Works by Samuel Wesley

edited for practical performance

 

General Editor: Francis Routh
 

 

All titles can be supplied and sold direct and should be pre-paid. Please ask for a pro forma invoice to include postage and freight costs and details of payment. Delivery of titles ordered can be expected within seven days of receipt of payment.
 
REDCLIFFE EDITION
68 Barrowgate Road London w4 4QU UK

telephone and fax 020 8995 1223
www.redcliffe-edition.com
e-mail redcliffeedition@yahoo.co.uk
 


SAMUEL WESLEY 1766-1837
 
Wesley’s friend Vincent Novello said of him : ‘Samuel Wesley was one of the greatest musical geniuses that England ever produced. ‘

This is true. He was the most important composer of the classical period in England, the very opposite of insular or provincial. His importance lies partly in his musical style, partly in his very clear aesthetic purpose, partly in his position, historically , in the English musical tradition. His mature style , after 1784, represents a meeting point of many traditions: in the choral works , of Byrd, Bach, Haydn ; in the orchestral and instrumental works ,of Beethoven, Weber, Mendelssohn. His best works are the first by an English composer in classical vein to link the English musical heritage of the past with the mainstream European tradition of his time , in a musical language that is both individual and distinctive. Its chief characteristics, are a constant striving for large-scale structures, a mastery of counterpoint, a highly colourful chromaticism of the melodic material , and a visionary quality which caused him to transcend the limitations and constrictions of his day .

During his lifetime he was largely ignored, and after his death the arbiters of Victorian taste disowned him, largely in favour of his organist son Samuel Sebastian , with whom even today the composer is still sometimes confused. Das Land ohne Musik gave scant place to Wesley. His achievement was concealed in the arid years of the nineteenth century. So to us today he is barely known.
 
The 20th century re-discovery of Samuel Wesley’s music began in the 1970s, with the first performance in modern times of Confitebor in York Minster in June 1972. Further performances and broadcasts began from that point, and the publication in practical, performing editions of some of the chief works in his very extensive, and variable, output. A high point was reached in 1997 with the world première in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, of the Missa de Spiritu Sancto , 213 years after its completion in 1784 by the 18 year old Wesley – the first work of his maturity , yet one that was never performed in his lifetime, nor for 160 years after his death.
Wesley’s music covers every genre except opera. In some categories his mature works are few, just as opportunities for performance were indeed few in the London , and the England ,of his time , which had no established orchestras, no schools of music. So in the categories of symphony, concert overture, string quartet, Wesley composed just one of each. Yet in each he achieved mastery , in both style and content , bringing the dormant English tradition into line with mainstream developments in Europe.
Francis Routh
London 2005

 
WORKS FOR ORCHESTRA


Overture in E (c.1830)
2.2.2.2 – 4.2.2.1- Timp. (3) – Strings a5
Duration 11 minutes Allegro con brio
1st perf. uncertain
1st modern perf. 30 April 2005 Urbana Il (University of Illinois, USA)
Edited with preface, biographical calendar, textual commentary
xi, 83pp.Full score A3 £75.00 Miniature score A4 £25.00
Scores for sale
Full score, orchestral parts on hire

Symphony in B flat (1802)
Score and parts in preparationin


 
CHAMBER MUSIC

String Quartet in E flat( c.1810).
violins I and II viola violoncello
Duration 18 minutes      Allegro spiritoso
                                    Adagio con moto
                                    Menuetto, Trio
                                    Allegro molto
1st perf. uncertain
1st modern perf. 30 May 1982 London (Wigmore Hall)
Edited with preface, biographical calendar
v, 47pp. Score £25.00 Set of parts £28.00
Score and set of parts for sale

VOCAL AND CHORAL MUSIC


Missa de Spiritu Sancto (1784).
for soprano,contralto,SATB soli, choir SATB and orchestra
2.2.0.0 - .2.2.0.0 – Timp.(3),org.,hpd - Strings a 5
Duration 90 minutes XXI movements
1st perf. 10 September 1997 Dublin (St Patrick’s Cathedral)
Edited with preface, biographical calendar, text and translation
Full score vi,376pp. £125.00 ; Vocal score iv, 278pp. £25.00
Full score, vocal score for sale, Full score and orchestral parts on hire

Ave maris stella (1786).
For two soprano soli, harpsichord , strings a 4
Duration 18 minutes      Ave maris stella
                                    Solve vincla
                                    Virgo singularis
                                    Vitam praesta puram
1st perf. uncertain
Edited with preface, biographical calendar, text and translation
Full score iv,70pp. £45.00 Vocal score iv,42pp. £15.00
Full score ,vocal score for sale; Full score and orchestral parts on hire

Ode to St Cecilia (1794)
For soprano,contralto,baritone soli, choir SATB and orchestra
0.2.0.2 – 2.2.0.0 – Timp. (3), org. – Strings a5
Duration 65 minutes       Sinfonia, XI movements
Words by Rev. Samuel Wesley (1662-1735)
1st perf. 22 February 1799 London (Covent Garden)
1st modern perf. 26 September 1977 London (Queen Elizabeth Hall)
            in honour of the Silver Jubilee of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
            in the presence of the Minister for the Arts, Lord Donaldson
Edited with preface, biographical calendar, text
Full score vi, 257pp. £110.00 Vocal score vi, 141pp. £20.00
Full score, vocal score for sale, Full score and orchestral parts on hire

Confitebor (1799)
For soprano, contralto, tenor , bass soli, choir SSATB and orchestra
2.2.0.2 – 2.2.0.0 – Timp. (3), org. - Strings a 5
Duration 70 minutes Oratorio to the words of Psalm CXI XV movements
1st perf..4 May 1826 London (Argyll Rooms, Regent Street)
1st modern perf. 10 June 1972 York Minster
Edited with preface, biographical calendar, text and translation
Full score £75.00 Vocal score iv, 160pp. £20.00
Full score, vocal score for sale, Full score and orchestral parts on hire

All go to one place(1834) .
Funeral anthem on the death of Charles Wesley
For choir SATB, organ Words Ecclesiastes III,20 et al.
1st perf. 7 August 1834 London (Sacred Harmonic Society)
Edited with preface, biographical calendar, text
Vocal score iii, 17 pp. £7.50 Score for sale
 
Seven Songs
For high voice and piano
Within a cowslip’s humble bell          (1808)
Hark ! His hands the lyre explore      (1790)
Hope away ! Enjoyment’s come        (1793)
Go. Minstrel. Go                               (1834)
Not heaven itself                               (1804)
Think of me                                       (1837)
On Music                                           (1834)
Edited with preface, biographical calendar
Vocal score vi, 28pp. £15.00 Score for sale

 

Exultate Deo (1800)
For choir SSATB and orchestra
In preparation


 
KEYBOARD MUSIC


Twelve Voluntaries for the Organ Op.6 (1805-1818)
Volume 1 Voluntaries I-VI Volume 2 Voluntaries VII-XII
Each volume edited with preface, biographical calendar
Vol.I vii, pp.1-76 £15.00 Vol. II vii, pp. 77-152 £15.00
Scores for sale
Voluntary in B flat for the organ(1829)
‘For Thomas Attwood’
Duration 10 minutes
Edited with preface, biographical calendar
Score iii, 15pp. £10.00Score for sale
Prelude, Arietta and Fugue for the organ (1826)
‘For Thomas Adams’
Duration 11 minutes
Edited with preface, biographical calendar
Score vi, 17pp. £10.00Score for sale


Piano Music Volume 1
Sonata in A , Op.5 / 1 (1794)
Sonata in E flat, Op.5/4 (1794)
Sonata in D minor (‘Salomon’) (1808)
Sonata in C (‘Posthumous’} (1813/31)
Edited by Andrew Wells, with preface, biographical calendar
Score vi, 53pp. £15.00Score for sale

Piano Music Volume 2
Edited by Andrew Wells In preparation



 

SAMUEL WESLEY

A CALENDAR OF HIS LIFE


1766 Born Bristol 24 February, the son of Charles Wesley (1707-1788) and Sarah Gwynne. Of eight children three survived, Charles (1757-1834) , Sarah (1759-1828) and Samuel.
1769 First mention of keyboard ability
1774 First mention of compositions
1776 Moved to London, 1 Chesterfield Street, Marylebone
1779 Family (subscription) house concerts arranged by Samuel and his brother Charles at the Marylebone house.
Early compositions at this time include symphonies, overtures , partsongs, keyboard pieces. Concerts continued to 1787.
1784 Conversion to Roman Catholicism ,’for musical rather than doctrinal reasons’, which resulted in estrangement from his father Charles until the latter’s death in 1788. Period of juvenilia ends with composition of Missa de Spiritu Sancto, sent to the Pope , Pius VI, on 5 September.
1st perf. 10 September 1997 St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin
(2nd perf. 5 April 2003 Woking ,H.G.Wells Centre )
1786 Ave maris stella for two sopranos, strings and continuo
1793 Marries Charlotte Louisa Martin (1761-1845) 5 April Three surviving children, 2 sons 1 daughter
1794 Ode to St Cecilia for soloists, chorus and orchestra , 21 October
1st perf. 22 February 1799 London, Covent Garden
(2nd perf. 26 September 1977 London , Queen Elizabeth Hall )
1799 Confitebor (Psalm CXI) for soloists, chorus and orchestra , 14 August
1st perf. 4 May 1826 London, Argyll Rooms , Regent Street
(2nd perf. 10 June 1972 York Minster)
1800 Exultate Deo (Psalm LXXXI, 1-2) for chorus and orchestra , 28 June
1802 Symphony in B flat
1805 Publication begins singly of Twelve Voluntaries , Op.6 , continuing to 1818
Salomon Sonata for piano. Public promotion and performance of the music of J.S.Bach begins at the Surrey Chapel, Blackfriars, lasts until 1813. "Bach Letters" to Benjamin Jacob. Wesley-Horn edition of Bach’s Trio Sonatas for organ, and Das Wohltemperierte Klavier.
1810- Breakdown of marriage to Charlotte. Sets up house with Sarah Suter (1794-1863). Correspondence begins with Vincent Novello, with whom Samuel became associated in the music at the Portuguese Embassy chapel.
String Quartet in E flat; Trio for three pianos ; Thirteen short pieces, Duet in C for organ;
Sonata in C for piano.
1826- Prelude,Arietta and Fugue for organ (for Thomas Adams); Voluntary in B flat (for Thomas Attwood);
Pverture in E for Orchestra.
1837 Final recital, with Mendelssohn, at Christ Church, Newgate Street, 7 September. Dies 11 October, with burial at Old Marylebone Church.
   

Return to index page