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A dictionary of music and musicians (A.D. 1450-1889) by eminent writers, English and foreign : with illustrations and woodcuts (Volume 4) online

. (page 107 of 194)
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harp, inRsmuch as it has left no trace upon their
national music, the peculiarity of the scale of which
consists in leavingout allthenotes and accidentals
which indicate the least modulation from key to
key, but which notes and accidentals would have
been available on the above instrument. The
invention of the Welsh Triple Harp, with three
rows of strings, naturally followed ; for, as music
advanced, the inconvenience of being circum-
scribed within the limited compass of only half
the diatonic scale on either side of the instru-
ment would soon be felt ; therefore the diatonic
scale was extended on each side to the full ex-
tent of the instrument, with a centi-e row of
accidentals equally extended and accessible from
either side. This invention, so far in advance of
any other instrument of its kind hitherto known,
must have given a powerful impetus to the
progress of music in the Principality, and
may go far to account for the beaut}', in an
-artistic point of view, of the national music of

Nevertheless, the great difficulty of playing
accidentals on the inner row of strings in
rapid passages, and the impossibility of mo-
dulating out of the key in which tiie instru-
ment was tuned, gave rise to the invention of
tlie Pv-da! Harp, wliioh is an immense improve-


ment, in a musical sense, upon any former in?

tion, as it admits of the most rapid modula^
into every key, and enables the performer
execute passages and combinations that wq
not have been dreamt of previously. In
double-action harp, as perfected by Erard, e^
note has its flat, natural, and sharp, which;
not the case with any other stringed instrumei
and this enables the modern harpist to prodt
those beautiful enharmonic effects which r
peculiar to the instrument. Anotlier remarkal
advantage is the reduction in the number ,
strings to one row, which enables the perforir;|
not only to keep the instrument in better tuii
but to use a thicker string, and thus attaioj
quality of tone which, for mellowness and rifij
ness, may be advantageously compared with tl
of any other instrument. [J.'

WELSH, Thomas, born at Wells, Somers
shire, about 1780, became, when six years
a chorister in the cathedral there. He ma
such rapid progress that in the course of a fi
years Wells became the resort of lovers of mu;
attracted by the beauty of his voice and exceller
of his singing. His fame at length drew the att(
tion of Sheridan and Linley, and he appeared
1792 at the Bath concerts, in the concerts giv
at the King's Tiieatre during the rebuilding
Drury Lane, and also on the stage in Attwooi
' Prisoner.' He subsequently performed at Dm
Lane in Attwood's 'Adopted Child,' Storac
' Lodoiska,' and other pieces. John Kami
thought highly of his abilities as an actor, a
taught him to perform the part of Prince Arth
in Shakspere's ' King John.' After the breaki
of his boyish voice Welsh pursued his stud)
under C. F. Horn, John Cramer, and Baui
garten. In 1802, his voice having become
deep and powerful bass, he was admitted a Ge
tleman of the Chapel Royal. A few years lat
he essayed dramatic composition, and produc
' Twenty years ago,' a melodramatic eutertai
ment, 1810 ; ' The Green-eyed Monster,' musk
farce, and ' Kamtchatka,' musical drama, i8)
But his greatest reputation was gained as a sin
ing master and instructor of pupils for the staf
Foremost among those whom he taught we
John Sinclair, C. E. Horn, Miss Stephens, a)
Miss Wilson. He joined Hawes in carrying'
the Royal Harmonic Institution. [See Aegt
Rooms.] He published some glees and plan
forte pieces and a ' Vocal Instructor.' He m£
ried Miss Wilson, who had been his pupil, ai
had issue an only child, who became the wife
Alfredo Piatti, the eminent violoncellist. Wei
died Jan. 24, 1848. [See Wilson, Maet Ak
p. 463]. [VV.H.B

WERT,i GiACHES (or Jacques) de, a Flemi
composer of the second half of the i6th centur
has been the subject of much confusion At t
hands of biographers. F(^tis, in his first editio
regarded him as the same person with Jacqu

1 For the .<ipelling of the name, see the facsimile of his autogri
signature in Vander Straeten, 'La Musique aux,' vl. '■
Oilier forms are ' Jaquet tUiacche, etc.; de Weert," or 'Weerdt':
ibid. i. 119.


; and the frequent custom of designating
;ians by their Christian name alone, has

it difficult to discriminate De Wert's pro-
ons from those of other ' Jachets,' ' Jaquets,'
acques' of his time, particularly of Jacques
lel, Jacques de Buus, and Jacques Berchem.'
last-named has been plausibly identified
him, and M. Vander Straeten has found
;lf reduced to distinguishing an elder and
inger De Wert.^ The biographical mater-
lowever, which this writer has for the first
brought together, appear not incompatible
their reference to a single person. On this
)sition, De Wert was born in the Low
tries in the second quarter of the i6th
ry, and went as a child to Italy, where
'as received into the choir of Maria de
)na, Marchesa della PaduUa. Afterwards
issed into the service of Count Alfonso of
llara, not (ns has been s-tated) of the Duke
rrara; and published in 1558 a volume of
igals which appears to have excited so

attention, that a couple of years later he

be reckoned by Guicciardini among the
IS musicians of the day. About 1568 he
i^ed to the court of the Duke of Mantua ;
lis life was soon embittered by the mis-
ict of his wife.' He seems to have turned
lip to the Duke of Ferrara, the magnificent
so II., and to have formed a sort of un-
1 connection with his court, then at the
t of its splendour, which lasted beyond the
diate purpose of his resort thither. His
al attainments rendered him extremely
eable on state occasions, his special feat
nposition being a ' Concerto Maggiore ' for
ngers ; and so late as 15S6* the epistle
Uory to his eighth book of madrigals re-

his intimate attachment to the court of
ra, whether in actual service or not is
ful, since it seems clear that all the while
;mained connected with Mantua.* His

to i'errara involved him in an intrigue,
turned out, with one of the court ladies,
oetess Tarquinia Molza : her relations re-

her marriage, and she was induced to
raw into privacy. She went to live with
otlier at Mantua, where she died in 161 7 ;
; does not appear that she ever resumed
atimacy with the musician. De Wert,
'er, was still resident in the town, as we

from the ' Canzonette Villanelle,' wliich
Wished at Venice in 1589, and dedicated
)nora, Duchess of Mantua, The tenth and
olume of liis madrigals is dated Venice,
10, 1 59 1, about which year his death may
■sumed to have happened.
I ten books of madrigals " which he pub-

at Venice between 1558 and 1591, and

ander Straeten,' La Musiqueauirajs-Bas." 1. 175; Ti.l02, 3.
vol. vi. 329-34<.

etter to the duke on the subject (Jlarch 22, 1570). which Is
j>J M. Vander Straeten, vi.3;4r-336, is fuUola characteristic

I f2nd ed.) vili. 454 a.

leventh book of De Wert's Madrigals bears date Mantua,
1531. and is dedicated to Uargaret, Ducheas of Mantua:
i 4S4 o.

it'a and Eitaer, «. <.



which were several times reprinted by Gardano,
contain evidently the best of De Wert's work.
They are mostly written for 5 voices, but in the
sixth and ninth volumes we meet with pieces
for 6 or even 7. His other compositions include
only the Canzonette already mentioned, and a
number of motets which were principally pub-
lished by Gerolamo Scuto at Venice. Luca
Marenzio,^ it should be added, is said to have
been at one time his pupil, [R.L.P.]

WESLEY, Chaeles, son of the Rev. Charles
Wesley and nephew of the celebrated Rev. John
Wesley, was born at Bristol, Dec. 11, 1757,
His musical instinct displayed itself in early
infancy, and at two years and three-quarters old
he could play ' a tune on the harpsichord readily
and in just time,' and 'always put a true bass
to it,' He was taken to London, and Beard
offered to get him admitted as a child of the
Chapel-Royal, but his father declined it, having
then no intention of educating him as a musi-
cian. He was also introduced to Stanley and
Worgan, who expressed themselves very strongly
as to his abilities. After receiving instruction
from Kelvvay and others he embraced music as
his profession, and became an excellent per-
former on both organ and harpsichord. He
held at various times the appointment of organ-
ist at Surrey Chapel, South Street Chapel, Wel-
beck Chapel, Chelsea Hospital and St. Mary-
lebone Church. Having attained to a certain
degree of excellence as a performer he made no
further progress. He composed a set of 'Six
Concertos for the Organ or Harpsichord, Op. i,'
a set of Eight Songs, 1784, some anthems (one
printed in Page's 'Harmonia Sacra'), music for
' Caractacus,' a drama, and other pieces. He
died May 23, 1834.

His younger brother, Samuel, born Feb. 24,
1 766 (the anniversary of the birth of Handel),
although also a precocious performer, did not
develop his faculties quite so early, for he was
three years old before he played a tune, and did
not attempt to put a bass to one until he had
learned his notes. He proved to be, notwith-
standing, the more gifted of the two brothers.
From his cradle he had the advantage of hear-
ing his brother's performances upon the organ,
to which, perhaps, his superiority might be
partly ascribed. Before he was five years old he
learned to read words by poring over Handel's
oratorio, ' Samson,' and soon afterwards learned,
without instruction, to write. When between
six and seven years of age he was taught to
play by note by Williams, a young organist of
Bristol, Before then he had composed some
parts of an oratorio, 'Ruth,' which he completed
and penned down when about eight years old,
and which was highly commended by Dr. Boyce,
About the same time he learned to play the
violin, of which he became a master, but his
chief delight was in the organ. He was now
introduced into company as a prodigy, and ex-
cited general admiration. In 1777 he published

1 Vauder Straeten, t1. 102, &



' Eight Lessons for the Harpsichord,' and about
the same time an engraved portrait of him
when eight years old appeared. Before he
attained his majority he had become a good
classical scholar, acquired some knowledge of
modern languages, successfully cultivated a taste
for literature, and obtained distinction as an
extemporaneous performer upon the organ and
pianoforte. In 1787 an accident befel him, the
consequences of which more or less affected him
during the remainder of his life, and from which
undoubtedly sprung those erratic and eccentric
habits for which he became remarkable. Pass-
ing along Snow Hill one evening, he fell into
a deep excavation prepared for the foundation of
a new building, and severely injured his skull.
He refused to undergo the operation of trepan-
ning, and suffered for seven years from de-
spondency and nervous irritability which occa-
sioned him to lay aside all his pursuits, even
his favourite music. On his recovery he re-
sumed his usual avocations, and became ac-
quainted with the works of John Sebastian
Bach, the study of which he pursued with en-
thusiasm, and to propagate a knowledge of which
among English musicians he laboured assiduously.
During 1808 and 1809 he addressed a remark-
able series of letters to Benjamin Jacob upon
the subject of the works of his favourite author,
which was edited by his daughter, and pub-
lished in 1875. [See Jacob, vol. ii. p. 28 6.]
Ri 1 8 10 he put forward, in conjunction with
C. F. Horn, an edition of Bach's ' Wohltem-
perirte Clavier,' and promoted the publication of
an English translation of Forkel's Life of Bach
(1820). In 181 1 he was engaged as conductor and
solo organist at Birmingham Festival. In 1816
he suffered a relapse of his malady, and was com-
pelled to abandon the exercise of his profes-
sion until 1823, when he resumed his pursuits
until 1830 ; but a further attack again dis-
abled him, and he was afterwards unable to
do more than make occasional appearances.
One of his latest public performances was at
the concert of the Sacred Harmonic Society on
Aug. 7, 1834, when at the organ be accom-
panied the anthem, ' All go unto one place,'
which he had composed upon the death of his
brother Charles. His actual last appearance
was at Christ Church, Newgate Street, on
Sept. 12, 1837. He had gone there to hear
Mendels.sohn play upon the organ, and was
himself prevailed upon to perforzn. He died
within a month afterwards, Oct. 11, and was
buried Oct. 17, in the vault in the graveyard
of Old St. Marylebone Church, in which the
remains of his father, mother, sister, and brother
had been previously deposited. Wesley was
indisputably the greatest English organist of
his day, and both in his extemporaneous playing
and in his performance of the fugues of Bach
and Handel he was unrivalled. His compositions
were numerous and varied, and of the highest
excellence. By the kindness of Miss Wesley, his
daughter, we are enabled to give a complete list
■of them, — S. Wesley's religious tenets have been


matter of doubt. At a late period of his life 1
disclaimed having ever been a convert to tl
Roman Catholic faith, observing that 'althouj
the Gregorian music had seduced him to the
chapels, the tenets of the Komanists never o'
tained any influence over his mind.' But the
is extant, in the national archives at Paris,
series of letters addressed by him to a lad
believed to have been connected with a convei
tual establishment at Bell Tree House, Bat
without year-date, but evidently written in h
3-outh, which points to the conclusion that i
that time he must have had at least a stroi
leaning towards the Honiish faith, though hex
frained from avowing it out of respect for tl
feelings of his father. He left several childrei
his eldest son, Rev, Charles Wesley, D.D. (boj
1795) died Sept. 14, 1859), ^^-^ Sub-dean of (]
Chapel Royal, and editor of a collection of wori

of anthems.


List of Samuel Wesley's Compositions.

Those marked with ♦ are published.

Oratorios. Euth (composed at 8 years old). Death of AbeL Tm
2 and 3 complete. ■

Musses. Missa solemnis (Gregorian) for voices only ; Missa, BR
eleison ; Missa de S. Trinitate ; Missa pro Angelis.

Antiphons. »In eiitu Israel k 8 ; »Eiultate Deo. h. 5 ; »Dl
Dominus: Omnia Vanitas ; Tu es Sacerdos; Te decet hymnus; E jj
sanna in eicelsis ; Domine salvum fac (org. oblig.) all a 4 : •i;oDfi i
bor for solos, chorus, and orchestra; •IV. In Nativitate Domii
V ; VI ; VIT ; VIII ; IX ; X. In Epiphania ; XI ; XII, In Festo
poris Christ! ; XIV. In Epiphania; XVI, Ad Benedictum, for O
pus Christ! ; XVII, XVIII, In Festo Corp. Christ! ; Diiit Doming
Salve Eegina ; Ad Magnificat ; Qualem sinistrum ; Agnus Dei, tti
(1812); Agnus Dei a812); Hymns in Festo Ascensionis. Versuiji
Ps. cixxvi. Ave Maris Stella (1786); Salve Eegina; Magna opH
Omnes gentes.

Services. »MominB and Evening Church Service in F k 4? a
Te Deum, Sanctus, Kyrie, Nunc Dimittis, and Burial Service a
Jubilate Deo ; Sanctus in F.

Anlhemi. »A1I go unto one place. Funeral Anthem for
Wesley ; ^I am well pleased ; Behold how good (org. oblig.) ; •'
God, art praised; 'n'ho can tell? (July 4, 1823); Hear, O
Sheplierd ; Be pleased, Lord ; I will take heed.

Choruses. My delight (Ap, 11, ISlfi) ; Thus through sa<
ages ; On the death of W. Kingsbury (1782) ; ^Vhy should we
(orch.. May 1813).

Parochial Psalm-tunes, with interludes, »Bk. I. only ; Cho:
Psalm-tunes, 600 or more.

Ode to S. Cecilia's day, for solos, chorus and orch. Words bfl
S. Wesley.

Glees. For 4 voices :— Circle the bowl ; •O sing unto my ronn
(Madr.) : No more to earth ; Now the trumpets (1815) ; WhiW
short-lived (IS22) ; • Father of Light : Here shall the mom^
with thee; No more to earth's. For 3 voices:— Thou happy 1
These are by fond mama(177S); Harsh and untuneful (178S);
goosy, gander (1781); Adieu, ye soft; When Orpheus went (
When first thy soft lips (1783); What bli^s to lite (1807);
Friendship ; On the salt wave (1793) ; Eoses their sharp spines (
Say can power (1791) ; The rights of man ; Blushete mlo caroi I
grand in age ; afrom Anacreon ; Nella cara.

Duels, Beneath, a sleeping infant lies ; Belle Gabrielle (1792) il
powerful love (17i:3) ; Sweet constellations (1782).

Songs. •True B'ue; Within a cowslip's: England, the tffi
Gentle warbling (1799) ; What shaft of Fate's relentless powerfj
gentle slumbers ; Farewell. If ever fondest prayer ; Think of ||
Behold where Dryden ; Louisa, view ; • Come all my brave bU
Election squib; 'The House that Jack built ; • Love and Folly ; n
Autjphagos; Adieu, ye jovial youths (1783); The world, mjti
Jlira (1784) ; Yes. Daphne ! (17S1) ; When we see a lover UngMl
(1783) : Too late for redress (1783) ; Pale mirror of respler.dent IlW>
Love's but the frailty ; Oh how to bid ; Parting to death W» ^
compare (1783) ; The white-robed hours (1783) ; Armin's lameiltMP<
(1784) ; Flutfring spread (1783).

Symphonies. In D (1784) ; in E b a784) ; in B b (1802) ; in A ; in 1

Overtures. In D 0778) ; in C a780) ; in D j ' to the 2na Adt,' I

Organ Concertos. In E b 0776); in D 0781): in G (1782); IbB
0785), On Bule Britannia; InG; inBb; in£b; in G; lnO;lD


«J Piut, •So. 1 ; Do. No. 2 ; #00. in 3 movements, insc. to

mlariea. In D, in C. in C minor, in C, in Eb, in G minor, in F
lUiniop. 6); »Do. inG. in D, in D, in A. in F ; #3 Voluntaries
W. Harditig; a 2nd set of do. ; •G Voluntaries for young
ists ; ♦ One do. insc. to Tlios. Attwood ; » Do. in G minor insc.
Linley; »Do. in G, insc. to H. J. Gauntlett ; »One do. insc.
Drummer. E=q. ; »A 2nd in D, insc. to the same; •Easy
taries; •e do. ; •A sliort and tamiliar Voluntary in A; •12
pieces with full Voluntary added ; •12 short pieces with Grand
:; •ABooli of Interludes; •Fugue inD; •Preludes and Fugues
ircises ; »6 Introductory movements, and Fugue in D ; •Charac-

airs for the Seraphine ; Concerto in D for Organ and Violin

iqforte. •Eight lessons (1777); cDnet March In D, No. 25;
.tas, op. 3 ; 4 Sonatas and 2 Duets, op. 5 ; Sonata with fugue on
it of Salomon's ; 2 Sonatas for PF. or Harpsichord with ace.
3lin. op. 2 ; » Sonatina, ded. to Miss Meeking ; • Do. on Air in
. in G; Kondo in D, Off she goes; •Do. in D. Lady Mary
as ; Do.. Fly not yet ; Orphan Mary ; Patty Kavannah ; The
Mav moon ; • Do. in G minor. Kitty alone and I ; • Do. in A,
npt from Love's sickness ; Do.. 'WIU Putty ; • Bellisima Signora ;
firellis Polacca ; • Do. in B b. the Lass of Richmond Hill ; Do. in

1 Towlcr; •Do. from an Organ Concerto ; •Do. on Polish Air.
ninor ; •Do. inG; •Bay of Bisca.v (Bb); •Christmas Carol (E
; • Moll Pately (in F; ; » Widdow Waddle (in A) ; • La Melange ;
i wha hae; »The Deserter's Meditations; tA favourite Air
Der Freyschutz ; •Jacky Homer, with Flute ; Adagio, March,
'altz ; » Uuet in La Cosa rara; Divertimento, ded. to Miss Walker ;
! of Badajoz. with March in D ; Rondo in A (1778) ; 'Waltz, the
cket ; •Do. the Coburg ; Introd. and Air, insc. to Mrs. Stirling ;
Enslaver, with Vars. ; •Hornpipe and variations with Introd. ;
ations on a fav. Italian air, in F ; • Grand Fugue with March
Ode to S. Cecilia's day; Grand Coronation March ; •Do. in
!W March as performed on Parade ; Preludes throughout the
ith msoor and minor; •Fugue, insc. to J. B. Logier.

na QuinUl. in A; Do. Fugue in Bi) a?<X». Quarlet (I7m) ; Do.
, Trio. Aria for Strings ; for Oboe, Violin and Cello ; ^for PF.
Flutes ; for 3 PF's. huet. Violin and Cello. Sonala a Violino
in A. Sclo per Violino e Basso. March, Corni, Oboi, Bassoni,
naTT7). [W.H.H.]

LESLEY, Samuel Sebastian, Mus. Doc,
i son of the above, whose genius he in-
ted, was bom August 14, iSio. Educated
le Bluecoat School, in his 14th year he was
ted chorister of the Chapel Royal, St. James's;
827 organist at St. James's Church, Hamp-
d Road ; two yeais later organist of St. Giles's,
iberwell, of St. John's, Waterloo Road, and
lampton-on-Thames, holding these four ap-
itments simultaneou.sly. In 1832 he became
mist of Hereford Cathedral, conducting
festival there in 187,4, and a year later
rying the sister of Dean Merewether, when
migrated to Exeter, and remained at that
■edral several years, during -which period his
itation as the first English church composer
organist of his country became established.
)ut 1842 he was induced by a good offer from
Hook to accept the organistship of Leeds
ish Church. In 1844 he was a candidate
the Professorship of Music in the Univer-
I of Edinburgh, then vacant by the resignation
sir Henry Bishop. Among Wesley's testi-
lials on that occasion was the following from
hr : — ' His works show, without exception,
. he is master of both style and form of
different species of composition, and keeps
self closely to the boundaries which the
jral kinds demand, not only in sacred art,
I also in glees, and in music for the pianoforte.
I sacred music is chiefly distinguished by a
d.e, often even an antique style, and by rich
(jnonies as well as by surprisingly beautiful
) ulations.' Before his candidature at Edin-
il;h Wesley took a Doctor's degree, by special
i e, at Oxford, and wrote, as exercise, his fine



anthem in eight parts, '0 Lord, Thou art my
God.' In 1849 he was appointed to Winchester
Cathedral, where the school offered facilities for
the education of his sons. After fifteen years
in Cathedral and School Chape!, Wesley, being
consulted by the Dean and Chapter of Glou-
cester as to the claims of candidates for that
org.inistship then (1S65) vacant, intimated that
he would himself accept it, an offer which was
naturally taken advantage of. This post brought
him more prominently forward in the musical
world, as conductor ex officio, once in three
years, of the Three-Choir Festivals, and the
change seemed for a time to reanimate energies
and powers which had not received adequate
public recognition. While at Gloucester, he
received from Mr. Gladstone's Government a
Civil List pension of £100 per annum, in con-
sideration of his services to Church music.

But the best years had been spent of a life
which, to a less sensitive nature, might have been
happier and more eventful; and long-deferred
hopes for restorations of founder's intentions,
and for thorough reforms in Cathedral matters
generally — reforms which, both with pen and
voice, he warmly and constantly advocated —
combined with other disappointments and cares,
shortened his days, and after some ten years
tenure of his Gloucester post, he died there in
April 1876, and his last words were 'Let me see
the sky' — words appropriate for one whose
motto as a composer seemed always 'Excelsior.'
According to his own wish he was buried at
Exeter, by the side of an only daughter, who
died in 1840, and some eminent musicians were
present at the funeral. A tablet to his memory
has been placed on the north wall of the nave
of the Cathedral, on which these words are
inscribed — ' This monument has been placed
here by friends as an expression of high esteem
for bis personal worth, and in admiration of his
great musical genius.' But a more lasting
monument, of his own creation, exists in his
works. For as composer for the Church of
England, Dr. Wesley may fairly be placed in
the highest rank of his contemporaries, i.e.
i8;^o-iS6o. In his elaborate Service in E major,
published with an interesting preface whilst he
was at Leeds, advantage is taken of modern
resources of harmony and modulation, without
departure, now so often the case, from the lines of
that true church school to which the composer
had been so long habituated. And this judicious
combination of ancient and modern is character-
istic of his church music, in which he gives
practical illustration of the reform which he
was always urging. His fame will chiefly rest
on his volume of twelve anthems, published
about the year 1854. Two of these, composed at
Hereford, ' Blessed be the God and Father,' and
'The Wilderness,' are now universally recognised
as standard works of excellence. Later in life
Wesley soared even higher — for instance, in bis
noble '0 Lord, Thou art my God,' above men-
tioned, in his 'Ascribe unto the Lord,' composed
in the Winchester period,and also in the exquisite




little anthem, 'Thou wilt keep him in perfect,

Online LibraryGeorge GroveA dictionary of music and musicians (A.D. 1450-1889) by eminent writers, English and foreign : with illustrations and woodcuts (Volume 4) → online text (page 107 of 194)