(b Aarau, 8 Jan 1892; d Sonnmatt, nr Lucerne, 27 June 1944). Swiss composer, conductor and writer. He studied with Hegar and Kempter at the Zürich Conservatory and in 1913 began studies in musicology and art history at Basle University. In 1914 he won the Mozart Prize for his First String Quartet, and the conditions of acceptance necessitated a two-year course at the Frankfurt Conservatory. There he studied with Sekles and Knorr, and became friendly with Hindemith, a fellow student. Wehrli returned to Basle University in 1916, and in 1918 accepted a post at the Women's Teachers' Training College in Aarau, where he taught until his death and where he conducted the Cäcilienverein (1920–29). His teaching and conducting activities are reflected in his output, which is essentially tonal, though often strongly contrapuntal. The Romanticism of his early works gives way to a more experimental approach influenced by Hindemith and the works of Schoeck of the 1920s; in his settings of Hesse op.23, for example, Wehrli employs polytonality.
stage and vocal
Das heisse Eisen (comic op, H. Sachs), op.5, Berne, 1918; Der Märchenspiegel (Spl, C. Günther), op.21, 1923; Weltgesicht (dramatic cant., E. Brüllmann), op.26, 1930; Das Vermächtnis (W. Wehrli), op.29, Lucerne, 1934; Auf dem Mond (school op, Wehrli), op.33, Aarau, 1933
Festspiele: Die Schweizer, 1924; Die Brücke, 1927; Schweizer Festspiel, 1928; O userwelte Eidgnoss'schaft, 1939
Choral: Lebenslauf (H. Hölderlin), op.15, mixed/male vv, orch, 1920; 4 Gesänge (C.F. Meyer), op.22, Bar, chorus, chbr orch (1926); Ein weltliches Requiem (Wehrli), op.25, 4 solo vv, chorus, children's chorus, orch, 1928–9; Allerseele (S. Haemmerli-Marti), op.30, 1v, female chorus, 2 tpt, pf, 1932; Festlied (H. Kaeslin), op.31, male vv, brass, timp, dbs, op.52, 1932; Wallfahrt (J.G. von Salis-Seewis), Bar, female vv, chbr orch, 1939; a cappella madrigals, motets, canons, etc.
Solo vocal: Vom jüngsten Tag, op.9/1, S, ob, str qt, org, 1917; 4 Gesänge, Bar, chorus, 9 insts, 1926; 5 Gesänge (H. Hesse), op.23, A/B, vn, pf, 1928; lieder
S.Ehrismann, K.Ericson and W.Labhart: Werner Wehrli: Komponist zwischen den Zeiten (Aarau, 1992)
PETER ROSS/CHRIS WALTON
Weichenberger [Weichenberg], Johann Georg
(b Graz, bap. 11 Dec 1676; d Vienna, inquest 2 Jan 1740). Austrian amateur composer and lutenist. He worked in the book-keeping department of the Austrian exchequer and described himself as registrar and dispatcher (Expeditor). He was also a skilled lutenist. Though described as ‘officer of the exchequer’ in a document of 1712, he is called ‘lutenist’ in one dated 1708 and ‘cavalry officer’ in another. He had a wide range of interests and left a considerable collection of paintings (see Koczirz, 63). He wrote a number of pieces for lute solo and concerto-like works for lute and strings. He was a complete master of both polyphonic and chordal writing and in his later music cultivated the French galant style. His music enjoyed widespread popularity at the time, and he was highly regarded in Austria and Bohemia in particular, even though he was only an amateur.