Waart, Edo de. 56 Wachmann, Eduard 56

Whitlock, Percy (William)

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Whitlock, Percy (William)

(b Chatham, 1 June 1903; d Bournemouth, 1 May 1946). English organist and composer. He was assistant organist at Rochester Cathedral, 1921–30. From 1930 to 1935 he was director of music at St Stephen’s, Bournemouth, and from 1932 until his death borough organist at the Municipal Pavilion there. He won a considerable reputation as a recitalist and broadcaster. He wrote a number of slight but attractive compositions, mostly for organ or choir; the harmonic idiom is conservative for its time but imaginative use is made of limited resources. Of the organ works, the Plymouth Suite and Five Short Pieces in Various Styles are still performed. His church music includes a Communion Service in G.


Whitman, Walt(er)

(b West Hills, Long Island, NY, 31 May 1819; d Camden, NJ, 26 March 1892). American poet. The self-proclaimed ‘poet of Democracy’, he inaugurated a radical freedom from dogma and hierarchy in art, politics and sexuality. His rugged egalitarianism, rhythmic elasticity, sexual electricity and freewheeling mysticism have inspired more than 1200 vocal and instrumental settings, from the modernist asperity of Ruggles's Portals to the romantic expansiveness of Vaughan Williams's Sea Symphony. Beginning with Parry and Stanford, some of the earliest settings were by English composers, who saw in Whitman a liberation from jingoism, prudery and prejudice. Despite the popular association of Whitman with undisciplined looseness, his concise, lesser-known later poems yielded more settings that the more rhetorical early ones. The searing humanity and compassion of his Civil War poems made them popular during both World Wars, inspiring settings by Holst, Weill, Hanson, Hindemith and others.

With its first-person intimacy and openness to experience, Whitman's poetry has a peculiar universality, connecting with scenarios as varied as Holst's transcendental mysticism (Ode to Death, 1919), Weill's 1947 New York Street Scene and John Adams's evocation of the AIDS crisis (The Wound Dresser, 1987). The most daring and original settings, Delius's Sea Drift (1903–4) and Songs of Farewell (1930), eschew the cheery communalism attractive to so many composers to reveal a rarified aloofness and tranquility in the face of death. Although his popularity began mainly in Europe, in music as well as literature, numerous American composers including Luening, Sessions, Thomson, Carter, Starer, Bernstein, Hoiby, Rorem, Crumb and Persichetti contributed settings in the later 20th century.


D. Faner: Walt Whitman and Opera (Philadelphia, 1951)

J.G. Brennan: ‘Delius and Whitman’, Whitman Review, xviii/3 (1972), 90–96

J. Wannamaker: The Musical Settings of the Poetry of Walt Whitman: a Study of Theme, Structure, and Prosody (diss., U. of Minnesota, 1972) [incl. list of settings]

M.A. Hovland: Musical Settings of American Poetry: a Bibliography (Westport, CT, 1986) [incl. list of settings]

T. Hampson and M.Verdino-Süllword: disc notes, To the Soul, EMI CDC5 55028 (1997)

J. Sullivan: ‘New World Songs: the Legacy of Whitman’, New World Symphonies (New Haven, CT, 1999)


Whitney, Robert (Sutton)

(b Newcastle upon Tyne, 9 July 1904; d Louisville, KY, 22 Nov 1986). American conductor and composer of English birth. He grew up in Chicago and attended the American Conservatory of Music, studying composition with Arthur Olaf Andersen and Leo Sowerby, and the piano with Max Oberndorfer and Rudolph Reuter. After making his début as a pianist in Chicago in 1925 he founded the Whitney Trio, which broadcast regularly on local radio until 1930. Whitney then began to study conducting with Eric De Lamarter and Frederick Stock and made his début with the Chicago Civic Orchestra in 1933. His Concerto Grosso was performed by the Chicago SO under Stock in 1934. In 1937 he founded the Louisville SO, which he gradually made an experienced, full-size ensemble. After further studies with Koussevitzky at the early sessions of the Berkshire Music Center (1940–41), Whitney initiated at Louisville, in 1948, a policy of commissioning and recording symphonic music; over 100 works by Berkeley, Blacher, Cowell, Dallapiccola, Hovhaness, Tcherepnin and Whitney, among others, were performed as part of this scheme. Whitney was dean of the music school of Louisville University, 1956–72, and closely bound the school’s instrumental teaching with the orchestra’s work. He retired from the orchestra in 1967, and his policy was continued by his successor, Jorge Mester, though not by later music directors.


Whittall, Arnold (Morgan)

(b Shrewsbury, 11 Nov 1935). English musicologist. He read music at Emmanuel College, Cambridge (1956–62, BA 1959), where he took the doctorate in 1963 with a dissertation on the Querelle des Bouffons. He subsequently held posts as lecturer at Nottingham University (1964–9), lecturer (1969–71) and senior lecturer (1971–5) at University College, Cardiff and reader at King's College, London (1976–81), where in 1981 he became the first professor of musical theory and analysis in the United Kingdom. He retired from London University in 1996 and subsequently taught at institutions across England and Europe. In 1985 he was Visiting Professor at Yale University. His chief interest has been 19th- and 20th-century music, with special reference to modern British composers and, in his later writings, to Wagner. His major publications include Musical Composition in the Twentieth Century (1999), an enlarged version of his earlier work Music Since the First World War (1977). His extensive work for radio included introducing the BBC College Concerts from 1977 to 1983, which amounted to 36 major broadcasts and was an activity underlining his lifelong commitment to providing access to contemporary music.


La Querelle des Bouffons (diss., U. of Cambridge, 1963)

‘Rousseau and the Scope of Opera’ ML, xlv (1964), 369–76

‘Dyson the Contemporary’, ML, xlvi (1965), 35–8

‘Elgar's Last Judgement’, MR, xxvi (1965), 23–7

‘Comrades and Conservatives’, ML, xlvii (1966), 27–33

‘The Isolationists’, MR, xxvii (1966), 122–9 [on Warlock, Van Dieren, Gray, Scott]

‘After Webern, Wagner: Reflections on the Past and Future of Pierre Boulez’, MR, xxviii (1967), 135–8

‘Post-Twelve-Note Analysis’, PRMA, xciv (1967–8), 1–17

‘Varèse and Organic Athematicism’, MR, xxviii (1967), 311–15

‘Stravinsky and Music Drama’, ML, l (1969), 63–7

‘The Sonata Crisis: Schubert in 1828’, MR, xxx (1969), 124–30

‘A Transatlantic Future?’, ML, li (1970), 259–64

‘Bartók’s Second String Quartet’, MR, xxxii (1971), 265–70

‘Tonality in Britten’s Song Cycles with Piano’, Tempo, no.96 (1971), 2–11

Schoenberg Chamber Music (London, 1972)

‘A War and a Wedding: Two Modern British Operas’ [Billy Budd and The Midsummer Marriage], ML, lv (1974), 299–306

‘Schoenberg and the “True Tradition” Theme and Form in the String Trio’, MT, cxv (1974), 739–43

‘Wagner, Schoenberg, Holst: a Centenary Essay’, Soundings, iv (1974), 87–99

‘Elliott Carter’, American Music: Keele 1975, 82–98

‘Nicholas Maw’, British Music Now, ed. L. Foreman (London, 1975), 97–107

Music Since the First World War (London, 1977/R, enlarged 2/1999 as Musical Composition in the Twentieth Century)

‘Musicology in Great Britain since 1945, iii: Analysis’, AcM, lii (1980), 38–68

‘The Music’, Richard Wagner: Parsifal, ed. L. Beckett (Cambridge, 1981), 61–86

‘Music Analysis as Human Science? Le sacre du printemps in Theory and Practice’, MAn, i (1982), 33–54

The Music of Britten and Tippett: Studies in Themes and Techniques (Cambridge, 1982, 2/1990)

‘The Vier ernste Gesänge, op.121: Enrichment and Uniformity’, Brahms: Biographical, Documentary and Analytical Studies, ed. R. Pascall (Cambridge, 1983), 191–207

‘Wagner's Great Transition? From Lohengrin to Das Rheingold’, MAn, ii (1983), 269–80

Romantic Music (London, 1987)

‘The Theorist's Sense of History: Concepts of Contemporaneity in Composition and Analysis’, JRMA, cxii (1987), 1–20

‘Webern and Multiple Meaning’, MAn, vi (1987), 333–53

‘Two of a Kind? Brahms's Op.51 Finales’, Brahms 2: Biographical, Documentary and Analytical Studies, ed. M. Musgrave (Cambridge, 1987), 145–64

with J. Dunsby: Music Analysis in Theory and Practice (London, 1988)

Elektra: Dramatic Structure and Tonal Organisation’, Richard Strauss: Elektra, ed. D. Puffett (Cambridge, 1989), 55–73

‘Wagner's Later Stage Works’, NOHM, ix (1990), 257–321

‘“Twisted Relations”: Method and Meaning in Britten's Billy Budd’, COJ, ii (1990), 145–71

‘Resisting Tonality: Tippett, Beethoven and the Sarabande’, MAn, ix (1990), 267–86

‘Germany: Cross-Currents and Contradictions’, Man & Music: the Late Romantic Era: From the Mid-19th Century to World War I, ed. J. Samson (London, 1991), 340–61

‘Musical Language’; ‘The Birth of Modernism: Wagner's Impact on the History of Music’, The Wagner Compendium, ed. B. Millington (London, 1992), 248–61, 393–6

Byzantium: Tippett, Yeats and the Limitations of Affinity’, ML, lxxiv (1993), 383–98

‘The Signs of Genre: Britten's Version of Pastoral’, Sundry Sorts of Music Books: Essays on the British Library Collection presented to O.W. Neighbour, eds. C. Banks, A. Searle and M. Turner (London, 1993), 363–74

‘The Emancipation of the Dissonance: Schoenberg and Stravinsky’, Models of Musical Analysis: Early Twentieth-Century Music, ed. J. Dunsby (Oxford, 1993), 1–19

‘Comparatively Complex: Birtwistle, Maxwell Davies and Modernist Analysis’, MAn, xiii (1994), 139–59

‘British Music in the Modern World’, The Blackwell History of Music in Britain, vi, ed. S. Banfield (Oxford, 1995), 9–26

‘"Symphony in D major"; models and mutations’, Vaughan Williams Studies, ed. A. Frogley (Cambridge, 1996), 187-212

Music-discourse-dialogue: Webern's Variations for Orchestra, Op.30’, Webern Studies, ed. K. Bailey (Cambridge, 1996), 264-97

‘Wagner and real life’, MT, cxxxvii, June 1996, 5-11

‘Breaking the balance; Britten's Owen Wingrave’, MT, cxxxvii, September 1996, 4-7

‘Modernist Aesthetics, Modernist Music: Some Analytical Perspectives’, Music Theory in Concept and Practice, eds. J.M. Baker, D.W. Beach and J.W. Bernard (Rochester, NY, 1997), 157–80

Summer's long shadows: Carter in the 1990s’, MT, cxxxviii, April 1997, 14-22

‘Berg and the twentieth century’, The Cambridge Companion to Berg, ed. A. Pople (Cambridge, 1997), 247-58

‘Personal style, impersonal structure? Music analysis and nationality’, Music and Nationalism in 20th century Great Britain and Finland, ed. T. Makela (Hamburg, 1997), 17-25

Acts of Renewal: Sir Michael Tippett, 1905-1998’, MT, cxxxix, March 1998, 69

‘All contradictions reconciled? Perspectives on York Holler’, MT, Autumn 1998, 11-19

‘Cross-Currents and Convergences: Britten, Maxwell Davies and the Sense of Place’, Tempo, no.204 (1998), 5–11

Autonomy/Heteronomy: the contexts of musicology’, Rethinking Music, eds. N. Cook and M. Everist (Oxford, 1999), 73-101

"Is there a choice at all?": King Priam and the motives for analysis’, Tippett Studies, ed. D. Clarke (Cambridge, 1999), 55-77

Jonathan Harvey (London, 1999)

Keeping the faith: Heinz Holliger at sixty’, MT, Summer 1999, 38-48

‘The Mechanisms of Lament: Harrison Birtwistle’s “Pulse Shadows”’, ML, lxxx (1999), 86–102

‘The chamber operas’, The Cambridge Companion to Britten, ed. M. Cooke (Cambridge, 1999), 95-112

Musical Composition in the Twentieth Century (Oxford, 2000)

The Wagner Style: Close Readings and Critical Perspectives (Oxford, forthcoming)


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