Waart, Edo de. 56 Wachmann, Eduard 56

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Wallace, William

(b Greenock, 3 July 1860; d Malmesbury, 16 Dec 1940). Scottish composer and writer on music. The son of an eminent Scottish surgeon, he was educated at Fettes College and took medicine at Edinburgh and Glasgow universities. He then studied ophthalmology in Vienna and Paris, practising briefly in London. In 1889 he turned from medicine to music, entering the RAM for a year, his only formal musical training. His compositions began to be performed at the Crystal Palace and Queen's Hall, notably the symphonic poem The Passing of Beatrice in 1892. Wallace wrote widely in journals, editing the New Quarterly Musical Review for a few years. He examined the physiological and psychological aspects of music in his books The Threshold of Music and The Musical Faculty, two of the best contributions to the subject area. He was honorary secretary of both the Philharmonic Society (1911–13) and the Society of British Composers. During the war years Wallace worked again as a doctor and in later life became librarian and professor of harmony and composition at the RAM.

Wallace's series of symphonic poems made him the first British exponent of the genre, modelling them on those of his idol Liszt both formally and stylistically; Villon (1909) was his most successful essay. He also drew on Scottish idiom in A Scots Fantasy and the Jacobite Songs, coupled with Wagnerian influences in The Massacre of the Macpherson (c1910). In Wallace ad 1305–1905 he used the traditional melody ‘Scots wha hae wi’ Wallace bled'. He was stylistically more advanced and less conservative than his compatriots MacCunn and Mackenzie, but his music is primarily that of a thinker, although in his first book, The Threshold of Music (London, 1908), he gave the view ‘there is no mental process which in any respect resembles music’.


(selective list)

published works printed in London


Sym. poems: no.1 ‘The Passing of Beatrice’, after Dante, perf. 1892 (1911); no.2 ‘Amboss oder Hammer’, after J.W. von Goethe, perf. 1896; no.3 ‘Sister Helen’, after D.G. Rossetti, perf. 1899; no.4 ‘Greeting to the New Century’, perf. 1901; no.5 ‘Wallace ad 1305–1905’, perf. 1905; no.6 ‘Villon’, perf. 1909 (1910)

Other: Suite, A, orch, n.d.; A Scots Fantasy, suite, orch; An American Rhapsody, orch, 1891; The Lady from the Sea, suite after Ibsen, orch, perf. 1892; Pf Trio, A, 1892; Sym. Prelude, after Aeschylus, perf. 1893; In Praise of Scots Poesie, ov., perf. 1894; Suite in the Olden Style, arr. pf (1896); Sym. ‘The Creation’, ?1899, perf. 1899; Pelléas et Mélisande, suite after M. Maeterlinck, orch, 1903


Brassolis (lyric tragedy in one act); Choral Sym. ‘Koheleth’ (Bible: Ecclesiastes); Lord of Darkness (scena, L.E. Mitchell), Bar, orch, 1890; Missa brevis e votiva de Assumptione Beatae Mariae Virginis, duabus vocibus, vv, female chorus, 1891; Spanish Improvisations, vocal qt, pf, 1893 (1911); My Soul is an Enchanted Boat (P.B. Shelley), Bar/C, vn, pf, 1896;

The Rhapsody of Mary Magdalene (scena, Wallace: The Divine Surrender), 1v, orch, 1896; Freebooter Songs (Wallace), song cycle, perf. 1899, vs (1899) [orig. with orch]; Jacobite Songs (Wallace), song cycle, 1900 (1901); Lords of the Sea (Wallace), song cycle, 1901 (1901); The Outlaw (ballad, Wallace), Bar, male chorus, orch, 1908 (1908); The Massacre of the Macpherson (Burlesque ballad), male chorus, orch, perf. c1910 (1910); 3 Songs (W. Blake) (1911); many single songs and short choral pieces


MSS in GB-Lam and GB-En


MS documents and letters in GB-En and Lbl

The Divine Surrender: A Mystery Play (London, 1895)

The Threshold of Music: an Inquiry into the Development of the Musical Sense (London, 1908)

The Musical Faculty: its Origins and Processes (London, 1914)

Richard Wagner as he Lived (London, 1925)

Liszt, Wagner and the Princess (London, 1927)


Grove3 (H.C. Colles/J.A. Fuller Maitland)

Obituary, MT, lxxxii (1941), 40

H.G. Farmer: A History of Music in Scotland (London, 1947), esp. 435–6, 526–7

L. Foreman: From Parry to Britten: British Music in Letters 1900–1945 (London, 1987)

J. Purser: Scotland's Music (Edinburgh and London, 1992), 223–5

R. Stradling and M. Hughes: The English Musical Renaissance 1860–1940: Construction and Deconstruction (London, 1993)

C. Ehrlich: First Philharmonic: a History of the Royal Philharmonic Society (Oxford, 1995)

M. Musgrave: The Musical Life of the Crystal Palace (Cambridge, 1995)


Wallaschek, Richard

(b Brno, 16 Nov 1860; d Vienna, 24 April 1917). Austrian writer on music. He studied law and philosophy in Vienna, Heidelberg and Tübingen (1878–85), and graduated in philosophy at Tübingen in 1885 and law at Berne in 1886. After the publication in 1886 of his Ästhetik der Tonkunst he became a lecturer in philosophy in Freiburg. From 1890 to 1895 he studied in London, and in 1896 he went to the University of Vienna to lecture on the psychology and aesthetics of music. In 1908 he was made an extraordinary (unsalaried) professor, and in 1911 a salaried university professor. He taught the aesthetics of music in the conservatory of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (1900–02) and also wrote music articles and reviews for Die Zeit (1896–1904).

According to Graf (1974), Wallaschek's appointment in 1896 to the University of Vienna marks the beginning of the field of comparative musicology. Noted for his positivistic and empirical approach to musicological study, in Primitive Music (1893) he made a detailed examination of the musical instruments of ethnic groups and developed Wagner's theory that the origin of music lies in rhythm and the dance; he opposed Herbert Spencer's idea that music is an outgrowth of speech. His article ‘On the Difference of Time and Rhythm in Music’ (1895) discusses rhythm as ‘the form of the objective movement’ and time-sense (Takt) as ‘the form of the perceiving subjective mind’. His theory of feeling was developed from Schopenhauer and Wagner, but he himself was a pioneer in his work on musical psychology. His most important ideas are consolidated in the posthumous Psychologische Ästhetik (1930), which includes an assessment by his friend and disciple Robert Lach.


(selective list)

Ästhetik der Tonkunst (Stuttgart, 1886)

‘On the Origin of Music’, Mind, xvi (1891), 375–86 [reply to H. Spencer: ‘The Origin of Music’, ibid, xv (1890), 449–68; see also Spencer, ibid, xvi (1891), 535–7, and Wallaschek, ibid, new ser., i (1892), 155–6]

‘Das musikalische Gedächtnis und seine Leistungen bei Katalepsie, im Traum und in der Hypnose’, VMw, viii (1892), 204–51

Primitive Music (London, 1893/R, enlarged 2/1903 as Anfänge der Tonkunst)

‘How We Think of Tones and Music’, Contemporary Review, lxvi (1894), 259

‘On the Difference of Time and Rhythm in Music’, Mind, new ser., iv (1895), 28–35

Psychologie and Pathologie der Vorstellung (Leipzig, 1905)

Das k.k. Hofoperntheater (Vienna, 1909)

Psychologie und Technik der Rede (Leipzig, 1909, 2/1914)

Psychologische Ästhetik, ed. O. Katann (Vienna, 1930)


R. Lach: ‘Zur Erinnerung an Richard Wallaschek’, Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft, xii (1917), 352–9; repr. in Psychologische Ästhetik (1930)

W. Graf: ‘Österreichs Beiträge zur Musikethnologie’, Beiträge Österreichs zur Erforschung der Vergangenheit and Kulturgeschichte der Menschheit (New York, 1959)

W. Graf: ‘Die vergleichende Musikwissenschaft an der Universität Wien’, Mitteilungen der Anthropologischen Gesellschaft in Wien, xcv (1965), 155–61

W. Kummel: ‘Musik und Musikgeschichte in biologistischer Interpretation’, Biologismus im 19. Jahrhundert (1973), 108–46

W. Graf: ‘Die vergleichende Musikwissenshaft in Österreich seit 1896’, YIFMC, vi (1974), 15–43

E. Partsch: ‘Von der Historie zur Empire: Richard Wallascheks Entwurf einer Reformierten Musikwissenschaft’, SMw, xxxvi (1985), 87–110

S. McColl: ‘Positivism in Late Nineteenth-Century Thought about Music: the Case of Richard Wallaschek’, SMA, xxvi (1992), 34–47


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