Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/478

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


462

��WILLMANN.

��Bcena ; 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 1811, she was engaged. On Feb. 8, 1812, she sang and played a PF. 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 eighteen years old was not powerful, but very pure and sweet, except in the 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, ma.de her a general favourite. In July 1816 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 1818. 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 1815, 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, HEINEICH 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, 1878. [G.]

WILLY, JOHN THOMAS, violin-player, born in London, July 24, 1812. He was for some time a pupil of Spagnoletti's, and became a member of the King's Theatre band. He played under Costa as a first violin, and later as principal second, during the whole of his career. He led the

  • 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 - e te. I n 1849-50, and again in 1860, he gave classical chamber concerts at St. Martin's Hall, very much on the plan of the present ' Popular Concerts.' Among the artists who appeared were MesdaK.es Goddard, Louisa Pyne, Dolby, Mr. Sims Reev-s, Sterndale Bennett, Ernst, Piatti, Pauer, etc. He retired from active work in 1880, owing to failing health, and died in London, Aug. 8, 1885. [A.C.]

��WILSON.

WILSON, JOHN, Mus. Doc., was born at Feversham, Kent, April 5, 1594. Of his early career nothing certain is known. He has been conjectured to have been a singer at the theatre, and identical with the * Jacke Wilson ' whose name appears in the first folio edition of Shak- spere's plays, in ' Much Ado about Nothing,' instead of that of Balthazar, the character represented. But the grounds for such conjec- ture are merely that he was a singer, and that, at some period of his life, he composed music for some of Shakspere's songs, viz. ' Take, O take those lips away,' ' Sigh no more, ladies,' ' Lawn as white as driven snow,' and ' Where the bee sucks.' Besides which, it must be remembered that Mr. Payne Collier has proved, 1 from the registers of St. Giles, Cripplegate, the existence of a contemporary John Wilson, a musician, sou of a minstrel, baptised in 1585. Edward Alleyn, in his diary, under date Oct. 22, 1620, mentions ' Mr. Wilson, the singer,' who was, doubtless, the theatrical singer, but there is nothing to identify him with the subject of this notice. Wilson is said to have been a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal to Charles I., but his name is not to be found in the Chapel cheque-book, nor in the list of the Chapel musicians contained in a warrant, dated April 20, 1641, exempting them from payment of subsidies. It occurs, however, in a similar warrant, dated April 17, 1641, affecting others of the king's musicians, as one of the ' Musicians for the Waytes.' In 1644 he obtained the degree of Mus. Doc. at Oxford, and took up his abode in that city, which, howr ever, he quitted in 1646, and went to reside with Sir William Walter, of Sarsden, Oxfordshire, who, with his wife, were great lovers of music. Songs by Wilson were published in 'Select Musicall Ayres and Dialogues,' 1652, 1653, and 1659. In 1656 he was appointed Professor of Music in the University of Oxford, and again became a resident there. In 1657 he published ' Psalterium Carolinum. The Devotions of His Sacred Majestic in his solitudes and sufferings, Reudred in Verse [by Thomas Stanley], Set to Musick for 3 Voices, and an Organ or Theorbo ' a series of 26 passages from the Psalms presumed to be applicable to the position of Charles I. in his latter days. This he described as ' his last of labours.' In some lines prefixed to the work, Henry Lawes, the writer of them, begs him to ' call back thy resolution of not composing more.' In 1660 he published ' Cheerful Ayres or Ballads, first composed for one single voice, and since set for three voices.' On Oct. 22* 1662, he was sworn in as a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in the place of Henry Lawes, deceased, upon which he resigned his professor- ship at Oxford and came to reside in London. Some glees and catches by him are included in Playford's * Musical Companion,' 1667, and the words of some anthems in Clifford's collection. Many songs by him are extant in MS., and in the Bodleian Library is a MS. volume, pre-

i Introduction to ' Memoirs of the Principal Actors In Shakspere's plays.'

�� �