Pearsall, Robert Lucas de
English composer; born at Clifton, near Bristol. He was educated for the law and practised until 1825, when he went to Germany and made Mayence his home. There under Joseph Panny he studied music, in which he had early shown ability by a cantata, Saul and the Witch of Endor, written at thirteen years of age. In 1829 he went to live at Carlsruhe, where he began Composing in earnest. He then lived in various other cities of Germany, having studied meanwhile with Ett of Munich. Finally, in 1842 he settled at the Castle of Wartensee, on Lake Constance, where he spent the rest of his life. He published a number of treatises, among them one on Consecutive Fifths and Octaves in Counterpoint, and another in German on the English Madrigal Composers. He wrote a great many compositions for both the Catholic and Anglican Churches, including a requiem, psalms, and anthems; and published a Catholic Hymn-book based on that of St. Gall. He excelled in writing madrigals and his setting of the ballad of Sir Patrick Spens, written in ten parts is wonderfully fine. He also wrote an overture to Macbeth, with witches' chorus. His songs number about one hundred, some sixty of them being published, and their originality, melody and spirit make them still popular, though they are written in an old style.