Charles Wood (composer)

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Charles Wood

Charles Wood (15 June 1866 12 July 1926) was an Irish composer and teacher; his pupils included Ralph Vaughan Williams at Cambridge and Herbert Howells at the Royal College of Music.

Ralph Vaughan Williams 20th-century English composer

Ralph Vaughan Williams was an English composer. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written over sixty years. Strongly influenced by Tudor music and English folk-song, his output marked a decisive break in British music from its German-dominated style of the 19th century.

Cambridge City and non-metropolitan district in England

Cambridge is a university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the River Cam approximately 50 miles (80 km) north of London. At the United Kingdom Census 2011, its population was 123,867 including 24,506 students. Cambridge became an important trading centre during the Roman and Viking ages, and there is archaeological evidence of settlement in the area as early as the Bronze Age. The first town charters were granted in the 12th century, although modern city status was not officially conferred until 1951.

Herbert Norman Howells was an English composer, organist, and teacher, most famous for his large output of Anglican church music.

Contents

Career

Born in Vicars' Hill in the Cathedral precincts of Armagh, Ireland, he was the fifth child and third son of Charles Wood Sr. and Jemima Wood. The boy was a treble chorister in the choir of the nearby St. Patrick's Cathedral (Church of Ireland). His father sang tenor as a stipendiary 'Gentleman' or 'Lay Vicar Choral' in the Cathedral choir and was also the Diocesan Registrar of the church. He was a cousin of Irish composer Ina Boyle.

Armagh county town of County Armagh in Northern Ireland

Armagh is the county town of County Armagh and a city in Northern Ireland, as well as a civil parish. It is the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland – the seat of the Archbishops of Armagh, the Primates of All Ireland for both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland. In ancient times, nearby Navan Fort was a pagan ceremonial site and one of the great royal capitals of Gaelic Ireland. Today, Armagh is home to two cathedrals and the Armagh Observatory, and is known for its Georgian architecture.

Ireland Island in north-west Europe, 20th largest in world, politically divided into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (a part of the UK)

Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.

Ina Boyle Irish composer

Ina Boyle was an Irish composer: the most prolific and significant female composer from Ireland before 1950. Her compositions encompass a broad spectrum of genres and include choral, chamber and orchestral works as well as opera, ballet and vocal music. While a number of her works, namely, The Magic Harp (1919), Colin Clout (1921), Gaelic Hymns (1923-24), Glencree (1924-27) and Wildgeese (1942), received acknowledgement and repeated performance during her lifetime, the majority of her compositions remain unpublished and unperformed.

Wood received his early education at the Cathedral Choir School and also studied organ with two Organists and Masters of the Boys of Armagh Cathedral, Robert Turle and his successor Dr Thomas Marks. In 1883 he became one of fifty inaugural class members of the Royal College of Music, studying composition with Charles Villiers Stanford and Charles Hubert Hastings Parry primarily, and horn and piano secondarily. Following four years of training, he continued his studies at Selwyn College, Cambridge through 1889, [1] where he began teaching harmony and counterpoint. In 1889 he attained a teaching position at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, first as organ scholar and then as fellow in 1894, becoming the first Director of Music and Organist. He was instrumental in the reflowering of music at the college, though more as a teacher and organiser of musical events than as composer. After Stanford died in 1924, Wood assumed his mentor's vacant role as Professor of Music in the University of Cambridge.

Royal College of Music conservatoire established by royal charter in 1882

The Royal College of Music is a conservatoire established by royal charter in 1882, located in South Kensington, London, UK. It offers training from the undergraduate to the doctoral level in all aspects of Western Art including performance, composition, conducting, music theory and history. The RCM also undertakes research, with particular strengths in performance practice and performance science. The college is one of the four conservatories of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and a member of Conservatoires UK. Its buildings are directly opposite the Royal Albert Hall on Prince Consort Road, next to Imperial College and among the museums and cultural centres of Albertopolis.

Charles Villiers Stanford Irish composer, music teacher, and conductor

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford was an Irish composer, music teacher, and conductor. Born to a well-off and highly musical family in Dublin, Stanford was educated at the University of Cambridge before studying music in Leipzig and Berlin. He was instrumental in raising the status of the Cambridge University Musical Society, attracting international stars to perform with it.

Hubert Parry English composer, teacher and historian of music

Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, 1st Baronet was an English composer, teacher and historian of music.

Like his better-known colleague Stanford, Wood is chiefly remembered for his Anglican church music. As well as his Communion Service in the Phrygian Mode, his settings of the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis are still popular with cathedral and parish church choirs, particularly the services in F, D, and G, and the two settings in E flat; during Passiontide his St Mark Passion is sometimes performed, and demonstrates Wood's interest in modal composition, in contrast to the late romantic harmonic style he more usually employs.

Anglican church music

Anglican church music is music that is written for Christian worship in Anglican religious services, forming part of the liturgy. It mostly consists of pieces written to be sung by a church choir, which may sing a capella or accompanied by an organ.

Mass (music) Form of sacred musical composition

The mass, a form of sacred musical composition, is a choral composition that sets the invariable portions of the Eucharistic liturgy to music. Most masses are settings of the liturgy in Latin, the liturgical sacred language of the Catholic Church's Roman liturgy, but there are a significant number written in the languages of non-Catholic countries where vernacular worship has long been the norm. For example, there are many masses written in English for the Church of England. Musical masses take their name from the Catholic liturgy called "the mass" as well.

Magnificat hymn of Mary in the Christian tradition

The Magnificat is a canticle, also known as the Song of Mary, the Canticle of Mary and, in the Byzantine tradition, the Ode of the Theotokos. It is traditionally incorporated into the liturgical services of the Catholic Church and of the Eastern Orthodox churches. It is one of the eight most ancient Christian hymns and perhaps the earliest Marian hymn. Its name comes from the incipit of the Latin version of the canticle's text.

Wood's anthems with organ, Expectans expectavi, and O Thou, the Central Orb are both frequently performed and recorded; as are his unaccompanied anthems Tis the day of Resurrection, Glory and Honour and, most popular of all, Hail, gladdening light and its lesser-known equivalent for men's voices, Great Lord of Lords. All Wood's a cappella music demonstrates fastidious craftsmanship and a supreme mastery of the genre, and he is no less resourceful in his accompanied choral works which sometimes include unison sections and have stirring organ accompaniments, conveying a satisfying warmth and richness of emotional expression appropriate to his carefully chosen texts.

Wood collaborated with priest and poet George Ratcliffe Woodward in the revival and popularisation of renaissance tunes to new English religious texts, notably co-editing three books of carols. He also wrote eight string quartets, and was co-founder (in 1904) of the Irish Folk Song Society.

George Ratcliffe Woodward was an English Anglican priest who wrote mostly religious verse, both original and translated from ancient authors. The best-known of these were written to fit traditional melodies, mainly of the Renaissance. He sometimes harmonised these melodies himself, but usually left this to his frequent collaborator, composer Charles Wood.

A carol is in Modern English a festive song, generally religious but not necessarily connected with church worship, and often with a dance-like or popular character. The verb caroling also refers to the singing of carols.

String quartet musical ensemble of four string players

A string quartet is a musical ensemble consisting of four string players – two violin players, a viola player and a cellist – or a piece written to be performed by such a group. The string quartet is one of the most prominent chamber ensembles in classical music, with most major composers, from the mid 18th century onwards, writing string quartets.

He married Charlotte Georgina Wills-Sandford, daughter of W. R. Wills-Sandford, of Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, Ireland on 17 March 1898. Their son was killed in the First World War.

He is buried at the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge, [2] together with his wife.

List of works

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Service in B-flat major, Op. 10 (Stanford)

Service in B-flat major, Op. 10, is a collection of Anglican church music by Charles Villiers Stanford for mixed choir and organ containing the Canticles for each of the principal services of the Anglican Church. Stanford set the traditional liturgical texts in English in 1879 when he was the organist of Trinity College, Cambridge. They were published by Novello in 1902. Stanford orchestrated the work in 1903, with additional organ.

<i>Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in D</i> (Wood) Choral setting of Magnificat and Nunc dimittis

Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in D is a choral setting by the Irish composer Charles Wood of the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis for the Anglican service of Evening Prayer. Scored for four-part choir and organ, it was written in 1898. It is also known as Evening Service in D major.

References

  1. "Wood, Charles (WT888C)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. A Guide to Churchill College, Cambridge: text by Dr. Mark Goldie, pages 62 and 63 (2009)
  3. http://www.wcomarchive.org.uk/--the-prize-grace