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Samuel Sebastian Wesley

(1810—1876) composer and organist


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(b London, 1810; d Gloucester, 1876).

Eng. composer, organist, and conductor, illegitimate son of Samuel Wesley. Chorister, Chapel Royal, 1820. Org. of several London and suburban churches 1826–32, also th. cond. Org., Hereford Cath. 1832–5, Exeter Cath. 1835–41, where est. as country's leading org. and church musician. Org., Leeds Parish Church 1842–9, Winchester Cath. 1849–65, Gloucester Cath. from 1865. Prof. of org., RAM from 1850. Advocate of and tireless fighter for improvements in standards of Anglican church mus., publishing tract on need for reform, 1849. Comp. splendid anthems (notably Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace), 5 Services (that in E major, 1845, being the finest), hymns (incl. the famous Aurelia), glees, songs, and pf. mus. Cond. f.p. of Bach's St. Matthew Passion at a Three Choirs Fest. (Gloucester 1871). His genius as an org. was such that church authorities overlooked his often questionable conduct in personal and professional affairs.

Subjects: Music.


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