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William Henry Bell

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Title: William Henry Bell  
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Subject: St Albans, 1912 in music, Noh, 1946 in South Africa, 1873 in South Africa, William Bell, South African College of Music, List of composers by name, List of 20th-century classical composers by birth date
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William Henry Bell

For the New Zealand politician, see William Henry Dillon Bell.

William Henry Bell, known largely by his initials, W H Bell (20 August 1873 – 13 April 1946), was an English composer, conductor and lecturer.

Bell was born in St Albans and studied in London at the Royal Academy of Music with Frederick Corder, and with Charles Villiers Stanford at the Royal College of Music. He mainly made his living as an organist and lecturer; he was Professor of Harmony at the Royal Academy of Music,[1] where he taught from 1903 to 1912.

In 1912, Bell went to South Africa to direct the South African College of Music in Cape Town. He was Principal until 1935 and is credited with a significant expansion of the school. In 1920, Bell became Professor of Music at the University of Cape Town, where he held classes for degree courses. The South African College of Music was incorporated into the University in 1923 and Professor Bell became Dean of the Faculty of Music. Bell founded the Little Theater, a training center for opera, and occasionally directed the Cape Town Music Society. He died in Gordon's Bay near Somerset West, South Africa.

The W H Bell Music Library at the University of Cape Town is named in honor of William Henry Bell.

Selected works

  • Hippolytus (c.1914); music drama in 3 acts; libretto after Euripides
  • Isabeau (1922–1924); fantasia in 1 act
  • The Mouse Trap (1928); opera in 1 act; libretto after The Sire de Maletroit's Door by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Doctor Love (1930); opera in 1 act; libretto after Le Docteur amoureux by Molière
  • The Wandering Scholar (1935); musical comedy in 1 act; libretto by C. Bax
  • The Duenna (1939); musical comedy in 3 acts; libretto by Richard Brinsley Sheridan
  • Romeo and Juliet (1939); unfinished opera
Music for Japanese Noh plays
  • Komachi (1925)
  • Tsuneyo of the Three Trees (1926)
  • Hatsuyuki (1934)
  • The Pillow of Kantan (1935)
  • Kageyiko (1936)
Incidental music
  • Life's Measure (?1905–1908)
  • A Vision of Delight (1906); music to the play by Ben Jonson
  • The Canterbury Pilgrims, Symphonic Prelude (1896)
  • The Pardoner's Tale, Symphonic Poem (1898)
  • Symphony No.1 "Walt Whitman" in C minor (1899)
  • A Song of the Morning, Symphonic Prelude (1901)
  • Mother Carey, Symphonic Poem (1902)
  • Epithalamium, Serenade for orchestra (1904)
  • The Shepherd, Symphonic Poem (1907)
  • Agamemnon, Symphonic Prelude (1908)
  • Love among the Ruins, Symphonic Poem (1908)
  • Arcadian Suite (c.1908)
  • Danse du tambour (1909)
  • Le fée des sources, Symphonic Poem (1912)
  • Prelude (1912)
  • Staines Morrice Dance (1912)
  • Symphonic Variations (1915)
  • Symphony No.2 in A minor (1918)
  • Symphony No.3 in F major (1918–1919)
  • The Portal, Symphonic Poem (1921)
  • A Song of Greeting, Symphonic Poem (1921)
  • Veldt Loneliness (1921)
  • In modo academico, Suite in C minor (1924)
  • Symphony No.4 "A South African Symphony" (1927)
  • An English Suite (1929)
  • Symphony No.5 in F minor (1932)
  • Aeterna munera, Symphonic Fantasy (1941)
  • Hamlet, 5 Preludes (1942)
  • Rosa Mystica, Concerto for viola and orchestra (1916)
Chamber music
  • Piano Quintet (1894)
  • Sonata in E minor for violin and piano (1897)
  • Cradle Song for violin and piano (1901)
  • Arab Love Song for viola and piano
  • Cantilena for viola and piano
  • Arabesque for violin or viola and piano (1904)
  • Sonata in D major for violin and piano (1918)
  • Sonata in F minor for violin and piano (c.1925)
  • Sonata in D minor for clarinet or viola and piano (1926)
  • String Quartet in G minor (1926)
  • Sonata for cello and piano (1927)
  • String Quartet in F major
  • The Witch's Daughter (1904)
  • Chorale Variations (1940)
  • 4 Elegiac Pieces (1940)
  • Chants sans paroles (1901)
  • Minuet and Trio in C major (1901)
  • Postlude (Romance, Spring Song) (1902)
  • Hawke for chorus and orchestra (c.1895)
  • Mag and Nunc (1895)
  • Miserere Maidens for soloist, chorus, orchestra and organ (1895)
  • The Call of the Sea, Ode for soprano, choruses and orchestra (1902–1904)
  • Hearken unto Me, Ye Holy Children, Anthem for baritone solo and chorus (published 1903)
  • I Will Magnify Thee, O Lord, Anthem for Easter for mixed voices and organ (published 1903); words from Psalm XXX
  • St. Albans Pageant Music, July 1907 for chorus and orchestra (1907); words by Charles Henry Ashdown
  • The Baron of Brackley, Scotch Border Ballad for chorus and orchestra (1911)
  • Maria assumpta for soprano, choruses and orchestra (1922)
  • Prometheus Unbound for chorus and orchestra (1923–1924); words by Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • Medieval Songs for chorus and piano (1927–1928)
  • Medieval Songs for female chorus, string orchestra and piano
  1. The Maiden That Is Makeless
  2. Mater ora filium
  3. The Flower of Jesse
  4. At Domys Day
  5. May in the Greenwood
  6. Twelve Oxen
  • Dicitus philosophi for chorus and orchestra (1932?); words by Benjamin Farrington
  • The Tumbler of Our Lady for soloists, choruses and orchestra (1936)
  • The Song of the Sinless Soul for mezzo-soprano, female chorus and orchestra (1944)
  • Adonis for soprano, mezzo-soprano, female chorus and orchestra (1945)
  • The Rose and the Lily for voice and piano (1892)
  • Songs of Youth and Springtide for voice and piano, Op.9 (1892–1896); words by Robert Browning
  1. Summum Bonum
  2. Nay, but You, Who Do Not Love Her
  1. Say Over Again
  2. If Thou Must Love Me
  3. I Lift My Heavy Heart
  • Crabbed Age and Youth for voice and piano (1898)
  • Five Settings of E. Nesbit for voice and piano (1898); words by E. Nesbit
  • Three Old English Songs for voice and orchestra
  • Love's Farewell for voice and piano (1902)
  • The Four Winds for baritone and orchestra (1903); words by C.H. Luderz
  • Six Love Lyrics for baritone or alto and piano (1903); words by William Ernest Henley
  • Sing Heigh Ho! for voice and piano (1903)
  • Bhanavar the Beautiful, Song Cycle for voice and chamber ensemble (1908)
  • The Ballad of the Bird Bride for baritone and orchestra (1909); words by Rosamund Marriott Watson
  • The Little Corporal for voice and piano (1912)
  • Sappho, Song Cycle for soprano and orchestra (1920, revised 1942)
  • Claire de lune for voice and piano (1925); words by Paul Verlaine
  • D'une prison for voice and piano (1925?); words by Paul Verlaine
  • Que faudre-t'il a ce cœur for voice and piano (1925); words by Jean Moréas
  • Four Medieval Songs for voice and piano (1927)
  • Four Medieval Songs for voice and piano (1930)
  • Twelve Blake Songs; words by William Blake
  1. Spring
  2. Summer
  3. Autumn
  4. Winter
  5. To the Evening
  6. To Morning
  7. My Pretty Rose Tree
  8. The Fairy
  9. In a Myrtle Shade
  10. The Birds
  11. My Spectre around Me
  12. I Heard an Angel Singing

Notable students


This article incorporates information from this version of the equivalent article on the Deutsch World Heritage Encyclopedia.

External links

  • W H Bell Music Library

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