings of Winterreise and Schwanengesang psychologically searing in her own unique, idiosyncratic manner. She retired from public performance in 1995. From the early 1990s she has been increasingly active as an opera director.
T.Castle: In Praise of Brigitte Fassbaender: Reflections on Diva-Worship (New York, 1995)
S.Näher: Das Schubert-Lied und seine Interpreten (Stuttgart, 1996)
A minstrel in the household of the Dauphin Louis, Duke of Guyenne, 1414–16. SeeBasin, Adrien.
Fassler, Margot E(lsbeth)
(b Oswego, NY, 2 July 1949). American musicologist. She earned the BA at SUNY and the MA in music history at Syracuse University (1978). At Cornell University she received the MA (1980) and the PhD in medieval studies with a dissertation on musical exegesis in medieval sequences (1983). She taught at Mills College, Oakland, CA (1982–3), Yale (1983–9) and Brandeis (1989–94). Returning to Yale in 1994, she was appointed director of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music; she holds joint appointments as professor of musicology at the Yale School of Music and professor of music and religion at the Yale Divinity School. Her research focusses on medieval chant and liturgy, medieval drama and the liturgical arts. For her publications she has received the Elliot and John Nicholas Brown Prizes of the Medieval Academy of America (1985, 1997) and the Otto Kinkeldey Award of the American Musicological Society (1994).
Musical Exegesis in the Sequences of Adam and the Canons of St. Victor (diss., Cornell University, 1983)
‘Who Was Adam of St. Victor? The Evidence of the Sequence Manuscripts’, JAMS, xxxvii (1984), 233–69
‘The Office of the Cantor in Early Western Monastic Rules and Customaries’, EMH, v (1985), 29–51
‘Accent, Meter and Rhythm in Medieval Treatises “De Rithmis”’, JM, v (1987), 164–90
‘The Role of the Parisian Sequence in the Evolution of Notre-Dame Polyphony’, Speculum, lxii (1987), 345–74
‘The Disappearance of the Proper Tropes and the Rise of the Late Sequence: New Evidence from Chartres’, Cantus Planus iv: Pécs 1990, 319–35
‘The Feast of Fools and Danielis Ludus: Popular Tradition in a Medieval Cathedral Play’, Plainsong in the Age of Polyphony, ed. T.F. Kelly (Cambridge, 1992), 65–99
with P.Jeffery: ‘Christian Liturgical Music from the Bible to the Renaissance’, Sacred Sound and Social Change: Liturgical Music in Jewish and Christian Experience, ed. L.A. Hoffman and J.R. Walton (Notre Dame, 1992), 82–123
Gothic Song: Victorine Sequences and Augustinian Reform in Twelfth-Century Paris (Cambridge, 1993)
‘Liturgy and Scared History in the Twelfth-Century Tympana at Chartres’, Art Bulletin, lxxv (1993), 499–520
‘The Meaning of Entrance: Liturgical Commentators and the Introit Tropes’, Reflections on the Sacred: a Musicological Perspective, ed. P. Brainard (New Haven, CT, 1994), 8–18
‘Composer and Dramatist: “Melodious Singing and the Freshness of Remorse”’, Voice of the Living Light: Hildegard of Bingen and Her World, ed. B. Newman (Berkeley, CA, 1998), 149–75
ed., with R.A.Baltzer: The Divine Office in the Latin Middle Ages: Methodology and Source Studies, Regional Developments, Hagiography (Oxford, forthcoming)
Fäsy, Albert Rudolph
(b Zürich, 1 April 1837; d Konstanz, 5 May 1891). Swiss composer. His father was a wealthy merchant and politician. Fäsy studied in Zürich with Franz Abt and with Wagner’s friend Alexander Müller, and apparently became acquainted with Wagner himself. He continued his studies at the Leipzig Conservatory (1856–9) and lived in Vienna and Dresden before returning to Zürich in 1862. In 1868 he moved to Dresden, and he was apparently resident in Kreuzlingen in 1872; from 1879 he was in Konstanz. Fäsy composed several large-scale orchestral works of Lisztian scope, including Columbus, a dramatic suite. He also wrote a symphonic poem, Sempach, songs and piano pieces. Although none of these was performed in his lifetime, his scores display an unusual inventiveness of orchestration. Manuscripts of his works are in the Zentralbibliothek in Zürich.
H.Erismann: ‘“Albert R. Fäsy, Enge”: ein unbekannter Zürcher Komponist des 19. Jahrhunderts’, Neue Zürcher Zeitung (20/21 March 1976)