Oakeley, Sir Herbert (Stanley)

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Okudzhava, Bulat

(b Arbat region, Moscow, 1924; d Paris, 1997). Russian poet, writer and singer of Georgian origin. Okudzhava was the founder of a new popular genre known as gitarnïye pesni (‘guitar songs’) or avtorskiye pesni (‘author's songs’, songs composed by singer-songwriters) which became a new ‘folk’ tradition. Before perestroika these songs were published on cassettes by the underground magnitizdat or samizdat press and were widely sung by young people as an expression of opposition to authoritarianism. Okudzhava was one of a group of singer-songwriters or ‘bards’ (bardy) which also included Aleksandr Galich (1918–77) and Vladimir Visotsky (1938–80); they acknowledged Aleksandr Vertinsky (1889–1957) as the father of the new genre. At the beginning of the 21st century this genre continues to flourish, notably through the work of Zhanna Bichevskaya; her arrangements of village and urban Russian songs sound like American country music and have become a musical symbol of ideological opposition to official Soviet culture.


B. Okudzhava: 65 pesen [65 songs], ed. V. Frumkin (Ann Arbor, 1980, 4/1988)

G.S. Smith: Songs to Seven Strings: Russian Guitar Poetry and Soviet ‘Mass Song’ (Bloomington, IN, 1984)


Ólafsson, Björn

(b Reykjavík, 26 Feb 1917; d Reykjavík, 31 March 1984). Icelandic violinist and teacher. From 1931 to 1939 he studied in Vienna with Franz Mairecker (violin) and Ernst Moravec (viola). In 1947 and 1948 he studied with Adolf Busch in New York. In 1939 he was appointed a professor of violin and head of the string section at the Reykjavík College of Music. As a performer Ólafsson was continually active in Icelandic musical life. He gave the first performances of many works by Icelandic composers, and was the leader of the Iceland SO from its inception in 1950 until 1973, when he resigned so that he could devote his time to teaching. He was a Grand Knight of the Icelandic Order of the Falcon and Knight of the Danish Order of Dannebrog.


Olagnier [née Joly], Marguerite

(b 1844; d Paris, 12 Sept 1906). French composer, novelist, poet and singer. She began her musical life as a singer at the Théâtre des Variétées in Paris, leaving to travel to Egypt with her husband Eugène Olagnier. Possibly while abroad she wrote both words and music of an exotic opera in four acts, Le Saïs, which was staged at the Théâtre de la Renaissance in Paris on 18 December 1881. Later in life she directed her own company, the Théâtre de l'Oratorio, in weekly performances of 18th- and 19th-century oratorios. Two more operas, Le Persan and Lilipa, were never performed, and a novel remains unpublished. Olagnier also wrote a number of songs.

Le Saïs is, in form and genre, a hybrid of late 19th-century operetta and grand opéra, comprising short, strophic numbers and longer, complex forms. The work also draws on traditions of French exotic opera composition: in the Scène du Hachich (1.v), as the cast sit at the foot of a pyramid drinking hashish, chant-like vocal lines, repetitive rhythms and drones conjure an image of the orient. Critics of the time saw Le Saïs as excessively erotic, a view which to some extent holds true today: the heroine, for instance, wears a transparent gown and in Act 2 tantalizingly steps off stage to take her bath.


Olagué [Olaegui], Bertolomeu de

(d Santiago de Compostela, Feb 1658. Spanish or Portuguese composer. His name suggests possible Basque origin. The only known facts about him are that on 20 June 1644 he was named maestro de capilla at Burgos Cathedral, and that he was appointed to the same position at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in March 1651. 24 organ pieces by him survive (P-Pm 1577, Loc. B, 5, Libro de cyfra …): 11 tientos (called ‘obra’ or ‘registro’), five entradas, three sets of versets for each ecclesiastical tone, two hymns, one jácara, one toada and one canção (canción). All are transcribed by Hudson and one appears in M.S. Kastner, ed.: Silva ibérica de música para tecla de los siglos XVI, XVII y XVIII (Mainz, 1954), i. There is also at least one Missa (for 9 voices), and an inventory of c1715 lists another one for eight voices (both in E-Zac; the latter has not been confirmed). He also composed three Christmas villancicos. Additional works are reported at E-SE.



M.S. Kastner: ‘Tres libros desconocidos con música orgánica en las Bibliotecas de Oporto y Braga’, AnM, i (1946), 143–7

B. Hudson: A Portuguese Source of Seventeenth-Century Iberian Organ Music (diss., Indiana U., 1961)

A.E. Esteban: ‘Olagué, Fray Bartolomé de’, Diccionario de la Música Española e Hispanoamericana (Madrid, 2000)


Olah, Tiberiu

(b Arpăşel, Maramureş district, 2 Jan 1928). Romanian composer. At the Dima Conservatory, Cluj (1946–9), he studied theory with Juliu Mureşianu, harmony and counterpoint with Max Eisikovits and the piano with Gheorghe Halmoş; he continued his studies at the Moscow Conservatory (1949–54) under Yevgeny O. Messner (composition) and Dmitry R. Rogal-Levitski (orchestration). In addition he participated in the Darmstadt summer courses (1966–72), where several of his compositions (e.g. Columna infinită, Invocatii) were performed. In 1969–70 he was composer-in-residence at DAAD, Berlin, where he embarked on a study of time and space in music.

Olah’s music is based on an original modal system. He uses numerical sequences and proportional structures that join in an homogenous whole, leaving free certain characteristics of traditional Romanian music. His works use a continuous variation technique capable of generating work cycles such as Brâncuşi and Harmonies. In Harmonies II (1976) processed material is superimposed on original ideas, enabling the work’s superposition on itself. In Harmonies I and III, using tape or a second orchestra, new material is interspersed with passages from works of the same cycle. This conception of musical space and time is discussed in his studies of the music of Webern and Enescu.

Olah has played an important role in the development of national cinematography. Two of his film scores, Răscoala (‘The Uprise’, based on a 12-note sequence G, B, D, F – A, C, E, G – C, E, G, B) and Mihai Viteazul (‘Michael the Brave’) were highly acclaimed at the International Film Festival, Moscow, and have subsequently become successful concert pieces in their own right. Olah’s musicological writings include a study of polyheterophony in Enescu’s music and the organization of Webern’s pre-serial harmonic language; both display a highly original point of view. He was awarded the Prize of the Romanian Academy (1965), the Koussevitzky Prize (1997) and first prize of the Romanian Composers’ Union (1993) for a lifetime’s achievement and several prizes of the Romanian Composers Union.


(selective list)


Geamgii din Toledo [The Glaziers of Toledo] (television opera, B. Andor), 1970 [from puppet theatre, 1959]

Film scores: The Avalanche, 1959; Străzile au amintiri [Street memory], 1961; Sărutul [The Kiss], 1964; Comoara din Vadul Vechi [The Treasures of Vadul Vechi], 1965; Castelanii [The Castle-Owners], 1966; Meandre [Meanders], 1966; Zodia fecioarei [Virgo], 1966; Răutăciosul adolescent [A Mischievous Adolescent], 1969; Mihai viteazul [Michael the Brave], 1970; Puterea şi adevărul [Power and Truth], 1971; Decolarea [The Take-Off], 1971; Moartea lui Ipu [Ipu’s Death], 1972; Pe aici nu se trece [No Trespassing], 1974; Osânda [The Condemnation], 1976; Trecătoarele iubiri [The Passing Loves], 1977; Independenţa [Independence], 1977; Munţii în flăcări [The Burning Mountains], 1980; La răscrucea marilor furtuni [At the Crossing of the Great Storms], 1980; Convoiul [The Convoy] 1981; Cine iubeşte şi lasă [Who Loves and Leaves], 1982

other works

Orch: Sym. no.1, 1956; Brancuşi: Coloana fără sfîrşit [The Endless Column], 1961, Poarta sărutului [The Gate of the Kiss], Masa tăcerii [The Table of Silence]; Translaţii; Perspective, Crescendo, 1966–72; The Time of Memory, 1973; Harmonies: I, 1975, II, 1976, III, 1978, IV, 1981; Sym. no.2, 1986; Sym. no.3, 1989; Musica concertante, fl, cl, orch, 1990; Obelisco per Wolfgang Amadeus, cl, sax, orch, 1991; Sinfonia giocosa, 1991; Muzică de concert, 16 brass, tape, 1993

Chbr and solo inst: Pf Sonatina, 1950; Str Qt, 1952; Trio, cl, vn, pf, 1954; Sonatina, vn, pf, 1955, rev. 1963; Equinox I, 1957; Sonata no.1, cl, 1963; Spatui si ritm [Space and Rhythm], 3 perc., 1965; Perspectives, 13 insts, 1969; Invocatie I, 1971; PaROdiSSINIana, musical joke, vc, db, tape, 1973; Equinox II, 1975; Invocatie II, 1975; Equinox III, 1976; Invocatie III, 1976; Sonata for flute, 1978; Sonata, vc, 1979; Sonata no.2 (Rhymes for the Revelation of Time), cl, or sax and tape 1982; Conc. notturno, vib, a sax, tape, 1984; Sonata, vn, perc, 1985; Sonata, cb, tape, 1986; 3 zboruri deasupra unui fluviu [3 Flies over a River], 1987; Conc. delle coppie, sax qt, 1988; Incontri spaziali, solo perc, tape, 1989; Peripeţii cu trisonuri majore [Adventures of Major Triads], 1992

Vocal: Cant. (Rom. trad.), 1957; Prind visele aripi [Winged Dreams] (cant., M. Banuş) 1959; Constelaţia omului [Man’s constellation], orat, 1960; Ode (T. Utan), mixed chorus, 1962; E chipul tău [It’s your Face] (T. Utan), 3-part chorus; Ţara lui Făt-Frumos [The Country of Prince Charming] (T. Utan), mixed chorus, 1964; Timpul cerbilor [The Time of the Stags] (choral sym., Pop verses), 1973; Vagues vagues, roses roses (T. Tzara), S, 2 fl, cl, 1974

Principal publishers: ESPLA (Bucharest), Editura muzicală (Bucharest), Salabert (Paris), Schott (Mainz)


‘Folclor şi esenţă’ [Folklore and essence], Muzica, xxiv/5 (1974), 4–6

‘Weberns vorserielles Tonsystem’ [Webern’s pre-serial compositional system], Melos/NZM, i/1 (1975), 10–13

‘Pe tema experimentului ǐn muzică’, [On experimentation in music], Muzica, xxv/10 (1975), 1–3

‘Une nouvelle méthode d’organisation du matériau sonore: La polyhétérophonie d’Enescu’, Muzica, xxxiii/4 (1983), 35–47

‘Nota simbol de genezá tonalā in “Sinfonia neterminatá” de Schubert’ [The Symbol Sound of genesis in the Unfinished Symphony of Schubert] Muzica, ix/3 (1998), 36–46

L. Manolache: ‘Pe tene de areatic Convorbire all compozitorial Tiberiu Olah’, Muzica, ii/3 (1991), 108–117 [Interview with T. Olah]



U. Dibelius: Moderne Musik: 1945–65 (Munich, 1966), 299

V. Cosma: Muzicieni români: lexicon (Bucharest, 1970), 337–8

A. Goléa: ‘Romanian Composers’, The World of Music, xii/3 (1970), 66–9

D. Buciu: ‘Tiberiu Olah’, Revue roumaine, iii (1972), 130–32

C.Á. Stoianov: ‘Tiberiu Olah’, Muzica, xxviii/2 (1978), 7–17; 3 (1978), 7–13; Fr. trans. in Muzica, xxxii/6 (1982), 40–48


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