Waart, Edo de. 56 Wachmann, Eduard 56

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Whittenberg, Charles

(b St Louis, MO, 6 July 1927; d Hartford, CT, 22 Aug 1984). American composer. After graduating from the Eastman School (BA 1948), where he was a composition pupil of Burrill Phillips and Bernard Rogers, he undertook an investigation of the music of Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Webern and of serial procedures in general. These studies were radically to affect his development as a composer. He taught at Bennington College (1962) and at the Center of Liberal Studies, Washington DC (1965), and was then appointed associate professor at the University of Connecticut (1967), where he taught for ten years. From 1961 to 1963 he edited the American Composers Alliance Bulletin, and he worked at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in 1962, coming under Luening's influence. He received two Guggenheim fellowships (1963–5) and the Rome Prize of the American Academy (1965–6). Whittenberg considered as highly significant his connection from 1961 with the American Brass Quintet, for which he wrote some of his most striking music; the association led him to compose agile, elegant, soloistic chamber music for brass instruments, an innovation that influenced other composers. In Whittenberg's music rapidly shifting, timbrally defined blocks and sharply contoured angular lines are woven together, interspersed and superimposed; high energy and constant change are lifelong characteristics.


Orch: Composition for Winds, before 1969; Correlatives, 1969; Serenade, str orch, 1971–3

Inst: Dialogue and Aria, fl, pf, 1959; Concert-Piece, bn, pf, 1961, rev. 1971; Triptych, brass qnt, 1962; Chbr Conc., vn, 7 insts, 1963; Sonata, vc, pf, 1963; Variations for 9 Players, wind qnt, tpt, trbn, vn, db, 1964, rev. 1970; Str Qt, 1965; Sextet, fl + pic, cl, bn, vn, vc, db, 1967; Games of 5, wind qnt, 1968; Iambi, 2 ob, 1968, rev. 1972; Conc., brass qnt, 1969; Str Qt no.2, 1974–5; In Memoriam Benjamin Britten, perc, 1977; other works

Solo inst: 3 Pieces, cl, 1963, rev. 1969; Pf Variations, 1963; 4 Forms and an Epilogue, hpd, 1965; Polyphony, C-tpt, 1965; Conversations, db, 1967; 3 Compositions, pf, 1967, rev. 1969; Winter Music, vn, 1971; Sonata-Fantasia, vc, 1973; 5 Feuilletons, cl, 1976

Tape: Study I, vc, tape, 1961; Study for Cl with Elec Extensions, 1961; Electronic Study II, db, tape, 1962; Event, chbr orch, tape, 1963; Event II, db, fl, str, tape, 1963; The Run Off (R. Shure), incid music

Vocal: 3 Songs on Texts of Rilke, S, 9 insts, 1957–62; Concertante (Rilke), Bar, va, fl, vib, 1961; From the Sonnets to Orpheus (Rilke), nar, S, 1962; Vocalise, S, va, 1963; A Sacred Triptych (Donne), 8 vv, 1971

Principal publishers: Associated, McGinnis & Marx


Obituary, New York Times (24 Aug 1984)


Whittle and dubb [dub].

Obsolete names for the Pipe and tabor.

Whizzing bow.

A type of musical bow sounded by swinging it rapidly around as with a bullroarer. It is found in West Africa, China, Indonesia and parts of Latin America, and is classified in the Hornbostel-Sachs system as a free Aerophone (whirling). See Musical bow, §§2 and 3.

Who, the.

English rock group. It was formed in West London in 1964 by Pete Townshend (Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend; b Chiswick, London, 19 May 1945; guitar and vocals), Roger Daltrey (Roger Harry Daltrey; b Hammersmith, London, 1 March 1944; lead vocals), John Entwistle (John Alee Entwistle; b Chiswick, 9 Oct 1944; bass guitar) and Keith Moon (Keith John Moon; b Wembley, London, 23 Aug 1947; d 23 Aug 1978; drums). They began playing rhythm and blues covers, like most contemporary London bands, but Townshend started to write original material in order to capitalize on the band's mod following engineered by then manager Pete Meaden. My Generation literally spoke for this audience, although Townshend claimed most of his songs were born of his intense loneliness; he avoided love-song clichés in favour of the documentary approach taken by Ray Davies of the Kinks.

The Who's early sound was founded on Townshend's guitar style. In the context of Merseybeat and London rhythm and blues, the band's use of only one guitarist was an important step, laying a crucial foundation for the power trio represented by Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and later, the Jam. In effect, Townshend played both lead and rhythm guitar, often switching functions within a song. He did not consider himself an adequate lead guitarist, a belief which led to his development of power chords (often played with a ferocious attack achieved by propelling his right arm in a windmill fashion) and the control of feedback which changed his instrument from an amplified guitar to something quantitatively different. The absence of a rhythm guitar from the texture was counterbalanced by Moon's manic drumming, who seized more space and presence than any rock drummer had done previously.

The release of Townshend's Tommy (Track, 1969) seemed to indicate a change of direction. Following the Pretty Things' S.F. Sorrow it was an early rock opera concerned with the search for identity, and was filmed to great success in 1975. Like the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album two years earlier, the response to Tommy was particularly overblown in the USA. A second piece, Quadrophenia (Track), followed in 1973 and, although similar, it was more down-to-earth and probably less successful; it too was filmed in 1979. These pieces marked the Who's experiments with progressive rock, and as that style's fortunes waned, so did the status of Tommy. Although by the 1990s it was critically disregarded, new productions on Broadway and in London in the middle of that decade were well received.

The Who were successful with both singles and albums, itself a rare feat. They achieved 13 hit singles in the UK top ten (one in the USA) from 1965 (I can't explain) to 1981 (You Better You Bet). My Generation (Brunswick, 1965) was the first of 13 top ten albums (eight in the USA), the last being the compilation Who's Better Who's Best (Polydor, 1988). They were one of the few earlier bands acknowledged as influences during the heyday of punk by such groups as the Sex Pistols, the Clash and the Jam, not least for their aggressive nature: they tended to play at extremely loud volumes (they were once measured at 120 decibels at a live show) and Townshend would sometimes smash his guitars on stage, a habit which stretched to his and Moon's destroying hotel rooms.

In 1969 Townshend became a disciple of the guru Meher Baba, a move that reflected the deep thinking behind his lyrics. It subsequently developed into an overt social concern: he has performed in aid of Amnesty International, Rock Against Racism, the Prince's Trust and his own anti-drug charity. In 1978 Moon died from an overdose of the drug he was taking to control his alcoholism and although the band continued with the ex-Small Faces drummer, Kenny Jones, they finally split up in 1983. They reformed for the occasional performance, such as Live Aid in 1985. Townshend, Daltrey and Entwistle all undertook solo projects from about 1972, which continued into the 1990s. Daltrey has also taken a number of film roles, notably that of Liszt in Ken Russell's Lisztomania.


D. Marsh: Before I Get Old: the Story of the Who (London, 1983)

P. Gambaccini: Track Records (London, 1985), 61–8

C.S. Murray: ‘Rock on, Tommy’, Q, no.38 (1989), 66–75

J. Pigeon, ed.: Classic Albums (London, 1991)

S. Wolter and K.Kimber: The Who in Print (Jefferson, NC, 1992)


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