(b Basle, 14 Nov 1905; d Basle, 25 Dec 1996). Swiss cellist and viol player. From 1915 to 1927, while still at school, he studied the cello at the Basle Conservatory with Treichler and Beyer-Hané; from 1927 to 1929 he studied in Cologne with Grümmer and Jarnach. He was first cellist in the Bremen Philharmonische Gesellschaft (1929–34), and in the Basle Orchester Gesellschaft (1936–70). From 1933 to 1947 he was also cellist in the Basle String Quartet; when this was dissolved he played in various ensembles in the Basle Gesellschaft für Kammermusik until 1968. In 1933 Wenzinger was one of the founders of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, and taught the viola da gamba, ensemble playing and ornamentation there. He directed the school viol quartet (founded in 1933–4), which became known particularly from 1947 for its confidently stylish performances, many of them recorded. At Herrenhausen (Hanover) from 1958 to 1966 he directed performances of Baroque operas, and from 1954 to 1958 the Capella Coloniensis, an orchestra for early music at WDR in Cologne. In 1955 he conducted the first-ever LP recording of Monteverdi’s Orfeo. As early as 1936–43 he directed a chamber group, with the flautist Gustav Scheck. In 1968 he founded the viola da gamba trio of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, for which a series of works was composed, among them Kelterborn’s Inventions and Intermezzi (1969–70), Beck’s Dialogue (1969–70), and Loeb’s Fantasia and Two Scherzi (1970) and Solo Sonata (1972). In 1960 Basle conferred on him an honorary doctorate.
Wenzinger was known as a first-class viola da gamba player, highly accomplished both stylistically and technically. He wrote many articles and a two-volume tutor for the viola da gamba, and also edited early music. In 1953, as the H.A. Lamb Visiting Lecturer, he lectured at Harvard University on performing practice and viola da gamba playing, and in 1954 he taught at Brandeis University. His interests also included modern music: he gave the first performances of Martin’s Ballade for cello and of Othmar Schoeck’s Cello Concerto.
(b Baden, nr Vienna, 23 May 1918; d Hinterbrühl, nr Vienna, 9 April 1992). Austrian piano accompanist, teacher and writer on music. From 1936 to 1940 he studied at the University of Vienna, and at the same time attended courses in composition with Joseph Marx and piano with Oskar Dachs at the Music Academy. From 1949 he became known as one of the leading accompanists in Europe. He worked with such singers as Irmgard Seefried, Christa Ludwig, Walter Berry, Peter Schreier and Nicolai Gedda. In 1949 he was appointed professor of song and oratorio at the Vienna Music Academy; he gave courses in these subjects in many European countries, often with his wife, Ady, a singing teacher. His interest in Viennese operetta brought about the collaboration with the Viennese soubrette Elfriede Ott, which led to the rediscovery for the concert hall of Komödienlieder of the Biedermeier period. Werba also worked as a music critic for daily papers (1945–65) and in 1952 joined the staff of the Österreichische Musikzeitschrift, publishing numerous articles. His main interests were Wolf and Mozart.
Joseph Marx, Österreichische Komponisten des XX. Jahrhunderts, i (Vienna, 1964)
Hugo Wolf, oder Der zornige Romantiker (Vienna, 1971)
Erich Marckhl, Österreichische Komponisten des XX. Jahrhunderts, xx (Vienna, 1972)
(b Benneckenstein, Thuringia, 30 Nov 1645; d Halberstadt, 26 Oct 1706). German theorist, organist, organ examiner and composer. His numerous treatises provide important documentation regarding organs and their tuning and musical thought in Germany in the 17th century.
The known facts of Werckmeister’s life derive from Götzen (a funeral oration). He spent his whole life in the relatively confined area of Thuringia on the north-eastern slopes of the Harz Mountains. His parents quickly recognized his musical gifts and sent him to an uncle, Christian Werckmeister, organist at Bennungen, near Sangerhausen, to study the organ and begin his general education. In 1660 he enrolled in the Gymnasium at Nordhausen and two years later moved to the Gymnasium at Quedlinburg, where another uncle, Victor Werckmeister, was Kantor. On 24 December 1664 he became organist at Hasselfelde, near Blankenburg, and remained there for ten years. He then served briefly as organist and notary at nearby Elbingerode and in 1675 returned to Quedlinburg, where through his uncle’s recommendation he obtained the positions of organist at the collegiate church of St Servatius and at the court of Anna Sophia I, abbess and Countess Palatine; from 1677 he was also organist at St Wiperti. He took up his last post, as organist of St Martini, Halberstadt, in 1696.
Though not educated at a university, Werckmeister was widely read in classical as well as contemporary literature on theology, mathematics, philosophy and music. He frequently referred in his writings to a number of German theorists, including Baryphonus, Calvisius, Gibelius, Kuhnau, Lippius and Printz, and felt specially indebted to Michael Praetorius, whose unpublished manuscripts were (according to his Organum Gruningense redivivum) in his possession. He also knew treatises by Glarean and by such important Italian authors as Artusi, Galilei and Zarlino. He published six major treatises as well as a number of briefer studies; another work, Musicalische Paradoxal-Discourse, appeared posthumously. From these writings he emerges as a profoundly religious thinker and as an ideal example of a musician frequently encountered in 17th-century Germany – the Protestant organist and theorist who worked in a number of small towns. Although he spent his life in a narrow geographical area, his influence was widespread in Germany in the 18th century: his treatises were often cited and discussed by such writers as Adlung, Mattheson and Walther. Walther went to Halberstadt in 1704 especially to visit him, and this led to an instructive correspondence and obviously influenced Walther’s own treatise Praecepta der musicalischen Composition (1708).
Werckmeister was as celebrated an organ examiner as he was an organist. His Orgel-Probe provides a vivid picture of the methods he used in testing new or renovated instruments and together with his report on the organ built in 1596 at the castle at Gröningen, near Halberstadt, has significantly furthered the success of modern efforts to revive interest in the building of organs suitable for the performance of Baroque music. He is well known for his innovations in the tuning of keyboard instruments, though he has been incorrectly credited with the introduction of equal temperament, which he never described accurately. For the perfect 5ths, G–D, D–A, A–E and B–F he used a tuning slightly tempered by a quarter of a comma, while the eight other 5ths remained pure. In his system the 3rds varied from those a quarter of a comma too large to others equalling Pythagorean tuning. His method did, however, enable organists and harpsichordists to move through the 12 keys of the chromatic scale with satisfactory musical results. Although it stopped short of equal temperament, in which all semitone steps are equal, his contribution was the penultimate step in that direction.
Werckmeister is also important for other reasons, particularly his richly documented testimony of what music meant to a Protestant church organist and theorist about 1700. His views are scattered through his several treatises, which, incidentally, are written in difficult German (even Mizler found the language ‘somewhat unordered and un-German’). These works have not yet been studied in the detail they deserve, though Dammann (1954) provided a valuable survey. Werckmeister was essentially unaffected by the innovations of Italian Baroque music. His musical surroundings were nourished by traditions whose roots lay in medieval thought. The study of music was thus for him a speculative science related to theology and mathematics. In his treatises he subjected every aspect of music to two criteria: how it contributed to an expression of the spirit of God, and, as a corollary, how that expression was the result of an order of mathematical principles emanating from God. ‘Music is a great gift and miracle from God, an art above all arts because it is prescribed by God himself for his service’ (Hypomnemata musica). ‘Music is a mathematical science, which shows us through number the correct differences and ratios of sounds from which we can compose a suitable and natural harmony’ (Musicae mathematicae Hodegus curiosus). Musical harmony, he believed, actually reflected the harmony of Creation, and, inspired by the writings of Johannes Kepler, he thought that the heavenly constellations emitted their own musical harmonies, created by God to influence humankind. He took up a middle-of-the-road position in the ancient argument as to whether Ratio (reason) or Sensus (the senses) should rule music and preferred to believe in a rational interplay of the two forces, but in many of his views he remained a mystic and decidedly medieval. No other writer of the period regarded music so unequivocally as the end result of God’s work, and his invaluable interpretations of the symbolic reality of God in number as expressed by musical notes supports the conclusions of scholars who have found number symbolism as theological abstractions in the music of Bach. For example, he not only saw the triad as a musical symbol and actual presence of the Trinity but described the three tones of the triad as symbolizing 1 = the Lord, 2 = Christ and 3 = the Holy Ghost.
Werckmeister's musical compositions include Musicalische Privatlust (Quedlinburg, 1689) for violin and continuo, as well as a number of organ and other works in manuscript (in the Stadt - und Universitätsbibliothek, Göttingen Germany). Although he was remote from the world of Italian opera, which stood for much that was modern in the music of his day, Werckmeister was progressive to the extent that his concept of composition was based largely on harmonic rather than contrapuntal principles; this attitude also informs his important manual (1698) for the learning of thoroughbass both as a practical means for accompanying and as the foundation of composition. He also opposed the older German tradition among organists of composing music in tablature, and he strongly advocated abandoning solmization in the teaching of singing. The single-mindedness of his view of music within the framework of his musical and spiritual world did not, of course, embrace the Germany of the large secular courts or the major northern cities, where music was frequently an amalgam of the French and Italian styles. Yet the culture of his more circumscribed world of central Germany formed, in its last and greatest expression, one aspect of the more universal genius of Bach.
Orgel-Probe, oder Kurtze Beschreibung, wie und welcher Gestalt man die Orgel-Wercke von den Orgelmachern annehmen, probiren, untersuchen und den Kirchen liefern könne und solle (Frankfurt and Leipzig, 1681, 2/1698/R as Erweiterte und verbesserte Orgel-Probe, 5/1783; Eng. trans., 1976)
Musicae mathematicae Hodegus curiosus, oder Richtiger musicalischer Weg-Weiser (Frankfurt and Leipzig, 1686, 2/1687/R)
Musicalische Temperatur, oder Deutlicher und warer mathematischer Unterricht, wie man durch Anweisung des Monochordi ein Clavier, sonderlich die Orgel-Wercke, Positive, Regale, Spinetten und dergleichen wol temperirt stimmen könne (Frankfurt and Leipzig, ?1686–7[lost], 2/1691/R)
Der edlen Music-Kunst Würde, Gebrauch und Missbrauch, so wohl aus der heiligen Schrift als auch aus etlich alten und neubewährten reinen Kirchen-Lehrern (Frankfurt and Leipzig, 1691)
Hypomnemata musica, oder Musicalisches Memorial, welches bestehet in kurtzer Erinnerung dessen, so bisshero unter guten Freunden discurs-weise, insonderheit von der Composition und Temperatur möchte vorgangen seyn (Quedlinburg, 1697/R)
Nucleus musicus (MS, ?1697), lost
Die nothwendigsten Anmerckungen und Regeln, wie der Bassus continuus oder General-Bass wol könne tractiret werden (Aschersleben, 1698/R, 2/1715)
Cribrum musicum, oder Musicalisches Sieb (Quedlinburg and Leipzig, 1700/R, 2/1783)
Musicalisches Send-Schreiben (Quedlinburg and Aschersleben, 1700) [trans., with commentary, of A. Steffani: Quanta certezza habbia da suoi principii la musica (Amsterdam, 1695)]
Harmonologia musica, oder Kurtze Anleitung zur musicalischen Composition (Frankfurt and Leipzig, 1702/R)
Organum Gruningense redivivum, oder Kurtze Beschreibung des in der Grüningischen Schlos-Kirchen berühmten Orgel-Wercks (Quedlinburg and Aschersleben, 1705); ed. P. Smets (Mainz, 1932)
Musicalische Paradoxal-Discourse, oder Ungemeine Vorstellungen, wie die Musica einen hohen und göttlichen Uhrsprung habe (Quedlinburg, 1707/R)