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John Wall Callcott

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John Wall Callcott


John Wall Callcott (20 November 1766, Kensington, London – 15 May 1821) was an eminent English composer. He was a pupil of Haydn, and is celebrated mainly for his glee compositions and catches.

(A glee is an English type of part song spanning the late baroque, classical and early romantic periods. It is usually scored for at least three voices, and generally intended to be sung unaccompanied. A catch or trick canon is a type of round - a musical composition in which two or more voices (usually at least three) repeatedly sing the same melody or sometimes slightly different melodies, beginning at different times. In a catch, the lines of lyrics interact so that a word or phrase is produced that does not appear if sung by only one voice. This phrase is often innuendo-laden, politically subversive, or lewd.)

In the best known of his catches he ridiculed Sir John Hawkins' History of Music. Although ill-health prevented Callcott from completing his Musical Dictionary, His Musical Grammar (1806) remained in use throughout the 19th century.

His glees number at least 100, of which 8 won prizes. Callcott set lyrics by leading poets of his day, including Thomas Gray, Sir Walter Scott, Thomas Chatterton, Robert Southey and Ossian.

Callcott also composed solo songs and religious music including psalms and sacred canons

Works for Winds