Wesley, Samuel

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Wesley, Samuel (b Bristol, 1766; d London, 1837). Eng. composer and organist, brother of Charles Wesley. Child prodigy; wrote part of oratorio at 8 and pubd. hpd. tutor at 11. Became RC 1784. One of earliest Eng. Bach enthusiasts, playing important part in Bach revival. Cond., Birmingham Fest. 1811. Regarded as greatest org. of his day, but career interrupted by recurring illness stemming from injury to skull after fall in 1787. Wrote oratorios Ruth (1774) and The Death of Abel (1779); cantatas Ode to St Cecilia (1794) and Confitebor tibi, Domine (1799); 5 Masses; motets (In exitu Israel the best-known); services; anthems; songs; glees; 4 syms. (1784–1802); 4 org. concs. (one based on Rule, Britannia!) (1787–1815); 2 hpd. concs. (both 1774); 8 vn. conc. (1779–1812); 3 str. qts. (1779–1800); other chamber mus.; and many kbd. pieces.