(bWinchester, 28 March 1845; d London,13 Feb 1917). English musical scholar. He was Slade Professor of Fine Arts at Oxford (1895–1904) and a man of practical ability in several arts, especially painting. His revised edition of Chappell’s Popular Music of the Olden Time with the title Old English Popular Music (1893/R) marked a significant advance over Chappell's standards, distinguishing editorial material and providing new piano harmonizations in an attempt at 16th-century English style. He collaborated with G.E.P. Arkwright in his researches for the Purcell Society (The Works of Henry Purcell, xiv, xvii; 1904, 1907), and with his friend the poet laureate Robert Bridges on The Yattendon Hymnal (1899). Wooldridge’s chief contribution to historical knowledge was his work on the polyphonic period which formed the first two volumes of the Oxford History of Music and traced the developments of such music from organum to the end of the 16th century.
His grandson David Wooldridge (b Seal, Kent, 24 Aug 1927), a conductor, composer and writer on music, published Conductor’s World (New York, 1970) and a biography of Ives, From the Steeples and Mountains (New York, 1974; published in London, 1975, as Charles Ives: a Portrait. His musical works include concertos for viola (1949) and cello (1957), four string quartets and theatre and film music.
Musica Antiquata: being Essays in Modal Composition(London, 1907–13) [pts ii–iv with G.E.P. Arkwright]
‘The Treatment of Words in Polyphonic Music’,MA, i (1909–10), 73–92
‘Studies in the Technique of Sixteenth-Century Music’, MA, iii (1911–12), 87–98, 142–8, 191–4; iv (1912–13), 31–41, 87–90, 175–7
DNB (R. Bridges)
F.Sternfeld: Foreword toOld English Popular Music by William Chappell, ed. H.E. Wooldridge (London, 1893/R)
J.Blezzard: ‘Reconstructing Early English Vocal Music: History, Principle and Practice’, MR, xlv (1984), 90–92
H.C. COLLES/ROSEMARY WILLIAMSON
Woolfenden, Guy (Anthony)
(b Ipswich, 12 July 1937). English composer and conductor. He received his early musical education at Westminster Abbey, where he was senior chorister. After graduating from Cambridge University (BA 1959), he studied conducting at the GSM with Norman Del Mar and worked as a professional horn player at Sadler’s Wells Opera (1960–61). In 1961 he joined the music staff of the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-upon-Avon, serving as head of music and resident composer (1963–98); he composed over 150 scores for the company, including incidental music for all of Shakespeare’s plays. His musical based on The Comedy of Errors won the Ivor Novello Award and the Society of West End Theatre Award for the best British musical of 1976. Woolfenden’s conducting career has included work at Morley College (1968–78) and as principal conductor of the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra (1970–92) and Warwickshire SO (1972–); he has also worked with the LSO, RPO, CBSO, Hallé Orchestra and Kirov Ballet. As an opera conductor he has worked with the Chelsea Opera Group and Scottish Opera; he conducted the first British productions of Nielsen’s Saul og David (1977), Liszt’s Don Sanche (1977) and Tchaikovsky’s The Maid of Orléans (1978). He was the first artistic director of the Cambridge Festival (1986–91).
Woolfenden’s incidental music is distinguished by his ability to evoke a period atmosphere without sacrificing individuality or an awareness of contemporary styles, chiefly by a subtle manipulation of archaic techniques such as organum and hemiola, and a resourceful harmonic language firmly rooted in the modality of earlier English composers. His concert works, several of which are derived from theatrical scores, are cast in an accessible and melodically memorable idiom; they include a significant body of music for wind ensemble, of which Gallimaufry (1983), based on material originally composed for Shakespeare’s Henry IV plays, is the best known.
Chbr: 3 Dances, cl choir, 1985; Prelude, In Memoriam and Finale, wind sextet, 1987; Full Fathom Five, brass qnt, 1987; Suite Française, wind octet, 1991; Gordian Knots, cl choir, 1995; many educational pieces for solo wind and brass insts
Vocal: The Compton Verney Carol, 1993; The Crown of the Year, 1998; Jubilate Deo, 1999
Music theatre: Conversation Sinfonietta (J. Tardieu), 1966; What a Way to Run a Revolution (D. Benedictus), 1971; The Comedy of Errors (W. Shakespeare and T. Nunn), 1976; The Last Wild Wood in Sector 88 (A. Mitchell), 1987; incid music for theatre
Film scores: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1968; Work is a Four-Letter Word, 1968; Conquest of the South Pole, 1989
Music for TV: Eveline, 1968; A Country Camera, 1968; Chester Mystery Plays, 1976; The Various Ends of Mrs F’s Friends, 1981; Secrets, 1983; Playing Shakespeare, 1983; Heart of the Country, 1986; A Doll’s House, 1991
Principal publisher: Ariel Music
‘The Music of the Swan’, This Golden Round, ed. R. Mulryne and M. Shewring (Stratford-upon-Avon, 1989), 143–9
‘“Come, sing; and you that will not, hold your tongues”: Some Thoughts on the Singing Actor’, Summerfolk, a Celebration: Essays Celebrating Fifty Years of Shakespeare and the Stratford Theatres, ed. S. Wells (Ebrington, Glos., 1997), 147–59
‘Music in the Theatre’, The Companion to Twentieth-Century Theatre, ed. C. Chambers (London, forthcoming)
‘The Composer: Guy Woolfenden’, Henry V: The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Production of Henry V for the Centenary Season, ed. S. Beauman (Oxford, 1976), 46–51
B.N.S.Gooch and D.Thatcher, eds.: A Shakespeare Music Catalogue (Oxford, 1991)
T.Grimley: ‘Bard’s Musician heads off for Pastures New’, Birmingham Post (17 June 1998)