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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

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the fantasia on Russian airs, that on airs from
Faust, and a set of studies. [P-^-]

WILBYE, John, the chief of English madri-
gal writers, published in 159S 'The First Set of
English Madrigals to 3, 4, 5 and 6 voices,' con-
taining 30 compositions, among them the well-
known and popular ' Flora gave me fairest
flowers,' and 'Lady, when I behold.' In 1601
he contributed a madrigal, 'The Lady Oriana,'
to ' The Triumphes of Oriana.' In 1609 he pub-
lished ' The Second Set of Madrigales to 3, 4, 5
and 6 parts, apt both for Voyals and Voyces,'
thirty-four compositions, including the beau-
tiful madrigals, ' Sweet honey-sucking bee,'
' Down in a valley,' ' Draw on, sweet night,'
and 'Stay, Corydon, thou swain.' In 1614 he
contributed two pieces to Leighton's ' Teares or
Lamentacions, etc' The above, which constitute
the whole of Wilbye's known vocal works, were
all printed in score by The Musical Antiquarian
Society. He composed some Lessons for the
Lute, a volume of which occurred in the sale of



456



WILBYE.



the library of Eev. William Gostling of Can-
terbury in 1777. He dated the dedication of
his first set of madrigals from ' the Augustine
Fryers,' and this fact, with the probable conjec-
ture that he was a teacher of music and possibly
a lutenist, are all that is known of the biogra-
phy of one who, in his particular walk, had no
superior. [W.H.H.]

WILD, Feanz, one of the best-known of Ger-
man tenors, the son of homely country folk, born
Dec. 31, 1 791, <it HoUabrunn in Lower Austria.
At his baptism the cold water made him cry
so lustily that Blacho, the schoolmaster, re-
marked, 'That child will make a fine singer
some day ; he shows a turn for it already, and I
must teach him, let us hope with success ' — a
prophecy destined to be brilliantly fulfilled. In
due time the boy, well-trained, entered the choir
of the monaster^' at Klosterneuburg, near Vienna,
and thence was promoted to the court chapel.
His voice changed with extreme rapidit}' in his
1 6th j^ear, the process only lasting two months,
after which he became a chorus-singer, first at
the Josefstadt, and then at the Leopoldstadt
theatres. A happy accident brought him into
notice. General excitement about the war pre-
vailing at the time, some battle-songs by Collin
(of Beethoven's 'Coriolan'), set to music by
Weigl, were being sung at the theatre, when one
night the solo-singer fell ill, and Wild, though
unprepared, took his place, and sang so finely
that he was received with acclamation. He
was at once offered an engagement for the
Kjirnthnerthor theatre, to sing in the chorus I
and take subordinate parts. His powerful |
sonorous voice told with so much effect one
night in the quartet in 'Uthal,' that Hum- j
mel recommended him to Prince Esterhazy
(whose band at Eisenstadt Hummel was con- 1
ducting), and he entered on an engagement for
six years from Oct. 11, iSio. Soon after, how-
ever. Count Ferdinand Palffy endeavoured to
secure him for the theatre ' an der Wien,' but
Prince Esterhazy declined to let him go. Wild
pressed for his release, which was at last
granted in Sept. 181 1. In the meantime he
had taken the law into his own hands, and
was singing Ramiro in Isouard's ' Cendrillon' at
the above theatre, first as Gast (July 9), and
then (Aug. 28) with a permanent engagement.
His success was great, and when the theatre was
united under one management with the Karnth-
nerthor (1804) he removed thither, and as Jean
de Paris (1S05) excited universal admiration by
the liquid tones of his voice. For two years he
was acting there with those excellent singers
FoRTi [vol. i. 556J and Vogl [vol. iii. 323], his
last appearance being June 4, 1S16, after which
he starteil on a tour through Frankfort, Mayence,
Leipzig, Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, and Prague.
On Nov. 9, 18 1 6, he appeared for the first time
as Sargines at Darmstadt, having been made
Kammersanger to the Grand Duke of Hesse.
Here he remained till 1825, crowds flocking to
see him when he played, and offering him almost
princely homage. From Darmstadt he went to



WILD.

Paris, principally for the sake of further studi
with Rossini and Bordogni, and after this a<
cepted an invitation to Cassel as Kammersange:
In July 1829 he went to Vienna, his engagemei
being made permanent on Nov. i, 1S30, an
there he remained till 1845, except for occasioni
tours. One of these brought him to London i
1S40, where he appeared with Staudigl an
Sabine Heinefetter at the Princess's in ' Dj
Nachtlager,' ' Jessonda,' 'Iphigenie enTaurid€
and ' Der Freischiitz.' His last appearance on th
stage was at the Kiirnthnerthor theatre, ]\Iarc
24' 1845. l^is part being Abayaldos in 'Doi
Sebastian.' After this he became regissea
Wild celebrated the 50th anniversary of tli
commencement of his career by a concert (Noi
^'^85 7), in wliich all the princij)al singers (
the court opera took part. Even then he wi
listened to with pleasure from the perfection <
his style and the remarkable preservation of bj
voice. Latterly it had acquired so much t])
tone of a baritone that he sang such parts i
Don Juan, Zampa, and Sever with irresistiU
power and energy. The parts in which Wil
excelled, besides those from classical and lyn
operas already mentioned, were Telasco ('0
tez'), Arnold ('Tell'), Orestes, Masaniel
Eleazar, Georges Brown, Licinius (' Vestale
Arthur Ravenswood ('Lucia'), and especi.
Tamiuo, Florestan, Joseph (Mehul), and Othe_
High notes he never forced, but preserved the fin
power and freshness of his middle register, whicj
told most effectively in declamation and reci
tive. Although short he was well and compac
built, with eyes full of fire, an expressive coi
tenance, and all the qualities fitted to give eff(
to his acting, which was natural and life
without exaggeration. As a concert-singer he ..^
always well received, but perhaps his best singiiq
of all was in church. Those privileged to he*
him sing the Lamentations during Holy Weel
will never forget how the full round tones of hi
superb voice floated forth in perfect devotional
feeling. j

One of the happiest events of Wild's life wai'
his meeting with Beethoven in 1815, at i
festival-concert on the birthday of the Empresf
of Russia. The last number of the programme
was the quartet in Fidelio, ' Mir ist so wunder
bar.' Through some curious chance Beethover
himself appeared, and extemporised for the lasl
time in public, before an audience of monarchi
and statesmen. Wild had arranged to exchange
an air of Stadler's for 'Adelaide ' : Beethoven was
delighted, and at once offered to accompany it.
'His pleasure at myperformance,'continues Wild,
' was so great that he proposed to instrument the
song for orchestra. This never came off, but he
wrote for me the Cantata ^ ' An die Hoffnung '
(to Tiedge's words) which I sang to his accom-
paniment at a very select matinee.' On the
20th of April of the next year. Wild gave a little
musical party at which he sang the same songs ;
Beethoven again accompanied him, and this was

' Op. 94, composed in 1816 ; not to be confounded with an earlier
setting of the same poem, op. 32. composed 1805.



WILD.

farewell as an accompanyist, as the other
[ been his farewell as a player.^ Wild died
:86o, at Ober Dobling near Vienna. [C.F.P.]

VILDEE, Jer6me Albeet Victor van,
c poet and musical critic, born Aug. 21, 1835,
tVelteren, between Alost and Ghent. While
dying for his doctor's degree in law and
losophy at the University of Ghent, he also
luented the Conservatoire, and thus acquired
;horough knowledge of harmony. Having
tten for a time for the 'Journal de Gand,' he
le to the conclusion that there was no field in
gium for a writer on music, and determined,
! his countrymen Vaez and Gevaert,to push his
f in Paris. He began by translating songs,
[ ended with adapting Wagner's works for

French stage. Being not only a clever
sifier, but having a fine musical instinct,
work of this kind is excellent. His printed
unes include ' 40 Melodies ' by Abt ; Schu-
m's ' Myrthen ' and an Album ; ' Echos d'Al-
agne ' ; Rubinstein's ' Melodies Persanes '

duets; Mendelssohn's Lieder and duets;
ipin's songs ; Weber's songs ; ' Les Gloires
.alie,' etc. ; French versions of Handel's
sssiah,' 'Judas Maccabeus,' and ' Alexandei-'s
st'; kschumann's 'Paradise and the Peri,'
an fired,' ' Slignon,' ' Pilgrimage of the Rose,'
ngers Fluch,' and ' Adventlied ' ; Eubin-
n's ' Tower of Babel,' and A. Goldschmidt's
ven Deadly Sins.' He has adapted for the
nch stage Abert's ' Astorga ' ; Mozart's ' Oca
^airo ' ; Schubert's ' Hausliche Krieg ' ; Pai-
lo's 'Barbiere di Siviglia'; F. Eicci's ' Une
ie a Eome,' and L. Eicci's ' Festa di Piedi-
i;ta'; Weber's 'Sylvana'; J. Strauss's 'La
ne Indigo ' and ' Tsigane ' ; Suppe's ' Fati-
a ' ; and Wagner's ' Meistersinger,' ' Tristan

Isolde,' and ' Walkiire.'
lis critiques and feuilletons in 'L'Ev^ne-
it,' ' L'Opinione Nationale,' 'Le Parlement,'

'Le Gil Bias' have not yet been col-
ed. He wrote for the ' Menestrel ' from
le 18 7 1 to 1 8 84, and has republished
ozart : I'homme et 1' artiste ' (Paris 1880, Svo.

1881, t2mo.), and 'Beethoven: sa vie et

oeuvre ' (Paris 1S83, i2mo.). To him also
owe the publication of Mozart's ballet ' Les
its Eiens,' produced in Paris June 11, 1778,
b a success represented by a French epigram
the day as but indifferent, but by Mozart
iself in a letter to his father (July 9, 1778)
^ery great. [Gf-C]

V^ILHELM, Cabl, worthy of commemoration
^ as composer of the Wacht am Ehein ; bom
5chmalkaklen, Sept. 5, 1815, and died there
%. 26, 1875. He directed the Liedertafel at
feld from 1840-65, composed his famous Song
854, and received an annual pension of £150
it in 1S71. [G.]

^ILHELMI, Augusts Emtl Dakxel Fbied-
H Victor, violinist, born at Usingen in Nassau
t. 21, 1845, his mother being a good singer
. pianoforte player ; was first taught by

1 Thajer, EeetliOTen, ill. 327 382.



WILHEM.



457



K. Fischer of Wiesbaden, under whom he made
astonishing strides, playing in public as early
as 9. By the advice of Liszt he spent from 1861
to 1S64 at the Leipzig Conservatorium under
F, David, learning composition from Hauptmann,
then from Eichter, and afterwards at Wiesbaden
from EaflP. While at the Conservatorium he
made an appearance at the Gewandhaus Concerts
in 1862, and shortly afterwards began that career
of wandering which he has maintained ever since,
and always with great success. In 1865 he
visited Switzerland; in 1866 Holland and Eng-
land; in 1867 France and Italy. In 1869, 70,
and 71 he was again in England, and made a
long tour with Santley ; in 1868, Eussia, etc. —
In 1872 he made his d^but at Berlin, and in
1873 at Vienna. At the Nibelungen perform-
ances at Bayreuth in 1876 Wilhelmi led the
violins. The Wagner Concerts at the Albert
Hall, London, in 1877, were due to his repre-
sentations, and here again he led the first violins.
[See Wagner, p. 363 6.] In 1878 he made his first
tour in America. — Wilhelmi resides at Biberich
on the Ehine in the intervals of his artistic
tours. He is second to no living artist in his
general command over the resources of his in-
strument, and excels in the purity and volume
of his tone, no less than in the brilliancy of
his execution. His repertoire includes the
principal works of the great masters : but
Bach and Paganini appear to be his favourite
authors. [G .]

WILHEM, GuiiLAUME Louis Bocquillon,
a musician known chiefly by his efforts to pro-
mote the popular teaching of singing, was bom
at Paris, Dec. 18, 178 1. In early youth he was
in the army, but an irresistible passion for music
made him take to it as the pursuit of his life.
After passing through the Paris Conservatoire,
he became one of the Professors in the Lyc^e
Napoleon, and afterwards had a post in the
Collie Henri IV. His original compositions
were few — chiefly settings of Beranger's lyrics.
It was about the year 1815 that he began to
interest himself in the class-teaching of music in
schools. Soon after this, Beranger, who knew
him well, met one day in the streets of Paris
the Baron Gerando, who was at the head of a
society for promoting elementary education.
' We are busy,' he said to the poet, ' about getting
singing taught in the schools ; can you find
us a teacher ? ' ' I've got your man,' said
Beranger, and told him of Wilhem's work. This
led to Wilhem's being put in charge of the
musical part of the society's work, and after-
wards, as his plans broadened out, he was
made director-general of music in the municipal
schools of Paris. He threw himself into this
cause with an enthusiasm which soon produced
striking results. Besides the school teaching,
he had classes which gave instruction to thou-
sands; of pupils, mainly working people ; and
out of this presently grew the establishment of
tlie Orpheon, the vast organisation which has
since covered France with singing societies. [See
vol. ii. p. 611.]



458



WILHEM.



Wilhem's system has long ceased to be used
in France, and in England it is known only
in connection with the name of Mr. HuUab,
who adapted Wilhem's books for English use.
[See HuLLAH, vol. i. p. 755.] Here it is often
spoken of as a ' Method,' in the sense of a par-
ticular mode of presenting the principles of
music. But this is a mistake. The specialty of
Wilhem's system turned on the point of school
organisation. The plan of ']\Iutual Instruction,'
as it was called, was then much in vogue in France
as a way of economising teaching power, and the
point of the Wilhem System was the application
of this idea to the teaching of singing. A French
authority describes it in these words : ' Les
elfeves, divis^s en groupes de differentes forces,
^tudiaient, sous la direction du plus avanc^
d'entre eux, le tableau [sheet of exercises, etc.]
qui convenait le mieux h, leur degr^ d'avance-
ment. Ces differentes groupes s'exercaient sous
la surveillance gen^rale du Maitre." Wilhem's
principal class-book, the ' Manuel Musical k
I'usage des Colleges, ties Institutions, des Ecoles,
et de3 Cours de chant,' is an explanation of the
ordinary written language of music, clefs, staves,
signatures, time-symbols, etc., interspersed with
a number of solfeggio exercises for class practice ;
the explanations are of the kind usually found
in musical instruction books. His special way
of arranging the classes is explained in his
'Guide de la Methode : Guide complet, ou
I'instruction pour Feniploi siro.ultane des tableaux
de lecture musicale et de chant ^l^mentaire '
(4th edition is dated 1S39). In this he gives a
number of detailed directions as to class arrange-
ments, the manner in which the various groups
axe to stand round the school-room, each in a
semi-circular line; the way in which 'nionitenrs'
and ' moniteurs-chefs ' are to be selected — the
way in which one class may be doing ' dictation '
while another is singing, and so on."- The
method dejjended wholly on the ' enseignement
mutuel,' and when that fashion of school manage-
ment went out, it ceased to be used.

The real merit of Williem was the energy and
eelf-devotion he gave to the task of getting music
brought into the curriculum of primary schools.
Before his time part-singing, in a popular or
general way, was apparently unknown in France,
and it is for what he did to popularise it,
irrespective of any specialty of method, that
his name deserves to be held in honour. His
life was entirely given to the cause. It brought
him no profit — his ' appointements ' were but
6000 francs a year — and though his particular
method has gone out of use, the effect of his work
has been lasting. The Orph^on testifies to its
vitality. He died in 1842.

The Wilhem system was brought into England
by the late JMr. John HuUah,'' acting under
the direction of the then educational authori-

> Prol-ably the fact that village schools, and primary schools
generally, are or were usually carried on in one schoolroom, gave
apeoiai Imrortance to these mechanical arrangemeiiis.

2 Mr. Uullah dieil in the year IKM. His adaptation was entitled
In early editions ' Wilhem's Method of leachinB Smgins, adapted to
Kng ish use. under the superintendence of the Committee of Council
OD Education. By John HuUah.'



WILLAERT. ■!

ties of the country in the years 1840, 1841. [See •
Hdllah,vo1. i. p. 756a.] Mr. HuUah's 'Manual'
(in its earlier forms) was framed pretty closely
on the model of Wilhem's, but the principle of
the monitorial, or so-called 'mutual,' instruc'aon
was dropped. And in another important detail
the aspect of tlie method here was different from
that of its prototype in France. Wilhem had
used the ' Fi.xed Do ' plan of solmisation, the
common mode, in that country, of using the
ancient sol-fa syllables. [See Solmisation, vol.
ii. p. 552.] But in England the old primordial »
' tonic ' use of the syllables had always prevailed I
— the use known as 'Moveable Do,' from tha
Do being always kept to signify the tonic of the
piece, and therefore having a different place on.
the staff according to the key in which a pieceis
written. This use has been traditional in Eng^
land for centuries, and as the Wilhem plan of"'
the ' Fixed Do ' went in the teeth of the ancient
practice, hot controversy arose on its introduc-
tion. This controversy is now chiefly of historical ;;
interest, for the matter has settled itself by the ;■:
nearly total disappearance of the ' Fixed Do ' as a k
method of class or school teaching. School r
teachers have found the other plan to be the
only one which produces the desired result of
training 'sight-readers,' and 'Moveable Do' in
its modern and fully developed form of ' Tonic
Sol-Fa ' has become largely recognized. But
it would be unfair to underrate on this account
the great public service done by Mr. Kullah in
the matter. The decisive step here, as in
France, was the introduction of any kind ol
musical teacliing into the schools, and the prool
that it was possible to teach singing to large
classes. In this sense Mr. Hullah's plans were
truly a great step forward, and had for some
time a great success.

The errors and deficiencies of the systea,
are easier to perceive now, when the genera
principles of teaching are better understood,
than they were when Wilhem and Hullat
successively attacked the problem of teaching
the whole world to sing. Ill-directed in manj
ways as their work was (chiefly because it de^
parted from the old lines), it was work for whicl
the people of both countries have good reasor
to be grateful. [R.B.L.;

WILIS, THE, OR The Night-Daxcers
An opera of E. J. Loder's. [See The Night-
Dancers, vol. ii. p. 4880.]

WILLAERT, Adrian, the founder of th.
Venetian school of musicians, was born ii
Flanders about the year 1480. His birthplaci
lias been generally given as Bruges, a statemen
which, according to Fetis, rests on the authority
of Willaert's on 11 pupil Zarlino : but this refer
ence appears to be an error ; while on the othe:
hand we have the express assertion of a con
temporary, Jacques de Meyere (1531), that hi
was born at Roulers, or Rosselaere, near Court
rai.^ Willaert was bred for the law and cent t( '

3 See the opposite views in Fetis. viii. 470 (2nd ed., 18C7>, and E
vaiider Straeten, ' La Musique aux Taysba-s,' i. 249-457. Sweertiu! .
'Atheuae Belgicae,' p. 104 (Antwerp, 102*, folio), also describes Wll ,



i



WILLAEET.



WILLIAMS.



459



B for the purpose of stud}' ; but his energies
J soon turned aside into their natural chan-
I and he became the pupil^ either of Jean
iton or of Josquin des Pres — which, it is not
«n — in tlje theory of music. He returned
''"landers for a while, then went to Venice,
He, and Ferrara. It was during this visit
lome, when Leo X was Pope, that Willaert
■d a motet of his own ('Verbum dulce et
e ') performed as the work of Josquin. As
I, it is added, as the choir learned its real
i.orship, they refused to sing it again. Wil-
:/s name evidently had not yet become that
er which it was soon to be, under the
■ralised form of 'Adriano,' among Italian
icians. From Ferrara he went northwaid,
' became cantor to King Lewis of Bohemia
[Hungary; and as on December 12, 1527,
vas appointed chapel-master of St. Mark's
iv''enice by the doge Andrea Gritti, it is
isumed that he returned to Italy at the
■'s death in the previous year. His career at
ice, where he lived until his death, Dec. 7,
?," is associated principally with the foun-
Dn of the £inging-school which was soon to
.uce a whole dynasty of musicians of the
lest eminence in their day. Among the first
hese may be named Willaert's own pupils,
ino and Cyprian de Rore ; the latter was
•aert's successor at St. Mark's,
^illaert's compositions are very numerous.*
36 published at Venice include (i) three
ictions of motets, 1 539-1545; (2) two of
rigals, 154S and 1561 ; (3) a volume of
isica nova,' 1559, containing both motets
madrigals ; (4) several books of psalms and
ymna ; (5) Canzone, 1545; (6) Fantasie e
srcari, 1.549. Besides these a variety of his
ks may be found in different musical collec-
3 published during his lifetime at Antwerp,
vain, Nuremberg, Strassburg, and other
es. Willaert holds a remarkable position
ng those Flemish masters whose supremacy
le musical world made the century from 14.50
550 distinctively ' the century of the Nether-
is.' ° He did not merely take up the tradi-

of Josquin des Pres ; he extended it in
y directions. From the two org-ans and the

choirs of St. Mark's he was led to invent
ble choruses ; and this form of com]30sition
developed to a perfection which left little
1 for Palestrina to improve upon. His motets
4, 5, and 6 voices are of the pure Belgian
s, and written with singular clearness in the
irent parts. In one instance he advanced to
conception of an entire narrative, that of
history of Susannah, set for five voices.^ It

as of Bruges. Very possibly the discrepaney is to be explained
pposlng Bruges to have been tlie seat of Willaert's lamily, and
•.rs that of his actual bir.h.

e A. W. Ambros, ' Ueschichte der Musil;,' iii. £02 ; Breslau, ISGS.
His, viii. 471.
fine portrait of the musician is given by M. vander Straeten,

le the lists In F^tis, I. c, and, for those published in the Nether-

, M. Goovaerfs 'Historie et Eibliugraphie de la Typogi-aphie

:ale dans les I'ays-bas,' under the different years.

mbros, i. 3. See this writer's excellent criticism ol Willaert,

ii. 503-509.

:>mpare Fitis. vili. 471.



would be absurd to describe such a work as an
oratorio, yet the idea of it is not dissimilar. In-
deed, in departing to some extent from the
severity of his predece.ssors and creating for him-
self a richer style of his own, Willaert ventured
to be more distinctively declamatory than any
one before him. The com])lexion, therefore, of
his writing, though it might appear ' dry ' to
M Fetis, is markedly more modern than that of
bis masters. He has also a good claim to be con-
sidered the veritable father of the madrigal, and
it is his compositions in this field which are
probably the best remembered of all he wrote.
To contemporaries, however, if we may believe
Zarlino, his chuich-music appealed most strongly;
his p.salms, and in particular a Magnificat for
three choirs, being peculiarly admired. [R.L.P.]

WILLIAMS, Anna, born in London, daughter
of Mr. William Smith Williams, reader to
Messrs. Smith Elder & Co., to whose insight
the publication of 'Jane Eyie' was due. She
was taught singing by Mr. H. C. Deacon and
Mr. J. B. Welch, and on June 29, 1S72, took
the first soprano prize at the National Prize
Meeting Festival at the Crystal Palace. She
afterwards studied for fifteen months at Naples
with Domenico Scafati, and on Jan. 17, 1874,
reappeared at the Crystal Palace. Since then
she has taken a very high position as an oratorio
and concert singer at the Principal Festivals and
Musical Societies of the United Kingdom. Her
voice is powerful and 2| octaves in compass, and
she sings like a thorough musician. She has
occasionally played in ojiera in the provinces,
but it is as a versatile, refined and accomplished
concert singer that she is best known and appre-
ciated. Her repertoire embraces music of all
schools, from the classical composers to Wagner,
Liszt, Sgambati, Parry, etc. [A. C]

WILLIAMS, Geokge Ebenezer, born 1784,
was a chorister of St. Paul's Cathedral under
Eichard Bellamy. On quitting the choir (about
1 799) he became deputy organist for Dr. Arnold
at Westminster Abbey. In iSoo he was appointed



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 110 of 194)