(b ?Solothurn, c995; dc1050). Priest, poet and chronicler. He studied at Solothurn, became chaplain to the Emperor Conrad II (d 1039) some time before 1020, and then teacher and confessor to Emperor Henry II (d 1056). In 1045 he went into seclusion as a hermit, when he wrote his biography of Conrad.
His musical importance lies in the attribution to him of Victimae paschali laudes by Schubiger on the basis of an Einsiedeln manuscript of the late 11th century (facsimile in Schubiger), which places the name ‘Wipo’ at the head of the sequence. Julian cited as evidence against this the appearance of the sequence in two manuscripts possibly dated too early in the 11th century for Wipo to have written the work (CH-SGs 340, to which the sequence is apparently added, and F-Pn lat.10510, from Echternacht). The Einsiedeln manuscript, however, may be one of those medieval sources that ascribes items, sometimes on less than good authority, to eminent persons; at least, the other items from this manuscript reproduced by Schubiger are also ascribed, including a Gloria ascribed to ‘Leonis pape’. In all, the attribution remains uncertain.
The sequence is generally taken to be representative of the transition from the early prose type to the later rhyming, scanning type. Beyond that, it is short, clearly focussed, and sets the dialogue with Mary to an ‘over-couplet’ phrase structure (AB1B2C1D1C2D2E1E2). Phrase E1, referring to the Jews, is omitted in modern performing editions. (Derivation of the incipit of the melody from the Alleluia Christus resurgens is speculative.) The work became incorporated into Easter dramas, and was popular; it was one of the five sequences to survive into the 20th-century Roman gradual.
MGG1 (S. Fornaçon)
A.Schubiger: Die Sängerschule St. Gallens vom achten bis zwölften Jahrhundert: ein Beitrag zur Gesanggeschichte des Mittelalters (Einsiedeln and New York, 1858/R)
J.Julian: A Dictionary of Hymnology (New York, 1892, 2/1907/R), 1222–4
F.Tack, ed.: Der Gregorianische Choral, Mw, xviii (1960), facs.51a
Another name for the composer Biquardus. SeePicard, (2).
The peg of a string instrument. A Wirbelkasten is a Pegbox.
A drumroll. SeeDrum, §II.
Wircker [Würker, Testorius, Hymaturgus, ?Weber], Johann [Johannes]
(b Oschatz, Saxony; fl 1548–72). German composer, singer, copyist and teacher. In 1548 he was in the choir of the electoral Hofkapelle at Dresden. He attended the St Afra Fürstenschule at Meissen from 1551 to 1554, when on 16 April he entered the University of Wittenberg. In 1557 he is described as Rektor of the school at Borna, Saxony, in 1561 as a Kantor and musician at the Saxon electoral court and in 1563–5 as a copyist in the service of King Maximilian of Bohemia at Breslau. In 1565 he is referred to by the name Testorius, in 1571 as a musician at Oschatz with the name Hymaturgus and in 1572, as Johann Würker, as a singer. He may be the Johann Weber referred to in 1562 as ‘composer from Oschatz’. As a composer he is known by the Missa super ‘Castigans castigavit’ and the wedding motet Viri diligite, both for four voices (and both in autograph copies in D-Mbs), and a six-part Te Deum (in D-Dlb and LEu [inc.]). In a letter of 1 November 1563 to Duke Albrecht of Prussia he stated that he was the composer of two six-part motets, Domine, dirige and Puer natus est nobis, both now lost (formerly in USSR-KA). Motets that he apparently composed for Dukes Christoph and Ludwig of Württemberg are also no longer extant. Of other works stated in Eitner to be by him, the Missa super ‘Ave praeclara’ is now known to be by Finck, the Missa super ‘Aspice’ by Monte and the motet Cantemus nunc unanimes by Ruffo; the ‘Patrem omnipotentem’ and ‘Pleni sunt coeli’ mentioned by Kade are from the Missa super ‘Ave praeclara’, and Lauda anima is simply a motto copied into various choirbooks.
M.Fürstenau: Beiträge zur Geschichte der königlich sächsischen musikalischen Kapelle (Dresden, 1849/R)
R.Kade, ed.: Die älteren Musikalien der Stadt Freiberg in Sachsen (Leipzig, 1888)
J.Rinkefeil: Das Schulwesen der Stadt Borna bis zum Dreissigjährigen Kriege (Dresden, 1916)
L.Hoffmann-Erbrecht: ‘Das Opus musicum des Jacob Praetorius von 1566’, AcM, xxviii (1956), 96–121
W.Steude: Untersuchungen zur mitteldeutschen Musiküberlieferung und Musikpflege im 16. Jahrhundert (Leipzig, 1978)
Wirén, Dag (Ivar)
(b Striberg, Närke, 15 Oct 1905; d Stockholm, 19 April 1986). Swedish composer. He studied composition with Ellberg at the Swedish Royal Academy of Music (1926–31), and in 1929 he passed the organist’s examination. In 1931 he went to Paris, where he studied composition and orchestration with Sabaneyev (1932–4), came into contact with the music of Stravinsky and Prokofiev and became a neo-classicist himself. He was librarian of the Swedish Composers’ Association (1935–8). Later appointments included the post of music critic of the Svenska morgonbladet (1938–46), membership of the executive committee of the Swedish Composers’ International Music Agency (STIM, 1939–68) and the vice-chairmanship of the Swedish Composers’ Association (1947–63).
Wirén’s early neo-classical pieces, such as the Piano Trio (1933) and the Sinfonietta (1933–4), are apt and entertaining, with an individual marked rhythmic and melodic outline. Another example is his most popular work, the Serenade for strings (1937), whose well-known last movement parodies military music in imitating drums. Even during the war he continued to write diverting pieces (e.g. the Little Suite op.17 and the two radio operettas) as a sort of desperate protest; but with peace his music began to change, and problems of form became increasingly important to him. The metamorphosis technique of his later work appeared initially in the Third Quartet, the first three movements of which were composed in 1941. In 1945 Wirén added a fourth movement in response to the view of friends and colleagues that the work was too short; this last movement uses only variants of earlier themes. The technique was developed in subsequent works into a principle of gradual thematic development, with a minimal use of repetition.
The attempt to create ‘a special form for each work’ can be noted from the Symphony no.3 (1943–4) onwards; here, as in the Fourth and Fifth Quartets, Wirén’s style is clear and well-honed. The Fourth Symphony is an outstanding example of an ability to create intensely expressive music without sacrifice of taut control. In the Symphony no.5 and the Fifth Quartet expression is more restrained, and strengthened by the laconic style. Wirén sometimes in later years composed light pieces, among them Annorstädes vals (‘Waltz from Somewhere Else’), the Swedish entry for the 1965 Eurovision Song Contest, to which its delicate nuances were scarcely suited.
Principal publishers: Gehrman, Nordiska, Universal
Ballets: Oscarsbalen [The Oscar Ball], op.24, 1949; Plats på scenen [Take your Places on the Stage], 1957; Den elaka drottningen [The Evil Queen], op.34, 1960
Incid music: Amorina (C.J.L. Almqvist), 1951; Romeo och Julia (W. Shakespeare), 1953; En midsommarnattsdröm (Shakespeare), 1957, 3 dances pubd as op.30; Drottningens juvelsmycke (Almqvist), 1957; Hamlet, 1960; Kung John (Shakespeare), 1961; also film music
Choral: Yttersta domen [Doomsday] (E.A. Karlfeldt), solo vv, chorus, orch, 1930; Titania (G. Fröding), female vv, 1942; 3 dikter om havet (K. Boye), op.37, 1963
Songs for lv, pf: Ormvisa [Snake Song] (Karlfeldt), 1926; Jungfru Maria (Karlfeldt), 1929; Om till din bädd (Karlfeldt), op.13a, 1938; En höstens kväll [An Autumn Night] (Karlfeldt), op.13b, 1938; 7 Dolls Songs for Children (trad.)