(b Visé, Belgium, c1718; d Monte Cassino, c1760). Belgian composer. Son of Joseph Wenick, a burgher of Visé, and Antoinette de Tiège, he seems to have studied music in the collegiate church of St Paul in Liège, under his uncles on his mother's side, Corneil and Nicolas-Henri de Tiège, who were respectively choirmaster and organist there. Later he was probably organist in Aachen before being appointed choirmaster in the collegiate church of St Denis in Liège, on 27 April 1740. On 25 February 1741 he was ordained priest. On 31 October 1742 the canons of St Denis expressed their satisfaction to him on account of a mass he had composed for the chapter. However, Wenick became rather too familiar with some of its younger members, often getting drunk in their company, and incurred the displeasure of his seniors. In 1750 he was sent to Rome, where his name is found on the registers of the Liège College (Darchis foundation) between 1751 and 1755. But Wenick remained deaf to instructions recalling him to the chapter of St Denis; nor was this all, for creditors in Liège, anxious about his prolonged absence, were clamouring for their dues. On 13 March 1753 he was relieved of his post as succentor and was replaced, on 22 December 1753, by his former pupil, Charles-François Jalheau (1730–95). The liquidation of Wenick's assets, which took place in Liège on 10 May 1754 under the instructions of P. Collinet, produced 164 florins. According to Hamal, Wenick became organist in Monte Cassino and died there about 1760.
The three dated works suggest that Wenick was inspired by the best Italian models, in particular by Alessandro Scarlatti. He makes full use of expressive harmony, with chromatic basses and Neapolitan 6ths. His orchestration is very thin and his melodic ideas are rather short, but their inner life is brought out by interesting ornaments, leaps of a 6th and diminished 7th, and unusual details of rhythm (Lombardic rhythms, syncopation, triplets and sextuplets).
Missa, 4vv, 4 insts, bc, 1737; Deus meus, 2vv, 3 insts; Mora arripuit, 3vv, 3 insts; Sponse amato, A, T, 2 vn, bc; O salutaris, inc.: all in B-Bc
Ecce panis angelorum, 4vv, 3 insts, 1740; Ky, Gl, 4vv, 3 insts, 1742; Ky, Gl, Cr, 4vv, 3 insts, 1742: all in Lc (18th-century copy)
J.Philippe: Notes sur les musiciens liégeois [by H. Hamal] (Liège, 1956)
M.de Smet: Le collège liégeois de Rome: sa fréquentation au XVIIIe siècle (Brussels, 1960)
J.Quitin: Les maîtres de chant et la maîtrise de la Collégiale Saint-Denis, à Liège, au temps de Grétry (Brussels, 1964), 18–33, 119 [lists archival sources in Liège]
Wenk, August Heinrich.
SeeWenck, August Heinrich.
Wenkel [Wenckel], Johann Friedrich Wilhelm
(b Niedergebra, nr Nordhausen, 25 Nov 1734; d Uelzen, ?1792). German keyboard player, music director and composer. He first studied music with his father and grandfather, then with C.G. Schröter in Nordhausen and later with the organist Carl Wilhelm Müller at Halberstadt. In 1756 C.P.E. Bach, J.P. Kirnberger and F.W. Marpurg helped him to obtain a position as a singing teacher at the Realschule in Berlin. In 1761 he was appointed music director for the churches at Stendal in the Altmark, and in 1768 moved to Uelzen as second master and organist. Wenkel's compositions, published during the 1760s and 1770s, are for solo keyboard, voice with keyboard, and sonatas and duets for flute or violin. Their style is typical of works composed by musicians working in and around Berlin at this period. He also contributed to the controversy surrounding a preface added to a collection of C.H. Graun's Oden (1761), siding with Marpurg against Quantz in his pamphlet: Schreiben an die Herren Tonkünstler in Berlin, über die dem Vorberichte der ersten Graunischen Odensammlung von einem Ungenannten entgegengesetzte Anmerkungen (Berlin, 1761).
(b Lidköping, 2 Oct 1817; d Läckö, 22 Aug 1901). Swedish composer, poet and politician. He began his humanistic studies in 1837 at the University of Uppsala, taking the doctorate in 1845. A year later he was appointed university lecturer in aesthetics. In 1849 he became a teacher at the cathedral school of Skara, where he had himself been a pupil. From 1861 he involved himself more and more in administrative and political matters. He was twice a member of the Swedish government as Minister for Ecclesiastical and Cultural Affairs (1870–75 and 1888–91); between these two periods he was governor in Växjö. From 1876 to his death he was a member of the first chamber of the Swedish parliament. In 1850 he was elected to the Swedish Royal Academy of Music and in 1867 to the Swedish Academy.
Wennerberg was a good amateur singer and pianist and entirely self-taught as a composer. In about 1840 he had begun to write solo songs, which were sung in the musical homes he used to visit in Uppsala. His patriotic songs for the male-voice Uppsala University Choral Union which he conducted for six months in 1846, were more important; 11 were published in the collection Odinslund och Lundagård (1849–62). Although their texts (mainly Wennerberg’s) are now out of date, several are still sung and Hör oss, Svea! (1853) has been regarded almost as a national anthem. The tendency towards individualized, sometimes imitative part-writing which characterizes these songs is probably a result of Wennerberg’s deep interest in old sacred music. He shared this interest with his close friend J.A. Josephson (1818–80), leader of the so-called Lilla Sällskap (1841–3), where Wennerberg and some other friends sang works including Handel’s oratorios. He is said to have written some motets in an older style for this group. When Josephson left Uppsala in 1843, Wennerberg joined the Juvenalerna, a sort of glee club, for whom he wrote, among other pieces, a series of male voice duets with piano accompaniment, Gluntarne, describing in words and music the student life of Uppsala. Gluntarne (published 1849–51) soon became very popular throughout Scandinavia. The songs appeared in many later editions, as have also his settings of 55 of the Psalms for solo voice(s) and chorus with piano (first published 1861–86). Although Wennerberg had little time to devote to music he also wrote some large-scale works including a Stabat mater. He planned a series of oratorios on the life of Jesus, only two of which were completed, Jesu födelse and Jesu dom.