Waart, Edo de. 56 Wachmann, Eduard 56

West Syrian rite, music of the

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West Syrian rite, music of the.

See Syrian church music.

Wettergren [Pålson-Wettergren], Gertrud

(b Eslöv, Malmö, 17 Feb 1897; d Stockholm, 26 Nov 1991). Swedish contralto. She studied in Stockholm, and made her début there in 1922 as Cherubino. Engaged at the Stockholm Royal Opera for more than 25 years, she also sang all over Europe and in the USA, making her Metropolitan Opera début in 1935 as Amneris, and her Chicago début the following year as Carmen. First heard at Covent Garden in 1936 as Amneris, she returned in 1939 as Azucena, a performance preserved on disc. Her large repertory included several Wagner roles – Brangäne, Venus, Fricka – as well as Delilah, Mignon, Herodias (Salome), Marina (Boris Godunov) and Marfa (Khovanshchina). She also appeared in many Swedish operas, including Peterson-Berger’s Adils och Elisiv and Domedagsprofeterna, Rosenberg’s Resa till Amerika, Atterberg’s Bäckahästen and Gunnar de Frumerie’s Singoalla, in which she created the title role in 1940. She took part in the Swedish première of Peter Grimes (1945) and continued to appear in Stockholm until 1952. Her voice, a true contralto, was firm and well projected, while her strong personality made her a fine interpreter of such roles as Carmen or Delilah, whose arias she recorded. Her autobiography Mitt ödes stjärna (‘My lucky star’) was published in Stockholm in 1949.


I. Kolodin: The Story of the Metropolitan Opera (New York, 1951)

H. Rosenthal: Two Centuries of Opera at Covent Garden (London, 1958)


Wetz, Richard

(b Gleiwitz, upper Silesia [now Gliwice, Poland], 26 Feb 1875; d Erfurt, 16 Jan 1935). German composer and teacher. He studied at the Leipzig Conservatory but soon moved to Munich, where he studied privately with Thuille (1899–1900) and attended lectures at the university. After two years as Kapellmeister in the theatres of Stralsund and Barmen he returned to Leipzig. In 1906 he moved permanently to Erfurt, where he took over the direction of the Musikverein and the Singakademie. He taught composition and music history at the Erfurt Conservatory (1911–14) and at the Weimar Musikhochschule (after 1916). In 1920 he was made professor and in 1928 he was elected, alongside Stravinsky, to the Berlin Akademie der Künste.

Wetz’s earlier music was strongly influenced by Wagner and Liszt, but his initial encounter with Bruckner during the first years of the 20th century caused him to modify his outlook and adopt an increasingly conservative position within German musical life. The First Symphony (1914–17) manifests considerable indebtedness to Bruckner coupled with a richly contrapuntal musical language, a style which is further refined in his later symphonic works. During the 1920s Wetz remained defiantly aloof from modern developments, pouring much of his creative energy into two large-scale and highly Romantic choral works, the Requiem and the Weinachtsoratorio. At the end of his life Wetz enjoyed the patronage of the Nazis, though despite the efforts of such influential musicians as Peter Raabe, President of the Reichsmusikkammer, who established the Richard-Wetz Gesellschaft in 1943, his work was performed very rarely and has only been revived infrequently since World War II.


(selective list)

Orch: Kleistouvertüre, op.16; Vn Conc., op.33; Sym. no.1, c, op.40, 1914–17; Sym. no.2, A, op.47; Sym. no.3, B, op.48; Vn Conc., op.57

Vocal: Traumsommernacht, op.14, female chorus, orch; Gesang des Lebens, op.29, male chorus, orch; Nicht geboren ist das beste (after Sophocles: Oedipus), op.31, chorus, orch; Hyperion, op.32, Bar, chorus, orch; Ps iii, op.37, Bar, chorus, orch; Requiem, op.50, S, Bar, chorus, orch; Weihnachtsoratorio, op.53, S, Bar, chorus, orch; Judith, op, unpubd; Das ewige Feuer, op, perf. 1907; lieder, opp.5–7, 9–10, 15, 17–18, 20–28, 30, 35–6, 41, 45; many choruses

Chbr and inst: Romantische Variationen, op.42, pf; Str Qt no.1, F, op.43; Str Qt no.2, e, op.49; Toccata, Passacaglia and Fugue, op.55, org

Principal publishers: Kistner & Siegel, Simrock


Anton Bruckner (Leipzig, 1922)

Franz Liszt (Leipzig, 1925)

Beethoven (Erfurt, 1927, 2/1933)


MGG1 (R. Sietz)

E. Schellenberg: Richard Wetz (Leipzig, 1911, 2/1914)

P. Raabe: ‘Wetz als Sinfoniker’, Rheinische Musik- und Theaterzeitung, xxvi (1925)

G. Strecke: ‘Wetz als Liederkomponist’, Der Oberschlesiern (1925)

H. Polack: Richard Wetz (Leipzig, 1935) [incl. list of works]

E. Peter and A. Perlick, eds.: Richard Wetz (1875–1935) als Mensch und Künstler in seiner Zeit: eine Dokumentation mit zeitgenössischen Darstellungen und Selbstzeugnissen (Dortmund, 1975)


Wetzler, Hermann (Hans)

(b Frankfurt, 8 Sept 1870; d New York,29 May 1943). American conductor, composer and organist. Born of American parents, he spent his childhood in the USA, but went in 1882 to the city of his birth for his musical education, studying at the Hoch Conservatory, with Clara Schumann among others. He then settled in New York, where from 1897 to 1901 he held the post of organist at Old Trinity Church. In 1903 he organized the Wetzler Symphony Concerts, as the conductor of which Richard Strauss appeared for the first time in the USA. Two years later Wetzler returned to Germany, holding posts as an operatic conductor at Hamburg, Riga, Halle, Lübeck and Cologne. After 1923 he had no permanent post but appeared as a guest conductor with various important orchestras, such as the Royal Philharmonic societies of London and Berlin, and the Gürzenich orchestra of Cologne. He retired to Ascona, Switzerland, but in the end returned to New York.

Wetzler's compositions are rooted in the post-Romantic style; he was particularly influenced by Richard Strauss. His virtuoso treatment of the modern orchestra and preference for symphonic programme music are evident in the Symphonic Fantasy, Visionen, the Symphonie concertante for violin and orchestra, and the symphonic legend Assisi, which among 84 works submitted was awarded a prize of $1000 by the Chicago North Shore Festival Association. Although his chief work was operatic conducting, he wrote only one opera, Die baskische Venus. He also composed chamber music, songs and choruses.


(selective list)

Stage: As You Like It (incid music, W. Shakespeare), op.7, 1917; Die baskische Venus (op, P. Mérimée), op.14, 1928

Orch: Sym. Fantasy, op.10, 1922; Visionen, op.12, 1923; Assisi, op.13, 1924; Symphonie concertante, op.15, vn, orch, 1932

Chbr works, incl. Str Qt, op.18, 1937

Vocal works, incl. Magnificat, op.16, S, boys'/women's vv, org, 1936; choruses and songs


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