English family of music publishers, printers and music sellers, established in London. The business was founded in or before 1762 by Peter Welcker (d London, 1775), who published many important works, including much of J.C. Bach's instrumental music, works of the Mannheim school (using plates from Hummel of Amsterdam) and several of the early volumes of Thomas Warren's Collection of Catches, Canons and Glees. At his death the business was continued by his widow Mary Welcker (d London, early 1778), probably with her son-in-law James Blundell as manager. Her executors carried on the business for a few months after her death, but by July 1778 Blundell had taken over the business, and in the following year Robert Bremner purchased some of her plates and music. John Welcker (fl 1775–c1785), the son of Mary and Peter Welcker, set up his own business as a music seller and publisher in 1775 (see illustration), but in 1780 he became bankrupt. His premises were taken over by Blundell, and the trade stock was offered for sale in July 1780. Welcker started business again in August of that year, and continued for about five years. He issued the opera dances and ballets performed at the Haymarket Theatre and continued to publish the sort of music which his parents had issued. About 1778 he reissued the three volumes of Clio and Euterpe which had been engraved and first published by Henry Roberts, with an added fourth volume. (KidsonBMP; Humphries-SmithMP)
FRANK KIDSON/WILLIAM C. SMITH/PETER WARD JONES
Pseudonym of Wilhelm Dilthey.
Welder, Philip (de).
SeeVan Wilder, Philip.
(b Chichester, 19 Jan 1676; d London, 7 May 1736). English composer and organist. He was a chorister at Eton College and received his early musical training under the organist, John Walter. He was a pupil of Purcell’s for a year from about March 1693. The next year he was appointed organist at New College, Oxford. In March 1700 four prizes were offered for the best settings of Congreve’s masque, The Judgment of Paris; Weldon’s setting, first performed on 6 May 1701, won the first prize, the others being awarded to John Eccles, Daniel Purcell and Gottfried Finger respectively. On 6 June 1701 Weldon was appointed a Gentleman Extraordinary of the Chapel Royal, presumably as an organist. Early in 1702 he supervised a performance of The Judgment of Paris given in Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre at the Duke of Bedford’s expense; the receipted bills for the chorus, soloists and dressers are among the Bedford family papers. Weldon was presumably resident in London by then, for during 1702 he resigned his Oxford post and in June became organist of St Bride’s, Fleet Street. During the next few years he composed vocal music for Motteux’s musical interlude Britain’s Happiness (1704) and numerous songs, mostly for subscription concerts.
On Blow’s death on 1 October 1708 Weldon was appointed second organist and additional composer of the Chapel Royal, the latter a newly created post. After this his interest in secular music seems to have declined, though he set A Dialogue between Honour, Faction and Peace (now lost) in 1713, and on 30 July 1716 a performance of The Tempest was advertised with ‘all the musick compos’d by Mr Weldon and perform’d compleat, as at the revival of the play’. This was obviously not the first performance of Weldon’s music, which may well have dated from about 1712. No score of music for The Tempest bearing his name is now known, but that usually attributed to Purcell may be Weldon’s (see Laurie). On 2 February 1714 he was appointed organist of St Martin-in-the-Fields. In fact, apart from his Service in D, almost certainly written in 1716, nearly all Weldon’s known sacred works date from before 1715. Even his collection of anthems, Divine Harmony, though published in 1716, was written at least two years earlier. Four anthems listed in the 1724 Chapel Royal wordbook but not preserved in contemporary sources may, however, date from the period c1715–22 when the extant Chapel Royal partbooks were not being used.
In February 1727 St Martin’s appointed an assistant organist to share Weldon’s duties instead of doubling his salary as had at first been proposed; after William Croft’s death in August 1727, Weldon was not made first organist and composer of the Chapel Royal as was usual, Maurice Greene being appointed instead. For some time before his death he was so ill that his duties as organist and composer were undertaken jointly by Jonathan Martin and William Boyce. He was buried in St Paul’s, Covent Garden. There is a portrait of him in the Faculty of Music at Oxford (see illustration).
Weldon was a composer of considerable talent who never quite fulfilled his early promise. His melodic range was wide, from gay tunes like From grave lessons to intense declamation as in O Lord rebuke me not. His word-setting was often sensitive and rhythmically subtle, though he over-indulged in lengthy roulades and certain favourite turns of phrase. He could make effective use of chromatic passages and Purcellian plunges into the minor for expressive purposes, but his normal harmonic idiom was rather conventional and his range of modulation restricted. Italian influence is apparent to some extent in his textures and figuration, but he avoided all standardization of structure, comparatively rarely using accepted forms such as binary, ground or da capo and often, especially in The Judgment of Paris, constructing unusual designs through varied repetition and recapitulation of material. He did not, however, always have the skill and imagination necessary to sustain his freedom of approach and was apt to rely excessively on sequential and repetitive patterns. Thus his work is uneven, at times dull and tautologous, but at its best showing both charm and sincerity of feeling.
The Judgment of Paris (masque, 1, W. Congreve), London, Dorset Garden, 6 May 1701, US-Ws, 2 songs in Wit and Mirth, iii (2/1707), single sheet edns (1702, c1710)
Britain’s Happiness (musical entertainment, P. Motteux), London, Drury Lane, 22 Feb 1704, 1 duet in Monthly Mask of Vocal Music (1705)
The Tempest, or The Enchanted Island (semi-op, W. Davenant, J. Dryden and ? T. Shadwell, after W. Shakespeare), London, Drury Lane, ? 7 Jan 1712; music possibly extant as Purcell’s The Tempest in The Works of Henry Purcell, The Purcell Society, xix (London, 1912), 111–87
Orpheus and Euridice (masque), ?Besselsleigh School, Besselsleigh, Oxon., Oct 1697, 1 song in Mercurius Musicus (1701) and single sheet edns (c1701, c1705)
odes and songs
A Song on the Peace of Ryswick, 1697, GB-Cfm
A Collection of New Songs (1702)
Third Book of Songs (1703)
From glorious toils, ode, 1706; A Dialogue between Honour, Faction and Peace, 1713: both lost
Songs for plays: Celia my heart has often rang’d (C. Cibber: She Wou’d and She Wou’d Not, 1702), Wit and Mirth, iii (2/1707), single sheet edns (c1702, c1705); Love in her bosome (W. Burnaby: Love Betray’d, 1703), single sheet edn (c1703); The young Mirtillo (R. Estcourt: The Fair Example, 1703), single sheet edn (c1703); Ye winds that sighing fill the air (C. Goring: Irene [or, The Fair Unfortunate], 1708), single sheet edn (c1708)
c50 songs and duets in Lbl, Ob, 16983, 16996, 17006, Mercurius Musicus (1701–2), Monthly Mask of Vocal Music (1702–8), Wit and Mirth, iii (2/1707), iv (1706), v (1714), and single sheets (see RISM)
Divine Harmony: 6 Select Anthems, 1v, bc (org/hpd/archlute) (1716/R)
21 anthems in Divine Companion (1701), Cathedral Music (1790), GB-Cfm, DRc, Lbl, Lcm, Lsp, LF, Ob, Och, Y, US-NH
10 anthems, lost, listed by Foster
1 sacred song in Harmonia Sacra (2/1703); 1 in GB-Lbl
Communion service, E, Lbl, pubd in Choir and Musical Record, iii (1864–5) nos. 49–50; service, D, Lcm; chant, g, Lbl
4 tunes, C, in A Collection of Aires, 2 fl, b (1703)