Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/462

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



��' 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 &.] In 1810 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 ForkeFs Life of Bach (1820). In 1 8 1 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 he 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 Mendelssohn play upon the organ, and was himself prevailed upon to perform. He died within a month afterwards, Oct. n, 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 he disclaimed having ever been a convert to the Roman Catholic faith, observing that 'although the Gregorian music had seduced him to their chapels, the tenets of the Romanists never ob- tained any influence over his mind.' But there is extant, in the national archives at Paris, a series of letters addressed by him to a lady, believed to have been connected with a conven- tual establishment at Bell Tree House, Bath, without year-date, but evidently written in his youth, which points to the conclusion that at that time he must have had at least a strong leaning towards the Romish faith, though he re- frained from avowing it out of respect for the feelings of his father. He left several children ; his eldest son, Rev. Charles Wesley, D.D. (born 1795, died Sept. 14, 1859), was Sub-dean of the Chapel Royal, and editor of a collection of words of anthems.

List of Samuel Wesley's Compositions.

Those marked with * are published.

Oratorios. Ruth (composed at 8 years old). Death of AbeL Part* | 2 and 3 complete.

Masses. Missa solemnis (Gregorian) for voices only ; Mlssa, Kyrie eleison ; Missa de S. Trinitate ; Missa pro Angelis.

Antiphons. In exitu Israel a 8; Exultate Deo, a 5; Dixit Dominus: OmniaVanitas; Tu es Sacerdos ; Te decet hymnus ; Ho- sanna in excelsis ; Domine salvum fac (org. oblig.) all a 4 ; Conflte- bor for solos, chorus, and orchestra ; IV. In Nativitate Domini ; V ; VI ; VII ; VIII ; IX ; X, In Epiphania ; XI ; XII, In Festo Cor- poris Christi ; XIV, In Epiphania ; XVI, Ad Benedictum. for Cor- pus Christ! ; XVII. XVIII, In Festo Corp. Christi ; Dixlt Dominus : Salve Eegina ; Ad Magnificat ; Qualem sinistrum ; Agnus Dei, In D (1812) ; Agnus Dei (1812) ; Hymns In Festo Ascensionls. Versus 3 de Ps. cxxxvl. Ave Maris Stella (1786); Salve Kegina; Magna opera; Omnes gentes.

Services. Morning and Evening Church Service in F a 4: also Te Deum, Sanctus, Kyrie, Nunc Dimittis, and Burial Service a 4 ; Jubilate Deo ; Sanctus In F.

Anthems. A11 go unto one place. Funeral Anthem for Charles Wesley ; *I am well pleased ; Behold how good (org. oblig.) ; Thou. O God, art praised; Who can tell? (July 4. 1823); Hear, O Thou Shepherd ; Be pleased, O Lord ; I will take heed.

Choruses. My delight (Ap. 11, 1816); Thus through successive ages; On the death of W. Kingsbury (1782); Why should we shrink (orch.. May 1813).

Parochial Ptalm-tunes, with Interludes, Bk. I. only ; Chorales or Psalm-tunes, 600 or more.

Ode to S. Cecilia's day, for lolos, chorus and orch. Words by Eev. 8. Wesley.

Glees. For 4 voices : Circle the bowl ; sing unto my roundelale (Madr.) : No more to earth ; Now the trumpet's (1815) ; While every short-lived (1822); Father of Light ; Here shall the morn; Join with thee ; No more to earth's. For S voices : Thou happy wretch ; These are by fond mama (1778); Harsh and untuneful (178S) ; Goosy. goosy, gander (1781) ; Adieu, ye soft ; When Orpheus went down ; When first thy soft lips (1783); What bliss to life (1807); When Friendship ; On the salt wave (1793) ; Koses their sharp spines (1822) ; Say can power (1791) ; The rights of man ; Blushete mlo caro ; How grand in age ; tfrom Anacreon ; Nella cara.

Duets. Beneath, a sleeping infant lies ; Belle Gabrlelle (1792) ; Since powerful love (1783) ; Sweet constellations (1782).

Bongs. *True Blue; Within a cowslip's; England, the spell; Gentle warbling (1799) ; What shaft of Fate's relentless power; In gentle slumbers ; Farewell, If ever fondest prayer ; Think of me ; Behold where Dryden ; Louisa, view ; Come all my brave boys ; Election squib ; The House that Jack built ; Love and Folly ; The Autophagos ; Adieu, ye Jovial youths (1783) ; The world, my dear Mira (1784) ; Yes. Daphne ! (1781) ; When we see a lover languish (1783) ; Too late for redress (1783) ; Pale mirror of resplendent night ; Love's but the frailty ; Oh how to bid ; Parting to death we will compare (1783) ; The white-robed hours (1783) ; Armln's lamentation (1784) ; Fluttering spread (1783).

Symphonies. In D (1784) ; in Kb (T784) ; in Bb (1802) ; In A ; In D. unfinished.

Overtures In D (1778) s in (1780) ; in D } ' to the 2nd Act,' un- finished.

Organ Concertos. In Kb (1776); in D (1781): in G (17S2) ; In Bt (1785) , On Kule Britannia ; In G ; in Bb j In Eb ; In G ; In C ; In D (hornpipe).

�� �