Ignace Joseph Pleyel

I never really understand Wikipedia’s approach to biographies! In the case of this chap (born 1757, died 1831), the main article is called “Ignaz Pleyel”, but the opening words of the actual article are “Ignace Joseph Pleyel”, which surely makes a rational reader wonder if (1) it’s Ignaz or Ignace and (2) whether ‘Joseph’ as a middle name is necessary or not.

Well, the New Grove dictionary sort-of helps, but also piles on the options!

The formal entry for him is “Ignace Jospeh [Ignaz Josef] Pleyel” (emphasis in the original). Formally, that means all three names are required and that ‘Ignace Joseph’ are the preferred forms, with ‘Ignaz Josef’ being relegated to bracketed, inferior alternatives. That means Ignace Joseph Pleyel it is, in these pages at least. As usual, Last.fm can be trusted to not be sure about anything: it gives at least five variations on his name, ranging from the abrupt ‘Pleyel’ through seemingly every possible combination of two- or three-word names and spellings!



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