ARKWRIGHT, FRANCES CRAUFORD (?-1849) [not in ODNB or GMO]
ARKWRIGHT, (Frances Crauford [Mrs. Robert A., nee Kemble]). English song-writer, authoress of numerous lyrical pieces which had some favour in their day. Among them the "Sailor's Grave," "Repentance," ' Zara's Earrings," and other songs. D. 1849. [ From James D. Brown, Biographical Dictionary of Musicians 24; too late for in Sainsbury]
ASPULL, WILLIAM (1798-1875)
ATTWOOD, THOMAS, (1765-1838) [entries in ODNB and GMO]
ATTWOOD, (Thomas) was born in the year 1767. When nine years of age he was admitted a chorister in the chapel royal, and received the rudiments of his musical education under Dr. Nares, (the master of the chapel boys) and under his successor, Dr. Ayrton, remaining under their tuition about five years. When Attwood had attained his sixteenth year, he was so fortunate as to perform at Buckingham-house before his present majesty, then the prince of Wales, who most graciously proposed to send him to Italy, to study under the celebrated masters of that school; and for this purpose settled a handsome income upon him, paid out of his royal highness's private purse, for the whole period of his absence from England. This unlooked-for patronage and bounty is, we know, remembered with the deepest sense of gratitude by Attwood, who ascribes to that generous act his future professional successes. In the year 1783, he accordingly went to Naples, where he resided two years, receiving instructions during that time from Filippo Cinque and Latilla. From Naples he went to Vienna, where he was so fortunate as to become the pupil of the celebrated Mozart, under whom he studied till the year 1786, when he returned to England. His royal highness, still most nobly and generously continuing his patronage, nominated Attwood one of the musicians of his chamber band, to which the celebrated / Schræder was at that time attached. Soon after the marriage of the duke of York with the princess royal of Prussia, Attwood was applied to by the duke, to instruct her royal highness in music. On the arrival of the princess of Wales in England, he was also selected by his munificent patron to be her royal highness's musical instructor. In 1795, Attwood succeeded Jones as organist of St. Paul's cathedral; and in 1796 obtained the situation of composer to his majesty's chapels royal, succeeding the late Dr. Dupuis. Lastly, in 1821, his present majesty added to the numerous instances of royal favour already shown, and which he had continued through so long a period, by appointing Attwood to the situation of organist of the private chapel in the Pavilion at Brighton. All these situations he is said to have had the gratification of obtaining either directly from his majesty, or in consequence of his majesty's generous recommendation. For several years Attwood devoted much of his time to dramatic music, in which he was so eminently successful, that the public experienced a great loss when he thought fit to change the line of his studies. He composed several operas, of which the following were the most popular: "The Prisoner," "The Mariners," "The Adopted Child," "The Smugglers," and "The Castle of Sorento." Among his other works, the following are the greatest favourites with the public, viz.: "The Soldier's Dream," "The Adieu," "Sweet Charity," and "The Convent Bells:" glees and trios, "The Curfew," "In peace love tunes," "To all that breathe," "Qual Silenzio," and "Oh heavenly sympathy." Attwood has further produced several pieces of cathedral music; and of late years has employed a considerable portion of his time in this species of composition. In virtue of his office, as composer to the chapels royal, he wrote the coronation anthem, "I was glad;" which formed part of the coronation of George the Fourth. In speaking of this composition, a modern critic observes: "We have frequently heard from persons of undoubted authority, that Attwood has a profound knowledge of orchestral effects, and we now have a proof of the fact before us. In particular we admire the use which he has made of wind instruments. His admirable disposition of them is, indeed, worth of a pupil of Mozart." (40b-41b)
BARKER, GEORGE ARTHUR (1812-1876) [not in ODNB or GMO]
BARKER, (George Arthur). English tenor vocalist and comp. B. 1812. Sang in opera in the English provinces and in Scotland. D. Mar. 2, 1876. Composed a number of popular songs, of which the following is a representative list:-- Blossoms of Spring; Cease your funning; Do not leave me; Dream of Life; Emigrant's Child; Eva my darling; Excelsior; Gallant men of old; I cannot smile, dear mother; I dream of thee; I know that we have parted; Lesson of the Water Mill; Mary Blane; My skiff is on the shore; O how much more doth beauty; Only me; On to conquest; Roses of youth; Sands of gold; Soldier's farewell; Song of the silent land; Take back the ivy leaf; White squall. the last named is by far the most popular of this composer's songs. [from James D. Brown, Biographical Dictionary of Musicians 50; not in Sainsbury]
BELL, DOYNE C. (???)[not in ODNB or GMO]
BIGGS, EDWARD SMITH () [not in ODNB or GMO]
BIGGS, a celebrated English composer of songs and canzonets, has been in the profession above thirty years. He was a particular friend of Mrs. Opie, and set much of her poetry to music. Among his publications are a collection of Hindoo airs, and a collection of Welsh airs, the words of both by Mrs. Opie. Biggs ranked very high in this country as a teacher. He now resides abroad. (87b)
BISHOP, SIR HENRY ROWLEY (1786-1855) [entries in ODNB and GMO]
BISHOP, (Henry Rowley) was born in London, and early in life was placed under the musical tuition of the celebrated Francesco Bianchi. In the year 1806, he commenced the course of composition which still distinguishes him, by a part of the music of a ballet produced at the King's theatre, under the title of "Tamerlan et Bajazet;" subsequently to which he wrote the ballet called "Narcisse et les Graces." After the lapse of two seasons, he came forward t Drury-lane theatre with "Caractacus," a grand ballet of action, in which his efforts were again successful; but when, about twelve months afterwards, he made his first decided attempt as a dramatic composer, it was thwarted by circumstances of peculiar gloom and misfortune. On the 23d of February, 1809, an opera, called the "Circassian Bride," was produced at Drury-lane with Bishop's music. On the following night Drury-lane theatre was burnt to the ground, and the scores of the new opera were entirely consumed in the flames. This music had been received with enthusiasm by those who are qualified to criticise it, and there are specimens still occasionally performed, such as the duet of "I'll love thee," which amply communicate the extent of the loss. But by a calamity even of this extent, Bishop's tide of fortune was not to be turned: the proprietors of Covent-garden theatre, seeing his merits and knowing how to employ them, formed an engagement with him for three years, to compose and direct the music of that establishment. He entered on this important office with the season of 1810-11.
[there follows nearly two pages of a List of Bishop's Dramatic Productions] (93a-95b)
CRAMER, JOHN BAPTIST (1771-1858) [entries in ODNB and GMO]
CRAMER, (John Baptist) son of the preceding [William Cramer]. Among the foreign musical artists of eminence to whom England can lay / claim, as the land of their adoption, there is no name of greater celebrity than the subject of the present memoir, who, though born in Germany, was brought over by his father to this country a very early age. With a strong natural genius for music, it could not be long before young Cramer's progress in the art, gave to his friends the promise of future excellence. Surrounded by the most eminent musical circle then resident in England, he had every opportunity of forming his taste on the best models. Still, it is said that the violin, to the performance of which instrument the father wished to direct his son's talent and taste, was never sufficiently admired by young Cramer, to draw forth the latent powers of his genius, and it was not till he was discovered, when about six years old, to take every opportunity of practising privately on an old piano-forte, that his friends perceived the true bias of his mind; shortly after which, his father apprenticed him for three years to a German professor of that instrument, by the name of Benser; his next master being Schroeter, and his third, though only for the short term of one year, the celebrated Clementi. Cramer, on the completion of his tuition, had arrived at the age of thirteen, when, after another year's assiduous practice from the works of the best masters, his fame as a performer began to spread through the metropolis, and he was invited to play in public at several of the first concerts, where he astonished the most judicious audiences by his precocious brilliancy of touch and rapidity of execution. At the same time he studied the theory of music under C. F. Abel. The father and son may be considered as having been at this period two of the first instrumental performers in Europe; their assistance was anxiously sought for in every orchestra of importance throughout the kingdom; and it was not long after this time, that W. Cramer, who had for several years been chef d'orchestre at the opera, was appointed to lead a one of the commemorations of Handel in Westminster abbey; a professional honour of the very highest degree to which a violinist could aspire, and to which no one could have done greater justice. It should be recollected that the vocal and instrumental band on that occasion consisted of above eight hundred performers; and it is well known that London could then boast of many excellent violinists, all of whom readily ceded their claims to Cramer se. We believe that the son was in that year on the continent; at all events the character of his instrument was such as to render his professional assistance useless on the occasion.
[There follows a lengthy digression on why contemporary pianists don't devote sufficient time to the study of the organ.]
But to revert to the subject of our memoir. He was about seventeen years of age when he went to various parts of the continent, exerting his talents in several of the capital towns, in such a manner as to attract the attention of / all amateurs of the piano-forte. His return to England took place about the year 1791; previously to which period, he had become known as a composer by several operas of sonatas, published at Paris. A few years afterwards he again went abroad, and proceeded as far as Vienna and Italy. At Vienna he renewed his friendship with Haydn, who, when in England, had evinced great partiality for him. On his again revisiting this country he married, and has since been resident amongst us, with the exception of occasional visits to Paris on subjects connected with his profession. J. B. Cramer's eminence as a teacher as well as performer has long been established in the metropolis, and his "Instructions" and "Studies" are considered as among the best in Europe: the former work has gone through several editions; its contents area as follows. [...] The "Studies" are works displaying a great versatility of taste, and will be found fully to answer the purposes for which they were written. We have observed various passages in them, as indeed in many of the other works of this master, which remind us forcibly of the harmony of Sebastian Bach; this is, indeed, the less remarkable, as the works of that great master and his family are said to have received the strictest attention from Cramer, in the earlier portion of his professional career. Well indeed would it be for various professors of the present day, had they laid the foundation of their musical attainments on so firm a basis!
[there follows a lengthy digression on the importance of good models, especially Bach.]
Language defines the thought precisely. Music, on the contrary, addresses a whole class of perceptions. A certain series of notes will excite our sensibility to a general but undefined feeling of grandeur, or pathos, or elegance, without, perhaps, producing one single perfect image--emotions merely; yet it is obvious that these emotions attend as certainly on passages of a given kind, as definite ideas are conveyed by a particular set of words. It happens, then, that there is the same choice in musical as in conversational phraseology, and we apprehend that elevation and polish are attained by the same means in the one case as in the other, by a naturally delicate apprehension, by memory, by a power of assimilating what is great or elegant, by a diligent study of the best models. At this perfection J. B. Cramer seems to have arrived. Seldom, indeed, is it, that we meet with a weak, insipid, or coarse passage in his writings. If he employs those which are common or familiar, he interweaves them so judiciously with more graceful notes--he varies his expression so continually--dwells for so short a time upon any single expedient of the art, opposes the members of his musical sentences, and even whole sentences, with such judgment, throws in such strong and vivid lights of fancy, modulates with such skill, and lays his foundation of harmony in a manner so masterly, that they who do and they who don not understand the contrivance and elaboration of all this complex, yet apparently natural order, feel alike the sweetness and effect, are alike agitated by the varying sensations. With the exception of Clementi, we know of no composer who has so universally succeeded. And yet, if we were desired to point out the reason of the universal pleasure his compositions bestow, we should say, after al the attributes we have already allowed to belong to this author, that the grand source of delight has not yet been mentioned. This grand delight is melody.--This is the never-ceasing charm. No words can possibly give a more just idea than the above of the causes of the pleasurable sensations derivable from melodious music; also of the peculiarities of merit in the compositions of J. B. Cramer. With respect to the talent of this master as pianist, we need only say that, by the willing acquiescence of the capital, every professor yields to him the palm, not indeed in velocity of finger, but in brilliancy of touch and genuine taste.
[there follows an extensive "eulogium" from a contemporary writer and a lengthy list of publications] (180b-184a)
DOYLE, WESLEY (?)[not in ODNB or GMO]
DOYLE, (Wesley, Esq.) a very agreeable amateur singer, and composer of vocal music. He has published several collections of canzonets, one air in which, "Waters of Elle," is peculiarly beautiful. (216a)
FISH, WILLIAM (1775-1866) [entry in ODNB; not in GMO]
FISH, (W[illiam].) was born at Norwich in the year 1775, and spent the early part of his life as a practical musician in the theatre, whilst holding which situation he composed several bagatelles for the stage, which were introduced and applauded, but were never published. On leaving the theatre and determining, on his marriage, to reside in Norwich, he found it necessary to turn his attention more particularly to the piano-forte; a study that he was the more stimulated to, by his natural inclination for composition, and which at that time he had an opportunity of cultivating under Hugh Bond, formerly organist of Exeter cathedral. Since this period, Fish has exercised his profession in various ways. On the death of his former preceptor, the justly celebrated Michael Sharp, it fell to his lot to be appointed to the situation he vacated as principal hautboy at the public concerts at Norwich, and the annual oratorios at the cathedral, for the benefit of the Norfolk and Norwich hospital, also himself giving series of concerts at intervals. The following is a list of his principal works: Song, "To pity's voice." Song, "Maid of the Vale." Song, "How sweet were the days that are gone," words and music.) Song, "Shipwrecked Sailor," (words and music.) Song, "When in the tented field," (words and music.) Duet, "The Lark" (words and music.) Glee, "O thou that rollest above." Song, "Invocation to Sleep." Song, "Maria's Adieu." Song, "Maid of Marlwall." Song, "Go, balmy zephyr." Song, "The Evening Star." Song, "Joy to my love," (words by Mrs. Opie.) "Grand Sonata, Piano-forte," Op.2, dedicated to Miss Lovelace. "Concerto, hautboy," performed at the provincial meetings and / professional concerts. "Polonaise rondo, Piano-forte." "Tekeli, as a Rondo, Piano-forte." "Life let us cherish, Harp," dedicated to Miss L. Woodhouse. "Nel cor piu, Harp," dedicated to Miss Stracey. "Winters of the Alps, Rondo, Piano-forte." "Fantasia, Harp," dedicated to Miss Beevor. "Introduction and Waltz, Piano-forte," dedicated to Miss Lukin. "Montpellier Rondo," dedicated to Mrs. Opie. (Manuscript) "A Cantata," (words by Mrs. Opie.) "Grand Duet, Harp and Piano-forte," dedicated to Miss Jerningham and Miss F. Jerningham. "Fantasie and Rondo," dedicated to Lady Maria Belders. (249a,b-250a)
HAWES, WILLIAM (1785-1846) [entries in ODNB and GMO]
HAWES, (William) was born in London in 1785, and became a chorister in the chapel royal, under Dr. Edmund Ayrton, in 1793, where he remained till 1801. In 1802, he first engaged publicly in his profession, by becoming a performer on the violin in the band of Covent-garden theatre, and about the same time commenced business as singing-master; he also attended the ancient, Vocal, and most other concerts. In 1803, he was appointed deputy vicar-choral of Westminster abbey, and continued in that office till fully appointed. In July, 1805, he obtained the appointment of gentleman in ordinary of his majesty's chapels royal. In 1806, he became an honorary member of the nobleman's catch club. In 1807, he was elected a member of the royal society of musicians; and in 1808, honorary member of the Somerset-house Lodge, and of the societies called the Madrigal and Cencentores. He was one of the original associates of the Philharmonic, which commenced in 1813, and a member of the professional concert, which followed shortly after; but on account of the party spirit, which then prevailed so widely in the profession, quitted the former society, on the breaking up of the latter. In 1814, he was appointed almoner, master of the boys, and lay-vicar of St. Paul's cathedral, and in 1817, master of the children of his majesty's chapel royal, and lutenist to his majesty; in the same year he was also fully appointed vicar-choral of Westminster abbey, but resigned the latter situation in 1820, considering himself treated with undue severity, in being refused privileges which others had before, and have since, enjoyed. He was the first promoter of the royal Harmonic Institution, under the design of giving composers the means of publishing their own works, and consequently reaping the whole advantage which should arise from their sale. For this purpose the old Argyle rooms were rebuilt, and the present magnificent establishment opened. The following are among the more favourite original works and arrangements of this composer:
HOOK, JAMES (1746-1827) [entries in ODNB and GMO]
HOOK, (James) was born at Norwich, in the year 1746, and was instructed in the first principles of music by Garland, an organist in that city. His early attachment to the art, by which he has rendered himself so popular in this country, was not more remarkable than has been the immense number of his musical productions. These, which amount to more than a hundred and forty complete works, consist chiefly of / musical entertainments for the theatres, concertos, sonatas, and duets for the piano-forte, an excellent instruction book for that instrument entitled "Guida di Musica," an oratorio entitled "The Ascension," written in 1776, and more than two thousand songs.
HORSLEY, WILLIAM (1774-1858) [entries in ODNB and GMO]
HORSLEY, (William) was born in London, in 1774. In his youth, he was remarkably unhealthy, and, owing to this circumstance, to family misfortunes, and to other causes, his general education was neglected, and he arrived at the age of sixteen before it was finally resolved that he should pursue music for a profession. At that period, he was articled for five years to Theodore Smith, who was esteemed to be a good piano-forte player, and who claimed to be the first who introduced duets for that instrument into this country. Smith's theoretical knowledge was very limited. He was, besides, passionate and indolent to an extreme degree, and entirely neglected the instruction of his pupil, who was, at all times, most happy to escape from his violence /
KIALLMARK, GEORGE (1781-1835) [entry in ODNB; not in GMO]
KIALLMARK, (E. [Brown and scores give "G."]) was born at Lynn Regis, in Norfolk, in the year 1781. His father was a native of Sweden, and an officer in the service of that state: his mother was a descendant from Mr. Banks, of Yorkshire, a cousin of the late Sir Joseph Banks. His parents dying when he was very young, left E. Kiallmark, their only child, without provision, when he was kindly adopted by his maternal grandfather, who spared no expense in his education, and finding that he had a strong passion for music, consented eventually to bring him up to that profession. His grandfather first placed him, at the age of fifteen, (giving a considerable premium) with a German musician of great pretension; after two years' residence with whom (the only two disagreeable years of his life) he was removed, and from that period has depended on his own exertions for a livelihood. Having by the end of his apprenticeship gained a tolerable practical knowledge of the piano-forte, harp, and violin, he commenced professionally by teaching those instruments at / a cheap rate, and not caring about personal fatigue, succeeded in gaining several pupils. He always, however, appropriated a portion of his receipts to the acquirement of musical instruction, and became successively a pupil of Barthelemon, Cobham, Spagnoletti, &c. till at last he found himself, to his great delight, capable of playing in an orchestra, and became a performer, either as deputy or principal, in the oratorios, concerts, music meetings, and theatres. At the early age of twenty-two he married a young Scotch woman, and at that time, having succeeded in obtaining a very tolerable connection, gave up all his public engagements, and became a piano-forte master. Soon after that period he became intimately acquainted with Von Esch, and although he (as himself would acknowledge) was but an indifferent theorist, yet to his taste and talents, and his friendly hints and instructions, Kiallmark confesses himself deeply indebted. Soon after this, he ventured to publish two or three pieces, although almost unacquainted with the earliest rules in composition. This success induced the music-sellers to make fresh applications to him; and, after a short time, he became known as a composer. Kiallmark has since had great success as a piano-forte instructor, seldom teaching less than from nine to twelve hours per day, and for some years has had one or two assistants constantly in his employ. At the suggestion and desire of some of his connections, he was induced to become a party with Logier at the time of his great success in this country; and although such was the state of Kiallmark's engagements that he could but seldom find time to see Logier, he yet acknowledges to have derived great pleasure and advantage from his acquaintance. The following are amongst the most favourite pieces of Kiallmark's composition. Piano-forte: "Introduction and Variations to 'Roy's Wife'." "Introduction to 'Last Rose of Summer.'" Fantasia, "L'Espérance." Fantasia, "Pas Amour." "Fanfare and German Air." "Second German Air." "Harriot, Air with Variations." "Marion, Air with Variations." "La Revenue," divertimento. "Divertimento Scossise." "Second Divertimento Scossise." "Divertimento Scossise from Naderman.' "Second Divertimento Scossise from Naderman." "Rondo,'Carnival de Venice.'" "Airs from Rossini." "Russian Air, with Variations." "Les Fleurs de Printemps." six books. "Is there a heart, Variations." "There's a kauld cail, Variations." "Cease your funning, Variations." "Bower of Eveleen, Variations." "Robin Adair, Variations." "Rest, weary traveller, Variations." "Caledonian Fantasie." "Chant Militaire." "Young Love's Dream." "Home, sweet home, Variations." "My pretty page," rondo. "Les petits Délassemens." "Romance, Variations." "Rosabella," &c. &c. (Goulding and Chappel's Cat.) (10b-11a)
LACY, JANE BIANCHI (1788-1871) [entries in ODNB and GMO under "Wm. Lacy"]
LACY, (Mrs. Bianchi) wife of the preceding [LACY "considered by competent judges to be, without question, the most legitimate English bass singer, the most accomplished in various styles, and altogether the most perfect and most finished that has appeared in this country], first became known to the British public as an orchestra singer, in the year 1800, when she appeared at the Ancient concert, being then Miss Jackson. She first married Francesco Bianchi the composer, who lived but a short time afterwards. She has, at present, accompanied her second husband to Calcutta. Mrs. B. Lacy is celebrated for her pure and chaste style of singing, the fine intonation, and above all, her beautiful articulation. She is considered the best singer of Handel's music now in existence. (34a)
LODER, EDWARD JAMES (1813-1865) [ entries in ODNB and GMO]
LUCAS, FREDERICK W. [not in GMO; not sure if DNB Lucas is the same]
NOVELLO, VINCENT (1781-1861) [entries in ODNB and GMO.]
NOVELLO (Vincent.) This very able organist and composer is of an Italian family, but was born in London in 1781. He holds the situation of organist to the / chapel of the Portuguese embassy, in Southstreet, Park-lane, where his masterly performance on his instrument is a subject of curiosity and admiration to all admirers of sacred music. In 1811, he published a 'Selection of Sacred Music," in two volumes. In this work he displayed so much judgment, taste, learning, and industry, as to fix the attention of the musical public, with great interest, on his subsequent productions. His second publication was "A Collection of Motets for the Offertory, and other Pieces, principally adapted for the Morning Service," in twelve books, sold separately. In this collection are several compositions by the selector himself, in speaking of which a modern critic observes: "The general characteristics of Novello's style appear to us to be suavity, elegance, and bold and varied modulation. His melodies do not rise into extraordinary felicity or originality, yet they are ever flowing and agreeable, mixing much of the sober dignity of the church style with a lighter manner, that gives relief while it assorts well with the graver foundation and more solid materials of the work. We should be induced to hazard an opinion, that Haydn is a favourite with Novello, and that he often finds himself drawn by an irresistible impulse to the study, and to indirect imitation, of Haydn's writings. Our notion is formed from that leading and general assimilation which attracts men of common feelings by a common sympathy, of which we not only imagine we perceive considerable traits in the motets of Novello, but that they prevail in other things we have seen from his hand. It would, indeed, be a matter of surprise, if a composer of the present day had escaped the universal fascination. We must do Novello the justice to say, that we consider him to be of the school of Haydn; for we do not find a single passage that leads us to think of Haydn, otherwise than through the resemblance, which only by a large and broad acceptation impels us to the principle that they hold in common, namely, sweet, flowing, and ornate melody, supported and diversified by frequent and often curious an unexpected changes in the harmony. Novello then is Haydn's scholar, not a plagiarist or direct imitator." His next publications were "Twelve easy Masses for small Choirs" three volumes. "Gregorian Hymns for the Evening Service," twelve books, sold separately. The only portions of the Gregorian chant now generally retained in the morning service, are the parts sung by the priest at the altar, and the responsories. These Novello has endeavoured to preserve as long as possible, by arranging them for six voices, and giving them the rich and harmonious effect required by the admirers of the modern school. He has published them among his motets.
PELISSIER, VICTOR (c.1750-18??) [not in ODNB or GMO]
ROSS, JOHN (1763-1837) [entries in ODNB and GMO]
ROSS, (John). English org. and comp., B. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Oct. 12, 1763. S. under Hawden. Org. of S. Paul's Ch., Aberdeen, 1783. D. Craigie Park, Aberdeen, July 28, 1837.
SPOFFORTH, REGINALD (1770-1827) [not in ODNB or GMO]
SPOFFORTH, (Reginald) a celebrated English glee composer in the latter part of the last and beginning of the present century. Amongst the most celebrated of his compositions are the following: "Where are those hours," glee, four voices; "Lightly o'er the village green," glee, three voices; "Hark, the goddess Diana," duet; and a set of "Canzonets."
STEVENSON, SIR JOHN (1761-1833) [entries in ODNB and GMO]
STEVENSON, (Sir John) is a native of Ireland: he was born about the year 1772, and received his earliest musical instructions under Dr. Murphy, in the cathedral church of St. Patrick, Dublin. In this situation he first acquired that taste both for secular and sacred music, which he has since cultivated with so much success.
THOMSON, GEORGE (1757-1851) [entries in ODNB and GMO]
TWISS, HORACE? FRANCIS? [entry in ODNB, not in GMO]
WELSH, THOMAS (1781-1848) [entries in ODNB and GMO]
WELSH, (Thomas.) This eminent English musician is a native of Wells, in Somersetshire. At the age of six he was a chorister in the cathedral, and by singing the anthems on Sundays attracted the lovers of music from Bath, Bristol, Bridgewater, and still more distant towns, so that on the Saturdays the city hotels felt the increase of visitors, and on Sundays the church was crowded to excess. The reputation of so young a singer, soon reached the ears of Mr. Sheridan, who sent to Wells and engaged the lad for the oratorios, then conducted by Linley, at the Opera-house in the Haymarket. On his first performance the boy founded a reputation, which, until that period, it had never been the fate of any child to enjoy: the attraction of his voice and style of singing was prodigious, and an engagement followed for the stage, during which he performed in many operas, written expressly to exhibit his powers. The first was the Prisoner, by Attwood; this was succeeded by The Prize, The Adopted Child, The Mariners, The Cherokee, and Lodoiska. It was remarkable that Storace betrayed a wish to suppress the growth of the boy's reputation, and refused to compose for him, so that, had not Mr. Kemble the manager insisted on the production of the Cherokee, and the beautiful son "Sweet bird," in the opera of Lodoiska, his fame (owing to the unkindness of Storace) would have been suffered to fade, instead of grow, as it did, to high importance. Through the liberal feelings of Mr. Kemble, who bestowed great pains on him, he was also brought into notice as an actor; Mr. Kemble conceiving, on Welsh's performing the character of Prince Arthur, in King John, that he displayed a mind well suited to the stage.
WRIGHT, THOMAS (1763-1829) [not in ODNB; entry in GMO]
WRIGHT, (Thomas) born at Stockton upon Tees in 1763, resides at Croft, in the North Riding of Yorkshire. He is the author of a concerto, published in 1795, which first introduced the present general mode of fixing and designating the time that musical compositions are to be played in, by the oscillations of a pendulum, (see Monthly Magazine for March, 1800, page 110) and a primer of music and supplement to the primer, which are in high estimation as elemental works, and place the composer in // the first class of sound and scientific English masters. The late Dr. Miller of Doncaster avowedly took or borrowed the plan of his primer from Wright. In a note to that publication, he says, "I was present when Mr. Wright was teaching a young lady, and I thought that his method of grounding her was so excellent, that I am indebted to him for the first idea of this primer." (see Miller's Primer, published by Broderip and Wilkinson, page 3.) The two works, however, notwithstanding their similarity of title, differ materially in their nature and arrangement. Dr. Miller's is apparently an addenda to his Institutes, and intended to supply deficiencies which he had become sensible of, by observing the instructive system of his younger competitor. Wright forms two original parts of his own Institutes excellently adapted to profitable practice in almost any stage of a student's progress, and perfect, as detached lessons, although they constitute links in his greater work, which it is understood to be a laudable object of his professional life to mature and publish, with every advantage that long and extensive experience can bestow.
YANIEWICZ, FELIX (1762-1848) [entries in ODNB and GMO]
YANIEWICZ, (Felix) a Polish gentleman, born at Wilna, and in his youth attached to the court of Stanislaus, the late king of Poland. His genius for music showed itself at a very early age, and was so much admired by king Stanislaus that he signified his desire that every means should be employed for the cultivation of a talent so remarkable. With this object in view, a liberal pension was assigned to Yaniewicz, in order that he might travel in Germany, Italy, and France for the improvement of his art. Whilst in Paris, where he was particularly noticed by several members of the royal family, the French revolution broke out, and soon after the sun of Polish liberty set, probably for ever. Amidst the tempest of political commotion which involved the ruin of Stanislaus and the dismantlement of Poland, Yaniewicz's fortunes were involved in the general wreck, and, in 1792, he came to England, where he has since resided: her he married an English lady, by whom he has one son and two daughters. Both his daughters seem to inherit their father's musical talent. The eldest, Felicia, though still young, is already distinguished as an admirable pianist, possessing great force, neatness, brilliancy of touch, and execution. Her public performances have been equally creditable to herself and to her father, who has been her chief instructor, and the model of her taste. As a singer, her pure and / unpretending style, and delicate intonation, have given great pleasure to her hearers in public and in private. The youngest, Pauline, though still almost a child, gives great promise of musical excellence. Her capacity for the acquirement of various accomplishments, is such as requires only judicious direction to enable her to excel in whatever she may attempt. Yaniewicz has been long well known in the musical world as a very eminent performer on the violin. His style seems more the result of his own peculiar mode of feeling and expression, than any scholastic imitation or predilection. with great spirit and precision in the more brilliant passages, there is blended in those of the cantabile character a strain of amatory feeling and serious tenderness which gives an indescribable charm to his performances. His tone is pure and equal, his intonation remarkable exact, and his style free from those unmeaning harlequinades, and flattering frippery embellishments, which disfigure the violin playing of so many performers whose merits are otherwise considerable, His concertos, trios, duets, and other compositions, give proof of a fine and cultivated taste. (550 a,b, 551 a).