Waart, Edo de. 56 Wachmann, Eduard 56

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Weissensee, Friedrich

(b Schwerstedt, Thuringia, c1560; d Altenweddingen, nr Magdeburg, 1622). German composer, schoolmaster and clergyman. From 1590 he was Rektor of the grammar school at Gebesee, near Erfurt. In about 1596 he succeeded Leonhard Schroeter (who retired in 1595) as Kantor of the notable grammar school at Magdeburg, an important appointment in which two of his recent predecessors had been Martin Agricola and Gallus Dressler. One of his most noteworthy pupils there was Daniel Friderici. In 1602 he became a clergyman at Altenweddingen. He ranks beside such men as Christoph Demantius, Michael Praetorius and Melchior Vulpius as one of the leading German composers of Protestant church music of his day. His principal publication is the Opus melicum (1602), which contains 72 Latin and German motets for four to 12 voices with instruments (one of the Latin motets is by Marenzio). These works show that he was one of the best German exponents of the massive Venetian choral style of Willaert and the Gabrielis. His volumes of 1595 and 1599 are also important contributions to the German motet literature. The part he played in the transformation of the Italian style is also recognizable in his eight-part pieces in Bodenschatz's Florilegium portense (16031, 16212), which are among the most impressive works in this anthology.


all except anthologies published in Magdeburg unless otherwise stated

Evangelische Sprüche auf die vornehmsten Fest-Tage, 5vv (1595)

Hochzeit-Lied aus den Sprüchwörtern Salomonis am 31. Capitel … dem … Peters Rathmann, 6vv (1599)

Hochzeitlicher Ehren Dantz, auff das adelige Beylager des … Wolffgang Spitznasen zu Magdeburgk Domherrn, 6vv (1600)

Opus melicum methodicum et plane novum, singulis diebus … et festis accomodatas, 4–10, 12vv (1602)

Geistliche Braut und Hochzeit Gesang, zu Ehren … Georgio Schultzen, 6vv (1611)

Sponsis novellis, 8vv (1619)

Geistlich Braut und Hochzeitliedt, ex Cant. Cantic. Cap. 5 und 7 ad 9, 6vv (print without title-page)

4 works, 16181, 16212


Motets, hymns and other vocal works, D-Bhm, Dl, LEm, Z, PL-WRu, formerly Legnica, Ritterakademie-Bibliothek, now ?PL-WRu






B. Engelke: Friedrich Weissensee und sein Opus melicum (diss., U. of Kiel, 1927)

O. Riemer: Erhard Bodenschatz und sein Florilegium Portense (Leipzig, 1928)

O. Riemer: Musik und Musiker in Magdeburg (Magdeburg, 1937)


Weisshaar, Hans

(b Wildberg, Germany, 25 Aug 1913; d Los Angeles, 24 June 1991). American violin maker and restorer of German origin. He was born of musical parents, and as a young man studied violin making at the school in Mittenwald, Bavaria. After further experience in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany, he emigrated to the USA in 1936, working as a restorer first with Emil Herrmann in New York, then with Lewis & Son in Chicago, and again with Herrmann until his workshop closed in 1945. During his time with Herrmann he worked under Fernando Sacconi. In 1947 he established his own business in Hollywood, California. After his death, the shop was continued by his assistant Margaret Shipman (b Denver, 7 Oct 1946) who had joined the workshop in 1969. His son Michael (b Chicago, 4 Nov 1942) and daughter-in-law Rena (b Berlin, 8 Feb 1940) also worked in the shop. They opened their own business in Costa Mesa, California, in 1975.

The excellence of his restorations brought him an international reputation. In 1952, for instance, a high tide in southern California swept the Red Diamond Stradivari violin out of its owner's hands and into the sea. It was recovered the following day on a beach about three miles away, still in its case but drenched with salt water, and rushed to Weisshaar. His speedy response and painstaking work ensured that the violin was eventually none the worse, in any respect, for an accident which might well have destroyed it completely.

Weisshaar was also an important teacher of restoration. He co-wrote the book Violin Restoration: a Manual for Violin Makers (Los Angeles, 1988) with Margaret Shipman.


Weisshaus, Imre.

See Arma, Paul.

Weissheimer, Wendelin

(b Osthofen, 26 Feb 1838; d Nuremberg, 16 June 1910). German conductor and composer. After initial studies in Worms, he attended the Leipzig Conservatory in 1856 and later became a pupil of Liszt in Weimar. He served as Kapellmeister in many cities, among them Mainz (1858, 1861 and later), Würzburg (1866–8), Zürich (1871–2), Strasbourg (1873–8), Baden-Baden and Milan. About 1893 he moved to Freiburg; he settled in Nuremberg in 1900. From 1858 for some years he was a close friend of Wagner, whose music he regularly performed at La Scala and elsewhere. He conducted the Würzburg première of Rienzi in 1866. Their friendship cooled noticeably after 1868, however, following Wagner's refusal to lend his support to the staging of the première of Weissheimer's own opera Theodor Körner at the Munich Hofoper. Weissheimer's compositions include another opera, Meister Martin und seine Gesellen (Karlsruhe, 1879), a symphony and several vocal works. He published Erlebnisse mit Richard Wagner, Franz Liszt und vielen anderen Zeitgenossen nebst deren Briefen (Stuttgart and Leipzig, 1898). (MGG1, H.P. Schilly)


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