(b Vienna, 9 July 1929; d Vienna, 29 March 1992). Austrian baritone. After study at Vienna University and the Music Academy (piano and theory) he took singing lessons from Elisabeth Rado. His début at the Volksoper in 1953 as Silvio in Pagliacci led to his engagement at the Staatsoper the following season. His career advanced rapidly: a fine Posa in Don Carlos at the Staatsoper in 1956 helped to establish him. The same year he enjoyed considerable success as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at Covent Garden, in 1958 he was heard as Amfortas and Wolfram at Bayreuth, and engagements followed at the principal houses of Europe and the USA, where he made his Metropolitan début as Wolfram in 1961. Although he was not always wise in his choice of parts (in 1964 he was not ready for a role such as Wotan in Das Rheingold), his warm, expressive voice and fine bearing brought him success in such varied roles as Escamillo and Kurwenal, Don Giovanni and Masetto, Ford and Boccanegra, Scarpia, Danilo, Mandryka and Danton (von Einem’s Dantons Tod). In 1980 he created Joseph in von Einem’s controversial Jesu Hochzeit in Vienna. Waechter was also a fine lieder singer, as his recording of Dichterliebe confirms. He became Intendant of the Vienna Volksoper in 1987 and artistic co-director of the Vienna Staatsoper in 1991.
(b Bruges, 13 Jan 1840; d Paris, 19 June 1908). Belgian violinist, viola player, viola d'amore player and music editor. After completing his formal education in Bruges he entered the Brussels Conservatory in 1857, studying the violin with Meerts and composition with Fétis. Three years later he gave successful concerts in Weimar and Dresden and subsequently accepted the position of leader of the opera orchestra in Budapest. In 1863 he went to Paris, where he learnt the viola (an instrument whose tonal qualities had long attracted him) and after winning a viola competition he joined the opera orchestra in Paris in 1868; he was later elected viola professor at the Paris Conservatoire. He journeyed to London in 1871 to play in the opera orchestra at Her Majesty's Theatre and also participated in the concerts at the Musical Union; there he played the viola in chamber concerts with Joachim, Auer, Sarasate, Vieuxtemps and Sivori.
In 1895 van Waefelghem resigned the position he had held for 14 years in Lamoureux's orchestra, to devote full-time study to the viola d'amore, an instrument about which Berlioz had written glowingly and which Meyerbeer had used effectively in Les Huguenots. His research unearthed many solo and chamber pieces for the instrument. With Louis Diémar (harpsichord), Jules Delsart (viola da gamba) and Laurent Grillet (vielle), he formed the Société des Instruments Anciens, which gave highly acclaimed concerts throughout Europe. His original compositions include a Pastorale and a Rêverie for violin and piano and a Romance and Soir d'automne for viola d'amore and piano; his arrangements for the viola d'amore of works by Bach, Ariosti, Scarlatti, Martini, Widor and Saint-Saëns were a substantial addition to its repertory. His playing on the viola d'amore is reported to have been superb, and his efforts as performer, music historian and editor account in part for the revival of the viola d'amore in the early 20th century. He was made a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur and received the Order of Leopold from the King of Belgium.
E.G.J.Gregoir: Les artistes-musiciens belges au XVIIIe et au XIXe siècle (Brussels, 1885–90, suppl. 1887), 448 only
E.van der Straeten: ‘Louis van Waefelghem’, The Strad, xix (1908–9), 240–42
Waelput, Hendrik [Henri, Henry]
(b Ghent, 26 Oct 1845; d Ghent, 8 July 1885). Belgian conductor and composer. He studied philosophy and literature at the University of Ghent and music at the Brussels Conservatory with Fétis and Hanssens. In 1867 he won the Prix de Rome with his cantata Het woud. In 1869 he became assistant director of the music school at Bruges, where he also organized and conducted popular concerts. A disagreement with the school's governing body led to his resignation in 1871; he went abroad for five years, appearing with great success as a conductor in the theatres of The Hague, Dijon, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Douai, Issoudun, Fécamp and Lille. Returning to Belgium, he became principal conductor at the Grand Théâtre in Ghent, and at the same time was appointed professor of harmony and counterpoint at the Antwerp Conservatory. In 1884 he was made director of the Ghent Opera.
Waelput also won recognition as a composer of operas, cantatas and symphonic music; the cantata De pacificatie van Gent (1876), written in the style of Peter Benoit, is generally regarded as his masterpiece.
principal MS collection: B-Gc
La ferme du diable (V. Wilder and E. Houdet), Ghent, 1865
Berken de diamantslijper (K. Versnayen), 1868
Stella (I. Teirlinck and R. Stijns), Brussels, Alhambra, 14 March 1881
Cants.: Het woud (Versnayen), 1867; Memlingcantate (E. Van Oye), 1871; De zegen der wapens (Van Oye), 1872; De pacificatie van Gent (E. Hiel), 1876
Other vocal: partsongs; more than 40 solo songs to Fr. and Flemish texts
Inst: 5 syms.; 4 ovs., incl. Ouverture Agneessens; Conc., fl, orch; other sym. works; Str Qnt; Andante cantabile, 4 trbn; Cantabile, 4 va; Canzonetta, str qt; Variations et scherzo, vn, pf, org; pf pieces, incl. transcrs. of orch works
P.Bergmans: Notice biographique sur Henri Waelput (Ghent, 1886)