Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/479

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WILSON.

sented by him to the University, containing set- tings of some of the Odes of Horace and passages from other Latin poets. He died at his house near the Horse-ferry, Westminster, Feb. 22, 1673, aged 78 years, 10 months and 17 days, and was buried Feb. 27, in the Little Cloisters of West- minster Abbey. A portrait of him is in the Music School, Oxford. He is said to have been a fine lutenist. We leam from some lines prefixed to the Cheerful Ayres ' that Charles I. greatly admired his singing, and Herri ck, in an epigram addressed to Henry Lawes, mentions him as a great singer, styling him * curious Wilson.' Henry Lawes, in the lines prefixed to the ' Psalterium Carolinum,' thus speaks of him as a composer :

Thou taught'st our language, first, to speak in tone;

Gav'st the right accents and proportion;

And above all (to shew thy excellence)

Thou understand'st good words, and do'st set sense.

Lawes, when writing these lines, had evidently not forgotten Milton's sonnet addressed to him- self. In the same lines he alludes to Wilson's ' known integrity,' ' true and honest heart, even mind,' and ' good nature.' [W.H.H.]

WILSON, JOHN, born in Edinburgh, accord- ing to some accounts Dec. 25, 1801, and to others Nov. 25, 1805, was apprenticed to a printer, and afterwards became corrector of the press to Ballantyne & Co., in which capacity many of the Waverley novels passed through his hands. In 1816 he applied himself to the study of music. After officiating as precentor in a church, he became in 1824 a pupil of Finlay Dun, and soon afterwards appeared at the Edin- burgh concerts. In 1827 he commenced teach- ing singing. He studied under Creselli, and in March 1830 appeared at the Edinburgh theatre as Henry Bertram in ' Guy Mannering.' His success was so decided that he was straightway engaged for Covent Garden, where he came out Oct. 16, 1830, as Don Carlos in 'The Duenna.' He continued at that theatre until 1835, when he removed to Drury Lane, where he sang in Balfe's ' Siege of Eochelle ' and other operas. In 1838, in company with Miss Shirreff and Mr. and Mrs. E. Seguin, he visited America, where he was warmly welcomed. On his return to England he commenced giving those Scottish table entertainments with which his name sub- sequently became identified, and to which from May 1841 he exclusively devoted himself. He gave them throughout England and Scotland with the greatest success. Their titles were ' A Nicht wi' Burns,' * Anither Nicht wi' Burns,' ' Adven- tures of Prince Charlie,' 'Wandering Willie's Wallet,' ' Mary Queen of Scots,' ' Jacobite Ee- lics,' ' The Jameses of Scotland,' ' The Wallace and the Bruce,' and ' A Haver wi' Jamie Hogg.' Early in 1849 he revisited America. At Quebec he was attacked by cholera and died there July 8, 1 849. Wilson's voice was a pure, sweet-toned tenor, and he sang with great taste. [W.H.H.]

WILSON, MARY ANN, born 1802, was taught singing by Thomas Welsh. Her first appearance in public at Drury Lane Theatre,

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��Jan. 1 8, 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.' 1 Her other parts were Eosetta (Love in a Village), Clara (Duenna), and Lady Gayland (False Alarms), 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 debut she made the unprece- dented sum of io,ooo. 2 On June 9, 1827, she married Welsh, and by him had an only daughter, who married Signor Piatti. Mrs. Welsh died at Goudhurst, Kent, Dec. 13, 1867. [A.C.]

WILT, MAKIE, born about 1835, at Vienna, of poor parents, whom she lost in early life. She afterwards married a civil engineer named Franz Wilt. In 1863 she sang in Schubert's ' Lazarus' under Herbeck with success, received instruction from Dr. Gansbacher and Wolf, made her dbut in 1865 a t Grratz as Donna Anna, and in 1866 sang at Vienna and Berlin. For the seasons 1866-7 she was engaged at the Eoyal Italian Opera, Covent Garden, first appearing May I, 1866, 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 displayed great versatility of style in such varied parts as Norma, Lucrezia, A'ida, Valentine, and The Queen (of the Hugenots), Alice, and the Princess ('Eobert'), Donna Anna, Constance (Entfuhrung), 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 Titiens at the rival theatre), or from having commenced her theatri- cal career somewhat late in life, she ag;vin failed to obtain the highest position. Her best part was Norma. With her fine voice she would probably have done better here 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

> According to the same authority, a * novel mode of puffing was Instituted by EHiston, by printing press notices on playbills in red Ink '-called by the wags of the day Elllston's blushes.'

2 Her own statement to Ella, quoted by J'ougin in his Supplement to Fetls.

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