Gardiner, William

1770-1853

English amateur composer and writer on musical subjects; was born at Leicester and died there later. He spent much time in traveling over Continental Europe, and composed some songs under the pseudonym of W. G. Leicester. He also set to music by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, Pope's Universal Prayer; published in 1812 a collection of sacred melodies from these three composers, and wrote an oratorio, Judah, adapted from their musical works. He wrote Music and Friends, published in London, 1838 to 1853, in three volumes, and Sights in Italy, a book giving his observations in regard to music and art in general. His most striking and characteristic work, however, is The Music of Nature, which he calls " an attempt to prove that what is passionate and pleasing in the art of singing, speaking, and performing upon musical instruments is derived from the songs of the animated world;" a book which, as one might infer, leads its writer into some deductions original to the point of whimsicality.