(b nr Königgrätz [now Hradec Králové], 31 March 1717; d Mariazell, 24 April 1758). Austrian composer. About 1740 he entered the Benedictine monastery of St Lambrecht in Styria. From 1749 until his death he was choir director at the pilgrimage church of Mariazell, which was under the care of his monastery, and composed music for special services there. Joseph Haydn may have sung under Wrastill when he joined the Mariazell choir during a visit there in 1749.
Wrastill's output consists largely of festive masses with orchestra and settings of the litany (the types of liturgical music most often used at a Marian shrine). His style is typical of the minor church composers of the time. (R. Federhofer-Königs: ‘Zur Musikpflege in der Wallfahrtskirche von Mariazell/Steiermark’, KJb, xli, 1957, 117–35, esp. 120)
7 masses, 6 lit, 2 Regina coeli, TeD: all 4vv, orch; Sources: A-Gd, KR, N, SE, SL, STEp
SeeUrrede, Juan de.
Wrest pins [tuning pins]
(Fr. chevilles; Ger. Stimmwirbeln).
The turnable metal pegs around which one end of the strings of a piano, harpsichord, clavichord, zither, European harp etc. are wound. They are turned to increase or decrease tension on the strings, thereby raising or lowering their pitch and enabling the instrument to be tuned. In modern instruments, the wrest pins are made of hardened steel, have accurately formed square heads that fit an appropriate tuning-key or ‘hammer’, are finely threaded at the end to be inserted into the Wrest plank or other part into which they are driven (in harps they pass through the neck), and have a hole through which the end of the string passes before being wound on to the pin. Earlier wrest pins were forged from round iron rod and the head formed by flattening on an anvil; the opposite end, usually slightly tapered, is not threaded, although it may be lightly knurled. These pins were not drilled to accept the end of the string, but the softer wire formerly used for strings could be wound directly on to the pins. In general, early wrest pins are far smaller in diameter than those used on modern pianos, since the string tension was much smaller – approximately 10 kg at the beginning of the 19th century compared with about 75 kg today. In pianos there have since the 18th century been occasional attempts, none lasting, to replace wrest pins with a machine screw mechanism: the end of the string is attached to one end of a threaded pin that passes horizontally through the wrest plank; the pin’s other end protrudes and is secured by a nut which is turned with a spanner.
EDWIN M. RIPIN/JOHN KOSTER
Wrest plank [pin block]
(Fr. sommier; Ger. Stimmstock).
The massive piece of wood into which the Wrest pins (tuning pins) of a piano, harpsichord, clavichord etc. are driven. In early instruments the wrest plank was made from solid timber, usually oak, walnut or beech. In modern pianos it is usually of cross-laminated maple or beech and is supported by the cast-iron frame that bears the tension imposed by the strings.
EDWIN M. RIPIN/JOHN KOSTER
(fl London, 1709–35). English music publisher. He was established in London by 1709, and occasionally employed the engraver Thomas Cross. He also claimed to be a musical instrument maker, and died or retired about 1735. His son Daniel Wright had a business at different premises from 1730 to about 1735, for a while using a sign which his father had briefly used before him. He probably gave up trading about 1740, and john Johnson (ii) may have founded his business on that of the Wrights, as he issued some works from their plates. From about 1730 to 1735 the names of both Wrights appear on some imprints.
Hawkins summed up the character of the elder Wright as a man ‘who never printed anything that he did not steal’. While the Wrights were perhaps the most notorious musical pirates of their time, copying numerous publications, especially those of John Walsh, such copying was not illegal. Their publications were copied in turn. They also issued works under the same titles as those of Walsh or very similar ones, including a British Musical Miscellany, a Merry Musician and a Monthly Mask of New Songs. In 1733 the elder Wright published a set of harpsichord lessons by Maurice Greene without permission (a copy is in GB-LbL), provoking an immediate protest from the composer. Their publications included instrumental works by Handel, Vivaldi, Corelli, George Hayden, J.S. Humphries, Loeillet and Robert Valentine, as well as sheet songs, instruction books for the flute and books of dances and airs for the flute or violin including Aria di Camera: Being a Choice Collection of Scotch, Irish & Welsh Airs (c1730). A list of the elder Wright’s publications appeared in his edition of Giulio Taglietti’s Concerti e sinfonie a tre (c1734).
A music seller named Thomas Wright published sheet songs and a number of works around 1732 to 1734 in conjunction with the two Daniel Wrights, to whom no doubt he was related.
W.H.G.Flood: ‘“Aria di Camera”: Oldest Printed Collection of Irish Music, 1727’, Bibliographical Society of Ireland Publications, ii/5 (1923), 97–101
W.C.Smith and C. Humphries: A Bibliography of the Musical Works published by John Walsh during the Years 1695–1720 (London, 1948, 2/1968)
C.Humphries and W.C. Smith: Music Publishing in the British Isles(London, 1954, 2/1970)
H.D.Johnstone: ‘Greene and the Lady’s Banquet: a Case of Double Piracy’, MT, cviii (1967), 36–9
D.Hunter: ‘The Publishing of Opera and Song Books in England, 1703–1726’, Notes, xlvii (1990–91), 647–85