December 8, 2013: Wesley (Jr.)

December 08, 2013 11:45

PastoraleCharles Wesley (Jr.) (1757-1834)
— organ

Charles Wesley (Jr.), the son of the celebrated hymn writer Charles Wesley and nephew of the Anglican clergyman and founder of Methodism John Wesley, was an infant prodigy and, at the age of three, he was compared favorably to the young Mozart. In spite of family opposition, Charles became a fine organist, playing the organ in dissenting chapels and finally at St. Marylebone Parish Church, London. He was a significant composer of orchestral, vocal and chamber music, including a set of string quartets and at least a dozen organ concertos. He never married, living for most of his life with his mother and sister.

The European Magazine of 1784 reported that "his performance on the organ has given supreme delight". However he did not enjoy public performance, and worked mainly as a private organist, at one time to the Prince Regent. He was connected with the royal family through much of his life, having first played at the Queen's House at the age of 18. Only a handful of his compositions are still played.

So this morning’s prelude is likely the premiere of music by Charles Wesley (Jr.) in San Bernardino!

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