(b Madras, 1887; d Belfast, 20 Aug 1939). English conductor and composer of Irish descent. He grew up with military bands; his father and brothers Percy and Rudolph all conducted them, embracing between them Army, Royal Marines and RAF. O'Donnell was in the Marines at Portsmouth (1917–23) and Deal, but most notably conducted the BBC (Wireless) Military Band, formed in August 1927 and which survived until 1943, latterly under his brother Percy. It inspired, besides his own and others' arrangements of classical works, some original music including Holst's Hammersmith (1931).
Curiously the band's programmes included little of O'Donnell's own music yet this was brilliantly inventive and, for its time, harmonically adventurous. The Two Irish Tone Sketches and Songs of the Gael draw upon his links with Ireland, while Three Humoresques may derive from Jane Austen. These, with Woodland Sketches, were later arranged for orchestra. Other pieces were originally orchestral, such as the modestly astringent Miniature Suite, and in these his writing for strings shows an understanding of resources beyond those of the military band. O'Donnell died two years after becoming head of the BBC Northern Ireland Region. His work is discussed in P.L. Scowcroft: British Light Music: a Personal Gallery of Twentieth-Century Composers (London, 1997).
Military band: Theme and Variations (1920); Three Humoresques, op.28 (1923): 1 Pride and Prejudice, 2 Prevarication, 3 Petulance and Persuasion; 2 Irish Tone Sketches, op.20 (1923): 1 The Mountain Sprite, 2 At the Pattern; Songs of the Gael ‘Amráin na n-ġaedeal’, a Gaelic Fantasy, op.31 (1924); Crusader March; Woodland Sketches; many arrs.
Orch: Miniature Suite; The Irish Maiden; Minuet; Fragment for Strings; Three Humoresques; Woodland Sketches
Other inst: A Slumber Song, vn/vc, pf (1911); 2 Lyric Poems, pf (1914): When the Sun is Setting, Before the Dawn
PHILIP L. SCOWCROFT
Odorannus of Sens [Odoramnus Senonensis]
(b c985; d 1046). Theorist and composer. Professed as a monk of St Pierre-le-Vif at Sens, Odorannus was trained in metalworking, sculpture and mechanics. His monastic observance seems to have been a constant reproach to his slacker brethren, whose enmity forced him to retire to St Denis from 1022 to 1023. He returned to his monastery in triumph, and in 1028 was commissioned by King Robert and Queen Constance to make a reliquary for the relics of St Sabinian and subsequently one for those of St Potentian. He commemorated those saints in an account of the translation of their relics and in the composition of an Office in their honour. The Office and Odorannus’s theoretical writings are preserved in an autograph manuscript (I-Rvat Reg.lat.577), once the property of Queen Christina of Sweden. His theoretical writings (ed. M.E. Duchez and M. Huglo, Odorannus de Sens: Opera omnia, iv–v, Paris, 1972) include a tonary, which apparently influenced other theorists, and two treatises consituting a practical guide to the performance of plainchant and a summary of the theory of musical pitch before the acceptance of Guido of Arezzo’s reforms. He also wrote on other aspects of the liturgy, as well as history, canon law and scripture.
H. Villetard: Odorannus de Sens et son oeuvre musicale (Paris, 1912)
H.M. Bannister: Monumenti vaticani di paleografia musicale latina (Leipzig, 1913/R), 198 [Guidonian hand from Reg.lat.577]
J. Smits van Waesberghe: De musico-paedagogico et theoretico Guidone Aretino (Florence, 1953), 162
M. Huglo: ‘Le tonaire de Saint-Bénigne de Dijon (Montpellier H.159)’, AnnM, iv (1956), 7–18
H. Villetard: Office de Saint-Savinien et Saint-Potentien, premiers évêques de Sens (Paris, 1956)
Odoyevsky, Prince Vladimir Fyodorovich
(b Moscow, 1/13 Aug 1804; d Moscow, 27 Feb/11 March 1869). Russian author and writer on music. Best known for his short stories, he was also the first significant Russian music critic. After attending the Noble Boarding School attached to Moscow University, he worked in several branches of government, initially in Moscow, then from 1826 in St Petersburg and from 1862 again in Moscow. His unusual range of interests – from the natural sciences to education, from social organization to anatomy – made him an invaluable employee, and brought him a wide circle of acquaintance which included almost every important figure in Russian literature from Pushkin (whom he knew well) to Turgenev and Tolstoy; the poet and Decembrist A.I. Odoyevsky was his cousin. An early fascination with philosophy drew him to German idealism and particularly Schelling. His prose writings include satires on contemporary life and tales of the fantastic as well as the futuristic The Year 4338. The collection Russian Nights, published in 1844, draws together stories and philosophical studies previously issued separately, including two musical stories, Beethoven's Last Quartet (1831) and Sebastian Bach (1835).
Odoyevsky's career in literature ended with the publication of Russian Nights, after which he immersed himself in charitable works; but his early involvement in music continued until the end of his life. He contributed reviews to periodicals and entries to encyclopedias; he sought to influence musical life through contacts in high society and the world of musicians (Glinka was among his close friends); and he kindled in others his own enthusiasms, whether for the phenomena of acoustics, ancient Russian church music, Russian folksong, choral singing using Chevé notation, or the enharmonic piano. Odoyevsky revered Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, and was hostile to modern Italian opera, partly because of its hold over fashionable society and its predominance in Russian theatres. He was a champion of Russian music, especially of the works of Glinka, whose A Life for the Tsar he acclaimed in 1836 as the beginning of a new period in musical history, ‘the age of Russian music’. In 1850 he included three Glinka premières in an orchestral concert for whose programme he was responsible. Following visits to Russia by Berlioz (in 1847 and 1867) and Wagner (in 1863) he wrote articles enthusiastically promoting their music.
At a time when musically knowledgeable criticism barely existed in Russia, Odoyevsky's writings are informed by his experience as a pianist, organist and composer (one of his piano works, Berceuse, was edited and published by Balakirev in 1895) and by the breadth of his interests. The creation of a chair in the history of Russian church music at the new Moscow Conservatory was a tribute to Odoyevsky's research in that field and his view that the intellectual aspects of music should not be overwhelmed by the study of the mechanics of performance.
(on music only)
Muzïkal'naya gramota ili osnovaniya muzïki dlya nemuzïkantov [The rudiments of music, or The principles of music for non-musicians] (Moscow, 1868)
ed. G.B. Bernandt: V.F. Odoyevsky: muzïkal'no-literaturnoye naslediye [V.F. Odoyevsky’s legacy of writings about music] (Moscow, 1956) [contains a complete list of his writings and most of the texts, excluding those on church music]
ed. S. Campbell: Russians on Russian Music, 1830–1880 (Cambridge, 1994) [contains examples of Odoyevsky's work in translation]
Yu.A. Kremlyov: Russkaya mïsl' o muzïke: ocherki istorii russkoy muzïkal'noy kritiki i ėstetiki XIX veka [Russian thought about music: essays on the history of Russian music criticism and aesthetics in the 19th century], i (Leningrad, 1954)
G.B. Bernandt: ‘V.F. Odoyevskiy – muzïkant’ [V.F. Odoyevskiy as a musician], V.F. Odoyevskiy: muzïkal'no-literaturnoye naslediye (Moscow, 1956), 5–75; also in G.B. Bernandt: Stat'i i ocherki [Articles and essays] (Moscow, 1978), 11–107
G.B. Bernandt: V.F. Odoyevskiy i Betkhoven [V.F. Odoyevsky and Beethoven] (Moscow, 1971)
G.B. Bernandt and I.M. Yampol'sky: Kto pisal o muzïke [Who has written about music], ii (Moscow, 1974) [contains a list of writings]
D. Lowe: ‘Vladimir Odoevski as Opera Critic’, Slavic Review, xli (1982), 306–15
A. Stupel': V.F. Odoyevskiy (Leningrad, 1985)
N. Cornwell: The Life, Times and Milieu of V.F. Odoyevsky (London, 1986)
J.S. Campbell: V.F. Odoyevsky and the Formation of Russian Musical Taste in the Nineteenth Century (London, 1989)