(b 1879; d Vienna, 1 Jan 1944). German baritone. He made his début at Elberfeld in 1904 and sang at Brno and Hamburg until 1914; in 1912 he took part in the première of Busoni’s Die Brautwahl in Hamburg. He was a member of the Vienna Hofoper from 1916 (singing in the German language première of Jenůfa in 1918) and appeared at Salzburg until 1941, notably as Faninal, and as Beckmesser in the performances of Die Meistersinger conducted by Toscanini in 1937. At Zoppot (now Sopot), Buenos Aires, Munich and the Berlin Hofoper he was successful as Guglielmo and Alberich, and in Italian opera. His only Covent Garden appearances were in 1913 as Faninal, in the London première of Der Rosenkavalier, and in 1938 as Beckmesser.
Wiedermann, Bedřich Antonín
(b Ivanovice na Hané, 10 Nov 1883; d Prague, 5 Nov 1951). Czech organist and composer. He studied at the theological faculty in Olomouc (1904–8), occasionally deputizing for the organist or the conductor of the choir at Olomouc Cathedral. He abandoned his theological studies to concentrate on music and studied the organ at the Prague Conservatory with Josef Klička (until 1909) and composition with Vítězslav Novák (1909–10). He was organist at Brno Cathedral (1910–11), at the Emmaus monastery in Prague (1911–17), and was director of the choir at Prague University (1917–19). At the same time he played the viola with the Czech PO. From 1917 he taught at the Prague Conservatory and from 1944 at the Masters School there; he was professor at the Prague Academy of Arts from 1946. He made his début in 1905 and after his arrival in Prague he gave regular recitals at the Emmaus monastery and, in the years 1920–32, at Sunday matinées at the Smetana Hall. In his concerts, in addition to Bach, Handel and Franck, he played the works of Czech Baroque masters such as Černohorský, Zach and Seger. He appeared in England and New York (1924), Germany (1925), Sweden (1926) and Belgium (1935), gave many recitals in Prague and provincial churches and gave frequent broadcasts. Wiedermann was an organist of virtuoso manual and pedal technique who boldly sought after unusual registers and took advantage of the organ’s potentials for colour. As a composer his style springs from the late Romanticism of Liszt, Wagner and Tchaikovsky, which he made richer with new harmonic effects. His compositions for organ show the influence of plainchant, of which he was a connoisseur. He also wrote articles on the organ and organ playing.
C.Sychra: ‘Prof. Bedřich A. Wiedermann’, Cyril, lxx (1944), 26–31
A.Čubr: ‘Vzpomínka na B.A. Wiedermanna’, HRo, vi (1953), 767 only
J.Reinberger: ‘K nedožitým pětasedmdesátinám B.A. Wiedermanna’ [For the posthumous birthday of Wiedermann], HRo, xi (1958), 847 only
Wiedner, Johann Gottlieb [Karl]
(b ?Schwerta, Upper Lusatia [now Świecie, Poland], c1714; d Leipzig, 17 Nov 1783). German organist and composer. He presumably studied with the organist and Kantor active in Schwerta from 1720 to 1753, Johann Christoph Wiedner, who was certainly a relative if not his father. From the Gymnasium in Zittau he went to the University of Leipzig in 1739. As early as 1741 he assisted J.G. Gerlach at Leipzig by playing the violin and organ and obtaining singers and musicians for the Neukirche. He competed unsuccessfully for the position of Kantor at the Thomaskirche in 1755, but upon Gerlach’s death became organist and director of music at the Neukirche (July 1761). Wiedner was also active in other aspects of Leipzig’s musical life and played first violin and solo harpsichord in the Grosses Concert from 1746. Gerber praised his fluent, pleasing gift for melody. There are often stronger moments in the cantatas, for example the brilliant Jubelkantate (1755), but whatever local reputation Wiedner enjoyed as a composer seems not to have outlived him. Eitner’s list may subsume the cantatas of G.G. Petri’s library (see Gondaletsch); unfortunately none of these manuscripts, the Good Friday music or other numerous vocal and instrumental works that Breitkopf offered are extant. There are however two cantatas, a concerto for flute and one for oboe (D-SWl), a symphony arranged for keyboard by Hiller in Raccolta delle megliore sinfonie (vol.ii, Leipzig, 1761), and, according to Paulke, 16 cantatas (D-LUC).
K.Paulke: ‘Musikpflege in Luckau’, Niederlausitzer Mitteilungen, xiv (1918–19), esp. 147–8
M.Gondaletsch: ‘Georg Gottfried Petri, Kantor in Görlitz 1764–95, und sein musikalischer Nachlass’, ZMw, iii (1920–21), 180–88
A.Schering: Johann Sebastian Bach und das Musikleben Leipzigs im 18. Jahrhundert, Musikgeschichte Leipzigs, iii (Leipzig, 1941)
HUGH J. McLEAN
(Ger.: ‘cradle song’).
A song actually or supposedly designed to lull children to sleep; the German equivalent of the English Lullaby and the French Berceuse. Numerous examples of the Wiegenlied exist in German folk music (see E. Gerstner-Hirzel: Das volkstümliche deutsche Wiegenlied, Basle, 1984), and its influence can be discerned in many of the settings with piano accompaniment that belong to the 19th-century lied tradition, notably those of Bernhard Flies (wrongly attributed to Mozart as k350) and Brahms (op.49 no.4). Both these songs are typical of the genre in their use of flat keys (F major and E major) and in their time signatures (6/8 and 3/4 respectively). Brahms’s Geistliches Wiegenliedfor alto, viola and piano op.91 no.2 actually uses a folk melody, ‘Josef lieber, Josef mein’, and Brahms also included a Wiegenlied among the 14 folksong arrangements he made about 1858 for Clara Schumann’s children. Schubert’s well-known Schlafe, holder, süsser Knabe d498 (like two other cradle songs by him, d304 and d867) is unusual in being in quadruple metre.
Other examples among German lieder include those by Spohr (op.25 no.1; op.103 no.4), Weber (op.13 no.5), Cornelius (op.1 no.3), Reger (op.43 no.5; op.51 no.3; op.97 no.2; op.142 no.1), Strauss (op.41 no.1; op.49 no.3) and Wolf. As might be expected, the Wiegenlied is almost always written for solo (usually female) voice; in Schumann’s Wiegenlied op.78 no.4, however, the ailing child is sung to by both parents (soprano and tenor). Examples of the operatic Wiegenlied include the Sandman’s song in Act 2 scene i of Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel (1893) and Marie’s lullaby in Act 2 scene i of Berg’s Wozzeck (1917–22).