Waart, Edo de. 56 Wachmann, Eduard 56

Wierzbięta, Maciej. See Wirzbięta, Maciej. Wierzbiłłowicz, Aleksander

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Wierzbięta, Maciej.

See Wirzbięta, Maciej.

Wierzbiłłowicz, Aleksander

(b St Petersburg, 8 Jan 1850; d St Petersburg, 15 March 1911). Polish cellist and teacher. He studied in Warsaw, and at the Conservatory in St Petersburg in the class of Karl Davïdov. In 1877 he succeeded Davïdov as concertmaster of the Italian Opera in St Petersburg, and in about 1885 (perhaps as early as 1882) was appointed concertmaster of the [Russian] Imperial Opera. After the death of Davïdov, in 1889 he became professor of cello at the St Petersburg Conservatory, where his pupils included Leopold Rostropovich, father of Mstislav. He travelled widely, achieving considerable success as a soloist and chamber musician. At the initiative of Anton Rubinstein he was invited to Paris to participate in the renowned series of ‘Concerts populaires’ (before 1894), and from there he set out on an extensive European tour to Vienna, Berlin, Leipzig, Copenhagen and later Italy. In 1898 he gave concerts in Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa, Minsk, Moscow, Vilnius and Łódź. He appeared in Warsaw for the first time in 1872 and subsequently in 1875, 1895–1900, 1904 and 1909. There he established his own trio with Stanisław Barcewicz (violin) and Aleksander Michałowski (piano), and together they also gave concerts abroad (1898). Two concerts in particular, by the Wierzbiłłowicz Trio, received critical acclaim: on 24 November 1900, when Alexander Ziloti played the solo piano part (in a new trio in D minor, by Arenski); and on 20 November 1909, when the young Artur Rubinstein performed in the A minor trio of Tchaikovsky.

Wierzbiłłowicz liked to perform miniature pieces for the cello written by Polish composers. He also took part in the presentation of other more substantial chamber works, then little known in Poland, such as the Piano Quartet in B by Saint-Saëns (29 January 1896), and the String Quartet in A minor op.41 by Schumann (February 1899). At the St Petersburg Conservatory from about 1893, Wierzbiłłowicz gave evenings of chamber music with the violinist Leopold Auer and the pianist Anna Essipov; and in 1899 he played there with Auer and Ignacy Paderewski. On 25 November 1892 he took part in the first performance of the String Sextet op.70 by Tchaikovsky.

Wierzbiłłowicz was known for the beauty and fullness of his tone, for his excellent sense of style and perfect technique. He achieved particular critical acclaim for his performances of trios from the classical repertory, as well as the D minor trio by Mendelssohn and the Chopin sonata.


‘Aleksander Wierzbiłłowicz’, Echo muzyczne, teatralne i artystyczne [Musical, theatrical and artistic echo], dcxcvi (1897), 51–2

J.W. von Wasielewski: Das Violoncell and seine Geschichte (Leipzig, 1889, enlarged 3/1925/R), 229

J.W. Reiss: ‘Wiolonczeliści polscy’ [Polish cellists], Muzyka, vi/3–4 (1955), 3–14 [with Eng. summary]

L.S. Ginzburg: Istoriya violonchel'nogo iskusstva 1860–1917 [History of the art of cello playing] (Moscow, 1965), 122–74


Wiesel, Uzi

(b Tel-Aviv, 9 Jan 1927). Israeli cellist and teacher. He studied at the academies in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, at the Juilliard School in New York and with Pablo Casals. In 1953 he won the Piatigorsky Prize, and he also won prizes in the International Cello Competition in Moscow and the Pablo Casals International Competition in Israel. Wiesel was the first to perform the full cycle of Bach's cello suites in Israel, as well as concertos by Berio, Ligeti and Lutosławski. As dedicatee he has given the first performances and made recordings of concertos and pieces for unaccompanied cello by many Israeli composers. Wiesel was also a founder member of the Tel-Aviv String Quartet (1959–93). He was appointed professor at the music department of Tel-Aviv University in 1965, and has taught many of Israel's leading cellists. He has given masterclasses in cello and chamber music internationally, and has been a jury member in international cello competitions. He specializes in Baroque repertory, and has contributed many articles to The Strad.


Wiesengrund-Adorno, Theodore.

See Adorno, Theodor W.

Wiesenthal, T(homas) V(an Dyke)

(b Chestertown, MD, 1790; d Portsmouth, VA, 21 March 1833). American composer. He was trained as a physician in Philadelphia and between 1814 and 1829 was in the navy. He was composing throughout this period, and although little is known about his musical career, he was apparently associated with Benjamin Carr in Philadelphia and Gottlieb Graupner in Boston.

Wiesenthal produced fewer than 40 songs and piano pieces, but several were among the most successful of the day and remained popular far longer than many by his better-known contemporaries. His output ranged from hymns to ornate ariettas with accompaniments that were especially idiomatic and sensitive. He was among the first Americans to write in a simple, direct style, and his three most popular pieces were adaptations of folk melodies. Fading, still fading is included in such 20th-century collections as Heart Songs (1909/R). The Ingle Side, to a text by the Scottish-American poet Hew Ainslie, was issued in sheet-music editions throughout the 19th century. Another Ainslie setting, On with the Tartan, was reworked after Wiesenthal’s death into the well-known Wait for the Wagon.


selective list

all for 1 voice and piano

The Minstrel’s Song (1818); Oh! thou who dry’st the mourner’s tear (1818); Take this rose (1818); Laurette (1819); The Sailor Boy’s Dream (1819); The Harper’s Song (1821); Fading, still Fading (1826); The Ingle Side (1826); On with the Tartan (1826); Away! Away we bound o’er the deep (1831)


R.J. Wolfe: Secular Music in America, 1801–1825: a Bibliography (New York, 1964)


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