Oakeley, Sir Herbert (Stanley)

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Oudryns, Johannes.

See Oridryus, Johannes.



See Soundhole.

Oulibicheff, Aleksandr Dmitryevich.

See Ulïbïshev, Aleksandr Dmitryevich.

Oury [née de Belleville], Anna Caroline

(b Landshut, 24 June 1808; d Munich, 22 July 1880). German pianist and composer, of French descent. The daughter of a French nobleman who was director of the Munich Nationaltheater, she spent her childhood in Augsburg, where she studied with the cathedral organist. From 1816 to 1820 she studied with Carl Czerny in Vienna, where she was introduced to Beethoven and heard him improvise on the piano. In 1820 she returned to Munich, performing there with great success; she spent the next year in Paris and then resumed her studies in Vienna with Johann Andreas Streicher. She subsequently toured to Warsaw and Berlin. In July 1831 she made her London début in a concert at Her Majesty’s Theatre with Nicolò Paganini and in October married the English violinist Antonio James Oury. Between 1831 and 1839, they toured in Russia, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France and Belgium, before settling in England. In 1846 and 1847 they visited Italy; afterwards, until her retirement in 1866, she devoted herself primarily to composition, producing some 180 drawing-room pieces – mainly dances and fantasies for piano.


Grove1 (J.A. Fuller-Maitland)



Oury, Antonio James

(b London, 1800; d East Dereham, Norfolk, 25 July 1883). English violinist. He received his first violin lessons from his father, a former officer in Napoleon's army who had settled in London, and from George Macfarren. He later studied with Mori, Spagnoletti and Kiesewetter, and in the 1820s made regular trips to Paris, where he had violin lessons from Baillot, Kreutzer and Lafont, and studied composition with Fétis. In 1823 he joined the Philharmonic Society's orchestra in London, and from 1824 to 1830 performed concertos and participated in chamber music at Philharmonic concerts. He also played in the Concert of Ancient Music and at the Royal Italian Opera; in 1826 he was appointed leader of the ballet orchestra at the King's Theatre. In the 1820s he taught at the RAM, where his pupils included G.A. Macfarren and W.S. Bennett.

In 1831 Oury married the pianist Anna Caroline de Belleville. They toured Europe from about 1832 to 1839, giving concerts in Russia, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. A concert tour of Italy followed in 1846–7. In the 1840s and 50s the Ourys were active in Brighton; in 1847 they set up the Brighton Musical Union, a chamber music club modelled closely on the London Musical Union, itself the brainchild of Oury's friend John Ella. From 1868 Oury lived in retirement in Norfolk.

Trained in the classical French school of violin playing and possessing a full, round tone, Oury absorbed into his technique some of the brilliant effects favoured by Paganini, whom he had met in 1831. According to his pupil Haweis, ‘he had the fine large style of the De Beriot school, combined with a dash of the brilliant and romantic Paganini, and the most exquisite taste of his own’.


G. Dubourg: The Violin: Some Account of that Leading Instrument and its most Eminent Professors (London, 1836, 4/1852), 214, 217–19

H.R. Haweis: My Musical Life (London, 1884), 38–45

F. Boase: Modern English Biography (London, 1892–1921), suppl.

C. Bashford: Public Chamber-Music Concerts in London, 1835–50: Aspects of History, Repertory and Reception (diss., U. of London, 1996)


Ouseley, Sir Frederick Arthur Gore

(bLondon, 12 Aug 1825; d Hereford, 6 April 1889). English church musician, scholar and composer. His father, Sir Gore Ouseley (1770–1844), a noted orientalist, was successively ambassador to Persia and to Russia, and was made a baronet in 1808; he was also an amateur musician, and helped found the Royal Academy of Music in 1822. His only son, named after the boy's godfathers, Frederick, Duke of York, and Arthur, Duke of Wellington, was educated at home in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. In 1840 he was sent as a pupil to James Joyce, vicar of Dorking, who instructed him in the classics and theology. In 1843 he entered Christ Church, Oxford, and the following year inherited his father's title and estate. He graduated BA in 1846 and received the DMus in 1854. From 1846, when he moved to London, he sang as a lay member of the newly surpliced choir of St Paul's, Knightsbridge, under its Tractarian vicar W.J.E. Bennett; after his ordination in 1849 he became one of Bennett's curates at the new church of St Barnabas, Pimlico, where the notorious ‘no popery’ riots occurred in 1850. During his curacy he presented the organ and paid the entire costs of the choir. Following Bennett's resignation in 1851 the choir of St Barnabas's was dismissed, but Ouseley kept it together by housing and educating the boys at his own expense at Langley, Buckinghamshire. They became the nucleus of his foundation, St Michael's College, Tenbury Wells, which was begun in 1854 and dedicated in 1856, with Ouseley himself as warden and vicar of the newly formed parish; he appointed a former St Barnabas chorister, John Hampton, as first choirmaster. Meanwhile in 1855 Ouseley had been elected professor of music at Oxford, and in the same year he was appointed precentor of Hereford Cathedral. He was later given honorary degrees at Durham, Dublin and Edinburgh, and the Lambeth LLD; in 1886 he was made canon residentiary at Hereford.

Ouseley's musical precocity was almost as great as that of Mozart or Crotch. Many incidents are on record to prove the astonishing accuracy of his ear, while his ability in playing and improvising was the wonder of the fashionable world and impressed many musicians including Mendelssohn. From the age of three he began to compose, the music being at first written down by his sisters and later by himself. His early compositions show as much skill and originality as Mozart's. One remarkable example from 1832 is a piece of descriptive programme music for piano in A major and minor, illustrating the progress of an illness (printed in Joyce, 1896, pp.239ff). His early works include an opera, several orchestral pieces and some string quartets.

Something in his upbringing made Ouseley repress this early vitality of imagination, though his musical skill remained undiminished. He subjected himself not only to the most rigorous technical discipline, but also to the purging of all ‘secular’ influences from his style. His comments in 1872 about the use of secular melodies as hymn tunes reveal a deep anxiety on this point: ‘How can they result in aught but the disgust and discouragement of all musical churchmen, the misleading of the unlearned, the abasement of sacred song, the falsification of public taste, and (last, but not least) the dishonour of God and his worship?’. He treated all modern and popular trends in music with suspicion and curbed the natural exuberance of his style by modelling himself on the classics – Mozart for instrumental music, Handel for oratorio, the 17th-century English masters for cathedral music. The result is a prevailing dullness in his mature compositions, however great their technical mastery and assurance. His anthems and services were once in great demand, especially How goodly are thy tents, From the rising of the sun and O saviour of the world; but they have scarcely survived their own era, lacking the imaginative power of Wesley or Walmisley. In the F major Service, however, Havergal Brian found ‘wonderful stretches of self-expression which disclose an unusual feeling for the deep underlying significance of the words’. In a remarkable modern appreciation Gatens treats Ouseley as the leading representative of the ‘timeless idiom’ in Victorian cathedral music. He was also a successful composer of hymn tunes.

But Ouseley's importance was not primarily as a composer. Simply by dedicating his rank and wealth to the musical profession, he helped to lay the foundations for the upward progress of English music which was already evident. His social position, though unaided by any marked force of personality, allowed him to secure for music a recognition such as it had not enjoyed for generations. As professor at Oxford he made music a serious subject of study; as nominal founder and first president of the Musical Association he established musicology (as it was later termed) as a respected field of learning. His own scholarship was distinguished, especially in Spanish theory and early English church music.

Ouseley's most enduring monument is the College of St Michael and All Angels, Tenbury Wells, which for over 100 years remained ‘a model for the choral service of the church in these realms’. He lavished much of his wealth as well as his energy and devotion on the founding and nurturing of this institution. It was described in 1883 as ‘the one real development of the aesthetic principle that England is yet able to boast’ – a startling challenge to Victorian materialism and popular culture, thrust into the sleepy valley of the Teme. There Ouseley, as unchallenged and beloved master, could develop in peace his own ideal of the cathedral service, which was that of a high churchman deeply influenced by the Oxford movement but still retaining a distaste for adapted Gregorian chants and for extremes of ritualism. His model prevailed over its rivals to become the standard form of cathedral service.

Ouseley was a lifelong collector of music and music theory books. He bequeathed to St Michael's his splendid library of over 3000 volumes, which, in King's words, ‘probably represents the genius of the Victorian collector at its highest point in range, variety and quality’. (Much of the collection is now in F-Pn, V and GB-Ob.) He was also an expert on organ design. He inspected 190 organs during a tour of Europe in 1848–9.


published in London, n.d., unless otherwise stated; MSS in GB-Ob

sacred vocal

The Lord is the true God (cant.), 1850, unpubd

The Martyrdom of St Polycarp (orat) (1855)

Hagar (orat), vs (1873)

5 full services, 19 anthems, in Ouseley's Cathedral Music, Services and Anthems (1853)

8 other services incl.: C, 8vv, unpubd; F, 8vv, orch; 2 evening services, B, E; Communion, C; 2 TeD, D, F; Gloria, D

[13] Special Anthems for Certain Seasons and Festivals (1861–6)

c43 other anthems; 42 single and 15 double chants; 42 hymn tunes, incl. 12 in Hymns Ancient and Modern (1889); 4 hymn settings; 4 Christmas carols; Final Amen, 1889

secular vocal

L'isola disabitata (op, P. Metastasio), 1834

Let tears fall down, ode, 4vv, orch, 1852

Peace Ode, S, 5vv, orch, 1855

Now let us praise famous men, ode, S, 5vv, orch, Nov 1869

11 songs, incl. Set of 6 Songs (R. Wilton); 10 glees; 3 partsongs; 1 madrigal


Orch: 3 ovs., D, d, F (1888, n.d.), 2 marches, 2 minuets

Chbr: 2 str qts, C, d (1868); str qt, fugue for strs: both unpubd

Org: 31 preludes and fugues in 3 sets (1864, 1877, n.d.); 6 short preludes (1869); 3 andantes; 2 sonatas (1877, 1883); other pieces, incl. 2 voluntaries in Original Compositions for the Organ, viii–ix (1882)

Pf: songs without words, 1839–49, unpubd

243 juvenile works, GB-Ob


A Collection of Cathedral Services set to Music by English Masters of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (London, 1853)

A Collection of Anthems for Certain Seasons and Festivals (London, 1861–6)

with E.G. Monk: The Psalter with the Canticles and Hymns of the Church (London, 1861)

The Sacred Compositions of Orlando Gibbons (London, 1873)

Motets by Spanish Composers (London, c1880)

H. Purcell: Masque in Timon of Athens, Works, ii (London, 1882)


only those on music

A Treatise on Harmony (Oxford, 1868, 3/1883)

A Treatise on Counterpoint, Canon, and Fugue, based on Cherubini (Oxford, 1869)

‘Church Music’, Church Congress: Leeds 1872 (Leeds, 1872), 325–34

A Treatise on Musical Form and General Composition (Oxford, 1875, 2/1886)

‘Considerations on the History of Ecclesiastical Music of Western Europe’, PMA, ii (1875–6), 30–47

‘On the Early Italian and Spanish Treatises of Counterpoint and Harmony’, PMA, v (1878–9), 76–99

‘On Some Italian and Spanish Treatises of Music of the Seventeenth Century’, PMA, viii (1881–2), 83–98

ed.: E. Naumann: The History of Music (London, 1882–6) [trans. of Illustrirte Musikgeschichte, Stuttgart, 1880–85; incl. 3 new chaps. by Ouseley on English music]

‘On the Position of Organs in Churches’, PMA, xii (1885–6), 75–90


DNB (W.H. Cummings)

Grove1 (H.S. Oakeley)

The Harmonicon, xi (1833), 102 [review of 2 pf works of 1831]

Monthly Supplement to the Musical Library, i (1834), 66–7 [review of L'isola disabitata, incl. duet ‘Vanne a regnar ben mio’]

F.T. Havergal: Memorials of the Rev. Sir F.A.G. Ouseley, Bart. (London, 1889)

J. Stainer: ‘The Character and Influence of the Late Sir Frederick Ouseley’, PMA, xvi (1889–90), 25–39

J.S. Bumpus: The Compositions of the Rev. Sir Frederick A. Gore Ouseley, Bt. (London, 1892) [detailed work-list; rev. and repr. in Joyce, 1896]

F.W. Joyce: The Life of Rev. Sir F.A.G. Ouseley, Bart. (London, 1896) [incl. G.R. Sinclair: ‘Sir Frederick Ouseley as a Musician’, 235–55, and rev. repr. of Bumpus's 1892 catalogue, 256–70]

J.S. Bumpus: A History of English Cathedral Music 1549–1889 (London, 1908/R), 528–60

W. Page, ed.: The Victoria History of the County of Buckingham, iii (London, 1925), 159

H. Brian: ‘Frederick Arthur Gore Ouseley’, MO, liv (1931), 806–7, 886–7

E.H. Fellowes: A Catalogue of the Music Manuscripts in the Library of St Michael's College, Tenbury (Paris, 1935)

H.C. Colles: ‘Sir Frederick Ouseley and his Foundation’, History of St. Michael's College, Tenbury, ed. M.F. Alderson and H.C. Colles (London, 1943), 1–32

A.H. King: Some British Collectors of Music (Cambridge, 1963), 67–8

B. Rainbow: The Choral Revival in the Anglican Church 1839–1872 (London, 1970)

N. Temperley: The Music of the English Parish Church (Cambridge, 1979/R)

P. Charlton: John Stainer and the Musical Life of Victorian Britain (Newton Abbot, 1984)

W.J. Gatens: ‘Sir Frederick Ouseley (1825–89): the Timeless Idiom and Beyond’, Victorian Cathedral Music in Theory and Practice (Cambridge, 1986), 147–69

N. Thistlethwaite: The Making of the Victorian Organ (Cambridge, 1990)

I. Bradley: Abide with Me: the World of Victorian Hymns (London, 1997)


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