Michael Haydn - Contemporary composers

 

SAMUEL WESLEY (1766 - 1837)


 
     

     

  Samuel Wesley was born in Bristol on February 24th 1766. His father was Methodist hymn-writer Charles Wesley (1707-88) and his uncle John Wesley (1703-91) was the evangelist and leader of Methodism. Aged six he took harpsichord lessons and was soon able to accompany psalms at St.James's Church. He also studied the violin with Wilhelm Cramer, father of J.B.Cramer.

The Wesley family moved to London in 1778, the year of Samuels Opus 1, a set of harpsichord sonatas. In their London home in Chesterfield Street, Marylebone, there were held regular private concerts, with Samuel and his brother Charles performing.

Despite his Methodist background Samuel wrote music to the Roman Catholic Church. He was married according to the rites of the Church of England in 1793 and he even became a freemason.

In 1787 he had a serious fall, affecting the brain. But he was still considered the finest organplayer in his time. He died on October 11th 1837.

His works includes as mentioned church music, but also lots of instrumental music. A large body of music for organ and piano, chamber music, concertos, overtures and six symphonies.

 
 
 

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