Waart, Edo de. 56 Wachmann, Eduard 56

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Westergaard, Svend

(b Copenhagen, 8 Oct 1922; d Copenhagen, 22 June 1988). Danish composer. After completing a course in business studies in 1943, he entered the Royal Danish Conservatory, Copenhagen, where he obtained a degree as an organist (1945). He later graduated in music theory and history, and as an aural trainer and theory teacher; in addition, he studied composition with Høffding, continuing his studies with Petrassi in Rome (1950–51). Westergaard was music critic of the daily paper Land og folk from 1945 to 1952. In 1951 he was attached to the Royal Danish Conservatory as a teacher, and in 1965 he was appointed professor of theory; he held the post of director between 1967 and 1971. He published a Harmonilaere (Copenhagen, 1961).

One of the few Danish composers of his generation uninfluenced by the new musical developments of the 1950s and 60s, Westergaard employed a unified style in which tonality and structure are handled in a manner analogous with late Bartók. His output is small, but of consistent quality. In his melody there are points of resemblance with Shostakovich, although the melodic development has a Nordic character close to Nielsen and Sibelius. Some of Westergaard’s larger works (such as the Sinfonia, the Cello Concerto and the String Quartet) have a structural unity attained through the development of a few nuclear motifs – often compounded of small intervals – which are exposed in varied tonal and rhythmic relationships. The technique is, to some extent, an evolution from the music of Bentzon and Holmboe, but Westergaard’s polyphonic complexity and rhythmic differentiation are rare in Danish music.


(selective list)

Orch: Pezzo sinfonico, 1950; Sinfonia, 1955; Capriccio, vn, str, 1959; Symfoniske variationer, str, 1960; Antigone, incid music, 1960; Vc Conc., 1961, rev. 1973; Pezzo concertante, 1964; Sinfonia da camera, 1969; Varianti sinfoniche, wind, perc, 1972; Trasformazioni sinfoniche, 1976

3 pf sonatas, 1947–8; Octet, wind, pf, timp, 1947; Capriccio, str qt, 1948; Wind Qnt no.1, 1948; Tema con variazioni, cl qnt, 1949; Wind Qnt no.2, 1949; L’homme armé, 16 insts, 1957, rev. orch, 1970; Str Qt, 1966; Sonata, fl, 1971; Sonata, vc, 1979

3 collections of choral songs


B. Wallner: Vår tids musik i Norden från 20-tal till 60-tal (Stockholm, 1968)


Westerhoff, Christian Wilhelm

(b Osnabrück, 1763; d Bückeburg, 26 Jan 1806). German violinist and composer. His first engagement was as an instrumentalist and composer at the Burgsteinfurt court (1786–90), where Count Ludwig of Bentheim-Steinfurt, in his diary, acknowledged Westerhoff's facility as a composer. He then spent several years on concert tours, appearing in The Hague in 1793. Before taking up an appointment in about 1795 as Konzertmeister at the Schaumburg-Lippe court at Bückeburg he made intermittent appearances in Osnabrück. Reviews in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung testify to his reputation as a performer and composer, and Gerber’s Neues Lexikon refers to him as ‘a much-praised vocal and instrumental composer, Konzertmeister and fine violinist and viola player’.

Westerhoff’s instrumental works, particularly the concertos written either for himself (e.g. the three viola concertos) or for such prominent instrumentalists as the cellist Rackermann, the clarinettist Pierre Ange Wagny and the flautist Weckesek, contributed to the considerable musical renown of the Bückeburg court. Westerhoff's concertos and trios endeared themselves to performers for their effective writing, though of relatively simple execution. The Viola Concerto in C, for example, is idiomatically conceived for the instrument without being unduly demanding. The reported Simphonie concertante for clarinet and bassoon (c1793) would be one of the earlier German contributions to the genre. A curiosity noted by Gerber is the Musik zu Ehren der Kuhpocken Einimpfung (‘Music to commemorate the smallpox vaccination’, 1801).

Westerhoff’s father, Heinrich Philipp Westerhoff (fl c1760–85), moved from Quakenbrück to Osnabrück in 1763 as a town musician; he composed a Pastorella auf den Geburtstag Sr. Kgl. Hoheit (1767) and a Vorspiel, Die erhörten Wünsche (1778). From 1784 he was assisted by his eldest son, the cellist Franz Westerhoff (b c1760), a city musician at Osnabrück until 1814 and composer of a cello concerto (1803).


MSS lost unless otherwise stated

Orch: Simphonie concertante, with cl, bn, c1793; Musik zu Ehren der Kühpocken-Einimpfung, 1801; Symphony, E, D-BFb; Fl Conc., op.6 (Brunswick, 1799); Bn Conc., 1794; 2 cl concs., opp.5, 7 (Brunswick, 1798–9); Fl Conc., D, op.11, BFb; Cl Conc., op.12 (Leipzig, 1807); 3 va concs., c1795–7, W, ed. A.D. McCredie (in preparation); Vc Conc., 1800; Db Conc., 1800

Chbr: 6 trios, 2 vn, vc, op.1 (Amsterdam, c1790); 6 duos, vn, va, op.8 (Leipzig, c1799); 3 trios, 2 fl, va (Kassel, c1800)

Vocal: Trauermusik (Horstig), for the death of the Princess of Bückeburg, 1799


C.F. Cramer, ed.: Magazin der Musik, i (Hamburg, 1783/R), 684–5

H. Horstig: ‘Nachrichten aus Briefen Bückeburg’, AMZ, ii (1799–1800), 220–23

A.D. McCredie: Investigations into the Symphony of the Haydn-Mozart Era: the North German Manuscripts, an Interim Survey’, MMA, ii (1967), 27–158

E. Krüttge: ‘Geschichte der Burgesteinfurter Hofkapelle 1750–1817 (1973), 90

H. Wohlfarthe: Bückeburger Musikleben in alter und neuer Zeit (Bückeburg, 1989)


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