George Grove.

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

. (page 111 of 194)
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organist of the Philanthropic Society's chapel,
and in 1S14 succeeded Robert Cooke as organist
of Westminster Abbey. He composed, when a
bov, some chants and Sanctuses, printed in
'Sixty Chants . . . composed by the Choristers
of St. Paul's Cathedral,' 1795, and was author of
'An Introduction to the Pianoforte,' and 'Exer-
cises for the Pianoforte.' He died April 1 7, 1819,
and was buried April 24, in the south cloister of
Westminster Abbey. [W.H.H.]

WILLIAMS, the Sisters, born at Bitteiley,
near Ludlow — Anne, in iSiS. Martha in 1821.
They received instruction in singing from T. S.
Cooke ('Tom Cooke') and Signer Negri, and in
1840 first appeared in public in the provinces,
speedily established a reputation in oratorio and
other concerts, and ini846 sang subordinate parts
on the production of ' Elijah ' at Birmingham.
In concerts, theirsinging of duets of Mendelssohn,
Macfarren, Smart, etc., was greatly admired,
and is still remembered with pleasure. The



elder sister retired from public life on her mar-
riage with Mr. Alfred Price of Gloucester,
May 1 6, 1S50, and is thus mentioned in the
AthenKum of May 18, 'A more modestly
valuable or more steadily improving artist was
not among the company of native soprani.'

jNIartha, the contralto, married jNIr. Lockey,
May 24. 1853, and continued her career until
1865. She now resides with her husband at
Hastings. [See Lockey.] [A.C]

WILLING, Christophek Edwin, son of
Christopher WiUiug, alto singer and assistant
Gentleman of the Chapel Royal (born i S04, died
May 12, 1840), was born Feb. 28, 1830. He
was admitted a chorister of Westminster Abbey
under James Tiuie in 1839, and continued such
until 1845, during which time he also sang in
the chorus at the Concert of Antient Music, the
Sacred Harmonic Society, etc. Upon leaving
the choir he was appointed organist of Black-
heath Park Church, and assistant organist of
Westminster Abbey. In 1847 he was engaged
as organist at Her Majesty's Theatre, and held
the post until the close of Lumley's management
in 1858. In 1S4S he was appointed organist to
the Foundling Hospital, and shortly afterwards
also director of the music. In 1857 he was in-
vited to take the place of organist of St. Paul's,
Covent Garden, which he held in conjunction
with his appointment at the Foundling, but re-
signed it in 1S60 to accept the post of organist
and director of the music at Ail Saints, Mar-
garet Street, which he held until 1868. In 1872
he was appointed organist, and afterwards also
chorus master, to the Sacred Harmonic Society.
In the same year he was re-engaged as organist
in the company of Her Majesty's Theatre (then
performing at Drury Lane), and in 1868 was
made, in addition, maestro al piano. In 1879
he resigned his appointments at the Foundling
Hospital. For several years past he has been
conductor of the St. Alban's Choral L^nion, which
holds a triennial festival in St. Alban's Abbey
— now Cathedral. Mr. Willing is an able and
highly esteemed professor. [W.H.H.]

WILLIS, Henry, one of the leading English
organ-builders; born April 27, 1821 ; was ar-
ticled in 1S35 t*' John Gray ; and in 1847 took
the first step in his career by re-building the
organ at Gloucester Cathedral, with the then
unusual compass of 29 notes in the pedals.
In the Great Exhibition of 1S51 he exhibited
a large organ, which was much noticed, and
which led to his being selected to build that for
St. George's Hall, Liverpool, which under the
hands of Mr. Best has become so widely known.
The organ which lie exhibited in the Exhibi-
tion of 1S62 also procured him much fame, and
became the nucleus of that at the Alexandra
Palace, destroyed by fire on June 9, 1873,
shortly after its completion. His next feat was
the organ for the itoyal Albert Hall (opened
1871), which in size, and for the efficiency of its
pneumatic, mechanical and acoustic qualities,
shares its high reputation with the aecoud Alex-


andra Palace organ, which was constructed
the restoration of that building, and was opei
in May 1875.

Mr. Willis has supplied or renewed organa
nearly half the Cathedrals of England, viz.
Paul's (1872), Canterbury (86), Carlisle (5I
Durham (77), Hereford (79), Oxford (8,
Salisbury (77), Wells (57), Winchester (53),
Truro, St. David's, (81), Edinburgh (79), Glas-
gow (79), as well as many colleges, churches,
haUs, etc. The award of the Council Medal to}
Mr. Willis in 1851 specifies his application ofl
an improved exhausting valve to the Pneumatic i
lever, the application of pneumatic levers in a
compound form, and the invention of a mon>
ment for facilitating the drawing of stops sinM
or in combination. In 1862 the Prize Medal 1^
awarded to him for further improvements. ]i
18S5 the Gold Medal was given him for 'ezg^
lence of tone, ingenuity of design, and periectioB
of execution.' His only patent is dated Marcha
1 868. "^

Mr. Willis has always been a scientific _
builder, and his organs are distinguished for ti
excellent engineering, clever contrivances, and
first-rate workmanship, as much as for their tell'
liancy, force of tone, and orchestral character. [G.j

WILLMAN,! Thomas Ltndsat, the mostF'
celebrated of English clarinettists, was the son '^
of a German who, in the latter half of the i8tb '^
century, came to England and became master 0) "
a military band. "The time and place of the ^
younger Willman's birth .are unknown. Aflei '
being a member of a military band and of va-
rious orchestras he became, about iSi6, prindpal
clarinet in the Opera and other chief orchestta8..J?
and also master of the Grenadier Guards' band. '
His tone and execution were remarkably beauti- *
ful, and his concerto-playing admirable. He died '^
Nov. 28, 1S40. His age was recorded in the jc
register of deaths as 56, but, by comparison with 3
his own statement made more than 8 years be- ii,
fore, when he joined the Royal Society of Muri- 4
cians, should have been 57. He is believed ?i
however to have been much older. [W.H.H.'*-'

WILLMANN.* a musical family, interest- ij
ing partly in themselves, but chiefly from tli6"jU
connection with Bonn and Beethoven. MaXI-^
milian, of Forchtenberg, near Wiirzburg, one o* La
the distinguished violoncellists of his time, re- '^
moved with his family to Vienna about i78o.j|t
There they became known to Max Franz, son oiji.
the Empress Maria Theresa, who in 1784 became j^^
Elector of Cologne, with Bonn as his capital ij.
When he, in 1788, reorganised the court music j^
he called Willmann and his family thither, theL

1 His name was always spelt in English with one ' n,' but donbt

less it had two originally. ^'

2 The notices of the various Willmanns In the old musical peri ■-
odicals and calendars are so contused and contradictory, M t< _ ,
render it exceedingly difficult, perhaps impossible, to fully ii«n
tangle them. Baptismal names, dates of birth and death, and direc
means of identification are largely wanting ; and the Germai
musical lexicons, co; ying each other, onl.r add to the confusion ,
Must of the latter make of Max Willmann and his daughters, i
brother, and sisters! Neef";, the.r mus c director in Bonn, writes li
1792. ' Herr Willmann with his two demoiselle daughters.' This i


;r as solo violoncellist ; thus he was a col-
lie of the young Beethoven. Of the concert
3 made by the Willmanns during the succeed-
^ears, some notice is given in the two follow-
sections of the article. On the dispersion of
Bonn musicians (1794) in consequence of the
ich invasion, Willmann appears to have been
I, short time in the service of the Prince of
m and Taxis at Batisbon, but was soon called
le position of solo cellist in the Theater-an-
Wien at Vienna. He died in the autumn


'iLLMANK, — , baptismal name and date of
1 unknown, elder daughter of the preceding,
led the pianoforte with Mozart, and became
of his most distinguished pupils. She came
?onn with her father in 1788, where she
ed at court and gave lessons. She took
in his private Sunday concerts, and was one
le few musicians selected by the Elector to
mpanj' him to Miinster in December 1792.
3onn she occasionally sang in the opera. In
• 3'ears, as Madame Huber- Willmann, she
e successful concert tours. Flattering notices
,er performances, especially in Leipzig in
:, 1802 and 1804, appear in the contemporary
nals. Of her later life we find no informa-

!agdelena, bom at Forchtenberg, date
aown, younger sister of the preceding,
ied singing with Eighini at Vienna, and
e her first appearance on the stage, Dec.
786, in TJmlauf s ' Ring der Liebe.' She
e to Bonn (1788) as prima donna. In the
mer of 1790, Madame Todi sang in Bonn.
;delena's quick apprehension caught her style,

a few months later she surprised her au-
ce with a grand aria perfectly in the great
^an manner. The ever ready Neefe sent her
)em, the point of which was, that if, like
rr Paris,' he had to decide between Mara,
i, and Magdelena, he would give the apple
le ' blooming rose.'
1 the summer of I'jgi she made a concert

with her father and sister, visiting Mainz,
ikfort, Darmstadt, Mannheim, Munich, etc.
Dischingen, the summer residence of Prince
m and Taxis, she took the part of Belmonte
[ozart's Entfiihrung, other parts being taken
he Princess, the Duchess of Hildburghausen

others of the aristocracy. On the 13th
uly, 1793, the Willmann family left Bonn
Italy, and Peter Winter engaged her for
opera which he composed for the carnival
Venice in 1794. Returning thence the
t summer, they gave a concert (July 30)
Jratz, en their way to Vienna. Meantime
Electorate of Cologne had disappeared, and
nusicians were scattered. In 1795 Magde-
. made a tour through Germany. In Berlin,
''incent Martin's 'Lilla,' she sang a passage
t was written, which the Berliners had only
:d sung an octave higher. Instead of ap-
iding her deep, rich tones, they hissed her.
Returning to Vienna, she was engaged in the
erial opera, both for Italian and German.



She married (1799) a certain Galvani, and ex-
cept a 'star' tour or two she remained in the
Vienna opera until her premature death near the
end of the year 1801.-^

She was very beautiful in person, and upon
her return to Vienna, Beethoven renewed his
acquaintance with her and (on the testimony of
her niece'*) offered her his hand. Her voice
was of phenomenal extent, ranging from high
soprano to contralto. E. L. Gerber writes, ' She
belongs to the most celebrated German singers,
renowned for her wonderfully deep and at the
same time remarkably pleasing voice, for her
execution and fine taste in delivei-y, and for her
exquisite acting; so that nothing remains to be

Willmann, Carl, was a younger brother of the
preceding, and of him it is only known that, be-
fore the dispersion of the court at Bonn, he was
accessist to the violins, that is, played as candi-
date for a place, when one should become vacant,

Willmann, Madame Tkibolet, was the
daughter of Tribolet, Professor of French in the
new University founded at Bonn by Max Franz.
She did not belong to the 'Court music,' but
sang in the opera, her first recorded appearance
being in Nov. 1 790. She soon after became the
second wife of Max Willmann, and accompanied
him and Magdelena to Venice in 1793. She
sang in the concert at Gratz the next year, and
in 1 795 made her first appearance in Vienna, in
TJmlauf s 'Schone Schusterin,' and 'greatly-
pleased.' How long she remained on that stage
does not appear. In Hamburg (Sept. 20 to Oct.
4, 1 801) she sang to crowded houses, departing
thence, says the correspondent of the Allg. Mus.
Zeitung, ' delighted with her extraordinary recep-
tion and emoluments.' In 1S03 she sang at the
Theater an-der-Wien, at Vienna; in July 1804 ^*
Munich. She was next engaged for the Opera in
Cassel. Upon the organisation of Jerome Bona-
parte's French Theatre there, she retired for a
time, and sang only in concerts, e.g. for Ries, on
Jan. 25, 181 1, In October and November of
that year she was again in Munich, where she
was a favourite. On the 24th of March, 181 2,
she was again in Munich, and gave a concert
in which the PF. Fantasia, op. 80, of her old
Bonn friend, Beethoven, was performed. It was
her last. On her way thence to her dying hus-
band in Vienna, she herself passed away. The
Leipzig correspondent sums up her qualities
thus : ' A splendid execution, an imposing
voice, practised skill and science in singing, dis-
tinguish her most favourably above many cele-

Willmann, Caroline, daughter of the pre-
ceding, was both singer and pianist. The ear-
liest notice of her is her appearance with her
mother in Ries's concert in Cassel, Feb. 23, 181 1.
'As a pianist,' says the A.M.Z. correspondent,
'she has several times received well-earned ap-
plause. On this occasion she appeared for the
first time as a singer in a grand and effective:

1 Not January 12. If02, as the German lexicous state.
s See Thayer's BeethoTen, vol. ii. 58.




scena ; the execution and fine intonation already
acquired, under the instruction of her mother,
justify the expectation that, if she so continues,
we shall have in her a very fine singer. She
deserves all encouragement, and received it in
loud applause.' On the reorganisation of the
Cassel Opera, in iSii, she was engaged. On
Feb, 8, 1812, she sang and played a PE. concerto
by Dussek. After the death of her mother, she
sang for a time in Pesth, and in March 1814
sang a few times in the Court Opera, Vienna.
Her voice — she was but eigliteen years old —
was not powerful, but very pure and sweet,
except in tlie middle tones, and of remarkable
extent in the upper register. Before the close
of the year she was engaged in Breslau as prima
donna. There the great beauty of her voice,
its excellent cultivation by her mother and Blan-
gini, her fine taste, her charming acting and her
beauty, made her a general favourite. In July
1 81 6 she was again in Vienna, and sang in the
Theater-an-der-Wien, but from some unknown
cause, on her first appearance, subjected herself to
criticism of great severity. She remained upon
that stage with varying success, astonishing her
audiences by magnificent performances of the
Queen of Night, and Elvira (Opferfest) until the
end of 181S. In 1819 she sang in Munich and
Stuttgart, and in 1821 in Dresden, with varied
success. (See A.M.Z. xxiv. 497.) In 1823 she
returned to Cassel. In 1825 she sang in Berlin,
and thenceforward disappears.

A Miss Willmann sang successfully in
Breslau in May 181 5, a few months after
Caroline had left that stage, and was said to be
the daughter of J. Willmann, formerly (1804-8)
Theatre and Music Director in Cassel. [A.W.T.]

WILLMERS, Heinkich Rudolf. A pianist ;
pupil of Hummel and Fr. Schneider ; born at
Berlin, Oct 31, 1821. He was at one time
widely known both as a brilliant player and
composer for the PF., and was teacher at Stern's
school in Berlin from 1864-66. He then re-
sided in Vienna, where he died insane, Aug 24,
1S78. [G.]

WILLY, John Thomas, violin-player, born
in London, July 24, 181 2. He was for some
time a pupil of Sjiagnoletti's, and became a
member of the King's Theatre band. He played
under Costa as a first violin, and later as principal
seconil, during the whole of his career. He led tlie
' Elijah ' at Birmingham in 1846, and was leader
at various other festivals; at Jullien's and the
London Wednesday Concerts, the new Philhar-
monic, the National Choral, the Society of
British Musicians (of which he became a mem-
ber in 1837), etc. etc. In 1849-50, and again
in i860, he gave classical chamber concerts at
St. Martin's Hall, very niucli on the plan of the
present ' Popular Concerts.' Among the artists
who appeared were Mesdames Goddard, Louisa
Pyne, Dolby, Mr. Sims Reeves, Sterndale Bennett,
Ernst, Piatti, Pauer, etc. He retired from active
work in 18S0, owing to failing health, and died
in London, Aug. 8, 1S85. [-'^•0.]

WILSON, John, Mus. Doc., was bi
Fe vers liam, Kent, April 5, 1594. Of his
career nothing certain is known. He h; ;
conjectured to have been a singer at the tj
and identical with the ' Jacke "Wilson' 1
name appears in the first folio edition oH
spore's plays, in ' Much Ado about N< i
instead of that of Baltliazar, the ch\i
represented. But the grounds for such 1
ture are merely that he was a singer, an
at some period of his life, he composed ini
some of Shakspere's songs, viz. ' Take, (
those lips away,' ' Sigh no more, ladies,' 1
as white as driven snow,' and ' Where t
sucks.' Besides which, it must be remeie
tliat Mr. Payne Collier has proved,^ frc
registers of St. Giles, Cripplegate, the ex
of a contemporary John AVilson, a niusici;
of a minstrel, baptised in 1585. Edward i -.
in his diary, under date Oct. 2 2, 1620, mi i
' Mr. Wilson, the singer,' who was, doi 1
the theatrical singer, but there is notli ■
identify him with the subject of this i
Wilson is said to have been a Gentleman
Chapel Royal to Charles I., but his name 1
to be found in the Chapel cheque-book, nor 1
list of the Chapel musicians contained a
warrant, dated April 20, 1641, exempting .1
from payment of subsidies. It occurs, ho ?
in a similar warrant, dated April 17, •.
affecting others of the king's musicians, c
of the ' Musicians for the Waytes.' In H :
obtained the degree of Mus. Doc. at ( )
and took up his abode in that city, which )
ever, he quitted in 1646, and went to resid i
Sir William Walter, of Sarsden, Oxford
who, with his wife, were great lovers of s
Songs by Wilson were published in ' (
Musicall Ayres and Dialogues,' 1652, 16(5 1
1659. In 1656 he was appointed Profes
Music in the University of Oxford, and i
became a resident there. In 1657 he pul 3
' Psalterium Carolinum. The Devotions I
Sacred Majestic in his solitudes and suff i|
Reiidred in Verse [by Thomas Stanley], •
Musick for 3 Voices, and an Organ or Th j
— a series of 26 passages from tlie ] 1
presumed to be apjilicable to the posit
Charles I. in his latter days. This lie descri I
' his last of labours.' In some lines prefi
the work, Henry Lawes, the writer of their ^
him to ' call back tliy resolution of not com] ii
more.' In 1660 he published ' Cheerful r
or Ballads, first composed for one single c
and since set for three voices.' On Oc 2
1662, he was sworn in as a Gentleman ll
Ch.ipel Royal in the place of Henry I '
deceased, upon which he resigned his pro "
ship at Oxford and came to reside in Lc 'J;
Some glees and catches by him are inolu' 1
Playford's ' Musical Companion,' 1667, ai '^
words of some anthems in Clifford's colk ^\
Many songs by him are extant in MS., £ '
the Bodleian Library is a MS. volume r

I IntroductioQ to ' Uemoiii of the Principal Actors In Ebi '"




d by him to the University, containing set-
of some of the Odes of Horace and passages
other Latin poets. He died at his house
the Horse-ferry, Westminster, Feb. 22, 1673,
78 years, 10 months and 17 days, and was
d Feb. 27, in the Little Cloisters of West-
;er Abbey. A iiortrait of him is in the Music
3I, Oxford. He is said to have been a fine
ist. We learn from some lines prefixed
3 ' Cheerful Ayres ' that Charles I. greatly
red liis singing, and Herrick,in an epiirram
issed to Henry Lawes, mentions him as a
singer, styling him 'curious Wilson.'
y Lawes, in the lines prefixed to the
Iterium Carolinum,' thus speaks of him as a
oser : —

tanght'st our language, first, to speak in tone ;
it the right accents and proportion;
above ail Uo shew thy excellence)
; understand'st good words, and do'st set sense.

15, when writing these lines, had evidently
)rgotten Milton's sonnet nddressed to liim-

In the same lines he alludes to Wilson's
srn integrity,' ' true and honest heart, even
,' and ' good nature.' [W.H.H.]

[LSON, John, born in Edinburgh, accord-
;o some accounts Dec. 25, 1801, and to
s Nov. 25, 1S05, was ap|)renticed to a
;r, and afterwards became corrector of the
to Ballantyne & Co., in which capacity
of the VVaverley novels passed through his
i. In 1S16 he applied himself to the study
usic. After officiating as precentor in a
h, he became in 1S24 a pupil of Finlay
and soon afterwards appeared at the Edin-
i concerts. In 1S27 he commenced teach-
inging. He studied under Creselli, and in
h 1830 appeared at the Edinburgh theatre
enry Bertram in ' Guy Mannering.' His
3S was so decided that he was straightway
;ed for Co vent Garden, where he came out

16, 1830, as Don Carlos in 'The Duenna.'
mtinued at that theatre until 1835, when
moved to Drury Lane, where he sang in
's 'Siege of Eochelle' and other operas.
38, in company* with Miss Shirrefif and Mr.
Irs. E. Seguin, he visited America, where
as warmly welcomed. On his return to
md he commenced giving those Scottish

entertainments with which his name sub-
ntly became identified, and to which from
1841 he exclusively devoted himself He
them throughout Englan'l and Scotland with
reatest success. Their titles were 'A Nicht
urns,' ' Anither Nicht wi' Burns,' ' Adven-

of Prince Charlie,' 'Wandering Willie's
et,' 'Mary Queen of Scots,' '.Jacobite Re-
'The Janieivc-s of Scotlaml,' 'The Wallace
he Bruce,' and ' A Haver wi' Jamie Hogg.'
■in 1849 he revisited America. At Quebec
is attacked by cholera and died there July
).9- Wilson's voice a pure, sweet-toned
, and he sang with great taste. [W.H.H.]
I;LS0N, Mart Ann, bom 1802, was
it singing by Thomas Welsh. Her first
.ranee in public at Drury Lane Theatre, |

Jan. 18, 1821, as Mandane in * Artaxerxes,'
caused an immediate furore, as much for her
youth and looks as for her fresh sweet voice
and brilliant singing. She remained there un-
til July 5, 'about 65 nights' according to
Geneste, 'wonderfully attractive.'^ Her other
parts were Eosetta (Love in a Village), Clara
(Duenna), and Lady Gayland (False Alarm.s),
etc. After an equally successful provincial tour
she went the next year to Italy. The premature
strain of her early exertions, however, soon
ruined her health, and then destroyed her voice.
But her short career was very lucrative, and in
the year of her debui she made the unprece-
dented sum of £10,000.^ On June 9, 1827, she
married Welsh, and by him had an only daughter,
who married Signer Piatti. Mrs. Welsh died at
Goudhurst, Kent, Dec. 13, 1867. [A.C.]

WILT, Marie, born about 1S35, at Vienna,
of poor parents, whom she lost in early life. She
afterwards married a civil engineer named Franz
Wilt. In 1S63 she sang in Schubert's ' Lazarus'
under Herbeck with success, received instruction
from Dr. Gansbacher and Wolf, made her debut
in 1865 ^^ Gratz as Donna Anna, and in 1866
sang at Vienna and Berlin. For the seasons
1866-7 s^^ ^^*s engaged at the Royal Italian
Opera, Covent Garden, first appearing May i,
1S66, as Norma, under the name of 'Maria
Vilda.' In spite of a voice of extraordinary
power and richness, and extending over two
octaves, she did not realise the. anticipation
that she would prove a successor to Grisi. For
ten years she remained at Vienna, a great
favourite both in opera and concerts. In the
former she displaced great versatility of style
in such varied parts as Norma, Lucrezia, A'ida,
Valentine, and The Queen (of the Hugenots),
Alice, and the Princess ('Roijert'), Donna
Anna, Constance (Entfiihrung), Eeiza, Elisa-
beth, etc. She returned to Covent Garden for
the seasons 1874-5, and was more successful
than before in the parts of Donna Anna, Semi-
ramide, Alice, Valentine, Norma, etc., having
improved both in singing and acting. Whether
from the fact of her figure being unsuited to
the * young ' parts she essayed (although this
never militated against Titietis at the rival
theatre), or from having commenced her theatri-
cal career somewhat late in life, she again failed
to obtain the highest position. Her best part
was Norma. With her fine voice she would
probably have done better hire at concerts. On
leaving Vienna she sang at Leipzic in 1878, as
Briinnhilde, etc., and afterwards at Pesth. She
is now again in Vienna, where, on Oct. 31, 1884,
she played Donna Anna in the centenary per-
formance of ' Don Giovanni.' [A.C.]

WIND-BAND. The history of the develop-
ment of wind-instrument music is so closely inter-
woven with the political and social state of Central

1 According to the same antliorily. a, ' novel mode of puffing was
instituted by Etliston. by printing pr-ss notices on playbills in red
Ink '— ca led by the wags of the day ' Elliston's bluslies."

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 111 of 194)