(b Bohemia, 1715–20; d Munich, bur. 1 July 1774). Violinist and composer, of Bohemian descent. He was a bondsman in Bohemia of Count Franz Xaver Wieznik, to whom he is said to have presented a fine team of horses in return for his freedom. In 1732 he entered the service of Elector Karl Albrecht of Bavaria, later Emperor Karl VII (1742–5), as a violinist at a salary of 380 gulden; his salary had risen to 500 gulden in 1738. In 1739 a privilege was granted in Paris for the publication of his Sei sonate, op.1. Wodiczka enjoyed great favour at the electoral court. In 1745 he was given the title of groom of the chamber to Karl Albrecht's sister Princess Maria Anna Carolina, and in 1747, under Elector Maximilian III Joseph, he was appointed Konzertmeister and electoral councillor. He taught the violinists of the Munich Seminarium Gregorianum and was one of the founders of the Cecilian Fraternity of court musicians in 1749. Wodiczka is the only composer to be listed with his first name, as ‘Sig: Wenzl’, in the 1753 catalogue of musical works in the possession of the electoral Hofkapelle. His family was on friendly terms with the Mozart family.
Wodiczka left only instrumental works. As a violin composer he stands between the Baroque and the early Classical styles. His published sonatas show a characteristic fondness for the minuet and siciliano, and have an unmistakable individuality and gaiety. Of the 48 symphonies that he wrote for use in the Munich court church, 24 survive; nine are in one movement, two in two movements and 13 in three movements. A violin method was published in Amsterdam as Korte instructie voor de vioole in 1757. In 1746 Wodiczka married Maria Johann Brentani (c1715–1781), a soprano who was trained in Italy and who served at Munich as Hof- und Kammervirtuosin from 1735 to 1778. Their daughter Walburga (b 1749), also a soprano, sang in opera productions at court between 1764 and 1771 and from 1764 until 1775 was Titulär-Kammerdienerin to Electress Maria Anna, wife of Maximilian III Joseph; in 1771 she was described as virtuosa da camera. Joseph Wodiczka (c1726–1794), a violinist in the Munich court orchestra from 1752, may have been a brother of Wenceslaus Wodiczka.
Chbr: 6 sonate, vn, b, op.1 (Paris, 1739/R1991 in ECCS, ii), ed. in MAB, liv (1962); 8 sonates, op.2, nos.1–4 for vn, b, nos.5–8 for fl, b (Paris, 1742 or later); 6 sonatas, fl, vc, b, op.3 (Paris, 1753)
Doubtful; 2 concs., va d'amore, 1762, Partita, va d'amore, 1762, Vc Conc., 1771, all listed in Breitkopf catalogue under ‘Wentzel’
Lost: 4 sinfoniae e pastorelli; 25 syms.; 2 vn concs., listed in Breitkopf catalogue, 1752; Fl Conc.; 3 solos, 2 for vn, 1 for vc, listed in Breitkopf catalogue, 1766; Solo, vc, b, listed in Breitkopf catalogue under ‘Wenzel’, 1771
K.Gerhartz: ‘Die Violinschule in ihrer musikgeschichtlichen Entwicklung bis Leopold Mozart’, ZMw, vii (1924–5), 553–69, esp. 568
C.Schoenbaum: Preface to V. Vodička: Sei sonate [op.1], MAB, liv (1962)
G.Haberkamp and R.Münster, eds.: Die ehemaligen Musikhandschriftensammlungen der königlichen Hofkapelle und der Kurfürstin Maria Anna in München (Munich, 1982)
R.Münster: ‘Aus Mozarts Münchner Bekanntenkreis: die Musikerfamilie Wodiczka’, HV, xxviii (1991), 313–16; repr. in R. Münster: ‘Ich bin hier sehr beliebt’: Mozart und das kurfürstliche Bayern (Tutzing, 1993), 174–7
CAMILLO SCHOENBAUM/ROBERT MÜNSTER
Woestijne, David van de.
SeeVan de Woestijne, David.
A number of Irish organists and instrument makers bore this name; they may have belonged to the same family.
(d Dublin, 24 June 1750). Having served as organist of Kilkenny Cathedral (1704–09) he was appointed organist of st Catherine’s, Dublin, on 14 November 1709 and admitted as a half vicar-choral of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, on 17 March 1710. On 23 December of that year he was appointed organist at St Mary’s where he remained until his death. In 1720 he was one of the committee of four experts who testified to the unsatisfactory nature of Thomas Hollister’s new organ in St Werburgh’s, Dublin. He was buried in the old churchyard of St Patrick’s Cathedral, where his wife had been interred in November 1723. His son John is described in his will as being his ‘only next of kin’.
(2) John Woffington
(fl 1720–?1758) Organist, ?son of (1) Robert Woffington (i). He was organist at St Werburgh’s (1721–24) and also at St John’s, Fishamble Street about this period. In 1724 he spent ‘near twelve months’ studying under Dr Crofts in London. On his return to Dublin he was appointed to St Michan’s on 23 July 1725, where he was also responsible for tuning and repairing the organ. He retired from this post in 1757. In spite of the discrepancy in dates, he may have been the John Woffington who was appointed organist of Armagh Cathedral on 14 May 1752, and who died in 1758. A John Woffington, described as an organist, married Elizabeth Jones on 10 September 1734 thereby inheriting property in Dublin. There appear to have been at least six John Woffingtons in Dublin in the 18th century, and it has not been possible to distinguish their careers with certainty.
(3) Robert Woffington (ii)
(d Dublin, c1820). Organist, organ builder and piano maker. He set up a business at 9 William Street, and this is listed in the Dublin directories from 1787 until 1835. The firm usually retained his name after his death, though occasionally it was listed under the names of his sons Thomas and Abraham. Robert Woffington is said to have been a pupil of Ferdinand Weber, the leading Dublin organ builder of the 18th century, and was a partner of William Gibson at 6 Grafton Street, Dublin (1775–8). In 1785 he built a claviorganum (now in the private collection of Michael Thomas, Maidenhead); a boudoir organ by him in the National Museum of Ireland dating from c1800–10 displays a very high standard of workmanship. In 1807 he built a large organ for St Andrew’s; this was destroyed by fire in 1860. He is mentioned as assistant organist at St Mary’s in 1766 and was organist there from 1773 until 1785. He was survived by his wife Anne (d 1835) and three children, Abraham, Thomas and Caroline. Abraham (dc1856) worked at the Valuation Office, though he appears to have retained an interest in his father’s business, which was carried on by Thomas until 1835.