Weigl, Vally [Valerie]
(b Vienna, 11 Sept 1889; d New York, 25 Dec 1982). American music therapist, composer and teacher, of Austrian birth. She studied the piano in Vienna with Richard Robert and, at Vienna University, musicology with Guido Adler and composition with Karl Weigl, whom she later married. She taught for a period as Robert’s assistant and also worked with Karl Weigl at the Musicological Institute of Vienna University. In 1938 she and her husband moved to New York, where she continued to compose and perform and took up teaching appointments at the Institute for Avocational Music and the American Theater Wing. After receiving the Master’s degree from Columbia University in 1955, she pursued a lifelong interest in music therapy by becoming chief music therapist at the New York Medical College. She contributed many papers to music therapy literature and lectured widely in the USA and abroad. In addition she devoted much of her time to the preservation of the considerable musical legacy of Karl Weigl, a portion of whose output, though well known in Europe, had not yet been introduced to the USA. In 1964 she became chairperson of the Friends’ Arts for World Unity Committee, for which she organized international cultural programmes. She was awarded many grants, including ones by the ACA and the Mark Rothko Foundation as well as the 1976 NEA Fellowship grant. Her music has been widely performed and published.
Chbr and solo inst: Bagatelle, pf 4 hands, 1953; Mood Sketches, ww qnt, 1953–4; New England Suite, cl/fl, vc, pf, 1955; Five Occurrences, ww qnt, 1977; other works and pf pieces for children
Vocal-chbr: Songs of Remembrance (E. Dickinson), Mez, fl/cl, pf, opt. cl/va, 1952; Songs beyond Time (song cycle, F. Blankner), S/T, vn/fl, pf, 1956; Dear Earth (Blankner), Mez, hn, pf, vn, vc, 1956; Lyrical Suite from ‘All my Youth’ (Blankner), Mez, fl/cl, pf, vc, 1956; Nature Moods (H. Woodbourne), S/T, fl/cl, vn, 1956; Songs from ‘Do not Awake me’ (M. Edey), A, fl/vn, pf, 1957; Songs from ‘No Boundary’ (L. Marshall), Mez, va/cl/vn, pf, 1963; 5 songs from ‘Take my Hand’ (E. Segal), Mez, fl, cl, b cl/vc, pf, 1975; Revelation, S, str qt, 1982
Choral: Prayer of St Francis of Assisi, women’s vv, fl, pf, 1945; The Nightwind (R.L. Stevenson), unacc. mixed vv, 1956; Fear no more (W. Shakespeare), SATB, pf, 1958; Let there be Music, unacc. women’s vv, 1960; Let my Country Awake (R. Davidson), S, A, T, B, chorus, pf, 1967; 3 Choral Songs of the South-West (P. Benton), SATB, pf, 1967; Shelter for All (K. Boulding), S, A, T, B, pf, 1967; The People, Yes! (C. Sandburg), S, A, T, B, chorus, tpt, trbn, timp, pf, str qt, 1976
Also numerous solo songs
Principal publishers: BMI, Jelsor Music, Theodore Presser, E.C. Schirmer
Weihnachtslied [Weihnachtlied, Weihnachtsgesang]
(Ger.: ‘Christmas song’).
In a general sense, any song for Christmas (similarly, Weihnachtskonzert means ‘Christmas concerto’, Weihnachtsmusik ‘Christmas music’ or ‘Christmas piece’, etc.). It is often used in the same loose sense as ‘Christmas carol’ is in English.
The term was applied particularly to the simplest type of 18th-century Pastorella: a simple song, often strophic, often for one or two voices accompanied by two violins and continuo (or by the organ alone), sung in central European rural churches at Christmas, often at Midnight Mass. Other more or less equivalent terms, which probably cannot be precisely differentiated, are aria de Nativitate; aria pastoralis or aria pastoritia (possibly translations of Hirtenlied, ‘shepherd song’); Krippellied, Krippenlied or Krippelgesang (‘crib song’); and Weihnacht Aria and so on. Some Weihnachtslieder, noted down in 1819 when their popularity had already declined, are in the folksong collection of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna; an informant from Maria-Taferl gave some details of their use (reproduced in Klier, i, 45–7; Klier also printed many of the songs), though these do not apply to all Weihnachtslieder. Many survive in manuscript in, for example, local parish churches and others were printed as broadsides at Vienna, Steyr, Linz, Innsbruck and elsewhere.
Michael Haydn (Heiligste Nacht, 1786) and F.X. Gruber (Stille Nacht, 1818) used the term for a type of Christmas song similar in scope and form to the older Weihnachtslied and still set for a small number of voices, but now evocative and romantic rather than unsophisticated, direct and often comic as the songs in the older tradition had been. In the 19th century the meaning of the term was extended: it was used by folksong collectors in a general sense (e.g. Weinhold, Pailler and Klier), and was applied also to art songs with subject matter relating to Christmas (e.g. the Weihnachtslieder op.8 by Peter Cornelius).
See also Pastoral, §§4–5.
K. Weinhold: Weihnacht-Spiele und Lieder aus Süddeutschland und Schlesien (Graz, 1853, 3/1875)
W. Pailler: Weihnachtlieder und Krippenspiele aus Oberösterreich und Tirol (Innsbruck, 1881–3)
K.M. Klier: Schatz österreichischer Weihnachtslieder aus den ältesten Quellen mit den Weisen herausgegeben (Klosterneuburg, n.d.)
G.A. Chew: The Christmas Pastorella in Austria, Bohemia and Moravia (diss., U. of Manchester, 1968)
W. Deutsch and G. Hofer: Die Volksmusiksammlung der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien (Sonnleithner-Sammlung) (Vienna, 1969)
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