Maastricht, 1 November 1858
Paris (?), 26 March 1926
Rêverie d’Automne (Nocturne)
(about) 1905
duration: about 4′;
publisher: E. Gaudet, Paris 1905;
dedicated to Joseph Hollman.
Über Emile Wesly gibt es eine hervorragende deutsche Wikipediaseite.
The name Wesly would appear to indicate that the family had its origins in the German town of Wesel.  In any case Émile’s parents moved from Düsseldorf to Maastricht.
Wesly initially worked as a journalist in Brussels, where he chiefly published articles on the art of painting*. He was also a composer; however, at the present time we do not know whether he had a formal music education. As far as we know, his first composition, a Marche portugaise for piano, was published by Cranz in Hamburg, 1887.
From about 1900 onwards he began spending more and more time in Paris. In that year the publisher E. Gaudet issued his ‘valse chantée’ Fiançailles, one of his most successful works: the song was part of the repertoire of the celebrated chansonnière Paulette Darty and recordings were released of it, among other compositions. Chansons such as Une drôle d’envie (Henri Desrosiers), L’heure du rêve (Pierre d’Amor) and the ‘gavotte chantée’ Confidences (G. Millandy) and short piano works such as the ‘marche-polka’ Joyeuse Entrée du Prince Carnaval, the waltz Parisienne and the polkas Bicyclette and Joyeux Ébats comprise the main body of Wesly’s oeuvre.
In 2012 it was discovered that the song L’étendard de la Pitié, whose melody was used by Bertolt Brecht and Paul Dessau for the famed ‘Lied der Mutter Courage’ in 1939, was composed by Wesly in 1905 to a text by Léon Derocher as a homage to the Red Cross. Among the performers of this and other works was the leading Belgian baritone Jean-Baptiste Noté, who sang at the Paris Opéra.
The nocturne Rêverie d’Automne, composed in the key of B flat major, has appeared in many transcriptions, of which the one for flute and piano has enjoyed particularly great popularity. It is composed in 9/8 time with a melancholic lilt and the melody is extremely ‘singable’ (one could almost call it a ‘nocturne chantée’). Following a somewhat more lively but not very contrasting B section in F major, the A section returns, this time with a counterpart in the right hand of the piano, interlaced with salonesque arpeggiated chords. The piece ends with a coda that gradually subsides into tranquillity. In the score the final note of the cello is notated as a B-flat that does not actually fall within the instrument’s register; however, it can safely be played an octave higher without detriment to the music.
* An example can be found by googling ‘Wesly, Emile – Elsevier’.
(august 2014)


Alkema, Henk

Harlingen, 20 November 1944
Utrecht, 4 August 2011

Appy, Ernest

Den Haag, 25 oktober 1834
Kansas City, 2 augustus 1895

Badings, Henk

Bandoeng (Java), 17 January 1907
Maarheeze, 26 June 1987

Bijvanck, Henk

Koedoes (Java), 6 November 1909
Heemstede, 5 September 1969

Bouman, Antoon

‘s Hertogenbosch, 18 October 1854
Wassenaar, 23 March 1906

Bunge, Sas

Amsterdam, 19 July 1924
Utrecht, 17 July 1980

Dispa, Robert

Sint-Pieters-Leeuw (België), 19 September 1929
Hengelo (O), 6 March 2003

Dunkler, Emile

Den Haag, 20 August 1838 (?)
Den Haag (?), 6 February 1871

Frid, Géza

Máramarossziget (Hongarije, thans Roemenië), 25 january 1904
Beverwijk, 13 September 1989

Godron, Hugo

Amsterdam, 22 November 1900
Zoelmond, 6 December 1971

Kes, Willem

Dordrecht, 16 February 1856
München, 22 February 1934

Ketting, Otto

Amsterdam, 3 September 1935
Den Haag, 13 December 2012

Lilien, Ignace

Lemberg (now Lviv, Ukrain), 29 May 1897
Den Haag, 10 May 1964

Mul, Jan

Haarlem, 20 September 1911
Haarlem, 30 December 1971

Osieck, Hans

Amsterdam, 25 January 1910
Bloemendaal, 22 June 2000

Stam, Henk

Utrecht, 26 September 1922
Suawoude, 9 December 2002

Witte, G. H.

Utrecht, 16 November 1843
Essen (D), 3 February 1929