Author Topic: William Wallace (1860-1940) - principal orchestral, vocal and choral works  (Read 2134 times)


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1886-88 - A Festival Mass, for chorus and orchestra
1890 - Lord of Darkness, scena for baritone and orchestra (Royal Academy of Music, London, 1890)
1891 - An American Rhapsody, for orchestra
           A Scots Fantasy, for orchestra
1891-92 - Suite in A, The Lady of the Sea, for orchestra (Stock Exchange Orchestral Society, London, 18th February 1892)
1892 - The Passing of Beatrice, symphonic poem [No.1] (Crystal Palace, London, 26th November 1892)
1893 - Prelude to The Eumenides (Crystal Palace, London, 21st October 1893)
1894 - In Praise of Scottish Poesie, concert overture (Crystal Palace, London, 17th November 1894)
1896 - Brassolis, lyrical tragedy [opera] in one act
           Romeo and Juliet, incidental music
           Amboss oder Hammer, symphonic poem [No.2] (Crystal Palace, London, 17th October 1896) (missing)
            The Rhapsody of Mary Magdalen, for soprano and orchestra (Queen’s Hall, London, 15th December 1896)
1897 - Pelléas et Mélisande, incidental music (suite performed at The Tower, New Brighton, 19th August 1900)
1898 - Asperges, symphonic poem (unfinished)
           The Covenanters, symphonic poem (unfinished)
           The Forty-Five, symphonic poem (unfinished)
1896-99 - The Creation, symphony (The Tower, New Brighton, 30th July 1899)
1899 - Freebooter Songs, for baritone and orchestra (The Tower, New Brighton, 30th July 1899)
            Sister Helen, symphonic poem [No.3] (Crystal Palace, London, 25th February 1899)
1900 - Jacobite Songs, for voice and orchestra
1900-01 - Greeting to the New Century, symphonic poem [No.4] (Queen's Hall, London, 27th March 1901)
1905 - William Wallace AD 1305-1905, symphonic poem [No.5] (Queen’s Hall, London, 19th September 1905)
1908 - The Outlaw, ballad for baritone, (optional) male chorus and orchestra
1909 - Villon, symphonic poem [No.6] (Queen’s Hall, London, 10th March 1909)
1910 - The Massacre of the Macpherson, burlesque ballad for male chorus and orchestra (Leeds Musical Union, 1910)

also –

Keholeth, symphony for chorus and orchestra (unfinished)
Annie Laurie, for orchestra

Commercial recordings:

The Passing of Beatrice, symphonic poem [No.1] (Hyperion CDA 66848)
Prelude to The Eumenides (Hyperion CDA 66987)
The Creation, symphony (Hyperion CDA 66987)
Sister Helen, symphonic poem [No.3] (Hyperion CDA 66848)
Pelléas et Mélisande, suite (Hyperion CDA 66987)
William Wallace AD 1305-1905, symphonic poem [No.5] (Hyperion CDA 66848)
Villon, symphonic poem [No.6] (Hyperion CDA 66848)


The Passing of Beatrice, symphonic poem [No.1]


  • Guest
I had completed a William Wallace catalogue but was holding it back in anticipation that you might post something similar ;D

My list was pretty much in agreement with yours, give or take the odd year of composition here and there. You got two works I had missed however-the Festival Mass and the Freebooter Songs. On the other hand, I had a Mystery Play "The Divine Surrender" for chorus and orchestra(1895)

The other point is that, although the first performance of "Pelleas and Melisande" was certainly in 1900, the Scottish Music Centre gives the date of composition as 1892.


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Thanks, Colin. Do you know more specifically what genre The Divine Surrender is? Most of Wallace's MSS are at the National Library of Scotland but there doesn't seem to be any on-line catalogue information which might add more detail (and possibly other works) to the list ...


Grove dates Pelleas to 1903, which is clearly wrong. Maeterlinck published his drama in 1892, which may be the origin of the date given by SMC ...


... so in the meantime I'll stick with a provisional 1900 until more detail can be unearthed.


Paul Barasi

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Many thanks for the catalogue of this wonderful composer's works (although 'The Massacre of the Macpherson' shouldn't make anyone think that the rest of the Macphersons escaped!). William Wallace (especially Villon) was regularly promoted by Henry Wood in the first third of the 20th century. There was a lot of Freebooting at the Proms back then too: these songs are part of the final Hyperion CD – for which apparently no plans exist, alas!

But of the two actually issued, I find the one with the symphonic poems the best. Indeed, it is one of my most often played CDs and has my full five stars recommendation to anyone still without it.


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Quote from John Purser:

"Wallace was a deeply thoughtful Christian: his verse-play on the subject of the Passion, The Divine Surrender, was published the year before he started work on the Creation Symphony. Originally intended for a music-drama, Wallace had recast it in spoken form. It achieves a fine intellectual balance between the Jewish, Roman and Christian points of view and, like his music, is the product of a passionate and balanced mind."

It is described in some sources as "another large-scale choral work" but I am beginning to wonder whether Wallace actually set it to music at all ::) ;D


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Thanks, Colin - that certainly gives the impression that Wallace produced a substantial text but did not ultimately set it to music - I'll leave it off the work-list unless there is any strong evidence to the contrary.

Ian Lace's musicweb review ( of CDA 66848 appears to get things a bit muddled, citing

... The Divine Surrender, another large-scale choral work based on the mystery play by Elliot Stock ...

whereas, in fact, Elliot Stock was the firm that published Wallace's play in 1895.



  • Guest
I have amended some of the dates in the catalogue and added a number of other works, including three further unfinished symphonic poems all dating from 1898.


The Rhapsody of Mary Magdalen is all that survives from Wallace's projected musical setting of The Divine Surrender;

the incidental music to Pelléas et Mélisande (later assembled into the five-movement suite, only three movements of which were recorded by Hyperion) was composed in 1897;

Keholeth, a choral symphony in three movements based on Ecclesiastes (listed in some early twentieth-century sources as Wallace's Symphony No.2) is unfinished.



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Thanks, John :) I think that you are probably right about "The Divine Surrender".

Well done, too, for obtaining the extra information about Wallace compositions :)

Alan Howe

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Re: William Wallace (1860-1940) - principal orchestral, vocal and choral works
« Reply #9 on: Friday 22 December 2017, 22:24 »
According to Albany Records' website this is a different, contemporary composer (b.1933, I think):

Not to be confused with the Scottish composer William Wallace (1860-1940), this William Wallace is a man of our time. His works, widely performed and broadcast. He studied with Leroy Robertson at the University of Utah and Egon Wellesz and Edmund Rubbra at the University of Oxford. He has taught at both Rutgers University and Canada's McMaster University. He holds both U.S. and Canadian citizenship and lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Details of recordings by this composer here:


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Re: William Wallace (1860-1940) - principal orchestral, vocal and choral works
« Reply #10 on: Sunday 24 December 2017, 04:20 »
Thank you Alan.

Alan Howe

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Re: William Wallace (1860-1940) - principal orchestral, vocal and choral works
« Reply #11 on: Sunday 24 December 2017, 09:12 »
It's a shame, isn't it? Wouldn't we all like to hear some more of the older composer's music...