(1) In jazz, a line played pizzicato on a double bass in regular crotchets in 4/4 metre, the notes usually moving stepwise or in intervallic patterns not restricted to the main pitches of the harmony. The style arose as the use of Stride piano patterns declined, and its first master was Walter Page in the late 1920s and early 1930s; it has since become lingua franca for jazz bass players, allowing them to contribute pulse, harmony and counter-melody simultaneously.
(2) In boogie-woogie piano style, a repeating left-hand pattern of broken octaves. SeeBoogie-woogie, ex.2.
(3) In Baroque music, especially early Italian, a term used informally for a bass line that moves steadily and continuously in contrasting (usually longer) note values to those in the upper part or parts; it is a particularly common feature of Strophic variations and was also used by Alessandro Grandi (i) in some of his motets. See alsoCantata, §I, 1.
GUNTHER SCHULLER (1–2)
Wallace, John (Williamson)
(b Methihill, Fife, 14 April 1949). Scottish trumpeter. He attended King’s College, Cambridge (1967–70), and subsequently studied with Alan Bush at the RAM (1970–72) and with David Blake at York University (1972–4). His début was in 1965 in Estoril with Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto. Wallace was principal trumpeter with the Philharmonia Orchestra (1976–95), and in 1988 joined the London Sinfonietta. He is also artistic director of the brass department at the RAM. In 1986 he founded the Wallace Collection, a brass ensemble of flexible instrumentation, with which he has toured and recorded extensively. In 1988 he gave the first performances of concertos by Tim Souster and Peter Maxwell Davies, both dedicated to him; his other first performances include Souster’s The Transistor Radio of St Narcissus for flugelhorn and live electronics (1983), concertos by Malcolm Arnold (1982) and Dominic Muldowney (1993), Robert Saxton’s Psalm of Ascents (1993), James Macmillan’s Epiclesis (1993) and Turnage’s Dispelling the Fears (1995). Wallace has edited the Companion to Brass Instruments (Cambridge, 1997) with Trevor Herbert, as well as a series of brass music and educational collections, and has made many recordings. He was made an OBE in 1995.
EDWARD H. TARR
(b Chicago, 22 Feb 1898; d London, 21 March 1977). British pianist and harpsichordist of American birth. She was educated at the Bush Conservatory, Chicago, where she took the BMus degree, then went to Vassar College, where in 1923 she was awarded a fellowship which enabled her to go to Vienna to study music history under Adler and Alfons Dopsch. The following year she moved to Paris, and studied at the Sorbonne under Nadia Boulanger and Landowska. She also took piano lessons in Berlin from Schnabel, but her interest in earlier music led her to concentrate on the harpsichord and on such composers as Bach, Couperin and Scarlatti. Following Landowska’s example, she used a Pleyel instrument and, like her, devoted much thought to questions of fingering and touch. In 1931 she married the pianist Clifford Curzon. An extremely serious-minded musician, she became increasingly self-critical; about 1952 she gave up her public career to look after the two orphaned sons of the singer Maria Cebotari.
Wallace, (William) Vincent
(b Waterford, 11 March 1812; d Château de Haget, Vieuzos, Hautes-Pyrénées, 12 Oct 1865). Irish composer. His early reputation was made as a pianist and violinist in many parts of the world; the production of Maritana in 1845 established his position as a composer of operas for the London stage.
Wallace’s father was Sergeant William Wallace of Ballina, Co. Mayo, bandmaster of the 29th or Worcestershire Regiment. Little is known of his mother. They had three children: William, Wellington (b 1813) and Eliza (1814–79), who married the Australian singer John Bushelle and was herself a singer of some note. William took the additional name Vincent when he was received into the Roman Catholic Church in 1830, and thereafter used Vincent as his principal name.
His father, who taught him how to play a great many different instruments, was discharged from the army in 1825, and shortly afterwards the family moved from Waterford to Dublin. William became second violinist at the Theatre Royal, and on occasion deputized for the leader, James Barton. He studied the piano with W.S. Conran, and the organ with Haydn Corri. In January 1830 he was appointed organist of Thurles Cathedral (Roman Catholic) and professor of music at the Ursuline convent there. He fell in love with one of the pupils, Isabella Kelly, but her father objected to the marriage on the grounds that Wallace was a Protestant. He was therefore baptized in the Catholic Church in the autumn of 1830, and married Isabella the following year. In August 1831 he returned to Dublin and again joined the band of the Theatre Royal, where he was much stimulated by the visits of Paganini. At the age of 22 he made his début as a composer, playing a violin concerto of his own at the Dublin Anacreontic Society.
In 1835 Wallace emigrated to Tasmania with his wife and his sister-in-law Anna Kelly, on a ship that left Liverpool on 9 July and arrived at Hobart on 31 October. He gave a number of concerts there, then moved in January 1836 to Sydney, where he led an active musical life. He appeared at a concert at the Royal Hotel under the patronage of the governor of New South Wales, Sir Richard Bourke, on 12 February, where he played a piano concerto by Herz and a violin concerto by Mayseder: this dual role was typical of his concert-giving years, but it was usually as a violinist that he received the most applause. The Australian press treated him as a wonder, an ‘Australian Paganini’, and he is still regarded as ‘the first outstanding instrumentalist to visit Australia’. He soon became, in Beedell’s words, ‘Sydney’s undisputed musical emperor’. On 4 April 1836 Wallace and his wife, with his sister Eliza, a soprano who also lived in Sydney, opened an academy of music in Bridge Street, under the governor’s patronage, for the instruction of young ladies. He may also have engaged in sheep farming, though it is difficult to find any hard evidence for this. At any rate he left Sydney on 11 February 1838, leaving behind him debts of nearly £2000 and also his wife and small son William, who probably returned to Ireland soon afterwards. In later life he told stories about his activities at this time, some of which were reported by Berlioz: he is said to have taken part in a punitive expedition against the Maoris in New Zealand, and to have visited India, where he was received by the Begum of Oudh; but these are mere tales. His actual destination was Valparaiso, Chile, where he joined an ‘active and progressive British colony, very influential in the development of Chilean music’, in the words of Eugenio Pereira Salas (quoted in Graves). He played the piano and the violin at a concert in Valparaiso on 3 June 1838, and later at Santiago de Chile. In the next few years he made expeditions to Buenos Aires, Lima, Jamaica and Cuba, eventually reaching Mexico City, where he conducted the Italian opera season in 1841, and composed a mass for performance at the cathedral. He proceeded to New Orleans (1841), Philadelphia (1842) and Boston (1843), at last reaching New York, where he made his début at the Apollo Saloon on 6 June. His reputation had gone before him, and he was lionized by New York society, and regarded as ‘decidedly the first violinist and pianist in this country’. His pièce de résistance was his own Introduction and Variations entitled Cracovienne, which he played on either the violin or the piano.
Wallace probably left New York in 1844, and made a tour of Germany and the Netherlands before he at last appeared in London, at a concert in the Hanover Square Rooms on 8 May 1845. On this occasion he played the piano only, including the famous Cracovienne. The long years of travel leading up to this event can be seen as the indulgence of a restless spirit, but they also prepared the way for a successful career; for the romantic tales that preceded Wallace’s arrival certainly helped to attract audiences. Soon afterwards Wallace was introduced to the librettist Edward Fitzball, who was looking for a fresh musical talent and had been much impressed by Wallace’s playing. Together the two men worked on Maritana, which was performed under Bunn’s direction at Drury Lane on 15 November, with Emma Romer as Maritana and William Harrison as Don César (see fig.2). It is probable that Wallace used for this opera a good deal of music that he had composed earlier: ‘The Harp in the Air’ is said to date from his days at the convent of Thurles, while the story that he composed much of the music at the Bush Inn, Hobart, in 1835 has never been either proved or disproved. At any rate Maritana had an immediate success excelled only by that of Balfe’s Bohemian Girl (1843). It ran for over 50 nights, and the Illustrated London News correctly prophesied that the song ‘Scenes that are brightest’ would be heard everywhere, ‘in the gilded drawing-room, and under the blue canopy of the skies with the barrel-organ’. Maritana was staged at Dublin in 1846, at Vienna in 1848 (with Staudigl) where Wallace enjoyed another triumph, at Philadelphia also in 1848, and in most major centres of opera before long. Yet from the first, some critics received it with reservations: Chorley said Wallace was ‘in search of a style, since there are half-a-dozen different manners tried in as many portions of the opera’.
He was never able to repeat his success. His next two works were more ambitious, aspiring to the manner of grand opera; but Matilda of Hungary, performed in 1847, was a failure, and Lurline, commissioned for the Paris Opéra in August 1848 and also announced for performance at Covent Garden the same year, was not given at either theatre. It is said to have been staged as Loreley in Germany in 1854, but Wallace had to wait until 1860 for a London production, by the Pyne–Harrison company. Meanwhile he had contracted serious eye trouble, and in 1849 he returned to South America, ostensibly for the ‘change of scene’ which was widely regarded as a cure for all ailments. Another long series of journeyings followed, including several years in New York, where in about 1850 he ‘married’ Hélène Stoepel, a pianist who had made her début on 16 June 1850. In 1859 Wallace wrote to his sister-in-law, the former Anna Kelly, that he believed his marriage to Isabella had never been legal, but whether this was recognized by the New York authorities is not known. No record of the New York marriage has been found, and on 1 February 1883 Hélène Stoepel (using her maiden name) married one Henry John Miller in New York. At any rate Hélène appeared in programmes from January 1851 onwards as ‘Mrs Wallace’. She played with Wallace in New York concerts for several years, and remained with him for the rest of his life. His movements in the next few years are uncertain. He was in Germany from September 1858 to January 1859. With the production of Lurline at Covent Garden on 23 February 1860 begins the last phase of his career. It was a success, though hardly on the scale of Maritana. But Wallace made no money out of it, having assigned the copyright to the Pyne–Harrison partnership on 18 March 1859. In the following three operas Wallace made a last effort to establish an English grand opera tradition: they were far more elaborate than other English operas of the time, but none of them caught the popular imagination. He did not give up, and was working on an opera Estrella in 1864 when he became very ill (he had been suffering from heart attacks for years); he crossed the Channel and retired to Passy, where he was visited by Rossini and other musical celebrities. In September 1865 he moved to the Château de Haget, where Hélène nursed him through his last illness. His body was returned to London, and he was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery on 23 October. Of his two wives, Hélène was the first to die, at New York in 1885; Isabella lived on in Dublin until 25 July 1900.
Wallace wrote a great many piano pieces, most of them based on vocal music already in existence. Some are concert pieces of enormous difficulty, similar to Liszt’s works of the same kind; others, for home use, are more reminiscent of Chopin. His mastery of piano technique is evident. Very little of the violin music has survived. Of his songs, duets and partsongs, the best and most popular ones generally turn out to have come from one of the operas; an exception is The Bell Ringer (Oxenford), which was often sung by Santley and became well known.
The chief interest lies in his operas, and more particularly in Maritana, in which he achieved at one blow a degree of popular success, at home and abroad, which had eluded British composers (with the exception of Balfe) for generations. As Forsyth put it, ‘If we judge Wallace’s best work by the standards of his English predecessors we shall be forced to allow it a certain elemental vigour and spontaneity which were unknown till his day’. This quality derived from the many foreign influences which had acted on Wallace, and which set him apart from Loder, Barnett or Macfarren. He had picked up the ability to write a ‘big tune’ in the style of Meyerbeer, which swept his audience through an extended choral scene in a way that no English ballad could ever do; a typical example from Maritana is ‘Angels that around us hover’ (ex.1), but an even more powerful tune closes the second act of Lurline (Wallace, like Meyerbeer, took care to introduce the tune first in a previous act, so that it would be familiar when it came back). He could also write a sustained dramatic finale on almost Mozartian lines (Maritana, Act 2), or a rollicking 6/8 melody like Donizetti or early Verdi (‘Turn on old time’). But the most striking innovation in Maritana was his use of exotic colouring to illustrate Spanish and gypsy elements. With knowledge of Carmen and later imitations, the beginning of ‘It was a knight of princely mien’ (ex.2), with its flat supertonic and bolero rhythm, strikes one as an orthodox and even hackneyed symbol of Spain. But Chorley’s comment on this very passage shows how little any such convention existed in 1845: ‘Maritana’s first romanza has a far-fetched turn in the second bar, which might pass in a French melody, where improbability is the law, not the exception, but among more smoothly written music sounds like affectation’. The spirit of Carmen is even more strongly present in the charming fortune-telling song and chorus ‘Pretty Gitana, tell us’ (ex.3), and in several other numbers. These colourings were new, not only in English opera, but in any well-known opera; previous operas such as La favorita (1840), Don Pasquale (1843) and Ernani (1844), had contained fandangos and boleros, but with orthodox harmonies. Even Chopin’s Bolero (1834) did not use the flattened supertonic in this way. It is hardly fanciful to infer that Wallace absorbed this idiom from the popular music of Spanish America, where he had spent several years; nor is it far-fetched to point to a direct influence on Bizet, when one remembers that Maritana was one of the most successful operas of its generation throughout Europe.
In Lurline, composed in 1847 but perhaps greatly revised for the 1860 production, there is a considerable change of style – a much more ambitious use of the chorus, soloists and orchestra to produce grand scenes. To judge from critical reactions these failed not because they were ineffective but because they were felt to be un-English – as indeed they were. The drinking-chorus ‘Drain the cup of pleasure’ has the force of a Verdi chorus; the trio ‘Ah! dare I hope’ has as much action and characterization as an entire opera of Balfe’s. A new element can be observed in the style of Wallace’s later operas – the influence of Mendelssohn; three melodies of the ‘song without words’ type can be found in Lurline – ‘When the night winds sweep the wave’, ‘Go from this heart’ and the F minor tune in the overture. Though inferior to Loder’s, Wallace’s orchestration was coarsely effective. He would still insert an occasional ballad for those that liked it – in this form he had never been a match for Balfe – but he could also write an erotic song of surprising passion, such as ‘Sweet form that on my dreamy gaze’. Bernard Shaw wrote after hearing a revival of Lurline: ‘There are several moments in the opera in which the string of hackneyed and trivial shop ballad stuff rises into melody that surges with genuine emotion’.
In many ways The Amber Witch represents Wallace’s full maturity, achieving at last ‘an effective structural scheme and a decent level of musical characterization’ (Burton, GroveO). The audience is drawn into sympathy with the heroine’s plight to an extent rarely found in Victorian opera; the overture, also, is a vast advance on the typical potpourri of earlier years.
all first produced in London and published there in vocal score
Maritana (3, E. Fitzball), Drury Lane, 15 Nov 1845 (1846)
Matilda of Hungary (3, A. Bunn), Drury Lane, 22 Feb 1847 (1847)