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Wellesz, Egon (Joseph)

Wellesz, Egon (Joseph) (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.: syms.: No.1, Op.62 (1945), No.2, Op.65 (1948), No.3, Op.68 (1951), No.4 (Symphonia austriaca), 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).

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Wellesz, Egon

Egon Wellesz (ā´gŏn vĕl´ĕs), 1885–1974, Austrian composer and musicologist. Wellesz studied with Schoenberg at the same time as Berg and Webern. His early compositions show the influence of Mahler, but the clarity and articulation that characterize his later works are already evident. He is the author of studies of Byzantine and Arabic music, including Eastern Elements in Western Chant (1947) and A History of Byzantine Music and Hymnology (1948). From 1939 he lived in England; there he taught at Oxford and composed operas, ballets, chamber music, liturgical works, and symphonies.

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