Waart, Edo de. 56 Wachmann, Eduard 56



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Watts, Helen (Josephine)


(b Milford Haven, 7 Dec 1927). Welsh contralto. She studied at the RAM and made her début at a Promenade Concert in 1955, singing Bach arias under Sargent and subsequently developing a reputation as a distinguished oratorio singer. In 1958 she made her operatic début, as Didymus in Theodora with the Handel Opera Society, for whom she also sang Ino and Juno (Semele) as well as Rinaldo, which she repeated at the Komische Oper, Berlin, and at Halle (1961). In 1964 she sang Britten’s Lucretia (conducted by the composer) on the English Opera Group tour of the USSR. At Covent Garden (1965–71) her dark-grained timbre and gift for word-painting brought to life her portrayals of the First Norn, Erda, Sosostris (The Midsummer Marriage) and Mrs Sedley, while for the WNO (1969–83) she sang Mistress Quickly, Sosostris, Mrs Sedley (a vivid, biting assumption) and Madame Larina. Watts’s firm, evenly produced voice was admirably suited to her wide repertory of oratorio and song, as can be heard on recordings ranging from Bach and Handel to her eloquent Angel in Boult’s Dream of Gerontius. She was made a CBE in 1978.

ALAN BLYTH


Watts, John (i)


(b 1678; d London, 26 Sept 1763). English bookseller and publisher. He was established in Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, by 1713, when he began to issue editions of classical authors. From the outset he often published in conjunction with Jacob (later Jacob and Richard) Tonson, issuing plays, librettos and miscellaneous works. The introduction of the ballad opera at Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre gave Watts a brisk trade in the publication of the operas performed there. He issued the first and later editions of The Beggar's Opera (1728), and after this practically the whole of the series of ballad operas (more than 27 altogether) as soon as they were performed. These editions present the airs for the songs, printed from engraved woodblocks, as an appendix, and are especially valuable for giving the old names of the tunes. Another important work is the six-volume The Musical Miscellany (1729–31), also printed from woodblocks and considered the finest pocket songbook of the period. The third to fifth volumes of this set were reissued by J. Wren about 1750 with different titles (The Harp, The Spinnet and The Violin respectively). Many of the librettos of Handel's oratorios from Athalia (1733) onwards were printed by Watts.

BIBLIOGRAPHY


Humphries-SmithMP

KidsonBMP

H.R. Plomer and others: A Dictionary of the Printers and Booksellers who were at Work in England, Scotland and Ireland from 1668 to 1725, ed. A. Esdaile (London, 1922/R)

FRANK KIDSON/PETER WARD JONES


Watts, John (Everett) (ii)


(b Cleveland, TN, 16 July 1930; d New York, 1 July 1982). American composer and synthesizer player. He studied at the universities of Tennessee (BA 1949), Colorado (MM 1953), Illinois (1955–6), Cornell (1958–60) and at UCLA (1961–2); his principal teachers were John Krueger, David Van Vactor, Cecil Effinger, Burrill Phillips, Robert Palmer and Roy Harris. From 1967 he was a member of the faculty at the New School for Social Research in New York, where he founded (1969) and directed the electronic music programme. He was also the founder and director of the Composers Theatre (1964–82), an organization that presented the works of some 250 American composers in various concert series, including over 150 premières and more than 50 commissioned works.

Watts composed more than 100 works for concert, theatre, dance, film and television. After 1964 he worked closely with his wife, the choreographer Laura Foreman, and developed his interest in electronic music, particularly the ARP synthesizer, which he helped to popularize in his performing, as well as his compositional, activities. Watts considered himself a traditionalist and tried to ‘humanize’ his electronic music, creating works that sound Romantic and orchestral rather than electronic. Representative later pieces include Laugharne, in which a tape functions almost as a second orchestra, and MAS, a 27-track study in density based on traditional gagaku. Watts also maintained an active interest in film music and conceptual art: Wallwork, a collaboration with Foreman, involved posters and press releases announcing a sold-out (but nonexistent) concert.


WORKS


Inst and vocal: Pf Sonata, 1958, rev. 1960; Signals, S, orch, 1970; Piano for Te, pf, 13 players, tape, 1973; Laugharne, S, tape, orch, 1974; Mots d'heures: Gousses, Rames, vv, tape, 1974; Piano for Te Tutti, pf, tape, 1975; Maxiconcerto, 1976; Canonades, str orch, 1978; Keepsakes, tape, orch, 1978; Le Match de Boxe, 1978; Barbro Variations, pf 4 hands, 1979; Easy Songs for Lazy Singers, 1981; c25 other works, incl. solo pieces for fl, vc, pf and org, duets for various insts with pf and ens pieces incl. works for sax qnt, ww qnt and concert band

Elec: WARP, brass qnt, synth, tape, 1971; Elegy to Chimney: in memoriam, tpt, synth, tape, 1972; MAS, 1976; Entectics, synth, tape, 1978; Processional, 10 tpts, tape, 1978; A Little Night Music, 1979; Timespace, tape, 1979; Ach!, tape, opt. synth, 1980

Dance scores, tape: Study for Solo Figure/Film, 1968; Perimeters, 1969; Glass and Shadows, 1971; Laura's Dance, 1971; Margins, 1972; Still Life, 1972; Locrian, 1973; Songandance, 1973; BUD (1975), 1975; Heirlooms, 1977; SS, 1977; UPS, 1977; Entries, 1978; GO, 1978; Night Remembrance, 1979

Film scores: War (S. Markman), 1968; Daisies (V. Simek), 1972; TimeCoded Woman I, II, III (L. Foreman), 1981

Other works: M*U*S*I*C for Table of Noon/Mat of the Moon (J. Varga), public ritual-lighting processional, 1981; Wallwork (Foreman), conceptual art, 1981; c40 other elec works and dance scores for tape

MSS in US-NYamc, NYp

Principal publishers: General, Joshua

BIBLIOGRAPHY


J. Anderson: ‘“Sold Out” Performances that Never Actually Took Place’, New York Times (12 July 1981)

Obituary, Variety (7 July 1982)

WILLIAM DUCKWORTH/MICHAEL MECKNA



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