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Egon Wellesz

(1885—1974) composer and music scholar


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(b Vienna, 1885; d Oxford, 1974).

Austrian‐born composer, conductor, scholar, and teacher (Brit. cit.). Lessons from Schoenberg 1905–6; attended Mahler rehearsals at Vienna Opera. Taught at Vienna Univ. 1913–38 (prof. of history of mus. from 1929). Went to Eng. 1938, joining faculty of mus. at Oxford Univ. as lect. Reader in Byzantine Mus. 1948–56. Pupils incl. Rubbra. Authority on Byzantine mus. and Gregorian chant. Several books on these and other subjects. First biographer of Schoenberg, 1921. CBE 1957. Works, some in idiom of Schoenberg and medieval mus., but in later years reverting to diatonicism, incl.:

operas:

Die Prinzessin Girnara

, Op.27 (1921, rev. 1928);

Alkestis

, Op.35 to Hofmannsthal lib. (1922–3);

Die Opferung des Gefangenen

(The Prisoner's Sacrifice), Op.40 (1924–5);

Scherz, List, und Rache

(Joke, Cunning, and Revenge), Op.41 (1926–7);

Die Bakchantinnen

(The Bacchantes), Op.44 (1929–30);

Incognita

(1951).

ballets:

Persisches Ballett

(Persian Ballet), Op.30 (1920);

Achilles auf Skyros

, Op.32 (1921);

Die Nächtlichen

(The Night People), Op.37 (1923);

Das Wunder der Diana

, Op.18 (1924).

orch.:

Symphonia austriaca

syms.: No.1, Op.62 (1945), No.2, Op.65 (1948), No.3, Op.68 (1951), No.4 (), Op.70 (1952), No.5, Op.75 (1956), No.6, Op.95 (1965), No.7, Op.102 (1967–8), No.8, Op.110 (1970), No.9, Op.111 (1971);

Vorfrühling

, Op.12 (1912);

Suite

, vn., chamber orch., Op.38 (1924); pf. conc., Op.49 (1934);

Prosperos Beschwörungen

, Op.53 (1936); vn. conc., Op.84 (1961);

Symphonischer Epilog

, Op.108 (1969–70).

voice & instr(s).:

Gebete der Mädchen zu Maria

, sop., women's ch., orch., Op.5 (1910);

6 George Lieder

, mez., pf., Op.22 (1917);

Amor Timido

, sop., orch., Op.50 (1933);

Sonnets of E. B. Browning

(in Rilke trans.), sop., str., Op.52 (1934);

The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo

, sop., vn., vc., pf. (1944);

5 Lieder aus Wien

, bar., pf., Op.82 (1959);

4 Songs of Return

, sop., chamber orch., Op.85 (1961);

Duineser Elegie

, sop., ch., chamber ens., Op.90 (1963).

choral:

Mitten im Leben

, Op.45, sop., ch., orch. (1932); Mass in F minor (1934), in C (1937);

Missa brevis

(1936);

Mirabile mysterium

, Christmas cantata, sop., bar., ch., orch., Op.101 (1967);

Canticum sapientiae

, bar., ch., orch., Op.104 (1968).

chamber music:

str. qts. 1–9 (1912–66); Octet, cl., bn., hn., str. quintet, Op.67 (1948–9); cl. quintet (1959); str. trio, Op.86 (1962); str. quintet, Op.109 (1970).

piano:

3 Sketches

, Op.6 (1911);

4 Eclogues

, Op.11 (1912);

5 Epigrams

, Op.17 (1914);

5 Idylls

, Op.21 (1916);

5 Dance Pieces

, Op.42 (1926);

5 Studies in Grey

, Op.106 (1969).

organ:

Partita

(1966).

Subjects: Music.


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